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I have yet to see my Sims go anywhere or do anything other than things around the house or leave for work. I would expect that, based on their personality traits, they would do things. At the very least, I'd expect them to go to venues in their city. Or even more, use their attributes and plan a vacation. Are these tasks too complex for Sims, even with story progression and free will?

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Sims will never be anyplace other than home or work by their own free will, however, you can send them shopping or relaxing (spending money in the process).
The most likely reason for why they do not go places other than home or work on their own would be because doing so would cost money, which a Sim cannot manage without the player's prior consent.


Note that this answer only covers the base game of The Sims 3, and does not cover any expansions.

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  • Do any of the current expansions add this functionality? How much interaction does a Sim need when on vacation or at some other venue (for example, if I send them to a park, bar, or show venue, would they do anything there or would I need to control every action? Jul 23, 2013 at 21:33
  • @ThomasOwens Unfortunately I can't tell you that, since I don't own any of the expansions, nor have I played them :(
    – Nolonar
    Jul 24, 2013 at 6:58
  • I do not own all of them, unfortunately the game would be insanely expensive if you would. But i am 99% sure that none of the expansions will let your sims leave there property without your consent except for work.
    – Madmenyo
    Jul 29, 2013 at 8:11
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They do not, however, based on their traits they will develop wishes to go to certain places as a hint for you as to where they'd like to go, rewarding a small amount of lifetime happiness if you fulfill it.

For non-house-hold sims, Traits do have an effective on lot assignments for when it needs to generate a crowd for a lot, preferring Sims whose natural inclinations/schedules have a preference for those lots, but will select other sims (as long as their traits do not prevent that assignment at all) if the minimum threshold isn't met yet.

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