The Sims franchise is one of my all-time favorites. Because of this, I feel qualified to tell you exactly how you should be playing. Everyone knows there’s only one possible way to correctly play a virtual dollhouse, and you’re in luck, since I’m about to leak all those secrets.
Step 01: Buy The Sims 2
Okay, this might sound a bit obvious, but it’s really not. Maybe you were feeling overwhelmed while looking at Amazon (or your preferred retailer), and thought you should by The Sims. While that might be an acceptable option, the benefits of that 2 in The Sims 2 are plentiful, and it’s worth just skipping straight to The Sims 2. Trust me.
Step 02: Buy Expansion Packs
Remember to get expansion packs that are compatible with The Sims 2, since that’s our base platform here. But, here’s the kicker: you want, no, you need them all. But, your budget will not allow for all of them, so you’ll have to make some tough choices. In this step, make sure to choose all the expansion packs that you really want, but only buy all but one. We’ll be buying that last one a few days later, when it’s much more inconvenient, so choose wisely.
Step 03: Go Crazy
I’m giving you free reign on this step within some guidelines. You love custom content. You especially love to download custom content that you will never use on any of your Sims ever. You’re going to spend at least 40 hours browsing, downloading, and installing clothes, hairs, and furniture options. Not only will this “enhance” your playing experience with stuff you’ll never use, it will also heinously increase load times and overwhelm your Sim with options. It’s like a win-win!
Step 04: Buy Another Expansion Pack
Now that you’ve downloaded all that custom content, being careful to only download content for the expansion packs you have, now you’re going to buy another expansion pack that especially caters to a whole new kind of clothing or other custom content.
Step 05: Get More Custom Content
Well, you did just get another expansion pack. You better get all the possible custom content installed that you can, right? This, of course, will take another 10-20 hours. The longer you take, the better, in fact.
Step 06: Make a Family
You spent all that time downloading children’s clothes and hairs and men’s clothes and hairs, but now only the in-game Townies will use them. Once you’ve got the game all loaded up and you’ve chosen the city you want your Sim to play in, you’re going to make a family to move in. Your family must consist of just an adult woman. You can choose whether or not to allow her a pet. Once you’re done creating her, move her into a pre-built house and finish furnishing it. You would enjoy building and customizing a home, but you’re too lazy to do it. Trust me. This is the best way.
Step 07: Turn Off Free Will
What would The Sims be if they had their own quirks and ability to choose? Nightmares, that’s what! Immediately go to your in-game House Specific options and turn off their free will. They’ll be much happier that way. Mindless zombies are happy, right?
Step 08: Cheat
You’re poor, and you need Simoleons. There’s an easy cheat code to gain quick Simoleons, but we’re not going to use it. That would be wrong. We are, however, going to turn aging off. You’ll be too attached to your Sim to watch her die. Ever. Which reminds me, you should save often, so you can go back to a save in case your Sim becomes toasted in a house fire or something otherwise unfavorable happens to her, like pregnancy.
Step 09: Become Familiar With Your New BFF
You can romance with your Sim, but she can never marry or start a family. Ideally, she’ll move her way through her skills, and up her career track. You might even get so fixated on skills that you have trouble keeping your Sims’ friends as friends. That’s okay. It’s not that you’re terrible. You’re just playing correctly. Most people get this bit wrong. They have their Sims reproduce and develop interesting story lines. But, you know better than that.
Step 10: Quit
Remember how much time you spent downloading custom content? You’re going to quit playing before you put in even that much time actually playing the game. You’ll pick up the game again in a few months, and hopefully you won’t have uninstalled, or you’ll have to go and download all that crap again.
Well, that’s how I play The Sims, anyway. But, if you really want to be like me, there’s a final bonus step:
Bonus Step 01: Purchasing Mistakes
First you’ll buy The Sims 2 for Windows plus expansion packs when it comes out. Then your Windows computer will die, and you’ll get a Mac laptop to replace it. You’ll buy another The Sims 2, for Mac this time, with compatible expansion packs. Then you’ll BootCamp your Mac and get Windows running on it, so when The Sims 3 comes out, you’ll buy that for Windows. You’ll play The Sims 3 for a very brief time before you realize you hate everything about it.
When you get a new Windows-based computer, you’ll decide you want to play The Sims 2 again. But you won’t be able to find your Windows version of the games you already bought. So, you’ll re-buy them. But, at least this time you’ll get some brand new expansion packs!