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The Sims FreePlay Guide

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The Party Boat

The introduction of the Party Boat was a major shift in emphasis for the development of The Sims FreePlay for reasons that may not be all that obvious at first glance.

Considering how important an element that the boat has become in the game, and particularly with respect to the social-networking side, it is a very good idea to take a closer look at it here to ensure that you not only have all of the information you need to use it effectively, but also the details that allow you to appreciate both what it is and what it can do for you and your Sims!

The Riverboat is your Passport to your Neighbor's Towns and Social Points.
The Party Boat Natchez
First we have decided in a largely arbitrary way (and on our own) that the "Party Boat" in The Sims FreePlay is actually named the S.S. Natchez IX, so there!

Situated on the Town Map directly to the west (left) of the Car Dealership and Grocery Store at a semi-permanent "slip" in the form of a wood and concrete dock network whose goal is to provide very convenient access for your Sims.

The Party Boat is tied up with its bow facing north (towards the drawbridge) and its stern with its distinctive red paddle wheel facing south (towards the branch in the river down both paths of which are fixed bridges that cannot open.

Now that we have given the boat a formal name (S.S. Natchez IX), we can begin to extrapolate its details and comforts - starting with its deck layout and amenities configuration, which suggest that it is based upon one of the most popular and successful "modern" stern-wheel configuration paddle boat / paddle steamer designs - specifically that of the original riverboat the S.S. Natchez -- BCA 1823 at New York City's Consolidated Shipworks Yard (formerly the Market Street Shipworks of Samuel Akerly).

Designed and built as a two-and-a-half-deck steam-powered stern-wheel riverboat, the Natchez was engineered for merchant, passenger, and freight services between the port cities of New Orleans and Natchez, Mississippi.

Her design is thought to have been loosely based upon the first two-deck side-wheel steamer that was purpose-built for the Mississippi River, the S.S. Washington (BCA 1816 at George White's Shipyard in Wheeling, West Virginia).

Engineer and steam enthusiast Daniel French constructed the engine and drive train at his Monongahela and Ohio Steam Boat Company in Brownsville, Pennsylvania.

The emphasis in her design and configuration was firmly placed upon an efficient transfer of motive energy via the unique high-pressure, horizontally mounted engine, which turned a single stern paddle-wheel.

Among its notable features are its very low draft (Natchez was designed to be navigable in less than four feet of water), a formal activities space on its top (or "half") deck that, when not in use for storage of lighter cargoes like cotton or broken bulk bagged and boxed freight, was used as a combination bandstand and dance floor.

Ordinarily the upper deck was reserved for passengers while the main deck was used for the boiler, increasing the space below the main deck for carrying cargo.

The modern design of the Party Boat in the game includes a small number of staterooms (passenger accommodations for overnight travel that largely resemble very small hotel rooms), a dining room with attached kitchen, as well as a bar, smoking room, and deck-side seating.

With a draft of 3 feet, the design was particularly effective on both the Mississippi River as well as the smaller and more challenging rivers that allowed for direct city-to-city river traffic between the Gulf of Mexico (via the Port City of New Orleans) and ports in Kentucky, and Pennsylvania.

That was probably more than you ever wanted to know about the construction and the history of stern-wheel paddle-boat steamships, but on the bright side you learned some factoids and perhaps some trivia that will give you a major edge if you are ever a contestant on Jeopardy and the subject is Mississippi River Boats. Hey, it could happen!

S.S. Natchez IX

The Party Boat is both a place where you connect with your friends (initially via Facebook) as an integral part of the new focus upon social networking and social gaming that has come to define the "Freemium" style of games on mobile platforms like iOS and Android.

Accessing the Party Boat requires a net connection, as it is one of the server-based elements in the game, as well as a Facebook account.

Acquiring Neighbors in the game is as simple as logging into your Facebook account, as the social interface that lays on top of the game will then seek out and add all of your mates on Facebook that also play The Sims: FreePlay for you.

If you feel you do not have a sufficient number of mates to have the ideal social-game-and-network experience, you are able to ask your Facebook mates to start playing the game and, when they do they will be added to your Neighbor List.

Benefits of The Party Boat

In addition to serving as the hub by which your FreePlay Neighbors can be found and enumerated - basically they are each "ranked" using the value of their Town as the criteria - it also serves as the gateway to visiting the towns of your mates and as a place to go once each day for some free gifts!

Once your town reaches a minimum of Level 10, you are then able to visit the towns of your Facebook / FreePlay Neighbors. Prior to your town reaching Level 10 the game will add your Neighbors but they exist only as a listing and leaderboard up to that point.

Regardless of the levels of your Town and your Neighbor Towns, the first time that you visit the Party Boat each day will result in the awarding of random prizes, the number of which are based upon how many Neighbors you have.

When you tap upon the Party Boat for the first time each day the game will automatically log into the online game servers at Origin/EA and check the status of your Neighbor's towns in order to determine their place in the list based upon town value, and will offer you the following free "gifts" as a result of tallying up the total number of mates you have:

  • Gift 1: Requires 1 Neighbor + the default Example Town.
  • Gift 2: Requires 2 Neighbors + the default Example Town.
  • Gift 3: Requires 5 Neighbors + the default Example Town.
  • Gift 4: Requires 8 Neighbors + the default Example Town.
  • Gift 5: Requires 16 Neighbors + the default Example Town.

When you tap the medallion that represents each of these Gifts you will receive a random number of either Simoleons (the in-game money), Life Points (the first special type of in-game coin), or Social Points (the second unique type of in-game coin).

That being the case it is obviously a great idea to be sure that you pay the Party Boat a visit at least once each day even if you have no plans to visit a Neighbor's Town.

As long as you have connected your device to Facebook, any Facebook friends you have who already play FreePlay are automatically added as Neighbors; if that is not sufficient to unlock full access, you can invite your friends to play the game with you in order to increase your count.

After you collect your daily reward you are shown the Neighbor Town list, which is also the Leaderboard. Basically, the towns of your Neighbors are ranked by their town value, with the more valuable being higher up on the list.

In addition to revealing which of your neighbors have the more advanced towns (which usually means played longer) the rankings will also clue you in on which will likely have the more advanced structures, which can be important if you are looking for Community Lots you do not possess in order to work on their hobbies.

Visiting Your Neighbor's Towns
When your Town reaches Level 10 the simple list of Neighbor Towns in the Party Boat Menu will change to include a "Visit" button that allows you to have one of your Sims visit one of the Towns on your list.

You can only have one Sim visit one Town at a time, but the good news is that while there your Sim can do a lot of the things that you would do in your own Town, including building relationships with the Sims that live there (a quick and easy way to pick up extra XP).

Your Sim can use Community Buildings (including the special buildings that are associated with Hobbies - so if your Neighbor has built one of these you can use it to work on that Hobby for your Sim if you have not built that structure in your Town yet!).

Your Sim can visit the homes of the Sims who live in the Town, and can create social relationships with them.

Stat Deterioration

Bearing in mind that a Sim visiting a Neighbor Town is still subject to the same basic stat reduction penalty (the need to eat, sleep, communicate, etc.) that they would face if they were still in their home town.

It is a good idea therefore to always have them doing something when they are visiting a Neighbor. The reason you should keep them occupied is, in addition to earning XP or even money, that while your Sim is engaged in any activity their stats do not degrade.

To better understand the whole issue with degrading stats please read the "Sim Stats 411" page of this guide.

Notes, Tips, and Hints

The following factoids may be of use and interest to you:

NBR Counts: When it was originally introduced in the game the Party Boat and the related Social Game elements were based upon the number of NBR you had (NBR means Neighbor Count). Even if your friends (NBR's) did not actually play the game, as long as they have downloaded a copy onto their compatible device they would count as an NBR for the purposes of adding them to your extended Sim World.

Claiming and using NBR/SP Items: Originally the mechanism for obtaining and using NBR/SP items in the game was based upon the number of NBR you had. If the item - say a new and fancy three-star couch - required 3 NBR, as long as you had at least three or more Neighbors you could obtain the item from the in-game store FREE of charge.

NBR to SP Update: After the initial trial period in which the NBR system was being evaluated, the negative opinions of gamers who felt that basing access to the new special social items on the number of real-world friends (NBR's) a player had was felt to be unduly harsh in that it basically required players to pester their real-world friends to download and play the game. The re-evaluation of that system resulted in the developers converting the NBR System to a Social Points credit-based system similar in structure to the Life Points System. This proved to be a very popular decision with players.

Obtaining SP: With the transition away from NBR and towards Social Points (SP) the developers ended up expanding the system that is used to acquire SP (not counting the direct purchase of SP using real-world money), embracing the Goals Subsystem by adding and massively expanding the second type of "Sim Goal" so that the Neighbor Towns ended up with their own popular Goal System.

SP System Expansion: In addition to announced plans to add new buildings and activities that are based upon the Social Points / Social Network and Gaming subsystem, the Wizards behind TSFP opted to, in addition to adding direct action buildings such as the Nightclub, also added an interactive and level-based structure called the Competition Center (see the Competition Center Page in this guide for details).

More to come...



49 comments, latest first.
How come whenever i go to the party boat they send me right back home and all there activities down low are they all sick or what i just dont knoe

Guest PosterGuest
Added 28th Feb 2015, ID #522368

How can I delete neighbors on party boat?

Guest PosterGuest
Added 21st Feb 2015, ID #519279

Why is my other town so basic? How can I add non Facebook friends?

Guest PosterGuest
Added 20th Feb 2015, ID #518820

I have no neighbors I have Facebook and fb friends that play sims and there not being added to the party boat

Guest PosterGuest
Added 4th Feb 2015, ID #511718

Does your neighbor know if you are In there town? I need neighbors! I am on GC as *Abbidee*


Guest PosterGuest
Added 2nd Feb 2015, ID #510931

If I visited one of my "friends"' towns on Facebook, will they know that I visited them?

Guest PosterGuest
Added 27th Jan 2015, ID #507986

I need to know how to get swims to come to my house! I'm on the goal where you need to have three ppl in your house and I can't figure out how to invite swims over

Guest PosterGuest
Added 15th Jan 2015, ID #501764

How do I invite sims over from another town??????????? I don't know how I need them for the bread winners contest!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Guest PosterGuest
Added 3rd Jan 2015, ID #495205

Does Any One Know How I Can Create A Name For My Town ? Just Wondering How To . 😭 Thanks 😜 .😗

Guest PosterGuest
Added 2nd Jan 2015, ID #494976

What's happened to the friend shop? When you clicked on the shop in-game (to buy furniture, flooring, etc.) there was an option to get free items based on how many friends you had, more friends=more free items. What happened to that? It's not there. Was it removed?

Guest PosterGuest
Added 1st Jan 2015, ID #494008

I can't do my social quest how do you get direct acess to the partyboat

Guest PosterGuest
Added 30th Dec 2014, ID #492613

Will my facebook friends know that I went to their neighborhood? Do they get notified or something?

Guest PosterGuest
Added 27th Dec 2014, ID #490949

How to block someone from visiting your world?

Guest PosterGuest
Added 25th Dec 2014, ID #490072

The party boat won't let me go on and I'm vary frustrated

Guest PosterGuest
Added 23rd Dec 2014, ID #488779

I can't do my social quest. How do you ask your default neighbor to upgrade their town??

Guest PosterGuest
Added 20th Dec 2014, ID #487206

The nbr to sp switch was stupid because you can run out of sp and u have to buy more with real money

Guest PosterGuest
Added 13th Dec 2014, ID #483825

without facebook do u have any other option to add neigbours?

Guest PosterGuest
Added 7th Dec 2014, ID #481842

I don't have a Facebook a count they should really consider people not wanting to get on Facebook and I only have 2 lp HHHEEEEELLLLPPPPPP!!!!!!!!

Guest PosterGuest
Added 27th Nov 2014, ID #477213

So there is no possible way to access the party boat unless facebook is active on your phone, just having a blank account isnt enough? I hate facebook and would like to be able to enjoy all of the aspects of this game.

Guest PosterGuest
Added 21st Nov 2014, ID #474480

Don't have Facebook

Guest PosterGuest
Added 12th Nov 2014, ID #470853

Is there any way for those who do not have a Facebook account to access the party boat and/or save their data to the game data to the cloud? I'm not big on social media so I do not have a Facebook account nor do I want to create one. But, I would like to be able to save my game data in case I need to retrieve it upon the purchase of a new phone. Any thoughts?

Guest PosterGuest
Added 8th Nov 2014, ID #469115

Very simple but not fun enough as it's not really interactive. I want my neighbors to see my Sim when I visit their town. I want their sim to interact with my sims not me doing the interaction all the time.

My sims should be engaged, talked to, perform and activity in my neighbor's town irrespective of who initiate the activity.


Guest PosterGuest
Added 22nd Oct 2014, ID #461515

To use the party boat you need to do THREE things:

1. Set up a Facebook account.
2. LINK your game to the Facebook Account and save your game to the cloud there.
3. Get friends on FB who are playing the game, send them Neighbor requests.

It really is that simple. If you are not able to do it on your device, you need to contact EA with an official help request because they CAN help you!

Added 1st Oct 2014, ID #453775

I cannot get on party boat with Nokia Lumia Phone, it doesn't give me an option too do anything, although I have fb and I can save data with cloud!

Guest PosterGuest
Added 1st Oct 2014, ID #453736

I I can't do it

Guest PosterGuest
Added 12th Aug 2014, ID #435661

OK I will answer all of these in one go:

Kindle Users: Unless you can log into Facebook you cannot use the party boat beyond the default town.

If your neighbors disappear that means your game has de-registered your Facebook account. Re-connect it and then if that does not automatically add the neighbors within 24h re-send the friend requests.

Friends and Neighbors requires the use of Facebook - because the Cloud Save system is via Facebook. If your device does not support Facebook you are SOL. If your device DOES support Facebook BUT you have not added it via your device, you NEED to do so.

Added 6th Aug 2014, ID #431894

OK I downloaded the sims free play mod apk cheat and I have the old sims free play and becuase I have the old version I can't access the party boat it won't log me in but I need to log in so I can switch all my progress to the new version can anyone help

Guest PosterGuest
Added 22nd Jul 2014, ID #423326

I don't have Facebook

Guest PosterGuest
Added 9th Jul 2014, ID #415248

Can you marry someone from a different town?

Guest PosterGuest
Added 26th Jun 2014, ID #407280

I don't have face book and my friend told me but I was confused

Guest PosterGuest
Added 20th Jun 2014, ID #403241

I don't have Facebook. Can I skip the task that tells me to visit a neighbor?

Guest PosterGuest
Added 13th Jun 2014, ID #399101

I to cannot acess my fb account. Doesn't accept my password on my tablet. Help.

Guest PosterGuest
Added 11th May 2014, ID #383484

Why cant i open my party boat? Its been 2 days!!

Guest PosterGuest
Added 11th May 2014, ID #383249

how to add neighbors?
Added 10th May 2014, ID #383061

I have just recently began playing the game on my Android phone. I do not play on Facebook and as far as I know, none of my friends do either. How can I complete the Party Boat goals without playing on Facebook?

Added 20th Apr 2014, ID #377023

I am at level 9 and it allows me to visit however when I do it kicked me right back out and deteriorates the stats of my sim that visited

Guest PosterGuest
Added 23rd Mar 2014, ID #367416

I have a sim stuck in a neighbor's town. When I use the sim tracker to get to her it will go to the game title page then back to the last house I was in. When I try to connect to the party boat it goes to the 'connecting' page and gets stuck. I just downloaded the most recent update yesterday, is there a glitch? I'm considering deleting and reinstalling the game but would rather not. Thanks!

Guest PosterGuest
Added 18th Feb 2014, ID #356382

Please add me as a neighbor @BrandiAguilera

Guest PosterGuest
Added 22nd Jan 2014, ID #346878

Who has Facebook comment your username so we can be neighbors

Guest PosterGuest
Added 22nd Jan 2014, ID #346824

I have a HTC One, and I can't access the sims freeplay party boat. Everything else is fine. But what is wrong? I have a window phone. Help please!!

Guest PosterGuest
Added 21st Jan 2014, ID #346285

It appears I am not the only one that lost all their neighbors. I can still go to one neighbors house, but I used to have a lot to choose from. I can only collect one gift each time too, it was so nice when I had more.
Is this a bug, if so is there plans to fix it? Pretty Please!

Guest PosterGuest
Added 20th Jan 2014, ID #346089

It doesn't recognise my friends half the time? Can they fix the glitch, i have 75 friends but it only lets me collect one per day. This game bites!

Guest PosterGuest
Added 7th Jan 2014, ID #340572

I think they should have an animation where when you use up your 'present' for that day the ship leaves and then comes back when it has another 'present'

Guest PosterGuest
Added 30th Dec 2013, ID #336484

We'll that just sucks if u can't get on party boat bc there is nothin I can do about it loser who has a kindle these days I guess only the geeks!!! Lol losers

Guest PosterGuest
Added 28th Dec 2013, ID #335088

Well it could just be a stupid little glitch that will probably end up working bc that happened the me the music was going really fast and I couldn't get it to stop and a few minutes later I hot back on it and It worked I hoped this answers your question if this doesn't work you can contact them for service thanks.

Guest PosterGuest
Added 28th Dec 2013, ID #335084

I am playing the Sims Freeplay on my iPhone 4s with iOS 7.0.2 and all of my neighbors disappeared except for one. I had 62 neighbors but now I have one. It's extremely frustrating because now I can't get all my gifts like I used to. Please help me figure this out. Also, it seems to be a problem with Facebook because I can connect my Clumsy Ninja game and my Subway Surfers Game but Sims won't connect to my facebook. Please help.

Guest PosterGuest
Added 2nd Dec 2013, ID #324635

Lg dfe v ghhh egec rty v Tt exec g vr vw bye.

Guest PosterGuest
Added 29th Nov 2013, ID #323427

Me neither. Can anyone help?

Guest PosterGuest
Added 12th Oct 2013, ID #314228

I am unable to get on party boat on my kindle?

Guest PosterGuest
Added 2nd Oct 2013, ID #312204

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