A Sim's mood is determined by the level of their needs and, in The Sims 3, their moodlets. In The Sims 2 and The Sims Stories, it is also affected by their aspiration level, as Sim who are in platinum aspiration will have maxed-out mood regardless of their needs. Also in The Sims 2, a Sim can get a temporary mood boost by using a Noodlesoother. In The Sims 2: Seasons, drinking strawberry lemonade will boost a Sim's aspiration level to platinum, thereby giving the Sim platinum mood.
The bar/meter next to the needs (or moodlets[TS3]) indicates mood. Green (which is usually indicated by the upper part of the bar) indicates good mood, and means that the average level of the needs are green or the Sims has more positive moodlets. The higher and greater the amount of the green, the better mood the Sim is in. If there is no color in the bar, that indicates the Sim is in a neutral mood; neither good nor bad. Red (which is indicated by the lower part of the bar) indicates bad mood, and means that the average level of the needs are red or yellow. The higher and greater the amount of the red, the worse mood the Sim is in.
Sims that are in a bad mood will only do things that will increase their need levels (such as sleeping when energy is low, eating when hunger is low, etc.) They will not do anything that will either have no effect or worsen their moods (such as study, exercising, etc). Sims who are in a poor mood will not automatically go to work when the carpool comes, but will have to be told to go by the player. Sims in a good mood will be able to do anything that their age group, skills etc. allow.
In The Sims 3, if a Sim's mood is in the top section of the bar, they will automatically generate lifetime happiness points. Sims also learn skills and got promotions faster when they are in a good mood.
Bad Mood effects
When a Sim is in a bad mood, the following can be affected.
- Prior to The Sims 3, Sims will not build skills while in a bad mood. If the player tries to get them to build skills while in a bad mood, a dialog or message will appear.
- Romance socials such as Kiss will fail.[TS][TS2][TSS].
- The player cannot use any socials on an Urb.[TU:SITC]
- Shaking the Ice Cream machine in Kicktail Park will result in death.[TU:SITC] However, if Fireworks occur or Ice Cream comes out, the Urb will not die.
Urgencies are the common needs such as Hygiene, Hunger and Energy that Sims must fulfill. When a need becomes too low, a Sim might have a cloud with the image of that need over their head and will make a motion, such as holding themselves if they need to use the bathroom. Sleeping Sims with low needs often have nightmares about the low motives. Sims with low needs tend to wave at the player and complain, and will not learn any new skills until their mood improves. They will also refuse to do several actions.
If needs are not met at all, consequences might occur, such as having an accident on themselves, passing out, or even worse, death.
Depression, though not explicitly mentioned by name, appears in The Sims and its expansions. It is the result of a Sim's motives not being fulfilled. It is inspired by the real life mental disease which shares the same name. If a Sim's motives are neglected for long enough, especially social, the Sim's mood will begin to drop into the red area, and the Sim will eventually become depressed. A depressed Sim will refuse to look for jobs, whether it be via computer or newspaper. If a Sim is already employed, he/she will not automatically decide to go to work when the carpool shows up, instead they will have to be prompted. He/She will also refuse to take part in most skill-building activities, such as chess or reading a skill book. In The Sims 2 and The Sims 3, nightmares can also be a result of depression. A depressed Sim will occasionally weep and have bad thoughts. An easy, though expensive, way to fix it is to send the Sim(s) on vacation[TS3:WA] If they become depressed on their vacation, it will be necessary to send them home. Having low funds can also send a Sim's mood plummeting.
If a Sim's mood drops all the way to the bottom, the Sim may simply refuse to do anything, even if directed to by the player. With The Sims 2: Nightlife or later, this can be addressed by using the MaxMotives cheat.
Dealing with Depression
Depending on which game is being played, and which expansions are installed, there may be ways to deal with a depressed Sim, even if he or she is not inclined to do anything.
- In The Sims: Makin' Magic, the Get Happy and Get Happy Jr. spells can be used to boost the mood of an individual Sim. The Magic Mood charm can be used to boost the mood of all Sims on a lot. However, these methods can backfire on the user.
- Some custom content creators made hacked objects that could boost the mood of the selected Sim, or of all Sims on the lot, without requiring Sims to actually interact with them.
- It is possible to refresh a depressed Sim by enabling the move_objects cheat, deleting the Sim, then clicking the Sim's icon in the control panel to cause the Sim to reappear. However, doing this is not recommended, due to the risks of overusing move_objects.