The Sims 3 Generations Imaginary Friends
Getting One, What they Do, and Making Them Real
Imaginary Friends are a new feature of The Sims 3 Generations. It allows kids to socialize and have fun with this entity that no one else can see. It looks absurd as you'd expect, coming from a child's imagination. As you can tell in the shot above, this new form of life is basically a rag doll come to life.
Getting an Imaginary Friend
The process of getting an imaginary friend begins as a Toddler. If your toddler was created in Create-A-Sim, there's a chance that it will load with a doll in its inventory. If it doesn't, you can try moving in the household again. No need to recreate them. If the child is born via try for baby, it reportedly will come in the mail. You require this doll, and there's no known way to cheat and get one at this time.
Greetings from the Lostso Family! We heard that you have a new addition to the family and would like to congratulate you! The Lostso family has sent Azure Dreamweaver a special toy. Gain relationship with it to reveal its special gifts as she ages. Retrieve the mail to place it in Azure's inventory.
Growing Up Together
Your toddler should play with the doll very often. Give it a name, and play/sing to it. You will see a message that it has become a very special toy to your Sim. This is a good sign that it will age up with them. When the toddler has a birthday, the process continues as a child.
"Steel has become a very special toy for Azure Dreamweaver. Who knows what will happen if she keeps playing with it? Maybe they'll stay as good friends when she grows up!"
Again, if you want the bond to form between child and imaginary friend, you'll need to keep playing with it into childhood. That's fine as it fulfills needs. Have tea parties and sing/play with the toy as often as possible. You will eventually see a message that you should set the doll down, so it can look about the world. Drag it out of the inventory and your Sim's Imaginary Friend can now interact like a normal Sim with the child. No one else will see it, which can lead to some funny moments.
The Imaginary Friend can play, pillow fight, get your Sim a snack, and even clean up for the kid. Just treat it nice and build the relationship. Interact as much as possible. When you're super good friends, the option to Offer to Make Real will appear on the social interaction menu. If you have the Imaginary Friend Metamorphium potion, which any Sim can learn to make through Chemistry. If you didn't learn Chemistry, your child or older may get an opportunity to make the Imaginary Friend real. You'll need to collect a rainbow gem and deliver it to the Science Lab in order to do so. If you know for sure you'll want to do this, you can start looking for the gem early and hope to find it. Check the consignment shop from time to time as well. You never know what's on sale -- maybe a rainbow gem! I probably wouldn't mess with looking for a rainbow gem for days, I'd rather learn Chemistry instead. You're guaranteed to get one of these potions upon discovery.
If you can't accomplish bringing the doll to life in the childhood age, fear not. It will grow up along with your Sim at this point, and just gets bigger as a teenager. The perk to doing it earlier is getting control over the trait selection.
Once your Imaginary Friend is made real, they'll change in appearance to that of a Sim and have needs and abilities like any other regular Sim. It's a route of adding another member to your household, although it has a special history for your Sim. They can turn to doll form at any time. During that time, they can't have any romantic interactions, and needs fall just like normal. I suppose EA didn't want weird woohoo with a strange non-Sim creature, as is the norm. This transformation is just a cosmetic effect, really, but it's a good one. When the Imaginary Friend made real is in Sim form, it will be approachable by any Sim for romance, including the doll's original owner, which is kind of interesting as far as story potential goes.
To the cheaters out there, know that triggering the age transition for your child does still allow the imaginary friend to grow up later, so long as it's become a good friend in that life state. You can even trigger age transition on the friend once it's in a form that can be seen by the kid.
I'm not aware of any time limit on doing this. The doll just seemed to get bigger as it aged, and it's likely you could transform it into adulthood. Your Sim has been talking to it all those years, and as the message states when it transforms, it's time to prove that "you're not crazy".
This should give you a good understanding of the Imaginary Friend system in The Sims 3 Generations. Comment on the forum or drop me an email (address on home page) if you have any suggestions or corrections that would improve this guide.