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Carl's The Sims 3 Skills Guide
Skill Cheats, Tips and FAQs
This Sims 3 Guide was originally written for the PC and Mac versions of the game, but also will help owners of the console versions - PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii. Please remember some info or numbers may have changed.
Helpful Skill FAQs
What Skills Does World Adventures Add to the Sims 3?
The World Adventures expansion brought three new skills to the game. Nectar Making can be learned in France, Martial Arts in China and Photography in Egypt. Each has a home of sorts, but the Photography skill's roots are based in Egypt only because it's the place to buy the best camera.
How many skills can you learn in the Sims 3?
There are ten skills that feature progress bars: Athletic, Charisma, Cooking, Fishing, Gardening, Guitar, Handiness, Logic, Painting, and Writing. The 'eleventh' skill, Collecting, has a skill journal entry, and has challenges associated with it, but is not a 'learnable' skill. Parenting is included in this guide but is neither learnable nor accessible. It is a skill on the player side.
The skills list is blank. How do I make my Sim learn a skill?
Skills in the Sims 3 start at "level 0", an unlearned state. When the first level has not yet been gained, the skill will not appear on the list. This keeps the list tidy so you can see only the skills your Sims use.
Sims can learn skills by performing associated actions. Some are very straightforward, such as preparing meals improving the cooking skill. All skills have multiple ways they can be raised. One method of learning common to all skills is to take a class at the appropriate building.
Some actions require the skill to be already learned before they'll start adding progress toward skill levels. For example, watching cookin' cable won't teach your Sim anything unless they already know the cooking skill. There is a similar effect for picking wild fruits and vegetables and the gardening skill.
Take a Class?
Taking a class in a skill will give it a boost. Learning a skill initially, that is, going from level 0 to level 1 takes much longer than all the other early levels. If you take a class, you can avoid this problem because the class will add the skill to your learned skills list within a couple of hours. Taking classes later offers less benefit, especially once past level five. It makes sense, at some point your Sim should be teaching a class.
Where do I take a class in X Skill?
As a quick reference, I'll provide a list of the locations where your Sims can learn skills by taking a class. Classes usually cost $400 but this can be discounted occasionally. Look for discount classes in the newspaper each day if you're a penny pincher.
To find classes, go to the map view and look to the red icons. Not all of them offer classes. I'll be very general about the type of building, as it is the same for Riverview and Sunset Valley. This should also keep the list future proof for future expansions:
How can my Sim Learn Skills Faster?
There are several ways for Sims to learn skills faster. Each skill has one or more traits associated with it that will boost the rate it is learned. The Sims whose traits are built around a particular skill and specialize in it will be the most successful. So, long after learning the skill they'll still be seeing benefits. For example, virtuosos (guitar) will get better tips and green thumbs (gardening) will harvest higher quality produce.
Mood will also increase the rate your Sims learn skills. Being in a good mood lets your Sim focus on the task at hand with a postive attitude. They'll get better at skills a good deal faster, especially in combination with having the right traits.
Studying at the library will also help your Sim to learn. Cooking, Gardening, Handiness, Logic, and Charisma can all be learned at the library. The quiet environment increases the rate your Sim will learn there. The athletic skill will increase fastest when using the equipment at the gym, because of the "fit atmosphere" moodlet your Sim receives while visiting the lot.
For 15,000 lifetime happiness points, Sims can purchase the Fast Learner reward. This boosts the learning rate for all skills. It's a great reward for multi-talented Sims.
What Trait Makes a Sim Learn X Skill Faster?
This is information that is provided in the skill guides, but I'm providing it here to help as a quick reference for your Create-a-Sim needs. Read my Sims 3 Traits guide for detailed info on each trait.
China features two ways to get your Sims skilling faster. The Honorary Incense Holder of Jun Pao that can be bought from the General Store will improve skill gains at home by a whopping 25% while in the room with the burning incense. You can tell it's working by the Neurotic Synergy moodlet you'll receive. The second skill boost from China is found in The Scholar's Garden, which gives a moodlet similar to the incense. So, it's a good place to read a book or meditate to raise Martial Arts. Simmers with the Late Night expansion will find a boost using the Alien Brain drink available from Mixology.
Are There Any Cheats to Raise Skills Faster?
In a word, No. There is a workaround, however. There is a cheat to lock needs in place. You can use this to allow your Sim to train constantly. They could stand in one spot and fish for hours, or chat with themselves in front of a mirror. This is the closest you'll come to a skill cheat in the Sims 3.
To access the Sims 3 cheats console, press Control + Shift + C at the same time on your keyboard. If you're using Windows Vista and for some reason the console won't come up, press Control, Windows and the Shift button along with 'C'.
Type testingcheatsenabled true to enable the testing cheats. Hold shift and left-click your Sim's mailbox. From there, you can click make needs static to lock all needs at 100%. Head out and train. Even athletic Sims benefit, as with the needs bars locked in place they can run all day long. To turn the cheat off, shift-click the mailbox once more and select make needs dynamic. Click here for a full list of cheats in the Sims 3.
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