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Once you've seen the neighbourhood along with all of the builds your fellow sims have come up with, it's hard not to want to get your own creative juices flowing and have a go at running your own house. Whether you want to hit the #1 rank in a category or just make a place to chill with friends, this guide will help you get started.

Raising Funds & Choosing a Location

When you first create a sim, you will have nothing but lint in your wallet. If you want to be able to purchase your own space to build a property, you will need to raise some simoleons first. Initially the best two ways to make money are either to go to money lots and cash out on the goodies you craft (the higher your relevant skill, the more you earn) or get a job from a newspaper/computer and head off to work with your fellow sims. If you are a new player then for the first week your account exists you can earn double money at Welcome lots from money objects.

The types of lots you can buy are below. The prices below are currently based in Sunrise Crater and can be higher than 20k depending on location. These base prices apply to lots surrounded by 4 other non-water lots. For each side a lot is touched by water, it's price will go up.

Lot Type Base Price
Dirt §3,000 +
Grass §4,000 +
Sand §5,000 +
Snow §6,500 +

Location can be key to attracting a crowd. Placing yourself next to busy lots can funnel you an extra visitor or two when they are full. Or even better, setting up next to someone who regularly uses a spotlight almost counts as a free arrow to your house! On the other hand, if you want to be alone, building further from civilization or in a less eye-catching location can help your lot stay quiet.

Buying a Lot & Deeds

Once you have bought a lot, two deeds will appear in your inventory. These give you ownership to the lot and can be traded if you ever decide to sell on. The property deed only transfers the lot and the skeleton of the building; so walls, carpet, wallpaper. The second deed is property plus owner's furniture which keeps all the furniture the owner placed on the lot. This does not apply to any furniture owned by roommates.

The Property Plus Owner's Furniture Deed

This means you can also buy a property deed from another player, which will give you ownership of whatever land the deed is attached to. But make sure you have seen the lot before you buy it, to make sure it is the size the seller claims and in a location that you want. Make sure you know what furniture belongs to the owner if you are buying the furniture deed as anything that belongs to roommates will not be transferred to you.

Once you own a lot you can access Property Mode whilst on the lot with F4. There are settings here that allow you to add a description to your building etc. One important thing to remember is you can change the type of admission you allow to only allow specific players in and to keep banned players out. This is key when trying to build undisturbed or get rid of any troublemakers.

Upgrading Your Lot

By default, lots start out at a tiny 12 x 12 blocks small. This is most likely not large enough for the mansion you've been dreaming to build, so you will need to upgrade your lot to make it larger. You can upgrade both the size of your lot and the number of floors you have (2 by default). However, upgrading costs money so you need to have an idea of how big you want to go and if you can afford it. Having roommates can make upgrades slightly cheaper which can be a benefit if you are on a budget.

Lot Size Upgrades

There is a guide on Property Upgrades if you want to read more in depth. This guide includes information on sizes and has a cost calculator for upgrades.

Choosing Your Lot Category & Starting to Build

With so many choices in what to build, the first decision is to decide what kind of category you want your lot to fall under. Whether you want to run a store, a nightclub or a love motel, choosing the right category will give you access to unique features to help customise your lot. You can read more about the different types of lot on the Property Categories guide. You do not have to pick a category straight away if you are indecisive, but this will make it harder for other sims to find your property as you will not pop up on the city view's map filters nor will you be ranked. You can only change your category once per week so make sure you aren't deciding on a whim.

Once you have decided what you want to build, it's time to start laying down the foundations. If you prefer planning out your lot in advance, you can have a go at building in Sandbox Mode. Otherwise, money limiting, the live lot is your canvas to work with. Furniture quality will affect how visitors green up. Initially you may have to decide between quality or quantity. Do you want 1 great toilet, 2 ok toilets, or 4 of the cheapest toilets? Always remember to try and buy any furniture you can from player stores, as you can buy things for up 55% off of the Buy Mode price.

One decision a lot of players have to make is whether to make individual rooms or large communal rooms. For example, some lots will put 6 toilets and showers into one large room, where as others will go for a more personal look and make 6 smaller bathrooms. As long as both are easily accessible and there is enough room to move around, it makes no difference which you choose. Make sure there are no narrow areas where sims regularly travel as to prevent players blocking each other in. Designating clear areas will help sims find their way around easier. A dining room for food, an office for computers and a bathroom area for bladder and hygiene. You don't really want a toilet in the kitchen or a radio in the bedroom that wakes up sleeping sims.

Example of Communal vs. Separate Bathrooms

For hunger, you should try to have tables and chairs close to the food as well as sinks/dishwashers and bins so visitors do not have to walk around the whole property trying to sit down or dispose of plates. Be sure to have enough chairs available too.

You should also try and decorate your house if possible, to increase the room score. A sim's room need score is affected by the quality of whatever room they are currently in, so if they are skilling in a room that has puddles on the floor and fly covered food, then their low room will contribute to their overall mood turning red faster. Windows and lights also contribute to room score, so don't leave rooms dark.

The Perks of Roommates

Once you own a lot, you don't need to manage it on your own. To invite a roommate, expand their profile and click on sim permission options then click the huge button or you can click their sim directly and choose "Transactions" then "Invite To Be Roommate". You can invite up to 7 other players to be roommates! Roommates can do everything you can, except kick other roommates, or change any of the settings under Property Mode (F4).

Owners Can use the Roommate Menu to Grant Build Permissions

Roommates are a great way to work together with your friends or keep your lot open when you are offline yourself. Any roommate can enter your lot without you and keep the place open, assuming the admit list allows it. They can also restock and cook.

Roommates will be able to place their own furniture too. It still belongs to them however, so if you try to delete it, it will return to their inventory as opposed to be sold and vice versa if they try to sell yours. If you kick them or they move out, they will also automatically take all of their furniture, so don't be surprised if your rooms look a bit emptier! Having more players and more simoleons to invest just means your house will grow that bit faster though!

Make sure you trust those you take as roommates, as they have the power to move furniture around or send it back to inventories. They can also treat visitors badly which is the last thing you want when you are tucked up in bed dreaming of simoleons.

Tending to Your Guests

Regardless of your lot category, if sims are going to be spending any amount of time there they will need access to objects that will help green up their mood. Certain property categories even allow players to overfill or go up to 150% on certain needs.

Overfilled Needs

Lots in FreeSO can currently handle up to 24 sims plus roomies can enter even when the lot is full, meaning that you can fit a whole 31 players in a lot if roomies leave and re-join or "jump" to make space for others. If you are planning to be a busy lot, make sure you can handle the masses or find some roomies who can help you.

Food is something that only players living at the house can provide to visitors. It is up to you whether you want to go all out and cook stove meals for visitors, go slightly cheaper with burgers, or automate food with a buffet. The latter options will restore much less hunger, therefor requiring visitors to eat more than one plate If they want to completely green up or overfill their needs. Your cooking skill will also affect how much hunger that food you have personally cooked will restore.

Serenading Guests to Fill Energy

Social interactions can also help out here. Serenade is an interaction you gain at 8 creativity which allows you to sing to a sim to restore energy and social, without them having to accept the interaction. This is great for topping up other sims needs without interrupting what they are doing or requiring them to pay attention. Hustling, which is a dance interaction gained at 9 friends, will restore the receiving sim's fun to full green in 3-4 dances, which is much faster than using a computer. Finally, Revitalize is a skill gained at 8 Cooking & 8 Charisma, which allows you to revive players who have died. Players who can revive are also known as shamans, and this service is always in demand due to the constant sim deaths.

Finally, you may want to add extra chat channels for certain services your lot may offer; such as pay-outs on money items or roleplay.

Staying in the Black & Tip Jars

Keeping a lot running will always incur expenses. Not only do you have to pay to cook, but you also have to restock fridges, bars, buffets and more. Then comes the cost of services. Maids will help you keep everything tidy, gardeners will come every 3 days for watering and repairmen will fix any broken objects for an eyewatering §100 per hour!

Expensive Gardener

Although you can charge for buffets or food stalls, or even request players pay you via trade for services, tip jars are the most common way to pay for a service. Although tips are optional, most players will put something into the jar to show their appreciation for your help.

Tip Jars

Depending on your lot category, most owners and roomies tend to put tip jars in obvious locations such as near food or around the entrance of the building. Therefor any visitors have the option to compensate you for your services. Each sim who lives in a house will need their own personal tip jar to be able to receive funds, as they are not shared. They are commonly placed on pedestals as it helps them to stand out in rooms.

Don't place too many tip jars down though or you may give your visitors the wrong impression. Tip jars can contain up to §5,000 simoleons and players may tip up to §1,000 per tip. Keep an eye on your so they do not become full.

Cleanliness, Pets & Repairs

Some objects will become dirty over time as they are used. This currently applies to showers, toilets and baths. You can select them and choose "Clean" to deal with this. If toilets are left unflushed and are then used again by another sim then they may clog, flooding the surrounding floor and becoming unusable. You will also get the option to “Make Bed” on beds that have been used and their sheets messed up. You will also find pet enclosures require regular cleaning as well as litterboxes. Food will also expire after enough time has passed and can no longer be eaten.

Clogged Toilet & Flood

Messy or dirty items will lower room score, which will lower the overall mood of sims who enter those rooms. Dirty items, including food with flies, will also attract swarms of cockroaches on the floor. These can be sprayed to remove them, however just removing or cleaning the dirty items will cause the cockroaches to leave. You can also get mice if you have a cat on the lot.

Objects will break over time, and as their wear goes down over time you will find they break more and more. They will smoke to show they are broken. Sims can repair items for a percent of their catalog price, this will increase the wear (depending on logic skill. The higher your mechanical skill, the less chance you have of being electrocuted and dying when repairing electric objects such as lights. If you don't want to repair them yourself you can hire another sim or just call the repairman to fix it. The repairman however, will not restore any wear to the item.

Broken Bookcase

Climbing to the #1 Rank for Your Category

Ranks are updated each day, so if you want to reach and remain at the number one spot, you need to put some effort in. Your lot will need to stay open for enough time each day and attract as many visitors as it can. If you offer great service to those who visit, then they will mostly likely want to come back again!

Having high quality furniture with an optimal path that makes greening easy, offering great quality food plus making sure guests enjoy themselves are some good goals to aim for. Providing serenades and hustles can put you ahead of other lots, so make sure to regularly ask visitors if they need any. Having a shaman available is always a bonus. Welcoming and thanking players will also go a long way, nobody wants to be treated like a +1 towards your rank climb, so adding a personal touch usually ends up as a hit! Don't forget to list the services you can provide in your property info so players know what is available to them.

Make sure you ban any players who are causing trouble or upsetting players, as the last thing you want is guests to leave. If drama is known to start on your lot, you may find yourself attracting more players who enjoy that sort of thing, but if that is the goal of your lot then no problem there!

Having Fun with the Bubble Blower

The more you impress, the more likely someone will tip, which will help your lot grow even more until you have your dream house. Good luck climbing the ranks and don't forget to have fun along the way!

Guide written by: Fawn