To start off with, the trait Perceptive is mandatory to gain the LTW "Pervasive Private Eye" (Solve 35 cases). Other good traits to have include Genius (HIGHLY recommended), Athletic, Charisma, Computer Whiz, Disciplined, Friendly and/or Schmoozer. All other traits can be added as long as you have Perceptive. If you want to make a Cowardly, Evil, Insane, Loser Investigator, it will work as long as they are Perceptive.
Useful Skills: ***Logic***, Charisma, Athletics, Martial Arts
To start, check the computer or newspaper for jobs, or (easiest) go to the local Police Station and choose "Join Investigator Profession". You start with a $275 weekly stipend (paycheck), paid every Sunday at noon. You also get a nice investigator's outfit (a jacket and fedora outfit) to wear while you work. There are no set hours to work, or days, and no time limits to solve cases. There are no career opportunities for this profession, since that slot is taken up by cases.
There are three ways to gain experience in your career: Gaining the Logic skill, conducting Stakeouts, and solving Cases.
The first is simple: read a Logic Book, play Chess, use a Telescope, and so on. You will also gain Logic during your cases when you perform activities such as snooping for clues, and dusting for fingerprints.
You can also conduct Stakeouts on community lots. This action will make you invisible to other Sims, and takes about 1-1/2 hours. This may allow you, if you spot criminal activity, to write a report on the computer, for which the police department will pay you.
Finally, the bread and butter of investigators: solving cases. There are over 40 cases available for solving. You can pick up cases in two ways: use the computer to search for investigator cases, and by sims calling you. You can only have one active case at a time. During an investigation, you will first meet with your client (a bubble will appear on the map in orange with a starburst edge to show the location) to get the details of a case. You may then be tasked to perform any of the following activities:
Inspect Mail/Search through Garbage: to to the lot of the Sim in question. A magnifying glass icon will be hovering over the object(s) in question. Click the object and perform the orange activity. TIP: if the activity does not give you an update, resetting the object by moving it in build mode will allow you to complete the task.
Get information from a sim: There are usually three ways you can accomplish this: Bribing them with $10, $25, $50, or $100 (out of your pocket); Beating them up (Athletics and/or Martial Arts skills are useful); or asking them. The last requires you to have a certain level of relationship before the Sim will answer.
Hack: Use a computer and select the orange activity.
Snoop for clues: Click on the ground of the lot and select "Snoop for Clues".
Dust for Fingerprints: You may have to break into a house to complete this task. At the lot in question, the magnifying glass icon will be hovering over the target object. Select "Dust for Fingerprints" from the object's menu.
Use a rabbithole: some tasks will require you to perform an activity at one of the local rabbitholes. Select the orange activity from the rabbithole menu.
Interview X number of sims: once again, you to have a certain level of relationship before the Sim will answer.
Moodlets (some cases)
Objects (some cases)
There are quite a few different wishes that your sim will get: Solve Case, Solve X Cases, Conduct a Stakeout, Dust for Fingerprints, Snoop for Clues, Conduct X Stakeouts, Write Stakeout Report, Do Low-Level Policework.
Do low-level police work: The is a shift activity at the police station, and pays cash when you complete it.
Hack Information Database: Hacking for cash
Blackmail: While searching trashcans for evidence, you may find information that you can use to blackmail one sim in the home.
Theft: After you break into a sim's home, you can get an object for "Evidence" by clicking on the ground and selecting the option. This will give you a random object from the house, similar to the Klepto trait.
Level Title Weekly Stipend Reward
1: Eavesdropper: $275 Caper Crusader Outfit (jacket and fedora)
2: Small Claims Investigator: $340 Magnifying Glass (allows you to snoop for clues)
3: Wrongdoing Analyzer: $400 Professional's Frosted Door (for your home office)
4: Community Crime Solver: $525 Fingerprint Kit (allows you to dust for fingerprints)
5: Obscure Clue Summoner: $650 Flatfooted Investigation Specialist Outfit (Trenchcoat, sunglasses and fedora)
6: Gumshoe: $850 Investigator's Case Board (for your home office)
7: Licensed Snoop: $1125 Sneak Here ability
8: Community Sleuth: $1475 Yomoshoto Evasion!
9: Flatfooted Investigation Specialist: $1850
10: Investigator: $2475 Private Eye Outfit (suit, long coat, fedora, and sunglasses)
Solve 3 cases: Investigator's Trophy of Honor
Solve 3 missing sim cases: Investigator's Trophy of Heroism
Solve Great Jewel Heist case: Eagle-Eyed Eavesdropper Medallion
Solve Rogue Cop case: Medal of the Mindful
Solve Fish Kid case: Investigator's Ribbon of Bravery
Reach Level 10: Investigator's Key to the Town
Solve 5 cases at level 10: Investigator's Keepsake
Helpful LTRs: Eye Candy, Observant, Never Dull, Opportunistic, Attractive. Opportunistic is a MUST.
Notes: It is easy to earn over $1000 your first day, a NICE way to start any career. I built a core number of relationships among the sims in town, which I refer to as my "contacts", five to be exact. These are my go-to people when I need to interview sims for a case. The "Profession Simolean Booster" LTR adds 20% to your weekly stipend, but doesn't increase your case reward. ON the other hand, "Opportunistic" DOUBLES both the experience and cash from cases.
PS: Now I don't want to go play my investigator