Influence is a game mechanic in The Sims 2: University, The Sims Life Stories, The Sims Pet Stories, The Sims 3: University Life and The Sims 4: Eco Lifestyle. It is typically used to determine how good Sims are at influencing other Sims' actions, or the environment around them.
The Sims 2 and The Sims Stories
In The Sims 2 expansion packs from University and onwards, influence is gained by making friends and fulfilling wants that gain influence points (indicated by a blue border around the want). The amount of friends a Sim has limits the amount of points he or she can accumulate at one time. A Sim can then use those points to 'influence' or command other Sims to do things for him or her.
Influencing has a powerful impact over the game, going as far as to controlling or changing a townie's life if planned correctly. For example, influence can lead to two Sims falling in love, or even fighting with each other. Once the initial interaction is completed, the two Sims may continue to move off that interaction. For example, if a Sim is influenced to insult another Sim, they may insult back. Thus, after some time, the two may continue to wage a feud against each other. A player could also do the opposite, and repair two Sims' relationship by using influence, though it may require a fair amount of influence - and patience, on the part of the player.
A majority of Sims, including service NPCs such as maids, butlers, and police, can be influenced. However, some options are limited, and sometimes it's advised not to influence a certain Sim as their own script makes them do something else. For example, trying to influence the butler to do something may result in him going to do household duties instead of what was asked, and the influencing Sim's points will not be refunded. (Also, it is advised not to influence the butler when there are things to be done, but only when there is nothing left.) Some Sims would rather do "Duty over influence", meaning that if something that would usually trigger their immediate attention happens to do so, the Sim may automatically cancel the influence if it has not taken place, and focus their attention elsewhere. If said interaction has already begun, they will finish it if possible. If influenced correctly, paper deliverers can stay on the lot long past their job time, stretching as far as 8 PM.
Players should note the influence pie menu does not take conditions into account. For example, if a Sim is influenced to cook a meal, but that Sim can't get into the house because the doors are locked, the influencing Sim will have wasted his or her influence points, and still won't have a meal. Also, if the influenced Sim needs to use something like a computer or bathroom, and more than one is available, he or she will head for the nearest one (as Sims judge "nearest"), even if it is behind a locked or opposite-gender door.
It should also be noted influence can be a tool of destruction. If a player wants to see a townie or Sim suffer, a playable Sim could influence another Sim to do it. One example is breaking up a couple to get at the desired Sim without triggering jealousy or rejection. Players can also just have Sims fight for their own amusement. Influence has many possibilities.
|Appreciate||500||Requires someone to appreciate. Small gain or decrease in relationship between the pair depending on the success or failure of the interaction.|
|Bathe||500||Available in FreeTime and Apartment Life. Sim can influence other Sims to take care of their hygiene. The influenced Sim will head for the nearest bathtub or shower, whether or not it is accessible. If it is not accessible, the Sim will not try to find another place to bathe or shower.|
|Read hobby magazine||500||Only available with the FreeTime expansion pack. If a hobby magazine is available, a Sim can influence another Sim to read it.|
|Bite||1000||Requires Nightlife. Must be done to a vampire and there must be someone to bite. Small gain or decrease in relationship between the pair depending on the success or failure of the interaction.|
|Entertain||500||Requires someone to entertain. Small gain or decrease in relationship between the pair depending on the success or failure of the interaction.|
|Talk||500||Requires someone to talk to. Small gain or decrease in relationship between the pair depending on the success or failure of the interaction.|
|Flirt||1000||Requires someone to flirt with. Medium gain or decrease in relationship between the pair depending on the success or failure of the interaction.|
|Play||1000||Requires someone to play with. Small gain or decrease in relationship between the pair depending on the success or failure of the interaction.|
|Prank||1000||Requires someone to be pranked. If the waterbomb prank is pulled, the water will have to be cleaned up.|
|Put Soap in Fountain||1000||Requires the University expansion pack and is only available if there is a fountain on the lot. If the action is successful, all Sims on the lot will stop what they are doing and crowd around the fountain to look.|
|Fight||1500||Requires someone to get beat up. Large decrease in relationship between the pair depending on the success or failure of the interaction.|
|Hug||1500||Requires someone to hug. Medium - Large gain or decrease in relationship between the pair depending on the success or failure of the interaction.|
|Kiss||1500||Requires someone to kiss. Large gain or decrease in relationship between the pair depending on the success or failure of the interaction.|
|Do My Assignment||2000||Requires the University expansion pack, and an already started assignment.|
|Garden||2000||Only available if there are hedges or bushes that need to be trimmed or attended to, weeds that need to be pulled or flowers that need to be watered. If Seasons is installed, a Sim influenced to garden will rake leaves into piles, but will not dispose of them.|
|Repair||2000||Only available if there is any equipment that needs to be repaired. Sims can die of electrocution if they are influenced to repair an electrical object. If the influenced Sim's mechanical skill level is not sufficiently high, he or she may give up and stop before the repairs are finished.|
|Clean||2500||Only available if there is cleaning that needs to be done, such as making beds, washing dirty dishes, picking up trash, etc. Think of it as one-time maid service with an alternative cost.|
|Cook||2500||Players have no control over what the target Sim will cook. They might cook anything from the lowly spaghetti to a nice dish of lobsters. Note that if they burn themselves, the fire is real and is the player's problem to deal with. Also note that if the Seasons expansion pack is installed, the target Sim may try to prepare one of the fish meals, even if the refrigerator isn't stocked with the type of fish they want to cook. If this happens, the target Sim won't cook anything, and the influence points are lost.|
|Write My Term Paper||2500||Requires a computer. Only available with the University expansion pack. The Influenced Sim will start writing a term paper for the influencer, or continue work on their paper if it's already in progress. They will stop when one or more of their motives is drained. If a party is in progress, they will stop and leave when the party ends.|
|Try for Kitten/Puppy||6000||Only available with the Pets expansion pack. A cat/dog influenced to do this will retire to a pet house and WooHoo. A few Sim days later, they will have kittens/puppies.|
|Puny Pleader||2000 Points||0|
|Common Cajoler||4000 Points||1|
|Suave String Puller||6000 Points||3|
|Powerful Persuader||8000 Points||6|
|Master Manipulator||10000 Points||12|
- When on a tight schedule, the ability to have Sims make lunch or even do the gardening for other Sims helps.
- Sims can be persuaded to fulfill their own needs, such as taking a bath or eating.
- Some influence abilities are locked until Sims make a few friends to expand their influence.
- Toddlers cannot be influenced, but can influence other people.
- A player can influence Sims to fight each other if a Sim wants to see a fight.
- Sometimes, a want/fear will give/remove more influence points than it does aspiration points.
- Strangely, the "Fall out of love" fear will take away aspiration points, but give influence.
- In at least some circumstances, a Sim influenced to bathe will not do anything if only bathtubs or shower/tubs are available.
The Sims 3: University Life
Influence returns in The Sims 3: University Life, and is renamed as the "convincing" system. It plays a smaller role than in The Sims 2. Sims can convince each other to cook meals, clean the house, do their homework etc.
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The Sims 4: Eco Lifestyle
In The Sims 4: Eco Lifestyle, influence works a bit differently to the similar systems in The Sims 2 and The Sims 3, where it affects the environment more than it affects other Sims.
Sims typically gain influence points from positive interactions with other Sims and hosting social events, but the neighborhood action plan (N.A.P.) that is currently in effect in their home neighborhood also plays a part. For example, with the "Foodies Unite!" N.A.P., Sims gain influence points from baking[GTW], cooking and gourmet cooking.
Voting for a N.A.P. costs 10 influence points, as well as voting to repeal it if it is already in effect. Sims can vote as many times as they like, depending on how many points they have. Influence points can also be used to convince other Sims to support a particular N.A.P., where it costs 5 points.