Carl's Sims 3 Guide - Skills, Traits, Careers, Rewards, and Lifetime Wishes for Ambitions and World Adventures

The Sims 3 Into the Future: Plumbots

Guide to Plumbots, their Needs and Features

The Sims 3 Into the Future Expansion Pack
Time TravelerUtopia & DystopiaLegacy StatuesDescendantsAdvanced TechBot Building
Laser Rhythm-a-conPlumbotsTrait ChipsAstronomy CareerBot Arena CareerNanites
Plumbots come in a variety of designs and are fully customizable

Plumbots are probably the most interesting addition to come with The Sims 3 Into the Future. Several gameplay features revolve around them, and they represent a good portion of the population of Oasis Landing, the Future World. This Guide to Plumbots will teach you all about this new type of "Occult, how to make them high quality, their various functions and how they can serve your Household. Without Trait Chips, You can even give a Plumbot Sentience to make it self-aware and capable of accruing Lifetime Happiness Points.

You can learn in-depth information about making, buying, and selling Plumbots in the Plumbot Making Skill Guide. This article focuses on the Robots' features. Detailed information on all Trait Chips can be found in the Trait Chips List.

The Bot Shop in Oasis Landing sells Plumbots, but you're better off making your own

Create-a-Plumbot and Getting Your Own Robot
You can buy or sell a Plumbot at the Bot Shop in the future by clicking the Robot Display Pedestals in the store, but it's best to make your own with the Bot Making skill as they are usually at least $1,000 Simoleons, although they can come cheaper depending on the Trait Chips installed. The Developers added a Create-a-Plumbot extension to Create-a-Sim that allows you to customize the look and gender of your Plumbot. Gender and look of a Plumbot can be changed at any time with a Bot Making station for $100.

About Plumbots: Programmable Helper or Sentient Robot
Plumbots do not age and start with very limited functions and many of the normal areas (Skills, Careers, and Lifetime Rewards) will be inaccessible to them. You unlock these functions with Trait Chips. Each Plumbot can start with anywhere from 3 to 7 Trait Chips, which are designed with the Plumbot Making Skill or purchased at the Bot Shop. These are placed into the slots by clicking the Sim. Ultimately, it is up to you how your Plumbot behaves and what it can do gameplay-wise, based on the Trait Chips you install.

With High Free Will on, your Plumbot will do things depending on what Trait Chips you've put in. Handy Bots will automatically repair broken things around the home and have a Max Handiness Skill. Bots that have the Cleaner or Nanny Chips will automatically be able to take care of dirty homes and babies/toddlers. You can even make your Plumbot capable of earning money by giving it the Office Drone (for a Career) or various Skill Chips. Sentience is the ultimate Chip, but Plumbots will still need others to have certain functions programmed into their Operating System, allowing them to do those things. A Sentient Plumbot still doesn't know how to clean house or learn to Garden.

Customize your Plumbots' Trait Chips to suit what you want them to do just as you would a Sim. You may make the ultimate butler/assistant Sim or a jokester that's always entertaining the family with goofy jokes or music. Certain Trait Chips can make them better overall, such as Efficient (which lowers Maintenance/Battery Power drain) or Solar Powered, recharging their batteries during the daytime -- an excellent choice for a Plumbot with the A.I. Angler Trait chip installed so they can catch some free energy during the day to stay up and fish all night long with a little maintenance. It's all up to you.

Make Trait Chips with the Bot Making Station or buy them at the Shop

Trait Chip Slots and Plumbot Quality Levels
As stated, Plumbots can have from 3-7 Trait Chip Slots and fitting them with the best may require you to catch rare nanites. These can be upgraded by clicking the Plumbot with at least level 5 Bot Making skill, which allows 4. The others are unlocked at level 7, 9, and 10. Plumbots also have a Quality Level which affects their sell value and how quickly their Battery Power and Maintenance needs decline. There are 10 levels of Quality, from Fragile all the way to Future Tech-level. Future-Tech Plumbots with the Efficient Trait Chip will have their Battery Power fall at about half the rate of a normal Sim's, so they can go about their duties much longer. A high-level Bot Maker can upgrade a Plumbot's Quality level by performing Tune-Ups repeatedly. The Bot's max Quality level from this work will match the Bot Maker's Skill level.

Plumbot Needs: Battery Power
Plumbots have two basic Motives, expandable to four with Trait Chips. Battery Power is the first and foremost, as it governs how long the Plumbot can stay active. If Battery Power is ever fully depleted, the Plumbot will suffer a -40 8h moodlet for Forced Shutdown (which may not matter if they are not Sentient). With the various techniques to restore Battery Power, you should not have this problem often.

Plumbots can restore their Battery Power by using the $710 Nexus-9 Non-Organic Charging Station which is found under Appliances > Miscellaneous in Buy Mode Sort by Function. Plumbots can be assigned Charging Stations, much as Sims can claim a bed, simply by clicking on the Station. The Bot can charge to full power or do a Quick Charge, which is much like a Sim Nap only restoring much more energy. Additionally, Plumbots can siphon energy from any electrical device in the game world. Plumbots that are told (or choose to) shut down will also replenish energy.

With full Battery Power, a Plumbot gets a +10 4h moodlet that actually lasts longer than stated if it is fitted with the Efficient Chip or is a high Quality Plumbot. Any Plumbot that is told to shut down will need to be told to boot up by a Sim to resume its normal functions.

When the Maintenance Motive is empty, Plumbots Malfunction until repaired

The Maintenance Motive
Maintenance is the second motive Plumbots have. Low Maintenance causes a Plumbot to smoke, short out and overall malfunction, causing it to fail and interrupting interactions. This is permanent until the Plumbot receives maintenance and will incur a -40 mood hit until fixed. You can fix the Sim by clicking it with another Sim or itself. Tune-Ups performed by the Plumbot will not grant the Well-Tuned moodlet that a competent Bot Maker can provide (I guess there are hard to reach places). You may need to do this interaction twice to get a Plumbot fully tuned if it's doing it itself. The Charging Station will provide a little Maintenance, though Tuning Up is much faster. Plumbots may request a Tune-Up from a close Acquaintance/Friend and benefit from another's assistance, while also getting the moodlet.

Unlocking Fun and Social Needs
Plumbots can only have fun if they have the Sentience Trait Chip installed, which will let them begin to accrue Lifetime Happiness Points toward a LTR. The Social Need is unlocked through a variety of chips: Simulated Emotions, Friendly Functions, Mood Adjuster, Sense of Humor, Sinister Circuits, Capacity to Love, and Sentience. Simulated Emotions is the best means of this, and may be installed along with Sentience, as it gives them the ability to choose between Happy/Sad/Angry modes that all affect its Mood. Being in Happy mode will give a mood boost that can make the Bot happy enough to get Happiness Points.

Plumbots that have Fun unlocked can grow bored or stressed out, and Plumbots with Social Needs can be lonely, so there are certain drawbacks to unlocking these functions, but they allow the Plumbot to pursue opportunites that would not otherwise be available to them, particularly getting Lifetime Rewards.

Plumbots in a Charging Station will quicly replenish Battery Power

Unlocking Other Functions: Careers, Skills, and Opportunities
Plumbots can only enter a career with the Office Drone Trait Chip installed. The Opportunities tab is opened with Sentience, but I have not yet received an opportunity for a Plumbot, nor the ability to select a Lifetime Wish. The Skills tab has more options - you can unlock this one with Limitless Learning, which lets them learn any Skill, or max out a select number of skills automatically by installing one of the other obviously-named Trait Chips for Handiness, Fishing, Gardening, Cooking (which will also let them learn all recipes including Ambrosia), Guitar (and other musical instruments), and Painting.

Plumbots with no skills do not have access to the Skill Journal. If you give a Plumbot the Limitless Learning Chip or it takes a Skill-specific Chip and completes Skill Challenges, it will retain those skill levels and accomplishments when you reinstall the chip.

Interacting with Plumbots
Plumbots have few social interactions at first. You can talk to them like any other Sim, but they are unable to get jokes or romantic interactions without the right chips. You can fall in love with a Plumbot if it has the Capacity to Love Trait Chip (but not Sentience). From their end, Plumbots can only do a few interactions and not enough to really make friends. They can explain function, scan Sims (no apparent use yet) and Plumbots cannot reproduce, however. Given you can make one for $250, that doesn't seem to be a big deal but there won't be any Plumbot babies.

Plumbots with Capacity to Love will let your Sim or other Plumbot fall in love with them and the 'Get Frisky' interaction will be available once you've gradually turned up the Romance and fallen in Love, distinct from Woohoo but just as fun and only for that purpose but not making Plumbot Babies since that's impossible without mods installed (assuming someone makes one for that).

A Sim getting a Full-body Massage from a Plumbot

From the Plumbot social interaction menu, your Sim has a few options without any chips:

  • Explain Function - the Plumbot tells you its Quality, number of Trait Chips and the Trait Chips it has installed.
  • Entertain Me - The Plumbot will play some music, which your Sim can dance to. You may upgrade this with the Musical Machine Trait Chip.
  • Power Down - Tells the Plumbot to shut down until needed. You'll need to click it again and select boot up, for the Plumbot can do nothing for itself without Sentience.

Plumbots can do a bit more for your Sim directly if you install the Mood Adjuster Trait Chip. This enables you to order the Plumbot to give your Sim a full-body massage (+10 3h moodlet) or try the effective Happiness Beam, which will give a +40 4h moodlet!

Lastly, Plumbots outfitted with the Holo Projector are able to allow you to communicate with a Sim from another Time (Present or Future), socialize, and build your relationship with them.

In Closing
This should teach you plenty about Plumbots themselves, especially when combined with the Bot Making Guide and Trait Chips List.

Comments (41)

1 2 > Last
emilye says...
hi how can you make a plumbots quality level go ??? up please help.
Have a higher skill level than the bot's level and use Tune Up on the Plumbot until you get a message that its quality increased. You can keep going up to the level of your Bot Making skill but may not pass it.
28th October 2013 6:26am
Lonn says...
Their quality increased as you select new trait chips to inject on them!!!
28th October 2013 11:24am
Cuatela says...
Not from what I've seen. The only actual improvement to quality is from doing maintenance, which has a small chance to upgrade the plumbot's quality.
Cuatela is correct. Sell Value increases with Trait Chips installed, but not Quality so this may lead to Lonn's statement. Upgrading Trait Chip Slots on a Plumbot will not touch the Quality level.
28th October 2013 6:32pm
Lexmechanic says...
That "full-body massage" looks more like he's being forcibly escorted out of the building. O.o
29th October 2013 12:24pm
Em says...
how do I sell them?
1st December 2013 4:25am
Ian says...
Powered down Plumbots actually can power themselves back up without the sentience chip, just cancel the Power-Down action manually.
9th December 2013 11:16pm
BlazeGirl says...
Can Plumbots adopt children/pets?
1st January 2014 8:00pm
Amelia says...
Can Plumbots look after pets?
18th January 2014 5:04am
LizardWizard says...
My Plumbot's battery power and maintenance never seem to drop. Is this normal?
22nd January 2014 12:35pm
Carl says...
I accidentally left out Bot Arena Competitions and a couple other things Plumbots can do there but will correct this tomorrow. For now, I'd rather just get this out. Break time :)
24th October 2013 11:20pm
liliana says...
is there a cheat to make your plumbot pregnat
11th August 2014 3:03am
Brandy says...
I keep trying to make a plumbot. My sim goes through the whole process and then there is no plumbot when she is finished...Any ideas?
26th January 2014 12:02pm
dancingclones says...
Can plumbots enroll in university?
4th February 2014 4:30pm
ChiCakes says...
I'm having a problem with my plumbot. It's bugged out and now I can't switch to her. Her icon has changed into a sims 2 girl, her actual sim looks the same but when I interact with her she acts like a normal sim. And her name has changed into some random sims name as well. I can't move her out or reset her. I've tried removing any of the mods that could cause this. But I didn't have many to begin with. And now it's really bugging me. Any ideas ?
17th March 2014 4:35pm
Cooldoo says...
There's a quality level below fragile called "unstable"
19th March 2014 1:15am
Anna says...
If I make friends with a random plumbot on the city, I can invite him to my family?
9th July 2014 10:59pm
Julia says...
Hi! Great job on this article. However, I just made my Plumbot sentient and was told that I could now choose a Lifetime Wish for it. Do you know how I do that? Was it supposed to show up like when a regular sim reaches young adulthood?
I tried learning skills to try to trigger a LTW but couldn't get that nor wishes to appear for the Plumbot. I'm wondering if an opportunity will eventually pop up for them to allow this, as those wouldn't come up yet either.
25th October 2013 7:52am
Elena says...
Hi, my plumbot just popped up a wish like children/teens, he wanted to be super popular. I guess one can change trait chips and use situations to trigger them.
25th October 2013 6:57pm
Lexmechanic says...
If you're still not getting an LTW, but have a few (say 10,000 or so) points to spare, consider buying the Mid-Life Crisis reward. That will let you immediately choose the LTW that you'd like.
29th October 2013 2:50pm
Darkskyer says...
I was reading this and I just found you have from "Fragile to Future Tech", there's a Level 0 called "Unstable" or so. At least I got it when I bought my first plumbot.
30th November 2013 12:00am
Paul says...
Carl I have a question / need help. I have a plumbot who is at level 10 in Logic skill but he is unable to Tutor any sims in any skills. However I have two non-plumbot sims in the same household who can tutor other sims just fine. Does anyone know how I can fix this issue?? please help! ps. sorry if this has been asked before.
27th February 2014 10:03am
Mike says...
I have had a chance to do some testing on this issue and this is what I have found. 2 things need to be true for a plumbot to tutor someone: 1st the skill the plumbot is tutoring in has to be learned after unlocking the ability to tutor (so not tutoring in logic sadly) 2nd the sim being tutored needs to have at least lvl 1 in the skill they are to be tutored in. I hope this helps :)
27th May 2014 5:50am
Anonymous says...
Can a plumbot upgrade it self?
27th December 2013 3:44pm
vernitagreen says...
Can you put clothes on a sim? If so, how?
1st December 2013 1:13am
vernitagreen says...
Oh dear i meant plumbot.
1st December 2013 1:36am
tokencanuck says...
I'm having a trouble with my Plumbot. I can't get him to have tune-ups while in the present, whether it's done by the Plumbot himself or another sim. Also, when I click on him with another sim, I get no interactions at all (just the NRaas menu).
23rd November 2013 10:12pm
Chris says...
Under "Plumbot Needs: Battery Power", you have Plumbot movies, I think you meant Motives...?
Yep, thanks.
25th October 2013 1:27pm
Mckinneymini says...
You said plumbots could reproduce, but all I can get them to do is woohoo. They both have the capacity to love and sentience chips (among others) and I can't figure out how to get them to reproduce like you said since the article doesn't explain it. Good article though :-)
26th October 2013 2:05am
Mckinnminis says...
Oops never mind it says CANNOT reproduce. I saw someone in the forums say you could have them mix their "genetics" and make an adult plumbot.
26th October 2013 3:24am
Tori says...
Do these count towards the Monster Maker LTW??? Simbots and mummies do.
26th October 2013 2:57pm
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