The Sims 3 Lot Types & Placing Community Lots

Part 2: Editing Your Town and Lot Types

by Norma Blackburn

Previous: Sims 3 Edit Mode Tutorial

Editing your town can be as simple as adding a few empty blocks to build more houses and adding community buildings that were added in an expansion pack, but have not automatically been placed in your town, or it can be as drastic as demolishing everything in town and rebuilding from scratch. Adding lots is quite straight forward, so instead, let’s assume that you want to remove everything completely and rebuild.

An interesting thing to note is the game will automatically repopulate your town. As you build more houses, Sims will move into some of them (the game will always leave some empty) and there will be Sims to fill positions as clerks and such in shops, even if there are no houses for them to live in.

Once you have demolished all the buildings and lots, you can start rebuilding by placing lots where you want.

What community lots you have in your town is entirely up to you, just remember that some lots are required for certain careers. For example, without a hospital, your sim will not be able to join the medical profession.

By default, any lot you place using the world Editor will be a residential lot. If you intend it to be a community lot, you need to change it. There are quite a number of different lot types to pick from and it can be a little confusing. Let’s have a look at what they all mean. Most are self explanatory; others could do with a little clarification. We’ll also have a look at what the different lots need when building your own.

Let’s start with non-rabbit hole community lots that you can build yourself. Later we’ll look at a work around way to build your own rabbit hole lots.

When you go to change a lot type and select community lot, you will be urged to select what type from a drop down menu . If you have all the available expansion packs installed (at the time of writing, the latest EP is Pets) you will have all of the following choices. Otherwise, your available choices will be dependent on what EP’s you have installed.

Setting the lot type will determine a number of things like the type of Sim you are likely to meet there plus the number of visitors and the times that Sims will visit. For example, you are more likely to find night time visitors at a Lounge than at the local park, and you will get more visitors to a big park than you would at a small park. Some lot types will also be unattractive to certain Sims which means it will be unlikely to see them there. An example of this is a hangout that will have a lot of visitors is not the place to go if you are looking for a Sim with the loner trait. Lot type also determines if babies and toddlers can visit as well as if the venue can be used for parties.

Understanding what type of Sim will visit certain community lots will help you decide what lots you want, or don’t want in your town. These guidelines are just that, guidelines. Even though a lot might be unattractive to a shy Sim, that doesn’t mean you will never see a shy Sim there, it just means that shy Sims are less likely to visit.

When building your own community lots, all you need do is assign a lot type and the game will recognise that lot. For example, you can have a lot in the middle of a town with no water on it and assign it as a beach lot. The game will treat it as such and give it the beach icon even though it is not really a beach. You can decorate and furnish your lots however you like, but obviously some lots will look better with certain things. A few lots require certain items to actually function correctly. Well look at what lots require specific items as we go through them all.

Sims 3 Base Game Community Lots

This section mentions several different cheats. To learn more about them, head to our cheats page. There do a control + F and look for information on buydebug and moveobjects on. To access the console and enable these cheats, press Control + Shift + C

Note on Lot Bonuses: It is not what is built on it, but what a lot’s type is set to that determines moodlets given while on the lot. For example, a lot flagged for a park but with a house built there would get a beautiful park moodlet.

Small Park: Parks attract Sims who are anglers or have a green thumb as well as those who love the outdoors. Sims in the professional sports career and those with athletic skill will also be attracted to parks. Sims who hate the outdoors will most likely avoid parks. You can throw a party at a small park. Small parks give a +15 Beautiful Park Moodlet while Sims are visiting.

Big Park: A large park is the same as a small park except that a large park will attract more visitors. You can throw a party at a large park. Similar to above, +15 Beautiful Park Moodlet.

Graveyard: You will generally not find Sims who hate the outdoors at a graveyard. To build your own graveyard, you will of course need headstones. These can be found in buydebug > misc. These headstones, however will not produce ghosts. If you want ghosts to appear from the graves, you will either have to move the headstones of Sims who die in your game to the graveyard or using testing cheats, you can kill off a few Sims to add their headstones to the graveyard. Creepy Graveyard moodlets appear at night, taking down mood by -5. Brave Sims are immune.

Pool: Sims with the athletic skill or trait as well as professional sports Sims will visit pools. Sims who hate the outdoors will avoid them. You can hold a party at a pool.

Library: The quiet atmosphere of the library will attract bookworms, geniuses, computer whizzes and Sims with no sense of humour and those who hate the outdoors. You will also find journalists and those with the writing skill. Couch potatoes will probably avoid the library. You will want to have bookcases in the library, and any can be placed there, but if you want Sims to be able to read skill books, you will need at least one of the following bookcases. The Book Coral, The Sturdy Gurdy Bookshelf (came with Pets), The Tower of Much Knowledge (a store item) or the Penningway Bookshelf. Sims at the Library will gain a “Power Study” moodlet which makes gaining skills faster.

A Screenshot of The Sims 3 Edit Town Mode

Gym: Naturally, the gym will attract athletic Sims and those in the professional sports career but not couch potatoes. Daredevil Sims will also be attracted to it.

Art Gallery: Artistic Sims and those with the painting skill will visit art galleries where those who can’t stand art will stay away from them. You can have a party at an art gallery.

Fishing Spot: Fishing spots attract Sims with the angler trait or fishing skill. Sims who hate the outdoors will avoid them. You can host a party at a fishing spot. If you want to build a fishing spot you will need to create a pond on the lot and add fish spawners. These can be found in BuyDebug > fish spawners.

Note: Because lots cannot be placed over water (you need to do that in CAW) your fishing spots will have to be pond based fishing.

Beach: Athletic Sims and those who love the outdoors will visit beaches. Sims in the professional sports career will also visit beaches, while Sims who hate the outdoors will avoid them. You can have a party at a beach.

Visitors Allowed: Used for general community lots that don’t fall into any of the available choices. Visitors allowed means that Sims not in your control will visit the lot.

No Visitors Allowed: Another general community lot type. This one is for lots that you don’t want random Sims visiting. An example would be if you build an abandoned house, you would not make it a residential lot as eventually someone would move into through story progression, but if you make it a community lot, you don’t want lots of Sims visiting it.

The Sims 3 World Adventures community lots

Academy: Athletic Sims will enjoy being there, couch potatoes will not. Although this lot is originally in Shang Simla in China, you can build one in any town. To get the training dummies and board breakers, you will need to go to BuyDebug > misc.

Nectary: Sims with the charisma skill are attracted to the Nectary but couch potato Sims will stay away. A Nectary requires a nectar register -Build > Community Objects > Misc Objects. You will also want to place some nectar racks – Buy > Storage > Misc. To stock the racks with nectar that can be sampled or purchased, enable testingcheats and Ctrl + Shift + click on the rack. Select either Make Buyable or Make Tasteable. An interesting note, is that you can place nectar racks like this on any lot. A nectar making machine is a good addition to your nectar but is not necessary. You will find the nectar maker in BuyDebug > misc. This lot can be built in your home town and is not restricted to Champs Les Sims.

Chinese Garden: A lot assigned as a Chinese Garden will provide the Zen moodlet. Sims with the martial arts skills are attracted to a Chinese Garden where couch potatoes are not. Being at the Chinese Garden will give a +20 Zen Moodlet. This reportedly helps Sims to raise skills faster.

The Sims 3 World Adventure Location Lots

When you enter any of the World Adventure destinations in Edit Town, you can add any of the usual lot types as well as community lots that are only available in these destinations. Note that you can only delete and edit some of the community lots in these destinations as others are linked to in game adventures. If you try to delete or edit any of those, you will be told that you need a cheat (which I am unaware of) to unlock it for editing.

Base Camp: Although you have the option of a base camp in the choices of lot type, there can only be one base camp, so you will be told you cannot make another unless the original is changed to another lot type. To get past this use the testingcheats enabled true cheat followed by typing EnableLotLocking on, and you can now edit the original or make a new base camp.

Market: The market is an interesting lot that allows multiple shops on one lot. Just add whatever registers you want. All the registers – books, relics, food and general store can be found in Build > Community Objects > Misc. You can also add a Nectary register if you want. You can have as many or as few as you want, each will generate a clerk to work there.

Small Market: I’m not sure what the difference is between a market and a small market, but I would hazard a guess in that a small market might not attract as many visitors as the normal market.

Landmark Tomb: I haven’t had a lot of experience with tomb building (OK, I have no experience with tomb building), but I guess that with this type of lot, you could build a tomb for other visitors to explore.

As well as the four community lots available in WA locations, you also have two choices for residential lots built in WA destinations.

Non-Player Sims Only: Lots set to this will only be available for local Sims to move into.

Ownable Lot: These are lots that your Sim will be able to buy as a holiday home.

The Sims 3 Ambitions Community Lots

Consignment Store: The consignment store is where Sims can buy and sell things. To build your own consignment store, it must contain a consignment register which will generate a clerk to work there -Build > Community Objects > Misc Objects

Laundromat: Don’t go to the Laundromat if you are looking for slob Sims, you will however find neat Sims there.

Salon: The salon items – The Styling Station, Digital Tattoo Applicator and the Ink In Comfort 3000 can all be purchased in normal buy mode under entertainment.

Fire Station: To build your own fire station, you will need a few items. A large parking space for the fire truck – buy > vehicles. Of course you will need a fire truck. To get one of these, you use buydebug > misc. You will also need at least one alarm – build > community objects > misc. As NPC fire fighters will live at the station, you will also need beds, a kitchen (stoves can be placed, but they cannot be used), bathroom facilities and some form of entertainment.

Junkyard: The junkyard attracts Sims with skills such as handiness, inventing, logic and collecting. To build your own, you will need junkpiles which you can find in BuyDebug > misc. The little piles of scrap are in there too and the spawners for the random furniture and stuff can be found in BuyDebug > Rock/Gem/Metal Spawners.

Junkyard with no Visitors: The junkyard with no visitors is good if you don’t want the locals hanging out there.

Hangout: Hangouts are places for people who love being with others. You will most likely find charismatic Sims there along with Sims with traits like party animal, excitable and childish. You probably won’t find a Loner Sim there.

The Sims 3 Late Night Community Lots

All of the Late Night bars, lounges and clubs are quite similar. The difference being the type of Sim they attract and the celebrities you are likely to find there. They all can be used to host a party. The main items for any of these venues are the bars which can be found in Buy > Entertainment. Be sure to get the professional ones as they will automatically produce a mixologist to man them. Dance floors can also be found in the Entertainment section of Buy and the rope barriers can be found in Build > Community Objects > Misc.

Sportsbar: The sports bar is the place to find athletic, daredevil Sims, as well as those who love the outdoors, party animals, vampires and those in the professional sports career. You won’t find bookworms, cowards, snob, loners or those who are shy or hate the outdoors.

Local Watering Hole: Brave, hot headed Sims as well as slobs, party animal and vampires are the type attracted to the local watering hole. You won’t find shy, perfectionist or loner Sims or cowards and snobs.

Dive Bar: Look to the dive bar if you are looking for athletic, daredevil Sims as well as party animals and those who love the outdoors. You may even find Sims in the criminal career. Sims you won’t find here are snobs, bookworms, cowards, loners and those that are shy or hate the outdoors.

Fusion Lounge: The fusion lounge is a meeting place for dramatic, excitable Sims and party animals. You will also find those with charisma and martial arts skill. It is not the place to find bookworms, cowards, loners or shy or neurotic Sims.

Vampire Lounge: Visited by a variety of Sims including Dramatic, Evil, Flirty, Artistic, Virtuoso, Loners, Snobs, Hopeless Romantics, those with the charisma skill and of course Vampires. However, don’t look for Slobs, Cowards, Couch Potatoes or the Neurotic as they will not visit.

Exclusive Lounge: Expect to see Sims with Star Quality at an exclusive lounge as well as snobs, schmoozers, dramatic, charismatic and ambitious Sims as well as those in the film career. You won’t see evil, frugal, loner, neurotic, over emotional Sims or slobs.

Dance Club: Athletic. Daredevil and party animal Sims as well as those in the music career will enjoy the dance club. Bookworms, cowards, snobs, loner and the shy will not.

Poolside Club: Party animal Sims as well as athletic Sims and those who love the outdoors will visit a poolside club, but don’t expect to see many bookworms, cowards and snobs. Sims who hate the outdoors, or are shy or hydrophobic will also avoid visiting.

Disco Club: Athletic. Daredevil and party animal Sims will enjoy the dance club. Bookworms, cowards, snobs, loner and the shy will not.

The Sims 3 Pets community lots

Horse Ranch: Sims attracted to it will have traits like loves the outdoors, equestrian and animal lover or be a horseman/woman. Sims with riding, jumping and racing skill will also frequent the ranch. Sims who hate the outdoors will not go there. You can hold a party at a horse ranch.

Dog Park: Animal lovers, dog people and those who love the outdoors will visit the dog park. This is another venue where those who hate the outdoors will not visit.

Cat Jungle: The cat jungle will be frequented by animal lovers, cat people and those who love the outdoors. Those who hate the outdoors will not go there.

Pet Store: Animal lovers of all kinds will be attracted to the pet store. To build a pet store, you need a pet store register. This is only available if you downloaded the pet store that came with the limited edition of Pets and can be found in Build > Community Objects > Misc.

Equestrian Centre: I’m not sure why we have the ability to change a lot type to Equestrian Centre. When you do so, it does nothing when your Sim visits and comes up as an ordinary community lot in map view. The equestrian centre is a rabbit hole, and as such can be placed on a plain community lot without the need to change it to equestrian centre.

Rabbit Holes

Rabbit holes are made differently than other lots. They have built in coding that allows our Sims to go and work or do other things there. Because of this they are a little bit harder to change when editing your town, but there is a work around that can be used so you can modify the look of these venues to match how you want your town to look. This will work with all rabbit holes with the exception of the equestrian centre. Horses cannot use stairs and because the workaround involves stairs, it just doesn’t work. This method is by no means ideal and sometimes the game is reluctant to co-operate with what you want to do. Have a play and experiment and see what you can or can’t do in your game. Rabbit hole map icons will overwrite any regular map tag, although the buildings can still be used when clicking the rabbit hole icon.

We’ll use the bookstore as an example, but any venue will work.

Start with your empty community lot where you intend to build your new book store. I usually set it as no visitors allowed. That way you don’t end up with lots of town folk just hanging around. Of course, you may want that, in which case, set it as visitors allowed.

Next up build your new bookshop and add a basement with some stairs up. The size of the basement needed will vary. Some people have said only a tiny basement is needed, but I’ve found sometimes you need it to be bigger.

A Screenshot of The Sims 3 Edit Town Mode

Let’s add some bookshelves to make it look like a bookshop. We’ll add them in front of the stairs to hide them and a couple to hide the fact that most of the shop is just an empty shell.

A Screenshot of The Sims 3 Edit Town Mode

Now we need to activate the moveobjects cheat and go down into the basement. Go to Build > Community Objects > Buildings and select one of the bookstores. Place that in your basement. Ideally you will want the door near the bottom of the stairs but it is not essential. Note that the whole building does not have to be in the basement, it can extend out of the basement and even off the lot. What is important is that the door that Sims enters the building through is in the basement. A few rabbit holes have a second door that Sims will exit through (mainly the business towers and Hogan’s diner). This door will also have to be in the basement and a path from it to the stairs (or even a second staircase) will be needed. Now this may look strange and too tall for the basement, but don’t worry, once you go up a level, you won’t see it. In this picture, you can see the bookshop in the basement near the stairs. Note that this basement is actually larger than the original one. My game decided at that point to be ornery and not let me place the shop in the small basement. This happens from time to time (I presume it happens to other people too lol) and when it does, you just need to take a different approach.

A Screenshot of The Sims 3 Edit Town Mode

Now when you go to map view in live mode, your new bookshop will have the book store icon. It will also be called whatever the book shop you placed was called. In Town mode, when your Sim clicks on it, it will say visit lot, to fix this (and you could have done this earlier when you changed the lot type) go to edit town again and click on the lot. Select Edit Details and type in the name you want it to be known as (for this exercise I’m calling it Little Book Shop) or you could name it the same as the original bookstore. Save that and now, when your Sim clicks on the icon it will say visit Little Book Shop.

A Screenshot of The Sims 3 Edit Town Mode

When you direct your Sim to go to the bookstore, they will enter the new building, go down the stairs and enter the true rabbit hole. Once inside, you will get the usual choices of actions. When they come out of the rabbit hole, they may just hang around in the basement, so you might need to just tell them to come back upstairs and outside.

These images show how buildings in the basement can overlap. The first shows neighbouring lots with stairs going down to a basement. The next two show the basements of both lots and where I have placed the rabbit hole buildings.

A Screenshot of The Sims 3 Edit Town Mode

These two show the basement of each. You can see that both buildings extend over onto the land between the lots and even onto the other lot.

A Screenshot of The Sims 3 Edit Town Mode

There is, however, a catch to lots overlapping like this. The empty lots must be placed before you add any rabbit holes that might extend over the boundaries. In this picture, you can see I have deleted the middle lot which was the one with the rabbit hole extending to the right. The Lot on the right is the one with the large rabbit hole building that extended to the left. Now I cannot place a lot in the empty space because it can’t place it over another lot. You can plan in advance where you are going to have things and place lots accordingly, or if you come across this problem, you could just delete the rabbit hole, place the neighbouring lot and then replace the rabbit hole.

A Screenshot of The Sims 3 Edit Town Mode

I do hope this has been helpful in providing you with information on editing your towns in The Sims 3 to suit your own needs.

Previous: Sims 3 Edit Mode Tutorial
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