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How to Create a Waterfall

how to create a waterfall Sims 3

Creating a waterfall in The Sims 3 can be a challenge, but the view they add to a property makes the time and effort well worthwhile.

Step 1

First of all, I like to start with a level lot. Open the build menu and select the shovel icon/terrain tool. Level the entire lot, including the land beneath the mailbox and trashcan. If you choose, paint the lot with ground cover.

(I like to play with a waterfall that obeys the natural laws of gravity, i.e. water flows down, not to the side or up. At this point, I build a small pond, just to look at the water in motion. I make note of which direction the water’s current is flowing, in order to build the waterfall with that orientation in mind. I then delete the “test” pond and begin to create my actual waterfall.)

start with a level lot

Step 2

Next, open the raise terrain tool and use it to create your hummocks, hills and mountains. This is when you decide where you would like your waterfall to be placed, and the way in which the height of the lot will look in general during play.

raise the terrain

Step 3

Open the soften terrain tool and smooth out any sharp corners on your hills, try to make them look weather-worn and natural.

smooth out sharp corners

Step 4

Now it’s time to add the water. Open the water tool and place a pond at the bottom of your hills. Think of real ponds. Try to avoid too many sharp corners.

Add the water to Sims 3 waterfall

Step 5

The key is to make sure that wherever you decide to place the waterfall, the “base” of the waterfall is where the pond is the deepest.

the base of the waterfall is where the pond is the deepest

Step 6

Return to the build menu and purchase one or two columns. (I find that more than a couple of columns can be difficult to find and retrieve later.)

add columns

Step 7

Simultaneously press and hold the Control, Shift, C keys to open the cheat menu and type: moveobjects on Pick up one of the columns and place it in the water at the “bottom” of the waterfall. The land will fall away to reveal water. Just remember: Always turn off the cheat code before exiting the lot.

move columns with cheat code


Step 8

You can also hold down the Alt key for more precise control during the positioning of your columns.

position the columns

Step 9

As the columns are placed, more water will appear to “cascade” down the slopes. Don’t worry if there is a bit of land exposed at the bottom of the waterfall. That can be camouflaged later.

build waterfall in Sims 3

Step 10

Continue to place your columns until you have a waterfall you’re happy with.

move columns until happy with waterfall placement

Be patient. Don’t rush. Take the time to be “picky.”

Step 11

Retrieve the columns and delete them.

delete the columns

Step 12

Open the paint terrain tool and use it to paint the bottom of the pond, sides of the cliffs and the shoreline, if you wish.

paint the bottom of the pond

Step 13

The only thing the waterfall needs now is a bit of flora and other natural elements added. Open the landscaping/rocks tool and cover any jagged spikes at the base of the waterfall with rocks.

add rocks to waterfall

Step 14

Using different sizes of rocks, and varying their rotation, hide the vertical terrain at the top of the waterfall.

use rocks to hide vertical terrain

Step 15

Stack the rocks however you like, even overlap them.

overlap the rocks

Step 16

Stagger their height, color, shape, and angle. Be creative and have some fun with it.

stagger the rocks

Step 17

Zoom in often and make sure you don’t have any empty holes, if so, use more rocks to fill them in.

fill in empty holes

Step 18

Add plants and flowers, if desired.

add plants and flowers to waterfall

Step 19

Perhaps a tree or two…

add happy trees

Optional step

For an extra touch/Easter egg, only seen in build/buy mode, I open the buy menu and purchase a sprinkler or two. I then place them at the base of the waterfall, where the spray would normally occur in nature. (I suppose if you have a tinkering Sim to automate them prior to submersion, the sprinklers would go off on their own every night.)

add sprinklers to waterfall

Step 20 – Final

Now that your waterfall is complete, it’s time to turn off the cheat code. Simultaneously press and hold the Control, Shift, C keys and type: moveobjects off

Build your home or whatever you like on the lot at this point. When finishing off the property, be careful. I built a property called Kahana Falls. It was intended to have second story balconies reaching out over the waterfalls.

When I tried to extend those balconies out over the water, the waterfall, well, it back-flowed into the home and flooded the entire first story of the house. It was funny, but completely unplayable. On that note: SAVE. SAVE OFTEN. Overhanging balconies and such can be built. They just require advance planning. Build everything on the lot that you want (hills, pond, houses, etc.), saving your waterfall until last.

finished waterfall in Sims 3

End result

In closing, I wish you much enjoyment creating these lovely aquatic features!

how to build a waterfall in Sims 3

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