Off the Grid Lot Challenge Guide

Unleash the extra power with the Off-the-Grid lot challenge
Off the Grid Lot Challenge Guide
Authored by : JessicaSprater
Last updated on 23 June, 2024

If you enjoy adding complexity to game play in the Sims 4 you should try adding some of the included lot challenges. Lot challenges make living on your particular lot a little bit more difficult. They each have unique features, and makes you have to figure out life without some normal game play conveniences.

The off-the-grid lot challenge disconnects your sim's lot from the local utilities forcing you to find alternative sources for objects that require power and water. This article will go through everything you need to know concerning the off-the-grid lot challenge, from adding the lot challenge to your lot to generating your own power and water.

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What are lot challenges?

Lot challenges are traits you can add to your lot to make game play a bit more challenging. Lot challenges either add an element to your game play that will be more of a nuisance you have to deal with, or they take away a convivence that you have to learn to navigate around.

Lot challenges differ from lot traits. Lot traits typically add a positive trait to your lot that will benefit your sim in one way or another. Many lot traits can help make your home the perfect environment for your sim to master a skill or grow a big family.

There are a wide variety of lot challenges that you can add to your lot to add another level of difficulty to your game play. The table below list all the current lot challenges, their effects, and the packs required.

Lot ChallengeEffects
Creepy Crawlies (Jungle Adventure)Creepy crawlies, including spiders and more will fall on your sims.
Cursed (City Living)Lots of things seem to go wrong on the lot.
Filthy (City Living)Your lot gets dirty really quickly.
Gremlins (City Living)Stuff breaks a lot. Seems like tiny goblins come in the night and break things.
Grody (City Living)Sims will have the chance to get nauseous when eating, drinking, or using the bathroom.
Landfill Lot (Eco Lifestyle)Trash accumulates on this lot. (Not available for residential lots)
Off-the-grid (Base Game)Lot is not connected to utilities, you must have alternatives to compensate.
Quake Zone (City Living)Frequent earthquakes will occur on this lot.
Reduce and Recycle (Eco Lifestyle)Outdoor trash cans are no longer bottomless. You have to actively manage your trash output.
Simple Living (Cottage Living)You will be required to have all ingredients on the lot in order to cook recipes.
Spooky (City Living)Lot will attract a lot of ghosts.
Volcanic Activity (Island Living)Lot is near an active volcano. Earthquakes, steam vents, and lava bombs will occur.
Wild Foxes (Cottage Living)Wild foxes will appear and become a nuisance to your garden, chicken, and rabbits.

If you enjoy lot challenges, check out my guide to the Simple Living Lot Challenge. This is a great lot challenge for anyone who enjoys gardening or cooking in the Sims 4. This lot challenge pairs well for anyone who wants to make their sims completely self sustainable.

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How to add lot challenges to your lot.

Lot challenges used to be included with lot traits, and you were limited to three total traits/challenges to add to your lot. With the introduction of Sims 4 Cottage Living, lot challenges were separated into their own unique category.

Since they have been separated you can have more than just three traits/challenges overall. You are limited to three lot traits, but you can choose any amount of lot challenges you'd like. You can try adding every lot challenge if you'd think it would be a fun game play challenge.

To add Lot Traits and Lot Challenges you will need to be in build/buy mode. Click on the little information button on the top left of the screen next to the name of your lot. Then click on the traits panel (the small question mark in the hexagon), you will see three more hexagons with question marks and then a trophy with a triangle behind it. The three hexagons are the lot traits, and the trophy is the lot challenges.

sims 4 add lot challenges

The Traits Panel will be on the lot traits options by default. To add a lot challenge you need to click on the trophy first and then you will see your options for lot challenges.

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What is the off-the-grid lot challenge?

Normally Sims have access to power and water and have to pay utilities bills based on how much power and water they use. When your sim has the off-the-grid lot challenge actives their home will not be connected to local utilities and they will have to live life without the convenience of automatically having running water and constant power.

There are a few ways you can approach off grid living. The first is to try and not use any power or water and utilize off the grid functionality objects. Another approach is to create your own power and water and use typical objects that normally require you to be connected to the grid to operate.

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Benefits of the living off-grid

Besides the satisfaction of successfully completing a fun challenge, the biggest benefit is the reduction of your weekly bills. Each week your sim will be responsible for paying their bills, which are made up of two different categories, lot taxes and utilities.

Since you are not using any water or electricity from the grid you won't have to worry about ever paying utility bills. When off-the-grid your sim will only be responsible for your lot taxes which are based off a percentage of your lot's overall value. I describe how the billing system in Sims 4 work and how you can pay them in this article here.

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How to make your lot completely sustainable.

If you are going to experiment with the off the grid challenge it is very helpful to have Sims 4 Eco Lifestyle. The Eco Lifestyle expansion pack introduced alternative energy sources to the game such as solar panels and dew collectors, it also added the Eco Footprint system to the game as well.

If you want to learn more about the eco footprint system and how your sim can change their own eco footprint as well as influence their neighborhood check out this guide to eco footprints.

To become completely sustainable and live using normal objects and not require that all your objects have off the grid functionality you will need to produce enough water and power to run these objects on a day to day basis.

There are a few factors you need to consider on when working to become completely sustainable:

Power and Water Generation

The first area you need to focus on is generating your own power and water supply. To do so you will need a good amount of energy and water producing objects. There are a few different types of objects you can choose from.

Scrapper's Dew CollectorWaterEco Footprint Green: 3
Water Production Rating: 2 
Reliability: 5
Lab-Pro X2 Dew CollectorWaterEco Footprint Green: 3
Water Production Rating: 3 
Reliability: 8
Atmospheric Water GeneratorWaterEco Footprint Industrial: 7
Water Production Rating: 5
Reliability: 5
Solar Panel - GroundPowerEco Footprint Green: 5
Power Production Rating: 2
Reliability: 5
Solar Panel - Roof*PowerEco Footprint Green: 3
Power Production Rating: 2
Classic Wind Turbine - GroundPowerEco Footprint Green: 5
Power Production Rating: 2
Reliability: 4
Environment: 1
Classic Wind Turbine - Roof*PowerEco Footprint Green: 3
Power Production Rating: 3
Environment: 1
Household Power GeneratorPowerEco Footprint Industrial: 7
Power Production Rating: 5
Reliability: 5

* These objects do not have a reliability rating because they are unbreakable. Since Sims cannot get on the roof they made these objects unbreakable so you don't have to worry about getting up there to fix them each time they break.

Some of these objects work better than others at generating either power or water. You will notice that each object comes with a few different stats that you will want to take into consideration when deciding which route you want to go. The higher either the Power Production Rating or the Water Production Rating the more power or water it will generate.

You also want to consider the reliability of each object, even though one may generate more power or water, if the reliability is low, it will break more often and will be out of commission until fixed. You can solve this problem by only purchasing the roof version or upgrading these objects to be unbreakable in the future to help alleviate this problem.

Power and Water Consumption

When using your own power and water reserves you will want to make sure you are using a reasonable amount that you can sustain with the power and water generation you have on your lot. You can do a few things to minimize the amount of power and water you use.

You can opt to use some off the grid functionality objects to try and minimize power and water used on a daily basis. For example, you can use the Ole Timmy's Wash Tub and wash clothes by hand rather than using a washing machine, and then you could also opt to use the Model T Clothesline rather than a dryer to save on power.

You also will want to pay attention to the power consumption rating and water consumption rating on objects that require power or water. When in build/buy mode you will notice that objects they have either a power consumption rating or a water consumption rating and are rated on a scale of 1 to 10. This scale is rate of efficiency, with 1 being the least efficient and 10 being the most efficient. This means that a power consumption rating of 1 will use more power than a power consumption rating of 10 to do the same action.

You can learn more about power consumption rating in my article that goes into more detail here. If you want to learn more about water consumption rating you can check out my article that goes into more detail about the water consumption rating here.

In addition to purchasing objects that don't use as much power and water to begin with, you can also opt to upgrade objects. This is especially helpful if you can't afford the more efficient objects. If your sim is handy there are some upgrades you can add to objects such as adding a Fuel Cell to objects that require power and a Water Recycler to objects that require water. These types of upgrades will reduce how much power and water are used when your sim uses these particular objects.

You also want to minimize broken appliances to keep them from leaking water for a significant amount of time. You will want to repair any broken objects as soon as possible, or upgrade them to be unbreakable to avoid them breaking in the future.

Eco Footprint

When generating your own power and water you will also want to consider your impact on your sim's Eco Footprint. You can either use green or industrial graded power and water generating object. When you are building out your alternative power/water generating sources, you will notice that each of them have either a Eco Footprint Green rating or an Eco Footprint Industrial rating.

If you use Eco Footprint Green power and water generating sources then your sim's Eco Footprint will weigh more heavily on the green side. If you use Eco Footprint Industrial power and water generating sources then your sim's Eco Footprint will weigh more heavily on the industrial side. With these ratings the higher the number the more of an effect it will have on your Eco Footprint.

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How to sell power and water back to the grid

If you are generating a surplus of power and water you can always choose to profit off of it by selling it back to the grid rather than storing it. With the introduction of Sims 4 Eco Lifestyle came an update to the billing system that separated the lot taxes and utilities. It also allows you to view your current power and water usage as well as your power and water generation.

You can learn everything you need to know about bills in this article that goes over bills and utilities including how to pay them and what happens if you don't pay your bills.

Normally to become sustainable you will want to opt in to store your power and water supply for the times when you aren't able to generate as much power or water. For example, if you have Sims 4 Seasons, when it is cloudy your solar panels won't generate as much power, or your solar panels may break from time to time and be unavailable.

sims 4 bills and utilities

However, if you have a major surplus you can earn some money by selling your power and water back to the grid. You can sell your power and water back to the grid in one of two ways. You can do an "Auto Sell" which will constantly sell any surplus of power or water without you having to manually sell it. Or you can click on "Sell Now" without having to change your manage option from Store to Auto Sell. Choosing to "Sell Now" will be a one time deal that will sell your current supply of power and water. This is usually more ideal when attempting the off the grid lot challenge.


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