The Sims 3 Motives
Hunger, Social, Bladder, Hygiene, Energy, and Fun Needs
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This Guide to Motives in The Sims 3 will teach you about the basic needs that every Sim has and give you ideas for ways to satisfy them. Every day, you'll have to do something in your Sim's routine to take care of one of these things. Cheaters find that the Make Needs Static cheat is one of the most powerful available. You spend so much of your time dealing with the Needs of a Sim that recovering it is truly powerful.
All Motives are represented by a bar that goes from green to red as it falls. You want your Sim's bars to be maxed at the beginning of their work day, so that they can be in a good mood, which is important for all careers. This becomes a routine. This will vary from Sim to Sim, but most eat, use the toilet, take a shower, and have a little fun. The order these things are done generally varies, but you'll want to do all four before work. Social is rarely a pain to fill so long as you talk to Sims once in a while. A phone call the night before will easily get a Sim through the work day. Try to combine moodlets as you fill needs. It's a good idea to have fun before bed, so that the eight hours spent sleeping are all happy ones that contribute to your Lifetime Happiness Points.
Sims like to eat at least once a day, and sometimes need a snack to see them through. You can satisfy this need in a variety of ways, starting with just an apple eaten from the inventory all the way to ordering a dozen servings of food from a catering service. The most common way to take care of this is to grab something from the fridge. A simple snack will do, but you can learn to cook better meals and get your Sims in a good mood if they practice actually cooking something. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge. Refrigerator quality determines how long the food will last before spoiling. Leftovers of a great meal are as good as the real thing. There's no perk to having this full, but food itself can give your Sim the mood boost. Overstuffing can make a Sim fat, so stop when the bar is full. Low Hunger will trash your Sim's mood -- they won't be able to focus on anything but getting a bite to eat. If it falls to 0, which takes days, a Sim will die of starvation.
Even Loners are social creatures and need to talk once in a while. Sims can usually satisfy this quickly with a phone call using the cell phone in the inventory, but they must have met someone first. You can satisfy this need in person, and even choose talk to co-workers as an option when your Sim is in a Career. Gardening Sims with the Green Thumb trait can rapidly fulfill this motive by talking to a plant. There's no mood boost for having this full, but you won't need to talk to anyone for a while. When it gets low, Sims start to suffer a low mood.
Sims need to use the toilet regularly, unless they have the Steel Bladder LTR. This is satisfied at a toilet, which will break really often. You may want to upgrade it to unbreakable or buy a more reliable model. Most Sims shouldn't bother calling a repairman to fix a toilet though, and would be wise to get their hands dirty. They might learn something! Male Sims can use a urinal for this with the Late Night expansion. Failing to fill this motive results in a sim having an accident, filling the bladder need to maximum and destroying hygiene.
Most Sims hate to be dirty. Filth gradually builds as Sims go about their day until they can't take it anymore. They'll start to stink -- visibly. This lowers their mood and makes them need a shower or bath. Better showers will give you the exhilirating shower moodlet, while you can have cold showers from the bad ones. The end result is the squeaky clean moodlet for having the bar full. It decays along with the bar. The Dirt Defiant Lifetime Reward will make this bar decay much more slowly, giving the clean moodlet for a much longer period of time
Sims can't do anything when their energy need is low. This motive is probably the most important as it allows you to fill the others. Sleeping in a bed, taking a nap, or drinking coffee can all raise energy. The Meditative Trance Sleep reward you get from World Adventures will make Sims' energy bar fill faster. Sleeping in a good bed will also do this. Sleep until the bar is full and you'll get a good night's sleep moodlet that keeps a Sim perky for a good part of their day.
The Fun bar will give your Sim a Having a Blast moodlet when it's maximized. This will gradually decay until the Sim has fun again. Once there's no fun moodlet, Sims will gradually start to get stressed out. A little relaxation with their favorite TV show or a good book can help them to unwind. All kinds of activities are Fun-producing. Look for ways your Sim can have fun and be productive at the same time. Painting is a good example of this, as it is a fun activity that can lead to gobs of cash if Sims get better at it.