These traits will determine what kind of career your Sim will excel in, how quickly they'll improve their skills, how successfully they'll interact with other Sims, and in general will affect all aspects of their lives. Most of the Sims in the Story Mode will have pre-generated traits, which you cannot change, but if you wish to generate your own Sims, it's worth having a knowledge of how these traits will impact your playing experience.
Although there are ten traits in the game, each of these is paired off with another to form five axes along which your Sim is scored. For instance, the Neat and Sloppy traits form one axis; an individual Sim can be obsessive-compulsively neat, for instance, or fratboyishly sloppy, or somewhere in between.
Again, you can't change this attribute once it's set; telling a Sloppy Sim to clean his or her house over and over again won't stop them from leaving the dishes on the table when you leave them unattended. The exception to this is that older Sims can encourage younger Sims to "improve" their traits through social interactions.
Depending on the difference in ages between the Sims an elder Sim is generally better at training than a mere adult , the power of the relationship between the two Sims, and the older Sim's own rank in the trait he or she is attempting to train, you can increase a trait by a single point with in two to five interactions. Note that these trait axes are oriented so that each axis has one "negative" trait aligned across from a "positive" trait.
Although the negative traits might have a poor real-world connotation, there are some benefits to be gained from having any of them, while even the positive traits have some disadvantages, and vice versa. Since maid service was fairly cheap and still is, compared to the time it saves your Sims , it was better to let your Sims leave their trash all over the house, since it would be cleaned up every day anyway, and focus them on making new friends and improving their skills. Good old Don is sloppy enough to leave even minor floods for the Maid to attend to.
He can get away with it because he's also sleeping with her. They will still lose a bit of time when they automatically clean up messes both those that they've made and those made by other people in the house , but the inclusion of the Cleaning skill means that they won't be spending this time doing absolutely nothing; each time they clean up a mess, they'll gain a bit of experience in Cleaning, which in turn can help them further their career goals.
They'll also improve their Cleaning skill much faster than will Sloppy Sims. There are also penalties for being Sloppy.
In exchange for gaining more "me time" by never automatically cleaning up messes, Sloppy Sims will bleed Hygiene more quickly than their Neat counterparts, and will have a variety of somewhat disgusting habits, such as taking sponge baths, eating out of the trash, and eating food with the poorest table manners possible, which can lead to negative reactions from other Sims or even illnesses. If you're willing to micromanage your Sim's activities, then going all-out towards the Neat extremity will give you plenty of benefits; if you can manage to prevent them from spending all of their free time cleaning, then these benefits will arrive without much in the way of penalty.
Outgoing Sims are better suited to almost all gameplay situations than Shy Sims are, if only because they're less likely to suffer from negative interactions when they socialize with other Sims, which is one of the bedrocks of the game. This, alone, makes a highly Outgoing Sim better able to function in the game than a Shy one. Since being Outgoing will make it easier for your Sim to quickly make new friends, which every career path will require, and, well You can't understress the importance of socialization in this game, so a high Outgoing score is almost universally desirable.
Highly Outgoing Sims will require more socialization to fill up their Social Need, which will also decay more quickly than it will for Shy Sims, but this is hardly a drawback, considering the amount of socialization you'll likely be doing, regardless of where your Sim lies on this continuum. Sims with high Outgoing scores are less likely to be perturbed when another Sim walks in on them while they're using the bathroom; they also have a good chance to strip naked when they get into the hot tub.
The only real exception to this rule is in the case of Sims with the Knowledge Aspiration. Since this Aspiration generally pops up Wants related to gaining skill points, your Sim will have to spend more time focusing on these skills, leaving him or her less time to spend socializing.
Having a Shy Sim will let you invest the time required to build up these skills, without having to worry too much about your Social Need. Almost every other Aspiration will benefit from a high Outgoing score, particularly the Popularity, Romance, and Family Aspirations.
Active Sims will require more carbs to keep up their high-impact lifestyle, meaning that they'll need to fulfill the already-tricky Hunger need more often than other Sims.
Lazy Sims, on the other hand, dissipate their Energy and Comfort needs rapidly, which can lead them to automatically nap when they feel run-down. Beyond those basic differences, though, it's generally better to have an Active Sim than a Lazy one. There aren't any social consequences to being one or the other, although it can affect what kind of Fun activities your Sim prefers; Lazy Sims like to watch TV, while Active Sims will prefer physical Fun activities.
Active Sims, however, will have an easier time progressing in a number of careers laziness rarely being much of a virtue in the workplace , and will be able to more quickly improve their Body skill.
Lazy Sims, on the other hand, have the aforementioned napping tendency, will sometimes miss work due to sleeping through their alarm you can override this with manual control if you're attentive, though , and will tend towards the lower end of the Fitness scale. In short, the only real drawback to being Active is that you'll require a bit more food than lazy Sims will, but this is relatively inconsequential compared to the numerous benefits that a high score in this trait gives you.
Being Playful allows your Sim to acquire Creativity at a faster rate than Serious Sims, who in turn are better at boosting their powers of Logic.
Their inquisitive nature encourages Playful Sims to seek out Fun in a variety of activities, but this need decays more quickly for them. Serious Sims get a bit of a boost in the Science, Law Enforcement, and Medical career tracks, but Playful Sims will have an edge when it comes to socializing, particularly when they have to deal with multiple Sims at the same time; being Playful allows a Sim to engage almost any similarly happy Sim in a wide variety of Fun activities. Unless you're a green puppet that lives in a trash can, no one finds surliness endearing, and the population of Simsville is no exception; Grouches are fantastic at self-sabotaging their relationships and generally annoying everyone around them to no end.
Grouchy Sims are much more likely to pick fights with other characters than Nice ones are. The benefits of being Nice are self-evident: Nice Sims are more likely to succeed with their social interactions, which in turn lets them more rapidly make friends, which is just obviously a desirable thing in a game like the Sims.
Being a Grouch, on the other hand, will make your Sim less likely to accept positive socializations, and, if you leave them to their own devices, will actually result in all-around jerk-like behavior. A Grouchy Sim that's under the control of the AI will quickly manage to destroy any positive relationships that you've managed to work up; for an example of this, check the Pleasant family in Pleasantview and let the AI run Lilith for a bit.
She has three points above being a complete grouch, but will still tend to initiate arguments and irritate the rest of her family, unless you are constantly override her commands. Having a Grouch in the family won't affect the rest of the family members' relationships with each other, but it will make it difficult to gain and keep the friendships that are required for career advancement.
Being Grouchy or Nice doesn't affect need decay, skill learning, or career advancement aside from the previously mentioned difficulties in making friends , but it's still very difficult to have a Grouchy Sim be a success in life. On the other hand, if you're looking for a challenge, see if you can get a Grouchy Sim to the highest level of a career--it's harder than it will be for almost any other type of Sim.
As a note, many of the more difficult social interactions, such as the various Proposals, are much easier to pull off if you have ten points in Nice. This isn't a requirement--you can still perform any of the interactions if you're willing to work a little harder on your Daily and Lifetime relationship scores--but can make things proceed much more quickly for Romantic or Family-oriented Sims, if you can afford the points. Needs If you played The Sims, then you should be familiar with the Needs system.
These are, as the name implies, the basic needs of your Sim; if you want your Sims to succeed in their personal and professional lives, you're going to need to ensure that their Needs are taken care of. There are eight Needs in total: Your Sims have a different score in each Need; taken together, their overall Need fulfillment will be combined to form their Mood, which is something of an overall barometer of happiness for the Sim.
You will need to constantly monitor these Needs as you progress through your Sim's daily life, as an unhappy Sim will be less likely to successfully socialize and will perform poorly at work or school.
Each Need will constantly degrade over time, no matter what actions your Sim performs, although some activities will hasten the decay of specific motives. Using the bathroom or exercising, for instance, will have more of an impact on your Hygiene Need than will watching television.
The goal isn't to keep each Need constantly maxed out, though; this is actually impossible, and attempting to do so will prevent your Sim from going to work or achieving their Wants. A more feasible goal is to keep every Need above two-thirds or so, which should keep them happy enough to obey your commands and be successful in most of their interactions with other Sims.
Needs that are extremely low have a disproportionately large affect on your Mood, so it's usually best to concentrate on the lowest Needs first. Now, if your Sims are left to their own devices, they'll automatically attempt to work on their most pressing Need, rather than choose one at random. This will let you let the AI control your Sims a bit more efficiently than they did in the first game; you'll still want to guide them as often as possible, of course, but you'll be able to let them go a bit longer without direct control if you want to concentrate on another Sim.
Bladder Bladder is the simplest Need to take care of: This refills completely when you manage to make it to a toilet, and doesn't take long to completely max out, no matter what kind of toilet you use, so feel free to let your Bladder Need drop fairly low before you bother to deal with it.
Just don't forget about it, or prevent your Sim from reaching a bathroom in time, as a completely depleted Bladder will result in a messy situation, and one seriously unhygienic and unhappy Sim. In addition to degrading naturally over time, Bladder will also be degraded when your Sim eats.
Relieving the Bladder will cause your Hygiene score to decrease, so you might want to save your bath or shower until after you hit the toilet. Some of the nicer toilets will also give your Sim an appreciable Comfort boost while they relieve themselves; Comfort can be difficult to come across outside of sleeping, so these extravagant commodes are definitely worth your money. For this reason, it's always best to enclose your toilet in a small space, with a sink being the only other required item.
If you intend to throw parties, two bathrooms are essentially a requisite; these should ideally be placed near the main socialization area.
Note that your Sloppy Sims will gain a small amount of Bladder replenishment when they take a shower. Just don't tell their housemates. Comfort You'll rarely have to explicitly instruct your Sim to worry about his or her Comfort Need; in most cases it will be taken care of as your Sim goes about his or her daily routine, thanks to the many items which satisfy Comfort while also taking care of other Needs. If a chair offers your Sim a Comfort bonus, for instance, and you sit in it while eating a meal, you'll gain the Comfort boost while also obtaining the Hunger bonus for the meal.
In this manner, you can easily boost Comfort while sitting on a nice toilet, watching TV from a sofa, or sleeping. Sleeping will generally be the best way to get large Comfort boosts, as beds offer good Comfort scores, and you'll be in them for quite a while while you sleep anyway. Hunger Hunger, obviously enough, is replenished by instructing your Sim to sit down and eat.
It sounds simple, but Hunger will often be the most aggravating Need to fulfill, if only because it takes a rather long time for your Sim to prepare and eat a full meal on the order of an hour or so , which generally won't even fill their Hunger bar all the way up.
Luckily, the Hunger motive decays less quickly than do other motives, so one full meal a day should be all you need to keep your Sim up and running. There are a lot more food options in Sims 2 when compared to the first Sims, but the same basic choices are still around: Alternatively, you can instruct one of your Sims to Serve a meal; they'll make a number of servings of whatever recipe you choose, which your other Sims can grab and eat without any prep time whatsoever.
The individual servings here are a bit less filling than full, self-prepared meals, but the time savings are generally worth the effort. Serving is especially useful when you have large households and can rangle everyone into the kitchen at the same time, as everyone will be able to socialize at the table while they eat. If one of your Sims has a high Cooking skill, they'll be able to provide everyone with a nutritious meal, letting each other member of the household move on to more pressing Needs and Wants.
Sims that attempt to cook a meal when they have a low Cooking skill score may start a fire in the kitchen; the resulting trip from a Fireman will drain you of a bit of cash. It's safer to learn Cooking from a nice television or from a bookshelf; when you reach rank one or two, you can try again with less fear of failure. Microwaves are also unblowupable, so they can be used in place of a stove if you're afraid of fires. Or if a Fire is one of your Sim's Fears; in this case it's best to stick on the safe side and avoid stoves if your Sim is a poor cook.
Needless to say, a low Hunger Need is a bad thing for any Sim to have; if it drops all the way to the bottom of the meter, your Sim will starve to death. Luckily, there's an incredible amount of leeway in terms of getting some food for your Sim before this unfortunate eventuality occurs; your Hunger meter will usually drop almost to the bottom, then stay there for as many as 12 hours or so, giving you plenty of time to prepare a meal or ten before time's winged chariot swoops down to pluck you from this mortal coil, etc.
In short, it's difficult to die of starvation unless you're actively trying to kill off one of your Sims. For more info on efficient food preparation, check out the Kitchen section of the Building Tips chapter of this guide. Fun Although your Sim needs the basic necessities of life, like sleep and food, he or she also desires the intangibles, such as Fun. This is usually combinable with Social, in that many of the objects that work to increase your Fun score can be used by more than one Sim at a time, allowing you to gain Social, Fun, and perhaps relationship points all in one fell swoop.
The classic Fun item is the television. If you place a television in front of a couch, two or three Sims will be able to watch at the same time; they'll converse about the program they're watching, while gaining Fun, Social, and Comfort from their sitting arrangements.
The safest channel choice is usually SBN, which teens, adults, and elders all tolerate. Kids won't like it, but there should be fewer of them than any other age group.
The more expensive the television, the more Fun that you'll be gaining. Another good option are the game systems.