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How to Win at "The Sims 3": Diamonds Are a Sim's Best Friend

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

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The Sims 3 is an immensely fun game, if you look past its flaws. If you soldier through the sometimes-incessant lag, there is such a wide range of things your Sims can do that you'll rarely get bored.

What About Winning?

Once again, I'm counting winning as a combination of financial security and overall happiness. However, this is where this article will depart from its predecessors.

I feel that I've talked enough about creativity in previous articles to drill that into your minds, and to be honest there isn't that much change in The Sims 3. Painting is—as always—a solid earner, as well as other crafting activities such as sculpting. I've already discussed these to death though, so this time I'll take the discussion outside. Literally.

Hard work, but worth it!

Hard work, but worth it!

Go Outside!

The open world of The Sims 3 gives you plenty of new opportunities to earn and thrive! From fishing to collecting, your Sims have many different things to keep them busy out there.

Gardening

First of all, gardening. It's not really an earner until you get the rarer plants (or completely cram your yard full of crops) but it's an essential skill to have. Growing your own crops will both save money on groceries and improve food quality. I always give my Sims a little patch in their garden to grow fresh food.

With higher quality and rarer crops, you may sell surplus harvests to the consignment store in Ambitions. This will add a bonus to the sell price which will increase as you consign more items. This can be increased even more with the Born Salesman trait or the Suave Selling lifetime reward.

She's looking oddly displeased with her deathfish . . . maybe it's the smell.

She's looking oddly displeased with her deathfish . . . maybe it's the smell.

Fishing

No matter what I have my Sims do, there is always that one Sim in the household who ends up going fishing. It's just such an interesting and beneficial skill for me. Of course, you can eat the fish you catch! Just like crops, they improve food costs and quality. However, catching the bigger and rarer fish is a pretty good money maker, provided you have the right bait. When it comes to bait, higher quality equals higher quality fish. You can also use the cheaper, smaller fish as fertiliser for your garden.

For optimal profits, dedicate your time to deathfish:

  1. Buy or grow cheese, then use as bait to catch alley catfish.
  2. Use great or above quality alley catfish as bait for angelfish.
  3. Use only outstanding or perfect angelfish as bait for deathfish.
  4. Catch deathfish in the graveyard between midnight and 4 a.m. Hold on to any that you catch.
  5. Once you have 10 deathfish, stock a pond on your home lot with them. Now you can catch deathfish any time of day!
  6. Sell the deathfish—at the Ambitions consignment store if possible—or you can use them to make ambrosia.

Scavenging for Profit

As the title suggests, diamonds and other gems are your friends! You just have to find them.

In The Sims 3, collectibles such as gems, metals and meteorites are spread throughout the world. Keep your eyes peeled, especially for the rarer and more expensive items. For metals, look out for plutonium and palladium. For space rocks, look for the giant meteorites the size of a sofa. For gems, watch out for pink diamond, and with Supernatural installed sunstone and moonstone.

Gemstones especially can be a huge money-making venture, especially with the Supernatural pack installed. With this pack comes a gem-cutting machine which can grant insane profit boosts. Turn all your gems into heart cuts (unlocked after finding 10 unique gem types) and you're looking at up to quadrupling your profits! Even the most basic emerald cut gives you a 25% increase, so don't be afraid to start off small.

For those without Supernatural, here is a guide on how to profit from cut gems with the additional processing fees. And—as always—the consignment store from Ambitions will give you even more money to play with.

Step one to getting a skull cut pink diamond . . .

Step one to getting a skull cut pink diamond . . .

Nuclear Power

This is a tidbit for World Adventures players. Either by visiting Egypt, transfiguration (see below), or buying a martial arts board breaker from China, you can find Tiberium gems. These are radioactive materials—and a cheeky nod to the Command and Conquer series—which can sell for an absolute boatload!

With the board breaker, get your Martial Arts skill to around level 4 then break 150 oak boards. Once done—with skill level 9+—start breaking space rocks. With the Timber Terminator achievement unlocked, there is a chance to drop gems every time you break a rock. These are completely random so you can find anything from emeralds to Tiberium!

Now to the money-making:

  1. Once the Tiberium has been collected, get it cut into the spire cut. The initial cost is high if done through the mailbox, but it's a worthwhile investment!
  2. Once you have your cut Tiberium, do not sell it! Place it anywhere on the ground with at least 1x1 free space around it on all sides.
  3. Wait for a couple of days, checking on it occasionally.
  4. After a while you should find that your Tiberium has grown. Check this by entering buy mode, picking it up and checking the price you can sell it for. If it's worth around §6,000, put it back. If it's worth around §30–40,000, sell it!
  5. For even more profits, sell the grown Tiberium using the consignment store from Ambitions or Supernatural instead of through buy mode or your inventory.
Don't speak to me or my children again.

Don't speak to me or my children again.

Transform Your Pockets

Transfiguration, when done right, can provide you with incredibly rare and expensive items such as soulpeace and compendium. As it is far too rich a topic to discuss in a single section, please refer to my article on transfiguration for tips to find the best items for the least cost.

Earning the Traditional Way

Of course, the game also offers ways to make money the old-fashioned way. There are many careers and skills that could be put to use. Painting is still a lucrative skill as well, especially with the introduction of opportunities.

Careers

It goes without saying; some careers pay better than others. Even at level 10 though, your Sim can continue to get raises. However, a high base rate gives you an advantage when it comes to earning.

Here are the highest-paying careers in the game at level 10, based on the weekly base rate pay:

Base Game Careers

  1. Medicine (§9,600 p/w)
  2. Criminal: Master Thief (§9,040 p/w)
  3. Law Enforcement: Forensics (§7,940 p/w)
  4. Military (§6,012 per day, one day per week!)

Expansion Pack Careers

  1. Astronomy (Into the Future, §15,000 p/w)
  2. Film: Director (Late Night, §9,680 p/w)
  3. Sports Agent (University, §9,084 p/w)
  4. Video Game Developer (University, §8,883 p/w)
Hours of sitting at a desk await, just like real life!

Hours of sitting at a desk await, just like real life!

Opportunities

Skill-based opportunities are a great way to boost your earnings and act like commissions would in the real world. They can range from giving speeches in the Charisma skill, creating art in the Painting skill, or writing someone's biography for the Writing skill.

An important thing to note is that Into the Future broke the phone calls which bring opportunities, so this mod enables them back into your game. Without this mod, you will not get opportunities unless you disable or uninstall that particular pack.

If you're pining for more Sims success tips, make sure to read my articles on Winning at The Sims 1 and Winning at The Sims 2! Don't despair though, The Sims 4 fans—your game is coming . . .

As always, 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!