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How to Win at "The Sims 1": Skilling Your Way to the Top!

Full-time psychology student and part-time Sims addict. Fell in love with "The Sims" in 2002 and never really stopped loving it.

This is the first instalment of a series I'm making based on winning at The Sims games. I will write articles for the later games in due time, so make sure to check back for your favourite Sims game!

How Do You Win at "The Sims" Anyway?

In real terms, you don't: The Sims never ends. However, that doesn't mean you can't set yourself goals in your own game. The Sims is what you make it.

In terms of this article though, I will be talking about making your Sims successful. Loads of money, happy family, white picket fence, the works. Because as fun as it is to kill your Sims, I personally find the most satisfaction in making my Sims live happy and successful lives.

This article series will take you through my favourite tips and tricks in each iteration to give your Sims the dream life that they deserve!

What Is the First Sims Game All About?

How many games of "The Sims" have ended up.

How many games of "The Sims" have ended up.

The Sims 1 is an all-time classic. Although it seems pretty basic compared to later games in terms of what your Sims can actually do, do not be fooled! There are many unique activities, from dance cages to skydiving to rollercoasters, and the magic system that came with the final expansion pack Makin' Magic is my personal favourite out of all the Sims iterations.

Now classed as abandonware, it is freely available to download online, albeit with some snags. I won't lie - it can be a bit of a faff to get this game running on Windows 10. But I have written a guide here to help you out with that if the early-2000s nostalgia bug has hit you as it has done to myself.

With that out of the way, here are some tricks I used throughout my childhood to win at The Sims 1. Be warned though - if you don't like skilling, turn away now!

Skills Are Your Friends!

Skills are a mainstay of The Sims games, although they have changed dramatically since the first instalment. The Sims 1 has only 6 skills: cooking, mechanical, charisma, body, logic, and creativity. This section will discuss each skill and how to use them to your advantage.


Cooking is not the biggest earner. It is still, however, an essential skill. Low skill can literally cause fiery deaths as well as produce unsatisfying meals. That is why I consider cooking the most important skill in this game!

As for earnings, cooking's main use is for work such as the Culinary career track. There are some other ways to earn some side money while gaining this skill too however:

  1. The canning station from the Livin' Large EP gives you the chance to gain cooking skill whilst making jars of jam. However, it's not a good earner and the object itself is somewhat expensive to buy.
  2. The butter churn from Makin' Magic is a lot cheaper to buy and has a lot more uses. Butter created through this object can be either sold, used as a baking ingredient, or used in magic spells!
  3. The beehive from the same EP gives Sims both beeswax and honey for their skilling efforts. Otherwise it is similar to the butter churn, albeit with a higher price tag.
A Sim cooking a meal without setting the kitchen on fire.

A Sim cooking a meal without setting the kitchen on fire.


Mechanical is a useful skill, both for earning and for saving money. With high mechanical skill your Sims can fix objects with ease without risk of deadly electrocution, saving you §50/h in repairman costs!

One of the highest earners in the game is the gnome sculpting table. With this, Sims can skill up mechanical while making decent bank. Earnings are determined by skill level, so you won't make much early on. However, you can easily make §1,000 per day with a high skill Sim. The gargoyle sculpting table from Makin' Magic is functionally the same thing, except with a more gothic aesthetic.


I'll be honest here - charisma isn't a big earner through objects. However, it is important for many careers paths, as well as essential for the highly lucrative fame career in the Superstar EP. Leave skilling this one up until last if you don't need to for career advancements.


Like charisma, body isn't an earner unless your career depends on it. However, it can have some interesting gameplay effects. For example, your Sims will be better at games and sports (such as snowboarding). They will also win fights more often.

My Work Sim trying to put her charisma and body skills to actual use.

My Work Sim trying to put her charisma and body skills to actual use.


Logic isn't a good earner in the traditional sense. Like charisma and body, its original purpose was mainly to aid career promotions. However, it is much more useful for magically-inclined Sims.

If you want to earn Magicoins, logic is the skill for you! With high logic, your magical Sims can earn stacks of Magicoins through using the stage object in the Creepy Hollow areas of Magic Town. High logic skill also improves your magic Sims' spellcasting abilities.

A bunch of Sims, uh... "Makin' Magic"

A bunch of Sims, uh... "Makin' Magic"


Creativity is the classic skill for work-at-home Sims! Painting is a lucrative hobby, so much so that I've made many of my Sims become "self-employed" artists. Level 10 painters can sell each painting they create for well over §500, making this a reasonable full-time job.

As well as earning money, high creativity skill also produces better music when playing instruments. This will help build relationships with Sims who listen to them play, as well as sound pretty cool as you play the game.


1. Creativity and Mechanical are the big earners!

2. Cooking is essential for happy Sims.

3. Magic Sims must level up their Logic skill.

4. Charisma and Body aren't important outside of careers.

Bob Newbie making fat stacks with his paintbrush.

Bob Newbie making fat stacks with his paintbrush.

Sims Are Your Friends Too!

A feature of the earlier Sims games was that Sims needed friends to advance in their careers. In The Sims 1, this was often a hard task as most careers need 10-13 friends to reach the top level. However, this game counts any friends your household members have as meeting the requirement, easing the load somewhat.

A tactic I often use is to have a dedicated friend-making Sim. Usually this is a "self-employed" Sim or a child, as they have more free time. Children are especially useful as they can play tag with multiple Sims for hours without much input.

My Chore Sim greeting her new neighbours, the Burbs.

My Chore Sim greeting her new neighbours, the Burbs.

Routine Is Key!

Just like real life, a routine is important.

I like to have at least 2 Sims in my household: one to have a job (Work Sim), and one to do chores and make friends (Chore Sim). Often, the Chore Sim will also make money through skill objects in their spare time.

I like to wake my Chore Sim up around 3 hours before my Work Sim's carpool arrives. With high cooking skill, they will make a hearty breakfast for the Work Sim. Work Sim should awaken 3-4 hours before the carpool so that they have chance to wash, eat, socialise and have fun before work. High mood is essential for promotions!

Key Points to Take Away

1. Skills are essential!

2. A good friend-making system is also important.

3. Working Sims need a solid routine.

I hope this article has helped you to improve your game! Please read through my other Sims guides as they are published if you want to know more about this amazing franchise.

Above all else, don't forget to have fun!


Miquon on April 27, 2020:

Great article!