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

Carl's The Sims 3 Tips - Read and Submit Your Tips

This Sims 3 Guide was originally written for the PC and Mac versions of the game, but also will help owners of the console versions - PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii. Please remember some info or numbers may have changed.

On this page, you'll find a list of Sims 3 Tips created by myself and other players of this great game. We've now published nearly 150 guides to the Sims 3 and will be updating this page with more tips in the future. You can share too -- just submit it from our Sims 3 Forum and if your gameplay tips are good enough, I'll add them to the list and give you credit. So, please use a username I can give credit to, gibberish just won't do!

The Sims 3 General Gameplay Tips

These tips are little tricks you can do to help your Sims in their daily lives.

  • Passive Moodlet Bonuses While the room and environment needs are gone from the Sims 3, your Sim will still love being in a beautifully decorated room. It will give a boost to mood based on how decorated the room is. A simple, cheap painting, or paper towels and other small decorations can help initiate this boost. Shove it through the stratosphere with plants, sculptures, rugs, a fireplace and other decorative items. Normal Sims can get up to +40 mood boost, while over emotional Sims can hit +50 from decorations.

  • Listen to Music Sims can get a bonus moodlet called 'enjoying music' from listening to the stereo. This is useful no matter what they're doing: working from home, cooking, or studying. You can even pack a portable boom box to take with your Sim (drag it to their inventory). Use the portable stereo to play your Sim's favorite music while fishing. Listening to favorite music gives a boost over any other type of music. Stereos can also be upgraded with the improve speakers upgrade, which will make the bonus even better. Different stereos will give different mood boosts based on how expensive and high-quality they are. Thanks Eric!

  • Save Your Sim Time Tidying Up. You can now drag items from the counter, directly to the trash can. Old newspapers and dirty dishes are perfect candidates to be tossed while your Sim's asleep at night. It'll help pass those hours fast-forwarding, and your Sim will wake up with no extra cleaning to do. Sadly, you can't wave a magic wand and clean the counter or sink, so they'll still have to do that. Thanks Kate!

  • Sell Objects at the Consignment Store. No matter your trade, you will earn more from your goods by selling them at the Consignment Store (Ambitions). Start off by selling small things to raise your rank and your better items like paintings and nectar will have some time to age before you cash in. Thanks Pernille and Metropolis Man

  • Split Item Stacks. You can drag entire stacks of items to another Sim by dragging the little triangle in the top left of its picture in your inventory. What if you want to give them only some of the item stack? Hold down shift when you click on the triangle and drag it to the Sim you want to have the items. A window will appear that will ask you how many items to transfer. Thanks, Ricalynn!

    The Sims 3 Lifetime Rewards/Happiness Tips

    These tips will help with gaining lifetime happiness points faster so your Sim can afford those great rewards!

  • Keep on Top of those Wishes. It's easy to forget they're there. After all, they don't really announce themselves. If you fast foward too often, you'll miss wishes that can be promised that could earn your Sim a lot of points. Try not to pick wishes that stray too far from what your Sim is already interested in, unless it's worth a lot of happiness points. After all, those four slots can fill up fast and you want them to be used by wishes your Sim can actually complete without too much effort.

  • Cancel Actions. If you are making your Sim do an activity just to complete a wish, you can save time by canceling the action just after the wish is completed. For example, go to the park (and go right home). Thanks Sportsfan.

  • Keep your Sim Happy for more Points. If you want your Sim to have a lot of lifetime rewards, try to keep their mood bar high. When the mood bar is high, your Sim will always be gaining points. This adds up a lot over a day, and over a week could be enough to purchase a reward all in itself. Happy Sims get the most rewards, hands down.

  • Some Lifetime Rewards are Better than Others. This concept is simple. If you're going to spend those lifetime reward points, use them where they can have the greatest effect. Dirt Defiant and Steel Bladder are both great choices. Steel Bladder is the best here, because it removes the need to use the bathroom entirely, saving Sims loads of time the longer they have it. Dirt Defiant will let your Sim stay squeaky clean long after a shower if they're not a gardener or athlete. It will help them get less dirty otherwise. The Food Replicator can also save a lot of time. Cook some perfect lobster thermador or tri-tip steak, then store it into the replicator. Your Sim won't have to cook for quite some time, and can replicate meals on demand.

  • Study Before You Buy Rewards You may not want to risk buying that 25,000 point lifetime reward, not knowing what it does. Some rewards are much more useful than others, depending on the Sim, of course. Read my guide to Lifetime Rewards for tips on choosing the best ones for your Sims.

    The Sims 3 Skills Tips

    These tips will help you to gain skills faster in the game. This is valuable help for Sims who have a lot of time crunch due to parenting or work.

  • Study in the Library or Work Out at the Gym. This is a great Tip: These two environments boost skill gains. Reading in the library tends to go faster, and athletic Sims will gain levels in the athletic skill faster if they work out at the gym.

  • Study Happy - whether it be while fishing, or reading in the library, your Sim will rise in skill faster if they're in a good mood.

  • Combine Fun with Skill Gains to optimize your Sim's time, look into ways they can raise their skills while having fun. This is by no means every way, but it's got something for every skill. Athletic Sims can play ball with other Sims or swim
    Charisma Watching TV with another Sim may raise charisma. Otherwise, they can certainly satisfy the social need by chatting.
    Cooking Sims can have fun while watching Cookin' Cable on $500+ TV
    Fishing itself is naturally fun for Sims.
    Gardening can be raised by watching Got Garden?($500+ TV).
    Guitar Playing guitar's fun by itself, if only slightly.
    Handiness Not aware of a way to raise this while having fun.
    Logic Sims can have fun playing chess or searching the sky.
    Painting Painting is fun.
    Writing Sorry, don't think so.

    The Sims 3 Working Tips

  • Develop a Good Routine Before Work to help your Sim get promotions faster, you should always try to go while they've recently had fun and/or have eaten a good meal. Mood is a factor in every career track in the Sims 3. Fun is probably the most important, because your Sim's Fun bar will drain while the're at work. This will help them to use the work hard action more often, causing the promotion bar to rise faster. The least important need to satisfy before your Sim heads out the door is the bladder bar. Why? Sims can use the bathroom at work. There's almost no point to wasting the time unless your Sim really needs to go. Showers should be mandatory before work though, Sims can't well shower at work and most people can't either.

  • Working Efficiently is key to your Sim's success. My tip here is simple: If your Sim is about to get promoted anyway, don't do anything special at work. The bar can't go past the top, and always resets to 0 after the promotion. Keep this in mind when your Sim gets the opportunity to read a book for work, and it's not on a time limit. In this example, read the book after you've got your promotion to get that boost toward the next level. It's also good to know before you use the work hard action. If your Sim needs relationships with his co-workers, and is about to be promoted no matter what he does, spend the time at work socializing and making connections. This will help them in the future, and they'll snag the promotion anyway.

    I'll add more tips as I come up with them. In the meantime, feel free to share yours at our forum.


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