Matt Bird writes all sorts of nonsense, but he dedicates a large chunk of his time to writing game walkthroughs.
Fridge not cooling your food? Toilet spewing water everywhere? TV no longer entertaining because it’s unnaturally dark when there should be people on the screen? Fret not, the Handiness sim is here. One of the most omni-useful mechanics in The Sims 4, Handiness is a skill that virtually all of your sims will, at the very least, learn.
The Basics of Handiness
At its most fundamental, Handiness is a staple skill simply because you use it while fixing items around the house. Objects have a tendency to break in The Sims 4—toilets, sinks, fridges, and computers are particularly malicious malefactors—and your sims won’t be able to afford new ones most of the time. Attempt to Fix any of these items and your sim will learn Handiness.
In most cases, that’s enough to content players, and all you need to keep in mind is that your sim shouldn’t attempt to fix electronics until they’re at level three or higher. Electrocution is a very real threat to sims who don’t know what they’re doing. Stick to repairing plumbing ’til then.
Looking to make more out of Handiness? It can do a lot more besides keep your toilets flushing. This article will focus on turning a profit with Handiness.
Aspirations and Traits
Assuming you want your sim to make the most of Handiness from the start, you’ll want to choose a starting Aspiration and Traits that suit the skill. With a bit of hunting, you’ll find that probably the best Aspiration for a Handiness-oriented sim is Knowledge—Nerd Brain. It requires a lot of upgrading of stuff around the house, something that Handiness specifically pinpoints, and it gives your sim the Handy Trait to help.
Handy allows your sim to instantly Fix and Upgrade objects. This can be a pain if you planned to fix stuff in order to upgrade your Handiness skill, but no worries—there are other ways to raise it instead.
Traits are a little less straightforward. Consider the following when setting up your sim:
- Genius. Sims relying on Handiness will raise the skill more quickly if they’re Focused. Genius will help get them in the proper frame of mind more easily and more often.
- Geek. Though Geek doesn’t pertain strictly to Handiness, another Knowledge-based Aspirations will find it useful. Not a bad idea if your sim is going to branch off into other brainy pursuits.
- Perfectionist. Sims will craft higher-quality items, and will take a bit longer to do so. Most of your money from Handiness will come through crafting items.
- Loner. Your sim will be spending a lot of time not talking to other sims.
There are three ways to improve your sim’s Handiness score:
- The first, fixing objects, is also the obvious one. Unfortunately, it requires that you have lots of busted stuff around the house, which is not a good thing, nor necessarily predictable.
- The second, reading books, is good if you have a Bookworm sim on your hands.
- The third, and no doubt the most profitable, is crafting items on a Woodworking Table. Though these Tables are quite expensive, you can more than make back the money spent once your sim hits a decently high level, and in a relatively short period of time. Craft, sell, craft, sell, craft, sell. As simple as that.
Level Bonuses and Benefits
Below is a table of the benefits your sim accrues while levelling up Handiness. Note that, as far as crafting instruments goes, your sim must have a skill level in that instrument equal to or above eight. If your sim wanted to craft a guitar, for example, their Guitar skill would have to be eight or higher. A bit annoying, but there you go.
- Level 1: Fix broken objects
- Level 2: Basic Upgrades on Plumbing, Craft Furniture (Barstools), Talk about Handiness with other Sims, Purchase Upgrade Parts on a computer
- Level 3: Find rare Upgrade Parts, can carve new types of sculptures (Bunny, Dragon, Horse, Elephant Sculptures)
- Level 4: Advanced Upgrades on Plumbing, Craft End Tables
- Level 5: Chance of electrocution lower, perform Basic Upgrades on kitchen objects, Craft Large Sculptures (Bear, Lumberjack), Brag about Handiness to other sims
- Level 6: Craft Dining Tables and Dining Chairs, may find Electronic Parts while Salvaging
- Level 7: Upgrade plumbing at double speed, perform Advanced Upgrades on kitchen objects
- Level 8: Basic Upgrades on electronics, Craft Instrument
- Level 9: Advanced Upgrades on electronics, Craft Tubs
- Level 10: Always find rare parts when Salvaging, Craft Toilets, Upgrade kitchen objects at double speed, Mentor other sims
Handiness is sort of a jack-of-all-trades career, and it doesn’t slot that neatly into a specific career. Sims that value Handiness highly will probably do well as either Astronauts or Tech Gurus, though, honestly, you can make more cash in the long run by crafting and selling high-quality items with a maxed out Handiness sim. It doesn’t take very long to craft, say, a bathtub, and you can cash out for slightly more than double what it costs to make the thing in the first place. Cha-ching.
Your Handiness sim may never come across it on their own, but if you visit Desert Bloom Park and look just about as far from the entrance as you can go you’ll find a small, boarded-up cave. Your sim needs a Handiness level of ten to rip away the boards and enter the cave. Once inside you’ll be presented with navigation options; choose the following to get through.
- Take Wide Path
- Climb Ladder
- Step onto the Ledge
- Travel to Grotto
This will take you to the Forgotten Grotto, a fancy indoor area filled with opportunities to collect valuable items from rocks, catch frogs, pick up plants, and fish. It’s a great spot for collectors, but a Handiness sim will have to take the lead in opening the way. If your sim takes the wrong path they will become temporarily Embarrassed and wind up outside the cave, so make sure you choose your way through properly.
Ieatstarrrs on December 15, 2015:
What exactly do you do with found kitchen upgrades???
Matt Bird (author) from Canada on September 11, 2014:
I'm glad it was helpful. Handiness was a bit of a pain in the butt to level up, so I learned a fair bit while I was crafting table after table after table. It's definitely one of the better skills in the game, though understated.
Bread on September 11, 2014:
Thank you for this. This is the first article I've found that actually explains handiness in a knowledgeable way.