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Comparison between The Sims, The Sims 2 and The Sims 3

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This is a three-way comparison of the 4 base games in The Sims series; The Sims, The Sims 2, The Sims 3 and The Sims 4 and do not include features included in expansion or stuff packs unless otherwise stated.

The Sims The Sims 2 The Sims 3
Released February 4, 2000 Released September 14, 2004 Released June 2, 2009
7 Expansion Packs, no Stuff Packs 8 Expansion Packs, 9 Stuff Packs 11 Expansion Packs, 9 Stuff Packs
Isometric perspective Fully 3D Same as The Sims 2.
All neighborhoods are the same and pre-designed. Additional neighborhoods can be made if an expansion pack is installed. Later expansion packs add sub-neighborhoods (also pre-designed and added automatically, cannot be removed). Sub-neighborhoods include Downtown, Vacation Island, Studio Town and Magic Town. 3 pre-designed neighborhoods (Pleasantview, Strangetown and Veronaville) which may be (to some extent) tweaked by the player, and terrains may be imported from SimCity 4. Additional neighborhoods built from scratch may be created and added to the menu screen. Additional pre-designed neighborhoods that come from other expansion packs are Riverblossom Hills, Desiderata Valley, and Belladonna Cove. Some expansion packs add the option of attaching sub-neighborhoods, pre-designed or built from scratch, to the main neighborhood. Sub-neighborhoods include College, Nightlife Destination, Shopping District, and Vacation Destination. 1 pre-designed neighborhood (Sunset Valley) in retail shipment. Player-created neighborhoods can be created by using Create a World tool. Riverview is available for free download. Barnacle Bay, Hidden Springs, Lunar Lakes, Lucky PalmsSunlit TidesMonte VistaAurora Skies, Roaring Heights, Midnight Hollow, and Dragon Valley can be bought on the official site; Barnacle Bay, Hidden Springs, Monte Vista, and Dragon Valley also have hard copy retail releases. Additional neighborhoods also come with expansion packs: Twinbrook, Bridgeport, Appaloosa Plains, Starlight ShoresMoonlight Falls and Isla Paradiso. Sub-neighborhoods are Shang Simla, Champs Les Sims, and Al Simhara, all for adventure purposes; Sims University, the university world in the game; and Oasis Landing, a sci-fi futuristic sub-world.
3 life stages (baby, child, adult). Babies are objects rather than Sims. 6 life stages (baby, toddler, child, teen, adult, elder. Young adult stage, added in University, is optional) 7 life stages (baby, toddler, child, teen, young adult, adult, elder).
Babies turn into children after three days, while other lifespans are indefinite. With Makin' Magic, children can age to adult by using a charm, but their appearances are chosen randomly and may change completely. All Sims age and eventually die, but only on the lot that is being played. Sims from other families will not age. Some life states do not age. All Sims age, on and outside lot, which can be changed in game options. Lifespan, aging, and age duration can be customized in game options.
6 skills, 1 secret skill 7 skills, 3 toddler skills, 7 secret skills 10 skills, 4 toddler skills, 10 secret skills. Additionally, 10 skills added from expansion packs.
Only Adults gain skills. Toddlers and older can gain skills Children and older can gain skills; toddlers can only learn toddler skills.
No aspirations. Teens and older have one of 5 aspirations (additional 2 aspirations are added in Nightlife), which affect their Wants and Fears. Toddlers and children aspire to Grow Up. Secondary aspirations introduced in FreeTime. Aspirations are replaced with Lifetime Wishes and Lifetime Happiness Points.
No wants or fears All Sims except babies have 4 wants and 3 fears (Additional 2 wants and/or 1 fear, whether they graduate or get expelled at college). Wishes and promises replace wants. No fears.
No days of the week, weekend, or days off work or school (Sims would not be fired for skipping work provided they did attend the following day). Sims cannot quit a job unless they get fired or get a different job. 7-day week with different days off depending on job. Children and Teens have the weekend off from school. Able to call in sick to work, or call work to quit. Elders can call in to retire. Same as The Sims 2, except Sims cannot call in sick to work, unless The Sims 3: Seasons is installed but Sims can still miss work at the expense of work performance. With some patches, Sims can take up to 5 unpaid days off work.
Sims do not collect memories. Sims collect visible memories and invisible memory markers for use in gossip. Memories returned in Patch 22, now with screenshots and fully customizable, as well as sharable online.
Bills delivered once every 3 days. Bills delivered on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Same as The Sims 2.
PlumbBob color reflects precise mood: optimum is green, worst is red. PlumbBob color represents approximate mood: optimum is platinum, worst is red. Same as The Sims.
No pregnancy, babies can simply appear after user says yes to random "Should we have a baby?" prompt after romantic interaction, or an adoption opportunity. No genetics other than skin color are passed down. Personality for children is randomly generated. Try for baby may lead to 3 day pregnancy for adult female Sim who is not within 5 days of transition to elder, genetic traits are passed down from both parents. Alien abduction via telescope may lead to 3 day pregnancy for adult male Sim who is not within 5 days of transition to elder. Same as The Sims 2, Alien pregnancy returned in The Sims 3: Seasons.
Household accounts screen can be accessed, showing income and expenditure over past 3 days and current day No such screen. Same as The Sims 2.
Buildings limited to 2 floors. Basements, foundations and lofts not possible. Basic roof pitch selector. Buildings limited to 5 floors, or 4 with foundation. In expansions after University, this can be changed to up to 15 floors (without foundation) using cheats. Buildings with foundation can have basements incorporated into them. Lofts theoretically possible. Roof pitch can be changed (first in the cheat console in Pets, and later Mansion and Garden Stuff, where a roof pitch changer is added). Various roof types like pagoda and dome are added via expansion packs. Same as The Sims 2.
Children with failing grades are banished to Military School and never return. When a child in the family has failing grades, all children are taken away by a social worker (unless they're at school), and other families may adopt them. Sims with failing grades are never taken away to Military School or by the Social Worker. In fact, they never actually have to go to school. However, players cannot choose an extra trait when they age up.
Random phone calls pranking or giving out money. Couples will occasionally get a phone call asking if they want to adopt a baby. Phone will also ring to announce being fired from your job. Other Sims never call. No prank or money calls, but friends and acquaintances may call at random. With Nightlife, Sims that were met in gatherings can tell other Sims about how fun the night was, thus random contacts may call up to ask those Sims out. Sims with less than 2 Nice points can make crank calls. Friends may call at random, opportunities also come via phonecalls. Teens may pull prank calls if Generations is installed.
Chance cards will force career change when at the top level of a career. Other chance cards may rarely emerge, giving out skills or money, or sometimes having no effect. Chance cards at all levels of career, causing gain or loss of rank, skill points, etc. Chance cards rarely appear and some have almost no effect on the job except for changing careers as in The Sims, and cause various moodlets.
Many NPCs are not interactive All but a few NPCs (drivers, Rod Humble, social workers, etc.) are interactive Almost all NPC's are interactive with the exception of a few such as the Grim Reaper.
Children go to a single school. Children and teens go to public or private school. Teens can apply for scholarships and move out to a college, which transition them the Young Adult life stage in University. Children and teens go to a single school (5 boarding schools in Generations).

Differences in Create-A-Sim Edit

The Sims The Sims 2 The Sims 3
Last name is the same for all Sims. Household name is last name of all Sims in the household. Same as The Sims, except when creating University students. In Create-A-Student, there is the option to give different surnames to each individual Sim in the household. Each individual Sim can be given a different last name. Players have the ability to change the household name.
Head style determines hairstyle, head shape, hair color, eye color, facial hair, etc. Head style determines only the shape of the Sim's heads. Same as The Sims 2.
Hair color determined by the head style. Hair (and eyebrow) color determined by user with a selection of four colors. Hair and eyebrow colors are individually selected, and certain parts of the Sim's hair can be changed (roots, main, highlights and tips) with the new color chart allowing the player to give their Sim a natural hair color like brown or blonde, give them crazy highlights or select a vibrant color such as bright green or red.
Sims have light, medium, or dark skin. Sims have 4 skin tones ranging from light to dark Sims have a range of skin tones with a slider determining exact color, including three natural skin tones and three bizarre colors (red, blue and green). Patches for both Supernatural and Seasons later added more skin colors to choose from.
Body type dependent on types of clothes worn by the Sim. Thin, Fit, and Fat body types possible, with Thin or Fat types available in Create-A-Sim. Independent sliders for muscle tone, body fat, breasts, and a muscle definition slider.
Head style and clothes selected by flipping through all available options. Hair styles, clothes, etc. selected from a gallery of thumbnails. As in The Sims 2, but choices can be customized with Create a Style.
Sleepwear, swimwear, and formalwear are chosen automatically. Sleepwear, swimwear, formalwear, underwear, athletic wear and (with Seasons) outerwear are chosen in Create-a-Sim. Maternity outfits are chosen automatically. Same as The Sims 2, with the exception of merging underwear and sleepwear into one category. Players can select more than 1 outfit per category (with the updated version of The Sims 3). Outerwear can be customized if Seasons is installed.
Jewelry, shoes, glasses, etc. not customizable, determined by the Sim's body or head style. Glasses may be taken on or off, other accessories are determined by Sim's outfit. Bon Voyage (and every EP after) introduces user control of jewelry. Shoes come with bottoms or one-piece outfits, and are uncustomizable. All accessories, jewelry and shoes may be customized.
Sims' personalities determined by 25 Personality Points placed in 5 different categories. Players are not required to use all points. Same as The Sims, except Aspirations were added, and all points must be assigned to a category. Personality Points and Aspirations are no longer used, instead replaced with a new trait system allowing players to give their Sims a unique and more realistic personality. Traits determine which Lifetime Wish matches with Sim's personality although this can be selected individually of trait too.
No Family Tree.

Relationships between spouses, siblings, and parents/children can be established in Create-a-Sim. Family Tree available in relationship panel.

Relationships between spouses, siblings, parents, fiancés and boyfriend/girlfriend are established in Create-A-Sim. A Sim's Family Tree is available to view on their main panel.

Object comparisonsEdit

These are the object types where they first appear in the corresponding series.

The Sims The Sims 2 The Sims 3 The Sims 4
Arcade machines / tables Vacation University Late Night None
Basketball Base Game Freetime The Sims 3 Store None
Bonehilda Makin' Magic None Supernatural None
Bowling None Nightlife University Life None
Bubble bar/blower House Party University Late Night None
Buffet table House Party Base Game Base Game Base Game
Campfire / bonfire House Party Bon Voyage University Life None
Cellphone None University Base Game Base Game
Christmas tree Livin' Large Holiday Party Pack The Sims 3 Store None
Cowplant None University The Sims 3 Store Base Game
Crystal ball Livin' Large None The Sims 3 Store None
Dartboard Hot Date Base Game Late Night None
Diving board Base Game Base Game Seasons (Patch 42) None
DJ booth House Party Nightlife Showtime None
Dragon Makin Magic None The Sims 3 Store None
Fireworks Livin' Large Holiday Party Pack World Adventures None
Greenhouse None Seasons The Sims 3 Store None
Guitar Livin' Large University Base Game Base Game
Hot tub Base Game Base Game Late Night None
Karaoke machine Superstar Nightlife Showtime None
Love bed Livin' Large Apartment Life High End Loft Stuff None
Massage table Superstar Bon Voyage The Sims 3 Store None
Murphy bed None Apartment Life University Life None
Ownable cars None Nightlife Base Game None
Photo booth None Nightlife Showtime None
Piano Base Game Base Game Late Night Base Game
Pinball machine Base Game Base Game The Sims 3 Store None
Playground set Base Game Apartment Life Base Game Base Game
Pool slide Vacation Seasons Island Paradise  None
Pool table Base Game University Showtime None
Restaurant Hot Date Nightlife The Sims 3 Store None
Restorable car None Freetime The Sims 3 Store None
Roller coaster Makin' Magic None The Sims 3 Store None
Sauna Superstar Bon Voyage The Sims 3 Store None
Snowboard half-pipe Vacation None Seasons None
Soccer net None Freetime Seasons None
Wedding arch and wedding cake None Base Game Generations Base Game
Wishing well None Seasons The Sims 3 Store None

See alsoEdit

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