The Top 10 Things to Do in "The Sims 3"
I've been an avid Sims player for years, and I've learned that The Sims 3 is a game with infinite capabilities. It is a complete virtual world, and the possibilities for fun are endless. Nowadays, we just don't have the time to try them all, so here are 10 of my favourite things that will complete your gaming experience.
Note: Some of these activities will require expansion packs.
1. Complete the 10-Generation Legacy Challenge
If you don't know what the Sims Legacy Challenge is, you're missing out on a huge part of playing the game! Typically, the legacy challenge is a 10-generation challenge in which you strive to raise 10 generations of Sims. The challenge starts with the creation of a founder, who lives on an empty plot of land with a very small amount of money.
In this challenge, you are restricted from using cheats. This makes it much more difficult, as we Simmers (fans of The Sims series) are so accustomed to them.
If you have already mastered this challenge (and bravo if you have) there are many interesting variations that you should try out!
Variations on the Legacy Challenge
The following challenges are creative variations of the original 10-Generation Legacy Challenge. Try them all for some added difficulty and hours of entertainment.
I'm Surrounded by Idiots
This challenge is extremely funny. You must create a family, but you are only allowed to control one Sim (the torch holder). It is really interesting to see what your Sims get up to without your control! I love this one because I get to see the personalities of my Sims.
Differences in the Family Tree
This is a very long 15-generation challenge that has many rules and goals for each generation. There are many different paths to take, and it's great for those who are persistent.
A Round Robin
In this challenge, you rotate through different Sims and play each one for about a week. A really good twist on this one is to play with another person, alternating weeks. If you're writing a story, two different authors, ideas and perspectives can make it very interesting!
A Genetic Legacy (Prettacy/Uglacy)
In these two legacies, you aim to have completely different genetics when you reach the end. In a Prettacy, you start with a hideous Sim and aim for a beautiful one after ten generations. In an Uglacy, you do the opposite!
This is not much different than an ordinary legacy. In a Rainbowcy, however, each generation has a specific colour that is used to decorate the house, the Sims' clothing, etc.
2. Build a House
I know this is something many Sims players avoid simply because it is really quite hard and takes many grueling hours in front of the screen. That said, it is a rewarding experience knowing that your Sims are living in a house that you built from scratch. Even if all you can manage at first is a simple box house, just look for inspiration and building tips online and you'll soon be building grand mansions of your own! I often scour YouTube for inspiration myself. Rocketdmg11, ChrillSims3 and Curtis Paradis are three of my favourite designers on YouTube.
There are limitless options when it comes to designing and furnishing a house with all the content that EA provides. This is especially so with the use of Custom Content. You can see more info on that at the bottom of the article.
3. Create Your Simself
What could be better than being able to control your own life, cover to cover? Creating a Simself is something every player should try. Whether you recreate your present life or make a completely new one is up to you!
Personally, I think it's really fun to create a Simself in the neighbourhood, but then leave them up to their own devices while playing with another family. It's interesting (and occasionally horrifying) to see what your Simself gets up to on their own!
Hopefully, they won't make too many mistakes. This probably works best if you have Twallan's Story Progression installed in your game. Otherwise, your Simself won't get up to too much. You can see more info on that at the bottom of the article.
Also, if you have the Pets Expansion Pack, you can even make your own little cat, dog or horse! Imagine being able to cuddle your pet in real life and in The Sims!
4. Create a Story
Whether you choose to document your legacy or a story, it's a great idea to get a blog started. The game's blogging community is very active, and sharing your stories is a great way to brush up on your writing skills and make a few friends. Tell the world the story of your Sims and show everyone just how creative you can be!
A narrative supported by beautiful screenshots can make for a very immersive experience. There are many places to start a blog, with the most popular being Wordpress, Blogger and Live Journal. The Sims 3 website is also a great place to start.
Taken is one of my favorite stories.
5. Try a Challenge
A lot of people are under the impression that the Legacy Challenge is one of the only challenges made for this game, but in actuality, there are thousands to choose from! Here are some I recommend:
The Mythical Creatures
In this challenge, each of the ten generations is a different type of mythical creature with different rules to follow, e.g., Generation 1 is the vampire generation and Sims are not allowed to leave the house during the daytime or they die. It is a very interesting and complicated challenge with many rules and goals.
This challenge begins in a post-apocalyptic world in which your Sims have to complete certain tasks throughout the generations to unlock 'restrictions' that have been placed on them.
In this challenge, Cinderella lives with her step-mother and step-sisters. She has to cook and clean up after them all on top of going to school and living in a shed behind the house. You live out Cinderella's life and help her find her Prince Charming!
6. Try Every Career
With the addition of Ambitions and Showtime, there are some great careers that you can control. Everybody should try all of the Ambitions and Showtime careers. It's great being able to actually control your Sims at work.
Each career in the game offers new uniforms, rewards and interactions. Each and every job has its own surprises too—I guarantee it. Explore various careers in your playthrough to take advantage of these unique benefits!
Unique Career Benefits
Mastering the Criminal career (Emperor of Evil) makes your Sim glow an evil red colour, while mastering the Culinary career gives you a fridge that boosts the quality of all meals cooked from it.
7. Create a Ghost of Every Colour
Did you know that the colour of the Sims' ghosts is related to how they died? For example, a Sim who died of old age becomes a white ghost that sparkles, and a Sim who died of electrocution becomes a yellow ghost with electricity running through it.
Considering there are so many ways to die in The Sims 3, it is rather a feat to have ghosts of all colours.
8. Create a Homeless Family
Creating a homeless family makes for a brilliant story. Imagine your Sim living on an empty lot with just some trees and perhaps a park bench. They would have to scavenge in others' houses since they don't have anything of their own.
It is fairly difficult, but makes for an interesting challenge. Give it a shot!
Alice and Kev is a brilliant example of this challenge. It is a heartwarming story about a homeless man and his daughter.
9. Try to Complete Every Lifetime Wish
From adopting a unicorn to becoming a Master Thief, there are many different lifetime wishes that Sims can strive towards. Every player should try to complete them all! Some are easier than others, but they'll all be fun to try, so take a shot at it!
Once your Sim has completed their Lifetime Wish, they will not be able to have another. To complete them all, you must use different Sims.
10. Try All the Traits in the Game
Traits are what make every Sim unique. With each one comes new interactions and personalities for your Sims!
One of the most interesting things to do in the Sims 3 is to give a Sim random traits, (or really awful ones to make it a lot more fun!) and set the Sim on 'free will' to see what they'll do! I'm sure that there'll be a few surprises in there. Trust me on that!
My personal favourite traits include Insane and Absent-Minded. What are yours?
List of Possible Sims 3 Traits
No Sense of Humor
Good Sense of Humor
Loves the Outdoors
Hates the Outdoors
Natural Cook Virtuoso
Additional In-Game Content
Here are things that some players use to enhance the quality of their game. You don't need to use all of them, but adding a couple can make a big difference in your experience.
If you do install mods or Custom Content, you will need to keep track of all of them and perform routine checks as you install new updates and expansions. Though not everything out there is completely safe, most Simmers don't have problems with the websites below. If there are problems, they will usually result in game glitches, which don't pose any real threat to your computer.
A mod (modification) adds content or changes gameplay mechanics. Installing a mod can enhance features that are already great, or increase replayability with a complete overhaul.
Twallan's Story Progression
This is an absolute must-have if you are installing mods for your game. Normally, your neighbours simply stand around in the houses and do nothing while you are playing. But with this story progression, they finally do things! They have enemies, develop love interests, get married and have children all on their own. The best part is that you can receive notifications regarding all the exciting things that happen with other families. If you find that annoying, you can always turn it off.
Custom Content (CC)
CC includes things like brand new clothes, hair and furniture. The pre-set choices in the game are pretty limited, especially if you don't have many expansion packs or buy from EA's online store.
CC only occasionally requires payment. But even if you have to pay, it is well worth it. Many of these content creators are truly talented and share great work that makes your game look much nicer. Be careful, though! A lot of CC is buggy and conflicts with the game, so you have to be careful where you download from. Here are a couple of resources that I have downloaded from safely:
Mod the Sims
MTS is a huge online community where people upload their creations of mods, custom content and poses. There is a lot to choose from. If you are writing a Sims 3 story, poses and CC are extremely helpful in portraying characters and scenes. But before you download anything, be sure to check that the content is up to date. If it has not been updated recently, it will probably not be compatible with the latest expansion packs and patches.
Anubis Under the Sun
Anubis does amazing retextures of hair and clothing. This is one of the most high-quality and safe resources to download from. It also has content for The Sims 4.
Lotus has some of the most beautiful hair designs I have ever seen, and I have downloaded many things from here. Not once have I had a problem with my game!
Ace Creators are four very talented Sims 3 CC makers that make great hair and clothing. Their pieces are stunning!
This can be a little pricey but some of this content is definitely worth downloading even if you also use custom content. They sell many amazing worlds and premium content on here as well as furniture and extra Create-a-Sim content for your game.
Even if the things on here are expensive, some of the premium content and new worlds are worth buying as they do add new gameplay.
Complete Your Gaming Experience
Now that you know some of the most fun, interesting or just plain weird things that you can do in The Sims 3, it's time to get playing. There are endless possibilities to be explored, so don't be afraid to stray from these 10 things. Utilize your creativity to make the most of your playthrough!