Townies are a class of NPCs in The Sims, The Sims 2, The Sims 3, and The Sims 4. They are the biggest class of NPCs. Introduced in Hot Date, Townies are Sims that are similar to playable Sims, except that they don't live in any of the households. They are full-fledged Sims with jobs, skills, and personalities. In The Sims 2, they even have aspirations and, once Nightlife is installed, have turn ons and turn offs.
Townies are created by the game by going into the resources the player has to create Sims and then doing some mixing and matching. In The Sims, this includes custom body and head skins. In The Sims 2, it will not include custom clothes, but will include custom hair that has been placed in one of the color bins.
NPCs from other neighborhoods are not considered townies.
As mentioned above, Townies were introduced in the Hot Date expansion pack. Townies at this time were only "native" to the Downtown area (though they could come over when invited once a Sim knew them) and were generated whenever a Sim went to a Downtown lot. These Townies all had the last name "Townie" and were deleted as soon as a Sim left Downtown. The only exception to this was if the Sim had a relationship with a Townie, that Townie was then saved so that the Sim could continue the relationship. With the addition of other expansion packs which had their own sub-neighborhoods, this was changed, so that the Townies for an area were created when that area was added to the neighborhood, and were no longer deleted when playable Sims left their "native" areas.
Townies will not appear outside of their "native" areas unless they are invited there or taken there by a playable Sim. They can be telephoned, invited over, dated, etc., just as playable Sims can, but they will not spontaneously walk by a residential lot and will not be part of the Welcome Wagon.
In general, newly created Townies will not know anyone outside of their "native" area. However, if both Downtown and Vacation Island are present, Downtown-based Townies may have one or two Tourist friends, and a Tourist may have one or two friends Downtown.
Issues caused by Townies in The Sims
Until the release of Makin' Magic, marrying a townie could cause a problem known as the "Urban Renewal Loop", in which the game would get stuck in a loop while trying to create a replacement for that townie.
Since the Somebodies of Studio Town normally wear high fashion instead of everyday wear, the game will try to give a newly generated Somebody a random High Fashion skin instead of the default High Fashion skin. However, it cannot properly handle assigning a custom High Fashion skin to a newly generated Somebody, and will crash if it tries. Since The Sims doesn't distinguish Maxis skins from custom skins, and since there aren't too many Maxis High Fashion skins, it will often try to do this, especially when populating Studio Town in a newly opened neighborhood.
Types of Townies in The Sims
- In Hot Date, they are known as "townies". (Some players may use the Nightlife term "downtownie" when referring to them, but that's a retrofit.) All Downtown-based townies have the surname "Townie". There are also special townie stereotypes, with a fixed appearance/personality matrix.
- In Vacation, they are usually called "vacationers" or "tourists", but are organized into families with random last names. (Tourist NPC families usually consist of 3 or 4 Sims and always contain both adults and children.)
- In Unleashed, there are no new human townies; instead, neighbors will pay a visit to Old Town. There are, however, pet townies in the form of stray dogs and cats who wander the neighbourhood, all sharing the surname "Strays".
- In Superstar, the townies in Studio Town have the last names "Anybody" or "Somebody". The "Somebodies" are on the Fame track, while the "Anybodies" are not.
- In Makin' Magic, the townies in Magic Town have the last name "Strange". This is probably because other Sims consider them strange, but it could also be a nod in the direction of the fictional magician Stephen Strange. All "Stranges" have wands, though they will not use them autonomously. Even though children can visit Magic Town, all "Stranges" are adults.
The Sims (console)
In The Sims for console, there are two types of Townies. The first type of Townies are the Sims who live in the neighborhood and are met in the Get a Life Storyline. Unlike the Townies in The Sims for PC, these Townies have unique last names. However, only the Townies in the Roomies household, the Party Girls household, and the Party Guys household can be made playable. The second type of Townies are the Sims who only appear on the community (multiplayer) lots. These Townies are only included because of the lot's minigame, which can consist of making friends, lovers, or stealing food. The Get a Life Townies can appear in both the storyline lots and the multiplayer lots, while the second type of Townies are restricted to only the multiplayer lots.
The Urbz: Sims in the City
In The Urbz: Sims in the City, Townies were one of the main focuses of the game. In each district, there were five Townies. Unlike the Townies in The Sims, their names and personalities were completely unique. The player's mission was to befriend them to raise their reputation, so the bouncer would let them go to the overnight party in the district. Befriending some of them will often result in the Townie teaching the player a new social interaction. If the friendship is raised enough, the townie will change their style to match the player's. Townies could not become playable by marriage, they can become playable by joining the player's group. Townies could not regenerate, as they were all different and unique.
The Sims 2
In The Sims 2, the Townies went through some improvements.
- Last Names: Townies now have last names, the name "Townie" no longer exists.
- Age Groups: Townies, like playable Sims, are in all life stages from child to elder. This, however, did cause some gameplay issues.
- Full Access: With a few exceptions, Townies no longer have "native" areas, but can appear anywhere a playable Sim can go. The types of Townies that have "native" areas in The Sims 2 are:
- Young adult townies from a college sub-neighborhood, who will not appear outside of that sub-neighborhood.
- Downtownies, who only pass by Downtown residential lots and go to Downtown community lots.
- "Local" townies from the vacation destinations, who will not appear outside of that sub-neighborhood.
- "Tourist" townies, who only appear at the vacation destinations.
Each neighborhood has its own set of Townies, though the Maxis-generated names often overlap. (E.g., in Pleasantview, there are two townies named Ivy Copur.) In addition, custom neighborhoods will be generated with the same set of Townies as the starting neighborhood, which is usually Pleasantview. Sub-neighborhoods also have their own Townies, who will have randomly generated names. The "pool" from which Townies' first and last names are drawn is loaded with the names of the staff of Maxis, such as Lakshmi Jayapalan, the lead designer of The Sims 2.
Types of Townies in The Sims 2
As expansion packs were released, many new types of townies were created. With the exception of Garden Club members from Seasons and Social Class Townies from Apartment Life, townies added by expansion packs have random names.
- In University, dormies, young adult townies, were created to populate the college sub-neighborhoods and to occupy the empty rooms in dormitories where playable Sims live. They are always first-semester Freshmen, and always have the Undeclared major. They will not appear outside of their college sub-neighborhood, but there are mods which can remove that restriction.
- In Nightlife, Downtownies, townies who live Downtown and only appear there, were created. In general, Downtownies will have high-level careers.
- In Open for Business, Bluewater Village and each new shopping district generated its own townies.
- In Pets, many stray pets were created, which could be befriended and adopted by playable Sims. They are, in effect, pet townies. However, the Pets patch restricts them from appearing on community lots unless a player-owned pet is there.
- In Seasons, the Garden Club members were created. In most respects they are ordinary townies. However, they sell the Plantophic-C potion, which cures PlantSimism. Also, when a Sim applies for Garden Club membership, they will come to inspect their garden and approve (or reject) the application. Unlike most townies, Garden Club members are initially created as unemployed.
- In Bon Voyage, two new types of townies were created, both of which could only be found in the vacation sub-neighborhoods. These townies are unemployed. If invited to a house, they may remain as houseguests for three days.
- Locals only appear in their own vacation sub-neighborhood, and already know their own local gestures, dance, etc.
- Tourists are not limited to one vacation destination, and may appear in any of them. Sometimes, they will have already learned some gestures or dances.
- In Apartment Life, many new townies were created that appeared in every neighborhood. They were each a part of a certain social class, and frequently appeared as roommates and neighbors in apartments.
- Social Class townies, unlike regular townies, have their own gestures and favorite stories. Their presence indicates how high the class of a residential lot or apartment is. For example, if the apartment is surrounded by high class lots, and the apartment itself is luxurious, Techies and Socialites will be more likely to occupy vacant apartments and walk by. Only Social class townies occupy the vacant apartment slots and are available as roommates pool in computers, newspaper, or ads.
Meeting the Townies
Townies in The Sims 2 can be met in the following ways:
The first day that a playable Sim moves into a vacant house, several Sims will show up at the front door as sort of a "Welcome Wagon". This is announced by a pop-up in the corner of the screen. These Sims are adults or elders, and the game tries to use Sims that the Sims moving in do not know. The game tries to use neighbors as much as possible, but will use Townies if using neighbors is not possible. This backs the belief that the Townies were included in The Sims 2 so that if there weren't enough Sims in a neighborhood, playable Sims would still have plenty of Sims to make friends with.
It should be noted that a single teen Sim has been used as one of the three members in the welcome wagon, though this rarely happens. While the Welcome Wagon generally consists of three Sims, there have been odd occasions where the game only uses two Sims or even one.
However, if Sims are living in an apartment, the Welcome Wagon will use neighbors in the same apartment building instead of Townies.
Just passing by
Townies are also on the list of Sims who can be used in a walk-by. In a walk-by, a Sim is selected by the game. That Sim starts at one end of the lot and walks to the other end on the sidewalk. During this walk they can:
- Do nothing (just walk to the other side)
- Run across (Sims will run halfway through the lot in their fitness clothes, stop to stretch, and run off of the lot)
- Read the newspaper (only if it is a new issue)
- Steal the newspaper (if they are either mean or furious at a resident)
- Use an item that is outside
- Knock down the garbage can (if they are either mean or furious at a resident)
- If a gnome decoration is outside, they can steal it.
If there is a child in a family, child Townies may walk by.
Community lot visitors
If a playable Sim is on a community lot (regardless of where the lot is) there is a good chance Townies will be there as well. Next to meeting them as part of the Welcome Wagon, this is probably the best chance to meet a Townie - at least without Nightlife and/or Open for Business. Child townies often appear if there is a playable child Sim on the community lot, but they have been known to appear even if no playable child Sims are on the community lot.
Friend from Work/School and Meet the Professor
Sims who have a job (Adult/Elder) or go to school (Child/Teen) have a chance to bring a Sim home with them, and this Sim may be a Townie. This is announced by a pop-up in the corner of the screen. The Sim they bring home has to be...
- In the same life stage (though there are exceptions to this).
- (Working Sims) On the same career track.
- If the playable Sim's job had a work outfit, the Sim brought home would be wearing that outfit, even if they had a different job.
- In Open for Business, a playable Sim employed at a business may bring home an employee who works at another business.
The exceptions to rule 1 are a follows:
- An elder who has kept a full-time job may bring home, or be brought home by, an adult.
- In FreeTime. If a hobby chance card results in bringing a fellow hobbyist home, that Sim may be in a different life stage than the Sim who brought them home.
The playable Sim and the Sim who was brought home get a Daily and Lifetime Relationship boost with one another. This is 25 Daily/15 Lifetime when bringing a Sim home from work, and 20 Daily/20 Lifetime when bringing a Sim home from school. This will be higher if either Sim has the Popularity aspiration benefit Fast Friends[TS2:FT], or it is Summer[TS2:S].
In University, young adults attending their first classes in a major are considered to have "Met the Professors" in that major. They receive a 15-point Daily/5 point Lifetime Relationship with them, and do not bring them home. Usually, young adults who "Meet the Professors" in their major meet both of them, but sometimes, they only meet one.
In Nightlife, Sims can call the Gypsy Matchmaker and ask for the Matchmaking Service. For a fee the Gypsy will summon a Sim that matches up with the Sim who is paying for the service (the more that's paid, the better the match), and that Sim may be a Townie.
As Customers or Employees
Business owners can also hire Townies as employees.
As Neighbors and Roommates
In Apartment Life, if the apartment building that a playable Sim is living in has vacant apartment slots, Social Group Townies will move in. Once they do, Sims may introduce themselves to them. There won't be a Welcome Wagon instead. Alternatively, Sims living in an apartment could advertise for (or choose) a roommate to live with them, using the phone or computer. Only Social Group Townies can become roommates. Roommates however, are selectable, but unplayable, just like pets. They have a satisfaction meter and will leave if it falls too low.
Turning a Townie into a Playable Sim
Since Townies are fully made Sims, it is possible to make them playable. There are two main ways of doing it.
An Addition to the Family
Townies can be added to the active family in one of the following ways:
Adult/Elder Sims who are engaged to a Townie can ask the Townie to become their spouse. If the Townie accepts, they move in, usually giving the Sim money and taking their last name. The Townie is then made a playable character with a relationship of Married/Joined to the Sim who popped the question.
- Moving in
Adult/Elder Sims who either...
- DO NOT have an Engaged relationship to a certain Townie
- Do have an Engaged Relationship but want a dry run first (As per the player's wishes)
- Are Friends/Best Friends with a Townie at least in the Teen Life Stage
Can ask a Townie to Move in with them... The Townie then becomes a playable character and gives the household money. The now ex-Townie could, at the player's option, change their last name to the name of the Sim who asked them to move in OR could keep their last name (this requires the University EP).[confirmation needed]
Players should note that Townies who become playable after moving into, or marrying into, a household will have their memories replaced with a standard CAS history. If the University expansion is installed, this will include a memory of going to college, even if they did not.
It may be possible to add child Townies through adoption, but this does not appear to be something that the player can control when choosing to have Sims adopt a child.
If a Townie known to a playable Sim dies, they can be resurrected using the Resurrect-O-Nomitron[TS2:U],the Genie lamp[TS2:FT], or Spells[TS2:AL]. The Sim resurrected will be made playable and added to the family.
A dead Sim can be temporarily added to a family using Tombstone of Life and Death using the "Add Neighbor to Family" option. They will stay on the lot briefly (long enough to resurrect a family member with the Resurrect-O-Nomitron) before disappearing or becoming a ghost.
New University Student
Players with the University expansion pack can hit the "Go to College" button while in the neighborhood view. From there they can choose to place one or more teenage Townies in a college household. When the household is placed in a college residential lot, any Townies in it become a playable character Young Adult students of the college.
Once Nightlife was installed, the Townies were divided into two subclasses. The second subclass was given the name "Downtownie". As a rule, Downtownies have more money, more skills, and better jobs than regular Townies. However, Downtownies (like the original Townies in The Sims: Hot Date) are restricted to the Downtown area unless invited elsewhere. Downtownies may autonomously call Sims and invite them on dates or outings.
The pre-built downtown sub-hood comes with a pre-made set of Downtownies. Although their names are randomly generated for each neighborhood the downtown is attached to, they are recognizable by their appearance and clothing.
Examples of Downtownies:
- Jon Smith Tricou's Descendants: Six teens, four of which have unique facial features.
- The Diva and Mr. Big: A very rich breed of dateable NPCs
- Dateable Slobs: A very lazy and messy breed of dateable NPCs.
- Grand Vampires: The leaders of the undead Vampires.
Aging & Death
Being full-fledged Sims, Townies could die or be killed off in any way that playable Sims could. Since more Townies would be made if the number in the Townie pool dropped too low, some players made a hobby of killing them off.
Gameplay issues caused by Townies
Townies were known for causing four non-serious gameplay issues:
- If a playable Sim becomes an adult, child/teen Townies would call asking why the Sim doesn't talk to them any more. This has been fixed with a new feature called "NPC Aging" with FreeTime.
- A bug in the game prevented teenage Townies that had moved in with playable Sims from aging normally. (This bug has since been fixed by a patch and is here only for reference purposes.)
- Originally, the Townie students that populate dorms and college sub-neighborhoods were actually adults, not young adults, so they could not graduate. If the player used SimPE to turn the townies into young adults, they would eventually graduate after being made playable. This was fixed in later expansion packs, and the college Townies are now Young Adults.
- After moving to the base neighborhood, the mascot townies, cheerleader townies, and streaker townies still act the way they did on campus. (Streakers will streak to other neighbors' houses, mascots will go to their neighbors' houses, and cheerleaders will cheer at the other houses.)
- While aging child townies with FreeTime, their aspirations will be randomized when they become teenagers. In some cases, they have been seen to retain the Grow Up aspiration they had as children. Their aspirations can be changed by using the ReNuYuSenso Orb, passing the Sophomore year in college, using the testingcheatsenabled cheat, or with SimPE.
Common Zodiac Sign / Aspiration Pairings
Some special townies have a zodiac sign and aspiration pair that is different from the common matches listed above. An example of this is Remington Jitmakusol whose zodiac sign is Pisces, while his aspiration is Fortune.
The Sims 3
The Sims 3 has been designed to be played with minimal switching between families, so townies are now considered any Sim that is not part of the active household. Townies can be residents of a player's base neighborhood; they can be homeless, and they can be residents of foreign neighborhoods introduced in World Adventures. Premade worlds start with premade townies but as story progresses, these are replaced by game-generated Sims. Both male and female Townies generated by the game over time have their voice set to Type A with the pitch dead center, and often wear mix-matched clothes and hairstyles, and while they can have any weight and skintone, they have the same genetics with all facial sliders set to zero. Sometimes, their clothing and makeover don't match and looks really strange, as well as their genetics. Thus, generated townies can usually be recognized by their odd appearance or names. The player can change their appearances with the Stylist career from The Sims 3: Ambitions, or while using the "Edit in Create a Sim" option with testingcheatsenabled, which can also change their voices from the default voice type to add more vocal diversity to the player's town. Children who are taken away by the social worker will become townies. Inactive families that move out of the town, however, will be deleted from the game.
Townies in The Sims 3 have kept many of the improvements introduced in The Sims 2. With the new open neighborhood, it is even clearer how far out of town they must live. There are relatively few premade townies in The Sims 3, while some others are generated by the game when a player loads a neighborhood. However, there is a small chance a magician or townie will show up at a big park.
Tourists and explorers in World Adventures are only available in the native areas. There is a Townie lot[TS3:WA] which can be set from Create a World. Only homeless townies can move into this lot and the household will never be selectable.
Some services which are not provided by particular NPCs are performed by townies instead. Townies perform as bouncer, paparazzi[TS3:LN], proprietor[TS3:ST], and so on. Townies who are set to perform a service will be replaced by newly generated townies.
In The Sims 3 for console, randomly-generated Townies are introduced if the player doesn't interact with all of the available pre-made townies in town within a certain timeframe of the beginning the game (usually the first seven days or less), or if the player's Sim doesn't establish a significant enough relationship with particular pre-made townies within a certain timeframe, such as getting to know where they work, if they have a partner, or at least one of their traits[confirmation needed][clarification needed]. These randomly-created townies have a higher chance of showing up in homes with less Sims in them, that the player hasn't made too much of a connection with. The premade townies will then end up being permanently replaced by randomally-generated Sims, most of which usually have really offensive traits like Mean Spirited, Mooch or Slob, that also often clash with the rest of their traits. Most of the time, they will be Elders, and will have gaudy, randomly-generated clothing. These Sims not only usually end up being offensive, but they can often be the bosses of careers and won't leave until they are replaced, fired by a Sim who owns the property, or die off. Luckily, these Sims can be removed from the game by having one of your Sims befriend them, getting them to move in with you, making them playable, and then, asking another Sim to move in with you, allowing you to kick out the playable, unwanted Sims from your household (including not bringing in the last one you spoke to, which will not affect them, since they never actually moved in) and permanently remove the unwanted Sims from your game save file. The downside to this is that they'll usually be replaced by more undesirable randomly-generated townies.
Types of Townies
Resident townies live in neighboring houses. They can become workmates and man registers. The game prioritises these Sims over homeless Sims for many tasks. Resident townies can move away completely if story progression is enabled.
Service townies are part of a special invisible household. Service townies carry a variety of inheritable hidden traits.
Ghosts can be found in many nooks and crannies of a world and they can potentially be resurrected. In Ambitions players can generate random ghosts by transfiguring spirits.
Tourists are townies that appear to be 'visiting' a player's neighborhood from other destinations once The Sims 3: World Adventures is installed. They can be recognized by their clothing, which will be specific to their homeland, i.e. Tourists from Shang Simla will appear in Chinese-style clothes. Tourists also visit destination worlds, so Sims from Sunset Valley or Shang Simla may appear as tourists in Al Simhara, etc.
Explorers are randomly generated in destination worlds, never in base worlds. They are dressed in khaki or beige clothing that resembles that worn by Indiana Jones. They appear in destination worlds other than their home; e.g., a Sim living in Shang Simla could appear in Al Simhara or Champs Les Sims as an explorer, but never Shang Simla.
Much like in The Sims 2 NPCs will visit the player's lot when they first move in to the neighbourhood. However, these are usually playable Sims from other households in town, and not actual townies.
School & Careers
A great way to meet townies is to use the 'Talk to Coworkers' options while working or going to school at a rabbit hole. This will draft or create sims to be your coworkers, and often it will create townies. With Ambitions expansion pack, tattoo artists, stylists and firefighters will often be pre-made, generated or predetermined townies.
Townies with certain traits are more likely to gather at the appropriate community lots, i.e. Athletic Sims are more like to turn up at the Gym. Going to bars, clubs and lounges is a great way to meet townies, especially townies with the Party Animal trait or celebrities[TS3:LN].
Travelling to other worlds in World Adventures allows players to access a range of townies with different traits and skills.
The easiest way to find any homeless townies is by visiting one of the penthouses in the neighborhood. All the player does is use the call box to find any "residents" in the building and a list of random homeless Sims along with the actual building residents is generated. The amount of homeless Sims in the penthouse is divided by how many penthouses there are in the world.
The Sims 4
The vast majority of townies in The Sims 4 base game are unique in that they appear to be entirely randomly generated once the game begins, rather than there being a pre-created starter "townie pool" as part of the game files as there was in The Sims 2 and The Sims 3. In this game, townies are added to Household Management under the "Other Households" tab, in which they can be edited and made playable by moving them in. Randomly generated townies are attached to a saved game rather than to a specific world such as Willow Creek or Oasis Springs, and as such, can turn up in any location within the game. Many townies generated with The Sims 4: City Living also feature Moroccan, Japanese and Indian names. The Sims 4 base game initially had no pre-made townies (all were randomly generated once the game began). However with Patch 73 the base game included Alex Moyer, a pre-made sim for the game's tutorial. Once the tutorial is over or if the player skips the tutorials and play the game, Alex Moyer becomes a regular townie. This makes Alex the first ever pre-made townie for The Sims 4 base game.
Expansion packs for The Sims 4 introduces numerous pre-made townies. In The Sims 4: Cats & Dogs, the game ships with Captain Whitaker (a stray ghost dog) and Mayor Whiskers (a stray cat), both of which are pet townies that roam around in Brindleton Bay. In The Sims 4: Seasons, Father Winter (named Clement Frost) will generate as a pre-made townie, although he only shows up during Winterfest holidays and not randomly around town. With The Sims 4: Get Famous, the expansion features several pre-made celebrity townies, such as Baby Ariel, Brytani Cho and Izzy Fabulous. A few pre-made mermaids appear as townies with The Sims 4: Island Living, such as Nalani Mahi'ai and Ukupanipo Hekekia.
- ↑ The Stranges of Magic Town seem to be an exception to this. In general, they will use skins that came with Makin' Magic, or custom skins that use those meshes.
- ↑ This may not apply to versions in languages other than English.
- ↑ Jon Smith Tricou's Descendants are an exception to this, in that they recognize one another as siblings, and recognize the late Jon Smith as their father.
- ↑ There were problems with this which were not fixed until the FreeTime patch For players who do not have FreeTime or Apartment Life, a third-party fix is available from More Awesome Than You.
- ↑ This does not occur in college sub-neighborhoods.
- ↑ The "carpoolfix" mod at MATY will cause the Sim brought home to appear in their own career outfit.
- ↑ If the Simbology School Bus hack is being used, these adjustments will only be applied if the player answers "Yes" when asked if the child or teen should be allowed to bring the other Sim home.
- ↑ Once expansion packs are installed, the game may randomly increase the number of skill points various regular townies have when they are spawned in-game. If this happens, those townies will have roughly the same number of skills that the downtownies have.
- ↑ All downtownies in The Sims 2 have unique facial features, instead of using the default face templates in Create a Sim. Pre-made child downtownies, Divas & Mr. Bigs, Slobs, and Downtown NPCs do not have customized faces.