Full-time psychology student and part-time Sims addict. Fell in love with "The Sims" in 2002 and never really stopped loving it.
I first played The Sims 2 back in 2004 and fell in love with it immediately. It ran as smoothly as a car with a busted front axle on the old family computer, but I have some fond memories of playing every afternoon when I got home from school.
16 years and nearly 16 gigabytes more RAM later, The Sims 2 is still a mainstay on my gaming computer.
What Will I Count as "Winning" This Time?
Careers are essential for making money in The Sims, especially in the early days of your household when skills are low. However, you don't really get to do much with them except make money, so it's rather boring to talk about. Because of that, I will spend the second instalment of this series also focusing on skill objects.
This article will show you around the creativity and mechanical skills—as well as various talent badge skills from Open for Business and Seasons—to arm you with some game-winning tactics. I will be looking at financial gains from them, but there is much more to skilling than that in this game.
So then, what will be our first answer . . . ?
Painting, Of Course!
If you read me gushing about the joys of painting in my Sims 1 article, you don't need to hear it again.
Painting is still a good little earner in The Sims 2, as long as your Sim has high creativity skill. At lower skill levels, you won't earn enough to pay the bills without a job. However, at level 10 you can earn §500-§600 per painting. Not bad for six hours of work, and your Sim doesn't even need to leave the house!
Creative pursuits are a lot more in-depth in The Sims 2 though, with many other opportunities to craft.
Unlike regular skills, talent badges have only 3 levels: bronze, silver, and gold. It can take a while to get to gold, but it is definitely worth it!
The Magic of Snapdragons
The flower arranging talent badges from Open for Business allow your Sims to become florists! While it isn't super profitable without owning a business, I consider it both quite a bit of fun and a highly important skill for at least one Sim in your household to have.
At gold badge level, you can craft snapdragon bouquets that are exclusive to this skill level. These regularly release a special mist which boosts the motives of nearby Sims, especially comfort. Having these around your house will make life a lot easier, as Sims will be less bothered by the need to pee or sit down.
The above image demonstrates the power of snapdragons. I maxed my Sim's motives and set the time to 12:00 a.m. I then had her write a novel with a snapdragon placed next to her. These were her motives nearly 11 hours later. As you can see, the motive decay for virtually all motives is completely offset by the motive boost from the snapdragon.
Keeping snapdragons close to important skill objects will ensure your Sims can work for a lot longer, so don't forget about flower arranging!
Fish Are Your Friends (and Food)
I consider the fishing badges from Seasons an essential skill for three reasons. First of all, you'll never have to buy groceries again! Secondly, cooking with fresh fish gives your food an insane hunger boost, even with low cooking skill. Finally, you can sell fish for a pretty decent amount, especially the larger and higher-level ones!
Plants Are Also Your Friends
The gardening talent badges are also good to have. Like fish, they can fill your fridge and your wallet quite well. However, look into juicing your crops! Here is a list of possible recipes, all of which offer interesting benefits and side effects.
Getting Your Hands Dirty
One of the most profitable work-from-home ventures in The Sims 2 has to be the junk car from Freetime. Mechanical Sims can fix up these junk cars for immense profit. For a day or two of solid work, this object (buyable for §800) will sell for over §5,000! Time scales can be reduced by placing a cheeky snapdragon or two around the work area.
Of course, you can also keep a fixed-up car for yourself rather than spend several thousand on a car from Buy Mode. Besides, the final product does look pretty cool!
Sweet, Sweet Capitalism!
Of course, to make extra money from your crafts and creations, you should have your Sim open a home business. With a business you can mark up your floral arrangements, paintings or fixed-up cars to sell for more money than Buy Mode will give you. It is a lot more work, but if you're up for the challenge it's definitely worth it!
A Novel Way to Earn
If owning a business isn't quite your style, you can still earn in other creative ways.
With The Sims 2, you too can emulate the life of a struggling writer! Although with maxed out creativity, it's a lot less "starving artist" and more "stinking-rich artist". For roughly 12 hours of solid work (made easier once again with snapdragons) your Sim can make a solid couple of grand.
Not bad for a full day's work! Even better, I have actually earned §3,000+ from a single novel before. Looks like writing is the way to go for your more literary Sims.
Disclaimer: I use this mod to reinstate the pre-Freetime novel-writing system—without the plot-making mode. This may affect the earnings seen above slightly.
Also, don't forget to let me know how you get on with these tricks in the comments below, or let everybody know about your own methods!