For the first time ever, players can experience a full life simulation in 3D with Nintendo 3DS.
- It features a new Karma system. 
- "Create any Sim you can imagine – give them unique personalities! Fine-tune your Sims’ appearances and personalities. Make them evil, romantic, paranoid, kleptomaniacs, or a mix of something completely different."
- "Unlock all-new Karma Powers. Wield the ultimate control over your Sims giving them wealth, beauty, and love—or take it all away with the click of a button."
- "Control your Sims’ destinies – Choose whether or not to fulfill your Sims’ destinies by making their wishes come true—or letting their dreams die. Will your Sims be rock stars, world leaders, or expert thieves? It’s up to you."
- Complete challenges to unlock additional items, new buildings and landmarks.
- New camera angles that take advantage of the 3D view.
- Face-mapping feature.
- Players being able to take a photo of themselves and have their Sim look like them.
The trailer for The Sims 3 for Nintendo 3DS was released on March 23, 2011, and shows many features from previous The Sims games, such as Karma Powers, Create a Sim, Build mode, and socialization. It also shows features exclusive to the N3DS version, emphasizing the 3D capability, and showing that it is possible to take a picture of a real-life person and have them created as a Sim, and trading Sims with the Nintendo StreetPass.
- The idea of Karma is taken from the Hindu religion. However, the Western interpretation of the term more accurately describes the Karma system in the game.
- Although The Sims 3 for DS is region free, The Sims 3 for 3DS is region locked.
- Both this game and the 3DS version of The Sims 3 Pets were on Origin but has been removed. A thread discusses this.