The Sims 3 University Life: Science Skill
Challenges, Experiments, Samples, and Cloning
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With the Science skill in The Sims 3 University Life, Sims can perform experiments and collect samples of collectibles found in the game world. The skill gives you a two-level head start in the Science and Medical career tracks when maxed, and you'll naturally gain standing with the Nerd social group. Sims who reach a high level in the Science skill can clone collectibles from samples, and even make clones of Sims. This is also the skill that allows you easily transform your Sim into a Plantsim.
There are a number of ways to learn the Science skill, from the traditional methods of skill books and classes, to the new "them bones" anatomy skeleton object used by the Science and Medicine degree at the University. Sims attending University can play with the Group Science Project machine. The main way to level this skill outside the U is to buy the ZRX-9000 Science Research Station for $1050, which will give you access to most of the abilities your Sim will unlock as a Scientist. The Research Science interaction will get you started.
It's worth noting that there are also three social interactions you can use to raise the Science skill, all found under Friendly: Ink Blot Test, Stimulus Response Test, and Postulate Theory.
Research Station Interactions
The Research Station starts with several interactions that can allow your Sim to do a few different things before they've ever gained a skill level:
- Research Science - A generic interaction that gives Science Skill experience.
- Gene Splicing Experiment - Changes a seed from one kind to another. A big success here can give your Sim a Forbidden Fruit, which can be planted to get yourself a PlantSim baby. If you analyze the plant, you'll get a sample which can be cloned to produce a fruit that when eaten to turn your Sim into a PlantSim. A failure here will destroy the seed.
- Herb Experiment - Success in this experiment will make an herb's quality go up by one level. A big success will boost it to Perfect quality. Failure will lower the quality of the herb. Success rate increases with level.
- Horticulture Experiment - Success in this experiment will make a plant's quality go up by one level. A big success will boost it to Perfect quality. Failure will lower the quality of the plant. Success rate increases with level.
- Radiation Experiment - Bombard an insect with radiation in hopes of transforming it. Success here lets you keep your bug, while failure will destroy it. A big success will transform it into a Plasma Bug, a rare beetle that is worth up to $4600. Get just one of these and you have an infinite source of cash once your Sim is level 9 Science and able to clone collectibles.
Science Ability Unlocks
The following abilities are unlocked as your Sim levels Science:
- Level 2 - Research and Sell Scientific Samples - Allows you to sell scientific samples at the Science Lab in town, which is not very useful given you must select them one at a time vs. moving stacks to the sell box through the inventory. The Research Sample interaction on the Research Station is a faster way to level your Science, though it does not count as an experiment for the skill challenge. You'll also lose the sample in the process. It's unclear just what greater purpose this serves.
- Level 3 - Analyze Minerals (Metals/Gems) - Analyze gems and metals to get a sample. These can be sold or used at the Research Station to clone these items.
- Level 4 - Analyze Plants - Use on unidentified seeds to get a sample telling you the plant type. Otherwise, like above, you can use this to get plant samples for cloning purposes, or to simply sell the sample. Using this raises your Sim's Gardening Skill.
- Level 5 - Correlate Scientific Data - Visit the Science Lab with your Sim to Correlate. This gives you a random award, up to $750 for a trip. The cooldown starts at 48 hours, but you're eventually able to get it down to 12 hours, 6 with the skill challenge.
- Level 6 - Analyze Insects - Again, used to clone.
- Level 7 - Analyze Fish - same. Raises the Fishing skill.
- Level 8 - Analyze DNA from Sims - to get DNA, use the Special > Science > Ask for DNA Sample interaction on another Sim. You may need to bump your relationship a bit before this will work. You can do this multiple times on a single Sim to collect many samples, although its usefulness is limited.
- Level 9 - Clone From Sample - this wonderful ability allows your Sim to make a copy of any collectible they've sampled. If you use a seed sample, you'll get a fruit. This can let you, for instance, make many Life Fruit without actually planting them. It also lets you turn your Sim into a Plantsim when you clone a Forbidden Fruit seed sample. This is a big money maker when put to other uses. Clone samples of high-value gems or metals to make cash, or use the Radiation experiment on insects until you've got yourself a Plasma Bug and clone them infinitely - a Plasma Bug can be worth up to $4600. You are also able to Clone a Sim using a DNA Sample. This will give you a baby version of that Sim, which is added to your Household.
- Level 10 - Group Science Project - This gives you the Group Science Project which can be found at the University Campus. You'll find it in your family inventory. It does allow multiple Sims to work the controls, although there are three outcomes based on the color you choose.
- Interface with the Green Mind Melder Module - Hive Mind: Gives all nearby Sims the Hive Mind moodlet for 6h, which increases skill gains. Use this then head to the Library to get an even better boost when reading skill books. This is one useful buff and makes leveling Science all the more worth it.
- Adjust the Blue Magnatomic Pulse Array - Everyone nearby is knocked out and gets the Power Nap moodlet for 3h. Upon waking from the power nap, all motives are filled!
- Study the Red Pad Tie Node - Uninhibited moodlet for 4h. May encourage Streaking among those affected.
- Fourth Outcome - All Three Activated - Nessa wrote to tell me about this one. You can do it with a single Sim, or three who have achieved level 10 Science. When all 3 are lit, you'll get a white beam instead. This calls down a positive meteor shower of collectibles and loot. No one will be harmed by the experiment. She says that you can do it with a single Sim if you use each of the 3 nodes, watching the bars on the side. Use one, let the meter fill to 33%, use the other to 66% and finally to 99%. Using any of the three colors, you'll then get a white beam that calls down the Meteor Shower.
Science Skill Challenges
There are two skill challenges for Science: Free Range Scientist requires you to use the analyze interaction 100 times, and cuts the time between Correlate Scientific Data from 12h to 6h at level 10 Science. Experienced Experimentalist takes 100 Experiments - of the four types with Experiment in the name on the Research Station. Experiments with the Group Science Project also count toward this total. Completing this challenge will give your Sim $10,000 and a plaque for the wall.