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The Sims 4 Detective Career Guide

Solve crimes, process prisoners, and don't forget the donuts!

The detective career was introduced to The Sims 4 in the Get to Work expansion along with the doctor and scientist careers. It’s an active career where you can control your sim through their entire workday rather than sending them off to a rabbit hole until their shift is over. The detective career is the spiritual successor to the law enforcement career in previous Sims games. You’ll investigate clues and solve cases to work your way up through the police ranks.

Traits and Aspirations for Detectives

There are a few traits and aspirations that can set your sim up for success in the detective career path.

Social traits such as Outgoing are useful since you’ll need to interact with other sims quite a bit. The Genius trait is also great since it has a chance to randomly put you in the Focused mood, which is ideal for a detective. The Observant trait is invaluable as well since you can identify suspects by their traits, but it must be purchased with 500 Satisfaction Points from the rewards shop.

As far as aspirations go, Popularity aspirations such as Neighborhood Confidante and Friend of the World have great synergy with this track, since you’ll be meeting and getting to know a lot of sims.

How to Join the Detective Career

Like any other career in The Sims 4, you can join the detective career by using the phone, computer, or career panel (hotkey J) to select “Find a Job.”

If you have a university degree in Psychology, you’ll start at a much higher career level: level 6 for a regular degree, level 7 for a distinguished degree or a degree with honors, or level 8 with a distinguished degree with honors. Otherwise you’ll start at level 1.

How to Get in the Focused Mood

Detectives benefit from being in the Focused mood, which will make them more effective in their tasks and boost their job performance. Before your sim can be in this mood, you’ll need to deal with any negative moods such as Sad.

There are many activities that can help you get Focused, but here are a couple that are quick and easy for getting your sim into the right mental state for work:

  • Click on a computer and select Browse Simpedia.
  • Click on a chess table and select Ponder Moves or Play Chess.

There are chess tables and computers in the police station, so you’ll be able to gain focus while you’re on the job as well.

Solving Cases

When you don’t have an active case, you’ll be able to get one from a computer in the police station. Then you’ll be able to interact with the crime map, where you can set up your case map and add clues.

Crime Scenes

The Sims 4 Detective Career Evidence
Maxis / Sarah Arnold

Once you have been assigned a case, you should travel to the crime scene by interacting with a computer or the crime map. While you’re there, you’ll have two main objectives: interview witnesses and collect evidence. To interview a witness, interact with a civilian on the lot and select Take Witness Report.

There are a few different ways that you can collect evidence. The first is by looking for out-of-place objects such as broken or burned furnishings, graffiti on the ground, or chalk outlines. You’ll be able to interact with them to collect samples, take pictures, and dust for fingerprints. You can also click on the ground and select Search for Clues, which will reveal hidden items in a small radius around your sim.

You don’t need to obsessively collect every single piece of evidence at a crime scene. A handful of clues should be all you need. Collecting more will increase your job performance, though. It’s also worth noting that the game does not remove evidence from your inventory when a case has been solved. So you can actually collect a bunch of evidence at one crime scene and use it to solve several other cases!

When you’re done at the crime scene, click on your sim to select Return to Police Station. This will remove all of the evidence from the lot, so be sure you have collected what you need before you leave.

Analyzing Evidence

The Sims 4 Detective Career Notebook
Maxis / Sarah Arnold

Back at the police station, you’ll be tasked with analyzing the evidence you have collected to establish your suspect. You’ll do this using the computer to Cross Reference Police Database and the chemical analyzer to Analyze Evidence. You’ll then be able to Add Clues to your crime map.

You can see your current clues in your notebook, which you can open by clicking on the button to the left of your phone button in the UI. Possible clues include a suspect’s age, sex, hair color, and clothing as well as one of their traits.

When you have enough clues you can issue an All Points Bulletin by selecting Issue APB on the crime map. This will send you out into the neighborhood where you can talk to citizens and hunt for your suspect. When you’re certain you have the right sim based on the clues in your notebook, use the Arrest interaction to take them back to the station.

Interrogating the Suspect

The Sims 4 Detective Career Interrogation
Maxis / Sarah Arnold

Once you’ve made an arrest, you’ll be tasked with interrogating your suspect. Click on the table in the interrogation room to get started.

You can choose options from Good Cop, Bad Cop, or Evidence for your interrogation. There’s a progress bar at the top of the screen that shows how close they are to breaking. With enough interactions this bar will fill up and you will have the option to Get Confession. Congratulations, you’ve solved a case!

Office Tasks and Patrols

There are a few other tasks you may be assigned during the course of your work day. Sometimes you’ll need to take a police report from a citizen. You can do this by interacting with them in the lobby at the station. If you’re asked to talk with your police chief, you’ll need to use the specific Talk to the Chief interaction under Friendly and then under Small Talk in order to clear the task from your list.

You’ll often be tasked with processing criminals. Look for the computer in front of the height chart and interact with it to Fingerprint, Take Mugshot, or Search Suspect. Then select a prisoner to perform the action on.

Finally, you’ll sometimes need to go out on patrol. Click on a computer or the crime map to be sent out into the neighborhood to talk with citizens and give out citations.

Detective Career Levels

As with most careers in The Sims 4, you’ll earn a bonus every time you are promoted as a detective. Each level has its own requirements for earning a promotion, most of which involve solving cases. Note that this case count is cumulative, so from level 4 through 9, you’ll need to successfully solve one case at each level to be promoted.

LevelTitleScheduleHourly PayPromotion TaskPromotion Reward
§20Attend an active workday at the Detective Career venueN/A
§28Go to a Crime Scene
Go on Patrol
New clothes
§38Interrogate a Suspect§224
New decor
§52Solve Case§204
New decor
5Senior DetectivexxTWTFS
§78Solve Case x2§416
New decor
New clothes
§92Solve Case x3§624
New decor
§123Solve Case x4§736
New decor
§150Solve Case x5§984
New decor
§205Solve Case x6§1200
New decor
New decor
Real Detective Suite (buildable room)

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