A relationship is a shared acquaintance between two characters. Whenever two characters interact, they gain or lose "relationship points," based on each character's reaction to the other character. Relationship points are added or subtracted from the "relationship score," which is used to determine the general status of the relationship between the two characters. The relationship status between two characters, as well as their age, life state, and whether the characters are related to one another, ultimately determine which potential interactions the characters can engage in.
Relationships between two characters can be casual, friendly, hostile, humorous, or even romantic, all based on the history of interactions between the characters. Over time, and without interactions to reinforce the relationship, the relationship score between two characters will return towards a baseline of zero; characters that are passionate lovers or bitter enemies may eventually be nothing more than acquaintances to one another.
While Young Adults, Adults, and Elders are all able to form romantic relationships with each other, Teens can only initiate romantic interactions with other Teens.
Relationships can have a large impact on how Sims interact with each other and can decide which interactions can be performed or accepted. For example, Sims with a good relationship tend to have better conversations with each other and can share a double bed, while Sims with a poor relationship are less likely to positively accept each other's interactions or may even perform negative interactions on each other.
Sims require a high relationship to become married or joined, but the state of being married or joined is not lost autonomously if the relationship scores declines. In order to get married, Sims have to be romantically interested in their significant others first. Then, they can advance to go steady[TS3], propose marriage, and then get married.
In the initial release of The Sims, there was a single relationship bar that ran from -100 to 100. The Sims: Hot Date turned this into the daily relationship bar, and added a lifetime relationship bar. While this arrangement was not put into The Sims Deluxe Edition, it was carried forward into subsequent expansion packs, and into The Sims 2.
Two Sims would become friends if each one had a daily relationship of at least 50 toward the other, and the relationship would break if either Sim's daily relationship toward the other dropped below 50. "Best friend" status was not formally named or recognized, but the lifetime relationship could affect whether or not a social interaction was available, or would be accepted. Once an adult Sim's daily relationship with another hit 70, a successful romantic interaction between the two would result in a crush. If the lifetime relationship was at least 70, it would result in love. This was carried forward into The Sims 2.
Once two Sims had any kind of relationship, the lifetime relationship between them would build as they spent time together on the same lot, even if they didn't interact. However, this increase in lifetime relationship would come at the expense of their daily relationship. Every so often, the daily relationship would drop by two points, and the lifetime relationship would increase by one point. Up to 24-28 daily relationship points will be lost this way over for relationships between Sims physically present on the lots. Sims which are not present like those who live in other households and townies, have a relationship decay of 2 daily relationship per day with no increase in lifetime relationship. In addition, some interactions between Sims, such as giving gifts, would directly affect the lifetime relationship. Lifetime relationships tended to be highly stable over time. Even if two Sims went a long time without interacting with one another, the lifetime relationship would barely be affected. Unlike Daily relationship, lifetime relationships do not decay for Sims not present on the same lot.
|Type of relationship||Level of relationship|
|-100 to -50||-50 to -25||-25 to 0||0||0 to 25||25 to 50||50 to 70||70 to 100|
|Platonic||Enemy (<= -50)||Cold (<= -50)||Acquaintance (> -25 and < 25)||Warm (>= 25)||Friend (>= 50)|
|Romantic||Crush (>= 70)|
|Love (Lifetime >= 70)|
The Sims 2
The Sims 2 retains the daily relationship score and lifetime relationship score that were introduced in The Sims: Hot Date. However, Sims' relationships with one another no longer change simply because they spend time with, or around, one another. In The Sims 2, the lifetime relationship score gradually approaches the daily relationship score, so over time, two Sims' lifetime relationships will build up as long as they continue to interact enough to keep their daily relationships high. Every day at 4 pm all daily relationships decay by 2 points, while Lifetime relationships normalise towards the daily relationship value every 8 hours or 3 times a day at midnight, 8 am and 4 pm in intervals of 3 points. Sim relationships can also be raised or lowered with the use of cheats.
Sims are able to maintain romantic relationships with either gender. However, each Sim has a preference for each gender, which may be positive or negative. Romantic social interactions affect a Sim's gender preferences, depending on the other Sim's gender. For example, romantic interactions with a female Sim increase the Sim's preference for females and decrease his or her preference for males. A Sim's gender preference can be checked through the use of testingcheatsenabled or with SimPE.
In The Sims 2: Pets, pets develop relationships with Sims and other pets. Sims gain relationships with pets by doing positive interactions, such as praising, playing, or giving love. Negative relationship points are given when a Sim scolds or yells at a pet. When teaching a pet tricks, the relationship goes up and down, depending on how fast the pet learns but will be higher in the end.
Relationship levels in The Sims 2
|Type of relationship||Level of relationship|
|Daily||Enemy ||Just Met (> -2 and < 2)
Acquaintance (> -50 and < 50)
|Lifetime||Best Friend |
- Enemy: For the computer version, the Enemy relationship may be set if each of the two Sims has a daily relationship of -50 or less toward the other. Breaking it requires a positive interaction between the two once one Sim's relationship score has risen above that level.
"The way things are now, I couldn't dislike this much more if I tried. I suppose if I wanted to turn things around, I could try to get a read on what seems to generate a positive response when we interact."
- Console versions of The Sims 2 also have Arch Enemy. For these versions, the Enemy relationship requires a daily relationship of -15 or less.
- Just Met: The two Sims have met, but have not interacted enough to have a definite relationship. Daily relationship will be close to zero, though it may be positive or negative.
"I barely knew this Sim, but I bet if we spend more time getting to know each other we could become good friends. I should pay attention to our conversations and make a plan to get together sometime."
- Acquaintance: The two Sims are not friends, and the one whose relationships are being looked at does not consider the other an enemy. The relationship scores may be positive or negative. This is independent of family relationships; parents and children can be acquaintances if their relationship is neither strongly positive nor strongly negative.
"I've known this Sim for awhile but we still don't know each other very well. I'd like for us to be friends, maybe I should pick up the phone and chat."
- Friend: Each of the two Sims has a daily relationship of at least 50 toward the other.
"I'm so happy I took the time to make this Sim my friend. I'm going to have to work to keep us so close, but it will be worth it."
- Best Friend: If each of the two Sims has a lifetime relationship of at least 50 toward the other, this relationship will be set when they have a positive interaction. Talking on the telephone will set this relationship, but chatting on a computer will not.
"The smiley faces say it all — we‘re very close. I know even good relationships take work, so we can't forget to spend time together or those smiley faces could be wiped away."
- Best Friend Forever: "Best Friend Forever" was introduced in The Sims 2: FreeTime. This relationship may be set when two Sims have been best friends for a certain amount of time, but it appears that other factors are involved. It also appears that time spent on a lot as a walk-by or visitor counts. The two Sims involved do not need to interact for this relationship to be set. In fact, the player has no control over when two Sims who are best friends will become "best friends forever". These relationships do not decay as rapidly and are therefore easier to maintain. Players should note that Sims who are in a pre-set best friend relationship, such as Dustin Broke and Angela Pleasant, will not become BFFs unless the best friend relationship is lost and regained.
- Crush: Daily relationship of 70 or higher, built with romantic options.
"I really like this Sim. I hope we can become more than just friends. I think we're meant to be together."
- Love: Lifetime relationship of 70 or higher, built with romantic options.
"I adore this Sim. It would be wonderful if we both feel the same way. I'll have to be careful in my advances and take the time to determine if this Sim shares my feelings. This can only be true love."
- Engaged: Two Sims adults or older can propose an engagement to another unmarried Adult or older Sim.
"It’s so exciting that we're about to start our life together, but I know we'll still have to work at keeping our relationship strong. If we take the time to talk to and appreciate each other, I'm sure we'll stay just as close. "
- Married: This is only available to Sims already engaged. When Sims get married the proposed party moves into the household of the Sim that proposed to them and takes their last name.
"This Sim means the world to me. There's no one I'd rather spend my life with. Sure we might have some ups and downs, but if we treat each other well, we'll be together for a long time. "
- Going steady: only used by teenaged Sim lovers, and must be proposed by one of them.
"There's no Sim I enjoy spending time with more than this Sim. I can't wait for just 5 more minutes to spend together. Now that we're going steady, everyone knows we only have eyes for each other. "
- These relationships will not automatically be lost when the relationship falls below the required level. However, romantic relationships between teens are lost when one of them grows up.
Sims who have just become children may have a want to make a friend. Sims of any age and aspiration may have wants to become friends with Sims they know, or best friends with one of their friends, though these wants are much more common for Popularity Sims. With FreeTime, Sims of any age and aspiration may have wants to become BFFs with their best friends, though these wants are more common for Popularity Sims. Popularity Sims may also have a want to simply make a BFF. Family Sims who aren't in love with another Sim will often have a want to fall in love. Similarly, Romance Sims will often have a want to fall in love with a specific Sim or to have a certain number of lovers.
Sims will often have a fear of becoming enemies with a friend, romantic partner, or family member. Sims who are in love with another Sim may fear falling out of love with that Sim.
|Want||Aspiration points||Influence points||Notes|
|Make a friend||3500||500|
|Become friends with a Sim||3500||500||If a child either has the want or is the target of it, this is a 1500-point want.|
|Become best friends with a Sim||4000||1000|
|Make a BFF
Become BFF with a Sim
Contacts and Fury
Contacts and Fury were introduced in The Sims 2: Nightlife. Contacts are Sims who have heard of a Sim from a mutual friend (They can be playable or Downtownies). They will phone that Sim asking to go downtown on an outing or date. The relationship between your Sim and the Contact is given a boost for a short period of time. Their picture will be blue.
Sims can feel furious at Sims that had a hostile interaction with them. It also occurs when Sims are caught cheating. It decreases the relationship drastically while it's in effect, putting both Daily and Lifetime scores below -50, depending on the "offense" committed. The target of a Sim's fury will have a red overlay on his or her picture. The amount of red roughly indicates how much longer the Sim will remain furious.
- Mine: The cat claims ownership of the Sim or pet; similar to Best Friends
- Master: The dog is loyal to the Sim or pet
- Pack: The dog recognizes the Sim or pet as a member of his pack; similar to Friends.
- Best Friend: The dog treats the Sim or another pet as a close friend.
Sims' relationships with pets decline over time in the same way that their relationships with other Sims do. However, it appears that pets' relationships with Sims either do not decline over time or decline more slowly. Therefore, pets' relationships with Sims can be asymmetrical.
The Sims 3 and The Sims Medieval
The relationships in The Sims 3 and The Sims Medieval are slightly different from their predecessors. The number of "relationship points" a Sim has is not measured, and Sims only have one relationship bar instead of two.
Before two Sims meet, they are strangers, but upon their first interaction, they become acquaintances.
The next level in an amicable relationship is friend, then good friend, then best friend. Teen Sims also have the option to ask another teen Sim to become BFF (Best Friends Forever) if their relationship is at the best friend status. Long-lasting amicable relationships eventually become marked as old friends.
In an inimical relationship, the first (and only) level is disliked. With negative interactions, it is possible for two Sims to become enemies. It is also possible in this kind of relationship to declare the other a "nemesis". Long-lasting inimical relationships eventually become marked as old enemies.
In a romantic relationship, the first level is romantic interest. This can be reverted to an amicable relationship by asking to "just be friends". Then, if one Sim proposes to go steady with the other, the level is boyfriend/girlfriend. In order to gain access to the proposal, you must either initiate a series of romantic interactions between the Sims until they display a message saying they are finding the other sim "extremely irresistible" or have one of the Sims possess the "Hopeless Romantic" trait, at which point "Propose Go Steady" will become available. If this relationship ends, by breaking up, the Sims are marked as ex-girlfriends/ex-boyfriends. Then again, if one Sim proposes marriage to the other, it's fiancé(e). Then if married, it is husband/wife. Ending an engagement by breaking up results in becoming ex-girlfriend/ex-boyfriend, but ending a marriage results in ex-wife/ex-husband. Ending any sort of romantic relationship results in a heavy drop in the relationship bar. In order to become friends once these statuses are reached, the Sims must have a high enough relationship bar and be friendly to each other until the option appears to "just be friends".
When a Sim plays any instrument or performs any public interaction, such as play Guitar, the relationship will steadily increase with whoever is watching the Sim play.
In all EPs, and in The Sims 3 and The Sims Medieval, some interactions require higher relationship levels before they can be used. If such an interaction is used when the relationship is too low, the Sim will remind the player that (s)he needs to know the Sim better[TS3] or dim the interaction[Medieval]. In World Adventures, it is impossible to skip the relationship requirements for the adventures that some interactions need but this is possible in Ambitions by using the "Bribe" and "Beat Sim up for information" interactions.
Relationship levels in The Sims 3
|Enemy||Sims will get the "Enemy!" moodlet when they encounter a Sim they are enemies with.|
|Old Enemies||Sims will get the "Enemy!" moodlet when they encounter a Sim they are old enemies with.|
|Ex||Sims will get the "Heart Broken" moodlet after breaking up with their romantic interest or spouse.|
|Friend||Sims will get the "New Friend" moodlet after becoming friends with another Sim.|
|Best Friends Forever|
|Romantic Interest||Sims will get the "My Love" moodlet when they are near a Sim they are romantically involved with.|
The Sims 4
The Sims 4 has two bars indicating the relationships between Sims. The first bar indicates the Friendship level, which affects the amount of friendly and funny interactions Sims can do with other Sims who together have a high Friendship level. The second bar indicates the Romance level, which affects the number of romance interactions Sims can do with other Sims who together have a high Romance level, although the Friendship bar can help lower the chances of Romance interactions being rejected unless the Sim is flirty.
When Sims meet they are all strangers and become acquaintances when they meet. When their Friendship meter goes up, more interactions such as "Ask about day" and "Discuss interests" will unlock with a lot more friendly and funny interactions. When their Romance meter goes up, more interactions like "kiss", "dip kiss", "embrace" will unlock with a lot more friendly and funny interactions.
Emotions can greatly enhance the rate of either meter going up or down. For example, flirty Sims' Romance interactions are less likely to be rejected and successful interactions make the Romance meter grow more, while happy Sims' Friendly interactions will greatly improve the Friendship meter as well as the playful emotion.
In addition to the Friendship and Romance levels, the relationship(s) between two Sims are also labeled with text phrases. The ratio between the Sims' Friendship and Relationship levels is one of these. For example, Sims with high Friendship levels may be "Friends" or "Good Friends," whereas Sims with maxed Friendship and Romance are "Soulmates." Sims that the active Sim has met but has negligible relationship levels with are "Acquaintances."
Other relationship labels may be a reflection of familiar relationship ("Mother," "Step-brother," "Grandfather," etc), working in the same career ("Coworkers"), living in the same neighborhood ("Neighbors"), or specific social interactions ("Boy-/Girlfriend," "Best Friends Forever," etc.).
Parenthood Family Relationship Types
The Parenthood game pack introduced its own set that teenage Sims receive upon aging up to young adults. These relationships for parents reflect the Friendship level between the Sim and their parent/guardian, sibling, or grandparent and, for parents/guardians, the type of parenting reactions players chose (or didn't chose) when the child misbehaved.
The Sims Social
The Sims Social has several types of Sim-to-Sim relationships. Sims are able to be friends, enemies or lovers with one another.
- These relationships are reciprocal. Both Sims in the relationship must have the necessary score.
- Romantic relationships require romantic interactions