There are several skills in The Sims 2 and they all benefit your sims in a number of ways. They are so important that you should make advancement in, at least, one skill one of your goals. This article introduces you to the mechanics of skills, how to learn each skill and each skill in particular.
Each skill is learnt in a particular way. These include the use of various objects and studying theory for some skills. When a sim is learing a skill, a skill bar will appear over his or her head and start to fill up. When it is full, one skill point is earned and the process starts over again. Every round, the time it takes to fill up increases. This continues for ten rounds until the skill is maximised. Maximising a skill will supply a memory while maximising all seven skills will supply another memory.
Speeding up Skill Building
There are several objects that can speed up skill building making the time shorter.
Five personality types correspond to a particular skill. These are
- Neat: Cleaning
- Outgoing: Charisma
- Active: Body
- Serious: Logic
- Playful: Creativity
When a sim has ten points in one of the personalities. Skill building only takes half of that time. If a sim has more than 5 points in that personality, skill building will still be increased but the rate is decided by the number of points. If a sim has less than 5, then skill building is normal. The only exception is cleaning. Sloppy sims hate to clean and therefore take longer to learn the skill.
Each career reward in The Sims 2 benefits a particular skill. When using it, your sims learn the skill faster. Note that expansion pack career rewards don't work the same way. This benefit is increased if a sim is being given lessons by another sim. The rate is increased depending on the difference in that skill. If the learner has 0 points and the teacher has 10 points, then skill building will be extremely fast.
Two aspiration rewards are designed to help with skill building.
- Smart Milk: This aspiration reward is designed to be drunk by toddlers. When consumed, the milk increases the speed of skill building as well as learning to walk, talk and use the potty
- Thinking Cap: The thinking cap also speeds up the process of skill building. Note that skill building effects stack. If a sim wearing the thinking cap is learning with a career reward from another sim also wearing a thinking cap and has the maximum personality boost, then be prepared for some pretty fast skill building
Finally there's another reward that helps with skills. This reward does not, however, increase skill building rate but instead sucks a skill point right out of another sim and gives it to your sim. This reward is the known as the SimVac and can be very damaging to a relationship.
Sims can fear losing skills so it helps to know what can and can't cause a sim to lose a skill.
- Career Chance Cards: Some of the negative outcomes cause skill loss.
- Electrocution: This always makes sims lose skill points.
- Thinking Cap: If used below gold aspiration, there's a chance that your sim may lose a skill point.
- Smart Milk: If red milk is consumed, then the toddler will lose a skill point.
- SimVac: Skill points can be sucked right out of sims.
The Seven Skills
What follows is a detailed analysis of each seven skills
Cooking is primarily used in the science and culinary careers. It is boosted by these objects.
- Bookshelves. Sims can study cooking theory.
- The Yummy Channel. This TV channel boosts cooking skill 24/7
- Toy Oven. Children can bake a muffin with the toy oven
- Cooking. Cooking in a kitchen, influenced by your sims current skill, also builds cooking skill
- Career Rewards. The chocolate machine makes money and increases cooking skill. It is earned in the culinary career track.
Cooking affects how fast your sims can satisfy hunger. First of all, new cooking skills unlock new foods that your sims can cook. Next, it affects the speed at which your sims cook. For example, a sim with level one finds it hard to chop the ingrediants for spaghetti and sometimes cuts their finger (unless there's a Food Processor available, in which case they'll use it), however a sim above that level does it quickly. Thirdly, it adds to how much hunger your sims recover. Finally, it decreases the chance that your sims burn their food.
Mechanical or Repair skill is used in the Athletic, Criminal, Military and Slacker careers and is boosted in these ways.
- Bookshelves. Sims study theory.
- Piano. Tune interaction increases mechanical.
- Grandfather Clock. Maintain interaction increases mechanical.
- Career Rewards. The medical dummy increases mechanical.
- Fixing objects. Fixing any object increases mechanical. Like cooking, doing the interaction will increase the skill.
Mechanical is important in two ways. First, it increases the speed at which sims repair objects. When repairing objects, it is important to note that the green bar refers to the object, not the skill. It also means that you don't need a repairman to do it. Secondly, it decreases the chance of electrocution when reparing electrical objects. Plumbing objects can't electrocute sims, though, so if you want to give sims practice, do it on a broken shower or tub. Also mechanical benefits sims in games like pinball.
Charisma is boosted by the Outgoing personality, is used in the Althletic, Business, Military, Politics and Slacker career and is boosted by these objects.
- Mirrors. The Pratice Speech and Pratice Romance interactions all boost charisma.
- Rabbit Head. This toddler object boosts Charisma
- Career rewards. The podium and the mini golf course all boost charisma.
Charisma is perhaps the least important skill in The Sims 2 if you don't play the career game. It only plays a role in joke telling but is very important in several careers. Children can't use mirrors to learn charisma.
Body is boosted by the Active personality and is used in yhe Athletic, Criminal, Law Enforcement and Military careers. It is boosted by these objects.
- Exercise machine. This machine boosts body.
- Working Out. Available on TVs and Stereos.
- Pool. The swimming pool boosts body without decreasing hygiene and comfort.
- Yoga. Available at body skill 3, This interaction boosts body
- Career rewards. The punching bag and the obstacle course all boost body.
Body benefits sims in a number of ways. It helps decide the winner of a fight, it affects whether a sim will dive or not and it affects how well sims use body skill objects. Building body also decreases hygiene and comfort so make sure your sim is showered before exercising. Finally, at body skill 3, the Yoga self-interaction is unlocked. This interaction boosts body.
Logic is boosted by Serious, the only 'negative' personality that boosts a skill. It is used in the Business, Culinary, Law Enforcement, Medical, Politics and Science careers and is boosted by these objects.
- Telescope. Each telescope boosts logic both day and night.
- Chess Set. Playing or practising chess boosts logic.
- Toddler Toy. The toy with blocks boosts logic.
- Career rewards. The medicine station boosts logic .
Logic affects how well sims play chess against each other. It also affects the medicine station. Sim may get a virus with low logic.
It's main benefit comes, however, from the meditate interaction gained at level 3. This self-interaction freezes need decay for the duration of performance. If used for a few hours, sims will start to float in the air. Hours later, they gain the Teleport interaction which lets them move anywhere. You'll know when this happens by a purple flash that comes from the meditating sim.
Creativity is boosted by the Playful personality and is used in the Business, Criminal, Culinary, Politics and Slacker careers. It is boosted by these objects.
- Computers. The Write Novel interaction boosts creativity
- Piano. Playing the piano boosts creativity
- Easel. Painting a picture boosts creativity
- Toy Xylophone. This toddler object boosts creativity.
- Career rewards. The lie detector and the hydroponic garden all boosts creativity.
There are several objects that are affected by creativity. A lot of these objects boost it while being performed. Creativity affects how much paintings and novels sell for. It also affects how well paintings look when sims paint. A low creativity sim may draw a crude stick figure while a high creativity sim will draw a masterpiece. Finally, creativity affects how well sims play on the piano. High creativity sims will make beatiful music.
Cleaning skill is boosted by the Neat personality and is used in the Law Enforcement, Medical and Science careers. It is boosted by these objects.
- Bookshelves. Sims can study theory
- Any dirty object. How well they clean affects the rate.
- Career Rewards. The fingerprints scanner affects cleaning skill.
Cleaning is for sims that don't want a maid. If a sim has high cleaning skill, the will 'ultra-clean' any dirty object. These objects take longer to clean. You'll know a sim is 'ultra-cleaning' if bubbles come from his or her hands during the process. Neat sims also 'ultra-clean'.
There are skills other than the seven basic skills in The Sims 2. These are reveiwed on other pages. They include toddler training and learning to study. Also, it may interest you to know that dancing is a skill. However, the benefits are purely visual. Dancing skill is learnt by dancing and allows sims to pull off cool moves. It doesn't affect sims much but can qualify sims for a scholarship if University is installed.