As soon as a character (Sim or pet) meets another they accumulate relationship points. The number of points two characters have for each other and their life stages determines how they can interact. The score will go up or down depending on whether interactions between the two are positive or negative, but neglecting a positive relationship will result in a gradual decline of the relationship score. However, a negative relationship score will gradually improve until it reaches zero.
In the initial release of The Sims, there was a single relationship bar which ran from -100 to 100. The Sims: Hot Date turned this into the daily relationship bar, and added a lifetime relationship bar. While this arrangement was not put into The Sims Deluxe Edition, it was carried forward into subsequent expansion packs, and into The Sims 2.
Two Sims would become friends if each one had a daily relationship of at least 50 toward the other, and the relationship would break if either Sim's daily relationship toward the other dropped below 50. "Best friend" status was not formally named or recognized, but the lifetime relationship could affect whether or not a social interaction was available, or would be accepted. Once an adult Sim's daily relationship with another hit 70, a successful romantic interaction between the two would result in a crush. If the lifetime relationship was at least 70, it would result in love. This was carried forward into The Sims 2.
Once two Sims had any kind of relationship, the lifetime relationship between them would build as they spent time together on the same lot, even if they didn't interact. However, this increase in lifetime relationship would come at the expense of their daily relationship. Every so often, the daily relationship would drop by two points, and the lifetime relationship would increase by one point. In addition, some interactions between Sims, such as giving gifts, would affect the lifetime relationship. Lifetime relationships tended to be highly stable over time. Even if two Sims went a long time without interacting with one another, the lifetime relationship would barely be affected.
The Sims 2
The Sims 2 retains the daily relationship score and lifetime relationship score that were introduced in The Sims: Hot Date. However, Sims' relationships with one another no longer change simply because they spend time with, or around, one another. In The Sims 2, the lifetime relationship score gradually approaches the daily relationship score, so over time, two Sims' lifetime relationships will build up as long as they continue to interact enough to keep their daily relationships high. Sim relationships can also be raised or lowered with the use of cheats.
Sims are able to maintain romantic relationships with either gender. However, each Sim has a preference for each gender, which may be positive or negative. Romantic social interactions affect a Sim's gender preferences, depending on the other Sim's gender. For example, romantic interactions with a female Sim increase the Sim's preference for females and decrease his or her preference for males. A Sim's gender preference can be checked through use of testingcheatsenabled or with SimPE.
In The Sims 2: Pets, pets develop relationships with Sims and other pets. Sims gain relationships with pets by doing positive interactions, such as praising, playing, or giving love. Negative relationship points are given when a Sim scolds or yells at a pet. When teaching a pet tricks, the relationship goes up and down, depending on how fast the pet learns, but will be higher in the end.
Relationship Levels in The Sims 2
|Type of relationship||Level of relationship|
|Inimical||Enemy (<= -50)|
|Casual||Just Met (> -2 and < 2)|
Acquaintance (> -50 and < 50)
|Amicable||Friend (>= 50)|
(Lifetime >= 50)
|Romantic||Crush (>= 70)|
|Love (Lifetime >= 70)|
- Just Met: The two Sims have met, but have not interacted enough to have a definite relationship. Daily relationship will be close to zero, though it may be positive or negative.
- Acquaintance: The two Sims are not friends, and the one whose relationships are being looked at does not consider the other an enemy. The relationship scores may be positive or negative. This is independent of family relationships; parents and children can be acquaintances if their relationship is neither strongly positive or strongly negative.
- Enemy: For the computer version, the Enemy relationship may be set if each of the two Sims has a daily relationship of -50 or less toward the other. Breaking it requires a positive interaction between the two once one Sim's relationship score has risen above that level.
- Console versions of The Sims 2 also have Arch Enemy. For these versions, the Enemy relationship requires a daily relationship of -15 or less.
- Friend: Each of the two Sims has a daily relationship of at least 50 toward the other.
- Best Friend: If each of the two Sims has a lifetime relationship of at least 50 toward the other, this relationship will be set when they have a positive interaction. Talking on the telephone will set this relationship, but chatting on a computer will not.
- Best Friend Forever: "Best Friend Forever" was introduced in The Sims 2: FreeTime. This relationship may be set when two Sims have been best friends for a certain amount of time, but it appears that other factors are involved. It also appears that time spent on a lot as a walkby or visitor counts. The two Sims involved do not need to interact for this relationship to be set. In fact, the player has no control over when two Sims who are best friends will become "best friends forever". These relationships do not decay as rapidly, and are therefore easier to maintain.
- Crush: Daily relationship of 70 or higher, built with romantic options.
- Love: Lifetime relationship of 70 or higher, built with romantic options.
- Going Steady: only used by teenaged Sim lovers, and must be proposed by one of them.
- These relationships will not automatically be lost when the relationship falls below the required level. However, romantic relationships between teens are lost when one of them grows up.
Sims who have just become children may have a want to make a friend. Sims of any age and aspiration may have wants to become friends with Sims they know, or best friends with one of their friends, though these wants are much more common for Popularity Sims. With FreeTime, Sims of any age and aspiration may have wants to become BFFs with their best friends, though these wants are more common for Popularity Sims. Popularity Sims may also have a want to simply make a BFF.
|Want||Aspiration points||Influence points||Notes|
|Make a friend||3500||500|
|Become friends with a Sim||3500||500||If a child either has the want or is the target of it, this is a 1500 point want.|
|Become best friends with a Sim||4000||1000|
|Make a BFF|
Become BFF with a Sim
Contacts and Fury
Contacts and Fury were introduced in Nightlife. Contacts are Sims who have heard of a Sim from a mutual friend (They can be playable or Downtownies). They will phone that Sim asking to go downtown on an outing or date. The relationship between your Sim and the Contact is given a boost for a short period of time. Their picture will be blue.
Sims can feel fury at Sims that had a hostile interactions with them. It also occurs when Sims are caught cheating. It decreases the relationship drastically while it's in effect, putting both Daily and Lifetime scores below -50, depending on the "offense" committed. The target of a Sim's fury will have a red overlay on his or her picture. The amount of red roughly indicates how much longer the Sim will remain furious.
- Mine: The cat claims ownership of the Sim or pet; similar to Best Friends
- Master: The dog is loyal to the Sim or pet
- Pack: The dog recognizes the Sim or pet as a member of his pack; similar to Friends.
- Best Friend: The dog treats the Sim or another pet as a close friend.
Sims' relationships with pets decline over time in the same way that their relationships with other Sims do. However, it appears that pets' relationships with Sims either do not decline over time or decline more slowly. Therefore, pets' relationships with Sims can be asymmetrical.
The Sims 3 and The Sims Medieval
The relationships in The Sims 3 and The Sims Medieval are slightly different from their predecessors. The number of "relationship points" a Sim has is not measured, and Sims only have one relationship bar instead of two.
Before two Sims meet, they are strangers, but upon their first interaction they become acquaintances.
The next level in an amicable relationship is friend, then good friend, then best friend. Teen Sims also have the option to ask another teen Sim to become BFF (Best Friends Forever) if their relationship is at the best friend status. Long lasting amicable relationships eventually become marked as old friends.
In an inimical relationship, the first (and only) level is disliked. With negative interactions, it is possible for two Sims to become enemies. It is also possible in this kind of relationship to declare the other a "nemesis". Long-lasting inimical relationships eventually become marked as old enemies.
In a romantic relationship, the first level is romantic interest. This can be reverted back to an amicable relationship by asking to "just be friends". Then, if one Sim proposes to go steady with the other, the level is boyfriend/girlfriend. In order to gain access to the proposal, you must initiate a series of romantic interactions between the Sims until they display a message saying they are finding the other sim "extremely irresistible" at which point "Propose Go Steady" will become available. If this relationship ends, by breaking up, the Sims are marked as ex-girlfriends/ex-boyfriends. Then again, if one Sim proposes marriage to the other, it's fiancé(e). Then if married, it is husband/wife. Ending an engagement by breaking up results in becoming ex-girlfriend/ex-boyfriend, but ending a marriage results in ex-wife/ex-husband. Ending any sort of romantic relationship results in a heavy drop in the relationship bar. In order to become friends once these statuses are reached, the Sims must have a high enough relationship bar and be friendly to each other until the option appears to "just be friends".
When a Sim plays any instrument or performs any public interaction, such as play Guitar, the relationship will steadily increase with whoever is watching the Sim play.
In all EPs, and in The Sims 3 and The Sims Medieval, some interactions require higher relationship levels before they can be used. If such an interaction is used when the relationship is too low, the Sim will remind the player that (s)he needs to know the Sim better[TS3] or dim the interaction[Medieval]. In World Adventures, it is not possible to skip the relationship requirements for the adventures that some interactions need but this is possible in Ambitions by using the "Bribe" and "Beat Sim up for information" interactions.
The Sims Social
The Sims Social has several types of Sim-to-Sim relationships. Sims are able to be friends, enemies, lovers, with one another.
Sims require a high relationship to become married or joined, but the state of being married or joined is not lost autonomously if the relationship score declines. In order to get married, Sims have to be romantically interested in their significant others first. Then, they can advance to go steady[TS3], propose marriage, and then get married.