The Sims Walkthrough

This guide provides tips on character creation, career choices, item placement, and relationship building, as well as a walkthrough for the Get a Life mode.

By Elliott Chin

The Sims has been a phenomenal success on the PC and has since migrated to the Xbox, PS2, and GameCube in a console-friendly version of the game. Those who have played it know that it is an addictive game that lets you control a human being in his or her daily life. You develop your character much like you would in an RPG, but you also plan out your day, week, and even life, with as much forward-thinking strategy as in the best RTS games. While The Sims on the PC is basically a sandbox with no set time limits or objectives, the console version of The Sims is much more structured and features the "get a life" game mode. In essence, it is a campaign with objectives. Also, the console version doesn't have the luxury of adding all the content of the original The Sims, and the numerous expansions, to your gameplay experience. But it is still a great game with all the fun things that made the PC game a huge hit.

But as in real life, managing your daily routine and trying to grow physically, mentally, spiritually, and professionally can be very difficult, especially with only 24 hours in a day and basic human needs that need to be met, such as food and sleep. The Sims isn't a cakewalk by any stretch, and so you'll need help to navigate the rigors of...normal life.

In this guide, we'll provide tips and strategies for managing your sims efficiently and getting the most out of life. This game guide features tips on:

  • Creating Sims: You'll find the traits that govern how a sim acts, and which ones you should make a priority.
  • Motives: Here, you'll discover what motivates sims, what needs must be met for them to stay happy, and how to best satisfy those needs. You'll also find our recommended items for fulfilling each motive.
  • Relationships: We'll tell you why relationships are important, how to make them, and how to keep them.
  • Building a House: You'll find general tips on how to efficiently create a floor plan for your home.
  • Careers: Here you'll find information on the six career tracks, including a breakdown of pay and hours, and tips on how to get promoted.
  • Get a Life: This is the big feature of The Sims console game--we tell you how to beat this single-player campaign.
  • Cheats and Multiplayer: Here you'll find the cheat codes for the game and brief descriptions of the multiplayer bonus levels, as well as information on how to unlock them.

Chapter 1: Creating a Sim

Whether you are playing the get a life mode or the sandbox play the sims mode, the first thing you have to do is create a sim. In get a life, you're just creating a single sim, but in play the sims, you can create an entire family, complete with two adults and children.

So let's start with your first individual sim. There are a variety of options for customizing your sim. Body and head appearances have no bearing on gameplay.

Traits

What does affect gameplay, though, is your sim's personality. You can choose your sim's astrological sign, but it doesn't carry as much weight as the actual personality traits. The five traits are neat, outgoing, active, playful, and nice. Choosing an astrological sign is basically like choosing a template, with each sign having preassigned points in each trait. You are free to adjust your personality traits by deducting points from one trait to add to another. You definitely should do so. Here is a rundown of the five traits and the importance of each one.

Your sim's appearance has no bearing on gameplay, so customize them any way you like.

Neat: This trait seems important at first, but it really isn't. A neat sim flushes the toilet, washes its hands, washes dirty dishes, makes its bed, and takes out the trash. The higher your sim's neat trait, the more likely it is to do these things automatically. If your neat trait is very high, like in the eight to 10 range, your sim will even pick up other sims' trash. But in practice, this trait isn't very useful. You should take all the points from this trait and divvy them up among the other ones. That's because cleaning simply wastes time that you could spend on other tasks, and time is the most precious commodity in The Sims. You could literally waste an hour or two in a day just cleaning. Why do that when you can just hire a maid, who will clean your house for you? Moreover, you can always order your sim to clean. Having points here just means the sim will clean up automatically, but with a maid and direct orders from you to clean, you can still maintain a clean and orderly house without having any points in this trait. That leaves you more room to improve the other four traits, which are much more important.

Outgoing: Outgoing measures how likely a sim is to strike up conversations with other sims and how much they crave social interaction. A sim with few points in outgoing doesn't need as much social stimulation as a sim with many points in outgoing, and is even less willing to practice speech in front of a mirror. In fact, if you want to improve your charisma score (the main skill necessary for advancing in the entertainment and music career tracks), you will want to put lots of points in outgoing. That's because to improve charisma, all you can do is practice speech in front of a mirror. And because you cannot offset the time spent on practicing speech by combining it with another activity, you should therefore try to minimize the time spent this way. The only way to do this is by having a high outgoing trait score. But more importantly, having more points in outgoing means you will be able to satisfy your social motive easily because you will be engaging in lots of conversation and group activities. But the one caveat here is that with a higher outgoing score, you will also lose social motive faster than a sim with a low outgoing score. You should have more than five bars in outgoing because it makes your sim better able to maintain and create relationships, which is key to succeeding in the game.

Active: This trait, along with playful, determines what sort of fun activities your sim is inclined to pursue. An active sim will want to engage in physical pursuits like basketball and swimming. On the other hand, sims with low active trait value comfort and sitting on the couch. Less strenuous activities, like reading, are what they prefer. And their comfort score degrades quickly, as they require more rest than usual. Sims with high active want to do lots more, and are happier than other sims when it comes to exercising to improve their body skill. So a sim with a high active score will want to exercise more than a sim with low active score. And he or she will gain body points faster on the exercise machine and treadmill. Active isn't terribly important, except as an indicator of what sorts of fun items you should place in your home. But having five points in active at least means your sim will be happy engaging in all fun activities, which is a very good balance to have. That way, no fun activity will be off-putting to your sim, and therefore he or she will be able to do anything for fun.

A nice sim will do better in social settings.

Playful: Playful sims are very keen for social activity and need lots of fun. In fact, playful goes well with outgoing, as it creates a sim who is more fun at parties. Conversely, they will require more stimulation than other sims. Playful sims are also much more likely to receive jokes and teasing better than sims with low playful scores. Like the active trait, playful determines what activities a sim likes. Low playful sims would rather curl up with a book or view a painting for fun, while a high playful sim craves lots of computer time, a pinball machine, or other high-energy activities. Playful sims also like to play music or paint, so it is a good trait to have if you need to improve your creative job skill. Like outgoing sims, who have a high correlation to social motive, playful sims respond better to fun activities, but also require lots more fun than other sims. Like with active, it is a good idea to have about five bars in playful, as such a sim is well balanced and does well at parties or by him- or herself.

Nice: This trait is supremely important, because nobody likes mean sims. A sim with low nice score will make others feel bad when talking, so they aren't good at parties. In fact, of all the traits, keep this one high so it is easier for you to maintain good relationships. Having high nice, outgoing, and playful scores means your sim will be a master of social interaction. Do not let this trait dip below five bars.

Career Skills and Related Traits:

When planning for a career, it helps to know what personality traits are better suited to certain jobs.

  • Entertainment Track: For this career, you want a high outgoing score. It makes it easier to improve charisma and make friends, both of which are important for this career.
  • Life of Crime: This career track doesn't have high requirements for any skill, and instead requires someone who is well balanced in all skills. Therefore, it stands to reason that someone pursuing this job should be well balanced in all traits--except for neat, of course.
  • Military Track: Active sims are better suited for this job, since the military career track has high body and mechanical requirements. Being active means you will gain body skill improvement faster. You can afford to have a low outgoing score for this job since it has a very low friend requirement.
  • Music Track: For this track, you should have high playful and outgoing scores, because this job requires high creativity and charisma. A playful sim gets more out of painting and music, and an outgoing sim has an easier time getting and making friends.
  • Slacker Track: This job doesn't involve a lot of hours, so someone with a low active score would do well in this line of work. However, you need a high outgoing trait, since you're basically mooching off others. Besides, you need high charisma and lots of friends for this job, so outgoing is necessary.
  • Xtreme Track: This exciting line of work requires good creativity skill, as well as high body and charisma skill. Therefore, those sims with high active, outgoing, and playful scores do well training for and working in this career track.

Lower your sim's neatness so you have more points to spend on the other traits.

Overall Point Allocation: When creating a sim, you have only 25 trait points to allocate, but five traits graded on a scale of 0 to 10. So there obviously aren't enough trait points to fill up all bars. Neatness is the trait with the lowest priority. The importance of the other traits depends to a certain extent on the type of sim you want to create. But all sims need good relationships for career and personal growth. So, with that in mind, outgoing and nice should be a bigger priority than playful and active. One way to go is to have zero points in neat, and six points apiece in outgoing, active, playful, and nice. Or to have zero points in neat, seven points in outgoing, five points each in active and playful, and eight points in nice.

Chapter 2: Motives

Motives are basically the needs of your sims. There are eight motives, each one representing a necessity of sim survival. If you do not satisfy these needs, your sims will become hungry, lethargic, dirty, and eventually wither away and degenerate into moody, depressed shells of themselves. Meet these needs and they'll be in bright spirits and more apt to obey the commands you issue them. In short, meeting a sim's motives makes him or her happy. And a happy sim is an obedient sim.

So what are the motives? They are hunger, hygiene, energy, social, comfort, bladder, fun, and room.

If all your motive bars are above 50 percent, your sim will be in a good mood. If a majority of bars are in the red, and some are completely depleted, your sim will be in a foul mood. Being in a bad mood means the sim is less likely to respond positively to social interaction--he or she might be mean to others when talking--and will be passed over for promotions at work. So clearly, being in a bad mood is, well, bad. Also, if a particular motive is being completely ignored, your sim might satisfy it at the worst possible time, like peeing while trying to put the moves on a possible sweetheart, or falling asleep while making dinner. In all cases, endeavor to keep all your motives more green than red, and try not to let them fall too far down.

There is a hierarchy of importance in the eight motives. Some are critical, while others are not. Hunger and energy are vital to your sim's existence. Starve them and they will die. Deplete their energy and they will fall asleep and be unable to perform the simplest of tasks. Next in importance are social and fun. These two motives impact your sim's mood heavily (all other motives do too, but these two are critical to mood). If they are low, your sims will be depressed and in a bad mood. To reiterate: If your sim is in a bad mood, he or she won't get promoted, won't perform well in social interactions, and will refuse to do any work to improve skills, such as working out, practicing speeches, or painting.

The other four motives are less important, but they're still something you must keep on top of. Make sure your sim's comfort is high, although if you satisfy energy by sleeping, you'll also meet your comfort need. Hygiene and bladder need to be satisfied because they'll not only drag down your mood, but other sims will also be put off by your smell, and a full bladder will result in lots of messes on the floor. Finally, room is a motive that isn't important by itself, but affects the other seven motives. If your room score is high, your sim feels better, is in a better mood, and therefore is more likely to perform better at fulfilling all the other motives. So now let's run through each motive individually.

Hunger

Make sure you have at least two points in cooking so you don't set fire to the house when making a meal.

This motive is very important, but it's easy to meet and doesn't require as much constant attention as the other motives. It does degrade quickly over the course of the day, without any other action on your sim's part. To fulfill this motive, you need to eat. First, though, you need adequate cooking skill. If you have zero cooking skill, you will set fire to your kitchen. Even a score of one cooking will lead to the occasional fire. So make sure you study two or three points in the cooking skill at the bookcase before you begin making meals.

Don't even try to feed your sim using the microwave, toaster oven, or grill. They are terribly inefficient. Spend your money on quality kitchen appliances instead. If you go with the best fridge, the Freeze Secret, you get eight hunger points. A food processor adds two more while cutting down cooking time. And the high-end range, the Pyrotorre Gas Range, adds seven hunger, for 17 total hunger points satisfied. One meal prepared with these three items will fill up your hunger bar and keep you going for the day. If you can't afford these items, go with the refrigerator one step below that, the Llamark, and swap in the cheaper range (the Dialectric). You'll need two meals, or a meal and a snack, to fill up your hunger bar, but the trio of fridge, processor, and range is the only solution. Even the cheapest fridge is still better than the barbecue grill or the cheap microwave.

The best way to satisfy hunger is with the trio of fridge, food processor, and stove.

As with the rest of the game, having things close together to eliminate time wasted walking around is key to making sure your cooking is swift and efficient. A sim goes from the fridge, to the food processor, to the stove, and finally sets the food down on an empty countertop if possible. So make sure you lay out the three appliances next to each other, with the food processor next to the fridge and the stove next to the processor. Then have an empty counter space next to the seating area where you will eat. Try to have it close enough so your sim doesn't have to walk too far.

It is best to make a meal for yourself in the morning before you go to work. When you return home, invite a guest over, then serve a meal for the two of you, thus satisfying your hunger motive while also helping your social motive. Doing this should keep your hunger motive well fed. If having a big party, you can have some fun with the Teppanyaki Table, but it is strictly a party item and not suitable to meet your everyday hunger needs.

Best combo for satisfying hunger
Freeze Secret Refrigerator$2,5008 hunger
XLR8R Food Processor$2202 hunger
Pyrotorre Gas Range$1,0007 hunger

Cheaper alternatives
Llamark Refrigerator$6006 hunger
XLR8R Food Processor$2202 hunger
Dialectric Free-Standing Range$4005 hunger

Hygiene

The hygiene meter isn't the most important of motives, but if it is low, then other sims will react negatively to your sim. You definitely won't get an affirmative answer to a marriage proposal if you stink, and you are more likely to encounter resistance when trying to hug or kiss other sims.

Hygiene slowly degenerates over the course of two days, but it goes down more when you go to the bathroom or work up a sweat. It also plummets if you pee in your pants. If this happens, your hygiene is so bad your sim will cry and beg for a shower. The best way to satisfy this motive is with the sonic shower, the high end of the bath/shower line of items. You also get a modest bump in hygiene when you wash your hands. But in general, don't do this, since it wastes time. You are better off showering instead of washing your hands constantly. Just keep peeing to relieve your bladder as needed and then shower right after your latest bathroom jaunt when your hygiene score goes into the bottom third or fourth of the bar. By pairing these two tasks together (peeing and showering), you make your bathroom trips more efficient.

The sonic shower is the absolute best hygiene item.

The cheapest hygiene-boosting items are the bathroom cabinet (one hygiene), the three different sinks (two to three hygiene), and then the showers and bathtubs. The low-end shower, the SpaceMiser Shower ($650), provides six hygiene, while the low-end tub, the Justa Bathtub ($800), provides six hygiene and three comfort. Next up in the bathtub lines are the Sani-Queen Bathtub ($1,500, eight hygiene, five comfort) and the Hydrothera Bathtub ($3,200, 10 hygiene, eight comfort), while the next step up in showers is the Sonic Shower ($3,999, 10 hygiene, eight comfort). In general, showers take less time to regenerate your hygiene bar than baths, but the three baths give you comfort as well. Use the Sani-Queen Bathtub until you unlock the Sonic Shower. Then, as soon as you can afford it, buy it. The Sonic Shower provides the fastest hygiene relief, and it has the best comfort and hygiene scores. However, make sure you always keep it clean. If the clean option appears over a Sonic Shower and you attempt to take a shower, you'll get tossed around without getting washed. So always clean it if necessary before you shower. The Sonic Shower is unlocked in the get a life mode in the Hot to Trot mission. Keep in mind that children cannot use it, so for them, use the Sani-Queen Bathtub.

The hot tub is a great multiple-use item because it helps your hygiene, fun, comfort, and social motives.

Two final hygiene items worth noting: the WhirlWizard Hot Tub and the Libidinex Spa System. Both have low hygiene scores (two for both), but provide you with a fun score. And they can involve other sims as well to improve your social scores while satisfying comfort, fun, and hygiene. These items thus help you with four motives at a time! But the hot tub is better because it is much cheaper ($3,500 cheaper) and can fit four people, while the spa has room only for two. The hot tub is a great thing to have when you throw parties, because it helps the motives and moods of your guests who use it, making them more receptive to contact and making your party more fun. It is also great for you because you get four motives fulfilled and get to boost your relationship score at the same time. Sometimes, if you have an hour or so before work and are a bit low in your hygiene, comfort, and fun (three motives that degrade quickly), a dip in the hot tub can be a very efficient way to brighten your mood. But for everyday hygiene relief, the Sonic Shower is always your best bet.

Best item for hygiene relief
Sonic Shower$3,99910 hygiene, 8 comfort

Cheaper alternatives
Sani-Queen Bathtub$1,5008 hygiene, 5 comfort
Hydrothera Bathtub$3,20010 hygiene, 8 comfort

Good hygiene items for parties
WhirlWizard Hot Tub$6,5002 hygiene, 6 comfort, 2 fun

Energy

Energy is a supremely important motive. If your energy bar is all red for even a short period of time, your sim will collapse on the floor and fall asleep, which is bad because sleeping on the floor results in slow energy recovery and no comfort gain. The best way to satisfy your energy motive is by having your sim sleep in a bed and having an Aromamaster Whifferpuff Gold device in the same room blowing out the "juniper and rosemary" scent. The next best way to do it is with the espresso machine or by touching the bug zapper.

The best energy recovery combo is the Mission Modern Bed and an Aromamaster. With its relaxing scents, you'll get your full rest in half the time.

It takes longer to satisfy energy than any other motive, and it also degrades faster than any other motive, so you need to keep this bar well-fed constantly. Ordinarily, you would have to spend about eight hours sleeping to get the full amount of energy replenished, but a great way to speed up the process is by adding an Aromamaster machine to your bedroom. Set the scent to juniper and rosemary and you will find you gain energy almost twice as quickly as normal. Use this combo and you'll gain valuable extra hours of free time for your day. Make sure your sim does get uninterrupted sleep, though. Don't go to bed with a nearly complete red bladder bar (make sure you have 20 percent green or more), because your sim will wake up and pee, interrupting sleep and wasting valuable time pouting. A sim that is awakened before the energy bar is filled will throw a fit for about 10 minutes or so, time that could have been spent on other tasks. But a sim that is allowed to sleep until its energy bar is maxed out will wake up automatically and quickly (without fuss). So it's clear that it is much more efficient to give your sim a full eight hours of sleep and to go to the bathroom before bed. To that end, also shut off any radio or TV in the same room before going to bed or the sim won't be able to sleep, and will pitch a time-wasting fit telling you it can't sleep.

The type of bed is very important. Get the best bed you can afford. Eventually, you'll want the Modern Mission Bed because it has high energy and comfort, as well as a room score. While expensive at $3,000, it is worth it. If you are married, you can also buy the Vibromatic Heart Bed, which offers eight energy and 10 comfort. It isn't as good as the Mission Bed, so the only reason why you would want it is for its "play" ability, which you do with another sim. They'll play under the sheets and you'll get a very big boost in your social motive. But this bed is too expensive at $4,500, and both sims have to have a perfect relationship score to do it successfully. So, unless you have lots of cash and a spouse, go with the Modern Mission Bed.

In a pinch, drink an espresso or touch the insect zapper. But be ready for the bathroom or a comfy chair to offset their side effects.

The other alternative is to drink espresso, which gives you a small boost in energy but also severely lowers your bladder score (the coffee machine does the same thing but not as well). Don't drink espresso when your bladder is low or you will pee in your pants. But in a pinch, like when you get back from work exhausted but still need a little energy so you can squeeze in a party before midnight, go to the bathroom and then drink a few shots of espresso. You'll then have enough energy for a few more hours of activity.

Or if you want a quick jolt of energy, touch the Electronic Insect Control System. If you do so, it'll shock your sim but also give him a small and instant boost in energy! But you get a huge hit in comfort for this. Only do this if desperate, and if you have good comfort boosting items in the house like the Flush Force toilet, the Sonic Shower, and the Von Braun Recliner. Think of it as a faster espresso machine, but with a bigger comfort hit.

Best combo for energy
Modern Mission Bed$3,00010 energy, 9 comfort, 3 room
Aromamaster Whifferpuff Gold$2,500juniper and rosemary scent boosts energy gain

Next best item
Napolean Sleigh Bed$1,0009 energy, 8 comfort

Alternative solution
Gagmia Simore Espresso Machine$4502 energy, 1 fun, negative bladder
Electronic Insect Control System$300energy boost, negative comfort

Social

The social motive is very difficult to keep up, but it also severely impacts your sim's mood. Sims get lonely easily, and as soon as the bar is below 50 percent, your sim will be depressed and less likely to do things. If it goes below 25 percent, he might even refuse to work on skills or study. So keeping this score up is a priority. The key here is to hitch your social motive satisfaction to another activity. You can boost your social score while eating or having fun. Invite a sim over, serve him or her dinner, and while you recover your hunger bar, you'll also help your social motive. You are going to eat anyway, so why not increase your social while you're at it? And you'll also improve your relationship score with your dinner guest. An even better method of satisfying multiple motives is the hot tub. While you sit in it with up to three other sims, you'll recover some of your fun, comfort, hygiene, and social motives.

Sims are social creatures. If you don't keep them constantly engaged with others, they'll become depressed.

You should strive to get a roommate as soon as you can. Having another sim on demand means you can satisfy your social motive anytime you want, as you can with the other seven motives. But when you live alone, you have to call other sims and ask them to come over. Sometimes they refuse, and it takes longer for them to come to you, so it's less efficient than having a second sim in the household.

So when social suffers, combine it with another activity that you have to do anyway. Serve dinner for your hunger and social motive. Perform a variety of fun activities like watching TV, playing pinball, shooting hoops, or playing pool to boost fun and social. Or soak in the hot tub to help your comfort, hygiene, fun, and social motives.

Once your social bar is full, it takes a few days to degrade, so you usually only have to resort to heavy socializing every two or three days.

For more on the relationships that develop as a result of your social interaction with other sims, refer to the Relationship chapter later on in the guide.

Comfort

Comfort is a motive that affects mood and degenerates rather quickly, but it is also the easiest motive to satisfy. That is because many items that help in one motive also help comfort. Hygiene and energy items help comfort, and when you eat or watch TV (the hunger and fun motives, respectively), you usually sit, which also boosts comfort. So, the thing to do for comfort is to make sure you have the best bed and tub or shower, and then have the best seating in your house as well. If you do that, you'll automatically replenish comfort anytime you satisfy your other pressing motives. Comfort thus becomes the least of your worries.

Satisfying comfort is easy with a nice couch, dinner chairs, or comfy toilet.

See the Energy and Hygiene sections for the best bed and shower for comfort. For seating at your dinner table, get the Country Class Armchair, which has the same comfort score as the $600 Empress Dining Chair but costs $350 less. For sitting in front of the tube, get the Von Braun Recliner, which has the highest comfort score and also helps your room score. If you have more than one sim living under your roof, then get the Luxiarare Loveseat. Only if you need three sims at a time watching TV should you get the most expensive couch, the $1,100 Deiter by Werkbunnst, because its comfort is exactly the same as the Luxiarare, and its higher energy score is pretty irrelevant since you'll spend more time sleeping in your bed than sitting on your couch. If you don't have much cash, go with the Country Class Loveseat, which offers the same comfort as the next best couch but for more than $100 less. And for watching TV, use the Posture Plus Office Chair if you're pinching pennies. Better yet, if you are a bachelor or bachelorette, get one Von Braun Recliner and position it equidistant from your kitchen, bookshelf, and TV in one giant studio without walls. Whenever you eat, watch TV, or read, you'll sit in this thing and get great comfort while meeting your other motives. Just be sure to position it in such a way that you can face the TV and still be within the immediate vicinity of the kitchen, or else the extra comfort you get will come at the expense of wasted time by having to walk more.

Also, you'll want to buy the Flush Force toilet (more on that in the Bladder section), which has a comfort score of four, so while you're sitting on the can, you're also being comforted. Nice. So, by buying all these items, when satisfying hunger, fun, energy, hygiene, and bladder, you'll also be helping your comfort motive.

Synergistic Comfort Items
Country Class Armchair$2504 comfort
Von Braun Armchair$8509 comfort, 3 room
Luxiarare Loveseat$8758 comfort, 4 energy, 2 room
Modern Mission Bed$3,0009 comfort, 10 energy, 3 room
Sonic Shower $3,9998 comfort, 10 energy
Flush Force 5 XLT$1,2004 comfort, 8 bladder

Alternative Comfort Items
WhirlWizard Hot Tub$6,5006 comfort, 2 hygiene, 2 fun
Posture Plus Office Chair$1003 comfort
Country Class Loveseat$3405 comfort, 4 energy

Bladder

This motive is annoying because it decreases rapidly over the course of a day, and thus requires constant attention. And if you don't attend to it, your sim will pee on the floor, causing a huge drop in room score and screwing up your hygiene and your mood. So go to the bathroom. You don't need to keep the bladder motive constantly high, as you might with fun or energy. Instead, just try to keep the bar above the one-third mark, because you never want to have to worry about your bladder when you begin a time-consuming activity. If you start a long activity with a low bladder, you may not have time to make it to the bathroom.

If you neglect your bladder, your sim will pee on the floor, destroying his or her hygiene score and mood.

There are basically only three choices: the cheap toilet, the expensive toilet, or the floor. Going to the bathroom does relieve your bladder, but afterward, you should flush the toilet, or over time, it will make it more likely that your toilet gets clogged. The Flush Force is the best choice, because it flushes automatically, adds to your comfort motive while you sit on it, and is less prone to clogging. And not having to flush it yourself saves a little time.

When going to the bathroom, you might be tempted to wash your hands for a small hygiene boost, but it's unnecessary. Instead, just do your business and get out. Just monitor your hygiene bar, and when it gets low, combine a trip to the toilet with a shower. You go to the bathroom often enough that you can afford to not wash your hands and just wait until you need to shower.

Best choice for bladder relief
Flush Force 5 XLT$1,2008 bladder, 4 comfort

Fun

Fun isn't important to your sim's physical survival, but it is critical to emotional well-being. If your fun is low, your sim will be in a terrible mood, unable to work well and too grumpy to be promoted. Having a low fun score also makes you a real party pooper. So keep this motive high. Attend to it religiously so your sim always performs at his or her peak.

Sims crave fun. They need lots of it to keep their spirits high. Use fun items that are group activities, like the pool table, to satisfy your fun and social motives.

There are so many items that alleviate your fun motive that they are too numerous to list. But the best items fall into two categories: those that provide sheer unmatched fun motive and those that also offer relief in another motive at the same time. For the former purpose, you cannot match the Meet Marco computer. It provides nine fun and can also be used by children to study for better grades. This is hands-down the best fun item. But it is also the most expensive at $6,500. If you don't have that much cash, an excellent alternative is the SSRI Virtual Reality Set, which has the second-highest fun-score item, seven, and a price of $2,300.

However, the second set of fun items can be played by more than one person, thus fulfilling your social motive and relationship scores while they boost your fun motive. Of these items, the Soma Plasma TV and the Aristoscratch Pool Table are the best. They both provide six fun and can be used by two people. But they are expensive as well, at $3,500 and $4,200, respectively. More-economical alternatives are the Pinball Machine, the SuperDoop Basketball Hoop, and the Strip Poker Table. The pinball machine costs a lot more, but offers five fun. Both the strip poker table and hoop are cheap, providing good fun scores while letting another sim join in. The other group activity items, like the doll house, the tree swing, and the sprinkler system, are either too expensive or don't have a high-enough fun score to justify buying.

The best fun item is the Meet Marco computer, but other fun items have side benefits, like the Artist's Block, which boosts your creativity skill and yields a sculpture you can sell.

Several fun items do require special mentioning. You will want a Chuck Matewell Chess Set, a Beejaphone Guitar, and Dimanche Easel, or their more-expensive counterparts: a Horrowitz Star-Track Backyard Telescope, a Chimeway and Daughters Piano, and an Artist's Block. These six items are fun items that are also skill boosters. The chess set and telescope are logic items--if you use them, you'll also be improving your logic skill. The telescope does it with a higher fun score, though.

The easel and artist's block are creativity skill builders. They also have a very handy side effect: You can sell the finished product. Of the two, the artist's block costs much more, but you can sell your works for a much bigger profit. You can click on a finished painting to sell it, but to sell a finished statue, you need to go into the buy mode and sell it. In either case, as your creative skill gets higher, your finished works are worth more. At the highest creativity skill level, your artist's block sculptures can fetch $1,500 or $1,600! The best finished painting goes for a 10th of that price.

The guitar and piano also are for building creativity skill. But unlike the other four items, they can involve other sims, who will rock to your music, thus improving your relationship score with the dancing sims. The guitar is very cheap, and the piano is insanely expensive, although the latter also has a room score. Play the guitar or piano at your parties to boost the mood of the party, pump up your relationship scores and fun motive, and improve your creativity skill at the same time!

The Artist's Block is an item that is unlocked after you beat the Hot to Trot mission in the get a life mode, while the Beejaphone Guitar is unlocked by beating the Money From Mom mission in under 24 hours.

Best Fun Items
Meet Marco$6,5009 fun and study
SSRI Virtual Reality Set7 fun

Best Group Fun Items
Aristoscratch Pool Table$4,2006 fun
Soma Plasma TV$3,5006 fun, 2 room
See Me, Feel Me Pinball Machine$1,8005 fun
OCD SimRailRoad Town$9554 fun, 3 room
WhirlWizard Hot Tub$6,5002 fun, 2 hygiene, 6 comfort (seats 4)

Skill-Enhancing Fun Items
Chimeway and Daughters Piano$3,5004 fun, 3 room, improve creative
Horrowitz Star-Track Backyard Telescope$2,1004 fun, improve logic
Artist's Block$5002 fun, improve creative
Beejaphone Guitar$5802 fun, improve creative
Chuck Matewell Chess Set$5002 fun, improve logic
Dimanche Folding Easel$250improve creative

Room

This is the final motive, and keeping it high helps your sim's mood and ability to meet the other motives. It measures how good the sim feels about the general surroundings. In general, sims appreciate spacious rooms and lots of light, and they hate trash, dirty dishes, spills, and broken items. The room motive isn't something that you can boost directly by performing certain actions. You can do some things that affect it indirectly, but a lot of your room score has to do with how you lay out your home and how you furnish it.

There are several big-ticket items that will not only help your sim's other motives, but will also boost your room score. The piano, for instance, provides fun, lets you improve your creativity, is a hit at parties, and contributes to the room score. The Soma TV is a great fun-fulfilling item, and it has a room score. But other items exist solely for pumping up a room score. In fact, an entire line of items is devoted to this field. These decorations include plants, paintings, fountains, clocks, and some curious miscellaneous items, such as a coat of arms and a pickled head! There are a number of items, but some are incredibly overpriced. Even if you're on a budget, the best room item is without question the Portrait Grid by Payne A. Pitcher. It has a room score of eight and costs $3,200. Hanging up one of these in the room you spend the most time in will benefit your room score and mood greatly. The really pricey room items are not worth the money. They typically cost $4,000 to $8,000, and are either lower or only one point higher than the Portrait Grid painting.

Sims like lots of light and open spaces.

Other items that are worth the money if you don't have that much disposable income are the Old Movie Prop, SinBad's Stuffed Marlin, and the Scylla and Charybdis sculpture. Also, the sculptures that you make with an Artist's Block can enhance a room if you have maxed-out creativity skill. In your bedroom, adding an oak or antique armoire can also improve your room score modestly.

The fish aquarium and plants are generally not a good idea because they require care on your part. You need to take time to feed or water them, which takes away time you could spend on other, more important activities. And hiring a gardener to water your plants can be very expensive, so it's not recommended to have many plants in your home. On the other hand, do try to create a semblance of a garden outside your home so that your sim has a good room score when leaving home. It will put him or her in a better mood when leaving for work. And if you have backyard parties, you will definitely want some plants to spruce up the area and provide a good room score, since there aren't any walls around to hang paintings on. The Pink Flamingo is also a really good item because it has a room score of two and costs only $12. It's the best low-cost bargain in the room item department.

Lighting also affects your room score. Only two lights, the Torchostoronne Table and Floor Lamps, actually have a room score (one for each), but having lighting throughout your room also enhances the room score. If there are any patches of darkness in your room, add a light to nullify the darkness.

In addition, as you go about feeding yourself, you'll leave dirty dishes. Dirty dishes will eventually lead to flies, and both drag the room score down dramatically. Unclean bathroom items, like dirty toilets and dirty bathtubs, also bring down your room score. So do spills from broken plumbing items (dishwasher, toilet, bathtub, shower, and so on) and bladder accidents. Old newspapers left on tables also detract from the room score. It's easy to see that having a clean environment is key to having a good room score. But having to spend time cleaning leaves you little time for other things. It's surprising how much time cleaning takes, so hire a maid.

Lastly, broken items also detract from room score. Hire a repairman whenever an item is broken. It requires less of your time than actually investing in your mechanical skill and then repairing an item. In fact, you'll usually need mechanical skill of three or so to reliably repair something without electrocuting yourself. And if you buy mostly high-end stuff, you won't run into many malfunctions.

Good Room Items
Portrait Grid by Payne A. Pitcher$3,2008 room
Scylla and Charybdis$1,4504 room
SinBad's Stuffed Marlin$7773 room
Chimeway and Daughters Piano$3,5003 room, 4 fun, improves creative
Old Movie Prop$2102 room
Pink Flamingo$122 room

Chapter 3: Relationships

Creating and maintaining relationships is one of the most critical aspects of the game. Your livelihood literally depends on the friends you have. As you progress in your career, you'll need friends to garner those coveted promotions, which will in turn net you bigger salaries and better hours. For more on the careers themselves, consult the Careers chapter. But here, we'll talk about how to make friends and, more importantly, hot to keep them.

Your social bar is one of the eight motive bars discussed in the Motive chapter. Not only do you need a set number of friends for each promotion level, but you also need a high social bar, because if this bar is low, then your sim is unhappy, and you'll never get a promotion. The poor mood produced by a low social score also impacts your sim in other ways. If your sim is depressed, he or she won't work on career skills.

So, in the sandbox play the sims mode, your neighbors will sometimes walk by. Some might even drop by when you start your game for the first time. They'll come soon to welcome you, and you'll need to take advantage of this opportunity right away.

Making Relationships

Meet as many sims as you can in the beginning of the game. Get them in your relationship menu and then start inviting them over for individual time.

Sims won't appear on your relationship menu until you actually meet them. But once that happens, you'll see their portrait, name, and relationship score. That score starts at zero, but from that point on, your interactions with them could increase or decrease that score. Perform a positive interaction and you'll see and hear a positive response from the other sim, as well as a plus symbol over their head and a corresponding boost in your relationship score. Do something that upsets the sim and the opposite will happen. Relationship scores can go into negative territory. Keep in mind that this score only measures how you feel about that other sim, not how the sim feels about you. That sim also has its own relationship score with you. But that score will usually be within five or so points of your own relationship score with him or her.

Setting the Mood

When interacting with other sims, you will help your cause by making sure they are in a good mood. Other sims have the same motives as you, and making sure they are all high instead of low ensures they are in a good mood. That in turn makes them more likely to accept your social interactions, especially the risky propositions such as kissing and proposals. To that end, if you are meeting with a sim, serve him or her food to pump up his or her hunger motive. Make sure there is also seating for your guests with high comfort so their comfort motive can also be increased. Have the room score in your room high to improve their overall mood. And have a bathroom readily available for them to relieve their bladder motive, and an espresso machine for a quick boost to their energy motive if necessary. If you have all these motives pumped up for your guests, they'll be in the mood for conversation and perhaps even love.

The Pre-Friend Stage

Whether your sim is at a party or seeing more than one person, it is generally easier and better for you to concentrate your efforts on one person at a time. Ignore others and just zero in on one sim. You should throw a party initially to get as many sims as possible on your relationship menu. After the initial getting-acquainted phase, invite a sim over to your house individually for alone time. Then, start talking. Initially, you will only have the talk option. Talk is the bread and butter of your social interactions. It is also the safest route to improving your relationships with other sims. You will rarely get a negative reaction from talking, but the bump in relationship score is a modest three points. If the two sims talking both display the same topic bubbles, then you know the talk is a success. But if one sim hates the topic, the talk will result in a loss of three points. But in practice, talking is nearly always successful as long as you have high outgoing and nice scores. That's why it is important to have these two personality traits high. For more on your sim's personality traits, go back to the Creating a Sim chapter. Still, talking is almost always a reliable way to boost your social score and your relationship score with another sim. The other options with big relationship rewards also carry a risk. Kiss could add 12 to your relationship score if it succeeds, but if you do it to a sim with whom you have a low relationship score, she could refuse the kiss and lower your relationship score by 15. So it is important to never jump the gun, so to speak, with the more "powerful" social interaction options.

After you talk for a while and raise the relationship score with a sim to the teens, other options become available, such as compliment, entertain, joke, scare, tease, and tickle.

Of these, joking is relatively safe, provided your relationship score is above 20. Hold off on compliments until after your relationship score heads into the 30s. And it is generally a good idea to refrain from scaring, tickling, or teasing until you are friends. Or better yet, don't do them at all. They don't give you that much higher a relationship score boost than compliment and flirt, and they carry a higher chance of backfiring on you. If they do backfire, they'll lower your relationship score and the other sim's relationship score with you by double digits. Besides, there are much easier and safer ways to jack up your relationship score. And unless you want to infuriate the other sim, absolutely refrain from using brag or insult.

Go with talking first until you hit the teens. Then sprinkle in some jokes to get the score to the 30s. Then add in entertains and compliments. The best way to ensure that you continue talking is to hit the talk button and then hit the button for an alternate action. Keep doing this and then select the alternate actions and delete them. That way you can string together several talk actions at once. Otherwise the game normally does not allow you to line up the same action consecutively.

Hitting the Friend Stage

When you become friends with sims, smiley faces will appear over their heads. Now new options for social interaction appear.

Once your relationship score with a sim hits 60, you'll get a message saying that you have made a friend. At this point, your job is not done. Now it's time to pour on the charm and get that score up to 100. The best way to do that is with the host of physical interactions that become available once you hit the 40s and 50s. Keep in mind not to try them until you are friends. They could backfire on you if you try them too early and send your relationship score skidding. And they carry an even bigger negative reaction than teasing and tickling. Rejected kisses, hugs, gifts, and back rubs also carry double-digit relationship score decreases. It's safer to do them when you are already friends. At this point, they have a much higher chance of succeeding.

Of these physical actions, dancing carries the biggest rewards with the lowest risks. A rejected invitation to dance only lowers the relationship score by a few points, but an accepted one gives you a boost of eight points. Back rubs are also generally well-received, as the receiving sim gets a big boost in his or her relationship score. It also increases his or her comfort score, which improves his or her mood and makes him or her more receptive to the riskier physical interactions.

Whatever you do, don't engage in slapping or attacking unless you want to anger the sim and blast your score.

Becoming Lovers

Once you are friends, the hug option comes up, and a few hugs will get the relationship score skyrocketing. Then, the flirt option should become available. If successful, hearts will appear over the two sims, and they will become lovers as the smiley face next to your friend's face in the relationship screen changes to a heart. If you are outgoing, the flirt option appears earlier in the relationship score. In either case, once you flirt, you know your relationship is pretty good. Pour on the hugs, back rubs, jokes, and dances to get the relationship score really high. When it is in the 80s or 90s, you can attempt your first kiss. Of course, the higher the score and the better both sims' moods, the more likely the kiss will be well received. If it is rejected, though, expect a 15-point hit to your relationship score.

If you maintain a high score and then start flirting and kissing, you could become lovers, and eventually spouses.

The final step at after this is proposing. Make sure your relationship score hovers at 100 and ensure that the mood is good for both sims. At your first few attempts, the other sim will say no and give you reasons why. Either they are hungry, they aren't comfortable, or they're tired. Perhaps you haven't been talking to them enough. Anticipate these responses and make sure you feed them, sit them on a comfy couch or chair (either through dinner or enticing them to watch TV), and then pop the question. But do it early in the day before they lose a lot of energy. As in real life, you have to set the mood, and you need the relationship at its best before the other sim will accept.

Jealousy

Don't attempt close physical contact, like dancing, hugging, and back rubs, with another sim when one of your lovers is nearby. Your lover will get angry, and perhaps even assault the other sim, and your relationship will suffer. If you must cheat, then do so out of sight of your other lovers.

Losing Touch

Every day that goes by, your relationship score with other sims drops by two or so points. As time goes by, your relationship score can take a serious hit if you neglect your friendships.

If your relationship score ever drops to below the 50s, you will get a warning that you are in danger of losing a friend. If you continue to let it drop, then you will get another message telling you that you have lost a friend. When you return to the relationship screen, you will see the smiley face gone from your friend's portrait. They will no longer be counted as your friend. Repeat the steps you took to gain that friend to restore the relationship.

If you are lovers with the sim, when the score drops below the 70s, the sim will take a step down and become your friend again. You will get no message telling of the change in status. Flirt with them again to restore the lover relationship. Also keep in mind that if you marry a sim, you can get a divorce. Neglect your spouse and he or she will move out.

It is important to keep your relationship with your friends and lovers high. Have them hovering around the 80s and 90s. Don't worry about keeping them all at 100. But you want them high enough that you can weather a few days without contact if necessary, and don't need to spend as much time in one sitting at repairing a broken relationship. Once you have excellent relationships in the 80s and above, you can think about throwing parties again instead of having one-on-one invites. By throwing a party, you can line up all your friends together and with your relationship scores already high with the other sims, you don't need to spend as much individual time with them and can thus float between guests at a party to add a few more points back into the relationship with each sim.

Double Dipping: Get Two Motives Satisfied for the Price of One

In The Sims, sometimes you will achieve a perfect synergy of motives, when you spend a single unit of time satisfying two or more motives. That is very easy to achieve with the fun and social, or the hunger and social, motives. There are several items in the game that you can use for the fun motive for yourself, but which also involve other sims if they are around. They'll play with you, in essence, and not only improve their own fun score, but also pump up both sims' social scores and relationship scores at the same time. So by engaging in one activity, you'll benefit two motives and your relationship.

Because time is a precious commodity, kill two birds with one item. Watch TV to satisfy your fun motive and improve your relationship score with this sim.

Remember, you'll want to have these fun items around anyway to help the mood. As stated previously, having a sim's mood high is conducive to relationship building. If sims are in a good mood, they are more receptive to your advances. Having a high fun score helps that mood.

The following items allow for an additional sim to join in, satisfying both fun and social motives. Keep in mind that you have to play with the fun item first, and then the other sim will join in. Sometimes, if something else grabs their attention, like another guest, you will have to select that sim and scroll through the social options to see if there is a "join" option. Use it if it is there. If not, you'll need to clear out any other distractions so the sim can come to you.

Items That Boost Fun and Social

Basketball Hoop
Strip Poker Table
Aristoscratch Pool Table
Chimeway and Daughters Piano
Beejaphone Guitar
Hot Tub
Libidinex Spa System
TVs
Stereos
Pinball machine
SimRailRoad Town
Sandbox

  • Basketball Hoop: This item gives you four fun, and it lets two people yap while shooting. It's a cheap method when you don't have lots of money to get your fun, social, and relationship scores going at the same time.
  • TVs: There are three brands of televisions, and they all allow for social interaction while you're watching. Combine them with a coach for a boost to comfort as well. Talk about efficiency! The monochrome TV is a bust--it only provides two fun. The color TV provides four fun. So it's basically as good as the basketball hoop but a little cheaper (until you add in the cost for the couch). The plasma TV provides six fun, but it is extremely expensive. You could instead go with the pinball machine.
  • Stereos: There are three stereo systems. If you dance, other sims might join in as well, boosting fun, social, and relationship scores. Unfortunately, the stereo isn't generally very enticing, so if there is the choice between a TV, a hot tub, a pinball machine, or a stereo, other sims will eschew the stereo in favor of the other items. So the stereo generally is not a good bet if you intend to use it for socializing as well. Each of the three stereos is also much more expensive than their TV counterparts. The ultimate stereo, for example, provides five fun, but it's nearly $1,000 more than the pinball machine.
  • Pinball Machine: This item provides five fun and lets one other person socialize with you.
  • SimRailRoad Town: This item enhances fun and room scores (by four and three, respectively), and lets other sims indulge in it as well.
  • Guitar and Piano: Not only do these items improve your creative skill, but they also can make your parties more fun. If you have high creativity, you'll create great music that other sims will dance to. You'll also get fun points while making your parties better and improving your relationship with listening sims.

Items that Boost Hunger and Social

It is also easy to satisfy your food and social motives at the same time. After you invite a sim over on the phone, immediately go to your fridge and select "serve dinner." You'll make enough helpings to feed yourself and five other sims. When the invited sim arrives, the food will be ready and you can launch into dinner and conversation, thereby improving your social motives and relationship scores at the same time you are fulfilling your hunger need. The following items let you eat and talk with guests at the same time.

Sims talk while eating.

  • Grill: This provides the least amount of food, so it isn't as efficient as other options.
  • Fridge: Refrigerators provide more food than a grill while still allowing you to talk. The best fridge has the highest hunger score but doesn't improve socializing.
  • Teppanyaki Table: This item has a higher hunger score than the grill, lets you talk, and also has a small fun boost as well. So this item satisfies three motives at a time! However, its fun boost is very small.

Capsule Tips

In general, follow these tips when trying to make and maintain relationships.

  • Throw a party to get all the sims in your neighborhood on your relationship menu. That way you can start interacting with them. You can't socialize with them if you don't know them.
  • Once you establish connections with the other sims, interact with them on a one-on-one basis to cut down on distractions and prevent any jealousy.
  • The best way to boost your relationship score with a sim is to invite him or her over. You'll get alone time, which is important. Invite your guest over early in the day so you have more time with him or her.
  • Go slowly at first. Use mostly the talk option.
  • When your score goes into the 20s, use the joke, compliment, and entertain options.
  • When that sim becomes your friend, and your relationship is above 50, use the more forceful interactions. Go with dancing and back rubs. The latter will open up hug. Hugs are very safe and rewarding.
  • If you want to turn the sim into a lover instead of a friend, flirt with him or her. That will then turn the smiley face into a heart. From that point, you get more romantic options like kiss and proposal. Only initiate flirting and kissing with another sim if your relationship score is in the 70s or 80s.
  • As with all interactions, making sure your sim and the other sim are in good moods is key. Maintain a high room score in the current location, and make sure you feed the sims and comfort them.
  • Satisfy two motives at a time by taking advantage of some group activities. To satisfy everyone's hunger and social motives, serve them dinner. Have open seats to help their comfort motive as well. To satisfy your sims' social and fun motives, have your sim engage in an activity like playing chess, basketball, or pinball; watching TV; dancing; hanging in the hot tub; or playing music. You'll improve their fun, social, and relationship scores. Always take advantage of these synergistic "combos."

Chapter 4: Building a House

There is another need that is vital to your sim's survival. It's like an unspoken, unmentioned motive. Your sim needs shelter. Or a place to put things, really. Your sim needs a home.

In the get a life mode, your house is provided for you. But in the play the sims mode, you can either enter a prebuilt house or make your own. Even if you do use an existing house, or are playing the get a life mode, you might still have occasion to do some architectural rearranging. There is a science and art to laying out a home, and there are obvious tips for making your sim's everyday existence more efficient and pleasurable by designing a user-friendly house.

In the Motives chapter, we discussed the importance of the room motive. Sims like neat, clean, and airy spaces with lots of light. So with that in mind, you should always try to create as open a space as possible in your home. Have wide hallways and large, square rooms. This not only helps the room score, but it also makes it easier for sims to walk around. Skinny corridors are never a good idea, because sims have to be able to walk around each other. Let's say you have a kitchen and bedroom connected by a thin hallway and two sims walking toward each other from opposite directions, one coming from the kitchen and going to the bedroom, and one coming from the bedroom and going to the kitchen. They'll each meet in the hallway and get stuck. But if you have large walkways, they can continue moving. It seems basic, but always make sure you have enough room for more than one sim to maneuver around your house.

Place your house next to the curb so your sim has less distance to walk to get to the car pool.

This call for space also extends to your placement of furniture. Pay attention to the thought bubbles of your sims. If you see a picture of a wall corner, that means the sim can't move to the item. Perhaps you actually put the drawer door of the armoire against the wall, or maybe your bed is right in front of the dresser. Keep at least one square of space in front of or around your items so a sim can move around and toward it. Of course, you'll need an open and large house to provide all this space for your sim, so here are some design tips for crafting your abode.

General

Don't build your home too far back on your lot. In fact, it is best to place your house as close to the curb as you possibly can. This will cut down on the amount of walking your sim has to do to get to the morning car pool. If your house is all the way at the back, your sim will need perhaps a 15-minute head start to get to the car pool. But place your house near the curb and that is 15 extra minutes you have each morning to go to the bathroom, eat a quick snack, or get in a little TV time before work. In real life, homes located at the back of the lot are attractive. In sim life, homes located at the back of the lot are a definite no-no. Build close to the street.

Another consideration is to have multiple entrances into your home. Your sim could be in various places in the morning, so when the car pool comes, you should always be able to exit from the house as quickly as possible. But if your sim has to navigate through several rooms just to get to the only door out of the house, you run the risk of your sim missing work. Have doors leading outside in any room that sees major sim usage. That way, a sim can always exit the house quickly.

Also, remember that you have newspapers and mail to take in. Make sure you place a table by the front door so your sim doesn't have to walk a mile to drop off the day's mail.

Maneuverability

This was touched on briefly in the intro to this chapter, but your sim has to be able to move freely around his or her house. As everybody knows, the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Take a look at the straight-line path between the major usage areas of the house: the kitchen, the TV, the workout machine, the bathroom. Make sure that no objects block the paths connecting these areas. If there is a dining table between the kitchen and bathroom, the sim will have to walk around it, losing valuable time. Measured over the lifetime of a sim game, the extra few minutes a sim has to walk around that table could end up costing you days! Put the dining table off to the side, and the sim will have much quicker access to the bathroom and kitchen. In general, don't ever make a sim have to walk any more than is needed to get from point A to point B. Time is so precious in The Sims that every second counts, and creating straight paths between all major traffic areas of the home will help you save those vital units of time.

Let There Be Lights

Sims like light, a lot. During the nighttime, they want lights illuminating the entire room so there aren't any unlit corners. During the day, they want lots of natural light to brighten up the house. Place as many windows as you can around the walls of your house to let that light flood into your home. But keep in mind that windows take up a wall slot, making it unavailable for a painting or light.

Doors

As mentioned earlier, you want to have more than one door into your house. But the same principle applies to rooms as well, especially once you have more than one sim living under one roof. You want at least two doors into the bathroom, for example, so that two sims don't get jammed up at the door, with one trying to leave and the other desperately trying to enter. Having two doors means there is always unblocked access into the bathroom.

Having just this one door creates a traffic jam between the kitchen and dining area.

Room Placement

You generally don't want too many rooms in your house. For example, instead of an enclosed dining room and an enclosed kitchen connected by a door, have a single large dining/cooking room. The exception is for your bedroom and bathroom. These should definitely be enclosed. You want walls surrounding your bedroom so you can sleep uninterrupted, without the sounds of the TV and radio to wake you up. You also want a separate bathroom since there are lots of spills and messes in there that could detract from the rest of your house's room score. Having a wall separating two places blocks one from the other's unpleasant aspects.

As far as where to put rooms in relation to each other, have one bathroom close to wherever your sim will be spending lots of time, such as the living room. If you are watching lots of TV, reading books, or spending lots of time here, then you want a bathroom within a very short walk. Don't put it by the kitchen if you don't spend much time there. If possible, place it equidistant from the bedroom as well, so that your sim can go quickly to the toilet and bath for an efficient morning routine. Your bedroom and living room shouldn't be too far apart to begin with, so this shouldn't be a problem. Once your house gets larger, though, with the addition of more people, you'll need to add one or two more bathrooms. The rule to follow is to always have the bathroom one door away.

Because trash tends to accumulate in the kitchen, place the kitchen near the front of the house, and have a door leading directly from your kitchen to the outside. That way, your sim won't have to waste time navigating the inside of your house to get outside to dump the trash.

Chapter 5: Careers

Your career is what really makes things happen in The Sims. You'll soon discover that The Sims is a very materialistic game. You need to satisfy your motives in a hurry, because your sims have pressing needs and not enough time in the day to fulfill them. So you have to be more efficient with your time, and efficiency comes only from the most expensive of items. You thus need to shell out lots of simoleons to buy the best items, which in turn give you the best motive satisfaction. But earning money is hard in The Sims. You need to dedicate lots of time and effort to improving your job skills, have friends to recommend you for promotions, and then be in a good enough mood to impress your bosses. If you can meet those requirements, then you can get promoted through the 10 levels of each career track, earning more and more money and getting better and better hours. Skills

First, let's examine the skills of each sim. They are cooking, mechanical, creative, body, logic, and charisma. When improving these skills, remember that your sim must be in a good mood or he or she will refuse to work. Make sure all your sim's motives are more green than red and you'll have no trouble nudging your sim to work on his or her skills.

Your skills are vital to earning you promotions in your career track.

Career-related Skills

Cooking: This skill is really only necessary for making meals for yourself. Only the life of crime, military, and xtreme career tracks require any cooking skill, and even then, it's never more than two points. You can improve your cooking skill only by reading a book at the bookshelf. The different bookshelves all improve your cooking skill at the same rate, so the most expensive bookcase isn't any better than the cheapest one at raising this skill. You'll already want two points to be able to cook without burning down your house, so once you have studied the rudimentary skill level, don't worry about cooking anymore.

Mechanical: All career tracks require a little mechanical skill, although only the military career track requires max points in this skill. The other career tracks need five or six points at most. Incidentally, mechanical is also the skill you use to repair broken appliances, so it will come in handy anyway. You can improve this skill in two ways: reading a book at the bookshelf or making gnomes with the Kraftking Woodworking Bench. Like with cooking, the type of bookshelf has no bearing on the speed with which you improve your mechanical skill. The best way to improve this skill is with the woodworking bench. That's because you can sell the finished product, which is a lawn gnome. And as you get better at it, your lawn gnomes will be worth more money. To sell them, go to the buy menu and select sell. You can get a few bucks to just under $100 for each gnome, depending on your mechanical skill.

Creative: This skill is in high demand for the entertainment, xtreme, life of crime, and musician career tracks. The slacker and military career tracks have absolutely no need for this skill. Improving this skill is actually a fun and lucrative endeavor. You can improve creativity by painting on the Dimanche Folding Easel, playing the Beejaphone Guitar and Chimeway and Daughters Piano, and sculpting with the Artist's Block. The guitar is unlocked by beating the first get a life mission, Money From Mom, in 24 hours. The Artist's Block is unlocked by winning the Hot to Trot mission. In any case, all four items are also fun items, so while you sharpen your creativity skill, you also gain fun points! Just keep in mind that as with all other skill-improving activities, you still must be in a good mood before you start being creative.

You can paint to make a living and earn creativity points and fun points.
One thing to mention with the piano and guitar is that they are also group activities. As your skill improves, the music you create will sound better. And other sims will come over to dance to your music, raising your social and relationship scores with others as well.

Painting and sculpting are also pretty lucrative. You can sell your paintings directly, for a few bucks at first to a little over $150 at the highest skill level. However, you can't paint as quickly as you can craft gnomes, so keep that in mind when deciding which of the two activities is more profitable. The Artist's Block can really pull in the dough. Once you get really good at the Artist's Block, you'll create beautiful statues that fetch up to $1,600. Even after the $500 cost of the block, that's a profit of $1,100. When you have a child at home and need to have one sim be a stay-at-home parent, sculpting can bring in extra cash. To sell your sculpture, use the buy menu. Paintings and sculptures can also be viewed and enhance the room if they are high quality. A sim with high playful score will stay longer on the creative items than a sim with a low playful score.

Body: The body skill is actually needed for all jobs. No career track requires less than six points in this skill, although the military and slacker tracks have the highest demand for it. There are three ways to improve this skill: the swimming pool, the exercise machine, or the treadmill. Of these, only the swimming pool provides fun points while you work in it. However, it is very expensive to buy a pool (you actually lay it down in the build menu, not the buy menu), and it takes the longest of all methods to improve your body skill. The exercise machine is the cheapest of the three methods, and you'll improve faster with this than the swimming pool. The best machine, though, is the treadmill, although it is several hundred dollars more expensive than the exercise machine. It has three modes: walk, jog, and run. Running provides the quickest increase to body skill, faster even then the exercise machine, but don't get on if you have little or no body skill to begin with. If you do, the pace will be too fast for your sim, and he or she will be thrown off the treadmill and refuse to get on. Walk and jog are safer, but slower, means of improving body skill. A sim with the active trait will work out longer than a sim without, so if you want higher body rating faster, create a sim with more than five active trait points.

Logic: This is a skill that only a half of the career tracks really need. In fact, only the military track has a high requirement for logic. The entertainment and slacker tracks don't require any logic, and the life of crime and musician tracks need less than five at the highest level. But it is easy to get logic points and have fun doing it. There are two ways to improve logic: playing chess and gazing through the telescope. The best way is with the telescope, which also provides four fun points while you use it. So you can satisfy the fun motive while improving this skill.

Talking in front of a mirror takes lots of time but is the only way to build up charisma, a necessary skill for the entertainment, musician, slacker, and xtreme career tracks.

Charisma: All jobs need lots of charisma points, making it the most important job skill. The entertainment, slacker, and musician tracks require maximum points, but even the lowest charisma requirement in a career track is seven, for both the life of crime and military tracks. The only way to improve this skill is by practicing speech in front of a medicine cabinet, wall mirror, or floor mirror. They're cheap, so improving charisma isn't expensive. Unfortunately, you don't get any fun for it, or any other additional benefit, as you would with improving your creativity, body, or mechanical. But it's necessary for practically all sims, so you'll have to put in some time in front of that mirror. To make your sim more receptive to this task, and to make improvement faster, give your sim high points in the outgoing trait.

Friends

While skills are necessary to advance in your career, so are friends. Starting at different levels for each track, you'll need to have friends. First you'll need one, then two, then three, and even up to seven friends at level 10 depending on the type of job. You can see if you have friends or not by looking at the relationship screen. If there is a smiley face next to the sim's portrait, he is your friend. Usually once your relationship score goes above 60, that person will be a friend. Keep your relationship scores high since you'll need to maintain several friends to continue advancing in your career. Refer to the Relationships Chapter for tips on how to make and keep friends.

Taking Days Off Work

If you ever need time off to work on your skills or relationships, or pick up your mood, you can just skip the car pool and use that day for yourself. But never miss two days of work in a row. You'll get fired. But missing one day carries no consequences, and you can actually just go to work every other day and suffer no penalties except the loss of income. Keep that in mind if you ever need some extra time to sort out your sim's life.

Career Tracks

Now that we've run through the job skills required for each career, we can look at each job in depth. Money is the name of this game, and to survive and thrive in The Sims, you'll need more and more money. Each career track has 10 levels, and at each level, you'll earn more money and usually get better hours. At level 10, you'll be earning the most money for your career track and working the fewest hours. Each of the job tracks has its advantages and disadvantages.

When you first start the game, the hands-down best track to get into is the military track. It has the highest pay of any job at level one, and it also has very good hours. And staying and advancing in the military track is much easier than in any other track. You will need fewer friends, and you won't need any friends for advancement until level six. The military career also climbs up in pay faster than any other track. So for the first five levels, it is the best career to have, offering the best pay and requiring no friends for advancement. But it is awful for the next five levels, as it tops out very quickly, becoming the lowest-paying job at level 10.

So what you should do is go with the military track for five levels, but during this time improve all your skills and make friends in anticipation of making a career change. Then, when you have maxed out your skills and have enough friends, you should switch careers to musician or entertainment. Although you'll start out with very low pay at level one, you'll get promoted every day thanks to your already maxed-out skills and friends, and you'll reach the highest level in your career rapidly. In essence, you're using the military career as a means to an end, with that end being either of the two highest-paying jobs. Just keep in mind that to get promoted you need to be in a good mood, so go to work everyday well rested and well fed. Get in a little pool or TV before you go to work so your fun is high. With your skills high, your friends plenty, and your mood good, you'll advance in your new career rapidly and reap the rewards.

Note: The car pool arrives one hour before your workday starts.

Entertainment

This career track has the highest maximum pay, but it also has one of the two steepest growth curves. It also has erratic hours and requires lots of friends early. Be prepared for long hours and meager pay for the first five levels. But starting at level six, the big bucks start coming in.

Level 1
Title: Waitress
Pay: $100
Hours: 9am to 3pm
Total Skills Needed: none
Friends Needed: none

Level 2
Title: Extra
Pay: $150
Hours: 9am to 3pm
Total Skills Needed: none
Friends Needed: none

Level 3
Title: Bit Player
Pay: $200
Hours: 9am to 3pm
Total Skills Needed: 2 charisma
Friends Needed: none

Level 4
Title: Stunt Double
Pay: $275
Hours: 9am to 4pm
Total Skills Needed: 2 body, 2 charisma
Friends Needed: 1

Level 5
Title: B-Movie Star
Pay: $375
Hours: 10am to 5pm
Total Skills Needed: 1 creative, 3 body, 3 charisma
Friends Needed: 2

Level 6
Title: Supporting Player
Pay: $500
Hours: 10am to 6pm
Total Skills Needed: 1 mechanical, 2 creative, 4 body, 4 charisma
Friends Needed: 3

Level 7
Title: TV Star
Pay: $650
Hours: 10am to 6pm
Total Skills Needed: 1 mechanical, 3 creative, 5 body, 6 charisma
Friends Needed: 4

Level 8
Title: Feature Star
Pay: $900
Hours: 5pm to 1am
Total Skills Needed: 2 mechanical, 4 creative, 6 body, 9 charisma
Friends Needed: 5

Level 9
Title: Broadway Star
Pay: $1,100
Hours: 10am to 5pm
Total Skills Needed: 2 mechanical, 7 creative, 7 body, 8 charisma
Friends Needed: 6

Level 10
Title: Superstar
Pay: $1,400
Hours: 10am to 3pm
Total Skills Needed: 2 mechanical, 10 creative, 8 body, 10 charisma
Friends Needed: 7

Life of Crime

To unlock this career track, you need to first catch a burglar in the get a life mode. Buy a burglar alarm, then, when you get the message that a robber is invading your home, immediately call the police.

This is the best all-around career track if you don't want to make a career switch. This track doesn't value one single skill above all others, as other jobs do. Instead, you need to be good with all skills, except for cooking. This track has long night hours.

Level 1
Title: Pickpocket
Pay: $140
Hours: 9am to 3pm
Total Skills Needed: none
Friends Needed: none

Level 2
Title: Bagman
Pay: $200
Hours: 10pm to 7am
Total Skills Needed: none
Friends Needed: none

Level 3
Title: Bookie
Pay: $275
Hours: 12pm to 7pm
Total Skills Needed: 2 body
Friends Needed: none

Level 4
Title: Con Artist
Pay: $350
Hours: 9am to 3pm
Total Skills Needed: 1 mechanical, 2 body, 1 creative
Friends Needed: 1

Level 5
Title: Getaway Driver
Pay: $425
Hours: 5pm to 1am
Total Skills Needed: 3 mechanical, 2 body, 2 creative
Friends Needed: 1

Level 6
Title: Bank Robber
Pay: $530
Hours: 3pm to 11pm
Total Skills Needed: 4 mechanical, 3 body, 2 creative, 1 logic, 1 charisma
Friends Needed: 2

Level 7
Title: Cat Burglar
Pay: $640
Hours: 9pm to 3am
Total Skills Needed: 4 mechanical, 5 body, 3 creative, 2 logic, 1 charisma
Friends Needed: 3

Level 8
Title: Counterfeiter
Pay: $760
Hours: 9pm to 3am
Total Skills Needed: 6 mechanical, 5 body, 5 creative, 3 logic, 1 charisma
Friends Needed: 4

Level 9
Title: Smuggler
Pay: $900
Hours: 9pm to 3am
Total Skills Needed: 6 mechanical, 6 body, 6 creative, 3 logic, 4 charisma
Friends Needed: 5

Level 10
Title: Criminal Mastermind
Pay: $1,100
Hours: 6pm to 12am
Total Skills Needed: 6 mechanical, 6 body, 8 creative, 3 logic, 6 charisma
Friends Needed: 6

Military

This is the best track in the first few levels and the worst at the end. It has early-morning hours, but it does not require lots of friends for advancement. Not until you go for level six will you need a friend.

Level 1
Title: Recruit
Pay: $250
Hours: 6am to 12pm
Total Skills Needed: none
Friends Needed: none

Level 2
Title: Elite Forces
Pay: $325
Hours: 7am to 1pm
Total Skills Needed: none
Friends Needed: none

Level 3
Title: Drill Instructor
Pay: $400
Hours: 8am to 2pm
Total Skills Needed: 2 body
Friends Needed: none

Level 4
Title: Junior Officer
Pay: $450
Hours: 9am to 3pm
Total Skills Needed: 1 mechanical, 2 body, 2 charisma
Friends Needed: none

Level 5
Title: Counterintelligence
Pay: $500
Hours: 9am to 3pm
Total Skills Needed: 1 cooking, 1 mechanical, 4 body, 2 charisma
Friends Needed: none

Level 6
Title: Flight Officer
Pay: $550
Hours: 9am to 3pm
Total Skills Needed:1 cooking, 2 mechanical, 4 body, 1 logic, 4 charisma
Friends Needed: 1

Level 7
Title: Senior Officer
Pay: $580
Hours: 9am to 3pm
Total Skills Needed: 1 cooking, 3 mechanical, 5 body, 3 logic, 4 charisma
Friends Needed: 2

Level 8
Title: Commander
Pay: $600
Hours: 9am to 3pm
Total Skills Needed: 1 cooking, 6 mechanical, 5 body, 5 logic, 5 charisma
Friends Needed: 3

Level 9
Title: Astronaut
Pay: $625
Hours: 9am to 3pm
Total Skills Needed: 1 cooking, 9 mechanical, 8 body, 6 logic, 5 charisma
Friends Needed: 4

Level 10
Title: General
Pay: $650
Hours: 9am to 3pm
Total Skills Needed: 1 cooking, 10 mechanical, 10 body, 9 logic, 7 charisma
Friends Needed: 5

Musician

The musician track is like the entertainment track: terrible at low levels and ramping up quickly after you pass level six. From then on, it is neck and neck with entertainment for the best pay. However, this job has very long hours.

Level 1
Title: Subway Musician
Pay: $90
Hours: 3pm to 8pm
Total Skills Needed: none
Friends Needed: none

Level 2
Title: Piano Tuner
Pay: $120
Hours: 9am to 4pm
Total Skills Needed: none
Friends Needed: none

Level 3
Title: Wedding Singer
Pay: $190
Hours: 9am to 3pm
Total Skills Needed: 2 creative
Friends Needed: none

Level 4
Title: Lounge Singer
Pay: $250
Hours: 8pm to 4am
Total Skills Needed: 3 creative
Friends Needed: 1

Level 5
Title: High School Band Teacher
Pay: $325
Hours: 7am to 2pm
Total Skills Needed: 2 mechanical, 4 creative
Friends Needed: 1

Level 6
Title: Roadie
Pay: $400
Hours: 11am to 8pm
Total Skills Needed: 5 mechanical, 5 creative
Friends Needed: 2

Level 7
Title: Backup Musician
Pay: $550
Hours: 12pm to 9pm
Total Skills Needed: 5 mechanical, 4 body, 6 creative
Friends Needed: 4

Level 8
Title: Studio Musician
Pay: $700
Hours: 11am to 6pm
Total Skills Needed: 5 mechanical, 5 body, 7 creative, 2 charisma
Friends Needed: 5

Level 9
Title: Rock Star
Pay: $1,100
Hours: 5pm to 2am
Total Skills Needed: 5 mechanical, 7 body, 8 creative, 7 charisma
Friends Needed: 6

Level 10
Title: Celebrity Activist
Pay: $1,400
Hours: 10am to 3pm
Total Skills Needed: 5 mechanical, 7 body, 10 creative, 4 logic, 10 charisma
Friends Needed: 7

Slacker

This track is worthless. It is supposed to offer good hours to offset the atrocious pay. Unfortunately, you don't really work any less than in other career tracks, like the military or xtreme. The pay starts out horrible and stays horrible. To make matters worse, you need lots of friends early.

Level 1
Title: Golf Caddy
Pay: $90
Hours: 5am to 10am
Total Skills Needed: none
Friends Needed: none

Level 2
Title: Convenience Store Clerk
Pay: $110
Hours: 10pm to 3am
Total Skills Needed: none
Friends Needed: none

Level 3
Title: Lifeguard
Pay: $150
Hours: 9am to 3pm
Total Skills Needed: 2 body
Friends Needed: none

Level 4
Title: Record Store Clerk
Pay: $180
Hours: 12pm to 5pm
Total Skills Needed: 2 body, 2 charisma
Friends Needed: 1

Level 5
Title: Party DJ
Pay: $220
Hours: 11pm to 4am
Total Skills Needed: 2 body, 4 charisma
Friends Needed: 2

Level 6
Title: Projectionist
Pay: $280
Hours: 6pm to 1am
Total Skills Needed: 3 mechanical, 2 body, 4 charisma
Friends Needed: 3

Level 7
Title: Video Editor
Pay: $350
Hours: 12pm to 6pm
Total Skills Needed: 5 mechanical, 2 body, 4 charisma
Friends Needed: 4

Level 8
Title: Freelance Photographer
Pay: $400
Hours: 12pm to 5pm
Total Skills Needed: 5 mechanical, 3 body, 7 charisma
Friends Needed: 5

Level 9
Title: Personal Tour Guide
Pay: $450
Hours: 2pm to 7pm
Total Skills Needed: 5 mechanical, 8 body, 8 charisma
Friends Needed: 6

Level 10
Title: Permanent Celebrity Party Guest
Pay: $600
Hours: 10pm to 2am
Total Skills Needed: 5 mechanical, 9 body, 10 charisma
Friends Needed: 7

Xtreme

This track is the second-best starting career after the military track. It has the second-highest pay for the first six levels, but like the military, it peters out in the end. You need friends quickly for this career, but it has good balance, and if you haven't unlocked the life of crime track, it's the best overall career.

Level 1
Title: Daredevil
Pay: $175
Hours: 9am to 3pm
Total Skills Needed: none
Friends Needed: none

Level 2
Title: Bungee Jump Instructor
Pay: $250
Hours: 9am to 3pm
Total Skills Needed: none
Friends Needed: none

Level 3
Title: Whitewater Guide
Pay: $325
Hours: 9am to 3pm
Total Skills Needed: 2 body
Friends Needed: none

Level 4
Title: Xtreme Circuit Pro
Pay: $400
Hours: 9am to 3pm
Total Skills Needed: 1 mechanical, 4 body
Friends Needed: 1

Level 5
Title: Bush Pilot
Pay: $475
Hours: 9am to 3pm
Total Skills Needed: 2 mechanical, 4 body, 1 logic
Friends Needed: 2

Level 6
Title: Mountain Climber
Pay: $550
Hours: 9am to 3pm
Total Skills Needed: 4 mechanical, 6 body, 1 logic
Friends Needed: 3

Level 7
Title: Photojournalist
Pay: $650
Hours: 9am to 3pm
Total Skills Needed: 5 mechanical, 3 creative, 6 body, 1 logic, 2 charisma
Friends Needed: 4

Level 8
Title: Treasure Hunter
Pay: $725
Hours: 9am to 3pm
Total Skills Needed: 6 mechanical, 4 creative, 7 body, 3 logic, 3 charisma
Friends Needed: 5

Level 9
Title: Grand Prix Driver
Pay: $825
Hours: 10am to 4pm
Total Skills Needed: 6 mechanical, 7 creative, 7 body, 5 logic, 5 charisma
Friends Needed: 6

Level 10
Title: International Spy
Pay: $925
Hours: 11am to 5pm
Total Skills Needed: 6 mechanical, 9 creative, 8 body, 6 logic, 8 charisma
Friends Needed: 7

Chapter 6: Get a Life

The get a life mode is a goal-oriented campaign where you guide a single sim through six missions. You'll start out living with mom, learn how to live on your own, make new friends, find a mate, and eventually raise a family of your own. When you start get a life, you only have to create a single sim. Unlike in the play the sims mode, you won't create a home or a family. You should apply the same rules and strategies in creating a sim for the get a life mode as you would in the normal play the sims mode.

One thing to remember is that you can only have one save game per sim. You can create a new sim and replay get a life, but this sim must have a different name and will have its own save game. Anytime you save your progress in get a life, you are overwriting your previous save. So be sure before you save.

As we run through each mission, we'll discuss the mission goals, the items and bonus levels you unlock for completing the mission, and how to advance to the next level.

Mission 1: Money From Mom

Mission Goals:
Borrow 800 simoleons from mom.
Make a dinner without starting a fire.
Fix the TV.
Get a job.
Pay the bills.

Unlockable ItemsRequired Action
The Museum Two-Player GameBorrow 800 simoleons from mom.
Aromamaster Whifferpuff GoldCook dinner.
VanityFix the TV
Beejaphone GuitarFinish level in under 24 hours.

This is the first mission, and it's pretty easy. In fact, you can finish it in under a day, and you'll unlock a cool item if you do so. In any case, the first three mission goals can be accomplished in any order, but the fourth goal of finding a job cannot be completed until you fulfill the three previous goals. The "pay the bills" goal only becomes available if you stay more than three days in the house.

Chat up your mom, sprinkling in a few hugs and compliments, and you'll get some money in no time.

To get your 800 simoleons, just ask mom right away for some money. Alternate the "borrow money" and "talk" actions with your mother. And throw in a few "hug" and "entertain" options to boost your relationship score with her. You'll easily get to 100 relationship score and $800 in no time. If she does refuse you money, it probably means her mood is bad. If that happens, feed her, clean the place, and make her watch some TV. Having a 100 relationship score with her also guarantees you have one friend for getting a promotion later in the game, so don't upset her.

To make dinner, go to the bookcase and study cooking. Then study mechanical. This will help with the TV. Then study cooking again and mechanical one last time. This will give you two points in each. Then cook up dinner and fix the TV. If you try either of these tasks without first getting your points, you'll start a fire or electrocute yourself.

Finally, once you've accomplished all three goals, just pick up the newspaper and look for a job. You've just finished the level.

Take your time on this level to learn the game and improve your skills.

Because this level is easy to complete and there is no real pressure on you, you can use your time here to your advantage. Take the time to learn the game. Completing this mission in 24 hours will unlock the guitar for you, but you don't really need it. You'll have a guitar in the second and third missions anyway. And if you want to improve your creative skill, there are other ways to do it, so the guitar is not critical. You can instead spend your time improving your skills and earning extra money. Go with the military career track. And keep borrowing money from mom. Any money you have at the end of the level is carried over to the next mission. And more money will always help you out, as it enables you to buy better items that can better satisfy your motives. Just be sure not to pick up that job until after you are ready to leave the level. Once you take a job, the mission ends.

Mission 2: Reality Bytes

Mission Goals:
Clean up the place.
Fix the broken stuff.
Upgrade your abode when you go to buy mode.
Get promoted to career level two.
Get promoted to career level three.
Complete all goals so you can move out.

Unlockable ItemsRequired Action
MaidClean up the place.
RepairmanFix the broken stuff.
Electronic Insect Control SystemUpgrade your abode.
CoolerGet promoted to career level two.
Teppanyaki TableGet promoted to career level three.
The Frat House Two-Player GameMove out.
Coat of ArmsFinish the level in four days.

This level has a lot of goals, but just take it one step at a time and you should have little trouble. First off, you want to clean up the house and fix the broken objects. Cleaning is the easiest. Just go through the house and pick everything up. Next, with your two mechanical skill points, you will have no problem fixing the broken computer, TV, and espresso machine and unclogging the toilet. By completing those two goals, you unlock the maid and repairman, both of whom can be telephoned. They'll then come in and clean and fix your house.

Fix the broken items in this house to unlock the repairman.

With those two easy tasks out of the way, it is time to go to work and get a promotion. Use your off time to improve your skills, which will be necessary for the level three promotion. Once you have enough money, it's then time to upgrade your abode. That just means buying some new items for the house so the value of the home increases by a little over 1,000 simoleons.

Once that is done, you can move out, and onto the next level.

Although you can finish this level fairly quickly, the unlockable item that you get for finishing in four days is just a room score item, so again, there is no rush to get out of this mission quickly. Stay here as long as you need to improve your job skills so getting promoted in your career in the next mission is faster and easier. Also, take the time to increase your relationship score with your new neighbors, Pauline and Pierre Peacock.

Mission 3: Party Animals

Mission Goals:
Get promoted to career level four.
Get promoted to career level five.
Upgrade your abode when you go to the buy mode.
Throw a raging party.
Move in with Dudley or Mimi.

Unlockable ItemsRequired Action
Strip Poker TableGet promoted to level four.
Libidinex SpaGet promoted to level five.
Tree SwingUpgrade abode.
Head in Curio JarFinish level in eight days.

In this level, you'll have to show off your social skills. You moved in with Dudley or Mimi to start this level. The choice depends on your sim's sex. If you are male, it's Dudley. If you are female, it's Mimi. In either case, both are slobs and hardly do anything for you. They can't even get to work on time sometimes. You'll have to make sure they don't miss their car pool, because if they get fired, the game is over for your sim as well. However, what they can do well is grill on the barbecue, so have them cook burgers for you every day as your meal (they won't cook out of the fridge, though). Dudley will also pay bills, so give him that task. And then don't forget to call a maid to keep the house clean, and have Dudley call a repairman if anything breaks down. With Dudley handling the cooking and the bills, and the maid keeping the house neat, you are free to concentrate on getting promoted and keeping your sim in a perpetual good mood, with all motives satisfied, so you can be a good party host.

At the start of this level, talk to Dudley/Mimi and eat with him/her. Do a few social activities and get your roommate to become your friend. Then move the relationship score to 100. Now you have two friends, which will come in handy later in the game for promotions.

Make Dudley grill burgers every day so you don't have to cook.

Your first goal is to get promoted and save the extra money. Use that money to upgrade your fun items to the next level. And make sure they are social items as well, since you'll be entertaining a lot in this mission. It will be difficult to satisfy your motives, so having a fun item that is also a social item will be good.

When you have fulfilled your promotion and upgrade goals, it's time to throw a party. Make sure you are in a good mood. Have Dudley cook two meals on the grill first, so there is enough food to go around. Then have Dudley call to throw a party. The guests will arrive only a few minutes after that, and they'll gravitate toward the food. As they are eating, having Dudley go into the hot tub in the back and strike up a conversation with a sim. Concentrate on one and then lay the conversation on thick. You want to make sure this party ends with you having made two or three good contacts. Keep in mind that sims tend to leave around 1am, so have the party start well in advance of that so you have time to mingle. With the hot tub and food to spare, you should have your guests in a good mood and thus fulfill the raging party goal. One other thing to make the party go smoothly is to add a door to the back wall of the second bathroom, the one closest to the backyard, so guests can quickly go to the bathroom from the hot tub area. Or add a third bathroom in the back in anticipation of the many sims you'll be hosting.

In the first few levels, it will be hard to satisfy your motives with the cheap default items, so buy better objects to improve your motives faster.

After this is done, take however many days you need to recuperate and beef up your motives. Make sure you have plenty of energy and then call one of your new contacts. If your relationship score still isn't high enough to get a sim to come over, have Dudley call. Have Dudley grill some burgers and then banish him to the bedroom. When the sim arrives, share a meal with him or her and then you strike up a conversation. Talk, watch TV together, or hang out in the hot tub. Get that relationship score soaring to 100.

The next day, throw another party, and go to the sim you hosted the night before. Follow the steps for the previous party to put your guests in a good mood and then ask the sim to be your roommate. With spirits and your relationship score high, he or she should say yes.

Mission 4: Hot to Trot

Mission Goals:
Get promoted to career level six.
Get promoted to career level seven.
Upgrade your abode when you go to the buy mode.
Throw a raging party.
Try to score with a party guest.

Unlockable ItemsRequired Action
Sonic ShowerGet promoted to career level six.
Artist's BlockGet promoted to career level seven.
Heart BedUpgrade abode.
Club Abhi Two-Player GameThrow a raging party.
Taylor's Place Two-Player GameThrow a raging party.
The Park Two-Player GameFeed Bobo the Bum outside your house.
JukeboxFinish the level in eight days or less.

In this level, it is time to put your party skills to the true test. The house on this level is very poorly designed. The first thing you should do is install a door on the wall facing the curb. That way, in the morning you won't have to walk away from the curb and around the house to get to the front door. You can just jump out of bed and walk straight down to the car pool. Satisfying your motives will be as hard as in previous levels, since you still start out with the cheapest items. Upgrade your kitchen and get better fun items so you can better satisfy your motives. These fun items should be social items as well, like the pinball machine, since you will be hosting parties and inviting people over to maintain your friend relationships. More than before, your job advancement will require friends. Also, add a third bathroom to the outside of the house, near the front yard (move the hot tub, if necessary), in anticipation of the parties you will throw and the many guests you'll entertain. These purchases will also help you satisfy the upgrade goal.

With your house sufficiently redesigned and upgraded, it is time to get your promotions. Use the Aromamaster machine to replenish your energy motive in rapid fashion, and use the extra time you gain each day to hone your job skills. Call your friends when needed to keep your relationship score high. By now, if you haven't done so already, you should switch over to a new career. Entertainment and music are both excellent choices. In the previous levels, you should have been honing your creative and charisma skills, so advancement should come quickly.

With that out of the way, have your roommate cook up some food while you make the calls necessary to throw a party. When the ladies or men (depending on your sex) come in, mingle with them and single out two or three. One will be your target for marriage, while the others will be friends for future promotions. Use the steps in the Relationship chapter to cultivate friendships, and then lay on the charm to turn one into your lover. Make sure the mood of the party is rocking and that your potential mate is well fed and high on fun. Then it is time to propose. Make sure your sim is in a good mood or it won't work. If you have to, throw several parties until you get an affirmative answer. If your prospective mate says yes, you'll be treated to a quick ceremony before the next level starts.

One thing to note with this level is that unlike Dudley or Mimi, your roommate here will cook and clean for you. Put him or her to these tasks so you can concentrate on your job skills and relationship building.

Mission 5: Who Loves Ya Baby

Mission Goals:
Get promoted to career level eight.
Get promoted to career level nine.
Upgrade your abode when you go to buy mode.
Have two babies.
Take care of the babies.
Keep the kids in school.

Unlockable ItemsRequired Action
SandboxTurn first baby into a kid.
SprinklerTurn second baby into a kid.
The Maid's House Two-Player GameGet promoted to career level eight.
The Handyman Two-Player GameGet promoted to career level eight.
Two Swimming PoolsGet promoted to career level nine.
The Park Two-Player GameFeed Bobo the Bum outside your house.
Bearskin RugFinish the level in eight days or less.

In this level, the difficulty of the game ratchets up a notch. Now you have to make a few babies and take care of them through their noisome baby stage and their hyperactive kid stage. All the while, you have to tend to your spouse to tend to and get promotions on the job.

This level is unique in that the house you start in needs a lot of design before you can even start to play. All the furniture is stuffed in two rooms, so you'll need to lay it out before you can start living. You have to decide where the bedrooms, kitchen, bathrooms, and other rooms will be.

After this is done, it is time to work on those goals. First, don't get divorced. Do not neglect your spouse. If you let the relationship score drop, your spouse could leave you, requiring you to find and propose to a new sim before you can move on in the level. Use the play feature of your Heart Bed to keep your social motive, and your relationship with your spouse, high.

When deciding on the bedrooms, remember that one bedroom will eventually house two children. The configuration used in our house was to use the two rooms on the left as the master bedroom and the master bath, and to use the two rooms on the right as the children's room and bathroom. The walls for the middle rooms were knocked down to create one large great room with an open kitchen in the upper left corner, a dining area next to it, and the rest of the space reserved for all the recreation items in the house. Although you start out with two rooms of items, you will still need to buy kitchen appliances. Get the high-end equipment, and also spring for a pool table, which provides maximum fun while also serving as a social item. Get the doll house, train set, computer, and a musical instrument for your future kids as well, as they will require lots of fun motive satisfaction. A Soma TV and a three-person couch will also be good additions to your home. All these new purchases should also suffice for the upgrade goal.

After 24 hours in the house, you'll automatically have your first baby. It could come sooner if you play in the spa and the Heart Bed. Then, an explosion of flowers will occur, followed by a baby cradle. The cradle will appear next to your bed, thus blocking one sim from sleeping on his or her side of the bed. Don't worry. Leave the cradle there. One sim should sleep in the living room on the couch anyway so as to not be disturbed when the baby cries at night. This sim is your breadwinner and should have nothing to do with the baby. Have the other sim stay at home and take care of this baby, and later the kids. Whenever the baby cries, pick it up and feed it. While feeding it, click on the cradle again and select sing. As soon as the feeding is done, the baby will start to cry again, but thanks to your previous sing command, you'll pick it right back up and sooth it back to sleep. Always make sure you respond immediately to the crying baby. Ignoring it will keep it in a perpetual baby stage. Worse, social services could take it away. That will mean you'll have to make another baby. If you are attentive to the baby, always feeding and singing to it without letting it cry too long, it will grow up to be a kid in a few days. Repeat the process a second time to have your second child.

You'll be managing four people pretty soon, which can be hectic. The children, though, don't really need much management. Get them to bed by 9pm so they can wake up at 5am with plenty of time to take care of their hygiene and bladder motives. Have your stay-at-home sim cook up breakfast every morning for them as well. Your other sim should concentrate solely on career advancement, including maintaining friendships for promotions and improving job skills. If you need extra money, have your stay-at-home sim work on his or her creativity skill on the Artist's Block. You can sell the finished works for $1,500, earning $1,000 profit every day.

Before you leave the level, buy a telescope and have your two children study with it until they are both A+ students. This is foresight for the next level's goals.

Mission 6: The Last Simoleon

Mission Goals:
Get promoted to career level 10.
Send kids to prep school.
Save $20,000 for yacht.
Throw one great party before you retire.

Unlockable ItemsRequired Action
The Park Two-Player GameGet promoted to career level 10.
Major Domo (Monkey Butler)Send both kids to prep school.
Rhino TrophyFinish this level in eight days.

This level should be a breeze if you did your homework in the previous five missions. Your kids should already have straight As, thanks to your work on mission five. Then, as soon as the first day is over on mission six, your kids will be shipped off to preschool. You'll need $1,500 per kid, so make sure you go into this level with at least $4,000. Actually, because of the yacht and the pressing need for furniture, you should go into this level with over $30,000. But if you have been saving your money throughout the previous missions, this shouldn't be a problem. You can easily have enough of cash saved up when you come into this level, meaning you can have that $20,000 yacht right away.

All that's left career-wise is getting that last promotion. And once that is done, the final goal appears, which is to throw one last great party. Continue improving your skills and make sure you have the requisite number of friends for your promotion. If necessary, have your spouse call up and make new friends, since it is the total number of friends between your spouse and you that counts toward your friend requirement for promotion. Better yet, in the previous levels, you should have already maxed out your skill and friend requirements so that as soon as you go to your first day of work, you return with a promotion.

The house you come into is not furnished, so you will need to buy some items. Since your kids will go to school immediately, you have no need to buy any items for them. In fact, you can leave the whole right section of the house empty. Just use the left side as your bedroom and bathroom. Have a second bath nearby, then buy your kitchen equipment and have a large dining table and chairs in the great living room in the middle of the house. Buy a piano as well and set it up near the dining area. Make sure you also purchase lots of lights to brighten up the room so the room score is high. These moves are all in anticipation of throwing that big party.

Dress up, serve lots of food, have live music, and throw a great party.

When your other goals are complete, get ready to throw a party. Light a fire at the fireplace, have your sim and your sim's spouse cook up two plates of food, and then make the calls necessary to throw a party. Have your spouse play the piano. Your stay-at-home spouse was honing his or her creative skill in the previous level making sculptures, so he or she should be a pro on the piano. The music will be a great hit at the party, while all the guests will be happy to eat as soon as they arrive. Make sure there are six chairs at the large dining table and a few extras around the piano as well. That way all your guests can sit, eat, and listen to great music. Pretty soon, Malcolm Landgrabb will show up and proclaim your party a success and you'll be treated to a rewarding ending cutscene. Congratulations! Now you can take the lessons learned in get a life to the play the sims mode.

Chapter 7: Cheats and Multiplayer

Cheat Codes

There are various cheats you can enter in The Sims to achieve some fantastic results. To enter a cheat, you first have to access the cheat menu. To do that, at the main menu screen, you must press the L1 and R1 buttons simultaneously on the Xbox, all four shoulder buttons (L1, L2, R1, R2) on the PS2, or L and R on GameCube.

Press the L1 and R1 buttons at this screen to bring up the cheat menu.

Follow the instructions for the following cheat codes.

To unlock the two-player mode:
1. Call up the cheat menu.
2. Type in MIDAS and press done.
3. Start the get a life mode.
4. Get into the hot tub with another sim.
5. Press start.
6. Quit.
7. Select "just quit."

To unlock the play the sims mode without beating get a life:
1. Call up the cheat menu.
2. Type in SIMS and press done.

To unlock the Party Motel two-player level:
1. Call up the cheat menu.
2. Type in PARTY M and press done.
3. The Party Motel level appears in the bonus section of get a life.

To unlock the first-person view:
1. Call up the cheat menu.
2. Type in FISH EYES and press done.
3. Next time you are in the game, go to the buy menu, go to the select item screen, and press the black button (circle button on the PS2, X on the GameCube) to make walls disappear.
4. Hit the black button (circle button on the PS2, X on the GameCube) one more time and you'll get the first-person view,

Free items cheat:
1. Call up the cheat menu.
2. Type FREEALL and press done.
3. In the game, when you buy an item, simoleons are not deducted from your account. You still must pay bills and pay for services.

Multiplayer Levels

There are more than half a dozen multiplayer levels in The Sims. These have to be unlocked first, and they'll show up in the get a life menu as "bonus" material.

Once in the bonus section, you'll be able to select a multiplayer game to play. You will need to plug in a second controller to begin play. The following is a brief discussion of each multiplayer game and how to unlock it.

  • The Handyman's House
    This level is the female version of the Maid level. In it, you race to make the handyman fall in love with your sim first. You earn hearts by cleaning up your side of the house and keeping the handyman's child happy. He will stop by occasionally to check up on you. When you earn four hearts, you are the winner. Unlock this level by getting promoted to career level eight in the Who Loves Ya Baby mission.
  • The Park
    In this level, you race to see who can get the most food before time expires. You can beg, steal, or grill burgers for yourself. Beware of stealing though, because others might take from you if you start pilfering from others. Unlock this level by feeding Bobo the Bum in any of the following get a life missions: Party Animals, Hot to Trot, or Who Loves Ya Baby. You'll also unlock it by getting promoted to career level 10 in The Last Simoleon.
  • The Museum
    This is a timed level where you and a friend compete to borrow the most money from other sims. The winner is the one who collects the most simoleons. Unlock it by borrowing $800 from your mom in the Money from Mom mission.
  • The Frat House
    This level is a race to see who can make three friends first. You will have the option to spread rumors to sabotage your opponent's relationships with other sims. When you reach three friends, you win. Unlock this level by completing the Reality Bytes mission.
  • Taylor's Place
    This is a timed level where you race against your opponent to make more male sims fall in love with you than your opponent. You must mingle throughout the room, trying to get as many men as possible to become your lover (signified by the heart symbol taking over the smiley face). The winner is the sim with the most lovers when time expires. Unlock this level by throwing a raging party in the Hot to Trot mission.
  • Club Abhi
    This is a timed level where you race against your opponent to make more female sims fall in love with you than your opponent. You must mingle throughout the room, trying to get as many ladies as possible to become your lover (signified by the heart symbol taking over the smiley face). The winner is the sim with the most lovers when time expires. Unlock this level by throwing a raging party in the Hot to Trot mission.
  • The Maid's House
    This level is the male version of the Handyman level. In it, you race to make the maid fall in love with your sim first. You earn hearts by cleaning your side of the house and keeping the maid's child happy. She will stop by occasionally to check up on you. When you earn four hearts, you are the winner. Unlock this level by getting promoted to career level eight in the Who Loves Ya Baby mission.
  • The Party Motel
    In this level, you and a friend compete to see who can throw the better party. The winner is the sim who has the most guests still remaining at his party after when time expires. Unlock this level by using the PARTY M cheat.

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