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The Sims 3 Inventing Skill Guide
List of Inventions, Learning the Skill, and the Inventor Career
In this guide to the Inventing skill and profession in The Sims 3 Ambitions, we'll learn about this new feature of the game introduced with the expansion. Inventing allows your Sim to invent widgets, toys, and special inventions that help them in various ways. What is more, maximizing this skill and pursuing its opportunities allows you to make SimBot and complete the Monster Maker Lifetime Wish.
Learning to Invent
You can take a class in this skill at the Science Lab in any of the three available towns. Buying the Scraptronic Workbench for $1,250 Simoleons is required. If you want to skip the class, this table will allow you to 'Dabble' which should unlock the Invent ability. From there, your Sim will begin to learn how to make various gadgets. See below for a full list of all inventions available with Ambitions. The handiness skill is tied to this and will rise as you craft your inventions.
Good Traits for Inventing
Two traits are particularly good for inventors. You should take the Eccentric trait, which will improve inventing across the board and possibly enable them to unlock things earlier. Also, the Born Salesman and Born Saleswoman traits will boost the value of their inventions when sold at the consignment shop, enabling more money to be made for each of their works.
The Inventor Profession/Career Track
To join the Inventor profession and make inventing your official career, head to the government building. You can there make it your self-employment choice by clicking Register as Self-Employed. The game will begin tracking your earnings from selling inventions, which is the only metric for this career. More sales equals a higher rank. The only perks to doing this are the ability to gain medals and trophies for certain landmark achievements, and cash bonuses for "promotions".
|Job Title||Bonus Amount||Profits total required to advance|
|Nuts and Bolts Combiner||$105|
|Duct Tape Rigger||$405|
|Father of Local Ingenuity||$1500||$18905|
|Fourth Dimensional Architect||$5,000||Done?|
Note the 10,000 point Lifetime Reward Entrepreneurial Mindset increases the "book" value of inventions sold, raising the level faster.
Occasionally you'll get honor trophies from the Inventor Profession for doing things like building a Time Machine, making 50 widgets, and so on. Use these to decorate your Sim's home.
Collecting Scrap from Junk - Getting Started as an Inventor
To begin the Inventing skill, you'll first need scrap. Scrap can be purchased from the workbench, or gathered from the piles at the junk yards in town. Digging through scrap piles is your best option early on. Your Sim will find scrap and other goodies in the piles and begin making progress toward completing the Scrap Collector Inventing Challenge. This will triple your collection rate.
Once you've gained some skill, you can eventually detonate objects for a price which will send out tons of scrap, easily collected with the Harvester invention. This is a faster option which will get you more scrap per pile in the junk yard. You can also dig through trash cans to find even more.
Be careful what you detonate. You could get a bill for destruction of property!
Learning Your First Invention: At first, all you can make are widgets. Select invent or dabble at the workbench and your Sim will eventually learn a schematic. Note that the Invent action consumes a ton of scrap. Its purpose is to unlock new schematics. Once learned, making something specific is much cheaper and has a fixed price. You'll need to resort to skipping the Invent ability once in a while if your Sim hopes to make a living off this alone, due to the need to make more money off your available scrap.
The following is a list of all inventions you can create and what level they're first available. You probably won't max out with the Invent action until around the 10th level. I also include the original, unmodified price as a comparison tool. Note that there's a large difference between the final sales price of an invention and the value of the first ones your Sim will build.
Toys are a special case. You can make cheap versions of toys for half scrap that have reduced value, but also take less time. Or you can use the full amount of scrap and make a better toy. At first, the more expensive toys are better but with the Master Inventor Challenge completed, your Sim will make all 'Master' level items and the Cheap variety becomes the best, as it makes the same product in the end. Thus, for toy production rates I list the cheap variety with the Master's challenge completed.
Note that I provide the base value you get with all relevant challenges completed and lifetime rewards purchased. Consignment shop sales values are significantly higher than the list price. The production rate is similarly maxed out. Scrap prices are unmodified but reduced by about 1/3 with improvements and in some cases reduced to 0 for inventions that required very little scrap to begin with. Use this as a comparison tool. It's worth noting that at some times your Sim will make a magic gnome instead of what you'd intended.
|Name||Type||Inventing Level||Scrap Cost||Base Value||Production Rate|
|Drinking Llama||Widget||1||2||$20||6 per hour|
|Smasher||Widget||1||2||$23||8 per hour|
|Dog Toy||Toy||2||2||$27||10 per hour|
|Rotational Pull||Widget||2||3||$29||7 per hour|
|Cow Toy||Toy||3||4||$37||9 per hour|
|Floor Hygienator||Big Invention||3||10||$197||1.25 Hours each|
|Tentacled Wind Up||Widget||3||4||$53||6 per hour|
|Harvester||Big Invention||4||25||$529||2.5 Hours each|
|Whale Toy||Toy||4||4||$52||9 per hour|
|Localized Static Tester||Widget||5||6||$138||5 per hour|
|Floating Duck||Widget||6||7||$165||4.5 per hour|
|Robot Toy||Toy||6||3||$86||9 per hour|
|Flying Fighters||Widget||7||9||172||5.5 per hour|
|Miner||Big Invention||7||50||$1012||5 Hours each|
|Time Machine||Big Invention||9||75||$2024||7 Hours each|
|SimBot||Big Invention||10||100 Scrap|
10 Life Fruit
1 Heart Cut Pink Diamond
Free Sims 3 Content: The Air Bender and Claw Dipper
Head to this link, and you can get an Air Bender and Claw Dipper gizmos. They don't do anything, but will add two more possible gizmos for your Sim to make. The Air Bender and Claw Dipper are decorations and nothing more, but they're another way to make money from inventing. Click the link to get the ultimate career bundle, a small perk for Ambitions owners. It comes with several other items, including some sculptures.
Inventions in Detail
Widgets and Toys
Are for decoration and amusement, respectively. They are great to sell at the consignment shop in town by the dozens. They'll help you earn quite a lot there, and are sold regularly to help improve the inventor career experience bar quickly. You should make plenty of these as you proceed up the ranks as they'll keep your profession tighter with the skill level and help you earn money, to boot. At level 5 you can make improved widgets, which sell for about 50% more. The Widget Challenge below will make them always improved. Toys can be made in a cheap or regular variety. The more expensive kind cost twice. It's your choice which to create. I'd go with regular when it's first available, then switch back to cheap with the Master Inventor skill challenge completed.
The Floor Hygienator will be your first Big Invention. It has a decent sale price, but is not as profitable as widgets and toys. Still, it's a good scrap to value ratio. These when placed on the floor of your home will give your Sim one of a few positive moodlets that last only a few hours. It's a small perk, and a neat little gadget to give your Sims that extra mood boost. With Master Inventor the price of these goes up a lot and they'll no longer occasionally make your Sims sick.
The Floor Hygienator can be used to get your Sim a mood bonus any time they're in a stationary position, such as at the easel while painting, or even sleeping in bed. Make multiple Hygienators and identify the three varieties: Shower Fresh Unscented, Scientific Refresher, and Happy Day Potpourri. The three combined can give a +25 mood bonus, it's all about positioning the Hygienators. Look to the series of shots below for examples.
This is a handy vacuum for picking up scrap and other collectibles. Its main use is going to be in scrap gathering after detonation because you won't be constantly stumbling across multiple gems or metals to pick up in its area of effect. Situate your Sim near the center of the objects you want to grab and click the harvester. They'll suck things up in a 360 degree radius. Sometimes you will grab little things you might not have noticed, like bugs. This works really well for gardening, too, since a lot of the time spent is harvesting. It gives you one more reason to pursue gardening to get that 10 life fruit you need for a SimBot.
Here is one of the more interesting gadgets from the inventing skill. Place the miner in a patch of ground on a lot (no random roadside excavations). Your Sim can then drill the patch of ground for gems, metals, scrap, and random items. The tunnels left behind can be named, and your Sim can travel easily from one area to another. Need a quick way to the library? Make a tunnel on either end of the route. Sometimes the hole will be glowing, and your Sim has stumbled upon a tunnel network that they can explore rabbit-hole style. It's a lot like exploring the catacombs at the cemetery or using the time machine. You'll get random items, and it's a decent way to find things like life fruit, palladium, and pink diamonds that you need to create Simbot.
It's worth noting that the Miner is extremely loud and your neighbors will hate you for drilling past bedtime!
Your Sim can take a rabbit hole excursion either to the future or past once you've invented one of these. The little story will sometimes lead to you getting random items. You'll almost always leave with a moodlet. This is like exploring the catacombs, and can only be done so often.
SimBot can be created after you've done the Master Invention level 10 inventing opportunity. It takes 1 palladium, 10 life fruit, 1 heart cut pink diamond and 100 scrap in that order to complete this chain of opportunities. SimBot is a companion you can have around the house, or release into the neighborhood. If you keep it, it leads a life not unlike a regular Sim, but with a scrap diet and no need for hygiene. Of course, they can talk to the food processor and other appliances as well. They're always hydrophobic. Click for more information on Simbot.
Inventing Skill Challenges
After your Sim has made 250 widgets, every widget they make will be of the Improved variety. These are 50% more valuable. This will increase your profit by quite a lot. I saw around 40% of my widgets weren't 'Improved' before I unlocked this challenge. Making Smashers seems to be the fastest way to make it to 250.
Unlocked after detonating 150 objects. This will give you more scrap per pile. It's really a challenge you can live without. Blowing up multiple objects at once is counted correctly. With this, blowing up those piles in the scrap yard is very effective but by the point you need it you may just be so bored detonating and digging that you buy scrap at the table.
After collecting 1,000 scrap (through digging, detonating or random finds), your Sim will get more from each dig pile when getting down and dirty. It triples the amount you get per pile. It's helpful, and should come naturally as you progress.
At 100 big inventions built, you unlock this beauty of a reward. Big Inventions consume 20% less scrap, sell for 10% higher value and are completed about 10% faster. All widgets and toys are also built 'Masterfully' and jump up tremendously in value. This makes cheap toys fast money makers.
The Ultimate Invention!
Unlocking this means you can make more SimBots, and have completed the Master Invention opportunity.
The Inventing skill's time machine can be used to get some pretty unique clothes. Traveling to the past or future can unlock several outfits, like those pictured here. They're pretty unique. You'll know your Sim has found one when they come out wearing it.
These are just two examples. There are a total of four for each gender to find. Look for only one of them for male from the future, the other 3 are historical outfits, like a caveman or gold medieval armor. Females find two in the past and two in the future.
As to whether you find them or not? Totally random.
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