Sims can build skills by doing a variety of activities, but the activities they do build skills at varying rates. This game guide shows some of the ways the player can boost skill building in The Sims 2 and The Sims 3.

The Sims 2Edit

In The Sims 2, skill gain rate for each Sim is said to be 100%, by default. Many factors cause a Sim to gain skill faster than another. It might be caused by the Sim themselves or the skill object they use, or other factors, such as season, benefits, and so on.


Different personalities gives impact to skill gain when performing certain activities. The impact that personality has depends on the interaction itself and does not directly depend on the type of skill being built--although interactions that build the same skill do freqently have their rate changed by the same personality type.

  • Charisma: Outgoing Sims gain this skill faster than Shy Sims when practicing speech or romance at a mirror, and from the Execuputter career reward. Playful Sims gain this skill faster than Serious Sims when teaching a pet bird to talk or talking to it.[TS2:P]
  • Body: Active Sims gain this skill faster than Lazy Sims.
  • Logic: Serious Sims gain this skill faster than Playful Sims.
  • Creativity: Playful Sims gain this skill faster than Serious Sims when using musical instruments or writing a novel. Shy Sims gain this skill faster than Outgoing Sims when painting at the easel.
  • Cleaning: Neat Sims gain this skill faster than sloppy Sims.

Cooking and Mechanical skill gain rates aren't based on Sims' personality. Thus, this makes the most optimum personality for fast skill gain to be Outgoing, Active, Neat--and either Serious or Playful depending on whether you want faster Logic or Creativity.

Typically, Sims with the favored personality (either six or more points in the personality, or four or fewer) get a bonus to skill gain that's larger the more extreme their personality is, and Sims with the non-favored personality or with exactly five points in it get no bonus. Thus, a Sim with 0 Playful and a Sim with 5 Playful will gain Creativity from playing a musical instrument at the same rate, a Sim with 6 Playful will gain it slightly faster, and a Sim with 10 Playful will have the fastest gain. This is only typical, however, not absolute. An exception is that when learning Cleaning from cleaning dirty objects, the skill gain is scaled over the entire range: Sims with 0 Neat learn it more slowly than Sims with 1 Neat, and so on.

Aspiration RewardEdit

Pasteur's HomoGenius Smart MilkEdit

One benefit from this Aspiration Reward is that toddlers will learn toddler skills and other skills three times as fast. What's more, is that sometimes the smart milk effect will be stuck on the toddlers even until they grow up as children. Children will still retain this benefit while the effect is still stuck.

Thinking CapEdit

Wearing Thinking Cap successfully will boost Sims' skill gain rate twice as fast. Wearing the Thinking Cap will disable the stuck effect of smart milk.


SimVac is a powerful Aspiration Reward that can be used to absorb a skill from other Sims. The user must have gold or platinum Aspiration in order to safely use it, otherwise it might backfire the user. The skill that Sim absorbs is random, so player cannot depend on this Aspiration Reward to earn a particular skill.

Skill ObjectsEdit

Every skill object has different base skill rates. The higher the base skill rates, the quicker a Sim learns a skill. Here is several of the highest base skill rates of objects for each skills.


Objects Base skill rates
Surgical Training Station 250
Bookshelf 200
Restorable Car 100

Restoring broken car has the fewest base skill rate, making it the least effective way to build Mechanical skill. However, it's great to make profit.


Objects Base skill rates
Golf course and career reward podiums 250
Mirror 200
Talking to bird/Teach bird to talk 150

Talking to bird is not normally the most effective way to earn Charisma skill, but it's good to build Nature enthusiasm simultaneously. A Sim who is very Playful (9 or 10 points), and not Outgoing (5 or fewer points), will actually gain Charisma somewhat more quickly from talking to the bird than from the mirror. A Sim with 9 Playful and 6 Outgoing will gain Charisma at the same rate from the two objects.


Objects Base skill rates
Obstacle Course 538
Bowling 350
Punching Bag 313
Treadmill 300

If player has a treadmill, Punching Bag doesn't really make a big change, except that it builds Sports enthusiasm. Bowling and Obstacle Course are very effective, but both are large objects that need spacious place. Also, Sims don't earn Body skill continuously, but rather every time they run through the course.


Objects Base skill rates
Biotech Station 250
Expensive Telescope and Chess 200
Cheap Telescope and Chess 150

Sims can't use Biotech Station continuously, so it's also not very effective. On the other hand, Sims might spy on neighbors when using the telescope at day. Playing expensive chess is the most effective way. Avoid using the cheap ones.


Objects Base skill rates
The Rock Hammer Career Reward 400
Lie Detector
Hydroponic Garden
DJ Booth
Practice Music
Modular Synth
Perform Music
Writing Novel

Personality has a larger effect on the skill gain from performing music than on practicing. A Sim with 9 or 10 Playful will have a slightly faster rate from performing than from practicing, while a Sim with 7 or below will get better results from practicing. Personality also has a large impact on the gain from painting: a Sim who is very Shy (0 or 1 Outgoing) and who is not Playful (5 points or below) will do better from painting than from practing an instrument, even though the base rate is slower.


Objects Base skill rates
Fingerprint Scanner 250
Bookcase 200

If available, learn Cleaning from the Fingerprint Scanner.

Cleaning dirty objects has--for Sims with at least two points in Neat--a higher rate than learning from the bookcase. While they can't do this continuously, it's still a valuable source of skill points.


The only ways to study Cooking other than (real) cooking are studying from bookcase, using Candy Machine, watching Yummy Channel, and using Toy Oven. All former 3 options have the same base skill rate, which is 200. The only benefit is that using the Candy Machine will earn money simultaneously.

All SkillsEdit

Additionally, Imparting Knowledge from Knowledge Sims has the base skill rate of 200. The Education career reward, the Education Bookshelf, enables Sims to study all skills with the base skill rate of 500. Thus, making it the best skill-gain object.

Other FactorsEdit


In Seasons, all learning activities, homework, command teaching, and anything that has progress bar above Sim's head will be boosted by 25%.


In Seasons, drinking the eggplant juice will give Sims a random skill.

Vacation BenefitEdit

In Bon Voyage, having Refreshed Vacation Benefit will increase the learning rate for 72 hours.

Far East SouvenirEdit

In Bon Voyage, collecting 5 Far East souvenirs and placing them on a souvenir rack will allow faster skill building when Sims are near it.

Impart KnowledgeEdit

In FreeTime, Knowledge Sims who have level 8 in a skill can impart knowledge to other Sims, if they have that Aspiration Benefit. The base skill rate is 200, so it's rather similar when Sims just learn from bookcase.


In Apartment Life, there is a bug that causes Sims to learn Body skill very fast after they learn Physiology. There are also some occasions when Sims will learn other skills at super speed as well. This bug was fixed in the Apartment Life patch, but reappears in Mansion & Garden Stuff. This trick will not work for you if you have the Apartment Life patch but do not have Mansion & Garden Stuff.

The Sims 3Edit

In The Sims 3, your Sims can learn skills from reading books. However, this can take a long time. To maximize the chances of learning skills quicker, read on:

Without being a vampire Edit

  1. Go to the local library.
  2. A positive moodlet should appear, relating to Power Study.
Image Moodlet Name Mood Effect Time Period From Game Dialog/Description Notes Expansion
Power Study Power Study No Mood Effect - Library That quiet library atmosphere makes reading, studying, and working so much more efficient! This moodlet gives Sims a big boost to the speed of many tasks, including: Reading, studying, the Work From Home interaction, and skilling up from skill books.
TS3 Icon

Lifetime Reward Edit

  1. Collect 15,000 Lifetime happiness points, and buy the "Fast Learner" award.
  2. Have your Sims browse through the bookshelves to find what you want to study.
  3. Read the book and you will learn the skill quicker than normal. (Note: Usually twice as fast as normal)

Being a vampire Edit

  1. Wait until night comes and the Vampiric Vigor moodlet appears.
  2. Once you have received this moodlet, choose the book or start practicing the skill you want to improve.
  3. Once you have started to practice the skill, animated bats should randomly fly to the side of the skill gain bar.

Tips Edit

  • For maximum studying, go to the library at night while being a vampire. This will give you both the Power Study and the Vampiric Vigor moodlet.
  • Genius and Bookworm speedup learning a skill via books in the library.
  • Genius and Computer Whiz speedup learning logic skill via computer in the library.

Moodlet no frame I graduated
This tutorial was a Featured Game guide in May - September 2012. Its layout and content is an example of excellence on The Sims Wiki.