Trivia Time! Amazing Plumbob Facts (From Start to Sims 4)

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Author: Jovanna
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Are you up for some juicy details and fun facts about your favorite game? Well, let’s start with the plumbob, our favorite symbol of fun! Join us and read on to learn more about the most important symbol for all Sims lovers! 


What is a Plumbob?

Well, plumbob is The Sims and The Sims is the plumbob! If you are an avid Sims player, you are very familiar with this shape. If you are new to the Sims and wonder what the green, levitating crystal-like shape above your Sim’s head is called, you guessed it – it’s a plumbob.

This hexagonal bi-pyramid has been a Sims trademark for over two decades. It appears above the head of a currently played character, and you can also see it on your loading screen. Although it has a few variations, and it changes colors while you are playing, the shape was pretty much always the same. However, it underwent visual transformations with every generation of the Sims series. This gem now has 18 edges, 8 vertices and 12 isosceles triangles.

The plumbob has first appeared in 2000, and it is a key element of the Sims logo. Now, 20+ years later, it continues to be a symbol of unlimited fun.

No matter if you are new to the game or a seasoned Simmer, some game facts can always come in handy! So, if you are up for it, let’s dive into some trivia!

Why is it called a plumbob?

Plumbob wasn’t always spelled the same way. If you scrolled through forums or fan pages in the past, you might have noticed different wording: a PlumbBob (The Sims), Plum Bob, or plumbob, which is the spelling we use in the Sims 4. All refer to the same thing, it’s just that pronunciations varied throughout the years.

Now, onto the origin of the name! Did you know that a plumbob is actually a real object? A Plumb-bob is a tool used to determine vertical building measurements. This perfectly aligns with what we do in the game, since the building is a big part of the Sims. After all, we do need some precise geometry when building fabulous homes, don’t we?

Some say game creators used it as a temporary solution, but since they haven’t found better options, the plumbob stayed with us, and we fell in love with it.

What is the Purpose of a Green Crystal in sims?

 A plumbob has a few key functions in the game. The main role of this levitating crystal is to help players identify which Sim they are currently controlling. This is always the case, regardless of which version of Sims you are playing. The currently played character is the only one that has it until you switch to playing another Sim.

However, there is an exception. If your Sim is out with friends or on a date, Sims they form a group or hang around with will also get similar diamonds above their heads to help you identify who you are with. 

But, unlike the main plumbob, these are smaller, blue or gray, depending on the Sims version you are playing. Your active Sim will still have the biggest, brightest diamond in the group. Also, these Sims won’t become your controllable Sims, as the symbol is only used for identifying your group.

Besides being an indicator that helps you locate your active Sim and be certain who is it that you are playing, the levitating crystal can also track your Sim’s mood!

how to track sims’ mood?

Since their overall well-being is impacted by how fulfilled/unfulfilled they feel, colors change a few times throughout one Sims day. Depending on the series, the symbol can show three or a few more colors to indicate how they feel. These vary from green to signify that your Sim’s needs are met and they’re feeling fine, to red, which indicates they are feeling horrible.

Now, let’s see how plumbobs looked throughout Sims history:

The Sims (2000)

In the beginning of our favorite game saga, in The Sims (2000), the crystal has three colors to identify Sim’s well-being: Green (Great), White (Neutral), and Red (Horrible). Sims who are grouped with your currently played character has a special blue plumbob. The blue symbol can be used to identify the mood of those Sims, and the darker blue it gets, the better.

The Sims 2

The Sims 2 adds more layers to the plumbob to help players detect how their Sim is feeling more accurately. Compared to the three main colors in the previous game series, The Sims 2 introduces six colors. These are Green (Great), Yellowish-Green (Feeling OK), Yellow (Below Average), Orange (Not so good), and Red (Very Bad).

Besides five shades that reflect moods, the crystal can turn white, which is the best color to have and is activated when an aspiration has been fulfilled. If a Sim fulfills a lifetime aspiration, they will enter a state of pure bliss called Perma-platinum, and plumbob will remain white for a long time. 

Besides your active Sim, other Sims can have small plumbobs over their heads, too. This is possible in three instances: for employees, dates, or groups. Like in the previous series, Sims you are grouped with will have a small blue crystal. Unfortunately, this won’t give you much of an insight into other Sim’s moods, and the same applies to dating. However, you will be able to track your employees’ moods via plumbob color changes.

The Sims 3

The Sims 3 brings back three mood colors of the plumbob: Green (Great), White (Neutral), and Red (Horrible). There is a special purple one, too. It will turn purple if a Sim gets ensorcelled by a genie, in which case it will glow purple for 4 hours. Sims would say this is mind control at its finest!

the sims 4

The Sims 4 brought some unique plumbob visual innovations for different non-human Sims folks. Besides being an indicator for the mood, its look also varies depending on whether or not your Sim is a normal Sim or an occult being. There is a custom plumbob with rings for six occult life states: 

  • Alien – Has a geometric, futuristic ring around it
  • Mermaid – Has a ring with ocean waves
  • Servo – Has gear symbols
  • Spellcaster – Has wavy undefined forms
  • Vampire – Has a bat on it
  • Werewolf – Has Moon phases on it

The old function of the crystal still remains the same. There are four colors to help you track the mood: green (great mood), yellow (good mood), orange (bad), and red (miserable).

However, compared to the previous series, folks who are in a group with your Sim won’t have a tiny blue crystal. Instead, they will just have a grayish, rounder diamond to help you identify where the Sim who is with you is. You also won’t be able to keep track of others’ moods, as this symbol just shows who is in a group, not how they feel.

Do Sims know about the Plumbob?

The short answer is no. To us, a plumbob is just a handy tool that helps us stay on track with the character we are playing. To Sims, it’s a powerful force that can control their lives and minds.

Although they don’t know what we know, there were a few instances in the game series where Sims got hints about the existence of the plumbob. There is a veil of mystery surrounding the green crystal to this day. Even with Sims 4 and the advanced technology characters have an access to, they still seem to be oblivious to its existence.

However, not all are oblivious to how it works. Did you know that Doctor Hewlow from TS2 had an affair with Circe Beaker by using a special helmet to control her mind? The story goes that he discovered that the polumbob was controlling his mind, so he made a helmet that can control it, which he then could use to manipulate other Sims. He was definitely hinting at something, since we, the players are in control of everyone.

Later in Sims 3, those who gained access to the Island of Pumbob could discover an ancient relic, a painting that shows the evolution of the shape of the plumbob. The truth behind is still unrevealed.

Can you Hide a Plumbob?

If you are, by any chance, annoyed by the plumbob, especially when taking screenshots, or would like to play without it, there is a cheat that can help you with that. 

  • SIMS 4 – To activate cheats, press CTRL + SHIFT + C, or by press and holding both bumpers on the console. Once the bar appears in the upper left corner, type testingcheats true, and hit Enter. Then, open the dialogue bar again, type headlineeffects off, and press Enter. Voila, your Sim is plumbob-free! If you want it back on, just type headlineeffects on, and the legendary crystal will reappear above their head. 
  • SIMS 3 – open the cheat box by pressing CTRL + SHIFT + C, type hideheadlineeffects on to turn it off, and hideheadlineeffects off to turn it back on when you want to. This will also remove thought bubbles, so be mindful of that.
  • SIMS 2 – press CTRL + SHIFT + C to open the dialogue box, type Plumbbobtoggle, press Enter, and you won’t have to deal with the levitating crystal anymore! 

Note that turning off plumbob works for the active Sim only. Small plumbobs over other Sims’ heads, like those blue ones, will still be visible. 

Plumbob in Other Games

A plumbob is so powerful that it can not only control Sims’ minds, but it has also made its way to other games, as well. This mystical is discussed in Spore, when creatures are trying to decipher its meaning, the mysteries of the Universe and the origins of the world.

We can also see a building named Plumbob in SimCity 2013, and it is also present in SimCity 4 from 2003 where it appears above cars you take control of in the city. In FIFA 2023, players can unlock a Plumbob Pro Badge from Plumbob Pro Ultimate Bundle. It also makes an appearance in The Simpsons game, when Will Wright, the Sims creator introduces himself to the Simpsons family on a levitating plumbob.

How to Change the Color of the plumbob in sims 4?

As mentioned above, the plumbob changes colors while you play organically, depending on Sim’s mood. However, there is another, roundabout way to customize it to your liking. There is a special Default.ini file in your Sims 4 game files that allows you to edit the classic diamond and change its color. If you’d like to try it out, follow this tutorial and you’ll have a personalized version of the plumbob in a matter of minutes! 

Final Thoughts

Although it was designed to be a tool to help us manipulate characters, plumbob has grown on us. While its function didn’t change much over the years, it did get refined and looks better than ever. We hope you enjoyed the trivia! Enjoy your gaming and happy swimming!

Your Author: Hi! I'm Jovanna

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