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The Sims 3
The Sims 3
Third main title in The Sims series

Featured Article
The Sims Wiki's Featured Article for June 2009.
The Sims 3
Play with life
Developer(s) Maxis, The Sims Studio
Publisher(s) Electronic Arts, producer: Ben Bell
Ratings CERO: C
FPB: 13
PEGI: 12
USK: 6[note 1]
GRAC: 15
PCBP: 12+
Series The Sims
Release date(s) Windows/Mac
NA June 2, 2009
AUS June 4, 2009
EU June 5, 2009[1]

Mac 64bit Metal
INT October 28, 2020[2]

Technical information
Engine The Sims 3 Engine
Aspect ratio 3:2, 4:3, 5:3, 5:4, 85:48, 25:16, 16:9, 16:10, 9:16,[note 2] 10:16,[note 2] 25:16,[note 2] 3:4,[note 2] 4:5[note 2]
Native resolution 640x480 up to 3840x2400
Version 1.70 (macOS x64)
1.69 (Origin PC)
1.67 (Steam and DVD for both PC and macOS x86)
Platform(s) Windows, macOS
Mode(s) Single-player
Media DVD, Digital Download
System requirements Check out the minimum hardware requirements on the official website
Input methods Keyboard, mouse
Game features
Genres Life simulation
Creatures Sim, Ghost, Grim Reaper
Neighborhoods Sunset Valley
Related pages
Patches and updates
For other versions, see The Sims 3 (disambiguation).
Sims 3
TS3 Reflect

The Sims 3 is the third main title in The Sims series of video games. Like other The Sims games, The Sims 3 focuses on creating and controlling virtual worlds filled with simulated people called "Sims."

The Sims 3 keeps many of the innovations introduced by its predecessor, but adds several new features. The Sims 3 is the first game to feature an open-world concept: players are no longer limited to having a single lot loaded at a time, and Sims are able to move about and explore an entire town without triggering a loading screen. The Sims 3 features robust customization options through an expanded build mode and Create a Sim. The Sims 3 also introduces the Create a Style tool to the series, which allows players to change the patterns and colors of objects and clothing, and copy styles between different objects.

The Sims 3 replaces the points-based personality system of The Sims and The Sims 2 with a system based on unique traits. These traits influence a Sim's behavior and wishes, including their lifetime wish. Sim needs are also updated, with much of the functionality of these needs replaced or augmented by moodlets. Moodlets can have a positive, negative, or neutral affect on a Sim's mood. Moodlets can be triggered by specific events, proximity to certain areas or objects, or by very low or very high motives.

The Sims 3 was released for Windows PCs and Mac OS X on June 2, 2009. As of 2015, it has sold over 7 million copies, making it one of the best-selling PC games of all time. In addition to the base game, The Sims 3 features 11 optional expansion packs and nine stuff packs. The Sims 3 boasts a robust online store that sells downloadable content including new game objects and object sets, venues, and worlds. The game also has over five dozen free game updates that fix game bugs and add new content to the game.


The Sims 3 Logo

The freedom of The Sims 3 will inspire you with endless creative possibilities and amuse you with unexpected moments of surprise and mischief! Create over a million unique Sims and control their lives. Customize everything from their appearances, to their personalities and even the home of their dreams. Then, send your Sims out to explore new locations around town and to meet other Sims in the neighborhood. Go online for exclusive extra game content and robust online features including $10 worth of free SimPoints and a bonus downloadable town. With all-new quick challenges and rewarding game play, The Sims 3 gives you the freedom to choose whether (or not!) to fulfill your Sims’ destinies and make their wishes come true.



Sunset Valley Poster

The neighborhood that ships with the game, Sunset Valley,[3] is a beautiful setting with 97 lots full of characters. The description of this neighborhood reveals that The Sims 3 is indeed a prequel to The Sims and The Sims 2, as Sunset Valley was apparently built before Pleasantview, and founded by the Goth family.

A second neighborhood named Riverview[4] is available as a free download in The Sims 3 Store when the game is registered.[5]

The Sims 3: World Adventures introduced three sub-neighborhoods, Champs Les Sims, Shang Simla and Al Simhara. Each sub-neighborhood is a unique, exotic environment that is as large as a regular neighborhood. The Sims 3: Ambitions comes with Twinbrook. The Sims 3: Late Night comes with the neighborhood Bridgeport. The Sims 3: Pets comes with Appaloosa Plains. The Sims 3: Showtime comes with Starlight Shores. The Sims 3: Supernatural comes with Moonlight Falls. The Sims 3: University Life introduced a fourth sub-neighborhood named Sims University, where Young Adult or older Sims can go to college. The Sims 3: Island Paradise comes with Isla Paradiso. The Sims 3: Into the Future introduced a fifth sub-neighborhood named Oasis Landing.

Aside from Riverview, more downloadable neighborhoods are available for sale from The Sims 3 Store. Barnacle Bay, a pirate-themed neighborhood, costs 2,000 SimPoints. Hidden Springs is a mountainous downloadable neighborhood on The Sims 3 website and costs 2,250 SimPoints. Sunlit Tides is a group of islands which has two versions: standard version costing 2,450 SimPoints and gold costing 4,350. Lunar Lakes is a neighborhood located on a foreign planet and costs 2,200 SimPoints. Lucky Palms, a desert-themed neighborhood, has two versions: standard and gold; the standard version costs 2,450 SimPoints, while the gold version costs 4,350. In December 2012, Monte Vista was available to download from The Sims 3 Store, and only came in a standard version. In February 2013, Aurora Skies was released to download from The Sims 3 Store. The standard version costs 2,450 SimPoints while the gold version costs 3,900 SimPoints. Dragon Valley, a medieval themed world, was released costing $20 for the standard version, and $30 for the gold version. In September 2013, a Gothic themed world, called Midnight Hollow costs 2,450 SimPoints for the standard and 4,350 for the gold. Roaring Heights featured a 1920s to 1940s world, costing $20 for the standard and $35 for the gold.

A new neighborhood, Adventureland is shipped with patch 69. It is based on the base game neighborhood Sunset Valley, sharing the same description and image.

Neighborhood Continuity[]

See also: Timeline of events in The Sims series

"Before Pleasantview, there was Sunset Valley, founded by the Goths and built up by the Landgraabs to be a quiet, peaceful town. But when the Altos arrive with uptown ideals, will the townsfolk feel the need to choose sides?"

Sunset Valley, Riverview, and Twinbrook all take place before the events of The Sims (although at different times). Barnacle Bay is set after the events of The Sims 2. Although all other neighborhoods are not explicitly stated, they can be considered to take place before the events of The Sims.

In an interview with producer Ben Bell and members from the EA Forum in the UK it's written "He said that Sunset Valley itself is set before the neighborhood we see in The Sims, as if it's a prequel to the story we already know. He said the Goths[6] are in the town, as their younger selves obviously as well as other familiar names and faces. Lots of new characters too."[7]

Agnes Crumplebottom does make an appearance as her younger self in Sunset Valley and players soon discover that the source of her crabbiness is due to the death of her husband who features as a ghost.[8] Other families in Sunset Valley are the Landgraabs which are a very affluent family; the new Alto family, the Keaton family, the Wolff family, the Hart family, the Ursine family, as well as many others.

Open Neighborhood[]

According to the Games for Windows magazine, "The biggest change to The Sims 3 is that it takes place in a wide-open, constantly changing neighborhood — a much bigger sandbox." It was confirmed that the game would be an open neighborhood by the official website. The neighborhood is as such, and its neighborhood can be compared in vastness to the ones featured in other titles like Grand Theft Auto, Bully, Need For Speed Carbon and Burnout Paradise.

The loading of lots during play and lot-based playing has been eliminated. Now every action takes place in a seamless living neighborhood. There are lots, parks, shops and other places Sims like to explore. All Sims, and their Sim friends and family are in this neighborhood. They can dine, visit, shop, and relax. Map tags help players navigate the neighborhood, find interesting places to visit, and locate their Sims.


Sunset Valley Map View

Also, on the map, icons for buildings are different colors. Red icons are career buildings, royal blue icons are public places, light blue icons are for the location of Sims in the active household, orange icons are for other Sims' homes that the selected Sims knows, and green is the active household's house.

  • Sims farther from the center of the neighborhood spend more time commuting to work.[9]
  • Sims can have parties at public venues, such as pools and parks.[9]
  • Sims have many more places to "public WooHoo" and the chance of getting caught in their underwear.[10]
  • The area of the town where Sims choose to live now depends on income. For example, Summer Hill Court is a more expensive residential lot [9]

There are also new public events in The Sims 3, such as music concerts, movie premieres, pool parties, barbecues, sporting events, outdoor fishing, and the most civic-minded public activity in a Sims game to date, attending a public protest at the City Hall, where Sims can voice their discontent with the administration's legal mumbo jumbo by angrily shouting their own nonsensical Simlish mumbo jumbo.[11]

When a child or teen Sim finishes school, there's a chance he or she may bring a friend home; there's also a chance the child or teen Sim may get invited over to a friend's house. The player has the option to accept or decline. Accepting, the player can then follow the Sim to their friend's house. Depending on how high their relationship is, the Sim can "Request to Sleep Over". If the friend accepts, they'll say, "Sure, make yourself at home".

EA released a Create-a-World tool in December 2009, so players can create new neighborhoods for their Sims to live in.

Buy Mode[]

Buy Mode

"Buy mode toolbar"

  • There are 10 Base Game TV Channels: Sports, Kids, Action, Shopping (can't actually buy anything), History, Horror, Fishing, Gardening, Cooking, and Romance. The amount of stations received depends on the television set bought and on the upgrades given the television. The highest level for a TV is 3 stars. When the Seasons expansion pack is installed, the Weather channel is added, which brings up a 5-day forecast for the player to view.
  • When a Sim opens a fridge, cold air coming out can be seen. The fridge can also have stink fumes coming out that mean Sims need to take spoiled food out.
  • The fire alarm is lower, and changed to allow the player to hang a wall lamp above it.
  • On the easel, there are three sizes of paintings; the Sim can also choose to paint landscapes, portraits, and scenes from memory or taken on their cell phone depending on the Sim's skill level.
  • If a Sim tinkers with some objects they can get upgrades such as "Fireproof", "Self-cleaning" and "Unbreakable".
  • Players can buy a rubber ducky and a bubble bath for the bathtub which give positive moodlets.
  • On a computer, Sims can browse the web, play chess (on higher quality computers), play computer games, tinker, and get a job. Frugal Sims can find coupons, Computer Whiz Sims can hack and overclock, Evil, Grumpy, and Mean-Spirited Sims can troll online for the Fiendishly Delighted moodlet, Inappropriate Sims can make inappropriate forum posts, and Genius Sims can solve the unsolvable for cash.
  • There are 10 different purchasable cars in the base game.
  • There is now a new "Accents" Section, which includes miscellaneous decor and trinkets (basically props).
  • When a Sim dies, all of his/her belongings are added to the family inventory, so the player won't lose them.
  • Diving board is featured in the game via patch 1.42.

Build Mode[]

Create a Style

"Customize everything"

  • When moving a family into a lot, the player can choose to buy houses furnished or unfurnished.
  • The sledge hammer tool has been enhanced, the player can now drag an area to delete multiple objects.
  • When placing objects against a diagonal wall the object will snap into place perfectly.
  • There's a roof height slider.
  • The biggest lot size is 64x64 (same as a 5x5).
  • There is an option for Auto-Roofs. So, while the player builds, the roof automatically appears.
  • There’s a button that paints / carpets the entire room (instead of holding Shift, though this option is still available). This can also be found on the left hand side of the tab.
  • The player can set light colors and brightness levels (both indoor and out) in live mode. A black light is also available on all light fixtures.
  • There is now a square terrain paint brush. Imagine using it to paint a sidewalk.
  • The player can change the floor and walls of a pool. (Note: This is also available in The Sims 2: Seasons.)
  • The maximum width of a set of stairs is 8 tiles.
  • There are single tile doors, double tile doors, single tile doors that center on double tiles, and even three tile doors.
  • There are ceilings under ANY floor tile placed. At this time, the player cannot recolor the ceiling without Ambitions.
  • The maximum number of floors is 5.
  • 1/2 walls were released at the same time as Late Night.
  • The player can move many wall objects up and down on walls as of Late Night.
  • As of November 2010 players can create round pool edges.
  • 45 and 90 degree rotation comes with the game. Holding the ALT key allows free placing and rotation.
  • The player cannot import patterns into the game without a mod.[12]
  • The player can move the mailbox and trash can anywhere on the lot.
  • The player can click on any external door on the lot and set it to become the new front door in live mode.
  • Fences rise with terrains.
  • There is a tool that allows the player to push walls in or out without the wall and objects having to be removed first. Instead, they move with the wall(s) The game will not allow this if counters or sectional sofas (added in Late Night) are against that wall.
  • Career buildings and some community lots are rabbit holes in the base game.


Main article: Life state
  • Like in previous games, ghosts also appear in The Sims 3 Base Game. They are creatures of deceased Sims, who roam the living world at night. They are less hostile and Sims can talk with them, unlike its predecessor. Ghosts whisper all the time, can become invisible, and can move the furniture. Ghosts can be turned back into playable characters through a random opportunity at the science lab; allowing the ghost Sim to be added to the household, like a family member. (See Oh My Ghost!) If a Sim decides to have a baby with a ghost, it has a chance of being a ghost baby.[13]
  • Mummies are introduced in The Sims 3: World Adventures. They are found in pyramids and tombs, and can be either NPCs or playable characters. Players may transform a Sim into a mummy by having him or her sleep two nights in a special sarcophagus: The Cursed Sarcophagus of the Kings. As a playable mummy, the Sim has slower motive decay and a lengthened lifespan, but moves at a slower rate, and will die instantly if they catch on fire. However, if cursed by a mummy, a Sim will die in 14 days if the player does not successfully remove the curse. Ways to remove The Mummy's Curse include successfully performing the snake kiss, or pleading to the soul peace statue within the Sphinx before the time expires.
  • SimBots are introduced in The Sims 3: Ambitions. They can be only invented with an inventing skill of level 10, and gaining the ability to make them also requires an opportunity. SimBots require 1 Palladium, 1 heart-shaped cut Pink Diamond, 10 Life Fruits and 100 units of scrap.
  • Vampires are introduced in The Sims 3: Late Night. They are similar to those in The Sims 2: Nightlife, however they now only live off Plasma. They can gain it through plasma packs, Sim blood, or plasma fruit which is one of the rare fruits. Vampires and regular Sims can have children, and the offspring can be a vampire hybrid, because Vampirism is hereditary. In the relationship tab, a vampire Sims will have a red glow around their picture. Sims will gain a memory[TS3:G] of having a Vampire baby. Vampire toddlers will bite the neck of teddy bears.
  • Imaginary Friends are introduced in The Sims 3: Generations. At first they start as a toy doll in a toddler's inventory. However, if the toddler plays with it long enough the doll will turn into an imaginary friend. Imaginary friends can become real Sims using a chemistry set.
  • Horses, cats, dogs, and many small animals are introduced in The Sims 3: Pets. Pets do not count toward the eight Sims allowed in a household, and small animals which live in terrariums (or briefly, in Sims' inventories) are not playable. Unicorns also exist as a life state of horse.
  • Genies are introduced in The Sims 3: Showtime. A genie can grant wishes to Sims. Sims can also release free a genie through a certain opportunity and high relationship with the genie. Genies have special abilities and their offspring can be hybrids, as well.
  • Fairies, Witches, Zombies, and Werewolves are introduced in The Sims 3: Supernatural. Players without Late Night also now have vampires, and Late Night vampires have expanded features. Much of the functionality of witches is similar to Makin' Magic.
  • Aliens are introduced in The Sims 3: Seasons. Much like Sims, an alien can be added to a household by befriending them and asking them to move. Aliens have brain powers that can be used to manipulate and read Sims' minds. They ride UFOs and appear to come to the neighborhood from space.
  • PlantSims are reintroduced in The Sims 3: University Life, though they are changed from their original appearance in The Sims 2: Seasons.
  • Mermaids are new creatures introduced in The Sims 3: Island Paradise. They are playable just like other occult life states. Mermaids can be male or female, and it's possible for Sims to become a mermaid by buying a "Mermadic Kelp" in lifetime rewards or obtaining it from another mermaid.
  • Plumbots are introduced in The Sims 3: Into the Future. They can be programmed by Sims with traits just like regular Sims with trait chips. The number of trait chips that can be put into a plumbot depends on the Sim's bot building skill.

Live Mode[]

Sims 3 Live Mode HUD

The user interface has a lot more simplicity compared to its predecessors The Sims and The Sims 2.

The player has the ability to control one family at a time and can easily switch from one family to another. All the Sims of each city evolve together, but it is possible to stop the aging and the story progression so the Sims that the player doesn't control won't get married or evolve. Aging and story progression are different settings, and can be set independently. Both options affect the entire city and not an individual family.

Free will can still be turned on and off, but also now has varying levels of High, Medium, Low, and Off. This setting is a game-wide setting rather than a save-specific setting. Currently, free will in The Sims 3 affects the entire city, not only the family the player is playing, which can cause non-player Sims, such as neighbors, to be passive. This was fixed with patches.[14]

The player can choose the length of a Sims life, from 25 Sim days (brief) to 960 Sim days (epic), and can also extend their life by eating a life fruit, a growable garden item. All Sims within the city will age according to the player's settings.

Difficulty Levels[]

Families are rated by how difficult they are to play. Difficulty is based on Sim relations, traits, number of family members, and children. There are six levels of difficulty.[15]

Interactions with Other Sims[]

As Sims interact with other Sims, they learn about them. The opinion the Sim has with the Sim they are currently interacting with and their traits are displayed on the screen. The type of relationship a Sim has with another is displayed in the relationship panel. Each Sim has different interactions based on their traits.[16]


Improvements to Sims include more customization options, a trait system that creates unique personalities, Sims that take care of themselves, and wishes that allow the player to set short- and long-term goals.

Create a Sim[]


Create a Sim features new skin tones, including green as pictured here.

Create a Sim-Sims 3

Create a Sim family view

Create a Sim now has more customizable options for Sims than the CAS in The Sims 2. The player now has a larger selection of body types for Sims, and are able to create different hair styles for every Sim. The player is now able to pick their Sim's shoes.

There are a total of 22 hairstyles for female Sims and 17 hairstyles for male Sims. There are a variety of hats and hair accessories that the player can use, but they all come with set hairstyles. Each of the hats and accessories can also have their colors and textures altered. Hairstyles can be chosen separately for each outfit.

Compared to previous games in the series, a lot more things can be modified. It is possible to just change the nose, for example, and it is possible to use the 'dot' system to go into more depth, i.e. change nostril definition, nose tip scale, bridge height, etc.

Accessories can also be added (gloves, socks, eyeglasses, bracelets, earrings, shoes, watches...) and customized with Create a Style tool. There are more styles for hair than ever before. Changing hair/clothing/face is easy, as all can be customized. The player cannot add layers when customizing clothing, but if the clothes already have layers then the colors and textures for each layer can be altered. The player can also click on any part of the Sim and the Create a Sim tool takes them directly to the right menu for editing whatever is selected. There is an eyelash length slider bar. Socks and shoes are also fully customizable.

The player can choose the Sim's full name, age, gender, skin tone, weight and muscle tone.

There are six possible skintones but only three of the six are realistic. The other three are green, red, and blue. There is a slider so the player can edit how light or dark the skintone is. For example, they can make a light green Sim with a dark green mother and a light skinned father.

Body modifiers also use sliders that adjust weight from thin to obese and muscle size from flabby to muscular. With patch 1.17.60, sliders for muscle definition and breast size (female only) were added. Height still cannot be changed (due to conflicts with animation).

Create Twin button

Players can now create twins (triplets, quadruplets, etc.) in Create a Sim using this button.[17]

Five personality traits can be chosen for each Young Adult Sim and above, with the chance to change them with a Lifetime Happiness reward. (Younger Sims have fewer traits. A teen has 4 traits, kids have 3 traits, and toddlers have 2 traits. Some traits are not available for younger ages. For example, toddlers can't be Flirty.[18] One Lifetime Wish is also chosen. In CAS, only young adults, adults, and elders can choose a lifetime wish, but in the game, children and teens can also choose to pursue a certain lifetime wish early.

Players are also able to choose from three types of voices and a slider to choose the pitch of a Sim's voice.[15]


Age types of Sims within the game are baby, toddler, child, teenager, young adult (default age). Adult (middle age) and elder. The lifespan of a Sim can also be edited, making it any number of days between 25 and 960.

Total lifespan days in each age-rate default mode
  • Short (25 Sim days)
  • Medium (50 Sim days)
  • Normal (90 Sim days)
  • Long (190 Sim days)
  • Epic (960 Sim days)
Default life phase lengths
Default age duration per setting
Normal Sim Baby Toddler Child Teenager Young Adult Adult Elder
Short 1 day 2 days 2 days 4 days 6 days 6 days 4 days
Medium 2 days 4 days 4 days 8 days 12 days 12 days 8 days
Normal 3 days 7 days 7 days 14 days 21 days 21 days 17 days
Long 6 days 15 days 15 days 30 days 45 days 45 days 34 days
Epic 30 days 75 days 75 days 150 days 225 days 225 days 180 days
  • Adult and Elder Sims can be married to Young Adult Sims.
  • A birthday cake is available for purchase to age Sims before the natural end of the phase. As of patch 22, players can adjust the individual length of each life stage.


Main article: Motive

Sims in The Sims 3 have six needs: hunger, bladder, fun, hygiene, energy, and social, omitting comfort and environment, two motives found in The Sims 1 & 2.[19] (Though their function is replaced by certain moodlets.)

Sims are able to take care of themselves, allowing the player to concentrate on what happens in their lives rather than balancing their needs. Sims now have wishes which can be fulfilled or ignored, and these often correspond with their needs (for example, a Sim may develop a wish to "Order Pizza" if they are hungry).


Main article: Pregnancy

Pregnancy in The Sims 3 is similar to pregnancy in The Sims 2. Pregnant Sims experience the same belly expansion, though in The Sims 3 the expansion is gradual. Sims can now read books about pregnancy and get medical advice at the hospital. Sims can also announce they're pregnant to their husband/lover, family, friends, and just about any person they meet. A Sim relatively high in the Medical career track can also give the pregnant Sim some medical advice and determine the gender of the baby. Pregnancy lasts 3 days and during that time the Sim will have backache moodlets, cravings, and in the earlier days, morning sickness. They also have a positive "Pregnant" moodlet throughout the pregnancy. When the day comes, a message box will alert the player that the baby is on its way. Wherever the pregnant Sim is, she will have contractions. The player can have another member of the family drive the to-be mother to the hospital, or tell her to go on her own, (the father of the baby will join the mother at the hospital separately, after she has entered it, and this applies for if the father is in the active household or not). After a few Sim hours the Sim will emerge from the hospital with a little bundle of joy. Boys are wrapped in blue blankets, while girls are wrapped in pink ones. If your Sim gave birth at the hospital and had twins,each parent will carry one; if she has triplets, the mother will come out with a baby basket and remove the babies when she gets home (the basket will disappear). Depending on how the pregnancy went, the player can get to choose one of 2 traits, both, or none. After birth, the Sim gets an "It's a Boy!", "It's a Girl!", "It's Twins!" or "It's Triplets!" positive moodlet which lasts for 2 days.

Both young adult and adult women can get pregnant, but young adults are more fertile. Sims can give birth at home or in the hospital.

There is a possibility that a Sim will have twins or triplets. There are higher chances if the Sim has the "Fertility Treatment" Lifetime Reward or watched the kids channel on TV frequently or listened to kids music. Triplets, when born in the hospital, are carried out in a large basket by their mother/father.


Main article: Trait (The Sims 3)

Traits are like segments of a whole personality that the player can assign to their Sims. They can combine to create increasingly complex personalities. There are 63 traits to choose from in the base game, with Expansion packs adding more, plus some hidden traits which can be passed on to the offspring of service Sims (firefighters, police officers, etc.) or from Sims in certain careers (such as the Criminal career). When the player assigns Traits to a Sim, that Sim will look and act the part. Toddlers, Children and Teens get a new trait at their birthday. If children had a good childhood, then the player can choose a trait. If not, the game will give them a random one, which is usually negative. They’ll have unique behaviors, preferences and advantages. Some traits give special abilities. They can be useful towards skill improvement (Artistic and Athletic traits, for example) and special interactions (Childish Sims can play with toys. Mooch Sims can ask for food.) [20]

Young adults and up have 5 traits, teens have 4 traits, children have 3 traits, toddlers and babies have 2 traits. With University Life expansion pack, Sims might be able to earn additional 6th and 7th traits by graduating from the university or reaching level 8 of a social group. The fewer traits a Sim has, the less complex that Sim's personality will be. For example, giving a Sim the Kleptomaniac trait only will result in him constantly stealing while giving a Sim 5 traits will result in more balance. A Sim can have any combination of traits as long as they do not contradict each other.[18] For example, a Sim cannot be both "Good" and "Evil".

Traits are genetic and what occurs during pregnancy can affect what traits are passed on. The parents also help pick the traits. For example, bad parents don't get to pick their own traits and will have randomly assigned ones that are generally unfavorable. NPCs can also pass on secret traits that only their children will get.

The Lifetime Reward "Midlife Crisis", costing 20,000 Lifetime Rewards points, allows the player to choose a Sim's traits again.


Main article: Wish
See also: List of Lifetime Wishes

Wishes are exclusive to The Sims 3 and provide the player with a wide selection of requests that keep their Sims happy as well as working towards some short and long-term goals and rewards. Wishes come from anywhere and everywhere, based on the Sims’ Traits, their job, their skills, their friends or coworkers, where they are in town, or what they might be doing. The player can promise to help their Sims with a wish or throw it away. Satisfying these basic tasks will unlock minor rewards and increase the Sim's overall morale with a "moodlet"—a minor condition that contributes to the characters' overall mood. Evil Sim just stole candy from a baby? This is considered a positive moodlet for this Sim. Having to listen to the annoying sound of the crying baby? This is considered a negative moodlet. Working toward a Lifetime Wish will win the Sim "Lifetime Happiness Points" that can be spent on extremely powerful items, including the teleporter[11]

The player is now free to pick or ignore their Sims’ wishes without fear of some sort of mental breakdown. Instead, they really get to focus on telling the story and making decisions; the Sim just makes suggestions along the way.[21]

Lifetime Rewards[]

Main article: Lifetime reward

Points gained from wishes may be spent on rewards, either in the form of an object or a permanent change in the Sim. For example, with 20,000 points the player can choose to buy the lifetime reward "Mid-Life Crisis" for their Sim, which allows them to pick their traits again.


Main article: Skill

Skills have been expanded on from previous versions adding two skills that were Talent Badges in The Sims 2 (fishing and gardening), and two that were hidden skills (writing and painting), plus 18 more skills added by various expansion packs. Four additional skills were also introduced from The Sims 3 Store and they include Artisan, Dancing, Gambling, and Violin. They still have 10 levels of proficiency with the exception of collecting.

Sims with high levels in a skill will unlock new abilities. For example, having a high level of logic allows a Sim to tutor other Sims, cooking unlocks recipes, fishing unlocks bigger fish, etc.[18]

Sims get a "Power Study" moodlet if they study at the Library, which helps with skill-building.[11] Some skills have a series of books, many of which can be found at the library. Reading these books increases the Sim's skill level for the skill in question. For example, reading a book about charisma will increase the Sim's level in charisma.

The player does not see the skill in the interface until they unlock the first point, which can be done by attending a class or reading a book about the skill. The player can then view the skill journal. The skill journal displays statistics and information about challenges, for example, the Athletic skill journal displays the number of hours of cardio workout, hours of strength workout, and distance jogged. The skill journal will display other information depending on the skill. For instance Cooking will display the recipes learned and the quality at which the Sim can produce that meal. The statistics and challenges for Collecting are available in the skill journal.

Also when Sims reach level 10 of a skill, they will get a certificate in the mail to display on a wall or sell for 1000 Simoleons.


Main article: Career

A female Sim in astronaut outfit.

Many of the careers from The Sims 2, such as the Law Enforcement and Professional Sports tracks, are in The Sims 3. Of course, there are also some new ones. Sims can look for these jobs in the newspaper or apply right at the building where they’d like to work. (Every career has a building in the neighborhood.) Sims are also able to make a living at home selling paintings, writing novels, or growing fruit and vegetables. To get some extra cash on the side if the Sim also has some cash to spare, they can buy out businesses and receive a percentage of the profits they earn. If Sims are less inclined towards pursuing a full-time career or are too busy skill-building, etc., they can get part-time jobs at certain career locations within the town. (Part-time jobs have a lower pay than full-time jobs and do not give career opportunities.) Part-time jobs are also available for teen Sims.

Advancing in a career still depends on mood and skills, but also relationships with colleagues/boss and even certain goals that have to be fulfilled. The player can decide how hard they work while on the job. The option to work hard will increase the Sim's performance faster at the expense of their mood. Taking work home, schmoozing the boss, reading medical journals, or completing opportunities also have an impact on a Sim's job performance. Chance cards and at-work events can still cause the Sim to lose their job, but may actually help them get a better job in another career track. Reaching the top of a career doesn't mean they're done, either. If a Sim keeps excelling at their duties, they can rake in extra Simoleons through additional raises.[22]

A new feature The Sims 3 offers is branching careers, which allows Sims to choose a certain path in their career (for example, a Sim in the Music career can eventually choose to specialize in Symphonic music or Rock).

The Sims 3: Ambitions introduces professions, careers that allow the player direct control over their Sims’ work and how they spend their days, and the ability for Sims to register at City Hall as self-employed in a skill career.

Features added with patches[]

Main article: The Sims 3/Patch

Game Update 1.5/1.6 on 11/16/09 introduced several features from World Adventures such as the new basement tool that allows players to build basements up to 4 levels deep under a lot, new Pagoda style roofs, and the ability to place decorations on roofs. It also added the ability to customize stairs, fences, and gates with textures, as well as being saved and shared with others and a ‘Sell All’ option for a family’s inventory.

Game Update 1.8/2.3 on 12/15/09 added the In-Game Store Browser allowing players to access store content through buy mode.

A free patch for The Sims 3 was released around the same time as Ambitions. It introduced the tattoo feature in Create-A-Sim from Ambitions although with a smaller number of available tattoos. It also introduced new Build Mode features such as the ability to make certain columns multi-stored and allows players to adjust the pitch of the roof. Players also have greater control over editing their towns.

A free patch for The Sims 3 was released around the same time as Fast Lane Stuff. It introduced the Vehicle Enthusiast trait which was originally shipped with that game.

A free patch for The Sims 3 was released around the same time as Late Night. It introduced three new features to Create-A-Sim from Late Night, the muscle definition, breast sliders (teen females and older only) and the return of astrological signs. It also allowed players to choose their own Lifetime Wish rather than having to choose one of five predetermined ones based on the traits chosen. Build Mode added the ability to build stages, fountains with spurts, half-walls, make curved swimming pools with curves being adjustable in size and gave players the ability to move wall hangings, photographs and paintings up and down walls. Urinals were also made available in Buy Mode.

A free patch for The Sims 3 was released around the same time as Generations. It introduced the ability to apply body hair to Sims (male teens and older only), the memory system, dating, and the ability to adjust lifespan and individual age lifespans through the options memory.

A free patch for The Sims 3 was released around the same time as Showtime. It introduced the Simport feature from Showtime. The patch also allowed players to choose two new outfits per outfit category including Career Outfits once a career is chosen for a Sim.

A free patch for The Sims 3 was released around the same time as Supernatural. It introduced population controls to the Options Menu with the ability to control the appearance of Celebrities and Vampires from Late Night, stray pets and wild horses from Pets, as well as Werewolves, Witches, and Fairies in Supernatural. It added new decorative objects to Build and Buy Mode such as drainpipes, wall patterns, roof cornices, a bookcase, and neighborhood rock objects in Edit Town. Create-A-Sim also gained 6 new skin tones and 5 new Looks sliders (Ear Orbit, Ear Point, Jaw Underbite, Brow Definition, Nostril Rotate). Fangs and bite marks could also be applied to Sims in the Accessories tab. Online gift giving was also introduced and implemented within gameplay.

A free patch for The Sims 3 was released around the same time as Seasons. It added many new features such as the ability for Sims to swim in oceans and rivers, an attraction system and the ability to take greeting card photos. Build Mode featured the return of diving boards to the swimming pool section and a new Blueprint Mode was added allowing players to quickly drop down and build customizable premade rooms together. In Create-A-Sim, an alien skin tone was added, the ability to create Alien Eyes and Alien Ears in the Looks section and the option to make Sims fully bald and have no eyebrows.

A free patch for The Sims 3 was released around the same time as Island Paradise. It added the ability to place lots partially on water, moving to a new town, purchasing additional homes, having more control options when importing a lot from the bin to a larger empty lot. It also added objects, such as a spiral staircase and a ladder.

A free patch for The Sims 3 was released around the same time as Into the Future. It added interactive loading screens which players can gain lifetime happiness while the game loads. In addition, 15 new patterns have been added to Create a Style.

Community features[]

Producers claim that The Sims 3 Exchange makes it easier to create and share custom creations.[23]


  • Better searching and browsing in the Internet.
  • The ability to make recommendations with an all-positive rating system.
  • The ability to run the in-game Launcher and see the latest news.
  • The ability to use the in-game Launcher to browse and download featured game items that members have created.
  • The ability to "favorite" areas of the site directly from the Launcher.
  • The ability to utilize the "Movie Mashup Tool" and upload the player's own video clips and screen shots and use them to make movies about their Sims. It provides a library of video clips and images that they can use along with their own, as well as a music library with hundreds of tracks. The tool lets them choose transitions and effects to use on their clips and can also use text captions to add narration and dialog.
  • The Story Tool lets the player create their own stories using uploaded and common screen shots.
  • The ability to share anything the player makes via email or blog posts on sites like Facebook and MySpace and through blogs and fan sites.

The Sims 3 Store[]

The Sims 3 Store launched at the same time as The Sims 3 and offers exclusive content that can only be found at The Sims 3 store. The Sims 3 Store has ongoing, regular releases of new content that is only available through The Store.[4] When the player purchases an item from The Store, it automatically gets added into their game Launcher when “Download Now” is clicked. From the game Launcher, the player can then install the item into their game with a single click. With another recent game update, the player can purchase items inside of the game via the Store's button.


SimPoints are the virtual currency used on The Sims 3 Store. Players may buy SimPoints in bundles of 500, 1000 or 2000 SimPoints using international credit cards including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, national credit cards including Carte Bleu, Carte Si, Dankort, Maestro, Solo and Delta, cash cards (North America), or PayPal. The Sims 3 Store accepts a number of currencies for the purchase of SimPoints including USD, GBP, EUR, BRL, SEK, DKK, AUD, NZD and ZAR. With SimPoints players can buy in-game items from The Sims 3 Store.[4]

Registering the game online gives the player $10 (£6) worth of SimPoints to start customizing their game.

World Adventures, Plus Late Night and Plus Generations also include a $10 card worth 1,000 SimPoints.

The Leak[]

Sims 3 Leaked

What the game launcher looks like using an unauthorized copy of the game.

The Sims 3 launcher notifies the user if the user has an unauthorized copy of The Sims 3.

On May 19, 2009, about 2 weeks before the release, a pre-release version of The Sims 3 was leaked onto the internet. The game was essentially as feature-complete as with the final retail build, but it was, according to EA, "buggy" and "pre-final", with certain features missing and is considered by the developers to be unstable. It was previously stated that players who own the leaked version of The Sims 3 would not be able to access The Sims 3 Store and would not be able to buy items from it.

It is possible to report illegal copies of the game to EA.

Expansion Packs[]

There have been 11 expansion packs for The Sims 3 developed by Maxis between 2009 and 2013.

Icon Name Description
The Sims 3 World Adventures Logo The Sims 3: World Adventures The Adventure is near...

Take your Sims on the adventure of their lives with The Sims 3 World Adventures. Guide your Sims to acclaimed fortune—or potential doom. Take your Sims to exotic destinations to hunt for hidden treasures. Uncover new skills, experience new personality traits and garner rewards, if your Sims succeed. Explore ancient tombs in the pyramids of Egypt, master martial arts in the Far East, and discover rich culture and famous landmarks of France. Adventure is on the horizon — what will your Sims discover?

The Sims 3 Ambitions Logo The Sims 3: Ambitions Imagine a world where you can make your Sim anything they want to be. Widen your Sim's horizons with a bunch of killer career opportunities. With

The Sims 3: Ambitions, decide whether your Sim will be the brave town hero, cause loads of mischief among their neighbors, or give some style advice. Make your Sim save the day as a brave firefighter, change your town as a leading architect, or live on the edge as a tattoo artist. Will your Sim find success as a billionaire high-tech inventor or eke out a living as a bumbling mad scientist? Will they uncover secrets as a private investigator by dusting for prints or roughing up a suspect for information? Will they walk the runways as a fashion diva with exhilarating and swanky style? Their future is entirely in your hands!

The Sims 3 Late Night Logo The Sims 3: Late Night For the first time ever, your Sims can experience late night fun as a VIP! Get your Sims an all-access pass to the hottest spots in town. Whether they mingle with celebrities or enjoy a casual night with friends, your Sims’ social lives are getting a boost! But keep in mind that some scenes are more exclusive than others, so make sure your Sims have the right connections to get past the bouncers at the hottest clubs. Wherever your Sims go, they’ll discover new things to become—adored celebrities, all-night partiers, rowdy bandmates, or vampires. What will your Sims get up to after dark?
The Sims 3 Generations Logo The Sims 3: Generations Enjoy a whole spectrum of rich life experiences with your Sims! Start off in the imagination-fuelled world of childhood and embrace the drama of the teen years. Experience the complicated realities of adult life, then reap the benefits of growing up in each life stage. A wealth of new options and activities makes your Sims' lives more meaningful than ever before, whatever their ages. With new celebrations, dramatic life events, and all-new ways for your Sims to express their creativity, The Sims 3 Generations lets your Sims live life to the fullest!
The Sims 3 Pets Logo The Sims 3: Pets Bring excitement and surprise into your Sims' lives with pets! Create the perfect (or imperfect) pets for your Sims, from fierce guard dogs to destructive kittens to trusty horses and more as you determine not only how your Sims' pets look but their personality traits as well. With a variety of new activities and social interactions, take direct control of your Sims' pets and explore new ways to mess with their lives. Give your Sims a new member of their household and discover all-new ways to play with life!
The Sims 3 Showtime Logo The Sims 3: Showtime Live the rags to riches story with your Sims while connected to your friends! Experience the rise to stardom as your Sim performs on stage from one venue to the next as a DJ, a singer, an acrobat, or a magician. For the first time, The Sims 3 Showtime introduces social features, including Simport, an all-new feature that lets you send your Sims to a friend’s game! There, your Sim can perform at your friend’s venue in front of your friend’s Sims! You will also be able to chat with friends and post messages and screenshots on your friends’ walls. Make your rise to fame!
The Sims 3 Supernatural Logo The Sims 3: Supernatural Enter the mysterious town of Moonlight Falls where strange things happen by the light of the moon. Create supernatural beings from menacing werewolves and cackling witches, to mischievous fairies and more intriguing vampires. Then stalk the night, use your wand to cast spells, or just stay home and claw the furniture and more. You can mix dozens of elixirs from turning Sims into zombies to transforming them into gold. Share your enchanted brews with any friends who have The Sims 3! Spooky surprises are in store for you in the world of The Sims 3 Supernatural!
The Sims 3 Seasons Logo The Sims 3: Seasons Let your Sims swim in the ocean on a hot summer day, bob for apples in the autumn leaves, test their snowboarding skill on the half pipe, or welcome spring showers with a walk in the rain and a colorful umbrella. All-new activities, like soccer, big seasonal festivals, and celebrations, bring the spirit of each season to life. Your Sims can pucker up at the kissing booth at the spring festival, or see what Halloween surprises await in the haunted house. Dress for the weather with seasonal fashions from sun dresses to raincoats to snow gear. With new foods, décor, and weather effects, your Sims can enjoy the bounty and beauty of the ever-changing seasons and play with life like never before!
The Sims 3 University Life Logo The Sims 3: University Life Are your Sims ready for the time of their lives? Heading off to university opens up new opportunities, from social connections to career growth. From class activities to major-specific objects, your Sim will find new ways to learn! And university isn’t just about hitting the books. Join a protest, flirt at a bonfire party—there’s a lot to learn outside of lectures at the student union. With new locations like the bowling alley and SimBurger to explore, and new activities like juice pong and spray painting murals to enjoy, your Sims are sure to have the time of their lives!
The Sims 3 Island Paradise Logo The Sims 3: Island Paradise Island adventures in paradise await your Sims! From exploring the isles in fully customizable houseboats to creating a five-star resort experience, your Sims will love the carefree tropical lifestyle. Nautical Sims can set sail between islands and dive underwater to uncover sunken treasure—or maybe even befriend a mermaid! With innovative features never before seen in The Sims PC franchise and a world of new possibilities on land and in sea, your Sims will reap the benefits of their own island paradise.
The Sims 3 Into the Future Logo The Sims 3: Into the Future Fire up the Time Portal and send your Sims to their most exciting destination yet: a whole new world that exists hundreds of years in the future! While they are there, your Sims can build their Advanced Technology Skill in order to get the most out of future technology. Whether your Sims are cruising around on their hoverboard or jetpack, traveling via monorail or tube elevator, or trying out attractive futuristic hairstyles and clothing, there's a whole new world to experiment with and explore. Create and customize Plumbots with Create A Bot, add them to the household, and program them with a wide variety of trait chips that will alter their behaviors! Jump between present and future worlds at will, and experiment with how your Sims' actions in the present can have surprising effects on their own legacy, their descendants, and even the way of life for future Sims!

Stuff Packs[]

There have been 9 stuff packs released by Maxis for The Sims 3 between 2010 and 2013.

Icon Name Description
The Sims 3 High-End Loft Stuff Logo The Sims 3: High-End Loft Stuff Create the Ultimate High-End Loft Lifestyle for Your Sims.

Transform your Sims’ homes into sleek, edgy lofts with The Sims 3 High-End Loft Stuff. Upgrade your Sims lifestyle with sophisticated furnishings, must-have electronics, and cutting edge fashions.

The Sims 3 Fast Lane Stuff Logo The Sims 3: Fast Lane Stuff Shift gears and take your Sims for a spin with The Sims 3: Fast Lane Stuff. For the first time ever in a stuff pack, your Sims can get new cars along with furnishings, décor, and apparel in four distinct vehicle‐themed lifestyles. Will your Sims embody the speed demon way of life? Or cruise in classic luxury automobiles with the top down? Will they rebel against the establishment in pin‐up girl dresses and rockabilly tough guy attire? Or pursue a life of intrigue with spy‐themed, sexy apparel and automobiles? Whatever their lifestyle, The Sims 3 Fast Lane Stuff takes your Sims on the rides of their lives!
The Sims 3 Outdoor Living Stuff Logo The Sims 3: Outdoor Living Stuff For the first time ever, your Sims can get the best in outdoor luxury for their homes. Whether they’re decorating the perfect patio, setting the mood with a cool new hot tub, or firing up a state-of-the-art grill for the ultimate BBQ, your Sims’ outdoor decor is getting a boost. Give your Sims everything they need for a stylish and comfortable outdoor living space with The Sims 3 Outdoor Living!
The Sims 3 Town Life Stuff Logo The Sims 3: Town Life Stuff Enhance your Sims’ neighborhoods and homes with new venues and items!

With exciting content never seen before in a Stuff Pack, The Sims™ 3 Town Life Stuff introduces new venues to give your Sims’ entire town a makeover – complete with objects just as perfect for their homes. Build a chic new library, create an exclusive, high-tech gym, design a fun playground, or make chores a pleasure with a fresh new laundry room. The Sims 3 Town Life Stuff not only gives you loads of new inspired design to use at home, but includes new community places, like Scrumptious Nibbles Café, for your Sims to visit too!

The Sims 3 Master Suite Stuff Logo The Sims 3: Master Suite Stuff Luxurious master bedroom and bath décor—plus romantic intimate wear!

Home is where the heart is! Whether your Sims relax in a bubble bath in their luxurious bathroom, enjoy some down time in their exquisitely furnished bedroom, or wear new intimate apparel for their special someone, The Sims 3 Master Suite Stuff adds some sizzle to their home life! From stylish bedroom sets to spa-inspired bathroom furnishings to romantic new lingerie and hairstyles, your Sims will relax in comfort and style.

The Sims 3 Katy Perry's Sweet Treats Logo The Sims 3: Katy Perry's Sweet Treats Indulge your Sims with the sweet and vibrant style of Katy Perry. The Sims™ 3 Katy Perry’s Sweet Treats pack showcases a vast range of décor items, furniture, and, of course, fabulous fashions and hairstyles! Inspired by Katy’s real-life clothing and props, these fun furnishings, décor, and fashions will add a dash of sweet style to your Sims’ lives. Packed with more stuff than you have ever seen, your Sims will also enjoy three all-new spectacular venues including a local hangout, a town park, and a neighborhood swimming pool—each decked out in delicious Katy Perry style!
The Sims 3 Diesel Stuff Logo The Sims 3: Diesel Stuff Style your Sims with the latest Diesel apparel, accessories and furniture and get ready for successful living. The Sims 3™ Diesel Stuff Pack contains the hottest fashions and home furnishings for your Sims from one of the world’s most popular lifestyle brands. Update your Sims’ wardrobes with Diesel styles straight off the runway. Dress your Sims in Diesel’s iconic cutting-edge pieces that have made it a go-to brand for denim apparel. Complete your Sims’ transformation with fashionable designs for the home featuring distinctive Diesel furniture. The Sims 3 Diesel Stuff Pack preps your Sims for the look and the lifestyle they’ve always wanted no matter what neighborhood they live in.
The Sims 3 70s, 80s, & 90s Stuff Logo The Sims 3: 70s, 80s, & 90s Stuff Give your Sims the hottest looks and coolest décor from yesteryear with The Sims™ 3 70s, 80s, & 90s Stuff. Rock all-new outfits, crazy hairstyles, and facial hair. Sport a 70s disco look with a wide-collared suit and bell-bottom pants, go 80s glam with shoulder pads and bangle earrings, or throw on a rumpled flannel shirt for a wild 90s grunge look. And don’t forget to redecorate your Sims’ homes to suit the decade! The Starlight Party Ball or the Neonis Foosball Table will totally give your Sims’ homes that perfect flashback touch. Bring back all the crazy trends, from feathered hair to parachute pants to console stereos as your Sims warp back in time.
The Sims 3 Movie Stuff Logo The Sims 3: Movie Stuff Lights. Camera. Action! Bring all of the glitz and glamour of Hollywood straight into your Sims' homes with The Sims™ 3 Movie Stuff! Set the stage for more unique stories with distinctively themed décor, furnishings, and clothing inspired by iconic movie genres. With a wide range of items from a creepy crypt bed to an iconic ten gallon hat, tell the tales of masked vigilantes, western cowboys (and cowgirls), and be inspired to create quirky horror stories. Deck out your Sims as silver screen legends as their ordinary town meets classic Tinseltown!

Downloadable Worlds[]

Maxis also has a development team dedicated to creating premium neighborhoods for The Sims 3 available on The Sims 3 Store and in retail stores. There have been 11 worlds released by Maxis.

Icon Name Description
Riverview Logo Riverview

Along the banks of the Simomon River lies the sleepy town of Riverview. Many have moved to this serene little town to escape the clamor of city life. Will the current residents let the newcomers in on the town’s little secrets or will they do their best to keep their dirt from being unearthed?

Barnacle Bay Logo Barnacle Bay

A New World Awaits - Escape to Barnacle Bay today!

An island nestled in the Simuyan Sea, Barnacle Bay is a vibrant vacation getaway with stunning beaches, campgrounds, parks, and a curiously modern downtown. First settled by pirates, fisherman, and artists - the world's inhabitants now enjoy relaxing at Smuggler's Beach and letting loose at The Wanderer's Watering Hole. Will Your trip be a vacation or a staycation?

Hidden Springs Logo Hidden Springs

Explore an All-New World – Discover the Magic of Hidden Springs Today!

Celebrities and the rich flock to Hidden Springs in search of relaxation and escape from the mundane. Many cannot resist rumors of the seemingly miraculous healing powers that linger in the woods and waters. Some of the townsfolk who live in the woods are highly secretive and seem to have a pale green tinge to them. Is it really magic at work?

Lunar Lakes Logo Lunar Lakes Experience an All-New World – Explore the Wonders of Lunar Lakes Today!

Stranded on a foreign planet after their spaceship became disabled, the survivors utilized homeworld technology and newly-discovered crystal tech to survive at the edge of space. As the generations have progressed these intrepid Sims built roads, developed agriculture, and established a thriving colony. Where will you take their explorations next?

Lucky Palms Logo Lucky Palms Explore an All-New World – Discover the Wonders of Lucky Palms Today!

Rest and relaxation is the name of the game at The Sims 3 Lucky Palms! With ample parks, recreation locales, and a thriving culinary scene, you'll find yourself on an oasis of green amid shifting sands. This desert enclave offers manicured gardens, modern estates, and cozy abodes nestled on the banks of a pristine lake. At the heart of town lies a mysterious well that is said to grant wishes to those who are pure of heart…what will you wish for?

Sunlit Tides Logo Sunlit Tides

Explore an All-New World – Discover the Wonders of Sunlit Tides!

A modern downtown gives way to a lush jungle sprinkled with exotic bungalows and waterfront vacation homes nestled between the gentle waves of the ocean and a sun kissed lagoon. Enjoy a picnic on the beach, plan a secret rendezvous at an island waterfall, or cozy up to a loved one in the shade of a palm tree and watch the sun sink into the sea. Will your Sims find true love, or just have fun trying?

Monte Vista Logo Monte Vista At Monte Vista you can discover a landscape rich with charm and money, where villas featuring sweeping views dot the gently rolling hills. Explore the vibrant community by visiting renowned museums, taking a stroll across the piazza, or learning the culinary arts on an authentic wood-fire oven. Fill your Sims’ homes with the smell of fresh-baked pizzas, calzones, lasagnas and breads. Will your Sims find the inspiration to fuel their culinary fires?
Aurora Skies Logo Aurora Skies Explore an All-New World – Discover the Wonders of Aurora Skies!

Explore the breathtaking scenery and vast, unspoiled nature that await you at Aurora Skies! This quaint, coastal town features the very best in outdoor living: grow your family on spacious land and houses surrounded by an eco-friendly community, traipse under majestic, towering waterfalls that come to rest on the banks of a large, steaming geothermal lake sky, or take a night hike under the dome of the bright, multi-colored sky. It’s the ultimate getaway for Sims searching for change, searching for themselves, or searching for a piece of peace. What will you find at Aurora Skies?

Dragon Valley Logo Dragon Valley Welcome to Dragon Valley, a land of myth and fantasy. It's been years since any adult dragons have terrorized this peaceful town but it's not yet time to rest. The elven Sims of Dragon Valley are working to ensure that their military is up to par, their citizens are prepared for disaster, and that the scientific techniques they've used to keep the dragonlings small stay intact. The skies may be clear for now, but beneath the surface a conflict is brewing between the Mithrillen and O'Connell families for control of the town. It's tradition vs. progress: on which side will you stand?
Midnight Hollow Logo Midnight Hollow

Find your light in the dark splendor of Midnight Hollow

Explore a landscape where all you're really required to be is yourself. Under the subdued sky of Midnight Hollow, it's the residents who really shine. Eccentric townsfolk have taken a century-old Victorian town and made it a place they can call home. What life will you make in a town where creativity and individuality are at the center of it all?

Will you be the owner of an art gallery bringing culture to the town? Or run a vintage furniture boutique to add class to Sims homes? Or a car showroom showing Sims life in the fast lane? The business opportunities are endless!

Roaring Heights Logo Roaring Heights

Elevate your lifestyle to new heights

Welcome to a city where bold shapes, rich colors, and lavish looks rule the skyline! The residents of Roaring Heights are living in the fast lane in this booming place filled with striking skyscrapers and bustling beaches. Whether you’re content to hang out on the piers, work your way to the top, or host glamorous parties at home, there’s a place for every lifestyle. With endless opportunities at your front door, which new life will you choose in Roaring Heights?


The Sims 3 Collector's Edition was a limited release of The Sims 3. In addition to the game itself, it also included:

  • 2 gigabyte The Sims plumbbob™ USB drive
  • European-styled sports car download
  • Theme music from The Sims 3
  • An exclusive Prima tips & hints guide

The Sims 3 Collector's Edition was replaced by The Sims 3 Holiday Collector's Edition, which offered bonus holiday content during the 2009 holiday season.


Its creation was confirmed on November 2, 2006, by EA chief financial officer Warren Jenson who said, "Yes, there's a Sims 3 in development and it's likely to be a fiscal '09 title." In July 2007 AI researcher Richard Evans, who is part of the TS3 team, gave a talk at the annual AIIDE (Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment) conference in California, notes from which can be read here. The title was to be released on February 20, 2009 according to the official The Sims 3 website, but was delayed worldwide to June 2, 2009.[24] Electronic Arts cites the reason for the delay was to "create awareness for The Sims 3".

Before it was delayed, it was originally to be released only on Windows. After the delay, it was made available on both Windows (Windows 98-10) and Mac OS X, which marks the first time The Sims was released on both platforms simultaneously (EA only made the Windows version of The Sims, The Sims 2 and The Sims Stories up to this point; Mac versions were developed by Aspyr Media).

In The Sims 2: FreeTime, a computer is delivered by Mr. Rod Humble to every household that a player plays. On it, Sims can play The Sims 3 game. A video of this can be seen on YouTube. It shows something towards a continuous, panning neighborhood, diagonal placings for objects, better lighting systems, and the ability to change shoes in the CAS, an ability previously limited to only console versions of The Sims. The preview only lasts about one minute, and has poor resolution.

Critical Reception[]

The Sims 3 received generally favorable reviews from critics. On Metacritic, the game has a score of 86. PC Gamer awarded the game a 92% score and called it the best Sims game yet. IGN awarded the game 8.9/10 while GameSpot awarded the game a score of 9.0/10. The game was ranked at #91 in IGN's Top 100 Modern Games in 2011 while Edge listed The Sims 3 at #89 on the 100 top video games of all time. The Sims 3 was praised mainly for its open world and improvements to personality and social interactions.


Game tools[]

Main article: Tool
  • Create a World is a download released after The Sims 3. It allows players to create and share neighborhoods. The tool got criticism from Mac users as the tool is only released on Windows.
  • Create a Pattern is a download released in 2010, after the release of The Sims 3. It allows players to design a pattern quickly using dozens of images available in the Sticker Library or layer and modify their own images to create unique patterns.[25]

Game comparisons[]

A few features from The Sims 2 are not in The Sims 3. Some of them are the cleaning and creativity skills, the Slacker career, and aspiration rewards. See The Sims 3/Removed features

System requirement differences between The Sims 3 and The Sims 2[]

  • Unlike The Sims, The Sims 2, and The Sims Stories, The Sims 3 requires a Service Pack (for Windows XP and Windows Vista only)
  • The amount of hard drive space required has raised from 3.5 GB to 6.5 GB.
  • The RAM requirement has raised from 256 MB to 1 GB and 512 MB to 1.5 GB.
  • The processor requirement has raised from 800 MHz to 2 GHz and 1.3 GHz to 2.4 GHz.
  • The amount of video memory required has raised from 32 MB (Free Time and later versions 64 MB) to 128 MB.
  • The video card now requires Pixel Shader 2.0 while The Sims 2 and The Sims Stories did not.
  • The game no longer runs on PowerPC-based (G3/G4/G5) Mac systems.


For more images and videos, see The Sims 3/gallery.


Track Real-world preview!
The Sims 3 Theme


  • The Sims 3 runs on Windows 8, 8.1, 10 and 11 despite being unsupported. Players could experience lags when starting the game.
  • The executive producer of The Sims 3 was Ben Bell.
  • This is the first game where:
    • The DVD is released on both Windows and OS X. Although download versions of The Sims 3 were originally Windows only, Origin was released for OS X as of 2013, allowing The Sims 3 download versions to be used on OS X. However, the Steam version and Create a World are Windows only.
      • Originally, The Sims 4 only supported Windows but was released on OS X on February 17, 2015 although The Sims 4 Create a Sim Demo is still Windows only. Unlike The Sims 3, only download versions work on OS X.
    • A Service Pack is required.
    • Displays the May contain content inappropriate for children (See exceptions below).
    • The player must accept the EULA (Most Sims games released prior to The Sims 3 lacked an EULA).
    • Has no PowerPC Support on Mac OS X.
    • As of Ambitions, the All Rights Reserved after © [year] Electronic Arts Inc. has been removed.
    • Limited Edition items (which can be permanently missed) and Origin exclusive items as of Pets.
  • The Sims 3 is the first game in the series that has multiple expansions representing a similar theme.
  • The Main Theme is a remix of the Main Themes of The Sims 2: University and The Sims 2: Open for Business.
  • In the Action Channel, the player can see the opening video of The Sims Castaway Stories.
  • On the "Channel Trowler 27" Deluxe TV" television, copies of both MySims and The Sims 2: Castaway can be seen in the lower area.
  • The Sports Station uses clips from Madden NFL 10 as the highlights. The teams are the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens.
  • If a Sim plays a video game it will show clips from Madden NFL 10, Skate and Burnout Paradise.
  • This is the 3rd Sim game to require a Service Pack. The first is SimCity Societies, 2nd being MySims and the 4th being The Sims Medieval.
  • The Sims 3 is the first game in The Sims series where its trailers display the disclaimer May contain content inappropriate for children. This also occurred with most of The Sims 3's EPs (e.g. World Adventures), The Sims 3 (console), The Sims Medieval and The Sims 4. Games prior to The Sims 3 simply said Visit for updated rating information.
  • On older releases of The Sims 3 for Windows and Mac OS X, the cover has a diamond pattern which resembles the Plumbob. However, later releases of The Sims 3 have a cover which is similar to The Sims 3 Deluxe. The mentioned covers can be seen in the infobox.
  • Interestingly, many downloadable towns for The Sims 3 feature Sims from The Sims 2 starting with Riverview featuring Don Lothario and the Broke family, Barnacle Bay having Nina and Dina Caliente, Lucky Palms with the Dreamer family, Sunlit Tides with Daniel and Mary-Sue Pleasant, Monte Vista with the Monty family, Aurora Skies with the Beaker family, Dragon Valley with Jennifer Pleasant and John Burb, Midnight Hollow with Olive Specter, and finally, Roaring Heights with the Capps.
    • Although Daniel, Jennifer, and John appeared in The Sims 2, Daniel and Jennifer actually made their debut in The Sims, while John first appeared in The Sims: Unleashed. This means that as of Roaring Heights, Daniel, Jennifer, and John are the only Sims from the original game and its expansions to appear as living Sims in both The Sims 2 and The Sims 3 Store towns
    • It is also worth noting that Jennifer, Daniel, John and Mary-Sue are young adults and that they shouldn't even be born in The Sims 3 as Daniel, Jennifer and John's parents Jeff, Diane, Brad and Tiffany were only children seeing as other adults from the original game such as Bella and Mortimer are children. Jeff, Diane, Brad and Tiffany do not appear in The Sims 3.
    • Some The Sims 2 base game Sims didn't make an appearance. Among them are the Oldies from Pleasantview, the Smiths, Grunts, Singles household, and Ajay Loner from Strangetown.
    • The Sims 3 is also the only game of The Sims series to have six expansion packs within the span of two years.
  • The Sims 3, its expansions and stuff packs are no longer able to be purchased in retail stores in most countries such as Australia due to physical copies being discontinued. However, some console versions of The Sims 3 can be purchased in some retail stores, such as EB Games or Game and all packs can be purchased on Origin or Steam. Additionally, physical copies can still be purchased at second-hand stores such as charity stores, pawnbrokers or any store that sells second-hand video games as well as being available to purchase on online shopping sites such as eBay, Amazon or Facebook Marketplace. As well as this, all The Sims 3 games are available for purchase from Origin and Steam, excluding The Sims 3: Katy Perry's Sweet Treats.
    • On May 2, 2021; The Sims 3, its expansions and stuff packs, are permanently discounted for just $19.99; and a permanent 65% discount (at $133 - from $380) for the Collection, which includes all of its DLC to date (base game purchase seperately). [26][27]
  • The Sims 3 is the only game in the franchise which doesn't have children taken away if their grades fail. Instead, they will receive a negative trait that the player cannot choose upon aging up.
  • The Sims 3 is the first of the only two generations of The Sims series to have three expansion packs within a consecutive year. The rare occurrence happens again in The Sims 4 for the year of 2023, with the release of The Sims 4: Growing Together, The Sims 4: Horse Ranch, and The Sims 4: For Rent expansion packs. The Sims 3 is also the only game in the series to have six or more expansion packs within the span of two years.

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  1. The stuff packs are rated 0.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Can be forced by setting the monitor to portrait mode in the OS settings. 9:16, 10:16, 16:25, 3:4, 4:5


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Featured Article
This article is a Featured Article. Its layout and content is an example of excellence on The Sims Wiki.

Dates featured: June 2009.

"The Sims" Chronology
Preceded by
The Sims 2: Mansion & Garden Stuff
November 18, 2008
The Sims series PC games Followed by
The Sims 2 University Life Collection
August 24, 2009