The Sims 3 expansion pack buyers guide

You love The Sims 3, but you want something more. Maybe you’re tired of the same old furniture, or want to spice up your look, or need a new job. If you’re looking to expand your Sims 3 life, you have a lot of options, but which ones are right for you? This buyer’s guide will examine the new features added with each Sims 3 expansion, making your choice easier. Whatever you end up playing, these The Sims 3 cheats will help you out. 

The Sims 3: World Adventures

World Adventures was the first expansion pack released for The Sims 3, and adds three exotic vacation spots your Sims can travel to with a quick phone call (and a few thousand simoleans). These are no relaxing vacation spots, however; each has dozens of adventures, dangerous tombs, and loads of valuable treasure. Each country has its own special items not found in any other place, many of which can be purchased in each location’s marketplace.

Until you level up your Visa enough to buy a vacation home in each location, you’ll be staying at each country’s base camp, or just camping out. Each base camp has an adventure board, from which you can take on quests that reward you in Ancient Coins (used to by items from the Special Merchant), Visa Points, simoleans, and relics.

The Sims 3: World Adventures locations:

Shang Simla, China: With unique spots like the Phoenix Academy of Martial Arts and the Scholar’s Garden, Shang Simla is a great place to learn the martial arts skill or meditate. You can also find the rare and valuable Axe of Pangu in Shang Simla, which can smash boulders—useful in all three locales!

Al Simhara, Egypt: The pyramids, the Sphinx—it’s an adventurer’s dream! Many of the tombs around Al Simhara are filled with restless mummies. If tomb raiding isn’t your thing, hang out in town and learn to charm snakes!

Champs Les Sims, France: Filled with culture, Champs Les Sims has some of the most unique dungeons and quests of any locale. Explore the booby-trapped Chateau du Landgraab, solve the mystery of La Gallerie d’Art, or indulge in some delicious nectar at the Champs Les Sims Nectary.

The Sims 3: World Adventures Lifetime Wishes

Bottomless Nectar Cellar: Have a Nectar collection worth at least 10,000 simoleans and at least 50 bottles. And yes, it literally must be in a cellar, not any other space in your home.

Great Explorer: Fully explore six tombs in each location.

Martial Arts Master: Reach level 10 in the martial arts skill and obtain the rank of Grand Master.

Physical Perfection: Max out the athletic and martial arts skills.

Private Museum: Have a relic collection worth at least 20,000 simoleans.

Seasoned Traveler: Reach the max Visa level for all three destinations.

World-Class Gallery: Have a photograph collection worth 25,000 simoleans, and have at least 10 photos from each destination.

Visionary: Max out the painting and photography skills.

The Sims 3: World Adventures skills

Martial arts: Similar to athletics, martial arts allow Sims to break boards and spar with others. To learn this skill, you’ll need to travel to Shang Simla and visit the Academy of Martial Arts, buy a training dummy and board breaker in the marketplace, or purchase skill books from the bookstore.

Nectar making: You can purchase nectar (World Adventures’ T-rated version of wine) at the Nectary, as well as buying a nectar machine to brew your own. The new fruits included in this expansion go perfectly in a good bottle of nectar! You can also learn this skill through the books available in the marketplace, though that doesn’t reward you with completed nectar like using the machine does.

Photography: You’ll need to buy a camera in one of the three vacation spots to learn and increase this skill. Once you’ve got a camera in your inventory, take snapshots of everything and anything—photos taken by skilled photographers can be very valuable!

Rubble clearing: This is a hidden skill, increased by clearing piles of rubble throughout the various tombs. The more you do it, the quicker you’ll get.

Diving: Also a hidden skill, this is progressed by exploring dive wells.

Snake charming: You can buy a snake charmer basket in Al Simhara, and practice this secret skill for fun and profit!

The Sims 3: World Adventures traits

Adventurous: Adventurous Sims love to travel, and will want to do so more often. They’ll gain Visa levels and recover from trips faster, and gain a mood bonus while tomb raiding.

Disciplined: Those with the disciplined trait are dedicated to the martial arts, and will learn the skill more quickly, as well as fare better when sparring.

Photographer’s Eye: Choose this trait for better photographs and quicker developing of the photography skill.

Culture: If you have a child with a foreign Sim, he or she could be born with the Asian Culture, Egyptian Culture, or French Culture hidden traits.

Mummy: A hidden trait of Sims who are mummies.

The Sims 3: World Adventures miscellaneous additions

Mummies: Sims can run into mummies hiding in tombs, summon mummies with certain relics, turn into mummies, or be killed if inflicted with the Mummy’s Curse.

Puzzles and traps: your adventures will take you to tricky tombs that require some quick thinking to survive.

New wildlife: six new butterflies, three new beetles, and three new fish.

New plants: Cherimola Blan grapes, Renoit grapes, Avoralino grapes, Meloire grapes, plums, pomegranates, cherries, Cranerlet Nuala grapes, Gralladina Fran grapes, and pomelos.

Basement tool: Now you can easily add basements when building your Sims’ homes!

Adventures: When in foreign countries, you’ll be able to complete various missions for lots of rewards!

Various home items, including Pagoda roofs; new hairstyles and outfits.

WooHoo in a tent or a sarcophagus!

The Sims 3: Ambitions

Ambitions not only adds new careers to The Sims 3, but also allows you to register as self-employed to earn money without disappearing all day. With the added professions, you have more control over your Sim’s career, and your town also gets a few new places to visit.

The Sims 3: Ambitions careers

Firefighter: As the name implies, your job is to fight fires. Athleticism and handiness are useful here, and you’ll be spending many days and nights at the fire department.

Investigator: Channel your inner Veronica Mars in this career, which tasks you with using your sleuthing skills to solve mysteries around town. This freelance job lets you make your own schedule as you investigate everything from cheating partners to stolen goods.

Ghost Hunter: Who ya gonna call? Those who have had haunted Sim houses know how pesky ghosts can be. The ghost hunter can trap or ward off ghosts.

Stylist: Stylists work in the salon, and have hair and clothing options not available to others while making over Sims. This career utilizes Create-A-Sim mode, only this time, you’re changing the looks of others based on their requests.

Architect: If you love designing your Sim homes from the ground up, you’ll be a great fit for this gig. From replacing windows to total home makeovers, it will be up to you to give your friends and neighbors the upgrades they desire.

Self-employed: Gardener, painter, sculptor, inventor, fisherman; if you like to make money in any of these (or many more) non-traditional ways, make it official by registering as a self-employed worker at City Hall.

The Sims 3: Ambitions community lots

Fire Station: Where firemen and women hang out. Maintain fire alarms so they don’t fail, and be ready to deal with emergencies.

Laundromat:Need to do laundry but can’t afford your own washer and dryer? This is your next stop.

Junkyard: Perfect for aspiring adventures to find scrap.

Consignment Shop: Artists and inventors can sell their creations here, or browse the works of others to buy some unique items.

Hangout: Ideal for party animals and social Sims.

Salon: Get a makeover or a tattoo.

The Sims 3: Ambitions lifetime wishes

Descendent of Da Vinci: Max out the painting, sculpting, and inventing skills.

Fashion Phenomenon: Reach level 10 of the stylist profession.

Firefighter Super Hero: Become a firefighter and save 30 lives.

Home Design Hotshot: Earn 100 top scores as an architect.

Monster Maker: Create three monsters.

Paranormal Profiteer: Reach ghost hunter level 10.

Pervasive Private Eye: Solve 35 cases as an investigator.

Possession is Nine Tenths of the Law: Steal 50,000 simoleans’ worth of objects.

The Sims 3: Ambitions skills

Inventing: Create your own gadgets and become a self-employed inventor. Become rich off your brilliant ideas… if you don’t set yourself on fire!

Sculpting: Whether it’s a hobby or your way of earning income, this art form is now available.

Tattoos: Technically released in a patch alongside Ambitions, tattoo artists were designed for this expansion. You can hone your craft and test it on others at the tattoo parlor in the salon.

The Sims 3: Ambitions traits

Eccentric: Eccentric Sims make great inventors.

Perceptive: This skill is beneficial to private eyes.

Savvy Sculptor: Learn the sculpting skill more quickly and make more valuable works of art.

Born Salesperson: Get better deals when selling your creations at the Consignment Shop.

Dramatic: Will cause emotional, and sometimes violent, outbursts.

Eco-Friendly: Eco-friendly Sims love to recycle and help the environment.

SimBot: Shockingly, this hidden trait is found in Sims who are SimBots.

Private Eye: A hidden trait gained upon reaching level seven of the Investigator profession, and it can be passed on to children.

The Sims 3: Ambitions miscellaneous additions

A new neighborhood: If you’re bored with the pre-existing towns in The Sims 3, you’ll be happy to move to Twinbrook. This town comes with the new locations already included, though you can add them to other towns as well.

Laundry: You can add a washer and dryer to your home, though this will cause messy Sims to leave piles of laundry every time they change clothes!

Motorcycle: Sims have a cool new way to get around town.

WooHoo in a Time Machine, an object that can be created by advanced inventors.

New home items, new hairstyles, new outfits.

The Sims 3: Late Night

Want to be a star? Late Night adds city life to the game, so in addition to apartment buildings, you’ll find celebrities, bars, local bands, and even vampires! There’s a lot to do after dark, so put on your party dress and get moving.

The Sims 3: Late Night community lots

Bars: Dive bars and sports bars—take your pick. These are usually more casual and don’t require a high celebrity level.

Clubs: Clubs are open later, so you can dance all night.

Lounges: Exclusive clubs, some of which cater to the vampire crowd. You’ll have to be a celeb to get in here—or find a way to sneak past the bouncers.

The Sims 3: Late Night lifetime wishes

Distinguished Director: Reach level 10 of the director career (one branch of the film career).

Lifestyle of the Rich and Famous: Max out your celebrity level and be worth at least 100,000 simoleans (this includes your home and everything in it, in addition to how much cash you currently have).

Master Mixologist: Max out the mixology skill and buy a bar.

Master Romancer: WooHoo in five different locations with five different Sims.

One Sim Band: Max out the drums, guitar, bass, and piano skills.

Superstar Actor: Max out the film career, acting branch.

The Sims 3: Late Night skills

Bass/Drums/Piano: Much like the guitar skill included with the base game, these are leveled up by playing the appropriate instrument. Now you can start a band with other musicians for fame and fortune, and play gigs at local venues!

Mixology: Late Night’s version of bartending. Practice at home, and when you’re good enough, you can moonlight at bars in town for some cash.

The Sims 3: Late Night traits

Shy: Similar to the loner trait, shy Sims are uncomfortable around others they don’t know well.

Star Quality: Sims with this trait become celebrities faster and love the spotlight.

Vampire: A hidden trait of vampires, which can be passed on to children.

The Sims 3: Late Night miscellaneous additions

City living: With the addition of Bridgeport, your Sims have an urban metropolis with plenty of hot spots for nightlife available. You’ll also be able to live in apartments in high-rise buildings, complete with elevators!

Film career: Report to work at the new film studio. This career branches off into separate acting and directing careers.

Butler: Hire a live-in butler to do your cooking and cleaning. He’ll even be your friend if you’re lonely!

Celebrities: By rubbing elbows with the famous folks around town, you can raise your own celebrity level! Soon everyone will know you, you’ll get discounts everywhere, and even swanky gifts—but look out for the paparazzi hoping to find some dirt!

Vampires: Sims can become a vampire by asking to be turned by another vampire. Vampires have pale skin, can read minds, and they live longer than the average Sim. They need plasma to live, which they can get by feeding on Sims or drinking it from their fridge.

Hot tubs, elevators, additional musical instruments, and various home items, hairstyles, and outfits.

WooHoo in a hot tub, celebrity trailer, or elevator.

The Sims 3: Generations

Generations adds new events for every stage of life. Have more fun than ever as a child, rebel against authority and go to prom as a teen, face a mid-life crisis in adulthood, and enjoy your twilight years with a twirling cane when you’re an elder!

The Sims 3: Generations life events

Teenage Rebellions: Moody teens will want to skip school, stay out after curfew, and pull pranks. Look out!

Mid-Life Crises: Adult Sims may go through mid-life crises that cause them to act out in strange ways.

Graduation: Upon reaching young adulthood, Sims will celebrate the end of school with a graduation ceremony.

The Sims 3: Generations skills

Driving: Teens can now be taught to drive by adults. They can’t drive on their own until they max out the driving skill.

Ballet/Scouting: Child Sims can take ballet or scouting classes after school, and learn new moves as they raise their skill levels.

Hopscotch: Hopscotch courts are now available to add to your Sims’ home, so raise your skill!

The Sims 3: Generations traits

Nurturing: Nurturing Sims love being around babies and children, and helping them grow up.

Rebellious: Rebellious Sims are more prone to acting out, especially during their teen years.

Imaginary Friend: A hidden trait of imaginary friends. It can be passed on to children.

Lazy: Another hidden trait found in unmotivated Sims.

The Sims 3: Generations miscellaneous additions

Daycare Profession: You can run a daycare out of your own home as your 9-to-5! Parents will drop off their toddlers and children. Spend your days changing diapers and helping with homework.

Boarding School: Tired of your kids and teens? Send them to boarding school. They’ll write home from time to time and gain skills related to their school.

Field Trips: Your school-age Sims might go on field trips, with your permission.

Go on dates with your crush, or WooHoo in the shower or tree house.

Memory system: Memories can be tracked in a scrapbook and shared online.

After-school Activities: Give your kids and teens something to do after school. They’ll be out of your hair and gain new skills!

New Parties: Prom, bachelor/bachelorette parties, teen house parties, sleepover parties, and giant wedding bashes!

Imaginary Friend: Toddler Sims can gain imaginary friends that will grow with them into childhood, teen years, and adulthood.

New home items, hairstyles, clothing, moodlets, social interactions, and lifetime wishes.

The Sims 3: Pets

The Sims 3: Pets adds horses, cats, dogs, and more to your Sim household, and this time, they’re part of the family. Pets can be made in Create-A-Sim mode, and have wants and needs just like Sims do. They grow up, fall in love, breed, and build relationships with humans and animals.

The Sims 3: Pets community lots

Equestrian Center: Whether you’re hoping to be a horse owner or want your prized pony to compete against others, the equestrian center is the place to be.

Ice Cream Truck: Not a stationary lot, but you can find it on your town map for a sweet frozen treat.

Pet Store: Where to find more pets or accessories and toys for the ones you already have.

The Sims 3: Pets lifetime wishes

Ark Builder: Have two animals of every species, including minor pets.

Zoologist: Collect 20 minor pets.

Animal Rescuer: Adopt six stray pets.

Jockey: Max out the riding skill and earn 40,000 simoleans through horseback riding.

Fairytale Finder: Adopt a unicorn.

Canine Companion: Be friends with 15 dogs.

Cat Herder: Befriend 15 cats.

The Sims 3: Pets skils

Riding: Teens and older can ride horses.

Hunting: Dogs and cats can use this skill to stalk and catch prey.

Racing: Can be taught to horses.

Jumping: A horse-only skill that can be developed by using jump training obstacles.

The Sims 3: Pets traits

Equestrian: Equestrian Sims love horses and horseback riding.

Animal Lover: Animal lovers adore all kinds of pets.

Dog Person: Dog people would prefer to spend time with man’s best friend.

Cat Person: Cat people love their feline companions.

Anxious: Available for dogs and cats, anxious pets are nervous and jumpy.

Calm: All playable pets can be calm and quiet.

Clueless: Playable pets with this skill often forget what they’re doing and are easily distracted.

Destructive: Destructive cats and dogs cause chaos everywhere.

Genius: Genius playable pets learn skills more quickly than others.

Loyal: Loyal dogs stick close to Sims with whom they have high relationships and learn skills more quickly.

Noisy: Noisy pets are very vocal, and love to chime in when pets play instruments.

Non-destructive: Dogs and cats with this skill are gentle and won’t ruin your furniture.

Ornery: Ornery horses are stubborn and don’t get along well with Sims.

Agile: Horses that are agile tend to be strong jumpers.

Brave: Brave horses don’t get startled by disruptions.

Fast: A horse-only skill, this makes them great for racing.

Hates Jumping: Horses who hate jumping won’t do well at shows or appreciate your jump training obstacles.

Hydrophobic: Hydrophobic dogs avoid water.

Hyper: Hyper cats and dogs are super active and have a lot of energy.

Lazy: All playable pets can have the lazy trait, which makes them want to stay in one place and lose energy more quickly.

Likes Swimming: Dogs with this trait will gladly hop in the water.

Neat: Neat playable pets are always clean and willing to be bathed.

Piggy: Cats, dogs, and horses with this trait are voracious eaters—even if that means eating from the garbage or drinking from the toilet.

Aggressive: Pets with this trait don’t get along well with other animals.

Friendly: Available to all playable pets, those with the friendly trait get along well with Sims and other pets.

Independent: Independent dogs and cats don’t need companionship and tend to run away from strangers.

Nervous: Nervous horses are often frightened and startled.

Obedient: Horses with the obedient trait are willing to do what they’re told.

Playful: Playful pets have no trouble having fun.

Proud: Dogs and cats with this trait won’t socialize with younger pets, and like to keep themselves clean.

Shy: Horses, dogs, and cats who are shy are happiest when with their Sim, and don’t like being around strange Sims and pets.

Adventurous: Adventurous dogs and cats love to explore and are often curious.

Hunter: Dogs and cats with the hunter trait have excellent instincts for catching prey.

Untrained: Untrained horses won’t easily accept saddles or riders.

Unicorn: A hidden trait of unicorns.

The Sims 3: Pets miscellaneous additions

New Neighborhood: Old meets new in Appaloosa Plains, a sprawling town for your pet-loving Sims.

Gourmet Pet Food: Culinary pet owners can cook gourmet food for their animal companions.

Minor Pets: Though not playable, Sims can have small pets that live in cages or aquariums, such as birds, lizards, and rodents.

New home items, hairstyles, clothing options, social interactions, and moodlets.

WooHoo in a haystack.

The Sims 3: Showtime

You were born to be in the spotlight. Building upon the celebrity system introduced in Late Night, The Sims 3: Showtime is all about being a star. Rise to fame as a singer, magician, or acrobat, and go from performing in public for tips to headlining huge venues.

The Sims 3: Showtime careers

Acrobat: This profession lets you work your way up from street mime to daring performer.

Magician: Pull coins from Sims’ ears, make birds appear, and perform illusions to hopefully eager audiences.

Singer: Aspiring singers work their way up to performing Sing-a-Grams to headlining big show venues.

The Sims 3: Showtime community lots

Coffeehouse: Whether you’re hanging out with friends or trying to land your first gig, the coffeehouse is the place to be.

Live Show Venue: An open hangout lot that often hosts live shows called SimFests—perhaps your Sims will be a part of them!

Private Venue: Perform for private parties and put on a show in this hangout location.

Big Show Venue: Only the best performers have access to this building.

The Sims 3: Showtime lifetime wishes

Master Acrobat: Reach level 10 of the acrobat career.

Master Magician: Reach level 10 of the magician career.

Vocal Legend: Reach level 10 of the singing career.

The Sims 3: Showtime skills

DJ: You are what you play. Moonlight as a DJ and increase your spinning skill.

Turntable: A hidden skill for talented disc jockeys who know how to work the turntable.

Dominoes: This hidden skill improves your odds of winning dominoes.

Gambling: A hidden skill that tips the odds in your favor.

Golfing: Fore! Another hidden skill that rises as you spend more time with this activity.

Pool: With pool tables making their triumphant return to The Sims series, you can raise this skill at local bars and hangouts—or buy a table of your own.

The Sims 3: Showtime traits

Diva: Diva Sims are amazing, and they know it. They won’t let anyone else forget it, either.

Social Butterfly: Sims with this trait get lonely quickly. They need to constantly socialize and love to be the center of attention.

Natural Born Performer: These Sims love to be onstage.

The Sims 3: Showtime miscellaneous additions

New Neighborhood: Welcome to Starlight Shores, a buzzing showbiz town that can make all your dreams come true. With a number of venues, from coffeehouses to huge stadiums, this is the perfect place for aspiring performers to settle down.

Social Features: Now you can log in, see what your friends are up to in their games, send messages, and even send one of your Sims to perform in a friend’s venue via the SimPort.

Achievements: Earn rewards for meeting special goals, which can also be shared with your friends.

Stages: Performers can set up the stage before a show and save their creations for later performances.

Death by Magic: Sometimes magic tricks can go horribly wrong.

Woohoo in a photo booth or the box of mystery.

Various home items, hairstyles, clothings, lifetime rewards, food, produce, and fish.

Sarah is a freelance writer, editor, and consultant. Her work has appeared on websites including IGN, Polygon, Variety, NBC News, Nerdist, Ars Technica, GamesRadar, and more.