My Hobby & Sub-Hobby System for The Sims 2

Sims 2 Sub Hobby System

This is my hobby and sub-hobby system for The Sims 2. I find the in-game hobby system too broad. I like to give my Sims a single hobby that they can focus on throughout their lives – such as football instead of just “sports” or violin instead of just “music.”

The One True Hobby (OTH)

Every Sim in The Sims 2 has a “one true hobby” (also known as a predestined hobby) assigned to them at birth by the game. Hobbies are chosen based on a Sim’s personality points and interests, which is pretty cool! Here’s a chart that shows which personalities and interests result in which hobbies:

Hobby Personality Interests
Cuisine Neat, Lazy Food
Film & Lit Shy, Lazy Entertainment, Culture
Tinkering Shy, Nice Toys, Work
Sports Active, Grouchy Sports
Music & Dance Outgoing, Serious Entertainment, Culture
Fitness Outgoing, Active Health
Arts & Crafts Sloppy, Nice Fashion, Culture
Science Neat, Serious Sci-Fi, School
Games Playful, Grouchy Entertainment, Toys
Nature Sloppy, Playful Animals Environment

While you can typically figure out a Sim’s hobby by looking at their personality and interests, I prefer to have them try different activities in the game to find what they like best. I feel this is more realistic, as most people have to try out many different hobbies to find one that resonates. 

You’ll know you’ve found your Sim’s predestined hobby when you get a notification stating that the Sim is excited that they tried this hobby activity. Then, the hobby enthusiasm meter will be highlighted on their hobby panel.

Hobby Notification Sims 2

Hobby Panel Sims 2

In my game, I usually go down the list and have Sims try an activity from each category until they find their predestined hobby. Here’s a non-exhaustive list of activities that you can try:

  • Cuisine – Eating (unless you have a mod to prevent hobby enthusiasm from eating), cooking, studying cooking, watching the Yummy Channel 
  • Film & Literature – Reading a book, watching a movie, watching the Sims Broadcasting Network or KidzTube, writing in a diary
  • Tinkering – Studying mechanical, playing with RC toys, repairing appliances & electronics, playing with blocks on the activity table (children)
  • Sports – Playing catch or football, playing basketball or soccer, watching Sim Station Sports, playing kicky bag
  • Music & Dance – Playing the xylophone (toddlers), watching Sim Station Dance, dancing, playing any instrument, singing karaoke or on the mic
  • Fitness – Swimming, jumping rope, using exercise equipment, ice skating or roller skating
  • Arts & Crafts – Drawing on activity table (toddlers), viewing art, painting
  • Science – Playing with the peg box (toddlers), stargazing on the ground, stargazing with telescope, watching the weather channel, observing ants
  • Games – Playing computer or video games, playing chess, playing darts or pool
  • Nature – Catching butterflies and fireflies, hunting bugs, studying cleaning, cloud watching, smelling flowers, watching or feeding fish

If a Sim has not found their hobby by the time they’ve aged to a teen, I start trying to find it for them by having them do these activities. You only need to perform one activity per category. If you don’t get a notification within a few seconds, that’s not your Sim’s predestined hobby. 

Choosing a Sub-Hobby

Once I know what my Sim’s predestined hobby is, then I roll to randomly choose their sub-hobby. This is the Sim’s real hobby (in my world), and it’s what they will focus on throughout their lives. Any time they need to have fun or have extra time, I direct them to work on this activity. 

Here are the sub-hobbies that I use for each group:

  • Cuisine
    1. Cooking – Focus on preparing meals and cooking contests. 
    2. Baking – Focus on baking and desserts. 
    3. Bartending – Focus on drinks and tending bar.
  • Film & Literature
    1. Reading – Focus on reading books, novels, and magazines, book club.
    2. Writing – Focus on writing novels.
    3. Blogging – Focus on blogging about film & literature.
    4. Watching – Focus on watching TV and movies. 
  • Tinkering
    1. Restoring – Focus on restoring old cars.
    2. Robot Crafting – Focus on crafting robots.
    3. Repairing – Focus on repairing and upgrading appliances.
    4. Playing – Focus on remote-controlled toys. 
    5. Woodworking – Focus on using the woodworking table (custom content). 
  • Sports
    1. Baseball – Focus on playing baseball.
    2. Football – Focus on playing football.
    3. Soccer – Focus on playing soccer.
    4. Basketball – Focus on playing basketball.
    5. Golf – Focus on playing golf. (The Execuputter is a career reward unlocked at Business Level 5, so I restrict this hobby only to Sims in the Business Career.)
    6. Boxing – Focus on boxing. (The punching bag is a career reward unlocked at Athletic Level 5, so I restrict this hobby only to Sims in the Athletic Career.)
  • Music & Dance
    1. Dancing – Focus on dancing and dance contests.
    2. Piano – Focus on playing the Piano.
    3. Synthesizer – Focus on playing the synthesizer.
    4. Violin – Focus on playing the violin. 
    5. Singing – Focus on singing (microphone and karaoke).
    6. Guitar – Focus on playing the guitar.
    7. Bass – Focus on playing the bass.
    8. Drums – Focus on playing the drums.
    9. Banjo – Focus on playing banjo (custom content).
    10. Keyboard – Focus on playing keyboard (custom content).
  • Fitness
    1. Swimming – Focus on swimming in pools and/or at the beach.
    2. Skating – Focus on ice skating and roller skating.
    3. Lifting – Focus on weight lifting using the exercise machines.
    4. Cardio – Focus on jogging and jumping rope.
    5. Yoga – Focus on doing yoga and/or Tai Chi.
  • Arts & Crafts
    1. Painting – Focus on painting.
    2. Flower Arranging – Focus on flower arranging.
    3. Toy Making – Focus on toy making.
    4. Sculpting – Focus on making pottery. 
    5. Sewing – Focus on sewing using the sewing machine.
    6. Photography – Focus on taking pictures. (The Luminous Pro Antique Camera is a career reward unlocked at Artist level 5, so I restrict this hobby only to Sims in the Artist career.)
    7. Drafting – Focus on making blueprints on the drafting table. (The drafting table is a career reward unlocked at Architecture Level 6, so I restrict this hobby only to Sims in the Architecture Career.)
  • Science
    1. Stargazing – Focus on stargazing with telescope or on the ground.
    2. Weather – Focus on watching the weather channel and using the Weathernaught 57X. 
    3. Science Games – Focus on solving the rubik’s ball and puzzle knot (custom content). 
    4. Biotech – Focus on using the Biotech Station. (The Station is a career reward unlocked at Science Level 6, so I restrict this hobby to Sims in the Science Career.)
  • Games
    1. Video Games – Focus on computer, console, handheld, and arcade games.
    2. Chess – Focus on playing chess.
    3. Darts – Focus on playing darts.
    4. Poker – Focus on playing poker. 
    5. Pool – Focus on playing pool.
    6. Bowling – Focus on bowling.
  • Nature
    1. Entomology – Focus on hunting bugs, catching butterflies and fireflies. 
    2. Fishing – Focus on fishing and keeping fish in aquariums or a koi pond.
    3. Gardening – Focus on gardening. 
    4. Birds – Focus on bird watching and keeping birds as pets. 
    5. Cloud watching – Focus on watching the clouds. 
    6. Hiking – Focus on hiking. 
    7. Womrat – Focus on caring for and playing with womrats.

For example, if my Sim’s OTH is Games, I would go to and roll a number between 1 – 6. The result would determine their sub-hobby in the list above. Number 1 would be video games, Number 2 would be chess, etc. 

This is how I handle hobbies in The Sims 2 and it works really well for me.

Instead of just broad hobby categories, my Sims focus on a single activity. Some Sims may play piano, while some like to garden. Others prefer star-gazing or toy-making or playing basketball. This system helps give my Sims focus and purpose in life while also giving them unique talents and interests. 

Do you use a hobby system in your game? If so, I would love to hear about it. Leave a comment below and let me know! 

21 thoughts on “My Hobby & Sub-Hobby System for The Sims 2”

  1. Hi Cindy,
    I tried to install playable banjo pack, but it says that some of the files need to be placed in the downloads folder, other ones “where you store your hacks”. Where is that? I have my hacks in the downloads folder as well ^^’

  2. Cindy, my sister and I absolutely love all of your content from your sims 4 rants ( we all agree sims 4 has way too many problems, and sims 2 is the best most lore and drama filled of them all). You have helped us learn SOOOO much about the sims 2, we played as kids but never had the UC. We never knew about rotational gameplay until we discovered you! We are having so much fun playing rotationally and we thank you so much for bringing this kind of gameplay to us! You are truly a gem and legend of sims 2 content! You are absolutely our go to sims 2 youtuber, and we greatly enjoy your humor and antics on twitch! You are making such a huge difference in the sims 2 community and bringing the absolute joy of the sims 2 to so many people!!! Thank You and keep up the amazing work!!!

  3. hi.
    did you give any sims freelancer job/business base on hobbies? how to decide who will be business owner, painter, novelist etc and “trait” that help to decide it.

    • If a Sim rolls the want to own a business – or in some cases if their spouse/partner has the want – and they have the money, I let them open a business. Then, I would base it on their hobbies or interests. If I’m playing an integrated neighborhood, everyone owns a business based on their interests.

  4. Hi Cindy! Nice post. Love to see the Sims 2 content, which is still my favourite!

    I love the idea of subhobbies, but I think rather than completely randomising it I might roll a couple of options and then out of those pick the one I think fits with the Sim’s personality/other interests the best.

    The woodworking table looks great! Are you playing with Apartment Life? It’s listed as ‘probably necessary’ for the woodworking table, but that’s the one EP I don’t have (wasn’t keen on the social cliques idea).

    • Hi! Yes, I have the Ultimate Collection so I have all expansions. Not sure if it will work without it or not.

      I also dislike the social groups, but I use a mod by cyjon called “Townie Apartment Residents” that disables them. I never see social townies in my game at all – instead the game uses townies to fill apartments. So if that’s the only thing holding you back from getting AL, I’d recommend it! It’s one of my favorite expansions. 🙂

  5. Hi Cindy!

    I’ve been using your playstyle for a while now and I love how it livens up the game. I have a few additional suggestions for hobbies, which you may or may not like, but I know a while back on one of your streams you were wondering what else fell under the Science hobby so I did some research and added some to my own list!

    For Science, there’s keeping and observing ants, and a couple of other career rewards like the Surgery Station from the Medicine career and the Scanner from the Law Enforcement career (which can be restricted to people in those careers).

    For other hobbies, reciting poetry using the microphone builds Film & Literature, and playing with model trains builds Tinkering (I particularly like that one for my nerdy Tinkerers like Cassandra Goth). I think another commenter above mentioned these.

    In addition, I have a couple of mods from MTS (I won’t link them here) which change Chess and Robot Making to Science, and change Toy Making to Tinkering and Flower Arranging to Nature.

    I thought you might like a few more to add to your list for a bit of variety but feel free to ignore me if you don’t like the ideas! Keeping ants could be considered a bit low key, but so is caring for womrats or cloudgazing! 🙂

  6. Hey Cindy! I want to get back into the Sims 2 but I remember experiencing a lot of corruption when I played it back in the day. Do you have any tips for avoiding corruption? I have the Sims 2 Ultimate Collection through Origin if that helps.

  7. I’ve *just* started experimenting with a modified version of this subhobby system!

    I saw that some hobbies had more passive subhobbies (e.g., “watching” for film & lit), so I tried to add some of those to the list: Cuisine (Dining Out), Music & Dance (Audiophile) [a.k.a. listening to the mp3 player].

    Since music is so broken up by instrument I decided to break up gaming by device: Games (Arcade Cabinets), Games (Pinball), Games (TV Consoles), Games (Computer), Games (Handheld Consoles). This gives me more of a reason to hit the arcades, or buy the handhelds.

    I also broke writing up into fiction and non-fiction: Film & Lit (Diary Keeping), Film & Lit (Authoring Novels). It’s a minor distinction.

    Another seperation: Fitness (Yoga), Fitness (Tai Chi). I can see why you had them bundled. Might be boring seperated but I wanna give it a shot.

    Here’s the rest I added:
    Cuisine (Coffee & Tea)
    Cuisine (Chocolatier)
    Cuisine (Restaurant Guides)
    Film & Lit (Reciting Poetry)
    Tinkering (Model Trains)
    Sports (Kicky Bag)
    Sports (Axe Throwing)
    Sports (Log Rolling)
    Music & Dance (Break-Dancing)
    Music & Dance (Fire-Dancing)
    Science (Myrmecology, Ants)
    Science (Anatomy, Surgical)
    Games (Mahjong)
    Games (MyShuno)

    I also added “extremely online” as a subhobby for each hobby. This subhobby dabbles with hobby objects, and may even own some, but spends most of their time reading online content about the hobby to turn around and blog about the same. Sorry if that’s too real. 😀

    These might not all work out, I’m not sure until I test them, but some of these (like ‘Model Trains’) are absolutely solid picks that I’ve used successfully in the past.

  8. Hi Cindy. Love your content. How do you make the predestined hobby light up green? Mine always lights up white which is really hard to see against the clean UI background.

  9. Thanks for this post! This is a very interesting way of handling hobbies, I didn’t know the game assigned them by personality points, I also snatched the keyboard and the logic building objects!

    Sorry for the unrelated side comment but do you perhaps know why could my game not read wall-decor recolors? I auto-installed the CEP program and I have a few other maxis objects recolors (a few Sofas and Doors) so I’m not really sure what’s wrong

    Thanks for making Sims2 content on the regular, it’s my favorite of the 4 and I’m going ham with mods and CC now that I have a better PC lol

    • Glad to help!
      No, I have no idea why that would happen. Sorry! Is it ALL wall decor or just a certain one you downloaded? Do you have the file in your downloads folder called EnableColorOptionsGMND? If not, I would try reinstalling CEP.

      • I downloaded the Bussiness signs you linked on your Pleasantview Career Services Center building among a few other recolors of the same kind from different creators but none work. I’ll try to see if I can reinstall, thank you !!

    • @Paula You’re probably missing the CEP files needed for those pictures. The CEP mod is essentially a base mod, but it’s not all encompassing.

      In other words, each object needs a file that tells the game it can now be recolored/multiple channels. This base mod comes with these files for some objects, but it’s by no means all non-recolorable objects in the game.

      So you need to Google TS2, CEP, and the name of the painting you’re looking for to find the files you’re missing. Huge Lunatic and others have all made a bunch.

      • Well I re-installed and now SOME paintings show the recolors, maybe I just need to re-dl the recolors, because i tried googling “Two dogs and an olive” and i got a few MtS posts and then pinterest links for some reason


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