Time is a feature of all The Sims games except The Sims Social. In general, there is a 12 or 24 hour clock, three speed settings (Normal, Fast and Ultra), and a Pause button which stops the clock. Some games allow the player to switch between the 12-hour and 24-hour clock.
In The Sims, time is fairly simple. Bills come every three days, but that is the only cycle; there are no days of the week. Sims go to work or school every day, unless the player prevents them from going. One Sim minute is approximately one real life second, and the player can speed up time to skip through lengthy interactions or to quickly pass long stretches of time. The game will automatically switch to Ultra speed when there are no controllable Sims on the lot, or when all Sims on the lot are asleep.
Time only passes on a residential lot when it is being played, so each household has its own time. When Sims visit a community lot, time on their home lot stops, so Sims can spend hours or even days on community lots and return home shortly after they left.
Inviting Sims at or after midnight will always cause them to refuse regardless of relationship level; the exception to this is The Urbz: Sims in the City.
In The Sims for consoles and Free Play mode in The Sims Bustin' Out, time works the same as in The Sims. However, when playing Bustin' Out in Bust Out mode, time passes on all lots as it does in The Urbz: Sims in the City.
The Sims Bustin' Out for HandheldEdit
Time seems to function as it did in other The Sims games.
Time affects when the buildings can be entered, when Mini-games can be played, and where a Sim would be at. It is the first game to record the days that have passed, which was later added in The Sims 3 and The Sims Medieval. Many areas in The Sims Bustin' Out change music between day and night though some areas such as the Jail and the Pizzeria don't change music between time periods.
The Urbz: Sims in the CityEdit
PS2, Xbox and GameCubeEdit
Time in The Urbz: Sims in the City is the same as the other The Sims games, except that time passes for the entire city regardless of which Urb the player is playing as. This was later seen in The Sims 3 and The Sims Medieval.
As in The Sims and The Sims Bustin' Out, there are no weeks in The Urbz: Sims in the City.
Unlike other The Sims games, Urbz such as Scary Mary will never refuse if the player invites them after midnight but they will however if the player has a -40 relationship with that Urb.
Midnight parties always occur at 12:00 AM (0:00) and Villains will arrive at 1 PM (13:00).
Unlike The Sims for consoles and The Sims Bustin' Out, time cannot be controlled with the Pause and Fast buttons while playing in two-player mode.
GBA and DSEdit
Unlike the console versions of The Urbz, time is very important in these versions. Like Bustin' Out, it affects what mini-games can be played, what objectives can be completed and what area Urbz are at (Note: In the DS version, Urbz might be at a different area than in the GBA version). It uses a week-based system similar to The Sims 2 and The Sims Stories although this can only be seen from the Load/Save game screen. The default day and time is Monday 10:00 AM.
The game also keeps track of how many days has passed. A majority of areas in The Urbz: Sims in the City have different music at day and night though some areas such as the King Tower, Jail and Club Xizzle do not change music.
The Sims 2 and The Sims StoriesEdit
In The Sims 2 and The Sims Stories, time is now divided into seven-day weeks. This affects work and school schedules; students have weekends off, and Sims with jobs have scheduled days off. Bills are delivered every Tuesday and Thursday. The exceptions to this are The Sims 2: University (in college sub-neighborhoods) and The Sims Castaway Stories.
When Sims first move onto a residential lot, the time will be 8:00 AM on Monday. When a household moves into a previously occupied home, the time will be 8:00 AM, but the day of the week may be what it was when the previous occupants moved out. If it is not, it will be Monday. If The Sims 2: Seasons is installed, it will be the last day of the first season of the neighborhood when Sims first move onto a residential lot. When a household moves out of a lot, the seasonal progression will stop, and will resume when a new household moves in.
As in The Sims, trying to invite Sims after midnight will always cause them to refuse regardless of relationship level. Also, time only passes on a residential lot when it is being played, and time on a Sim's home lot stops when he or she visits a community lot. Time continuity on community lots is only featured in the vacation community lots in The Sims 2: Bon Voyage. Time actually passes when Sims return to their home base lot from vacation community lots.
Much like The Sims, the player can speed up the clock in order to pass long stretches of time, and time will automatically speed up when there are no Sims on the lot or when all Sims are asleep. Speeding up time will also increase the speed and pitch of sound effects and the voices of Sims in-game, but will not affect sounds from the UI, TV, or stereo.
In college sub-neighborhoods, time on lots works much as it does in The Sims; there are no days of the week, and bills come every three days. However, there is an additional time scale; a playable Sim's time on campus is split into 8 72-hour semesters, plus a post-graduate period that can last up to 72 hours. The timer that keeps track of this does not stop when a Sim travels to a college community lot, although time on the Sim's home lot does stop. However, a Sim's semester timer will stop if he or she travels to a community lot outside the college sub-neighborhood. Also, a Sim's semester timer only runs while he or she is selectable; it does not run for young adult townies or for playable Sims who are visiting a lot.
In The Sims 2: Seasons, there are four seasons, each of which lasts five days. As with other aspects of time in The Sims 2, each residential lot has its own seasonal progression. It may be summer on one lot and winter on the lot next door.
In The Sims 2: Apartment Life, witches can freeze time by casting the Tempus Interruptus spell. Once it's casted, everyone on the lot except witches and their spectral cats will stop what they're doing and will react in terror and confusion to the phenomenon before freezing. Pets, toddlers and babies will pass out and all Servos will be powered down. Visitors, service NPCs, and vehicles will be unable to spawn and electrical appliances will not be usable. The spell will wear off after three hours or when a witch dispels it, after which everyone will return to normal. Servos will need to be powered back on manually, however.
In Castaway Stories, instead of the normal 12 or 24 hour clock, there are 8 orbs, with each one representing 3 hours. Daylight lasts 15 hours (5 orbs), while night lasts 9 hours (3 orbs).
The Sims 2 console gamesEdit
The Sims 2 console games are different from The Sims 2 and The Sims Stories. Most of them (Except Pets) are the same as The Urbz and The Sims.
The Sims 2Edit
Except for the PSP version, there are no weeks, as there are in The Sims 2 and The Sims Stories. Time is similar to previous games, although this varies by version.
Unlike the Windows version of the game, The Sims 2 on consoles has no week feature. Unlike The Urbz, but like The Sims 2 and The Sims Stories, time only passes for the current family. However, in Story Mode, time passes on all lots.
The ability to control time in two-player mode, which was removed in The Urbz, is restored. While either player can pause the game, game time will only be sped up while both players are holding the appropriate control (R, RT or R1).
The GBA version is same as The Urbz but since it uses episodes rather than being an open world as Bustin' Out and The Urbz did, Time is not the same between episodes. In most episodes, the time starts at 10:00 AM.
Unlike the other versions of the game, the PSP version uses the week feature which is the first console game to truly use weeks.
The Sims 2 PetsEdit
Pets adds the week feature which was introduced in The Sims 2 and The Sims Stories. This is also the first non-handheld console game to implement weeks.
As in The Sims 2 and The Sims Stories, time only passes on a residential lot when it is being played, and time on a Sim's home lot stops when he or she visits the Town Square.
The Sims 2 CastawayEdit
As in most console games based on The Sims 2, there are no weeks in Castaway. Whenever a Sim goes to a different area, a short amount of time, usually 15 minutes, will pass. Time is measured by where the sun or moon is in the sky on a small graphic found next to the Sim's icon. When it is daylight, the sun will be used and the background will be light blue. When it is nighttime, the moon will be used and the background will be dark blue. The sun/moon moves gradually across the mini-sky to show what point in the day it is.
The Sims 3 and The Sims MedievalEdit
In The Sims 3 and The Sims Medieval, time passes for the entire town. Similar to The Urbz: Sims in the City, all Sims in the world share the same time regardless of which household is being played. Bills are delivered every Monday and Thursday morning.
The Sims 3 introduces a fourth speed setting: "Speed 4", which ultra-speeds through the current interaction and resumes at normal speed after the interaction is finished or cancelled. The Fast and Ultra speed settings are much slower than they were in previous games, causing annoyance for some players who dislike the long wait for their Sims to finish working or sleeping. Prior to the 1.2.7 patch, these speed settings ran even slower. Much like The Sims 2, sound effects increase in speed and pitch when the clock is sped up, although UI sounds will also have their pitched increased. This effect will persist if the player pauses the game or enters build or buy mode while on Fast or Ultra speed. Stereos and TVs continue to remain unaffected by the pitch change.
Whenever a game is started in The Sims 3 and The Sims Medieval, the first day is Sunday and it will be Week 1, Day 1. Furthermore, if The Sims 3: Seasons is installed, it will also be the first day of summer.
In World Adventures, week-based events (such as weekly payments from Professions, Weekly Book Earnings, etc.) won't occur while in Shang Simla, Champs Les Sims, and Al Simhara. Some events such as receiving free items will still occur. Birthdays and Work will not be missed so Workaholics will not be affected by holidays. Like in The Sims and The Sims 2, time will be paused in the main world while a Sim is on vacation[TS3:WA] or in university.[TS3:UL]
The Sims 3 and The Sims Medieval keep track of days since the town was started. Mousing over the time will show how many days have passed since the town was started.
The Sims 3 for 3DSEdit
Time works like The Sims 3 but there is some differences. Time pauses at the home lot whenever a Sim goes to a Community Lot and this version does not record days.
The Sims 3 for iPhoneEdit
Time works as its PC counterpart but time only speeds up when the Sim is sleeping and cannot stop time. Ambitions added the ability to speed up and stop time.
The Sims 4Edit
In The Sims 4, time passes in all worlds. Like in The Sims 3, all Sims in every world share the same time regardless of which household is currently being played. Bills are delivered once per week.
Time functions similarly to previous games, with a few notable differences. For example, if there are no controllable Sims on the lot or if all Sims are asleep, time will pass at a very fast speed that is not available to the player under normal circumstances, rather than at Ultra speed.[confirmation needed] Like previous games, sounds will increase in speed and pitch when time is sped up, including music from stereos and images on television screens. These effects can be disabled in the game settings.
There is a known bug where returning to normal speed after switching to ultra speed causes the game's clock to go out of sync with the simulation.
Whenever a new household is started in a brand new save file, the first day is Sunday and the time starts at 8:00 AM.
The Sims FreePlayEdit
In The Sims FreePlay, time is not controllable (players can't speed up). Instead, the time in there is based on real time. For example, if the player's local is 9:00 AM, the time in the game will also be 9:00 AM. This also applies to days and weeks.
Time of dayEdit
In The Sims and The Sims 2 day will transition instantly into night without a visible sunset or sunrise. In The Sims 3 and The Sims 4, the times for sunset and sunrise vary between worlds.
|Time of day by game|
|The Sims||6:00 — 6:59||7:00 — 17:59||18:00 — 18:59||19:00 — 5:59|
|4:00 — 6:59||7:00 — 16:59||17:00 — 19:59||20:00 — 3:59|
|The Urbz||6:00 — 9:59||10:00 — 16:59||17:00 — 19:59||20:00 — 5:59|
|The Sims 2||7:00 — 7:59||8:00 — 17:59||18:00 — 18:59||19:00 — 6:59|
|The Sims 2 (PSP)||6:00 — 9:59||10:00 — 17:59||18:00 — 21:59||22:00 — 5:59|
|The Sims 3||6:00 — 9:59||10:00 — 17:59||18:00 — 20:59||21:00 — 5:59|
|The Sims 4||6:00 — 9:59||10:00 — 17:59||18:00 — 20:59||21:00 — 5:59|