Carl's Sims 3 Guide - Skills, Traits, Careers, Rewards, and Lifetime Wishes for Ambitions and World Adventures

The Sims 3: Sims

A Sim in The Sims 3
A Sim in Create-a-Sim

This Guide details the properties of Sims in The Sims 3 Game and its Expansion Packs. We'll cover the stats and characteristics of a Sim in TS3, how a Sim can be taken care of, and the process of making a Sim into a successful Adult. This info will help you understand Sims and all their needs and the features you should use to get the most out of the game.

This page focuses on the characteristics of Sims. If you're in need, we have a guide to getting started in The Sims 3.

First, you are limited in what you can do with a Sim by the Expansion Packs you have installed. Each addon will give new gameplay features to The Sims 3, all of which combine together to give the player more and more options over how their Sims live their lives.

Simology, Sim Properties and Creating Sims

The Sims 3 Game Interface - Simology Shows a Sim's Age and Traits
The Simology and Other Interface Panels Tell a Lot About Your Sim

Basic Sim Information
Whether you make your own Sim with Create-a-Sim or select a household from the town you're playing in, Sims will always have the same basic stats. They'll have an age, a number of traits based on age, favorite food, music and color, along with a Lifetime Wish they can complete to earn Lifetime Happiness points. They may or may not have families. A Sim's household can have up to eight members. You can start with one and work your way to a large family, or create a huge family before you ever start the game if you so choose.

A Sim's clothing, details, makeup and hair style are largely a matter of personal taste, however with The Seasons Expansion, a new clothing category exists for cold weather, Outerwear. This will keep Sims warm. Conversely, wearing less clothing (particularly Swimwear) can lead to Sun tanning or Sunburn when out in the Sun too long. Sim height cannot be modified, which would make game animations much more complex. Sims' body fat and muscle can be modified by cardiovascular and weight lfting exercises, while overeating can cause them to get overweight. To learn about getting in shape, see Athletic skill and the Body Sculptor Lifetime Reward.

Life State and Pets
Not all Sims are Human. In fact, there are more and more non-human Sims in the game as new Expansions get released. A Sim can be created as one of these non-Human Occult Life States and often acquire their powers through gameplay.

Pets are another type of entity you can control in The Sims 3. They may be added to the household in a variety of ways, but must have an Adult master - they can't run a household by themselves, after all.

Age of a SimAge: Sim/Pet Age and Life Stages
All Sims and Pets have an age group they belong to, from Infant, Toddler to Child and Teenage years leading up to Young Adult, Adult and finally Elder. A Sim's age can be seen from the Simology panel on the Sim interface, you'll also be able to see how many days they have to go until aging up to the next age group. You can modify a Sim's age in several ways. To learn more, see the guide on Sim Aging.

If your Sim has a child, it may alter the course of their life, requiring care for the kid while juggling adult responsibilities such as holding down a job and keeping a household. Learn more about getting pregnant and raising kids and the life and needs of Sims in those age groups.

Traits of a SimTraits
Traits play a role in the personality of your Sim and the bonuses they receive when doing certain activities or being involved in types of situations. In this way, they can direct how your Sim would best be living their life. Hovering over your traits in the Simology panel will give you a summary of the bonuses. Adult Sims can have five traits, while youngsters gradually pick them up as they age. If you do a good job raising them, you get control over these choices. If not, it's all up to randomness and your Sim may get bad traits.

A Sim's InventoryInventory
All Sims have an inventory tab, which is a listing of items they are carrying. Inside, you can use items that can be used, and sell things by dragging them to the little simoleon box in the bottom left corner. Items that can be placed or stored can be dragged from the inventory by holding the left mouse button. You could use this to put a painting on the wall, or store some produce in the refrigerator. All Sims also have a family inventory, which is accessed in Buy Mode. This is where large objects go when you receive them as a reward, so that you can place them in an appropriate place on your lot.

All Sims have a cell phone in their inventory which can be used to make phone calls. Phones can also be found in buy mode. You can use the Sim's phone to order pizza, hire a babysitter or cancel the newspaper delivery service. It's also what Sims use to call one another and perform actions like set up travel, throw a party, quit their job, and move to a new house.

The End of a Sim's Life: Death - Age and Accidental
Sims who have not acquired Immortality through the various ways will eventually grow old and die (click to learn causes and preventing death). At the moment of death, they will become a Ghost. Sims who are not careful or have an untimely accident can die early if they are not holding a Death Flower to exchange to the Grim Reaper for their life. Sims with the unlucky trait will always avoid deaths of this type.

When a Sim dies, their posessions are transferred to the next of kin (wife, child) and that Sim becomes the new head of the household. Should all Sims adult or older die, your game is over and you'll need to start a new save file.

A Happy Life Filled with Reward

A Sim's NeedsSim Needs
Sims have six needs which must be filled in order for them to be happy and healthy. Failing to meet a Sim's Hunger need can result in starving to death. Energy dropping to zero will make them fall asleep where they stand. When a particular need is high, it may confer a mood bonus. For example, the Squeaky Clean moodlet that comes from having a high Hygiene bar will make Sims happier. Read about a variety of means for filling needs in the linked guide above.

Sim Mood PanelSim Mood and Moodlets
Meeting all a Sim's needs, barring any negative influence on mood, should place their mood meter just slightly in the green. In order to get them into a really good mood, we need to add additional Moodlets. Moodlets influence mood and confer other benefits, but their primary purpose is to get mood high which will make a Sim accrue Lifetime Happiness Points continually while they're happy. Higher happiness means faster Happiness point generation. Read up on moodlets to get an idea of the common ones you can easily give your Sim to give them a boost.

The Wishes of a SimWishes and Lifetime Wishes
Wishes and Lifetime Wishes, along with mood will give your Sim Lifetime Happiness Points. A Sim gets wishes throughout the day. You can click them to promise a wish. You can choose up to four wishes to promise at once, knowing you can cancel a wish by clicking it if you want to change to a new, better wish that's come up. Completing Wishes contributes to Lifetime Happiness Points in chunks. A huge amount of Lifetime Happiness will come from completing your Sim's Lifetime Wish, which will generally direct the theme of their life, either what career they pursue, their hobbies, or life orientation.

Lifetime rewards of a Sim in The Sims 3Lifetime Rewards
Lifetime Rewards are purchased with Lifetime Happiness points. There are many rewards to choose from, and all have their uses and give some kind of helpful perk to your Sim.

Sim CareerMoney, Careers, and Part-Time Jobs
Sims have many options for making money. The funds of a household are shared among all members and shown on your game interface. So, Sims all contribute money to the family pool. The most basic way to make money is to take up a Career or Part-Time Job. Sims can also collect items they find in the word and sell them through the inventory or at the Consignment Store with The Sims 3 Ambitions Expansion Pack. Click to see a list of ideas to make Money in Sims 3.

Sims can become learned in many Skills, which benefit them in numerous ways. Skills generally have ten levels of competence, which gradually give you more abilities and benefits. All proper skills come with a Skill Journal, which can be accessed through the Skills panel or by pressing 'J' on the keyboard. Completing Skill challenges further enhances your Sim's skills and lets them make more money or become much better at their trade. There are also hidden skills in The Sims 3, such as dancing, rollerskating, and the trampoline. These don't make a big impact but make your Sim better at what they're doing, preventing accidents and enhancing the entertainment value.

The relationships panel shows standing with other Sims in The Sims 3Friendships and Love
Sims benefit from having friends the way people do, from having fun together to simply having someone they like to talk to. As Sims interact, they gradually build relationship (though some Sims just don't seem to want friends). Friendship status moves up from Acquaintance to Friend and Sims may even pursue Romance and get Married. Once Sims are in love, they may Woohoo and even Try for a Baby.

Share Tips and FAQs (18)

Our Sims Forum is the place to go for faster answers to questions and discussions about the game. Use the form below to share your own experiences and provide helpful tips to other readers.

FlowerChihiro20 says...
I have to say, I love this website it's been a big help for me since i'm very new to this game series, very late into the party lol.
29th April 2018 2:18pm
missyangel87 says...
can we edit the household ? What i mean is can we create another sim for the household ??
17th May 2013 1:27pm
Anya says...
Yes, go to edit town in the options menu and select your family. It should have an option to create a new sim. I hope this helps.
10th July 2013 11:21pm
NinjaWolffie says...
Can you save a sim (as in skill levels and all) to put into another world?
Yes. Edit the Sim in Create-a-Sim and export the Sim to your bin. Since the Sim is already created, you can do this easily with the testingcheatsenabled true cheat, followed by shift-clicking the Sim and choosing Edit in Create-a-Sim (CAS). You'll find options for saving the Sim to the bin at the bottom of the screen. A Sim's stats, like job level and skills will stay but you will lose things like their relationships with people in the town.
1st September 2013 3:09pm
NinjaWolffie says...
7th September 2013 4:10pm
Mikaela says...
So my sim was a teenager and had a boyfriend but the game was getting super boring so I changed the lifespan setting to brief and my sim turned into a young adult. But now it's been almost a week as her boyfriend won't turn into a young adult. So is it just my family that has a brief lifespan of the whole town? And if its the whole town how to you make someone that isn't in your household age up on the sims 3 pets for the PS3?
7th July 2014 2:15pm
Bethany says...
Can you control your sim without using the cursor but rather just using your toggles to move around and such.
8th May 2013 11:57pm
nighteyes says...
How can I combine households? I want to move 2 people in the another 2 people who already have a home.
7th May 2013 10:57pm
AspenLee says...
You will need to go into your sims inventory and click the move option. then click the house you want to move into. You can move into the other house with the other 2 sims.
29th September 2013 1:21am
Pointdexter says...
how do I resurrect a loved one of my sim, she was in my houshold the one that died, who had drowned
25th October 2013 6:33pm
NinjaWolffie says...
Also, in one of my games I found a stray dog and added him to my active family. I want him to be on another computer, but how do I make him? I reckon you get the files for that sim and and put them in an email, then download and drag the files to where ever they go.
8th September 2013 2:28pm
Marjolaine - Heather - Demaude says...
hi, thanks for the guides, i've looked it all over - i wanted to do a legacy with photos but i don't know where to find them , could you help?

Marjolaine xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
30th December 2013 1:11pm
Ayaka Rain says...
I can't seem to figure this out but how do you make two sims woohoo in a place other then the bed?
30th June 2014 7:57pm
Simmylala says...
Depends on the expansion packs. Sims can WhooHoo in showers (Generations EP), elevators (Late Night EP), haystacks (Pets EP).

Also, make sure two Sims that are very romantic go to the theatre together to "Tour Theatre". While the two Sims are touring the theatre, click on the building and three options will come up "Make Out Backstage with...", "WhooHoo Backstage with...", "Try for Baby Backstage with..."

Those are all the places your Sims can WhooHoo in other than beds. Hopefully this helped :)
14th July 2014 1:29am
Nelson says...
Don't forget about hot tubs in late night and tombs in world adventures.
24th July 2014 3:42pm
you're welcome says...
Showtime photobooths, late night elevators, supernatural wardrobe, seasons leaf pile, and others.
19th August 2014 5:41am
Kira says...
I'm not really sure if this relates to "sims" specifically but I have the Island Paradise expansion and my Front Desk worker won't show up for work. I haven't worked at Hobart's Hideaway (some people say that this problem can stem front managing Hobart's Hideaway) and when I try manning the front desk and people try to check in, it will get to the point where an action box will show up saying "manage check-in" for the person trying to check in, then (without me clicking on it) it will be x'ed away. Can someone help me with this?
5th December 2015 11:46pm
Simmerpeep says...
I own several expansion packs on Mac disc. I own WA on origin though, (online). I have to use my university life disc to load, I can't just use the WA. how can I play the game without hacking it and using a disc? (I'm getting a MacBook Air, and I don't want to have to buy an external disc eater.) I'm not quite sure what that is called.
16th November 2013 5:35pm
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