A basic straight staircase is one square wide, five squares long on the lower level, and four squares long on the upper level. These spaces must be left clear both above and below. The first square on the lower level and the fourth square on the upper level is reserved for the landing, and players may place a floor covering on these squares.
The Sims: Unleashed, The Sims: Superstar, The Sims 2: Apartment Life, The Sims 3 and The Sims 3: Generations add spiral staircases. They have a 2x2 footprint on both levels, along with an extra square on each level that's reserved for the landing. This saves space, and allows players to add upper floors to smaller houses.
A sweeping staircase for The Sims, which goes through a 90-degree curve from top to bottom and has a 4x3 footprint, can be downloaded from SimEchoes. It is called 12 Steps in Stone, and was included in The Sims: Makin' Magic , which also included a wooden version. A reversed version of the wooden staircase is also available from SimEchoes, and a reversed version of the stone staircase can be downloaded from Reny's Sim Concept.
In addition to two basic straight staircases, The Sims: House Party includes the Anti-Heisenberg Teleporter. This item is cataloged as a staircase and serves the same purpose, but has a one-square footprint. Players with Unleashed or a compilation which includes it should note that dogs and cats cannot use this object or objects based on it.
In The Sims, only one Sim at a time can use a staircase. though there are hacked staircases that get around this. It is not unheard of for staircases in The Sims to get "stuck", and become unusable because the game considers them to be in use. The way to fix that is to use the move_objects cheat to delete the stairs, and then to buy new stairs.
The Sims 2Edit
In addition to the basic staircases, The Sims 2 adds modular stairs with matching side railings. Modular stairs can be used on uneven terrain at almost any height, though their normal height is the same as that of the foundation. Pricing for modular stairs is unusual, as the price given in the catalog is not the price for a basic 4-step unit. Instead, it is the price for each step, so the cost of a 4-step unit needed to reach the ground from a foundation or deck is four times the catalog price. Modular stairs can also connect two floors in a building. To do this, leave a 1x4 space in the upper level's floor. Place a modular stair so that it points into that space, and it will automatically extend down to the lower level. Four modular stair units equals the height of one regular staircase, so the cost will be 16 times the catalog price. After placing the stairs, the player can add the matching railing to one or both sides at the cost of §12 per stair unit, regardless of the cost of the stairs. This is done by clicking the railing tool, then clicking the side of the stairs where the railing should be placed.
In The Sims 2, several Sims can use a staircase at the same time, though there are still some limits. The basic rule is that one Sim can go up a staircase while another is going down it. The player can increase the number of Sims that can use a staircase at one time by placing staircases side-by-side. Staircases placed side-by-side will automatically connect, making a wider staircase. Modular stairs are somewhat different, because each section is considered a separate object; only the ones that a Sim is actually on are considered to be in use. So, if modular stairs are used to connect two floors of a building, up to three Sims can go up (or down) them at the same time, as long as each one is on a different section.
The Sims 3Edit
In The Sims 3, staircases are able to be any length the player wishes. Unlike previous games, staircases can have railing that is of a different style from the actual staircase, and the railing can be only on one side. A tool in the staircase placing tool allows for multiple staircases to be placed side by side quickly and easily. Multiple Sims can use the staircase, as in The Sims 2. The Sims 3: Generations also allows spiral staircases to be used on a lot. Patch 55 also added a spiral staircase to the base game.
The Sims 4Edit
In The Sims 4, the length of a staircase is based on the height of the walls. Staircases can have different types of railings, but are restricted on both sides. Staircases can also be pushed and pulled sideways to be as long as the lot itself. Any wallpaper can be added on to a staircase and the base can be removed with the sledgehammer tool. The Sims 4 doesn't currently have spiral staircases.
Staircases have often been modified by custom content creators. Sometimes, this is just a matter of redesigning them so they have a different appearance, such as making the Anti-Heisenberg Teleporter resemble an elevator rather than a science-fiction device, or making a staircase look like an escalator. At other times, staircases have been modified to produce working ladders or to be more-or-less working spiral staircases. Some custom staircases for The Sims and The Sims 2 effectively work as "vertical doors" or "teleportation pads" between floors, which allow players to simulate elevators.
Modified staircases for The Sims 2 may or may not be fully animated, and may or may not work well when used by pets.