The Sims 3 Guide
The Create a Sim mode allows you to handcraft someone who looks just like you – a digital representation of yourself. Of course, you can also sculpt a repulsive hobo, or the most beautiful icon. This part of The Sims 3 is not just about looks however, as an extensive set of personality traits can be picked from to give your Sim a unique behaviour that no other in Sunset Valley shares. After briefly examining the tools on offer to craft your Sim's looks, we'll move onto getting their personality just right.
First of all you need to pick a model to start off from. Either choose one of the pre-made Sims using the icon at the bottom near the navigation tools as shown below, or try your luck with the Randomise tool until you find something suitable. These allow you to find someone who looks relatively like what you want your end product to be, and you can then edit the finer details to make it a reality. Of course, you could just pick one and skip all this stuff, or just Randomize everything and enjoy/live with the result.
Use the pre-made Sim tool to pick a model as your starting point.
Basics: The idea is to pick a Sim to begin with who looks roughly like your target. If you prefer to just go with the default however, you will need to change the basics like Gender, Skin Tone, Age, Weight/Height (on a slider bar) and Name. Use the Gender icon to access the menu for these basics. At this stage your model will probably still not look ideal, but there is plenty of time for that later.
Hair: Access the Hair panel (indicated by a hairbrush) to pick a hairstyle for your Sim. While the selection is not exactly endless (unlike the colours!) you can usually find something to match your idea. The hair is crucial, as it is probably the most noticeable and distinctive feature of most people (and Sims). Facial hair similarly characterises the model very strongly, more than eye colour or nose shape. Choose a hair colour (more choices are available by clicking on the brush icon, including multi-coloured patterns!) and any hats etc. before moving on. Eyebrows and lashes round out the panel if you think your Sim needs a change in that department. The latter are ideal for female characters, while the former allows male Sims to replicate that evil genius look.
Use the Hair menu to completely change styles. The colour options are literally endless.
Looks: With the hair in place sorting out the finer details becomes easier as your Sim starts to look more and more like your target person (in theory). Use the Looks panel, indicated by a head shape, to adjust all of the minute facets of your Sim's face. Pick a template from the list, and then access the Advanced options, indicated by the magnifying glass. Use the sliders to alter each template more precisely for areas such as cheeks or lips to suit your needs.
Clothing: The final category is Clothing, indicated by some trousers and a top icon. You can ignore this tab if you like, but it adds a lot of additional personality to your Sim. Clothing is split into five categories: Everyday, Formal, Sleepwear, Athletic and Swimwear. Everyday is the main one; it is what your Sim will wear each regular day. There are also occupational outfits, which you will not be able to tailor to your own desires – your Sims automatically change into these before work. Use the Create a Style tool (shown by a paintbrush image) to alter colours, textures and astonishingly fine details to get the look you want. After picking your outfits and their colours (you can also download custom content from the Internet, or design your own on your computer), continue onto the crucial Personality section.
Pick your Sim's clothes, tasteful or otherwise.
Traits: Traits are what make up a Sim's personality in The Sims 3. You can pick five out of a whopping 63 if you are building an adult, whereas children pick them up based on how well they have been raised. Some are easier to interpret than others. For example, Athletic creates a Sim naturally interested in a career in athletics, as you may expect, but it also gives them desires to work out, improve their fitness and go to the gym.
Choose some Traits for your Sim.
Many Traits give your Sim special interactions with certain places or objects. Something like Computer Whiz gives your Sim special abilities when interacting with a PC, for example. Other Traits are harder to work out. Something like the Insane Trait just needs to be experimented with to see how your particular Sim and their combination of other Traits reacts to losing their mind! Rest assured however that it is almost guaranteed to be fun. Every trait in the game is listed below, and a brief explanation of each is given:
Absent-Minded – Your Sim finds it hard to concentrate on simple tasks.
Ambitious – Your Sim has desires to succeed, be great, rich and popular.
Angler – You Sim has a natural flair for fishing.
Artisitic – Your Sim has a natural flair for art.
A trip to the art gallery will please Artistic Sims in particular.
Athletic – You Sim has a natural flair at sports.
Bookworm – Your Sim loves reading.
Brave – Nothing can scare your Sim. Try out the Catacombs underneath the Graveyard.
Can't Stand Art – Eurgh! Your Sim detests art. Don't visit the gallery…
Charismatic – Your Sim loves to speak. A career in politics may not be a bad idea.
Childish – Your Sim has never grown up and still acts like a child.
Clumsy – Simple tasks can become a chore for a clumsy Sim.
Commitment Issues – Relationships are tough for a Sim with Commitment Issues, but also more spontaneous!
Computer Whiz – Your Sim is a master of computer technology.
Couch Potato – Your Sim is lazy and would rather sit at home than go out on the town.
Coward – The opposite of Brave, your Sim is scared easily. Don't visit the Graveyard!
Daredevil – Your Sim loves taking risks.
Dislikes Children – Your Sim doesn't like children.
Easily Impressed – Your Sim enjoys tasks and events that others may find boring.
Evil – Your Sim has a passion for all things bad, and enjoys making others unhappy.
Excitable – Like the Easily Impressed Trait, your Sim finds simple and even mundane tasks exhilarating.
Family Orientated – The opposite of dislikes children, your Sim would adore the chance to have a family.
Flirty – Your Sim can effortlessly woo the opposite sex with one-liners and a raised eyebrow.
Friendly – Your Sim enjoys the company of others and finds it easy to be nice and make friends from acquaintances.
Frugal – Your Sim is good with money and never spends unnecessarily or wastes items.
Genius – Naturally gifted with supreme intelligence, your Sim is incredibly clever.
Good – Your Sim is good-hearted, the opposite of evil.
Good Sense of Humour – Laughing at every joke cracked in the room, your Sim loves to laugh.
Great Kisser – The kiss seals the deal with your Sim.
Green Thumb – A natural flair in the garden belongs to your Sim.
Grumpy – Your Sim is easily angered and is the opposite of Friendly.
Handy – Your Sim has a gift for fixing and tinkering with household objects. People from across Sunset Valley will ask you for help.
Hates the Outdoors – Your Sim can't stand parks, ponds or even just being outside.
Heavy Sleeper – The grim reaper himself would struggle to get your Sim out of bed. Fires and burglars are more regular threats however.
Hopeless Romantic – Convince the opposite sex of your Sim's attractiveness through carefully selected actions and words, always providing a positive outcome. Unless the other person hates romance of course!
Hot-Headed – Like the Grumpy Trait, but with more shouting.
Hydrophobic – Your Sim is scared of water, or more accurately, dislikes it strongly.
Hydrophobic Sims won't enjoy a swim, so don't be cruel like this.
Inappropriate – Turning up at a business meeting in a bikini may be on the cards for your Sim.
Insane – Your Sim is unpredictable and prone to swings in character, mood and personality.
Kleptomaniac – Your Sim loves to collect the knicks and knacks from around Sunset Valley and horde them.
Light Sleeper – Your Sim will be easily woken during the night, making a good sleep difficult to come by. The opposite of Heavy-Sleeper.
Loner – Your Sim likes to be alone and doesn't need friends.
Loser – Your Sim has a natural talent for…losing.
Loves the Outdoors – The opposite to Hates the Outdoors, your Sim enjoys all external activity, as well as just being at one with nature.
Lucky – Your Sim has good fortune regularly thrust in their face.
Mean-Spirited – Your Sim enjoys ruining the mood of others and fails to see the silver lining to many-a-cloud.
Mooch – Your Sim has a talent for getting money and favours out of other people.
Natural Cook – Your Sim is gifted in the kitchen, and may wish to pursue a career in catering.
Neat – Your Sim hates mess and will keep their house spotless, or lose their mind trying.
Neurotic – Naturally nervous, your Sim struggles to hold it together when the excrement hits the fan.
Never-Nude – Your Sim refuses to go naked, wearing clothes in the shower.
No Sense of Humour – Your Sim finds literally nothing funny. The opposite of Good Sense of Humour.
Over-Emotional – Your Sim will break down at every birthday party, crying into their cake. They enjoy making mountains out of molehills.
Party Animal – Your Sim loves a night on the town, or a house party, or a beach party, or any sort of party.
Perfectionist – Absolute success is the only goal for your Sim. Failure is not an option.
Schmoozer – Your Sim loves to suck up to others and make friends with compliments.
Slob – The opposite of the Neat Trait, your Sim is happy living in squalor.
Snob – Your Sim is vain and loves the sound of their own voice, with desires to be the best Sim in town.
Certain Traits give new conversation options – not all of them positive.
Technophobe – Your Sim hates electronics and will avoid activity involving them if possible.
Unflirty – The opposite of the Flirty Trait, this makes your Sim stumble through the early parts of relationships and react badly to others making advances on them.
Unlucky – The opposite of the Lucky Trait, your Sim will appear cursed.
Vegetarian – Your Sim gets ill if they eat meat.
Virtuoso – Your Sim loves to sing and play instruments.
Workaholic – Your Sim enjoys working hard.
Special Abilities: Here are some of the best or most interesting points to come with a selection of the above Traits:
Absent-Minded Sims sometimes need reminding of their tasks.
Angler Sims begin the game with a skill book on fishing.
Athletic Sims work out to the maximum quicker.
Athletic Sims excel at exercise, as well as enjoying it.
Brave Sims will put out fires and apprehend burglars. They can also demand a raise at work.
Charismatic Sims begin the game with a skill book on charisma.
Childish Sims can fish in swimming pools and play with children's toys for a mood bonus.
You can get a childish Sim to play with children's toys, no matter how old they are!
Computer Whiz Sims can earn a living as a hacker through their PC.
Coward Sims faint or run when confronted by problems.
Daredevil Sims can put out fires with ease and will not burn to death.
Good Sims can donate to charity using the mailbox.
Green Thumb Sims begin the game with a skill book on gardening.
Handy Sims will always fix the object they are repairing, so no more electrocuting dishwashers!
Heavy Sleeper Sims cannot be awakened even by fire or burglar alarms.
Inappropriate Sims can find objects in Sims' rubbish bins.
Insane Sims can fish in swimming pools.
Kleptomaniac Sims accidentally steal from others and bring the items back home.
Light Sleeper Sims wake up when a burglar invades.
Lucky Sims are less likely to be burgled or have their house catch fire.
Mooch Sims can eat on other Sim's property (steal their food), as well as gaining money through conversations.
Neat Sims can clean the entire house at the click of a button.
Vegetarians live longer than other Sims.
Workaholic Sims can work from home on their computer.
Pyromaniac Sims can set objects on fire at will. This is a secret trait that is hard to come by. Children of fire-fighters can inherit the love of flames.
While some Traits are more interesting than others, or have more obvious benefits, that doesn't mean others should be ignored. Rather any Trait can add an element of unpredictability to tasks such as socialising and work. It's great when you discover a new facet to the game based on taking a risk with one of your Sim's Traits, so experiment!
Wishes: Based on your Sim's Traits and their environment, social life and upbringing, they will have certain small requests that you as the player can fulfil for Lifetime Happiness points. These can be redeemed for special perks that will be outlined later in this guide. You may get minor Wishes, such as to clean up some dirty dishes, or more influential requests, like to improve your Sim's fitness or find them a date. While many of these are also influenced by everyday life, your Sim's general personality as defined by their Traits has a commanding effect.
Some Wishes are predetermined by your Sim's Traits.
Lifetime Wishes: Compared to regular Wishes, Lifetime Wishes are massive. These are picked after you create your Sim and choose their Traits. Pick carefully, as some will be far more attainable for your Sim's lifestyle than others. Most involve getting to a certain position in a particular career, while a few ask you to max out various skills to get the lucrative rewards.
Choose a Lifetime Wish for your Sim.
Depending on the difficulty of the wish, they will contribute a set amount towards Lifetime Rewards. They create many more points than Wishes regardless. Bear in mind that it is far easier to get your Lifetime Wish if you start as a younger Sim, as opposed to picking up someone already middle-aged. You can see all the Liftetime Wishes below, along with brief instructions on how to get them:
Become an Astronaut (Level 10 Career in the Military, and Astronaut branch)
Become a Creature-Robot Cross Breeder (Level 9 Career in Science)
Become a Grand Master in Chess (Max out the Logic skill and Chess ability)
Become a Master Thief (Level 10 Career as a Thief)
Become a Superstar Athlete (Level 9 Career as an athlete)
Celebrated Five Star-Chef (Level 10 Career as a Cook)
CEO of a Mega-Corporation (Reach CEO position in Business Career)
Forensic Specialist: Dynamic DNA Profiler (Level 10 Career in Law Enforcement, and Forensic branch)
Gold Digger (Marry a wealthy partner and visit their ghost when they die)
Golden Tongue, Golden Fingers (Max out either the guitar or charisma skills)
Heartbreaker (Have a specified number of different girlfriends or boyfriends)
Hit Movie Composer (Level 10 Career as a Musician, and in Symphonic branch)
Illustrious Author (Max out the painting and writing skills)
International Super Spy (Level 10 Career in Law Enforcement)
Jack of All Trades (Level 5 in four separate careers)
Leader of the Free World (Level 10 Career as Politician)
Living in the Lap of Luxury (Generate a specified amount of household net worth)
Master of the Arts (Max out the Guitar and Artistic skills)
Perfect Mind, Perfect Body (Max out the Athletic and Logic skills)
Presenting the Perfect Private Aquarium (Collect a specified number of fish and put them in your aquarium)
The game has its own in depth explanation for each wish.
Renaissance Sim (Level 10 in three skills)
Rock Star (Level 10 Career as Musician, and the Rock branch)
Star News Anchor (Level 10 Career as a journalist)
Super Popular (Make a specified number of friends)Swimming in Cash (Save a specified amount of cash)
Surrounded by Family (Have a specified number of babies and raise them successfully)
The Emperor of Evil (Level 10 Career as Evil Criminal)
The Culinary Librarian (Learn every recipe in the game)
The Perfect Garden (Plant a specified number of plant varieties)
The Tinkerer (Max out the Logic and Handiness skills)
World Renowned Surgeon (Level 10 Career in Medicine)
More information on Lifetime Rewards will be offered in the Life section of this guide.
Having created your Sim, you also need to pick their various 'Likes'. These are pretty much their favourite food, music and colours. It's not exactly in depth, but the choices add another nice spark of personality, ensuring no two Sims are ever likely to be the same. You can also select your own favourite music, if you have enabled custom soundtracks as described in the Cheats and Tips section of this guide. If you regret your choice of Traits you can change these using accumulated Lifetime Happiness points later in the game.
Note: The game also features 'preset' families, which are already created and you can just takeover. Each has a different scenario and difficulty settings based on their personalities and current situation when you take them over.