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The Sims 3 Island Paradise - Scuba Diving SKill

Guide to Snorkeling, Scuba, Dive Spots, Caves & Treasure Chests

The Sims 3 Island Paradise Expansion Pack
Scuba DivingResortsMermaidsDiscovering IslandsMap Fragments & BottlesLifeguard

The Sims 3 Island Paradise Scuba Diving Guides:
Scuba Diving & Snorkeling  |  Gaining Levels & Skill Challenges  |  Diving, Treasure & Caves  |  Sea Shells & Fish

The Sims 3 Island Paradise Expansion - Scuba Diving
You get the Retro Scuba Suit at Level 10 Scuba Diving

The Sims 3 Island Paradise Expansion Pack introduces the Scuba Diving skill, which will let your Sims Snorkel and deploy scuba gear to use underwater dive spots where they can collect shells, explore caves, capture fish, and allow you to enjoy the scenery and sense of exploration. This guide will teach you all about Scuba Diving, from raising the skill to what you can do with it, and finally give you the locations of all scuba-related caves and treasure chests.

About Scuba
While Snorkeling is a feature of Scuba, the main attraction here is the ability to dive underwater and explore an area with collectibles on the ocean floor, caves to enter, and treasure chests to open. Caves may whisk you away to another dive spot if you have a high enough level, and you may encounter other divers and Mermaids. You can socialize underwater, but will want to conserve your air for finding items on the floor, catching fish, and delving into caves to gather collectibles. You have a limited amount of air, and upon returning to the surface, your Sim will need some time to decompress in order to dive again.

Scuba and Athletic
Some players report that their Athletic skill rises while using the Scuba skill because of the time spent swimming. For me, this did not happen until I took a class in Athletics - running on a treadmill would have accomplished the same. I think swimming doesn't really raise athletic until you've 'unlocked' the skill by gaining experience in Athletic first. Some say their Athletic skill builds up constantly, but mine only rises while the actual 'swim' action is taking place, when going to a Snorkel/Scuba destination. Swimming underwater while Scuba Diving doesn't raise Athletic for me, nor does Snorkeling.

The Sims 3 Island Paradise Expansion - Scuba Divers who aren't careful can drown when they run out of air
Drowning is easy to avoid if you pay attention to your Sim's air moodlets or seek air pockets in underwater caves.

Air, Decompression, and Death by Drowning
Sims need air to scuba dive. Your Sim will automatically wear their wetsuit and oxygen when diving below the ocean surface. They'll start with a breathing comfortably moodlet while underwater that gets longer each time you level the skill. For details on that, read the Leveling guide on the next page. You'll start with about 3-4 hours of air, depending when you first dive. When that runs out, a more dangerous breathing shallowly moodlet appears for a couple hours, before gasping for air. At that point, you have 1 hour to return to the surface or the Sim will get a visit from the reaper and die by drowning.

Self Employment and Scuba Diving Opportunities
I highly recommend you register as self employed at City Hall. That way, you'll get the Simoleon rewards you'll be given at the later levels of the 'career'. During the daytime, you can use the 'Check for Diving Work' interaction at the Science Facility, Restaurant, and City Hall. All will ask you to collect various types of items for them. They'll request messages in bottles, eel, sea shells, octopus and various other sea life that you can collect while diving. As you continue with the skill, you will sometimes be able to turn in these opportunities instantly and collect the reward.

The Sims 3 Island Paradise Expansion - Snorkeling
Snorkeling is a great way to find the new Sea Shells in Island Paradise

When you're first getting started with Scuba Diving, Snorkeling is your only option. It's a bad choice for leveling the skill at later levels, but Snorkeling is the best way to collect sea shells and other collectibles. This will allow you to more easily earn the Savvy Snorkeler Skill Challenge. At the first level of Scuba Diving, your Snorkeling will only find items at an 8% rate. By level 10 it nearly doubles to 15%, bringing in items much more often. It is best to snorkel out in open water, as the random paths Sims take may lead them to walk to shallow water on the shore and need to dive again, causing some downtime. Worse, they may even get confused and stop snorkeling after attempting to swim up to the beach. So, choose a spot out in the center of a nice clear area and your Snorkeling experience will be much better.

The Sims 3 Island Paradise Expansion - Zoom out to see a map of the Dive spot area to help you get your 

Zoom out with the Tab Key to see more of the area and plan an exploration route.

Dive Spots
As you level Scuba Diving, you will gradually unlock the four dive spots Island Paradise offers. Each one has one or more caves, treasure chests, and random spawners for sea shells and various sea life that your Sim can catch, sell, and use to gain Self Employment levels. Rocky Reef unlocks at level 2, Davy Jones' Locker at level 4, The Mermaid Grotto at level 7, and Pearl's Deep at level 9. Check the Dive Spot Treasure Chest and Cave Exploration Guide to learn more about the four Dive Spots.

The Sims 3 Island Paradise Expansion - Catching fish while Scuba Diving
You can catch fish underwater to sell or stock your fridge

Collecting Fish, Sea Shells and Messages in Bottles
You can find the above collectibles swimming around and resting on the sea floor while Scuba Diving. Sea Shells and messages in a bottle are hard to spot and very random in their spawning. You will also find Octopus on the bottom, with sea urchins and fish floating around. Keep your eyes open but if an area looks to have few spawns, then go on to the next and hope for better luck next visitig when the sea shell and message in a bottle spawners reset. These types can also be found along the beach, washed up on the shore and just waiting for your Sim to collect them. Unfortunately, these pickups do not count toward the Scuba Diving Skill Challenges.

The Sims 3 Island Paradise Expansion - Explore caves to find collectibles
You can explore caves to find collectibles, air pockets, and tunnels to other caves

Exploring Caves
In each Dive Spot there can be found a cave. Inside is a rabbit hole adventure that can lead you to many underwater collectibles. If your Sim is high enough level, they may be offered to use a Cave to travel on and see where the exit leads. This sometimes takes them to another location altogether, like the next level dive spot, a random spot on the shore, or even the Uncharted Island you can discover at level 10. Your Sim may be attacked by tentacled monsters and suffer a nasty moodlet. You can usually stay in these caves for a long time, or deliberately visit them to extend your stay, as finding an air pocket will reset your air moodlet to full.

The Sims 3 Island Paradise Expansion - A Shark frightens a Scuba Diver
At higher levels, Sims will be less likely to react this way to a Shark.

Shark Attacks
Sharks may also be present at a Dive Spot. Sometimes you can watch them as they swim while your Scuba Diving skill increases. If they get aggressive, your Sim may end up in a fight for their life. Sims who lose this fight can die. If you want to be super cautious, bring a Death Flower with you or take the Loves to Swim trait to hopefully help your odds of winning. If a shark defeats your Sim but doesn't kill them, you'll get a harsh 8h -35 moodlet. A shark attack happens only 5% of the time, but the shark may get multiple chances at this roll to attack your Sim. When watching a shark, this chance jumps to 25% as you're more likely to draw attention by swimming around it.

Shark Attacks grow 2% more likely for each raw meat that you have in your inventory. You may not be carrying many raw steaks, burgers, hot dogs and eggs, which will attract them, but many Scuba Divers will gather fish while under the sea. Those raw fish are edible to werewolves and shark, and the Shark are predators that will take it to mean you're a floating buffet. Offload fish you collect in your diving adventures to prevent these attacks growing more likely.

The Sims 3 Island Paradise Scuba Diving Guides:
Scuba Diving & Snorkeling  |  Gaining Levels & Skill Challenges  |  Diving, Treasure & Caves  |  Sea Shells & Fish

Share Tips and FAQs (86)

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.

1 2 > Last
Nichole says...
Just a comment if anyone who uses testingcheats in place while diving. When you get the warning moodlet that you only have an hour or so of air left if you control click the moodlet you don't seem to ever run out of air and can dive indefinitely to level up and find more things in fewer dives.
23rd July 2013 4:14am
Tracy says...
I'm new to the simming stuff, but when I bought this game and looked at the pictures of live game play, I was under the impression that when your sim snorkels or dives down you actually go down with them and see what they are seeing. Was I wrong in my assumption or am I just not doing it right?
When you snorkel, you just see your Sim on the surface. When you have the right amount of skill you can Dive underwater which does take you under water with them but this is only at the dive spots.
13th July 2013 12:51pm
anonymous says...
my sim is on level 6 and her level wont increase. what do i do
21st September 2013 7:43am
Lisa says...
I want to know why we cant carry a weapon to kill the sharks when we get attacked I mean come on who goes diving without protection from sharks
I don't and I don't think it's all the common unless you're trying to attract sharks.  Shark attacks in IP are really low as long as you keep the fish and meat out of your inventory and you don't stare down and follow the shark everywhere.
16th July 2013 3:41am
Katie says...
So I'm not sure if this is a bug, but any time I direct my sim to snorkel, they teleport back on to land. Is there something I can do to fix this? I totally don't want to have wasted $40 on a bugged game. Thanks!
I suggest clearing all your caches and trying a new game after that to see if it still happens.  Make sure that you are snorkeling in a spot that is clear of other items.
28th July 2013 10:09pm
Mia says...
I can not find the science facility on my sims , where is it located?
Which town are you in?
23rd July 2013 7:16pm
sstephanie says...
Can kids be attacked by sharks?? I have two children and I want to know if its safe or not for them to go into the ocean.
19th October 2013 4:13pm
Bubblegum says...
Can kids scuba dive let alone snorkel
Children can snorkel but Scuba Diving Skill is for teens and up. You will see a skill bar above a child's head though.
1st July 2013 9:59am
Mrs Tragic Clown says...
RE: You will see a skill bar above a child's head though. Thx I was so confused!! My child is snorkeling and was worried this was another bug because it's been stuck there for a while now.
15th September 2013 1:26pm
Mrs Tragic Clown says...
Another question. I noticed while my child is snorkeling the skill bar went up and started again as if she is going up in skill. Will her snorkeling now help her later on as a teen or am I just wasting her time by snorkeling now? And thank you so much for your help and fast responses I love your site!! <3
15th September 2013 1:45pm
Katie says...
Hey, you keep saying that you take a scuba diving skill at the science center but when I click on it all it says is 'Attend Logic/Gardening/Logic class' but it says Check for Diving Work. Is that what you're talking about?
4th March 2014 1:26am
Austin says...
Can mermaids fight sharks? I'm trying to do the hidden island opportunity and I am a mermaid.
Mermaids cannot fight sharks. They seem to have some unspoken pact.
11th July 2013 4:02pm
Rowena Ravenclaw says...
Strange considering that mermaids (or Merrow) are practically fish.
13th July 2014 1:17am
Jessica says...
My sim was tutoring another sim in Scuba diving, and the whole time, her athletic skill rose.
31st January 2014 9:02am
ULQ says...
This guide says; "Zoom out with the Tab Key to see more of the area and plan an exploration route." Could you possibly expand on this for me? Thanks in advance.
23rd May 2014 1:14pm
ULQ says...
Nevermind, the position on the page made me think that you could see underneath the sim while they were snorkeling. I understand now. By the way, this really is a fantastic guide and it save me from scouring the internet
23rd May 2014 2:12pm
Shelby says...
I keep trying to use the snorkel action and my sim will swim into the spot i clicked it but then will suddenly be on land. am i doing something wrong or is it some sort of glitch?
13th October 2013 6:10pm
Kristin says...
I was attacked by a shark (for the adventure) as a level 10 diver, with only a few fish in inventory, about about 3 minutes of the "watch shark" interaction. After a couple of minutes (and 3 sharks later), the action autonomously changed to "examine shark" which led to a fight. I was surprised that my sim won, as she had 0 athletic skill at the time. And after the fight she got a extremely rare shark's tooth worth $2500.
28th June 2013 11:08pm
Ann says...
Hey, not sure if this is the right section on the site to mention this but I just saw something weird. My sim lives on a boat and around sundown (didn't see it well cuz' I put it on speed x3) I saw the shadow of a giant - and I mean giant - octopus... Have you seen it too? Can you follow it? Can you look at it under water (so curious!)... Thanks already and if I see it again I will report ;)
That's the Kraken. He doesn't attack houseboats though.
11th July 2013 4:00pm
Candice says...
I don't understand some of this. If I were to move to Sunset Valley, would there be diving spots or ever sharks? Could you boat or is there a limit? Sorry if someone already answered some of it.
Diving spots and Sharks are found by default only in Isla Paradiso. You can add Dive Spots to Sunset Valley and other worlds with Edit Town. Have a look at this good guide on SimsVIP.
25th September 2013 5:42pm
Halle says...
My game keeps freezing and going every 30 sec...its really annoying and iv tried just about every thing from putting all the graphics low restarting,ecc.....I dono what to do *plus I have a really fast computer with 708gb left out of a trillabite so I don't know if its my computer
Check the Technical Help section of the site or Forum to get information on things you can do to help when your game is misbehaving this badly. It very well could be your machine, because disk space (terabytes) do not speed it up. The speed of the processor, graphics card, and amount of memory available to the game are the big determining factors here.
9th February 2014 7:56pm
RawriZ says...
Where do I sell sea shells etc? I can't sell them at the consignment store or any other place that I found.. Help!
Sell them out of your inventory.
1st July 2013 5:07pm
MEDUSAX says...
my sims don't have the dive option nor has any of the dive sites unlocked and they are at level 10 and hav threee resorts at level 3, what's wrong?
4th January 2014 2:18am
Noel says...
How do you become a mermaid btw i love your site it always go to it if i need help with sims!!!!!
4th January 2014 4:47pm
Sandy says...
Hi, sorry to ask a dumb question :( But I cannot find anywhere that sells diving gears. Can you please tell me. Thank you :)
There isn't a place to buy diving gear. You take the class and then just click on the water to snorkel in order to raise the skill. Sims will automatically change into the outfits much like martial arts.
29th June 2013 10:44am
CrazyDeana says...
I know this may sound dumb... But, where do you take the scuba/diving classes at??
The Science center.
30th June 2013 3:45am
Julia says...
I have a sim who has mastered the scuba diving skill and now I really want him to turn into a mermaid but every time I go and scuba dive I never see one and sometimes I stay there till the night time.
2nd December 2013 8:51pm
P says...
My sim is a mermaid and has the maximum diving skill. But whenever she swims in the pool or the beach, she's automatically wearing diving gear even though she still has a tail. Is there a way to remove that?
4th August 2017 1:38am
Rayna says...
OK so I'm having some trouble with the scuba diving like other people when intrude to explore a cave I teleport to land I tried the mentioned fix didn't work, I tried moving the caves to a different spot,didn't work. I had my family move to a new town then move back , didn't work. So I deleted the whole save and started completely over and still doing it. I'm not sure what else to do anyone have any suggestions?
10th November 2015 9:29am
L says...
Hi um I don't know if I'm should wright this here or if this is the right place to wright it but I'm gonna see. Um first of all I'm trying to see if I can find a uncharted island but I can't figure out what I need to do or were to go to do it. second um I downloaded three to/or 5 sims from the sims 3 site and it's not letting me download any more. Please answer I see some sims I really want,and it would really help because I'm trying to make a sims 3 show on YouTube.Sorry the commet was so long....
10th August 2013 8:24pm
Izzy says...
how do I start the scuba diving skill do I use snorkel
12th August 2013 4:53pm
SkyrimForevaVic says...
My sim wishes to take a class in the scuba diving skill, but I have no idea where to take the class. Is there even a place to take the scuba diving skill? Help?
The Science building.
27th June 2013 7:07pm
Rachael says...
My mermaid went diving underwater, and I found a chest. I opened it, got the gems and stuff out, and sold them. The thing is, after I'd sold them, they'd all reappear next to the chest. I sold them again, but they just keep reappearing next to the chest. It's kind of a good glitch, but is there any way to fix it?
9th August 2013 9:02am
Lexmechanic says...
The guide says there's an 8-15% chance of finding things when snorkeling. How often is this check rolled though? Is it once per snorkeling adventure, every hour, every minute?
30th October 2013 11:22am
Angel says...
My sims won't scuba dive at all. They swim instead which is really annoying. She a level two and it work once when I first tried it but then she won't scuba dive at all. But it not only her. All my sims and even new save games are affected. I can't scuba dive at all and I need help. This glitch make my lifetime wish useless.
13th August 2013 11:01am
Bonnie says...
What do you know about the Kraken? I got the befriend the Kraken but I can't summon it. It keeps saying it can't be summoned. Any suggestions?
16th August 2013 12:13pm
Lauren says...
Help! My sim is a mermaid with level 10 scuba diving. Whenever I enter a cave I just pop up onto a random beach. I never find anything in them. Is something wrong or are caves not so much for exploring as they are for ending a dive quickly?
27th August 2013 11:29pm
Holly says...
my sims cant join the scuba diving career why cant they ?
22nd April 2014 3:00pm
Me says...
So my sims both ate mermaid kelp and they haven't become mermaids....
23rd March 2014 3:05pm
Starfriend says...
How do you actually get the diving/ scuba diving skill?
26th December 2013 6:33am
plummy says...
the mermaids in my game have suddenly got no fishtails they look like normal sims and when my sim dives in the retro gear all there is , is her bald head can anyone help please thanks
30th November 2013 2:57pm
Sim Lover says...
It is probably a glitch. Sometimes in my game I can't see the furniture in my house because it is all white.&#128532;
1st January 2014 1:04pm
dreamsong says...
In reference to Scuba and the Athletic skill:

Have you checked to see if the raise in athletic skill varies based on the traits of your sim? My sims who have the athletic trait will learn and build athletic skill while swimming, even if they have never "worked out" outside of the pool. I haven't tried this with snorkeling or diving, but the trait may make the difference here.
14th October 2013 2:47pm
Phoebe says...
How do I get my sim to be at a high enough skill level to go scuba diving? Btw he already took the class in scuba diving.
23rd March 2014 11:06am
Erin says...
I can't seem to find any of the dive spots that I have unlocked. I got the message and everything and the correct skill level and they're simply not there. I went into the world and town editors and it's not there either. What do I do?
22nd June 2018 6:54am
Playalot says...
Are you sure they are not there as the dive spots should be visible from the start of the game even if your sim never gains any skill in scuba diving. Have you tried zooming out and looking around from a height? The dive spots are all named.
22nd June 2018 5:48pm
Jemma says...
Since I've become a mermaid and gone snorkelling for the first time my athletic skill has been going up constantly, it's really annoying having that blue bar above you all the time, hope it goes when I've mastered the skill. Tried restarting the game but its still there.

Game seems to be glitching a lot, my guy was supposed to finish work at 7.30pm I didn't realise until 9pm that he was still there and had to cancel it to send him home, he also didn't gain any career performance!
If you reset the Sim, the blue bar will go away.  This has been a bug in the game for a long time and it's completely random.

The guy going to work is also an old bug and only effects certain careers like the medical and criminal due to promotions after midnight or a drastic change in work hours.
2nd August 2013 10:47am
Ana says...
Hi! I've got an adventure that is to unlock an uncharted island and one of the steps is to firewalk successfully. I checked into a resort and used the firewalk pit successfully but whenever I try and report on progress at the science facility it just says you have not completed the challenge. I have tried to firewalk many times and it's just not working!! What could be wrong?
28th July 2013 7:55am
jacknife says...
It may be that the fire walking pit isn't hot enough to count?
20th August 2013 9:27am
Mrs Tragic Clown says...
I do not have lifetime reward called "Permanent Mermaid" available for 5,000 points?? It's just not there? Is anyone else missing this Reward option?

Under Hydration Motive see "Permanent Mermaid"
It's only available when you are a Mermaid.
29th June 2013 10:04am
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