A conversation is an event in The Sims series that happens when Sims interact with each other through social interactions. While having conversations, Sims can gain and lose relationship points and have new friends, lovers and enemies. Conversations can be friendly, flirty, or mean, causing different events to happen and possibly give Sims memories related to those events, such as becoming best friends. Sims speak in Simlish, a fictional language consisting of gibberish. Speech bubbles consisting of icons and images will appear in lieu of translated text, allowing the player to interpret for themselves what Sims are saying.
Conversations in The Sims were initially very simplistic. Sims would autonomously converse with each other if they were seated together at the same table, or were seated next to each other on the same couch or bench. Otherwise, Sims could chat with each other while both Sims were standing up. Conversation topics were determined by the interests a Sim had; Sims with more interest in a particular topic would be more likely to respond positively if that topic was brought up, while they would react negatively if they were not interested. Hot Date added the ability for Sims to view their own interests as well as ask other Sims about their interests; these interests could be changed by having a Sim read a magazine. Hot Date also allowed adult Sims to change the conversation topic to any topic they had more than 6.01 interest points in. Sims who were chatting while standing up often ended conversations early if a topic was brought up that they were not interested in, so the best way the player can get Sims to converse with each other for extended periods of time was to have them sit together.
The Sims 2
Conversations in The Sims 2 worked similarly to those in The Sims. Sims can now converse with each other even if they are sitting on different sofas and chairs, provided they are within a reasonable distance from each other. In addition, it is possible for a Sim who is standing up to chat with someone who is sitting down. All Sims, including children and teenagers, can change the conversation topic, even to those they are not interested in.
Like The Sims, Sims who were standing up to chat would end conversations early if they were disinterested in a particular topic, at a cost to their relationship with the other Sim. Having Sims sit together was a good way of ensuring that Sims would continue to talk even if they were not interested in the current conversation; they would generally change the topic to something else rather than ending the interaction. University allowed Sims to hang out anywhere, which could also be used to the same effect.
The Sims 3
In The Sims 3 and The Sims Medieval, every time socializing occurs, a box on the top left[TS3][TSM] or bottom-left[TS3C] will appear. The box contains the relationship, the relationship status and how the opposing Sim is feeling about the other Sim. Depending of the Sim's traits or relationship level, they may find another to be amusing, creepy, funny, flirty, very alluring etc.
The short-term context is displayed below the relationship on the top right corner, which tells the feelings that the opposing Sim is having towards their socializer. Socials like to flirt and argue, will put the context to flirty and impolite, respectively. There are five different social types. They are friendly, funny, romantic, mean and fight. However, not all social types will change the short-term context. For example, "Talk About Computers" (A friendly social) may change the context to boring when it is used on a technophobe Sim.
- Friendly: The common social type. These socials are commonly used by friendly Sims. Examples of friendly socials include "Chat" and "Gossip".
- Funny: The social type that is funny as its name implies. Examples of funny socials include "Make Silly Face" and "Tell Inside Joke".
- Romantic: The social type where Sims make love. Examples of romantic socials include "Flirt", "Kiss" and "Flirtatious Joke".
- Mean: The common negative social type, commonly used by mean spirited Sims. Examples of mean socials include "Argue", "Scare" and "Insult".
- Fight: The social type related to attacking, more powerful than mean. Fight socials are not available until the Sim has a negative relationship. Examples of fight socials include "Fight!/Beat Up" and "Slap".
Traits can effect what socials will and will not work. Traits such as dislikes children effect socials used on teens through elders, when a child uses a social on that Sim. Unflirty decreases the effectiveness of romance socials, as traits can conflict with each other.
The Sims 3 and The Sims Medieval have social limits. If the limit is exceeded, a message will appear (Depends on which game it is).
The effectiveness of a social is determined by traits, short-term context, the relationship and how many times it was used. Socials that are not effective on a Sim with that trait (Such as using "Talk About Computers" on a technophobe Sim) will cause relationship to decrease and change the commodity to boring.
Most socials have a repeat limit which the short-term context will either be changed to boring (non-mean socials) or very angry (mean socials).
The Sims 4
Conversations in The Sims 4 work similarly as in previous games, but this time emotions have a big part on how different conversations can go. Playful Sims can easily turn a conversation into a funny one, embarrassed Sims can turn it into awkward one etc.
When starting a conversation with an another Sim, a tab will appear on the screen. The tab shows the opposing Sim's emotions and type of the discussion.
- Casual Discussion - The regular type of conversation that occurs when a Sim starts a conversation with another Sim.
- Pleasant Conversation - Occurs when a Sim uses friendly social Interactions on another Sim. Grants a +1 Happy moodlet to both Sims. (+2 for Outgoing Sims) Can also occur through a friendly introduction.
- Unpleasant/ Offensive/ Abhorrent Conversation - Occurs when a Sim uses Mean Social Interactions on another Sim, or when Mischief Interactions fail. Grants a +2 Angry moodlet to the Sim being offended. Can also occur through a rude introduction.
- Funny Conversation/ Hilarious Repartee - Occurs when a Sim uses Funny Social Interactions on another Sim. Grants a +2 Playful Moodlet to both Sims. Can also occur through a funny introduction.
- Boring/ Tedious/ Insufferably Tedious Conversation - Occurs when a Sim talks about uninteresting topics to another Sim (ex. Talking about Video Games to a non-Geek Sim, or enthusing about new albums to a non-Music Lover). It can also occur when a Sim repeats the same social interaction over again, or because of a failed funny social interaction, wherein the Sim who performed the interaction gets an Embarrassed moodlet, while the listening Sim gets a Bored moodlet.
- Suggestive Conversation/ Amorous Exchange/ Steamy Exchange- Occurs when a Sim uses Romantic social interactions on another Sim, although it can turn into an Awkward Encounter if the other Sim rejects the Interaction. Grants both Sims a +2 Flirty moodlet.
- Awkward/ Very Awkward Encounter - Occurs when a Sim uses failed Romantic social interactions on another Sim. Grants both Sims a +2 Embarrassed moodlet.
The charisma skill plays a big role in the success rate of social interactions. A higher charisma skill can increase the success rate of social interactions. Other introductions such as brighten day, cheerful introduction, smooth apology, flirty introduction or a charming introduction can also be gained when leveling up the charisma skill.
Sims can start conversations with other Sims while doing more activities, such as cooking or using the treadmill, and can autonomously join in any group conversation. Sims cannot be asked to leave a group discussion.