Dormitories, also known as dorms or university housing, are a special type of residential lot that can only be found in college sub-neighborhoods. They appear in The Sims 2: University, The Sims 3: University Life and The Sims 4: Discover University.
The Sims 2: University
Dormitory housing is one of the two types of housing available to all young adult Sims. Unlike renting a house on campus, there is no cost to move into a dormitory, so dorm housing is available to even the poorest students.
When in a college sub-neighborhood, the Specialty Lots section of the Lots and Houses Bin will contain pre-made dormitories of various sizes and designs. The pre-made dormitories in this section range in size from as few as 5 rooms to as many as 16. Also, each pre-made college has three or four dormitories of various sizes. Players should keep in mind that larger dorms with more residents will use more computer resources, and will be harder for the playable Sims to keep tidy.
Editing and building dormitories
Dormitories can be edited, but some buy and build mode tools, and most build mode categories, will be unavailable unless the cheat code
boolProp dormSpecificToolsDisabled is set to
false. By default, players can only modify flooring, wall coverings, terrain and flora, and can access gardening tools if Seasons is installed. There are fewer restrictions when it comes to buy mode objects; players can freely purchase, rearrange, or sell buy mode objects, even in communal areas. Even when using the cheat code, pre-placed doors and windows in premade dormitories may remain uneditable, unless the
moveobjects on cheat is used.
Players can also create dormitories. To make a dormitory, create a residential lot, then using the appropriate cheat code to zone it as a dormitory. This rezoning should be done before any Sims have moved into the lot.
Required and optional features
When building or modifying a dormitory, each Myne Door must be placed so the picture area faces outward, and there should only be one door leading into a dorm room. This means that multiple-occupancy rooms are not possible, nor are "suites" in which two dorm rooms share a bathroom.
A dormitory must[confirmation needed] have a cafeteria with a ShinyTyme Cooktop, counter islands, and a sink or dishwasher. Since the cafeteria worker can burn food and will occasionally start a fire, there should be a Skimmer Securities Ceiling Sprinkler above the cooktop. The cafeterias in the pre-made dormitories all have refrigerators, but that is not required. If a refrigerator is present, dorm residents will be able to take food from it.
Dormitories may also have mini-fridges and microwaves. Some pre-made dormitories have coffeemakers. Dormitories should also have bathrooms with showers. Many pre-made dorms use communal bathrooms with toilet stalls and several Strut Your Stuff communal showers, but some use ordinary bathrooms. If Open for Business or later is installed, the player can lock a bathroom door so that only the selected Sim can use it. While this can give a playable Sim privacy in a non-communal bathroom, the player must remember to unlock the door when the Sim is finished. Most dormitories will have at least one bookcase and computer, and some pre-made dorms have one or two rooms which have a computer. Most dormitories will also have items for building creativity and logic, recreational items, and areas for lounging or doing class assignments.
All dorm rooms should have a bed. While the Dormies do not actually get into the beds in their rooms when they sleep, the quality of the bed in a Dormie's room determines how quickly he or she regains comfort and energy while sleeping. The premade dormitories will generally use the Craftmeister's Pine Bed or Caress of Teak Bed from the base game or the Flowin' Protozoan Single Bed from the University expansion pack.
While living in a dormitory, playable Sims live with young adult Townies, who are often referred to as "Dormies". However, if a dorm has eight or less rooms, it is possible for all dorm rooms to be claimed by playable Sims, and thus allow them to live without dormies. Even though only playable Sims receive bills, it is assumed that all students in the dorm are billed the same, so the Dormies reduce the amount of the playable household's bills.[n 1][n 2] However, Dormies cannot be asked to join the household, regardless of their relationship with the playable Sims. When Dormies living in the dorm are clicked on, the "Propose... Move In" interaction will not appear. It will appear if the Dormie does not live in the dorm, but using it does not seem to have any effect. Also, playable Sims moving out of the dorm cannot have Dormies move out with them.
Individual Dormies living in a dorm will come and go at random; the player has no control over this. When playable Sims living in a dorm visit a campus community lot, Dormies living in the dorm may appear, even if they were in the dorm when the playable Sims left.
Dormitory rooms use the Myne Door. This door is able to be "claimed" by a single Sim, making a room his/hers and giving him/her the ability to restrict access to the room. After moving a household into a dorm, the player is given a slight head-start (about an hour of game time) to claim the rooms they want the playable Sims to have. After that time, Dormies will begin to move in and claim rooms for themselves. After a Sim has claimed a room, his or her picture will appear on the door. This picture will not change if the Sim's appearance is changed, but the player can update the picture of a playable Sim by having that Sim unclaim and reclaim the room. Non-selectable Sims who enter a Dormie's rooms will "disappear" and turn invisible, and the room will fade out.
A playable Sim who has claimed a room can be directed to lock or unlock it. A playable Sim told to lock or unlock his or her door will stand in front of it and hang or remove a standard "no entry" sign. A Dormie's door will be locked if the Dormie is asleep or out of the dorm, but will be unlocked at other times; the "no entry" sign will simply appear or disappear depending on whether the door is locked or unlocked. If the door to a Dormie's room is locked because its occupant is out of the dorm, it will unlock when that Sim returns to the dorm lot. If a Dormie is asleep, their door will display a thought bubble showing a bed; if the Dormie is away, it will show a chalkboard. Otherwise it will show that the Sim is trying to have Fun. Dormies are unable to enter a locked room, but may approach it and stand outside the door. However, the player can tell a playable Sim to knock on a locked door. If the Dormie's lifetime relationship with the knocking Sim is at least 20, the door will be unlocked, the contents of the room will become visible, and the player will be able to direct the Sim to enter the room. Sometimes, a Dormie will not fade all the way in when leaving his or her room, and will appear translucent. This is simply a graphical glitch, and does not affect gameplay; affected Dormies will appear normal after they shower or after they leave the lot and return to it.
To maximize frame rate, rooms claimed by Dormies appear empty, and Sims in them are not animated, unless a playable Sim walks into them. Sims in a Dormie's room cannot be interacted with, and objects in that room will not be used, unless a playable Sim is in the room. However, the contents of these rooms, and any Sims that are in them, become visible if the player enters Buy or Build modes, or accesses a Sim's inventory.
Once a Dormie claims a room in a dorm, it appears that he or she becomes associated with that dorm, and will not move into another. If there are more unclaimed rooms than there are "unassociated" Dormies to claim them, the game will generate new Dormies to claim those rooms. It is possible for a newly generated Dormie to become sidetracked before managing to claim a room. Even if there are sidetracked Dormies in the dorm, the game will continue to generate Dormies until all rooms are claimed. Dormies who miss out on claiming a room become "unassociated".
Dormies that are not in their rooms and are not currently in class may be in the communal areas either interacting with objects, socializing, doing assignments, or doing research. Playable Sims can perform any social interaction with them, although they cannot WooHoo or try for babies with them.
If a ShinyTyme Cooktop stove is present on the lot, an NPC cook will arrive at 4AM every morning to prepare and serve food for the residents, and will leave around midnight. There are cases where the cook may fail to return to the dorm after their shift ends. Playable students on a lot with a cafeteria can be directed to work in it, and will earn money as they do. The player can tell a Sim working in the cafeteria to quit by canceling the action.
If playable Sims are merged into a dorm household, an equivalent number of dormies will move out. The player has no control over which ones move out. There is a bug where dormies may not move out when this happens, however.
If a Dormie is moved into a playable household, either on or off campus, his or her room will become unclaimed, and the game will generate a new one to take his or her place, unless an "unassociated" Dormie is available. However, the former Dormie may still remain in the dorm for a while, unless a playable Sim says goodbye to them.
Advantages of dorm life
There are two main advantages to dorm life. One is that it's cheap. There is no cost to move into a dorm, and bills are generally low once the objects in the dorm have had time to depreciate. While the cafeteria has a limited selection, the food is free, plentiful, and available at almost all hours. Of course, Sims can still cook their own food in the kitchen whenever they wish, as long as there is a refrigerator.
The other is social. The Dormies are a ready-made pool of Sims for the playable Sims in the dorm to interact with and make friends with. Of course, the player has no control over which Dormies will be in the dorm at any given time, but there will always be some. It's also likely that some of the Dormies will be members of the secret society.
Plumbing, appliances, and electronics never break on dormitory lots, even if heavily used. Also, even if a dorm has communal toilets with stalls, Sims will not fear using them, even if they usually roll a fear of using a public toilet when on a community lot.
Disadvantages of dorm life
Dorm life does have its disadvantages, which mostly center around the Dormies.
Dormies will do assignments very often, and frequently leave unfinished assignments on desks and cafeteria tables. They may come back to finish them, but have been known to start new ones even if they have unfinished ones lying around[n 3] (Unfinished assignments can be moved or deleted in Buy mode). They may have a tendency to do research, and do not always put the books away. If a bookcase is near a television set, chess table, computer, etc., seats in front of those items may be monopolized by Dormies doing research. Dormies will not always shower when they need to, and will rarely, if ever, clean a toilet stall, shower, or bathroom sink without being influenced to clean, regardless of how high their Neatness score is. If a dorm household has some spare cash, hiring a maid may be worth their while.
Another disadvantage is that when a Sim throws a party or invites other Sims over, the guests often disappear into Dormies' rooms for hours at a time, even if they have no relationships with the Dormies. Guests cannot be interacted with while in Dormies' rooms, nor can they be stopped from going there (as soon as they start walking toward a dorm room, there are no options to interact with them). This can make it difficult to throw a successful party at a dorm. It may also make joining a Greek house while on a dorm lot a challenge, since the members of the Greek house who arrive to "check out" the prospective member need to be socialized with, but often make themselves totally unavailable.
Another issue is that the Dormies consider items such as desks, computers, etc. in a playable Sim's room to be publicly available, unless the door is locked. This also applies to other Dormies' rooms that have been entered by playable Sims.
Also, tables in dorms with high traffic may occasionally get "stuck", so that they're considered to be in use even though they're not being used, which can be annoying if a Sim is very hungry.[n 4]
- Each dorm resident's share of the bills is determined by dividing the dorm's total bills by the number of Myne Doors. If a custom dorm does not have any Myne Doors, the game will generate a divide-by-zero error. The DormBillFix mod from MATY fixes this.
- Delivery of bills to dorms has been observed to be haphazard. For any given dorm, they may arrive normally, or stop arriving after having come for a while, or resume after having stopped for a while, or never start arriving at all. The mail carrier has also been seen to arrive, look at the mailbox, then leave without putting anything into, or taking anything out of, the mailbox.
- The DormieAssignmentFix mod at MATY fixes this.
- This can be fixed by pressing
Ctrl+Shift+C, typing in
boolProp testingCheatsEnabled true, Shift+Clicking the stuck tables, Force Error, and then Reset.
The Sims 3: University Life
Unlike the dorms in The Sims 2: University, dorms in The Sims 3: University Life are fully customizable when using Build/Buy mode. Also, Sims will no longer claim doors, but it is possible to click on a bed and reserve it for a specific Sim. To give Sims privacy in their own room, it is possible to lock the door, as doors in the base world are now lockable. There is also an option to select which Sims can and cannot use a door.
Unlike The Sims 2: University, there is no cafeteria or cafeteria worker to prepare food. Sims living in the household are responsible for making their own food, though household Sims may autonomously serve a meal. As in The Sims 2, however, Sims in the household are responsible for the upkeep of breakable objects and the cleanliness of the dormitory. If there is a washer on site, they are also responsible for taking care of dirty laundry.
NPC roommates in the dormitories may serve meals. They are usually not very proficient in the Cooking skill, and occasionally start fires on the lot. When building a custom dormitory, it would be wise to place a fire alarm in the kitchen area. Dormitories cannot be robbed by a burglar, so there is no need for a burglar alarm.
Mail service is available to Sims through a mailbox that is also part of a community job board. This object gives the option to look for one-time jobs to make Simoleons. The jobs break down into three categories: Social Group Jobs, Day Jobs, and Dares.
Pre-made dorms are set up to house 8 Sims, including the playable household. A custom-built dorm will also be expected to house 8 Sims, no matter how many beds are placed on the lot. If a roommate is found to be annoying to the playable household, the player click on that Sim, then dismiss them in the "Roommates" social tab.
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The Sims 4: Discover University
Dorms return in The Sims 4: Discover University, where they are called "university housing". Pre-made dorms can be found in the world of Britechester, but they can be built in any non-vacation world. Dorms can be turned into sororities or fraternities by setting gender restrictions in their configuration panels. Other options that can be chosen are which university the dorm belongs to, and if it's restricted to a particular organization or club[TS4GT].
Editing and building university housing
Britechester has both ground-level lots as well as penthouse lots, which can both be converted into dorms. Ground-level dorms require four beds, one toilet and one shower. In addition to that, penthouse dorms also require an elevator, a trash chute and a penthouse mailbox. Stoves and grills are forbidden in dorms, though cafeteria stations and microwaves are allowed. The vending machines from Snowy Escape can also be placed, and are functional.
As long as playable students are living in a university housing lot, it cannot be edited in build mode without using the bb.enablefreebuild cheat. If the player would like to build on the lot without cheats, the household first has to be moved out.
There can be up to ten Sims living in a dorm, and the playable household counts towards the limit. So, for example, there could be three playable students and seven NPC students. The amount of roommates that show up depend on the number of beds in a dorm. NPC roommates are assigned hidden "archetypes" that determine how they behave in a dorm: some will litter more often, some will be more studious, some will throw parties, etc.
- In The Sims 2: University, if a sim wishes to shower alone, if The Sims 2: Open for Business is installed as well, the player can simply click on the bathroom door which contains the communal showers and lock it for everyone but the sim living in the dorm, however don't forget to unlock the door once your sim has finished showering otherwise the dormies will not be able to access the showers and will smell and also have a bladder accident if the toilets are in the same room as the showers.
- In The Sims 2: University, it is wise to keep the sim's room locked at all times as dormies will frequently come into the room, especially if the room has a desk, which they will use to do assignments, which they will almost always never finish, resulting in them having to be deleted or moved. They might also relax on the bed or start conversations with any dormies that come into the room, which may lead to pathing issues due to the room's small size.
- In The Sims 4: Discover University, it is wise to buy a mini fridge and place it anywhere on the lot so sims can have access to quick snacks which is ideal for getting rid of hunger so the active sim can study without the possibility of stopping due to the uncomfortable moodlet.
- In The Sims 2: University and The Sims 3: University Life, it is wise to hire a maid if living in a dorm or even in a fraternity or sorority house as dormies will often cook group meals which will become dirty and mostly be left on the table, counter or floor or make messes such as making appliances, toilets or showers dirty, not making their beds or leaving books around, which will result in environment score dropping low or negative moodlets, which can affect studying or building skills.
- In The Sims 2: University, it is wise to hire a gardener as soon as possible so they can trim bushes or hedges, pick up weeds and water flowers. Untrimmed or dead flowers as well as weeds will make environment score drop low, which can affect class performance.