Wants and fears (known internally as SWAF) are aspects of a Sim's life in The Sims 2. Wants indicate something that a Sim, well, wants. These wants can include having a child, wanting to get married, or just speaking with another Sim. A fear, however, is the downside to life. Sims gain aspiration points when they fulfill wants, and lose them when they experience fears.
Wants and fears slots
Initially, a Sim is born with four want slots and three fear slots, meaning that they will always have a maximum of four wants and three fears present. Sims can receive a fifth want slot as a bonus for completing freshman year at college, and a sixth if they graduated. If a Sim gets expelled, the Sim will receive a fourth fear slot.[TS2:U] Sims can also get an extra want slot for 48 hours as a benefit from a good vacation.[TS2:BV]
Fulfilling wants and fears
When a want (or a fear) is fulfilled, the slot it occupies, and sometimes others, will be re-rolled, and a new one will take its place. Wants and fears are also re-rolled completely at the end of the day, usually early in the morning once the Sim wakes up. Wants will often be re-rolled when a Sim visits a community lot.
The wants and fears of children and teens may be re-rolled when they return from school. Those of college students may be re-rolled when they return from a class, and will be re-rolled when they return from a final exam.
Wants and fears can also be fulfilled with the use of cheats. Ctrl-clicking on any want or fear while the testing cheats are active will cause that want or fear to be fulfilled. This can be used to resolve issues with wants not being fulfilled even after the necessary prerequisites for achieving them have been completed.
Locking wants and fears
Wants and fears can be locked by right-clicking them, and once locked will be exempted from re-rolls until they are fulfilled. A Sim can normally lock only one want or fear, but Sims who have completed their junior year in college receive an extra want/fear lock.[TS2:U] Players can unlock a locked want or fear by right-clicking on them again.
Aspiration and influence points
Fulfilling wants will increase the aspiration bar by a set amount, and in many cases will also increase the influence bar. Fulfilling fears will, similarly, decrease the aspiration bar by a set amount, even to the point of aspiration failure, and in many cases will also decrease the influence bar. Wants and fears that affect the influence bar will have a blue border and will display the amount of influence points they provide or remove when realized. Wants and fears that have a strong effect will have a yellow sunburst in the background. Generally, the more difficult a want is to achieve, the more aspiration and influence points the Sim will receive for fulfilling it and the worse (more damaging) a fear is, the more aspiration points will be lost if it is fulfilled.
Sims also receive aspiration reward points as they fulfill their wants. These points can be used to "buy" aspiration rewards. Aspiration reward points are lost when used to buy aspiration rewards, and when Sims have their fears fulfilled. The points do not fluctuate with the aspiration bar. Influence points can be used to "buy" influence options.
Sims will fulfill wants and fears whether or not they are selectable. For playable Sims, whether or not they are selectable when a want or fear is fulfilled does not matter. For townies and NPCs, things are somewhat different, as fulfilling wants and fears does not appear to affect their aspiration bars, though they do gain aspiration reward points when they fulfill wants, and may gain or lose influence points as they fulfill wants and fears.
The Sims 2: University also introduced the concept of lifetime wants. Prior to The Sims 2: FreeTime, fulfilling a lifetime want will give a Sim permanent Platinum mood for the remainder of his or her life. Beginning with FreeTime, fulfilling a lifetime want will give the Sim Platinum mood, but it will not be permanent, though it will decay very slowly.
Examples of wants and fears
Each Sim will roll up different wants and fears. The type of wants and fears that rolls up is determined by many factors. These factors are mostly based on Sims' aspiration, age, and personality. They can also vary under certain circumstances or situations, such as relationship, events, seasons,[TS2:S] hobby enthusiasm,[TS2:FT] and many other things. Below is a list of some examples of the many kinds of wants and fears in the game.
- Toddlers will usually want to be taught toddler skills and interact with their parents. Children will want to do child-related activities, such as making friends, playing games, selling lemonade, and so on. Both may want to "Grow Up Well", meaning that their aspiration bar is in green, gold or platinum when they grow up. Both may fear their parents breaking up or a relative dying, though such fears are more common with toddlers.
- Teens tend to have school-related wants and fears like children, though Knowledge teens will roll them more frequently than others, and wants related to their aspirations. They will also tend to want their first kiss regardless of aspiration, although Family and Romance Sims want it more often. Family Sims will also want to go steady with someone. Fortune teens will want to get a part-time job, and most teens will want to go to college.[TS2:U] Knowledge teens in particular will fear not going to college, and often go into aspiration failure on aging to adult if they don't. Teens may also want to go out or sneak out with their friends.
- Young adults, adults, and elders will roll wants and fears that are specific to their aspirations and secondary aspirations. Knowledge Sims want to gain many skills and be abducted by aliens. If they have children they will usually roll wants to teach them toddler skills and for them to get good grades in school. Romance Sims want to do romantic socials with many Sims and develop relationships with them, but fear lifelong commitments. Fortune Sims want to gain promotion and earn a lot of money, but often fear the Repo-man and burglary. Family Sims will want to get married and have multiple children and grandchildren. Pleasure Sims[TS2:NL] will want to go on dates and play around.
- Relationships can also trigger some wants and fears. Sims, particularly those with the Popularity aspiration, will want to befriend certain Sims, such as the ones they bring home from school or work. Once they're friends, they might eventually want to become best friends or BFFs[TS2:FT] with them. They sometimes fear of losing them as friends and becoming enemies with them. Sims who are in a romantic relationship, particularly those with the Family aspiration, will want to be engaged and married, while Romance Sims prefer to have as many lovers as they can. Sims will also fear the death of their friends and lovers.
- Personality can determine some wants and fears, but usually they are just minor ones. For example, neat Sims sometimes fear using a public toilet, and sloppy Sims may fear changing diapers.
- Some special or recent events can trigger several wants and fears. For example, Sims who are recently abducted by aliens will roll either wants or fears of being abducted again; and their relatives and friends will also roll abduction-related wants and fears. A recent fire or burglary will trigger the wants to purchase a fire or burglar alarm, if the household doesn't own one. When pets do certain behaviors, such as scratching or chewing the furniture, the Sims will sometimes want to either praise or scold them.[TS2:P]
- Certain hobbies will trigger particular wants when Sims reach certain level of enthusiasm. For example, Sims whose hobby is music and dance want to do simple things, such as dancing, playing musical instruments, or buying a ballet barre. Nature hobby will produce wants such as collecting bugs, catching butterflies, gardening, hiking, and so on.[TS2:FT]
- Seasons can also affect Sims' wants. In spring, Sims mostly want to do romantic socials, as well as going on a date. In summer, Sims may want to have a water balloon fight. And in winter, Sims will want to do many snow-related activities when enough snow is accumulated on the ground, giving gifts, and interact with relatives.[TS2:S]
- Young adults have certain wants and fears that are related to college life. College Sims, particularly Knowledge Sims, will have wants to go to classes, do group research, do an assignment or write a term paper, complete academic years, and graduate; and fears of being put on academic probation or expelled. Popularity Sims will often roll the want to join a Greek house and become "Big Sim on Campus".[TS2:U]
- Life states also trigger some related wants and fears. For example, Sims will want or fear to become a witch when they meet a high witch and befriend them.[TS2:AL] The friends or relatives of Sims who are transformed into another life state will either want to cure them or fear that they will be cured, and may also want or fear becoming that life state themselves. These will be wants for Knowledge Sims, and fears for others.
- In some cases, Sims might roll the same want and fear at the same time, such as having a baby, getting engaged or married, or becoming a particular creature. This is often caused by a secondary aspiration, though Family Sims may want and fear having a baby even without FreeTime. This usually happens when the Sim has several young children already. Also, if a Romance Sim is on a date, they will sometimes end up having both a want and a fear of getting engaged.
- If the player chooses to turn non-Knowledge Sims into a life state, the cure-wants of the Sim or others can be rolled away by having them go on dates. Dating scenarios will cause Sims' wants and fears to re-roll, usually to display only social and romance-related wants. After the date is over, the Sims may effectively be distracted from creature-related wants and fears.
- The PlantSim want tree works differently from the other creature-related want trees. If a Sim a non-Knowledge Sim knows becomes a PlantSim, even if the daily and lifetime relationships are very close to zero, that Sim will still want the PlantSim to be cured. Even with mods, such as Pescado's wfsanity, non-Knowledge PlantSims will still sometimes roll fears of their significant others becoming PlantSims. Sims with Knowledge as a secondary aspiration will still fear becoming PlantSims without rolling corresponding wants to become one, even if they want to become vampires, werewolves or witches; they, however, will be less likely to roll wants for those Sims to be cured.
The Sims Stories
Fears are completely removed in The Sims Stories. This was probably done so that the player can focus on the wants of the Sim.
Goals are a special feature in The Sims Stories that only appears in story mode. Fulfilling goals can unlock story rewards and help the player progress to the next part of the story. Goals are usually worth about +250 aspiration points but can be worth more.
- The want that gives the most aspiration/influence points is Maximize All Skills (with 30,000+ aspiration and 10,000+ influence). The fear that takes away the most aspiration/influence points is a teen not going to college (with 10,000- aspiration and 5,000- influence). The fear that takes away the most in the base game is having an accident (neglecting the bladder need) at a party (with 8,000- aspiration and 5,000- influence).
- Some wants, like roasting a marshmallow over a fire jet or burning a bonfire, do not have pictures, but are blank. However, they can still be fulfilled.
- The sound that plays when fulfilling a want is sampled from the original The Sims theme song.