The Sims 3 Acquiring & Developing Skills + CHEATS [Guide]


You will learn about all skills your Sims can learn in The Sims 3 game from this guide. Before your Sim can increase their ability at something, they first have to learn how to do it. Taking a class is by far the easiest way to acquire a new skill but it will cost you. For an artist, a Sim who wants to learn the Painting skill for example, either needs to buy an easel plus interact with it, or take a class at the local school. The Fishing skill is easy too, just sit by a pond and throw a line in by interacting with it. You can also read a book or take a class. Your Sims can then nurture and develop their talents to improve by levels and gain some perks with the skill the higher they go. Below is a list of each skill, how to get started or acquire it and how to develop it. There will be a chart on what to expect with different levels of the skill. There is also information on the rewards each gives.

Here is the pages for Cheats and other Guides –> The Sims 3 (PC, 3DS, X360, PS3, WII, NDS)

Return to Top Athletic

How to Acquire: Interact with exercise machines, take a class (at Llama Memorial Stadium), read a book, go for a swim, or use a television or stereo to work out to.

How to Develop: As you move through the levels your Sim will be presented with new exercise routines. These include things like ‘Don’t Break a Sweat’ and ‘Good Pacing’, and working out to these demands will result in different quality contributions to the Athletic skill. Many have negative side effects, such as making your Sim more fatigued or unhygienic following exercise.

Workout Machines: These machines can be found in the gym, or under the indoor activities section of build mode. Using these machines, Sims lift weights and work toward the Body Builder challenge.

Swimming: Free at the pools in your neighborhood, Swimming raises athletics.

Televisions & Stereos: They both allow you to use workout. Unfortunately, they’re grouped here because the workouts you do with each are the same. Sims will do jumping jacks, squats and stretch side to side. I do not recommend doing the cardio challenge this way, because it doesn’t add to the marathon runner challenge’s stat tracker like treadmills and jogging do.

Jogging Aound: Available once you have gained the 1st level of athletics skill, this will allow Sims to jog around the neighborhood. A great and sometimes visually pleasing way for your Sims to exercise. Works for both Marathon Runner and Fitness Nut challenges.

Treadmills: Buy them from the Study tab, indoor activities. There are also free treadmills at the gym. Treadmills add to both Marathon Runner and Fitness Nut challenge stats, so it is a great way to train unlike the television.

Level Perks

Level 1 Once your Sim learns the Athletic skill they can jog anywhere in town. ‘Don’t Break a Sweat’ is also unlocked at Level 1, avoiding the Hygiene implications of working out
Level 3 The ‘Good Pacing’ training regime comes at Level 3, which allows you to work out for longer. Once at Level 3 Sims can get a bonus after exercise in the form of the ‘Pumped’ moodlet
Level 5 ‘Push Self’ is at Level 5, increasing the speed of workout but creating the Sore moodlet, if you select it. Sims now also move faster when directed around town
Level 6 Sims can now help to train others in the ways of the fitness guru
Level 7 ‘Quick Burst’ is at Level 7, where again quicker results come at the expense of feeling sore and fatigued


Body Builder 60 hours spent improving strength – unlocks a posy Flex move to impress others. This does include Martial Arts’ block breaking, so it is a great challenge to complete for owners of World Adventures who want their Sims to be able to collect gems all day
Fitness Nut 75 hours of cardiovascular routines – to avoid the downsides of over-exercising
Marathon Runner Run 500 kilometers – to achieve a longer life

Cheats – Tips – Advise

1) You do not need to buy expensive equipment to be able to work out. Use the Television, Stereo or cheap sports equipment (such as the American football) to shed some calories. You can also work out for free at the 28 Hour Wellness Gym, and any swimming pool.

2)There are a number of opportunities for athletes in the Sims 3. Most involve a trainer tasking you with having a certain type of workout, or even using quick burst for a set period of time. None are challenging to complete, and you will level up the skill in the process. Some will deliver cash rewards, which is good for Sims to make a little side money with athletics, but others simply give you a boost to the skill. Still, you can improve the skill more quickly by completing them.

Return to Top Charisma

Charisma is also used by several careers in the Sims 3, as you might expect. The political career track of course relies heavily on this skill. Musicians will also benefit from a high level of charisma. Actually, any career that lists co-workers and boss as factors for promotion will benefit from more charisma. Being able to invite your co-workers over to win their friendship quickly will allow you to focus on other job performance factors, resulting in faster promotions.
How to Acquire: For a Sim looking to start their Charisma skills, the usual class is available (at Sunset Valley Town Hall), they can perform in front of any household mirror, or they can read a book on the subject.

How to Develop: After following the Acquire guide above to learn the Charisma skill, Sims can use social gatherings as another means to boost their ability. For each level of development, your Sim must have a certain number of friends and relationships. You can see a list of these below:

Level 1 None
Level 2 2 Relationships
Level 3 1 Friend, 3 Relationships
Level 4 2 Friends, 4 Relationships
Level 5 3 Friends, 6 Relationships
Level 6 4 Friends, 8 Relationships
Level 7 5 Friends, 10 Relationships
Level 8 6 Friends, 15 Relationships
Level 9 8 Friends, 20 Relationships
Level 10 10 Friends, 25 Relationships

Library: This is the fastest way to raise the charisma skill! Studying at the library will give your Sim the power study moodlet, which helps them raise the skill faster. Bookworms will be able to push this even faster.

Charisma Class: An easy way to break through to the first level of Charisma so that you can start automatically gaining skill levels by talking to Sims is to take a Charisma Class. Where? The government building in town. It usually costs $400.

Mirrors: Your Sims can still talk to mirrors to raise charisma in the Sims 3. I do not care for this option so much. Find mirrors under the bathroom tab in build mode. You can use a cheap mirror to make your Sims talk to themselves, as the more expensive mirrors do not boost the ability to learn the skill. Since this method’s speed seems on par with having your Sim socialize, I’d pick actually talking to other Sims rather than a mirror. You will get the benefit of a Sim accomplishing two objectives at once.

Other Sims: Talking to other Sims can raise charisma, obviously. The trouble with relying on having your Sims socialize to raise charisma is that you must constantly queue up actions. To help with marathon talking or joke telling sessions, invite your target friend over and have a nice breakfast prepared. Yes, breakfast. They have no idea what they are getting in to. Make sure the guest’s needs are met by doing this, and maybe watching some television. Your Sim can then assail them for the better part of a day with friendly blabber.

Level Perks

Level 1 Your Sim quickly learns the new Friendly Greeting. They will also acquire the Charming Introduction ability. This becomes more and more effective as a Sim’s Charisma skill improves
Level 2 The Amusing Greet is learnt
Level 3 The Interesting Greet is learnt, which can impress other Sims. The Sim will also learn the Get To Know ability. In conversation, this is used for discovering the Traits of other Sims to make future conversation easier
Level 4 The Flirty Greet is acquired, with Romantic relationship bonuses
Level 5 The Affectionate Greet is learnt, again with Romantic bonuses. At Level 5 a Sim also discovers the Smooth Recovery ability, which allows them to rescue a conversation which is heading in a bad direction
Level 6 The Funny Greet is learnt
Level 7 The Impressive Greet is gained for your Sim
Level 8 The Hilarious Greet is acquired, providing a Funny relationship bonus
Level 9 The Loving Greet is gained, with Romantic bonuses
Level 10 The Hot Greet is gained, with Romantic bonuses


Celebrity 25 Friends in Sunset Valley – this provides faster relationship building for the future
Comedian 100 Jokes told (and others found funny) – Jokes are more frequently successful
Everybody’s Best Friend 10 Best Friends – making friends becomes quicker and easier
Personable 50 Traits of other Sims discovered – allows Traits to be learnt more easily
Super Friendly 20 Friends – friendships do not diminish over time once established

Cheats – Tips – Advise

1) Attend as many parties as possible, fraternize at the park and barge into people’s houses uninvited to make as many friends and acquaintances as possible!

2) The last perk of the charisma skill, is that it can help your Sim to learn the traits of others. Use the get to know social skill and your Sim will chat with the other person and learn their traits. This can be useful for cooking their favorite meals at a party, or ensuring you play their favorite music. This can be helpful for Sims looking for that significant other.

Return to Top Cooking

The cooking skill is useful for every Sim because they all must eat! Sims need to enjoy fine meals to be truly happy. The mood boost from eating a well-cooked meal is invaluable for every Sim and it has a positive moodlet that lasts a full 8 hours. Getting the mood bar as high as possible will help with work, learning other skills, and help keep the lifetime happiness points rolling in. Quick meals will only satisfy hunger and fail to give any help for mood.

Cooking Warning: Fires are a hazard that comes with a low cooking skill. The financial losses are also high, because insurance usually serves only to pay for a portion of the cost of a new appliance. With just a few levels in the skill, the dangers of fire are almost completely gone, as Sims will no longer burn food.

How to Acquire: Budding chefs can take a class (at Hogan’s Deep Fried Diner, or Little Corsican Bistro), read a book on cookery, or simply practice it by preparing a meal.

How to Develop: Practice, practice, practice to improve your Sim’s cooking ability. The more a Sim cooks (they must ‘Prepare’ a meal, just getting some cornflakes out of the fridge doesn’t count), the better they get at a particular meal, and up the levels they go.

More recipes can be learnt with each level of the Cooking skill.

Keep in mind that cooking a meal many times affords the greatest boost to food quality.

Meal Times

Type Mon-Fri Weekend
Breakfast 1AM to 11AM 1AM to 9AM
Brunch 9AM to 3PM
Lunch 11AM to 5PM 9AM to 3PM
Dinner 5PM to 1AM 3PM to 5PM

Level Perks

Level 1 Sims now learn the Ratatouille recipe. Pancakes, Peanut Butter and Jelly and Hotdogs can all be learnt too when Level 1 is reached, if they buy the appropriate books from the Bookstore
Level 2 Goopy Carbonara and Grilled Cheese recipes can now be learnt after purchase from the Bookstore
Level 3 Fish and Chips and Cookies are learnt automatically by Sims at Level 3
Level 4 Fruit Parfait is learnt automatically at this level, while Spaghetti and Sushi Roll recipes can now be acquired
Level 5 The Cheese steak can now be cooked by Sims. They can also buy the Stu Surprise recipe
Level 6 Cobbler can now be cooked. The Hamburger recipe can also be learnt if purchased
Level 7 Sims now automatically learns how to cook Eggs Machiavellian, but can also purchase the recipe for Key Lime Pie
Level 8 Tri-Tip Steak can be cooked by Sims. They can also learn Grilled Salmon if the recipe is purchased
Level 9 The festive Stuffed Turkey recipe is automatically acquired when this level is reached. Sims can buy French Toast and Dim Sum recipes too
Level 10 Both Baked Angel Food Cake and Ambrosia recipes are automatically learnt at Level 10. The Lobster Thermador recipe can also be purchased


Menu Maven Learned all recipes – nicer food of a higher standard is regularly prepared
Star Chef 50 Meals prepared – nicer food of a higher standard
World-Class Chef 75 Meals Prepared – food prepared much faster

1) Money-Making :You will not really make money with this skill aside from the rewards of an occasional opportunity. That is, directly. Sims who pursue the culinary career track will find that their cooking skills make them a load of cash. Five-Star chefs can bring in $1400 and up working only four hours a night. The three night a week schedule leaves them plenty of opportunity to pursue other skills as well. Click to learn about the Culinary Career Track

2) Both Children and Teenagers can pursue cooking, although children cannot prepare meals. Teenagers can learn every recipe and may prepare meals.

3) Nice food will provide positive moodlets for Sims. At the same time, disgusting food will repulse them. Using poor ingredients or poor appliances will contribute to a bad meal (with moodlets such as Uneven Cooking), or vice versa. To cook Ambrosia, the legendary Deathfish is required, as well as the Angel Food Cake – it increases life expectancy.

4) Use the Skill Journal to keep track of your recipes.

Return to Top Fishing

How to Acquire: This is pretty easy to acquire, just sit by a pond and throw a line in there by interacting with it. You can also read a book or take a class in it (at the EverFresh Delights Supermaket).

How to Develop: Fish to your heart’s content and you will move through the ranks of the Fishing skill. You can of course also read books to boost your abilities too. Use Bait (once at Level 3) to increase your chances of catching fish. Each fish you catch boosts your skill rating, and while sitting by the water all day without a bite will improve your skill, it will not do it as much as a productive morning’s catching. Fishing early in the morning is a great time for this.

Level Perks

Level 1 Goldfish and Alley Catfish are catchable
Level 2 Jellyfish and Rainbow Trout are catchable
Level 3 Red Herring and Tuna are catchable
Level 4 Piranha and Tragic Clownfish are catchable
Level 5 Siamese Catfish and Blowfish are catchable
Level 6 Salmon and Black Goldfish are catchable
Level 7 Shark and Swordfish are catchable
Level 8 Angelfish and Vampire Fish are catchable
Level 9 Robot Fish and Lobster are catchable
Level 10 Deathfish are catchable


Amateur Ichthyologist Catch one of each type of fish – helps your Sim catch bigger fish
Commercial Fisherman Catch 350 fish – allows for faster fishing

Fish, Bait and Locations: Here is a list of all the fish in the game, where to find them, and what bait they prefer. The Maximum Price is the price given if the fish is caught at its heaviest possible weight – the actual price will frequently be considerably lower, particularly with the rarer fish.

Rarity: Common
Location: Anywhere
Bait: Apple
Maximum Price: 11
Level Required: 0

Rarity: Common
Location: Saltwater
Bait: Tomato
Maximum Price: 11
Level Required: 0

Rarity: Common
Location: Freshwater
Bait: Lettuce
Maximum Price: 16
Level Required: 1

Alley Catfish:
Rarity: Rare
Location: Anywhere
Bait: Cheese
Maximum Price: 20
Level Required: 1

Rarity: Common
Location: Saltwater
Bait: Grapes
Maximum Price: 19
Level Required: 2

Rainbow Trout:
Rarity: Common
Location: Freshwater
Bait: Eggs
Maximum Price: 18
Level Required: 2

Red Herring:
Rarity: Common
Location: Anywhere
Bait: Hot Dogs
Maximum Price: 5 (it is a Red Herring after all)
Level Required: 3

Rarity: Common
Location: Saltwater
Bait: Onion
Maximum Price: 25
Level Required: 3

Rarity: Rare
Location: Freshwater
Bait: Watermelon
Maximum Price: 30
Level Required: 4

Tragic Clownfish:
Rarity: Rare
Location: Anywhere
Bait: Bell Pepper
Maximum Price: 32
Level Required: 4

Siamese Catfish:
Rarity: Common
Location: Anywhere
Bait: Minnow
Maximum Price: 41
Level Required: 5

Rarity: Rare
Location: Saltwater
Bait: Potato
Maximum Price: 47
Level Required: 5

Rarity: Common
Location: Saltwater
Bait: Lime
Maximum Price: 45
Level Required: 6

Black Goldfish:
Rarity: Common
Location: Freshwater
Bait: Goldfish
Maximum Price: 49
Level Required: 6

Rarity: Rare
Location: Anywhere
Bait: Red Herring
Maximum Price: 70
Level Required: 7

Rarity: Common
Location: Saltwater
Bait: Anchovy
Maximum Price: 60
Level Required: 7

Rarity: Rare
Location: Anywhere
Bait: Alley Catfish
Maximum Price: 85
Level Required: 8

Vampire Fish:
Rarity: Rare
Location: Graveyard
Bait: Garlic
Maximum Price: 225
Level Required: 9

Robot Fish:
Rarity: Rare
Location: Landgraab Science Facility
Bait: Piranha
Maximum Price: 275
Level Required: 9

Rarity: Common
Location: Anywhere
Bait: Tuna
Maximum Price: 120
Level Required: 9

Rarity: Rare
Location: Graveyard (between 12AM and 5AM)
Bait: Angelfish
Maximum Price: 1,000
Level Required: 10

Cheats – Tips – Advise

1) You can also use fish as decorative items, or, more unusually, as fertilizer for the garden.

2) Using bait increases your chances of catching fish. Using the favorite bait of each fish only helps things further!

3) Fish at the Graveyard for the chance to catch the Deathfish or Vampire Fish.

4) Caught fish are used in many cooking recipes.

5) Once you get your skill level up a bit, and use the right bait, fishing is an easy high quality fertilizer to help grow good plants with the Sims 3′s Gardening skill. Since catching perfect fish is also easy, you can dramatically boost meal quality using fresh caught fish instead of the store-bought average quality seafood.

6) Fish can also be sent and mounted, to make them into permanent wall decorations, and act as trophies. Anglers will love having some of these around the house.

7) Other sites will list a fishing level next to the fish. You will not find that here. The levels are for when you would be able to catch a fish without bait. If you use bait, you can catch rare and exotic fish very early. Fish for vampire fish using garlic, or go out and catch some alley catfish (with cheese), then use them as bait for angelfish. Your Sim can then fish for Death Fish at the graveyard with the angelfish as bait. Someone reported to me that they were able to do this as low as fishing level 5!

8) Raise your gardening skill slightly, and help satisfy one of your Sim’s needs by Planting at least one apple tree. Taking an apple from a tree just outside your Sim’s home along on fishing trips will help to keep them from quitting because of hunger. With that in mind, make eating the first step in their routine before your Sims head out on a fishing trip, followed by a trip to the toilet. This will help you to milk possibly a couple hours or more of extra fishing from every trip.

9) Put a portable radio into your Sim’s inventory by dragging it on top of him. Once at the lake, set the boom box on the ground and have your Sims listen to their favorite music. This should provide a boost of +20 or more to mood. Being in a good mood helps your Sims to learn skills faster, and gain more lifetime happiness points.

10) Stay on Top of Wishes and Opportunities: Fishing offers some of the easiest wishes and opportunities to complete in the Sims 3. Stay on top of them, and help your Sim gain massive lifetime happiness points quickly.

11) How to Fulfill ‘Catch 1,000kg Fish Wish’: After the other incremental weight wishes, a Sim may eventually wish to catch a 1,000kg fish. There is only one fish that fits the bill. That is the Robot Fish. Why? Metal of Course. Head to the Science Lab and use Piranha as bait to reel them in and hope for the big one! This wish will not come until later on in your Sim’s Fishing career, probably just about the time you’d be able to catch Robot Fish anyway!

12)If you want your Sims to be better fishermen, able to bring in more catches from one fishing trip, first choose the steel bladder lifetime reward. This will eliminate the need to use the toilet. The desire to go to the bathroom will interrupt almost all fishing trips that start with high energy. Since the hunger need can be filled by eating an apple, or cooking your catches on the portable fire pit by the lakeside or beach, bladder is the big nuisance. Your Sim can get more out of every day by never having to take trips to the bathroom, so this helps all skills to raise faster and Sims to be more productive.

Return to Top Gardening

How to Acquire: To become a gardener you have to take a class (at the Langraab Industries Science Facility), read a book, or plant a seed.

How to Develop: Weed your plants as a Level 2 gardener and Fertilize them at Level 3 to ensure healthy and flourishing flowers. Pottering around in the garden and reading plenty of plant books will boost your skill.

You can find seeds dotted around Sunset Valley. Plant the seeds in your home lot and water regularly, to see them grow.

Eventually the gardener’s ultimate wish should be for a crop of Money Trees, Life Fruit plants, Flame Fruit and perhaps fruits for use with Nectar Making. Money trees are the best money makers of all the plants, and life fruit is used as an excellent fertilizer, sells at a decent rate, and is used in the ambrosia cooking recipe. Likewise, Flame Fruit is used in Angel Food Cake, which gives a nice moodlet.

Level Perks

Level 2 Your Sim can now use the Weed action to help keep plants clear
Level 3 The Fertilize action is unlocked, which allows a Sim to boost a plant’s growth
Level 5 Sims can now plant ‘Uncommon Seeds’, or rarer varieties of plant-life
Level 6 The Revive Plant action is unlocked, which makes it possible to attempt to rescue a plant from the grave
Level 7 Sims can now plant ‘Rare Seeds’, even rarer varieties of plant-life
Level 8 A special opportunity presents itself at the Bistro
Level 9 A special opportunity presents itself at the Bistro
Level 10 A special opportunity presents itself at the Bistro. The reward for completing all three of these opportunities is the Omni Plant seeds


Botanical Boss Harvest 75 perfect fruit and veggies – plants are less likely to die if you do not look after them
Master Farmer Harvest 650 fruit and veggies – plants retain water and fertilizer for longer
Master Planter Plant every plant on offer – weeds are reduced on all new plants

Cheats – Tips – Advise

1)The biggest tip I can give you for gardening in the Sims 3 is that you should try to get your handiness skill to at least level four so that you can make automatic sprinklers. You will find sprinklers under the outdoor activities tab. Once the sprinkler is placed, select it and try to upgrade. These sprinklers go off every morning and can water a small area.

It’s best to keep your garden tight together at first so that one sprinkler will do. It’s also more efficient for your Sim to harvest when they can constantly be touching another plant without moving too much. Later, with certain abilities learned through the skill journal, you will have less weeds and your fertilizer can last longer. This also helps your garden to be more efficient.

2) Use the most effective fertilizer to maximize plant growth. In descending order they are Vampire Fish, Angelfish, Lobster, Shark, Blowfish, Piranha, Siamese Catfish, Tragic Clownfish, Red Herring, Life Fruit, Swordfish, Black Goldfish, Salmon, Tuna, Jellyfish, Minnow, Flame Fruit, Garlic, Bell Pepper, Steak, Watermelon, Rainbow Trout, Grapes, Lime, Apple, Potato, Onion, Tomato, Lettuce, Egg, Burger Patty, Cheese, Alley Catfish, Goldfish, and Anchovy.

3) Sims who ‘Love the Outdoors’ will simply enjoy the giddy thrill of examining a growing specimen.

4) Your Sim doesn’t have to be a large-scale gardener to enjoy the benefits of the Gardening skill. Most Sims will want to someday grow and fish the ingredients for ambrosia. You can easily make a crop of only life plants. Fishermen will also appreciate a nice apple tree in the front yard. Packing an apple for lunch on a marathon day of fishing is a great idea. Used with the steel bladder lifetime reward, one little apple can really go a long way to helping your Sim stay out at the lake longer.

5) Bad Fertilizer! Death Fish: Don’t use this to fertilize a plant unless you want to kill it. Sell them, have them mounted, collect them in aquariums, or use them in the ambrosia recipe instead!

Return to Top Guitar

How to Acquire: To get started with guitar, all you need to do is buy one. They’re found in the hobbies and skills category of the buy mode’s study tab. You can take a class to learn the first level of guitar, which can speed up the process. Classes in guitar are taken at the theater in town. Afterward, you will be able to practice and your guitarist will be able to learn new songs. Later, when they complete challenges they will learn master tracks that can really impress crowds. Shop at the bookstore to find sheet music that will allow your Sim to learn some new songs. There are several available to buy.

How to Develop: Once learnt, serenading your housemates and locals is the best way to improve the skill. Play at public locations, and as you level up more songs can be learnt. The Perform skill unlocks at Level 5, making the music enjoyable to listen to.

Level Perks

Level 1 At least two new practice songs are learnt
Level 2 At least two new practice songs are learnt
Level 3 At least two new practice songs are learnt
Level 4 At least two new practice songs are learnt
Level 5 Three new songs are learnt. Sims can also now use the Perform action, and the Serenade romantic action. The Sheet Music Yes Ma’am, I Do, can also be purchased at this level
Level 6 At least one new perfect song (the Sim will never fail while playing it) is learnt. Flamenco Fever can also be purchased as Sheet Music at this level
Level 7 At least one new perfect song is learnt. A Perfect Moment can also be purchased as Sheet Music at this level
Level 8 At least one new perfect song is learnt. Improvise Here and Now can also be purchased as Sheet Music at this level
Level 9 At least one new perfect song is learnt. Dream Escape can also be purchased as Sheet Music at this level
Level 10 At least one new perfect song is learnt


Guitar Star Play at 10 public events – more tips can be earned performing
Master Guitarist Learn every song available – a new song is unlocked
Money Maker Earn 5,000 Simoleons in tips and fees – a new song is unlocked

Cheats – Tips – Advise

1) How to Play for Tips: Upon reaching level 5 in the guitar skill, Sims can begin playing for tips. Do this by putting the Sim’s guitar in his or her inventory, then going to a public space such as the park. Look for a good spot where Sims pass by and go to the inventory screen. Select the guitar and choose ‘play for tips’. Your Sim will start playing. He will not hook everyone’s attention who passes by, but people who get enthralled by music will leave a tip.

The Sims who listen to your music do not usually leave only one tip either, you are like a regular Pied Piper as the Sims surrounding you are mesmerized and regularly drop money in the guitar case. I was impressed with how much money I could get with my master guitarist. It’s easy and very common to make 1000 Simoleons a day. This is some serious money and enough to support an entire family.

The best part about playing for tips is that you get to choose your own schedule, but must generally play during the day time when plenty of people are around.

Tips are based on the number of performances your Sim has initiated. This means you can get massive tips by cancelling a performance over and over to raise your total. Unless this is fixed in a future patch it makes guitar the single highest money-maker in the Sims 3 bar none.

2) The tips from playing are nice, but once your Sim reaches a certain level of quality and renown as a guitar player among the residents of Sunset Valley they may be asked to perform at parties and functions for big bucks.

3) Performing social interactions following a guitar song is a great way to start a conversation on the right foot.

Return to Top Handiness

How to Acquire: As well as foolhardily attempting to repair a faulty household appliance, you can take a Handiness class (at Fort Gnome Military Base), or read a book.

How to Develop: Raising it is easy, and every household should have a Sim who knows what they’re doing when it comes to making household repairs and upgrades. Tinkering, Repairing or Upgrading items will always improve your Sim’s Handiness skill. Beware of electrocution however! Once 10 electronic items have been successfully repaired, your Sim becomes an Electrician and avoids the risks in the future.

There are four ways to raise Handiness. First, there are skill books. You can reach all the way to level 10 with a level 3 handiness skill book. Check the book store or library to find it. You can also take a handiness class at the military base to raise the skill one level at a time. You can only take a handiness class once, and it is best done early because the first level is often the hardest to learn.

Level Perks

Level 3 The Upgrade action is unlocked. This allows objects to be improved (see below). The first type of upgrade is Self Cleaning. At Level 3 the Dishwasher can be made quieter, the Doorbell sound changed, the Shower’s heat improved, the Stereo made louder and Window insulation improved (reducing bills). Get to Level 3, and you can make that toilet self-cleaning!
Level 4 At Level 4, the Coffeemaker can be fitted with a timer (coffee is made automatically when your Sim wakes up) and the Stove can be made fireproof
Level 6 The Shower can be made to cause exhilaration, and the Trash Compactor’s capacity can be improved. The Television can have additional channels added. Sims can now use the Prevent Breakage upgrade to keep items from breaking down
Level 7 The Gas Fireplace can be made to start when a Sim enters, and the Stove can be made to produce better quality food. The Television can have even more channels added
Level 8 The Computer can get a graphics boost to make games more fun, while the Stereo can be improved in two departments, to increase the mood boost Sims get from it, and to ensure the music of one Stereo can be heard all over the house. The Television can have even more channels added
Level 9 The Grandfather clock can be made more valuable. The Television can have more additional channels added
Level 10 The Television can have the maximum number of additional channels added. Sims become members of a guild and so receive a huge 25% discount in Build Mode

Upgrades Sims Can Perform from Learning Handiness

Handiness Upgrade Handiness Skill Level What the Upgrade Does
Auto Light Level 7 This makes your fireplace come on automatically upon entering the room. Use this to make sure your Sims always have the cozy fire (+10) moodlet. Do yourself a favor and never, ever consider working on the fireplace while the auto light is enabled.
Auto Water Level 4 Gardeners will love this, as it makes the sprinklers come on automatically.
Boost Channels Level 7 Gives your Sims more channels on the television.
Change Fire Color Level 9 Allows you to change your fireplace flame’s color. Doesn’t seem to actually do anything for Sims, I prefer auto light.
Change Doorbell Level 3 Switch the doorbell sound to one of several other choices. Be sure to bring up your walls to be able to click your door.
Faster Cooking Level 7 Makes the microwave cook faster.
Fireproof 4 or 6 Level 4 for stoves, level 6 for fireplaces. Makes stoves and fireplaces safe, ensuring they never catch fire.
Improve Meal Quality Level 7 Boosts the quality of meals made from an oven. In this way, Handiness can help your sims to cook more perfect meals.
Improve Memory Level 9 The improve memory upgrade for the food replicator increases the number of meals of any particular type that can be stored. This means even less time spent cooking, as you will be loading the replicator with food less often.
Improve Speakers Level 3 Adds +10 to the enjoying music moodlet. Use this on stereos. One of my favorite upgrades in the Sims 3. Too bad you can’t use it on the portable boombox to take with you when Fishing
Improved Crushing Level 6 Trash Compactors: Hold more perhaps?
Improved Graphics Level 8 Boosts fun created from playing games on computer.
Perfect Teleportation Level 7 Gives the teleporter lifetime reward a 100% success rate.
Self-Cleaning Level 3 Any object in the Sims 3 that can get dirty can get self cleaning the self cleaning upgrade (except counters, sadly). Great for plumbing, because once you have the plumber challenge completed your plumbing fixes never break again.
Silent Running Level 3 Makes the cheap dishwasher quiet (be sure to use on a cheap dishwasher).
Unbreakable Level 6 Makes it so objects will never again break. Very useful for writers and hackers, whose work is interrupted by broken computers. Use it on objects that tend to break a lot. I would never use this one until handiness was level 10.
Wire House with Speakers Level 8 With the Wire House with Speakers upgrade, your Sims can get the enjoying music moodlet in every room of their home. Just be sure to turn off the stereo at bedtime.


Electrician 10 Electrical Repairs – no risk of electrocution during handiwork
Plumber 10 Plumbing Repairs – no repaired plumbing objects will ever break again
Tinkerer 10 Unique Upgrades (one of each type e.g. Self-Cleaning, Unbreakable) – upgrades will never fail again

Cheats – Tips – Advise
1) There is only one trait that directly pertains to the handiness skill, and that is the Handy trait. It serves to boost pretty much every aspect of the skill. First, they will learn the Handiness skill faster, making learning the skill less time-consuming. Additionally, appliances, plumbing and electronics repaired by Handy Sims are less likely to break. Your Sim will never fail at repairing or upgrading, which is a huge plus. Finally, you begin with a handiness book so you can get started right away!

2) All the upgrades have a risk of failure, which can end in electrocution, or damage to the object, until the Tinkerer reward that is!

3) The more items are repaired the more likely they are to break in the future. Upgrading an item to Unbreakable status is the only way to avoid this peril.

4) You can only have one upgrade per object running at once, so be sure to pick intelligently.

Return to Top Logic

How to Acquire: If you buy a chess set you can learn the Logic skill by just playing with it. Other ways to do it are taking a class (at Langraab Industries Science Facility), reading a book, or using a telescope.

How to Develop: You can read Logic guidebooks, play Chess (there is a skill and a whole facet of the game centered on Chess) or a Computer to further your Sim’s Logic skill. The Telescope is a great way to improve Logic.

Logic Class: A Logic class is offered at the Science Facility in town. You can only do it once, but it is a great way to gain the first level in logic.

What are the best ways to Raise Logic in The Sims 3?

Solve the Unsolvable: With a computer, Sims can solve the unsolvable in The Sims 3. If they crack some really hard mathematical problem, your Sims can earn some free money doing this. At the same time, Logic will increase from the brain strain of solving it.

Search the Galaxy: There are 2 actions available to you with a telescope in the Sims 3 that can earn money for you. One is that you can search the galaxy (even during the day which may be a bug) for stars and other objects. This requires level 3 logic. When your Sim discovers a celestial object, they can name it and they will receive a tidy sum of cash for the discovery. Higher logic, and more discoveries leads to your Sims finding very profitable celestial bodies.

The other option is to look at the stars at night, which will raise your logic skill. Looking through the telescope, Sims in the Sims 3 can occasionally spot a meteorite crashing to the ground. They can then go to the map view to find the spot where it crashed, and collect it. The item can then be sold by dragging it to the simoleon icon on the inventory tab.

Playing Chess: Sims can satisfy the desire to raise logic, socialize, and have fun all at the same time by playing chess. Geniuses will enjoy this even more than other Sims, and can have a blast easily playing for a while. You will also be able to challenge other players to a ranked game, by using the phone to ‘Call’, ‘Invite over Ranked Chess Opponent’. Once the Sim is invited inside, you can then challenge them to a game of chess by clicking the chessboard.

Raising Logic: There are multiple ways to raise this skill and possibly earn money at the same time. The most raw is to go to the library and read a book on logic. This is good, but you could be earning money while raising logic at the same time!

Level Perks

Level 3 Sims can now use the Search Galaxy action with a Telescope. This can earn them some Simoleons discovering new uncharted phenomena
Level 5 Logicians can now use the Tutor action on Children and Teenagers. Sims can now also brag about their Telescope
Level 10 Sims can Tutor any aged Sims, but only up to their current level in the specific skill


Celestial Explorer 20 Space Discoveries – can discuss space with acquaintances
Grand Master Level 5 of the Chess ladder – anyone playing chess against your Sim will improve their Logic skill twice as fast
Skill Professor 30 Hours Tutoring Time – others learn skills from your Sim twice as fast
Teacher Extraordinaire 20 Hours Tutoring Time – others learn skills from your Sim twice as fast

Logic-based Lifetime Wishes
The following Lifetime Wishes are strongly associated with the Logic skill:

Chess Legend Become a Grand Master (Level 5) in Chess, and max the Logic skill
Perfect Mind/Perfect Body Master Athletics and Logic
The Tinkerer Master Logic and Handiness
World-Reknowned Surgeon Become a world-renowned surgeon by ascending to level 10 in the medical career
International Super Spy Take the Spy Career path of the Law career track to reach level 10 and become a Super Spy
Forensic Specialist-Dynamic DNA Profiler Take the Forensics career path of law to become a master DNA profiler

Cheats – Tips – Advise

1) Toddlers can learn the Logic skill using the pegbox, as well as reading the Finger Painting, Handprints of the Masters, and Don’t Stay Within the Lines Toddler skill books.

2) Logic Sims can use the Solve the Unsolvable action with a Computer to earn some Simoleons on the side.

3) As your Sim improves their ability at Logic, it reduces the time necessary to rank up other skills.

4) There aren’t many traits that help with logic, but the few that do make a huge difference. First we of course have the Genius Trait, which increases the rate that Sims improve logic. They are also better at chess, and stand a greater chance at becoming a Chess Grand Master. Additionally, they can make money by solving the unsolvable on the computer.

Return to Top Painting

How to Acquire: As you might expect, to learn the Painting skill, just buy an Easel and let it rip. You can also take a class (at the Community School for the Gifted).

Painting Class: Your Sims can take a class in the painting skill at the school in town. Taking a class will raise the skill to the first level much faster than simply using the practice painting action. It’s only $400.

Toddler Painting Skill: Toddlers have several parenting books that can be read to them to raise their Painting.

How to Develop: A Sim moves from Dabble, to Practice, and then to Paint as they progress through the Painting skill. Just using the easel is enough to move through the ranks.

Take the Artistic trait if you really want to learn to paint more quickly. Keep your Sim’s mood up to raise painting faster. Actually, this applies to all skills in the Sims 3.

To help with keeping your Sim’s mood up while painting, once you have enough money for some decorative items, make them a priority. The well decorated moodlet can really help to keep your Sim’s mood in positive territory so the skill goes up faster, and they make better paintings.

Invest a little bit of time in the repair skill so that your Sims have less distractions. Achieve this by upgrading your kitchen and bathroom equipment to self-cleaning and/or unbreakable. Once you have the plumber challenge done, your plumbing should never break again.

Level Perks

Level 1 The Practice action is now available, allowing Sims to pick the canvas size
Level 5 The Paint action replaces Practice, allowing Sims to earn money from their pictures. Sims can now also use the Paint Still Life action, allowing them to paint what they see in front of them. A Sim’s paintings now also increase in value over time
Level 6 ‘Brilliant’ Paintings can now be crafted, earning even more money or providing greater environmental boons
Level 7 Sims can now use the Paint Portrait action, where any Sim picked can be chosen for a portrait
Level 8 Your Sim can now use the Paint Memorized Scene action to reproduce a mobile phone image taken in the game on canvas
Level 9 Sims can now paint ‘Masterpiece’ Paintings, earning even more money or providing greater environmental boons


Brushmaster 35 Paintings – painting speed is significantly increased
Master Painter 5 Masterpiece Paintings – dramatically increases the value of your Sim’s paintings
Proficient Painter 6 Brilliant Paintings – increases the number of Brilliant and Masterpiece paintings produced

Cheats – Tips – Advise

1) Paintings can be used to beautify your home, not just for cash.

2) When a Sim dies, their artwork is more appreciated and thus more valuable.

3) How to make more money, and raising the skill faster: Try painting many small paintings at first. This will help them to complete the Brushmaster painting challenge faster, which causes your Sim to paint faster. They will be able to pump out at least 2 Large paintings a day if in a good mood.

4) Increase the likelihood of a masterpieces, and boost the overall quality and value of all your art by keeping your Sim’s mood maxed. Trips to the day spa helps. Buy packages that boost your Sim’s mood for an entire week. This investment will grants great returns.

5) If you want to get really hardcore about making money with painting, consider taking abilities like steel bladder. You can spend even more time painting. Your Sim will have a great retirement if you save up throughout his lifetime, and buy plenty of luxuries.

Return to Top Writing

How to Acquire: For writing, anyone can develop the skill on their computer. There is also a class, and a book teaching you the basics.

How to Develop: Refining their Writing skill at the Computer is a great way to develop a Sim’s literary prowess. They can also read books on Writing to improve themselves.

The best way to learn writing is to be write novels. You can also send your Sim to a writing class at the business building in town. Do not use ‘refine writing skills’, because the Sim could be working toward the 25 total book marks instead. Refine may actually increase the rate at which your Sim learns writing, so if your Sim is only a level or two away from writing a particular type of book, you could use it to get there.

Level Perks

Level 1 Science Fiction books can now be written
Level 2 Novels can now be written using the appropriate action through the Computer. Comedy books can be written by Sims with the Good Sense of Humour Trait. Trashy Novels can also now be crafted
Level 3 Drama novels and Children’s books can now be written (Sims need Level 6 of the Painting Skill to write Children’s books)
Level 5 Sims with the Hopeless Romantic Trait can now write Romance novels. Comedy books can now be written by any Sim
Level 6 Historical Novels can now be written
Level 8 Mystery Novels can now be written
Level 10 Romance Novels can now be written by any Sim. Masterpiece novels can now also be produced


Prolific Writer 20 books written – more successful and popular books produced
Specialist Writer 5 Novels in one Genre – more successful and popular books produced in this genre
Speed Writer 15,000 Simoleons in Royalties – writing speed is dramatically increased

List of All Book Types Sims Write

Book Genre Skill Level
or Requirement
Skill Journal
Royalty Rating
Pages Average Royalty
Profitability Per Page
Article Journalism Level 3 N/A 80 1 time $200 Low
Auto Biography Written 3 Biographies 3 160 1 time $800 Low
Biography Offered through Writing Opportunities 3 160 1 time $800 Low, but can boost relations with other Sims
Children’s Level 3 Writing, Level 4 Painting 1 105 $450/week Medium-High
Drama Writing Level 3 2 305 $600/week Medium-Low
Fantasy Write 3 Sci-Fi Books 3 440 $1300/week Medium
Fiction Available at Start 1 90 $130/week Quite Low
Historical Writing Level 6, Be an Elder 3 505 $1300/week Medium
Humor Writing Level 5. 3 For Good Sense of Humor 2 340 $500/week Medium-High
Life Story Level 10 Career Opportunity 3 400 $2,000 1 time High
Masterpiece Write 25 Books 5 2,000 $13,000+/week Crazy High!
Mystery Writing Level 8 3 500 $1200+/week Medium
Non-Fiction Available at Start 1 90 $130/week Quite Low
Political Memoir Leader of the Free World Political Opportunity 3 400 $2,000 1 time High
Report Law Enforcement Level 3 N/A N/A N/A Used by Law Enforcement as Career Requirement
Romance Writing 10, Level 6 for Hopeless Romantics 4 650 $3,000 Quite High
Satire Write 3 Humor Books 3 350 $1300 High
Science Fiction Level 1 Writing, or at Start for Computer Whiz 1 150 $300 Low
Trashy Writing Level 2 or At Start for Inappropriate 1 190 $350 Low
Vaudeville Write the following:
2 Drama Books
2 Humor Books
2 Mystery Books
2 Romance Books
2 Sci-Fi Books
4 1250 $6,000 Quite High

Writing Challenges:
There are three challenges for the writing skill.

Speed Writer makes your Sim write books faster. This is accomplished once you have made 30,000 money in royalties. Keep writing high per-page value books (see the book type list)

Prolific Author is completed at 20 books written. Your Sim will write more hits and best sellers overall. Try to write four books of each type of low-page count book. Unlocking children’s books would help this (again, see list)

Specialist Writer, the final challenge, is unlocked once you have made five books in one particular genre. It boosts the likelihood of hits and best sellers in that genre. I recommend, as I said before, that your Writer specializes in masterpieces.

Writing’s Lifetime Wishes:

Illustrious Author: Maximize the painting and writing skills. It’s a cool wish, but Sims can only really have one revenue stream at once. It would be better to pick one or the other.

Professional Author: Earn 4,000 a week in royalties. Now you are talking. A great goal for a writer. This should come up if your Sim takes the bookworm trait. By the way, the $4,000 a week your Sim wants from this wish? It’s just a drop in the bucket compared to what a great author can do money-wise.

Star News Anchor: Reach level 10 in the Journalism Career. Honestly, I think the journalism career is the worst career in The Sims 3, so I’d probably prefer Professional Author.

Cheats – Tips – Advise

1) Making Money with Writing: You can make a nice living for your Sim with writing. Money from writing comes from turning in chapters (really just like a bonus) and in the form of Royalty Checks. Royalty Checks come once every week, for six weeks. The money is deposited at noon every Sunday.

The earnings from a book are primarily based on the difficulty rating of that book. Looking at the list of novel types you can write, more simoleon symbols under the expected royalty column means more money. The harder books will also take longer to write, but are generally the best route for higher profit. Try to write 4 of each type of book so they can later specialize in masterpieces, while still working toward the prolific author writing challenge’s completion.

2) Potentially great novels can generate a steady flow of income from royalties. A novel can be written by using the Write Novel interaction at the Computer. They can then come back to it and continue writing whenever they have free time.

3) More royalties are accrued by Sims with a higher Writing level, and depending on the popularity of the genre i.e. the saturation of the market in that area. Your Sim’s book may even appear in the local bookstore!

4) Best Sellers Tips: Remember to keep your Sim’s mood up while writing. Try to have fun up to the point that the Sim is having a blast to help with this. Also consider the room’s ambience. A stereo can provide a boost to mood, even better if you take the care to change the station to their favorite. Decorate the writer’s room as well so they are happy with their environment.

There are lots of factors that can boost the odds that your Sim writes a best seller: mood, genre experience (number of books written for that genre), how many books the author has read, etc. Yep, reading books helps, so bookworms should definitely take this into consideration. There are plenty of wish opportunities for books read, so this will help get those lifetime reward points too.

The type of book being written is also a factor. Consider this: When was the last time a trashy novel was on the best seller list?


7 Responses to The Sims 3 Acquiring & Developing Skills + CHEATS [Guide]

  1. avatar kionna says:

    Can u tell me another way on gain my sims skills faster like with the master controller? for cheats codes likes was the signs what do i have to type and click on? thanks

  2. avatar buffycat says:

    please can you tell me anymore cheats

  3. avatar brittney says:

    i am addictid to sims 3 i make all my sims pregnant

  4. avatar Alyssa says:

    Actually, in the Cooking skill, Lobster Thermidor is automatically learned, and Angel Food Cake and Ambrosia must be purchased.

  5. avatar linda 48 says:

    why cant you put a big house on your lot?

  6. avatar Jess H says:

    Thanks for the cheats for the Sims 3 DS. I think that i might try this later. Cheers :)

  7. avatar vanessa says:

    Can i move my house back abit on my land want a bigger front garden? Cant Move Walls At Not All The House Has Right Angles N I Do Not Wanna Rebuild, Took Ages To Build. so please help