Here are my gameplay rules for The Sims 3. I play in a style similar to The Sims 2 where I play every family in the neighborhood rotationally. I don’t like things to happen when I’m not actively playing a household – such as pregnancies, marriages, relationships, promotions, etc.
I use a variety of mods – most importantly Nraas Story Progression and Master Controller – to achieve this play style.
Last Update: 05/29/2021 (Added Population section.) More changes and rules are coming. Check back soon!
Table of Contents
- General Rules
- Lifetime Wishes
- Moving Sims
- Naming Conventions
- Rental Properties
- Mod Settings
I play rotationally Sims 2-style. You can see more about how to play rotationally in this tutorial.
I play each family for three Sim days and then move to the next. I tend to play larger neighborhoods in The Sims 3 (like Sunset Valley). Shorter rotations help me move through the families more quickly. But I am a slow player and each neighborhood is a long-term project, so I don’t mind if it takes a while to get through a round.
As with my Sims 2 gameplay rules, I play TS3 using a wants-based play style. This means I only force my Sims to do the things they want to do (aside from their basic needs). A Sim will only work on a skill or try to get a promotion if they roll a wish to do so.
I use Ani’s mod of randomness to achieve Sims 2-style aging.
Other than that, I keep the Sim Lifespan on the “Normal” setting so Sims age at the following rate:
- Baby = 3 days
- Toddler = 7 days
- Child = 7 day
- Teen = 14 days
- Young Adult = 21 days
- Adult = 21 days
- Elder = 17 days
The total lifespan of the in-game “Normal” setting is 90 days.
NOTE: I used to do a custom life span, but these days I prefer just leaving life spans at the default settings.
I assign my Sims Lifetime Wishes when they age up to young adults. I never assign them to children or teens. I want all of the Sim’s traits to be present before I decide. When teen or child Sims get wishes for specific LTWs, I ignore them as a passing fancy that will change as they grow.
I typically assign the first LTW in the list of available options because it’s usually the most relevant. However, I will break this rule if I feel the Sim is better suited to a different wish, which happens occasionally.
When splitting households, I don’t allow free money handouts. I always move Sims from the active family using the “Move” option via the computer or newspaper. This way, they must use the current family’s funds to move. If the family doesn’t have enough money for the Sim to move out on their own, they can’t move.
I use an alphabetic naming system similar to the one I used in The Sims 2. The only exception is family names, which I will sometimes give Sims (e.g. Bobby Broke in TS3 Pleasantview).
I name newly born Sims based on which letter of the alphabet currently has the fewest living Sims with a first name beginning with that letter.
I begin with the letter A and go through the alphabet (skipping the letters Q, U, X, Y and Z). If there are living Sims with names that begin with the letter A, I move to letter B, etc. until I come to the next letter of the alphabet that does not correspond to the name of a current living Sim. In cases where all letters are taken, I will start over and find the first letter with the fewest living Sims.
I limit my population just as I do in The Sims 2 to avoid being overwhelmed with too many Sims in a generation or two. Here’s how I decide how many children a Sim can have in The Sims 3:
- Single Sims who live alone may have a single child.
- Couples who live together or get married may have two children. If one of the couple has no children of their own, the couple may have a third child.
- Sims with the “Family-Oriented” trait may have three children. If the Sim is in a couple, the couple may have three children.
- Sims with the “Surrounded by Family” LTW may have the five children required to fulfill the wish.
- Sims with the “Dislikes Children” trait never have children.
When Sims have had their maximum number of children, I immediately disallow pregnancy via the SP menu at the Sim level. Sims with the “Dislikes Children” trait have pregnancy disallowed for their entire lives.
As soon as a Sim gives birth, I immediately disallow pregnancy via the SP menu at the Sim level. I do not allow them to become pregnant again until their baby has grown into a child. For story purposes, I pretend these Sims are on birth control. I learned that this works best for me after the insane baby boom we had in Pleasantview!
Teen pregnancy is allowed and I follow the same rules of putting the mother on “birth control” after a baby is born.
I like to play with rental properties. I think it’s realistic that some of the richer Sims would own rental homes and the poorer Sims in town rent from them. I use two mods to accomplish this gameplay – NRaas Story Progression (money module required) and this Apartments & Roommates Fix.
When any family reaches a net worth of $100k (the threshold for becoming Rich in my game), they are eligible to purchase rental properties. I use their money as I see fit to purchase any of the empty homes in town. I usually start with the least expensive starter homes.
Any Sim may live in a rental property if they’re moving and can afford it. The mods handle all rent payments between the landlord and tenants – including the calculations. Sims are charged rent based on the value of the lot, number of tenants, and any pets.
I choose my Sims’ traits using the following criteria when possible:
- Baby – Two random traits. If I’m allowed to choose traits at birth, I just hit the randomize button and take whatever is available. If I am not allowed to choose due to a difficult pregnancy, I just accept whatever the game assigns.
- Child – Inherited from the mother. When a Sim ages up from child to toddler, I assign a trait inherited from his or her mother. I roll a number between 1 and 5 at random.org and use the corresponding trait.
- Teen – Inherited from the father. When a Sim ages up from a child to a teen, I assign a trait inherited from his or her father. I roll a number between 1 and 5 at random.org and use the corresponding trait.
- Young Adult – My choice. When a Sim ages up from a teen to a young adult, I choose a trait that I feel best suits them based on all their other traits up to this point.
There may be situations where the child does not have a mother or father to inherit traits from (such as Beau Broke in TS3 Pleasantview). In this case, I allow them to inherit a trait from an older sibling (e.g. Beau inherits one of Dustin’s traits). If there are no older siblings, I just give them a random trait for that life stage.
My list of settings was getting WAY too big to keep on this page. They have been moved to their own page. CLICK HERE to see my updated mods settings.
See my Sims 3 Mods List for all the mods I use – NRaas and others.
43 thoughts on “The Sims 3 Pleasant Sims Gameplay Rules”
Hey Cindy, I want to know one thing, if you could help me I would be very grateful…. I am trying to play based on the wishes of the sims, but I realized that they never have romantic wishes…. I have played with the Langeraks, the Frios, the friends who live together, Claire Ursine, Jaime Jolina, the Harts, the Sekemoto and now I am with the Clavell, and I had have only 4 or 5 romantic wishes, I don’t want to force nothing, but is getting boring, how do you manage this the way you play?
Well, lately I’ve been playing with Story Progression on so my Sims mostly get into (or out of) relationships on their own. But, while I’m playing them I try to follow ANY wishes towards someone that might be a romantic prospect. For example, if they roll a wish to be friends with someone or talk to someone or pillow fight with someone – whatever. I follow that wish to get them to roll another one for the person. After they become friends, they usually end up wishing to be romantic eventually.
I also notice when I do this, they will often autonomously do romantic interactions like kiss, hug, flirt, etc. and that will lead to romantic wishes. I use Nraas Woohooer to enable my Sims to woohoo autonomously and that spices things up. I don’t know if it’s my imagination, but I also feel like they do more autonomous romance when I have woohooer installed. I hope that helps a little!
Oh, and Sims who have babies and aren’t married will usually get wishes to “get married” so I use those to start romance with the person they’re closest too. Claire Ursine, for example, often wishes to get married after her baby is born.
Hi Cindy! I love your gameplay rules and your videos! What do you do about University and do you play the Sims 3 with cc? 🙂
Hi! Yes, I play with CC – but it’s just very basic. I use skin and eye defaults. I have used hair and clothing defaults in the past, but not currently using them now. You can see my Sims 3 Mods List for links if you’re interested: https://pleasantsims.com/sims-3-mods-list/#Defaults
As for University, I honestly haven’t worked out a system I’m 100% happy with yet. Sometime this year I hope to finish that. But what I’m thinking about is combining all my college students into a single household and sending them together. Then, when they move back home, I will split them up into their own households again. I don’t have the specifics nailed down, but I think that will work best for my play style and with how Uni works in Sims 3. Hope that helps some!
I wanted to ask what expansion and stuff/game packs, kits you play with in TS3 and TS4?
And is there any chance we will get a list of your store stuff? ^_^
In Sims 3, I play with all of them except Into the Future, Island Living, Movie Stuff, 70/80/90 stuff, and the car stuff pack. In Sims 4, I play with everything.
I own the ENTIRE Sims 3 store except for a few things I didn’t want. But almost everything.
Hey Cindy! I was wondering if you implement any sort of hobby system in TS3 like you do with TS2?
No, I haven’t done a hobby system for Sims 3 – only 2 & 4 – but it’s something I want to work on in the future!
Hi Cindy, I just watched your videos a month ago and I really liked it. Anyway, I want to ask you about the age of the Sims in Sims 3. When I changed the age span, I realized that the premade Sims still have the same amount of days as they have in their default age span. For example, Cornelia Goth with the default age span has 7 days left before becoming an elder. In the new age span, she has been added with the ages before she was an adult but now she has 86 days before becoming an elder. I want their ages to be as close to their original age span. Can you think of an idea for this? I’m sorry if this question is so long.
Nevermind, Cindy. I actually found a solution(or rather, created a math equation) for this problem. I will explain the solution here if someone needs help with normalizing the age so that it kind of matches the one in the old age span.
Note: I notice that some worlds has already normalize the old age span in Cindy’s new age span while other worlds doesn’t do this. For example, Marshall Curious in Twinbrook has been in his adult state for 16 out of 21 days. In the new age span, he has been in his adult state for 76 out of 100 days(which I find pretty good to represent his age in his old age span). This is the only world I know of that normalizes the old age span to the new age span. The only world I know that doesn’t normalizes age span is Sunset Valley, which make Cornelia Goth(the woman that closed to being an elder in the old age span, 17 out of 21 days) a woman who just turned into an adult, with an age of 17 out of 100 days in the new age span. I find this makes no sense at all. I only played Twinbrook and Sunset Valley with these mods, so please tell me if other worlds normalizes the age spans.
Now with my boring ranting out of the way, let’s start with the solution,
First we need to find the original age and old age span for the sims in any of your chosen world. For the sake of other people to understand this, I will use Cornelia Goth as an example. To find a Sim’s original age, you can either search in the sims wiki or click on the Sim that you want to change his/her age and go to Nraas > Master Controller > Intermediate > Age:Absolute. His/her original age should be the numbers in box. If its 0, choose any number you want to add to him/her or just don’t do anything to it. We also need the old age span. In case some of you forgot I will write it here.
OLD AGE SPAN:
Baby – 3 days
Toddler – 7 days
Child – 7 days
Teen – 14 days
Young Adult – 21 days
Adult – 21 days
Elder – 17 days
We also need the new age span created by Cindy. In case you’re too lazy to scroll back up there to find it, I have written it here.
NEW AGE SPAN:
Baby – 4 days
Toddler – 12 days
Child – 32 days
Teen – 28 days
Young Adult – 60 days
Adult – 100 days
Elder – 60 days
We have all the things we need to finally find the sim’s age in the new age span. Here is the solution: Divide the original age with the old age span and then multiply it with the new age span. After that, just round the number off so it doesn’t have a decimal. In math equation, it is like this:
Original age/Old age span x New age span = Round the number
Note: I put a slash sign instead of a divide sign because it’s actually to represent the original age and the old age span in fraction form. Also, I recommend using a calculator to save you some time.
If you still don’t understand, here is an example of it using Cornelia’s age.
17(Original age)/21(Old age span for adult) x 100(New age span for adult)
=0.809523809… x 100
=80.95238095…(Round this number to turn it like the answer below)
Write the answer in Nraas > Master Controller > Intermediate > Age:Absolute box, and you’re done.
Sorry if I made this reply too long. Just want to help people who may have the same problem as mine.
Have a nice day!
If one month is one day, the seasons are three days too?
Is it too short?
How many days of season did you use?
Sorry for my not perfect english, I’m Italian and I like your videos! :*
Hi Cindy, I was wondering how many days in each life stage you set when you used to play the sims 3 rotationally?
I do the same as what’s listed here, but I let all my Sims age at the same time even when playing rotationally.
I’m doing the Not So Berry challenge and my sim needs to be in the Science career but idk how to give a resume/apply for the job to get an interview. I’m using the career overhaul you recommended and I read the mod info but I just can’t figure it out.
Hi! You have to look in the newspaper or on the computer. I think it’s called “Browse Classifieds” on the computer. It will show you all the jobs available that day. It changes daily. Hope that helps!
Hi Cindy! Would you mind explaining how you enable birth control on a Sim? Thank you 🙂
I disallow pregnancy on the individual Sim through Nraas story progression under Sim Options.
Ive downloaded a fair few of these mods
However when I got into master controller for story progression, I don’t have and caste options to change?
Do you know where I’ve gone wrong?
General options etc are there so maybe I’ve missed a module?
Hi! The Caste options are part of the original SP mod, so you don’t need any additional modules to use those. Make sure you are looking under “Story Progression.” Master Controller is not where you set the caste options. Click on the City Hall or an in-game computer and navigate to NRaas > Story Progression > Caste Options. It’s there on the first menu. Hope that helps!
I can’t download Pleasantview tried both links with no luck
Hi Skye! All four of the links are working for me. What’s happening when you click on them?
Hi Cindy! Do you happen to know if there is a way to get a certain person to be the maid of a household? I thought I would be able to do it through register, but I can’t find any options. Maybe I’m just missing something. I’d like to have Kaylynn be the maid for Don in my playthrough 🙂
Yes! You have to click directly on the house. Just any wall of the house. Then choose NRaas > Register > Set Service. You’ll be able to choose the Sim you want for each service for that specific lot.
Hey Cindy, i was having problem with ur save file and it was my first time seeing it, i thought it’s from ur save file but when i googled it, it was a common problem between StoryProgression and Woohooer together, i did do my setting as u write in ur blog and i noticed the romantic options is missing i toggled with caste age but nothing happened 🙁 so i did what igazor on NRAAS community said “The other way, but one that might provide a small number of side-effects, is to break the link between the two mods.
NRaas > Woohooer > General > Link to StoryProgression > False.”
So if anyone have the same problem i have, just break the link 🙂 i hope it’ll not miss my game
Hi there! Yes, that’s absolutely right! So sorry I haven’t updated this post, but I also recommend changing the “Link to Story Progression” to False!
Thanks for replying ^^
i have another questions if u don’t mind , i start playing yesterday but i didn’t get any actions yet! i meant townie relationships etc, i set my story progression speed to fast but it’s still slow! so any tips? and my game start to spawn random townies i know some of them are showtime npc but it spawn children too and teenagers! so any way to get red of them?
Hi! If you have All Stories on and SP on fast, you should be getting stories right away. If you aren’t, something is wrong in your settings. The game will sometimes spawn random townies no matter what you do. I periodically click on City Hall > NRaas > Master Controller > Town > Total Annihilation > Homeless Non Service. These are all random townies in this list. Select them all and click the check mark. the game will delete them. I hope that helps! I am working on my settings right now to make them work better, and will likely update this page in the next week. So check back with me!
I can’t figure out to get child support. The money option isn’t showing up for me. The only money option that is showing up is money:allow and Money: inventory management. Please help
Hi Aiden! You need to download the Money Module for Story Progression or these options will not be available to you. Here’s the link: https://www.nraas.net/community/StoryProgression-Money
Hey Cindy, just thought I’d give you a heads up with a problem I found with the current Retuner settings. If you are playing someone like Brandi from the beginning and she has a job, with the maternity leave settings you have now she can’t go to work. I’m not sure if this is all workplaces or not, but for me she started out as a Test Subject in the Science career. Since she can’t change into her career outfit because she’s pregnant, she just gets reset back to her home every time she tries to go to work instead. I had to change the maternity leave settings back to their normal settings to get around this, but let me know if there is some sort of other workaround!
Hi! Thanks for letting me know! I haven’t had any issues with Sims not going to work as they’ve all just changed into pregnancy appropriate clothing for me. As a workaround, you can always use Master Controller to plan their career outfit in CAS. Hope that helps!
Hey! I just had a few dumb questions over here. I’ve been playing with the settings above for a while and I noticed things like town Robinhood etc and realized they are personalities. I haven’t noticed these in your lets plays but it could be it just hasn’t popped up yet. Do you play with these on? Also, do you play with any of the story notifications turned off? I feel like I keep getting spammed nonstop when I play but that’s just me haha.
Hi! Yes, I do play with the town personalities. I just don’t really pay that much attention to them. Right now, Dustin is a Magnate and Dina is Town Leader or something. Haha. Also, I play with all stories on because me world is small and I like to know everything that’s going on. If you play in a large world like Sunset Valley, you will get spammed to DEATH. If it’s annoying you, I recommend turning on ONLY family, friends, and romantic. Then, you’ll only get stories about the Sims your current household is involved with. Hope that helps!
Just wanted to ask, I don’t have some of the options you do, do you have any idea why? for example the celebrity option in the options:friendship. I cant seem to disallow the child out of wedlock disgrace.
Hi Alex! You will need the additional modules for Story Progression for this to show up. I’m honestly not sure which one it is (Maybe Story Progression Extra?), but I don’t believe it is in the base mod alone. I use ALL the modules, so I don’t know which one it’s part of. You also need the Late Night expansion because LN is when the disgraced system was introduced. Hope that helps some!
Thank you Cindy, yeah I have now downloaded them and its working, my bad 🙂 loving the new lp by the way, really love your gameplay style.
So glad it’s working for you! And thank you! 🙂
Great, Thank you
Hi Cindy, I am really enjoying playing Pleasantview The Sims 3 with your gameplay rules. I have noticed however that since adjusting the ages to match yours with the new 300 Sim days My story progression has slowed right down. Is this your experience? I’m thinking maybe I need to turn it up to high?
Loving the Lets plays too. Thank you for keeping us all entertained with the goings-on of the Pleasantview residents 🙂
Thank you for sharing your settings!
The aging should not impact the speed of story progression. I turned my SP speed to Slow manually to slow things down for a while. You can adjust the speed you want your story progression at NRaas > Story Progression > General Options > Adjust Speed. I have it set to slow, but if things get too slow, I will adjust it back up to Normal. You can play with this setting and see what works best for you. Hope that helps!
Great, Thank you for the advice Cindy 🙂
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