The Sims 3 Guide
Buy Mode lets your Sims really make the most of their hard-earned cash. From microwaves to TVs to magic gnomes, every item in the game has a use and its own appeal. While not every item is listed below, the most important, interesting and useful products in The Sims 3 are described, as well as the cheapest price for each:
Bed: All beds provide the same level of stress release, and the cheapest still gives you a decent amount of energy from using it. Once you reach the Sleep-Slave Double Bed however, a whopping 10 energy can be regained a night's rest to completely fill your Sim's energy bar with a minimum of sleep. The more expensive ones also add to the attractiveness of a room. Minimum Price: 300 Simoleons
Toilet: Essential for, well, the obvious. There is no pressing need to get a more expensive toilet. While they are more reliable and get dirty less, they all provide the same relief – that is maximum bladder expunging. The Porcelain Throne for 1,800 also gives a small room attractiveness bonus. Minimum Price: 250 Simoleons.
Sink: Ideally you want a sink in the bathroom and the kitchen, but you can manage with just one if you're desperate. The cheapest sink breaks regularly, but at that price, you can hardly complain. You can also get sinks that can be embedded into work surfaces to save space, but the cheapest of these is slightly more expensive. Minimum Price: 120 Simoleons.
Shower: Showers are quicker than baths and the cheapest is also the most cost effective way to keep clean. They provide a higher hygiene bonus than tubs too. The Shower of Power for 1,600 only gets you 9 hygiene points, compared to 7 with the cheapest, albeit with a room bonus, so there's not much in it, apart from of course reliability. Minimum Price: 425 Simoleons.
Microwave: Any student will be aware of the possibilities of living off a microwave, and indeed it is possible. They are also fast and cheap. The Steak and Prank Microwave costs just 240 Simoleons, compared to the cheapest cooker at 400 Simoleons. These will enable you to create hot meals. Of course, if you really want to slum it, you could have a fridge on its own and just keep eating jam sandwiches. A blender is also a good alternative to a microwave in The Sims 3. Minimum Price: 240 Simoleons.
Fridge: Essential as the place where you get all your food! - The Chillgood Fridge costs 375 Simoleons and provides you with decent Hunger relief. The advantage of a cooker is that you don't necessarily need a fridge to make food on it. The issue is that without a fridge you won't be able to enjoy the quick luxuries of juice or cereal. Minimum Price: 375 Simoleons.
The ultimate cheap kitchen.
Lighting: Sims won't like it in the dark at night with no artificial lighting, so ensure you spend at least a little on the cheapest lights. Minimum Price: 65 Simoleons.
These are not quite essential to a functioning house, but should be the next things in line that you buy after your toilet and fridge.
Alarms: For home safety you need a fire alarm and a burglar alarm. Both of these together will set you back just 350 Simoleons, and surely you can't put a price on your family's safety and security. These will wake your Sim when something is wrong, as well as the emergency services required for dealing with the trouble. Minimum Price (together): 350 Simoleons.
Note: Heavy Sleepers may still not be woken up by these alarms.
Alarms are essential for anyone with valuable items or loved-ones in their homes.
Computer: You can do many things on a computer. As well as relaxing or having fun playing games, you can find a job and hone your writing skills. The cheapest comes in at a hefty 800 Simoleons (and regularly breaks), but considering what you can do with it, that's not too bad. Minimum Price: 800 Simoleons.
Television: Life without a TV can be pretty miserable, so get one of these as soon as possible. The cheapest is 200 Simoleons, so is instantly affordable, and also allows you to work out in front of it using the Fitness channel. More expensive TVs also have more channels (allowing you to improve skills like Cooking while you watch) and provide more fun, but the cost rises to an impressive 8,000 Simoleons at the top end for a wall-mounted flatscreen. Minimum Price: 200 Simoleons.
A big TV can really give a room an edge.
Phone: A house phone makes setting up house-parties, calling the emergency services or just ordering a pizza a breeze. You could always use your Sim's cel-phone though. Minimum Price: 35 Simoleons.
Sofa: You can't really have a television without somewhere to sit and watch. There are plenty of choices, with comfort increasing with the price. As usual, the more pricey options also help improve a room's attractiveness. Minimum Price: 225 Simoleons.
Dishwasher: These save your Sim from having to wash all the dishes, dirtying the sink and taking a lot of time. Neat Sims will automatically put dishes in the washer, but you may have to order dirtier ones to do the tidying. Beware of electrocution when repairing. Minimum Price: 300 Simoleons.
Table and Chairs: When Sim's come round your house they won't want to sit on the floor. A simple table and chair not only provides somewhere to read a book or do homework, but is more importantly a social area for wining and dining. Minimum Price (table and two chairs): 140 Simoleons
Garbage Bin: When preparing food your Sims will leave trash around the house unless there is a bin available, or they will waste time going outside to dispose of it, so an in-house solution is almost essential - especially so cheaply. Minimum Price: 25 Simoleons.
Dressers: Not essential, but nearly there, especially for the woman of the house. These allow you to customise your Sim's outfits and to get them to change into them at will. Minimum Price: 450 Simoleons.
A dresser will make any Sim obsessed with their outfits.
Birthday Cake: If you have younger Sims in your household, a Birthday Cake is needed to fully celebrate the event. You can also use it to force an age transition i.e. from child to adult. By clicking on it you can start a party! Oddly this is supposedly an outside accessory, though you can find certain tables to place it on indoors. Minimum Price: 30 Simoleons
Baths: While these are less effective in terms of hygiene than showers, they relieve stress, something only the most expensive shower (1,600 Simoleons) can boast. Minimum Price: 500 Simoleons.
Coffee Maker: When your Sim hasn't had enough sleep, or has an important social function to attend after work, a quick energy boost can be provided with coffee. There is only one solution on the market, and as such it costs a lot of cash. Minimum Price: 1,100 Simoleons.
Skill Boosters by Item
There are a variety of items that you will want to include in your house's furniture if you want to easily rank up your Sim's skills. They are listed below, along with the cheapest version of each. For Televisions, these have different channels based on price, so no minimum price is listed.
Mirror: A mirror will improve your Sim's Charisma skill. Minimum Price: 50 Simoleons
Television: TVs can improve Athletic, Cooking, Gardening and Fishing Skills (the HiFi Plasmondo TV boasts all these)
Radio: Radios can boost the Athletic skill. Minimum Price: 150 Simoleons
Cookers and Stoves: These boost your Cooking skill. Minimum Price: 400 Simoleons
Items such as cookers can improve your Sim's Skills while they live out their life..
Microwaves and Blenders: These boost your Cooking skill. Minimum Price: 240 Simoleons
Exercise Machines: These boost your Athletic skill. Minimum Price: 900 Simoleons.
Chess Set: This improves your Logic skill. Price: 450 Simoleons (Outdoor version 350 Simoleons).
Bookshelves: These can boost Logic, Cooking and Handiness skills with no additional purchases. Books for other skills can be bought and placed in a bookcase too. Minimum Price: 175 Simoleons.
Bookshelves come pre-loaded with classics.
Telescope: This improves your Logic skill. Price: 600 Simoleons.
Easel: This improves your Painting skill. Price: 300 Simoleons.
Guitar: This improves your Guitar skill. Price: 600 Simoleons.
Computers: These can improve your Writing and Logic skills if you have the right traits. Minimum Price: 800 Simoleons.
You can do a lot with a computer, including improving your Writing skills, or Logic, if you have the right Trait.
Barbeques: These improve your Cooking skill. Minimum price: 300 Simoleons.
Baseball and Football: These improve your Athletic skill. Minimum price: 65 Simoleons.
Skill Boosters by Skill
Below is a list of the skills in the game that can be raised by purchasing certain items. Of course there are also other ways to improve these skills, but these will be addressed in the Life section of this guide to come.
Athletic Skill: Baseball, Football, Exercise Machines, Radios and Televisions.
Charisma Skill: Mirrors.
Cooking Skill: Barbeques, Bookshelves, Microwaves and Blenders, Cookers and Stoves and Televisions.
Fishing Skill: Televisions.
Gardening Skill: Televisions.
Guitar Skill: Guitars.
Handiness Skill: Bookshelves.
Logic Skill: Computers, Telescopes and Bookshelves.
Painting Skill: Easel.
Writing Skill: Computers.
These items improve the look of a room considerably, often at a minimal price. If your Sims are complaining about the tatty state of your décor, a few of these dotted around will soon set things right. If you total 10 environmental bonus points per room, then you are on the right track to a stunning masterpiece.
Lamps and Wall Lights: Lighting is essential in any house. Of the lamps on offer, some provide 1 and 2 point environmental boosts. The Feisty Fiesta Wall Lantern is the cheapest to offer 1 point, while the Bunker Hill Floor Lights cost 300 Simoleons and offer 2 points. Minimum Price: 145 Simoleons.
Rugs: These are a great way to dress up a room with a minimum of cost. Every rug in the game produces an attractiveness bonus to the area it is in. Some of them look pretty repulsive, so be sure to customise their design and colour. Minimum Price: 30 Simoleons.
Coffee Tables: Only a few coffee tables give room bonuses, but they have little use otherwise so it's worth mentioning here! The cheapest one is the Roman Coffee table, while the Literal Coffee Table provides the best boost, at 2 points. Minimum Price: 185 Simoleons.
Paintings and Pictures: These all provide an instant environmental boost, ranging from 1 to an impressive 10, with price scaling appropriately. The cheapest is Anabolic Champ, which still allows a worthy 2 environmental plus points for the room. Minimum Price: 9 Simoleons.
A display like this can really add to a room's value, both cosmetically and practically.
Bathroom: In the bathroom you can buy toilet roll holders and towel racks – not essential but adding 1 environmental to point to a hard room to keep attractive – at an incredible price. There is also a toilet, The Porcelain Throne, which gives two points, a shower, the Shower of Power, giving 1 point, and a bath, the Tub Nouveau, with a whopping 4 environmental points. Minimum Price: 2 Simoleons.
Mirrors: These provide instant environmental boosts (2-4 points) as well as allowing a Sim to improve their Charisma. Minimum Price: 50 Simoleons.
Kitchen Counters and Cabinets: These give your Sims extra space for food preparation, but all apart from the Country-Fried Counter also provide bonuses to a room's appeal. Minimum Price: 100 Simoleons.
Accessories: Statues, miscellaneous bric-a-brac and candles all help improve a room's environmental appeal. Most, such as the Super-Absorbent Super Towels and the Magazine Restraint System are very cheap but still provide a point or two in environmental bonuses. At the top end, statues and sculptures can reach 10 environmental points. Minimum Price: 4 Simoleons.
Outdoor Ornaments: Check out the Langraab Industries Science Facility Fountain, for 60,000 Simoleons and the F-Class Hunter-Killer (a fighter jet) for 75,000 – both giving maximum bonuses. Not many objects that can be safely put outside give environmental boosts, so these are worth considering. Cheaper alternatives include Sleeping Gnome McMulty and Shocking Pink Flamingo – 2nd Edition. Minimum Price: 5 Simoleons.
Some items are clearly more expensive than others, and these are mainly for people who just want to show off...
Curtains and Blinds: These line the windows and add points to a room's attractiveness (from 2-3). The cheapest is the Cortinas Festivas and if you can live with its general style, you're onto a winning room. Minimum Price: 50 Simoleons.
Expensive Objects and Upgrades
The more expensive objects are, the less likely they are to break, the easier they are to keep clean, and the more beneficial they are when used. If you have a handy Sim they can upgrade items, stopping them from breaking, making them self-cleaning or improving efficiency. This may sound like a minor thing, but if you can prevent potentially deadly fires or electrocuting dishwashers, your Sim is far more likely to make old age.
Create a Style
Just as with Create a Sim, Create a Style is a brilliant tool to edit and customise the game's often dreary default items. Use it by clicking the paint palette, and then the object you want to change. You can edit almost every item in the game, though some like Painting ands Pictures cannot be changed. With Create a Style you can change texture, pattern and every colour involved with the object. It is hard to recommend changing textures too often, as this can lead to some seriously lurid or out of place objects. Check out the video of Create a Style in action on a statue below.
Create a Style is a valuable tool, in the right hands.
Tip: Remember to save your styles using the folder icon in the Create a Style screen 0 you can then replicate it at will.
Creatures and Collectibles
Fish, Beetles, Butterflies, Meteorites, Gems and Metals can all be caught or collected, and then displayed proudly in your home. Depending on the rarity of the items they can add a lot to the attractiveness of a room.
Fish must be kept in Aquariums inside the house.
Beetles will be automatically put in a Terrarium when dragged out of your inventory.
Butterflies will be automatically put in a Terrarium when dragged out of your inventory.
Meteorites can just be placed into a room, but if you get them analysed first they may add more attractiveness to an area (or they may add less! See the collectibles section of this guide for more information).
Gems can be cut to increase their rarity and value, also adding to a room's environment. Raw gems still have their charms however. You can display a gem on a surface, on a pillow or on a pedestal.
Metals should be smelted to make them more attractive.
Your Sims will have certain wishes depending on the quality of their environment. All those related to beautification of a house are listed below.
Buy a Couch: More comfort required!
Buy an Easel: There's something missing from your Sim's home.
Buy an Exercise Machine: Your Sims wants to be able to work out at home.
Buy a Fishbowl: Your Sim wants a new friend in their lives.
Buy a New Car: The ultimate status-symbol.
Buy an Object Worth…: Your Sim wants an object of a certain class.
Buy a Treadmill: There's something missing from your Sim's home.
Buy Something: Your Sim wants some new stuff.
Buy Something to Plant: Your Sim wants to see the life creation process in their own backyard.
Decorate House With Paintings: Your Sim wants some art in their house.
Get a…: Your Sim wants what they are asking for…
Put a Fish in Fishbowl: You need to put a fish in that empty bowl…
Repair Something: Your Sim is fed up with broken household items. Fix them!
Sell Something: Too much clutter and not enough money.Spend …: Your Sim wants to improve their house.
Use an Object: Interact with something, anything!
Use an Object: Your Sim wants to interact with anything!
Decorative Lifetime Wishes
The way your house is furnished and the items within can contribute towards three of the game's Lifetime Wishes.
Living in the Lap of Luxury: All the items in your house must add up to a certain amount to get this Lifetime Wish ticked off.
Presenting the Perfect Private Aquarium: Enough fish collected will not only add to a room's appeal, but will contribute towards this Lifetime Wish. Get a certain amount of perfect wish in your bowl to complete.
The Perfect Garden: This Lifetime Wish can be gained from planting a certain number of unique specimens in your Sim's garden. Each has to be perfect though, or they won't count towards the total.
Your Sims will have certain moodlets (positive or negative additions to their mood) depending on the quality of their environment. All those related to beautification of a house are listed below. Some relate to the quality of items, while others can happen just by being in the same room as a particular object!
Beautifully Decorated: 40 – The pinnacle of beauty in a house.
Beautiful Vista: Variable bonuses – A beautiful house makes for a beautiful vista.
Comfy: Variable bonuses - A great chair makes a great Sim.
Cozy Fire: 15 Mood – A roaring fire makes a room comforting to Sims.
Decorated: 10 Mood – A nicely decorated room gives a Sim a mood boost for as
long as they remain in the area.
Exhilarating Shower: 20 – A good shower can wake up and stimulate your Sims.
Inspired: 15 Mood – An impressive piece of artwork or sculpture will give your Sim a healthy boost for 4 hours.
Nicely Decorated: 20 – A room to posh for the Decorated moodlet will dramatically increase a Sim's enjoyment of a given area.
New Stuff!: 20 Mood – Expensive and most importantly new items will impress your Sims.
Pristine Picture: 15 Mood – A high quality TV will give your Sim more pleasure from watching it.
Superior Equipment: 30 – Excellent tools in the kitchen give satisfaction.
Warmed: 25 – A large fire will comfort your Sims.
Well Rested: Variable bonuses – A good night's sleep on a comfy bed will set a Sim up for a long day well.
Beautiful View: Variable bonuses – If your house is in a great location it will inspire Sims who visit.
Your Sims can get mood bonuses from posh or appealing rooms.
Bad Night's Sleep: -15 - Your Sim's bed is just so uncomfortable!
Bad Reception: -10 – A cheap TV won't impress your Sims.
Buzz Crashed: -10 – Drinking coffee eventually has its own side-effects.
Can't Stand Art: -10 – Certain Sims aren't worth trying to impress with paintings or sculptures.
Cold Shower: -10 – Some showers aren't as good as others.
Dirty Surroundings: -15 – Clean up to remove this moodlet.
Disgusted: -5 – The house is too dirty.
Filthy Surroundings: -30 – Not quite vile, but nearly there.
It's Dark: -10 – Put some lights in the room!
Rude Awakening: -10 – A badly designed house means some objects will wake sleeping Sims.
Tastes Like Fridge: -10 – Your Sim's fridge is so cheap everything tastes the same!
Technophobia: -10 – Some Sims just don't like TVs.
Uneven Cooking: -10 – Cheap cookers and stoves don't cook things all the way through. Yuck.
Unfinished Room: -10 – Make sure the room is painted and carpeted!
Vile Surroundings: -40 – Dirty houses more than unattractive ones will bring out this moodlet.