The Butler is an NPC who appears in The Sims: Superstar, The Sims 2: Apartment Life and The Sims 3: Late Night. Sims can hire him by using the telephone. He is similar to the maid, but has the potential to replace all basic services.
He does various chores such as:
- Cleaning the house.
- Watering plants.[TS:U][TS2]
- Making beds.
- Activating Servo. [TS:LL][TS2:OFB]
- Serving food.
- Caring for babies.
- Fending off obsessed fans.[TS:S]
- Feeding and cleaning up after pets.[TS:U][TS2:P]
- Repairing broken objects and electronics.
The Butler is introduced in The Sims: Superstar. His name is Alfred, and he charges 500 Simoleons for one day. However, his day lasts from approximately 7am to 11pm. His dress consists of a black tuxedo, gray pants and white gloves. He has gray hair, light skin, and appears to be elderly.
He will activate Servo as needed, but will ignore Bonehilda's closet. If Servo is not present, he will call the repairman as needed. He may also call the maid and the gardener, though he will also do cleaning and gardening himself. He will feed the fish in the Poseidon's Adventure Aquarium. He will fill pet food bowls, though he will not recognize custom bowls.
The following interactions are available:
- Ask.../Dismiss Visitors (when there are guests in the house)
- Ask.../Prepare Meal
- After Superstar was released, there were many reports of the game lagging severely while Alfred was tending plants. This doesn't always happen, but players with older computers should be aware of it.
- He cannot be told to prepare a meal unless there is a Maxis refrigerator or grill on the lot. He will not recognize the Tuscan fridge (La Frigorifero by Belconi) from Makin' Magic.
- Alfred may be taken from the DC comics character Alfred Pennyworth, who is Batman's butler.
- In The Sims, if there is a bar in the house, Alfred may be seen taking a swig from it when he has nothing else to do.
The Sims 2
The butler is more than just a super-maid. For a base fee of §20, plus §25 per hour, he replaces the gardener, repairman, maid, and nanny as well, so having him is very useful and saves money. In fact, when initially hired, the butler blatantly says that he's better than them and asks the player's permission to just fire them all and be done with it, so Sims won't have to worry about that.
Work that a butler can do includes washing dishes, making beds, and scrubbing toilets, bathtubs, and showers. He will also take out the trash, and clean the fishtanks. The butler also does repairing. He will be able to repair any items, from a clogged-up toilet, to a broken plasma TV. Finally, he does the gardening. He will pluck the weeds, water the plants, and trim the hedges. This is quite useful if a garden requires daily attention, since the normal gardener turns up once every three days. Players should note that the butler can become a PlantSim.
For jobs that he cannot do, he will call the appropriate service. For example, he cannot spray or stomp roaches, nor can he go get groceries. However, he will call the exterminator or for groceries to be delivered. If he orders groceries, the player will be prompted for the amount to buy.
The butler has a couple of other perks as well. He'll cook light meals, but he'll do so intelligently: he only does it if the Sims on the lot are all hungry and there's no edible food served anywhere. Spoiled food with green whiff clouds and flies isn't going to be accepted as food.
He can be given one of three door policies; he can either greet all visitors so they immediately make themselves at home, deny all visitors so your family maintains privacy, or not answer the door at all and leave the decision to you. Changing his door policy is an immediate command, so your Sim won't have to walk all the way over to him to give him his orders.
All this comes at a price, as he is far more expensive than the maid, gardener, and repairman combined. A new family with a small house is practically wasting cash on him, but rich families with large houses or busy houses will greatly benefit from his presence.
Some butlers are very annoying; they have an obsession with food even when everyone is sleeping and well-fed. If you make him selectable, and cross it out, he will cry.
If there are babies or toddlers in the house, he will feed them, change their diapers, and let them out of their cribs. If their parents are working, he can be left alone with children, so there is no need to call a nanny either. He will also clean up bottles. If there are babies or children in the house, and they need taking care of, he tends to neglect his duties to care for them.
When fired, a message in the screen pops up with an endearing farewell.
The Sims 3
Butlers were not included in The Sims 3 base game, but they return in The Sims 3: Late Night expansion pack . This is also the first game where butlers can be Female. Butlers cost §1200 a week or §171 a day (§21 higher than a maid). Butlers will sleep in a Sim's house, so make sure that they have a spare bed! To assign a bed for the butler, click on the desired bed and set it as the butler's bed. The butler has level 10 in both Cooking and Handiness,, though Camilla Fortescue, one of the pre-made butlers in Bridgeport, does not follow this rule, having a different range of skills. A good relationship must be kept with the butler or they may leave. There are some known glitches with the butler. When arriving at a house, the car they have arrived in often becomes stuck outside the front of the house even when the game is reloaded. At times, they may become invisible, though this is temporary. Butlers must be paid every week.
Tasks done by Butlers
- Give advice
- Feed toddler in high chair.
- Put toddler in crib.
- Read skill books to toddler.
- Clean lot including laundry.
- Repairs broken objects.
- Answer the door
- Serve food
- Gives Massage
In addition to these dialogue options, Butler are also capable of attacking and repelling burglars, calling the fire department, and putting out fires, all of which is done autonomously.
- Butlers do not appear in The Sims 3 for consoles as it is a port of the base game and doesn't include The Sims 3: Late Night.
- The Butler can often be seen reading a book titled "How to serve and not be served."
- In The Sims 3: Late Night expansion pack, it is a common problem in which if the butler makes food, the entire household and guests will stop their current actions to eat (Butlers may cook autonomously). If there is a small kitchen area and a large family or many guests they will become crammed. This is why it is a good idea to have parties in between breakfast and lunch, lunch and dinner, or dinner and breakfast. Another alternative is to make the kitchen quarters larger.
- In The Sims 2, if Seasons is installed and a Sim tries to get leftovers from the fridge, the butler will sometimes "snatch" the food out of a sim's hand and clean it up.
- In The Sims 3: Late Night expansion pack, the butler references many stereotypes surrounding butlers in popular culture. In one tidbit of advice, the butler will state that "there is an urgent message from the commissioner" before realizing their mistake and state that the message was received on the "wrong frequency". This is a reference to Batman's Alfred Pennyworth. In another, the butler states that it is not always the butler who "did it"; a reference to a cliché in murder mysteries.