The aspiration bar is a bar showing a Sim's overall mental happiness. When the player puts their cursor upon the bar, information will be shown, and the lifetime want will also be shown if The Sims 2: University or later is installed.
Playable Sims can fill the bar by fulfilling wants, but fulfilling fears decreases the aspiration bar. In addition, a selectable Sim's daily aspiration bar will decrease gradually over time, unless he or she is sleeping, meditating, or at work or school. Also, the aspiration bar does not decrease while the Sim is in class.[TS2:U] In general, the higher a Sim's aspiration level is, the more quickly it will decay. Learning the lifelong happiness[TS2:AL] life skill will reduce the rate at which the aspiration bar decays.
The aspiration bar has a finite capacity, which increases as the Sim ages.
|Life stage||Aspiration bar capacity|
There are 6 aspiration levels. Each has its own name and description, which depends on the Sim's aspiration and life stage. The 6 levels are as follows, starting from the lowest to the highest:
Aspiration bar capacity
|Deep Red||below 5%|
|Mild Red||5% to 10%|
|Lower Green||10% to 20%|
|Upper Green||20% to 25%|
|Gold||25% to 35%|
|Platinum||35% and above|
When the daily aspiration bar stays too low for too long, the Sim will perform desperate actions. If it hits bottom, the Sim Shrink will come to heal the Sim, and the aspiration bar will rise a little bit. Until FreeTime, accomplishing a lifetime want gives a Sim Perma-platinum status, in which the Sim's bar will remain at maximum until he or she dies. With FreeTime, fulfilling a lifetime want would reportedly boost the bar to platinum, and cause it to decay very slowly. In practice, many lifetime wants, even those for FreeTime careers, still refer to the Sim receiving perma-platinum, and it appears that fulfilling lifetime wants still grants it.
When viewing a Sim in SimPE's Sim Browser, the level of his or her aspiration bar is shown by two scales. One, labeled "Blized", shows the current level of the aspiration bar, and runs from 0 to 1200.[n 1] For toddlers, children, teens, and adults, and for elders who have fewer than 12,000 points, it shows one-tenth of the Sim's current aspiration score. The other scale, labeled "Current", appears to reflect how long the bar will remain at its current level, and runs from 0 to 100.[n 2] It will be at 100 if the bar is at maximum, and drops as the bar drops, but does not appear to be a percentage. Being able to view these scores is useful because a Sim's aspiration bar will occasionally be reset to a low green level when he or she is moved into a new lot, even if he or she had attained Perma-platinum. If this happens, the player can use SimPE to reset the Sim's aspiration level.
As of The Sims 2: FreeTime, a lifetime aspiration bar is added. It accumulates points throughout a Sim's lifetime, and as it fills, the Sim will occasionally receive points which can be spent on aspiration benefits. Sims gain (or lose) lifetime aspiration points each hour while on their home lots, or while at work, school, or a college class. How many points are gained or lost depends on the Sim's aspiration level and life stage. In general, the shorter the life stage, the greater the hourly adjustment will be, so the level of a toddler's aspiration bar will have much more of an impact than the level of an adult's. Young adults are a special case. Regardless of his or her aspiration level, a young adult's aspiration bar will barely change from hour to hour. Sims also receive points for certain important milestones, such as learning to walk, getting married, having a child, or advancing to the adult life stage. If The Sims 2: University is installed, Sims receive points when they graduate from college. Some milestones can be passed while a Sim is unselectable. While Sims do not normally gain lifetime aspiration points while unselectable, they can receive points for milestones they pass while unselectable.
Filling a Sim's lifetime aspiration bar to its top will give the Sim perma-platinum status, though this may not take effect immediately. It will also give the Sim a special memory. A Sim with a full lifetime aspiration bar will have a total of 16 aspiration benefit points, so the player will be able to select all motives, work, and primary aspiration benefits, as well as the first three benefits for a secondary aspiration. A full lifetime aspiration bar will be surrounded by a white glow.
This is the list of milestones that boost lifetime aspiration when achieved.
Despite what the Prima Guide says, getting all vacation mementos, learning the nursery rhyme, and falling in love don't contribute to the lifetime aspiration at all. The milestones can only be achieved once, so repeating them does not help. CAS Sims will receive a default amount of lifetime aspiration points based on age and the assumption that they start in low green aspiration. They will start with the following number of benefit points:
- Toddler: 0
- Child: 2
- Teen: 3
- Young Adult: 4
- Adult: 5
- Newly initialized Servos also receive 5 points.
- Elder: 6
This may also apply to townies generated to replace ones that died or were made playable.
For pre-FreeTime Sims, including all those pre-made by Maxis, their starting aspiration level affects the number of lifetime aspiration points they start with. This may affect the number of benefit points they start with. Teens and young adults who start in gold or platinum will start with 4 and 5 benefit points, respectively. Elders who start in deep red will start with 5 benefit points. Babies, like toddlers, will start with no points.
This can make pre-FreeTime Sims who have achieved milestones miss benefits, since that will not be considered when initially assigning lifetime aspiration points. Also, while CAS Sims receive default points, they will not be credited with having passed any of the milestones they would have passed had they grown up in-game, even if they have CAS memories of them. For example, Sims created as young adults, adults or elders in CAS get a memory of their first kiss, but will never be credited with passing that milestone. Sims created as adults or elders will not be credited with having become adults, and Sims created as parents will not be credited with having had their first WooHoo or with having had a child. This will be a large drawback compared to single CAS Sims. When it comes to earning milestones, the most beneficial life stage to start at is toddler, as they will have all the milestones ahead of them.
- This scale may show a value of 1200 if the SimVac has caused the Sim to have negative aspiration points.
- Use of the SimVac can cause this to drop below 0.
- Premade Sims and CAS Sims who start as parents will not be credited with achieving this, but may be credited with it if they have or adopt another child.
- Premade Sims and CAS Sims who start as spouses will not be credited with achieving this.
- Premade Sims, townies, NPCs, and CAS Sims who start as young adults, adults or elders will never be credited with achieving this. However, Servos do receive credit for this when they have their first kiss.
- Teens who go to college will achieve this upon becoming young adults. Young adult townies and CAS young adults will achieve this when they leave college and become adults. Premade Sims, townies, NPCs, and CAS Sims who start as adults or elders will not be credited with achieving this.
- Playable young adults will achieve this when they return from their last semester's final exam. Young adult townies who move into a non-college household will not achieve this, even if they are otherwise treated as college graduates.
- In practice, this grants perma-platinum status, and locks out the ability to wish for Peace of Mind. However, Sims who have successfully wished for Peace of Mind can still achieve this milestone.
- Sims who successfully wish for Peace of Mind will also be credited with having reached top business rank. A fix for this is available here.