In The Sims 2, certain aspiration reward objects such as Smart Milk, the Thinking Cap, and the SimVac can also aid in the building of skills, as do the career reward objects which focus on one skill. All 7 main skills (Cooking, Cleaning, Mechanical, Logic, Creativity, Body, and Charisma) are covered by at least one object. If Seasons is installed, drinking a veggie cocktail will aid in skill building, and drinking eggplant juice will give a random skill point. All skill building is also boosted during the fall season. If a Souvenir Rack has five Far East Souvenirs on it, all nearby sims will build skills faster.
In The Sims 3, skills have been expanded, and something roughly similar to the talent badges from The Sims 2 has been worked into the skill system. Skills still have 10 levels of proficiency. Sims who have maxed out any skill receive a certificate which can be sold for §1,000 (price will drop after some time) or hung up proudly on their wall. The interface for The Sims 3 was redesigned, so that information about a skill, statistics and challenges can now be found in the skill journal. Additionally, classes in all the skills can be taken at various community buildings. Another difference from previous games is that Sims can learn skills on any lot. Previously, Sims could not gain skills on community lots, though some expansion packs for The Sims 2 had limited exceptions to this.
In The Sims 4, skills work similarly as they do in The Sims 3. Skills usually have the max level of 10, and unlike previous games, there is no "level zero" with skills. Instead, Sims will immediately start at level 1. After a Sim has started learning new skills, the information regarding those skills along with the statistics will be stored in the skills panel. As in The Sims 3, Sims can learn skills on any types of lots such as community lots, if the required conditions is met. Toddlers and children also have their own unique set of skills that are not available to teens and older. If a toddler has mastered all of their skills, the Sim will gain a special reward trait after aging up. If a child has mastered their skills, they can start learning normal adult skills, which will be transferred after aging up into a teen.
Skills by game
|Skill||The Sims||The Sims 2||The Sims 3||The Sims 4||Age||Notes|
|Cooking||X||X||X||X||Teen and older|
|Mechanical / Handiness||X||X||X||X||Toddler
[TS2:FT] and older
|Charisma||X||X||X||X||Toddler[TS2], teen and older|
|Body / Athletic / Fitness||X||X||X||X||Child
[TS3:G] and older
|In The Sims 2 and its expansions, children can use some methods of building this skill (see body). In The Sims 3, this changed to child and older in Generations.|
|Logic||X||X||X||X||Toddler and older|
|Creativity||X||X||X||Toddler and older, child only[TS4]||Was split into many skills such as piano, writing and painting in The Sims 3 and The Sims 4. However is available as a child skill in The Sims 4.|
|Cleaning||X||X||Child and older||Is a hidden skill in The Sims.|
|Painting||X||X||X||Teen and older||Is a hidden skill in The Sims 2|
|Guitar||X||X||Teen and older||In Generations, it changed to child and older|
|Fishing||Talent badge||X||X||Child and older|
|Writing||X||X||X||Teen and older||Is a hidden skill in The Sims 2|
|Gardening||Talent badge||X||X||Teen and older||In Generations, it changed to child and older|
|Photography||X[TS3:WA]||X||Child and older|
|Nectar making||X[TS3:WA]||Teen and older|
|Martial arts||X[TS3:WA]||Teen and older|
|Sculpting||X[TS3:A]||Teen and older|
|Inventing||X[TS3:A]||Child and older|
|Mixology||X[TS3:LN]||X||Teen and older|
|Drums||X[TS3:LN]||Teen and older||In Generations, it changed to child and older|
|Piano||X[TS3:LN]||X||Teen and older||In Generations, it changed to child and older|
|Bass||X[TS3:LN]||Teen and older||In Generations, it changed to child and older|
|Riding||X[TS3:P]||Teen and older|
|Hunting||X[TS3:P]||Cat and dog only|
|Gambling||X[Store]||Young adult and older||Only available in The Sims 3 Store|
|Alchemy||X[TS3:SN]||Teen and older|
|Science||X[TS3:UL]||Teen and older|
|Social networking||X[TS3:UL]||Teen and older|
|Street art||X[TS3:UL]||Teen and older|
|Violin||X[Store]||X||Only available in The Sims 3 Store|
|Dancing||X[Store]||X[TS4GT]||Only available in The Sims 3 Store. This is a separate skill from the hidden Dancing skill.|
|Advanced technology||X[TS3:ITF]||Child and older|
|Bot building||X[TS3:ITF]||Teen and older|
|Laser Rhythm-a-con||X[TS3:ITF]||Teen and older|
|Artisan||X[Store]||Teen and older|
|Comedy||X||Teen and older|
|Gourmet cooking||X||Teen and older||Requires level 5 in base cooking skill.|
|Mischief||X||Teen and older|
|Programming||X||Teen and older|
|Rocket science||X||Teen and older|
|Video gaming||X||Teen and older|
|Herbalism||X[TS4:OR]||Teen and older|
|Baking||X[TS4:GTW]||Teen and older|
|Wellness||X[TS4:SD]||Teen and older|
|DJ mixing||X[TS4:GT]||Teen and older|
|Singing||X[TS4:CL]||Teen and older|
|Pipe organ||X[TS4:V]||Teen and older|
|Vampire lore||X[TS4:V]||Teen and older|
|Bowling||X||X[TS4:BNS]||Child and older|
|Parenting||X[TS4:PH]||Young Adult and older|
|Veterinarian||X[TS4:C&D]||Teen and older|
|Pet training||X[TS4:C&D]||Child and older|
|Archaeology||X[TS4:JA]||Teen and older|
|Selvadoradian culture||X[TS4:JA]||Teen and older|
|Flower arranging||Talent badge||X[TS4:S]||Teen and older|
|Acting||X[TS4:GF]||Teen and older|
|Media production||X[TS4:GF]||Teen and older|
|Robotics||Talent badge||X[TS4:DU]||Child and older|
|Research & debate||X[TS4:DU]||Teen and older|
|Fabrication||X[TS4:EL]||Teen and older|
|Juice fizzing||X[TS4:EL]||Teen and older|
|Knitting||X[TS4:NKS]||Child and older|
|Rock climbing||X[TS4:SE]||Teen and older||Is a hidden skill in The Sims 4: Fitness Stuff.|
|Skiing||X[TS4:SE]||Child and older|
|Snowboarding||X[TS3:S]||X[TS4:SE]||Child and older||Is a hidden skill in The Sims 3: Seasons.|
|Cross-stitch||X[TS4:CLV]||Child and older|
|Skill||The Sims||The Sims 2||The Sims 3||The Sims 4||Age||Notes|
|Walking / Movement||X||X||X||Toddler only|
|Talking / Communication||X||X||X||Toddler only|
|Potty Training / Potty||X||X||X||Toddler only|
|Nursery Rhyme||X[TS2:FT]||Toddler only|
|Study / Homework||X||X||Child or Teen||Is a hidden skill in The Sims 3|
|Dancing||X||X||Child and older||Is a hidden skill in The Sims 2 and The Sims 3|
|Meditation||X||X||Teen and older||Is a hidden skill in The Sims 2. Merged with wellness in The Sims 4: Spa Day.|
|Yoga||X||X||Teen and older||Is a hidden skill in The Sims 2. Merged with wellness in The Sims 4: Spa Day.|
|Pool||X[TS2:U]||X[TS3:ST]||Teen and older||Is a hidden skill in The Sims 2 and The Sims 3: Showtime|
|Tai Chi||X[TS2:BV]||Child and older||Is a hidden skill in The Sims 2|
|Magic / Spellcasting||X[TS2:AL]||X[TS3:SN]||Life state ability[TS4:ROM]||Teen and older||Witch/spellcaster only|
|Parenting||X[TS2:FT]||Teen and older||Life Skill|
|Fire Prevention||X[TS2:AL]||Teen and older||Life Skill|
|Anger Management||X[TS2:AL]||Teen and older||Life Skill|
|Lifelong Happiness||X[TS2:AL]||Teen and older||Life Skill|
|Physiology||X[TS2:AL]||Teen and older||Life Skill|
|Couple Counselling||X[TS2:AL]||Teen and older||Life Skill|
|Ballet||X[TS3:G]||Child only||Is a hidden skill in Generations|
|Scouting||X[TS3:G]||Child only||Is a hidden skill in Generations|
|Sandbox||X[TS3:G]||Child only||Is a hidden skill in Generations|
|Hopscotch||X[TS3:G]||Child and older||Is a hidden skill in Generations|
|Skating||X[TS3:S]||X[TS4:S]||Is a hidden skill in The Sims 3: Seasons and The Sims 4: Seasons|
A few examples of skills that are needed in everyday life:
- Sims will be less likely to set ablaze their kitchen or burn their food when they know how to cook.
- If a Sim is experienced in the mechanical or handiness skill, they can repair broken things in the household faster and the chance of electrocution while repairing objects (e.g. a trash compactor or TV) decreases significantly. This is particularly useful in The Sims 2, The Sims 3 and The Sims 4, since it can mean not having to call the repairman.
- Skills can affect the job performance of a Sim, specifically skills related to that job.
- Sims with high charisma tell better stories and jokes. They are also not too likely to be rejected for these interactions by other Sims they might want to make friends with.
- Sims will clean things in the household slightly faster if they have gained enough cleaning skill. However, some players report that it also depends on the neatness of the Sim.[confirmation needed]
- The body skill of a Sim is built by using treadmills, weights, or swimming. When Sims are fat, they can train and not only get thin, but also stronger. When two Sims fight with each other, it is said that the Sim with the higher body skill is more likely to win the fight. At least in The Sims 2, more active Sims build this skill faster.
- The creativity skill, when high enough, will lead to Sims who create masterpieces on the easel which that sell for a lot of money (in The Sims 3, up to several thousand simoleons for master painters). Alternatively, creative Sims can also write novels (in The Sims 3, a masterpiece by a truly talented and experienced writer can fetch over 10,000 per royalty payment, which adds up to over 70,000 Simoleons). Sims with high music skill can earn tips when they play an instrument in front of an audience; in The Sims 3, a virtuoso with maxed out guitar skill can make a couple of thousand Simoleons per session.
- If a Sim has every skill maxed they will also begin a career halfway into it. Also when they pick up a job at this stage the career reward usually becomes immediately available, enabling them to achieve all the rewards within a few days.[TS2]
- Perfecting a skill unlocks new abilities; for example, a high logic skill lets a Sim tutor other Sims, new cooking skill levels unlock new recipes, and new fishing skill levels lets Sims catch new types of fish.[TS3][TS4]
- Sims get a "Power Study" moodlet if they study at the library.[TS3]
- Gaining a skill would unlock new social interactions. By simply taking to others, a Sim with particular skill (don't need to be maxed), they can help others gain skills, also gaining friendship at the same time.[TS4]
In The Sims 2, Sims of any age and aspiration may roll wants to gain a skill point or to gain a point in a specific skill. These wants are more common for Knowledge Sims, and Knowledge Sims may also have wants to increase a specific skill to a certain level, to maximize a specific skill, and to maximize all skills. These wants have higher values, and are also influence wants. Also, Fortune and Family Sims have a somewhat higher chance of rolling skill-related wants. Fortune Sims will frequently want to gain skills needed for promotion, while Family Sims will often want to gain cooking and cleaning skill.
The Sims 2: FreeTime changes this somewhat, in that Sims who do not have Knowledge as a primary or secondary aspiration may have wants to increase a specific skill to a certain level. Sims with hobby enthusiasm may have wants to increase skills related to their hobbies.
In The Sims 3, Sims above the toddler age may also wish to gain a particular skill point or to increase their skill in a particular area. These wants are influenced by a Sim's traits or lifetime wish (artistic Sims will want to gain points in the painting skill, Sims who wish to be monster makers will want to gain points in the inventing skill).
This section describes features that are only available in The Sims 3.
Players do not see a skill in the Sim panel until the first point is unlocked, then they can view the skill journal. Each skill has a tab in the skill journal detailing the level of the skill, statistics, what the challenges are, and sometimes other special information. For example, the athletic skill journal shows the statistics: hours of cardio workout, hours of strength workout, distance jogged. The skill journal is viewed by pressing the J key in-game or selecting the skills tab and clicking the small document that appears at the end of the skill bar after unlocking the first point.
Various challenges are also available in the skill journal. For example, in the painting skill journal, a challenge to paint thirty paintings is available. When completed, the Sim earns a reward of being able to paint significantly faster than normal Sims.
There are multiple skill challenges for each and every skill, as well as collections. All of them earn some kind of benefit, such as quicker completion, better results, etc.
Community lot skill buildings
This section describes features that are only available in The Sims 3.
There are certain rabbit holes where Sims can go to learn skills:
|Advanced Technology||Stellar observatory|
|Alchemy||Vault of Antiquity|
|Athletic||Stadium, plumbot competition arena(Plumbot only)|
|Bass||Theater, college of arts|
|Bot Building||Plumbot competition arena|
|Charisma||City hall, college of business, plumbot competition arena(Plumbot only)|
|Cooking||Diner, bistro, college of arts|
|Drums||Theater, college of arts|
|Gardening||Science lab, college of science|
|Guitar||Theater, college of arts|
|Handiness||Military base, annex|
|Inventing||Science lab, college of science|
|Logic||Science lab, college of science|
|Mixology||Bistro, college of arts|
|Painting||School, college of arts|
|Piano||Theater, college of arts|
|Science||Science lab, college of science|
|Scuba Diving||Science lab|
|Sculpting||College of arts|
|Social Networking||Office building, college of business|
|Street Art||College of arts|
|Writing||Office building, college of arts, college of business|
These lessons take a few hours to complete, and are available to children and older. The lessons may cost around 300 - 600 Simoleons. They are also a much more efficient way to train skills, due to their price. Sims can only be trained once for each skill. They'll need to use other methods (read books, practice, etc.) after the class.
- In The Sims 2: Apartment Life, there's a glitch where learning Physiology would often cause Sims to be able to learn skills extremely fast.
- In The Sims 4, Reaping was a semi-visible skill that was present at the game's launch, but was removed in an unknown patch. It went up to level 10, and it was maxed out in every generated Grim Reaper. It had no known purpose.