The Sims(TM) 3

The Sims(TM) 3

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World Adventures Guide
By marstinson
Hints and tips for the World Adventures expansion pack on Windows PC. Not much in the way of full-blown spoilers since those have been done elsewhere (see the "Concluding Thoughts" section for links).
World Adventures Expansion Pack
"World Adventures" is the oldest of the expansion packs for The Sims 3, released about six months after the base game. It added three new neighborhoods (and the Sims to populate them) to the game:

  • Shang Simla (China)
  • Al Simhara (Egypt)
  • Champs Les Sims (France)

It also added a few new skills (Martial Arts, Nectar Making, and Photography), some new traits (Disciplined, Photographer's Eye and Adventurous), some new Lifetime Wishes, and a ton of new stuff (clothing, furniture, architecture, etc.). There is a very thorough listing of all of this at The Sims Wiki ( if you're interested in reading it. Cruinne's Expansion Pack Guide here on Steam is also worth checking out.

As a time-suck, World Adventures takes the cake. Depending upon your playing style and goals, it can add an ungodly number of hours of additional content to your game, so is well worth picking up.

Due to the way that The Sims 3 saves game data, saves with World Adventures installed will eat up serious space on your hard drive. A couple or three hundred megabytes for your home neighborhood, plus about the same for each of the foreign neighborhoods that you visit means that diligent explorers can end up with about a gig per save (and load/travel times that run to several minutes). It's just the way the game is built and there isn't much you can do to slim it down, so keep it in mind.

Remember, please, that you can only only install content purchased from Steam onto your Steam game. If you're going to pick it up somewhere else, you will need to move your game to Origin (see my Guide for those instructions). Origin has its own set of issues, but at least recognises product keys from other vendors.

All of that being said, let's move on to seeing what there is to see and doing what there is to do.
Travelling to Exotic Locales
Once World Adventures is installed and you launch your game, your Sim(s) will have the ability to travel any of the three new neighborhoods. You can do this by selected "Travel" from interacting with a computer or by selecting Travel and Real Estate --> Travel from your phone. It will cost between one and two thousand Simoleons per person, depending upon how long you want to stay. The amount of time that you can spend in these neighborhoods depends upon your visa level:

  • Level 0 (where you start) - 3 days
  • Level 1 - 5 days
  • Level 2 - 8 days
  • Level 3 - 12 days

A Certificate of Partnership can be purchased from the Special Merchant once you have achieved Level 3 visa status. This will add three days to the length of time that you can stay, can be purchased more than once and can be transferred to another Sim in your household. So a Sim with a Level 0 Visa and a Certificate of Partnership could stay for up to six days.

The total amount of time that your household can spend in any of the neighborboods is equal to the sum of the available time of all members of your household who are travelling can spend. For example, Indiana Jones, the renowned explorer and tomb raider, might be able to travel to Egypt for the full 15 days, and his wife might only be able to travel for the basic three days, but if they travel together they can stay for 18 days, and if each has a Certificate of Partnership, that goes up to 24. This can be problematic on a tomb-raiding journey since taking two Sims into a tomb is a major headache, but for an extended jaunt to a neighborhood you've never visited just to see the sights, it can make the trip feel a bit less frenetic.

You increase your visa level by gaining visa points, which you earn by completing adventures in each neighborhood. Some of these adventures are of the "go there, get that, and bring it back to me" variety that RPG-ers will find very familiar. Others are a bit (or maybe "a lot") more involved, but basically involve a series of the go-there-and-do-that adventures and quite a bit of tomb-raiding.

While you are travelling, your Sims will not age. If they left your home neighborhood with 14 days until the next life stage, they will return with 14 days until the next life stage, regardless of the amount of time spent abroad. So if you're looking for a way to keep the Grim Reaper at bay, not being at home may be a workable strategy. Your Sims will arrive at their destination at about 8:00 in the morning with their needs about 80% full. The clock counts off one day of your visit at midnight each night. Yes, you get robbed of about 8 hours, so that 3-day visit is actually about 2.6 days. And there is no overstaying your visa. When the clock strikes midnight on the last day, kind of like Cinderella, you're whisked back to your home neighborhood regardless of what you're doing at 11:59 (no jokes about coitus interruptus, please). You will arrive on the outskirts of your home neighborhood at about the same time you left, although the status of your needs seems to be somewhat randomly determined on arrival.

All three foreign neighborhoods have some common features. First, each has a "Base Camp" where beds, toilets, showers and kitchens are available. You will share the Base Camp facilities with other Sims visiting from the other two neighborhoods. For example, you will find French and Egyptian Sims vacationing in China or Chinese and Egyptian Sims visiting in France. They are the same Sims you would encounter if you were to visit their home neighborhoods, so relationships do carry over.

Because you're sharing facilities among a lot of Sims at the Base Camp, expect toilets to clog and showers to break. There is a maintenance Sim who will make beds, clean up and take care of repairs, but you might end up having to take care of it yourself for the sake of time. Also, don't be expecting to using the same bed on consecutive nights. You might be able to set bed ownership, much like dormitories in University Life, but I have not tried this for fear of glitching the Base Camp. There is one double bed in each Base Camp (for those who travel with their significant other, I guess); the rest are twin-sized beds.

Second, each neighborhood has a market with five merchants:

  • General Goods: sells dried food, shower-in-a-can (for quick hygeine fixes), tents (for sleeping while tomb-raiding), and whatever equipment might be unique to the neighborhood. This would include things like incense holders, martical arts equipment in China or a snake-charming basket in Egypt and so forth.
  • Bookstore: sells general reading, skill books and recipes that are unique to each neighborhood (there are at least two recipes and one skill in each).
  • Food Merchant: sells prepared dishes and some ingredients.
  • Relic Merchant: sells (surprise) relics, metals, gems and the occasional key.
  • Special Merchant: does not have a regular shop and kind of wanders around and sells a variety of goods, but what's available depends upon your visa level (at visa level 0, you can't buy anything).

The four regular merchants accept Simoleons as payment, but the Special Merchant will only accept Ancient Coins (found in tombs and the like).
Cautions and Observations

OK, it's not quite immortality. For that, you need a really large stock of Fountain of Youth Elixirs or Ambrosia. But it's close enough for what we're doing here. Always remember that your Sim cannot die from normal tomb-raiding stuff. You can get scorched, shocked, soaked, frightened and a variety of other stuff that gets you some negative moodlets, but you cannot die from anything other than getting whammied with the Mummy's Curse. So of if you're in the mood to try something really dumb, go for it. The worst that will happen is that you'll get a severely negative moodlet for a few hours. But unless you're at or almost Level 10 in Martial Arts, do not go tangling with mummies, because that CAN kill you.


Your Sim's needs are partially locked while adventuring. For example, your "Fun" need doesn't drop below about 50% while you are abroad. If you are in a tomb, your "Bladder" need remains at whatever level it was at when you entered and will not drop until you exit the tomb. You will have to satisfy your other needs.

  • Hunger: you can purchase dried food (Low, Medium and High Quality) from the General Goods Merchant and can occasionally find it as random treasure. On the whole, though, it's an expensive solution. Probably a better one would be to load up on ingredients at a Grocery Store before leaving your home neighborhood. For example, a cheap Apple will fill your hunger bar about 40% and two should almost completely fill it, while a High Quality Dried Food will set you back $40 for that extra 20%. Pemican (10 Ancient Coins from the Special Merchant), is a somewhat better alternative than the Dried Food and you'll need to spend those Ancient Coins somewhere, but it's only available once you reach Visa Level 1. As noted by some in the Comments section (and I completely overlooked it), Witches can "Conjure Apple" whenever they get hungry.
  • Social: chat up the locals and tourists before you leave Base camp, or break out your cell phone and chat with someone if you're in a tomb. Takes a bit of time, but will fill the need. Sims with the "Insane" trait can always talk to themselves, I suppose.
  • Bladder: usually frozen while in a tomb, but you'll need to search out facilities otherwise. There are public toilets and sinks in the Markets. The "Iron Bladder" lifetime reward can be very helpful for this and other things if you don't mind spending the reward points.
  • Hygeine: Shower-in-a-Can completely fills this, but is an expensive option at $120 (minus any Celebrity discounts if you have "Late Night" installed). Exploring Dive Wells can also take care of this at no cost, but the trade-off is a "Soaked" negative moodlet for a couple of hours. The "Dirt Defiant" lifetime reward can help with this. At 15,000 reward points, it's fairly cheap. Witches at high enough Spellcasting level can cast the Hygeine Charm on themselves and others.
  • Energy: purchase a tent from the General Goods Merchant. It's a one-time cost that can be sold back once you have accumulated enough visa points and Ancient Coins to get the luxury version from the Special Merchant (Visa Level 3 required). There are many tombs that do not have enough space to place your tent, though. In those cases you'll either need to hoof it back to somewhere in the tomb that does have room, go back to Base Camp or find a bed (a few tombs have them). The "Meditative Trance Sleep" lifetime reward cuts the amount of time you need to spend sleeping by about 20%, but 30,000 points makes it a very pricey solution and you do still need to sleep. If you have "Supernatural" installed, the Invigorating Elixir is a Level 1 Alchemy recipe that will lock your Energy at about 30% for about 6 hours without the caffeine crash afterward. The potent version will keep you going for 24 hours, but requires higher Alchemy.
  • Fun: will not deteriorate below about 50% while you are abroad. You can always do activities that will get you the "Having a Blast" moodlet, but since "Fun" won't drop below 50% and your available time is limited, it might not be worth the effort.


Your first stop should probably be the local Market to pick up equipment. You can purchase a bicycle in China and/or a scooter in Egypt or France that will make running around the foreign neighborhood a little easier (and you'll do a lot of running if you're pursuing adventures). But if you have a vehicle in your home neighborhood, it will come with your Sim and fill the same function, so there isn't much need to purchase transportation unless you're into collecting vehicles. Besides, vehicles only run on roads and most of the running around is over trails, at least in China and Egypt.

As mentioned above, the General Goods Merchant has two different tents. Both occupy the same amount of space and the only difference is the quality of sleep that you'll get from using them. If you can afford the Medium tent, it might be worth it to avoid the lousy bed moodlet that the Small tent will sometimes cause. Once you have a Level 3 Visa and enough Ancient Coins, get the luxury version from the Special Merchant. It takes the same space as the other tents, will fill your Energy Bar faster and give you the Good Night's Sleep moodlet on top of it.

Shower-in-a-Can and Dried Food/Pemican are must-haves in my mind. I'm not big on the expense, but can't fault the utility, even in your home neighborhood.


Relationship levels with Sims in your home neighborhood will not deteriorate while you are abroad. By the same token, relationships with foreign Sims will not deteriorate while you are at home UNLESS they come to your home neighborhood as tourists (they'll appear on the lit portion of the Relationships tab if they're in town). The Sims from your home neighborhood do travel, it's possible to meet your friends from home, but you don't need to worry about hanging out with them as their relationship levels will not deteriorate while you're abroad.

Casanovas beware! It is entirely possible to chat up and get all woohooty with the Sims in each of the foreign neighborhoods. What you need to take into account is that those foreign Sims travel and will eventually meet up with the Sim(s) that you're all woohooty with in other neighborhoods, getting you branded as a "Cheater". "Don't do the crime if you can't do the time," as the saying goes.

Having babies with foreigners is possible, but has a few problems attached, mainly due to the way that the aging process is handled in foreign neighborhoods, and can seriously glitch up your game. If you're wanting to have children with foreign Sims, you'll need to invite them to your home neighborhood and then either marry them or ask them to move in with you so that the baby is born where everyone is aging normally. After that, if you want to break up with your partner, then everything should continue to function normally. Without mods, it should not be possible for your Sim to get pregnant while you are in the foreign neighborhood.
Neighborhood Issues
Each neighborhood has its own unique little set of issues. For example, the Base Camp in Egypt only has two toilets, but the doors are set for male/female, so there is really only one toilet and shower available and multiple Sims can be competing for those facilities at the same time. Also, if you choose to buy the Snake Charmer basket and you have your settings at high free will for your Sims (the default), don't be surprised when they stop whatever they're doing and start charming snakes while you thought they were doing something else. I eventually had to take it out of my Sim's inventory and stash it in order to regain some semblance of control. I'm guessing that the item "advertises" a fairly high "Fun" rating.

In China, in order to complete the "Knowledge of the Past" adventure, you will need to reach at least Level 5 in Martial Arts (required to be able to Meditate) and you must complete one ranked match challenge. Calling the next ranked challenger can take a while as they travel across the map to get to you, and they will bring their entire family with them (spectators providing the home court advantate, perhaps?), and thus increasing competition for the single toilet on the premises. I've honestly watched mulriple Sims pee themselves while waiting to get to it (I dutifully mopped the puddles). The moral of the story is to see to your own needs before issuing any challenges.

On the subject of Ranked Sparring Match challenges, the challenge DOES NOT need to be issued from the Martial Arts Academy. You can issue the challenge from just about anywhere in China (I haven't tried from inside a tomb). If you have a vacation home and issue the challenge from there, your opponent treats the call as if you invited them over, so they might not leave for several hours. Also, you usually have to greet your opponent before you can start the challenge match. The type of greeting is irrelevant unless you're concerned about your relationship with them, but you will almost always have to greet them before the option to start the match appears.


Although you can complete the neighborhoods in any order that you want (or mix-n-match, if that's your thing), it would probably be best to start with China. There are a couple of good reasons for this:

  • You will need to be able to clear boulders, which requires that you obtain Pangu's Axe (a fairly short adventure series), which is in China. As an added bonus, having it will save you a lot of time on clearing away rubble piles, so it should probably be your first major objective. Look for the adventure notice that starts with "Confounded boulder!" at the Adventure Board in the Base Camp. The Axe can be transferred to another household member's inventory, but see the next section about why you should be flying solo.
  • China is where you can buy the training equipment for the Martial Arts skill. You'll have to master this skill (Level 10) to complete the "Knowledge of the Past" adventure series, so the training dummy and/or board breaker should be priority purchases on your first trip. Once you're at Level 10, you can fight mummies with a good chance of defeating them consistently. If you'd rather run, you can distract them with Mummy Snacks (purchased from the Special Merchant) while you do whatever it is that you're trying to do. Rather than fighting or distracting mummies, I am given to understand that there is a work-around involving the Inventing skill and making a time machine so that mummification is never developed, but I haven't tried it. Easier to just open the big ol' can of whupass on 'em.

General Adventuring
The first thing to keep in mind is that you should plan adventures around a single Sim. While it's possible to travel as a group, this is a major pain if you're there to complete adventures rather than just see the sights. About the only legitimate reason I can think of to spend significant time abroad as a group is if everyone has something to do at that location. For example, two Sims might have wishes related to Marial Arts challenge matches, so they could both go to China to do that without much of a problem. But the availability of regular adventures is not going to work well with multiple Sims. Flying solo is about the only way to go.

Unlike RPGs and MMORPGs, tombs do not reset in the traditional sense. Some loot will respawn, but once a door has been opened, it remains opened. Once a trap has been disarmed, it remains disarmed. And once a story-related opportunity has been completed, it remains completed. There are a couple of repeatable "fetch" missions in each neighborhood, though, so subsequent visitors are not completely locked out of visa points. In short, the first Sim through gets the easy visa points and subsequent Sims will spend a lot of time and effort grinding for them.

This is not to say that completed tombs cannot be explored by a second Sim, because they can. Basically the second Sim just starts at the entrance and walks through the tomb until they get to last room, where they'll get the completion message (and the 1,500 reward points if you promised them that wish). They can also collect any respawned loot as they go. But promises about secret doors and disarming traps are kind of useless if your first Sim was throrough.

UPDATE: you can completely reset a foreign neighborhood by deleting the .nhd file in the save folder. This will reset the neighborhood to its initial state and it will remove all relationships with foreign Sims from that neighborhood, so it's a bit drastic. But if you'd like another household member to explore and gain visa levels, it should work.

Required Skills

  • Martial Arts: as mentioned earlier, it's the simplest method of dealing with mummies. Also, with Meditation (Level 5), you can teleport short distances within a tomb, which can let you bypass some obstacles.
  • Charisma: you'll need to convince a few locals in order to complete some of the quests. For the most part, you don't have to become Friends with them, but you've got to get a significant chunk of the way to being Friends before you can do what you need to do. And since your adventure time is limited, anything that saves time is good.
  • Athletic: really handy for the things you need to be able to do inside a tomb (see "Traits" below)
  • Alchemy (requires "Supernatural"): the Invogorating Elixir can be really handy and doesn't require anything more than Level 1 Alchemy skill and Wolfsbane. A stack of elixirs moots the whole "can't find room for my tent" problem. I have had my Sim stuck in the middle of a series of Dive Wells where there was no room to set up a tent, and he was too tired to press onward or go backward. One of those elixirs would have fixed the problem (I ended up having to load a save to get through it).

Useful Traits

  • Adventurous: lets you accumulate visa points a bit faster than otherwise and the amount of time you have to spend in your home neighborhood before being able to travel again is only two days.
  • Athletic: definitely a plus for dragging all of those statues around and clearing rubble piles (assuming that you didn't get Pangu's Axe). The ability to "Jog here" can sometimes get you across a trap that you aren't able to disarm or find the disarming trigger for.
  • Brave: you aren't afraid of anything. Stuck your hand into a hole and pulled out a bunch of bugs? It happens a lot and results in a freak-out and negative moodlet for other Sims (probably worse for "Cowardly"), but "Meh!" for Sims with the "Brave" trait. Same thing with accidentally setting off traps. Other Sims won't go near them for a few hours, but Brave Sims just keep right on truckin'. I've seen "Brave" Sims actually try to start conversations with mummies (even got the "we have so much in common" message just before the fight started).
  • Daredevil: useful for around fire traps. Daredevils get the "Singed" moodlet a lot less often than others.

You should plan on spending about $2,000 while you're in the foreign neighborhood. It's not necessary to take that amount with you because you'll be picking up money bags and relics as you explore tombs, which can be sold off for cash. But $2,000 is a good rule of thumb with enough of a fudge-factor that you shouldn't be running short of funds.

Second, make sure that you're properly equipped (tent, food, shower-in-a-can, etc.) before you start any adventures. The Invigorating Elixir can negate the need for a tent, but you'll lose out on all of those "Sleep in a Tomb" wishes if you do it that way (300 reward points each can add up to a lot of points over a few days). Shower-in-a-can will not only completely fill the Hygeine need, but will also put you out if you're on fire. Being on fire uses a couple or three of them, though, so it's best to avoid it.

If you get your visa level up to Level 3, you have the option of purchasing a vacation home in the foreign neighborhood. Like your home neighborhood, there are both empty lots and finished homes available for purchase. When you first arrive, you'll be asked where you want "home" to be for this trip (if you have no vacation home, then Base Camp is home). You're welcome to specify Base Camp and then visit the vacation home if you want (kind of like owning multiple properties in your home neighborhood). I rather like the vacation home so that I won't have to settle for cruddy facilities, but I'm a bit of a snob in that regard.

Be aware that some of the vacation homes weren't well designed. I've come across bathrooms that had no doors, kitchens that could not be reached from inside the house, poorly placed furniture and all that. If you're going to purchase one, give it a good going over in Buy/Build mode to make sure everything is working correctly.

Third, keep in mind that none of the foreign opportunities or tomb puzzles are exceptionally difficult. The game's intended audience includes younger folks, so they are relatively simple to solve, but may involve multiple steps. Also, aside from a Mummy's Curse, there's nothing in here that will kill you. As long as you're prepared and don't starve, you might end up wasting some time, but will otherwise be OK.

In many tomb adventures, your goal is to retrieve a particular object (which is usually returned to the Sim who sent you). This may or may not be the same as "completely explore a tomb," which pops up frequently as a wish. These wishes are worth about 1,500 reward points and should not be passed up lightly. So if you've retrieved your goody, but haven't satisfied the wish, there's still more to find in that tomb.

There will be some opportunities that cannot be completed in the foreign neighborhood in a single trip (at least not without some complications). For example, there are opportunities in China that require you to go pick up something in France, so you cut your trip short, spend the cooldown time in the home neighborhood, get the doohicky in France, go home for a few more days and then finally complete the opportunity by returning to China.
Concluding Thoughts
World Adventures can be a tremendous amount of fun and a great addition to your game. It has its issues, but once you understand them, it's fairly simple to work around them.

A couple of specific items in closing are probably in order. First, I do not recommend purchasing Skeleton Keys from the Special Merchant. These keys open doors and chests that require a shaped-keystone (Crescent, Heart, Star, etc.) when you do not have the proper keystone in your inventory. Skeleton keys will not work where named-keystones are required (they look like keys) and a lot of players, based on the item description, seem to expect that they will. Also, if you have the proper shaped-keystone in your inventory, you cannot use a Skeleton Key in its place. When you couple this with the fact that Skeleton Keys cannot be moved out of your inventory, they honestly just create a lot of unnecessary inventory clutter.

Remember, too, that the tombs and puzzles are supposed to be fairly easy to solve. If you need a shaped-keystone and don't have one, then the odds are very good that you haven't searched the area as thoroughly as you should. My current Sim is toting around four or five Crescent keystones, a couple or three Stars and a Heart because she wanted to get rid of the Skeleton Keys she had purchased before figuring this out. I'm sure they will get used up eventually, but at least they can be dropped into storage chests in her home neighborhood.

On the subject of storage chests, I do recommend purchasing them from the General Goods merchant. They'll be added to your family inventory upon purchase, but are wonderfully handy for keeping stuff sorted. I currently have seven: one for seeds, one for harvested plants (food just goes in the fridge), one for metals and rocks, one for gems, one for insects and butterflies, one for relics and collectables and one to hold my adventuring gear. Since one of my Sims does Alchemy and Gardening, the ability to store by type is exceptionally nice. Other players may not find it so useful.

And in closing, if you have read this far, you'll note that I have not done any significant walkthroughs for the adventures. The major reason for this is that there are already good ones out there and I don't feel like massively duplicating others' work. I can recommend some sites with pretty comprehensive walkthroughs of each of the neighborhoods:

Games Radar:

Carl's Sims 3 Guide[] is very thorough and, of course, there is always The Sims 3 Wiki[].

I hope that what I've provided in here has been useful to you. Feel free to comment because I do answer and remember that the goal is to have a good time with your game. Happy gaming!
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carlystur Dec 29, 2017 @ 3:24pm 
Just want to comment about the dying in tombs thing. You can also die if you catch on fire from getting caught in a fire trap without any ability to put yourself out (such as the Dive Wells or Shower-In-A-Can).
Jacket19xx Jun 27, 2017 @ 4:50pm 
Thanks for writing this. It told me a lot that will be useful for when I play WA soon.
marstinson  [author] Jun 27, 2017 @ 4:07pm 
Just noticed that @IQ and @robertanderson9 provided a tip that I had overlooked. I can only plead shortsightedness on my part for not including that in the first place and real life crises in July 2016 caused me to not respond until I went back to see if there was anything in here that needed updating. There was and thanks to you two for point it out.
Charles Graham Jul 25, 2016 @ 12:43pm 
yeah i just summond apples & used elixers to get through i have a gardener in my sim family so wolfsbane is everywhere i take 10-15 elixers with me GG
Draonslayr10 Jul 4, 2016 @ 9:50pm 
Being a witch and summoning apples will help with the food problem
BagelBalls May 5, 2015 @ 7:28pm 
marstinson  [author] May 5, 2015 @ 7:06pm 
It may go up on the Steam Summer Sale and likely will go on sale on Origin near the same time. I picked up my copy on Steam (definitely less than $10 and probably closer to $5).
BagelBalls May 4, 2015 @ 4:49pm 
I read everything...THX.. planning to buy the pack sonner or later.