An outing is a gathering group of Sims who stay together to socialize and do activities. The ability to have outings is one of the main features in The Sims 2: Nightlife and The Sims 3: Late Night. The Sims 2 allowed Sims to bring friends along to a community lot, but they generally mind their own business instead of hanging out with the Sims who bring them. The outing system makes it possible to have a group of Sims be together most of the time.
The Sims 2: NightlifeEdit
An outing is a mini-game scenario involving many Sims. The members of the group will follow the playable Sims wherever they go. They will also do group activities, such as dining out and bowling, together. Members of the outing other than the selected Sim will have small blue PlumbBobs above their head, but this does not indicate their mood. Pleasure Sims will usually want to have an outing.
There are two kinds of outings. There are outings just for fun, which are untimed and unscored, and outings which are timed and scored, similar to dating. Sims cannot have a date and an outing at the same time.
Managing a GroupEdit
A group can be managed by using a phone or cell phone. By managing a group, Sims can easily form an outing with preset members, either playable or non-playable. Sims can add Sims they know to the group, or remove members from it. When managing a group, playable Sims will have a green PlumbBob icon. A managed group can be named, but no groups can share the same name, even if the groups contain different outing members.
After a group is managed, any of the members can edit the group, add or remove members, and delete the group. Sims can invite members of the group to a community lot, or meet them on one, for a casual group or a timed outing. Whether they accept depends on how well they know the caller; whether they are asleep or at work; and whether they have a phone. Therefore, it's possible that only some members will be able to come, or that none will. Being late to an outing on community lot will stand up the others and make them furious at that Sim.
Even though an outing with a managed group has preset members, it is not limited to members of the group. Sims can still ask others to join the outing, if the player so chooses, but it has to be done in person. Occasionally, members of the group will call other Sims to go for an outing with that particular group.
Forming a Group in PersonEdit
Sims can also form casual groups if the player uses the Ask... To Form Casual Group option. The player can then choose whether the casual group will be "Just for Fun" or "For an Outing". If "Just for Fun" is chosen, there will be no timer and no scoring, but it will not fulfill the want to ask a Sim for an outing. After any the group is formed, Sims can invite more Sims on the outing by asking them to join the group.
An untimed casual group formed "Just for Fun" lasts until it is ended. Group members can be asked to leave, and will autonomously leave if their mood or needs become too low. The group can be disbanded if the playable Sims end it themselves, or when all members have been asked to leave the group. There are some benefits of forming a group. The group will dine out together and won't scatter around when invited to a community lot. On a residential lot, group members won't go home after midnight.
A timed outing is scored, and works much like a date. An outing meter will appear in the upper right corner of the screen, and it displays the how much time is left in the outing. An outing score has seven levels:
- A Real Drag
Raising the outing meter takes a little more effort than raising a date meter, as the score depends on the average amount of Fun gained by the members. Therefore, raising it might be easier if there are few members of the outing. The outing score will also get a boost if outing members become friends or best friends. In short, scoring for outings is similar to scoring for parties.
Timed outings have an initial time of 3 Sim hours. This time increases every time the player reaches higher levels on the outing meter. Sims will get an additional 2:30 for reaching the "Fun" level, another 2:00 for reaching "Super", and another 1:30 for "Rockin'", but nothing more thereafter. Sims will not get a time penalty if the outing score drops to a lower threshold, but they will not get another time extension for raising it back to a level they have already reached once.
Once Nightlife is installed, and a Downtown is associated with the neighborhood, there will always be an invitation for a casual group the first night a family is played. The caller might be a random Downtownie or someone that Sim knows.
Other than the first night invitation, there are other kinds of invitations. Most commonly, a contact will call and ask if the Sim wants to go on an outing, but a Sim may receive an invitation as a reward for a good outing, or a member of a managed group the Sim is part of might ask for an outing. Unlike the first night invitation, all of these are scored outings.
Outing members will get a mood boost every time they reach a higher level while on a scored outing. Conversely, their mood will drop every time the outing score falls to a lower level. Members will also get a mood boost when a good outing is ended, but their moods will drop if the outing was bad.
After an outing ends, Sims might or might not receive a reward. The possibility and quality of the reward depends on how good the outing was. The outing rewards are similar to date rewards:
- Instant Promotion. If members of the outing are in the same career track at different levels, Sims at lower levels may be rewarded with an instant promotion. Sims who have received this award will be notified they they have been helped after the next time they go home from work. The chance is higher if more Sims are in the same career track.
- Restaurant Coupon. If the outing involves dining at a restaurant, there's a chance that Sims will be given a restaurant coupon the next day.
- Skill Point Award. If members of the outing have high levels in a skill, Sims may get an instant skill point just after the outing ends. The chance is higher if there are more Sims who are expert in a particular skill.
- Another Outing. If the outing is good, Sims might be called for another one by any member of the previous outing. The members might be in any of the managed groups he/she is part of, or random friends of the inviter.
- Contact. A friend of a Sims' friend might make a call for an outing so they can to get to know each other.
- Surprise Gift. A random object from the Buy mode catalog will be delivered to Sims' house in addition to other reward objects.
Compatibility with other Expansion PacksEdit
- Sims who have the Head for Numbers business perk are able to use the phone to add special NPCs to groups, even though those NPCs are not supposed to be added. This includes NPCs like the Grim Reaper, Spectral Assistant, Therapist, and Social Bunny. There's hardly any chance that they will appear when the player invites them, but it might cause problems with the game.
- Sims can bring outing members to a vacation without any additional airfare cost, but the outing must be formed before the airport shuttle arrives. The outing will be continued at the Vacation Destination once Sims have left home. However, because they are not included as part of the travel party, they'll just "leave" the Vacation Destination after the outing is over, and will not stay at the hotel or vacation home. They will not gain Vacation Benefits either.
- Players cannot grab or move a surprise gift left as an outing reward if from Sims who live in an apartment, because they are placed outside the apartment slot. Sims can still use the objects, but they might block the way. The objects, however, won't show up if player plays other families in the same apartment.
- If Sims who live in an apartment have an outing in which one of the members is in a neighboring apartment, it will be tricky to go to a community lot. The neighbor must be present on the lot and must be available to go to the community lot. Otherwise, Sims must wait for them until they are present and available.. For example, if the outing occurs after 10 PM and the Sims are leaving for the outing by taxi, the taxi will remain unmoved until morning when the neighbor is awake. If the neighbor goes to work in the morning, the taxi will have to wait until they get home. This will not count as standing up other members of the outing, but will waste Sims' time.
- Having a Reputable Resident reputation will boost the initial outing score by +15.
The Sims 3: Late NightEdit
Outings return in The Sims 3: Late Night as a new way of keeping a group of Sims together. It is an enhanced version of the outings from The Sims 2: Nightlife. In Late Night, grouping is a very easy option to use, but it is only available when two Sims have a medium/high relationship or are related to one other. When Sims group, they will have small blue PlumbBobs hovering over the top of their head. A group of two to eight Sims can go to bars, lounges, clubs, swimming pools, etc., but apparently cannot go to a Sim's house[confirmation needed]. There cannot be two separate Sims with two different groups. When the Sim who formed the group is tired, going to work/school, or somewhere by themselves, the group will disband. However, a Sim with the Party Animal trait may want to continue the group and might remain.
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- ↑ Sims who live in an apartment will receive an error message if they get the coupon from the mailbox. This has been fixed in Apartment Life Patch.
- ↑ This glitch has been fixed with Apartment Life patch, but the fix does not affect objects that have already been sent as a reward. Objects sent after the patch is installed will not experience this glitch.