Virtual Families Cheats & Tips
The day/night cycle is the single most crucial aspect of the game. Virtual Families plays out in real-time, meaning life will go on in your house even when your close the game or turn your computer off. The game also mimics your own day/night cycle. If you open the game at 8pm for instance, it will be dark outside of your family’s home. More importantly, your virtual people need their sleep at night! Literally.
If you do not close your game at night your little persons will be constantly exhausted and will not want to work. You won’t be able to play much with them. For the best game experience, you should close the game for roughly 8 consecutive hours. Do not pause your game. Do not check on you’re family while they are sleeping because they won’t be able to fully rest.
If you respect their routine, your family members should be energetic all day long. However, they tend to get tired as the evening progresses, and they won’t want to work that much. If you play only in the evenings and at night, you have the option of switching day and night (options menu of the main menu screen). We strongly recommend you try it, otherwise you might find your family tired all the time when you play. If you open your game at 5pm, will be 5am for your virtual family and they will be full energy. You should let them sleep during the day though.
Another option is to create several families and have them on different day/night cycles. You’ll then be able to play with your “day families” during the day, and with the others in the evenings.
Tip: When your start a new game, your adoptee will not be fully rested, so they could get tired quickly. Don’t get discouraged. If you make them sleep by closing the game for the night, they will find them energized and running around the house the next morning.
Other general tips
Exploring the house for the first time : there are a number of areas your virtual person can interact with. Just pick the person up and carry them around the house and yard. When he sees an area of interest, you will be told what is in the dark blue bar at the bottom of the screen. Note that all areas of interest will not be necessarily be pointed out to you though. If you drop your person on these areas, that may trigger actions and behaviors. Feel free to explore! You will also encounter puzzles, some of which you won’t be able to solve until later. That often explains why your persons say they are “confused”. (Puzzles spoilers below).
Pausing the game: do not pause the game unless you are going away for two days or more. Your people will be fine even if you check on them only once a day. They will continue to make money and thrive as long as there is food in the fridge. Pausing would also prevent your family members from sleeping and replenishing their energy.
Playing with several families at the time: you have to wait before an action has been completed before you switch between game slots, including making a baby. Otherwise it will not be completed. If you’re switching while your family is eating for instance, you will find that their fed bar didn’t go up when you come back to check on them.
Picking your first adoptee
You are now ready to start your first family, repair and upgrade your house, and then pass it on to a new generation. You’ll be presented with several adoption candidates. Note that when you reject one, you won’t be able to see them again.
Age: the adoption candidates will typically be between 24 and 29 years of age.
Profession: each adoptee already has a job. It could be a cooking, office or workshop-related job. Jobs have different starting salaries, almost all of them ranging from $15 to $105/day. Some will be already at level 2 in their career (novice). Your adoption candidate also has some money in the bank, typically from $50 to $190.
A person’s salary will go up as they get work and get promoted. You should also know that jobs have different pay curves though and some might even evolve in unexpected ways.
If you creating your very first family, you may want to pick an adoptee that has a decent starting salary, such as $60 per day and over $100 in the bank. That way you will not be too tight on money. Later in the game, you should consider the lower paying jobs, as some of them end up with the highest salaries down the road.
Desire to have kids: the adoption candidates differ in their desire to have children. Here’s how adoptee could feel about children:
It is very important to understand that people who do not want children can still have them. One of our “not really” couples had four while our “would be nice” couple had only 1. These desires are more of an indication of how happy the parents will get when they have children (or how unhappy they will be if they don’t). It’s also more relevant to matchmaking later on.
Likes & dislikes: Most do not have a big impact in the game, either positively nor negatively, so don’t worry too much about them. For instance, a person who disliked plants would happily pick weeds in the garden anyways. You might want to keep the likes & dislikes in mind when choosing the right spouse for your adoptee, though.
In the unlikely event you should choose an adoptee with a dislike that is detrimental to your game, there’s a desensitization kit available in the store from time to time. It will cure your person of one dislike.
Tip: you will probably love to adopt a person who likes running, but stay away from one who dislikes jumping.
First steps in your new house
Cleaning the house
You should not wait too long to dispose of all the wrappers on the floors and weeds in the garden, or your new adoptee’s happiness will decrease quite rapidly. Keeping the house clean and the lawn free of weeds is important to keep your virtual family happy.
Taking a shower
Your adoptee’s status bar will soon be indicating “not feeling fresh”. That means they need a shower (some other bathroom activities will remedy that status also, but taking a shower is most convenient and effective). If you don’t like seeing that status message from time to time, praise your family members when they take a shower. They might go by themselves next time they need one.
Keeping food in the fridge at all times is very important otherwise your family’s health will suffer greatly. You will find some in the store screen.
There are two kinds of groceries. The top row is regular and the bottom row is organics.
Regular food gets you 150 units of food. Organics are more expensive but a bit healthier and they get you 250 units of food. You won’t be able to afford organics at first. Do not worry, you’re family will be perfectly fine eating regular food until you can afford organics.
More importantly, you should feed your virtual family all four food groups. Try to achieve that within 24 hours. As you get more money, you can start buying one or two kinds of the cheaper organics and work your way up to an all organics diet.
Every item available in the store is described at length when you click on them.
After buying some food, you should be putting your adoptee to work (and eventually their spouse too). You will need to earn some money to feed your family, buy medicine, repair the house and buy upgrades. Your virtual adoptees will either be working in the workshop, in the kitchen, or in the office. A few job titles are ambiguous. If you’re not sure where your adoptee is supposed to work, just try dropping your adopting in the different working areas.
Working is one of the most tiring activity you can make a virtual person do. You will have to find a balance between work and play if you want to keep him happy and energized all day long. However, some players train at least one of their persons to be workaholics. They barely do anything but work and eventually rest. How you balance their activities should depend on the way you like to play the game. Just know that you will be able to afford upgrades and home improvements even if you don’t have a workaholic in your family.
To show your adoptee how much you want him to work, you should praise him when he does. Praising him (and eventually his spouse) 4 times for working on his career seems to be a minimum when you start a new game. When you open the game the next day your adoptee should at least have gotten a promotion. If he didn’t and is not sick that means he is not working enough. If he gets really tired early in the day despite having had a good night’s sleep, that means he is working too much or does not relax enough. Check his energy levels, make adjustments or start experimenting from there.
Tip: Your adoptee doesn’t
start the game fully rested, so don’t worry if he has low energy on the
first day, and especially in the evening. Things will be a lot better after
he gets his first good night’s sleep.
(This is the end of “first steps” tips. Now on to describing every other aspect of the game.)
The marriage proposals will be arriving soon after your new adopting moves in. Those proposals will get less frequent as years goes by, so do consider carefully the ones that do come up.
There are three main factors to consider when choosing a spouse for your adoptee: their starting salary, the money in their bank accounts and their desire to have children. A nice starting salary could be an asset when starting a game (not so important later). Also, be on the look out for people who might have very large bank account. We have seen some with over $400 in the bank.
You should consider their desire to have children too. You do not need to exactly match the preference of your virtual person with your virtual spouse’s.
When you’re new at the game though, it’s probably best to avoid unnecessary complications. So try to match couples the same or similar desire to have children, such as a “no way” with a “not really”. Or a “would be nice” with a “definitely”. But if you find a person you really want to marry your adoptee later in the game (to get a trophy for instance), don’t be afraid to match “maybe” father with a “no way” or “definitely” mother. You could even match one extreme with another.
If you were to do that, one of your spouses could be less happy than the other (but happy still), they could have a harder time having babies, or the couple will want to wait longer between children. But you won’t necessarily be ruining your game. We tested a “no way” father with a “definitely” mother. They had four children and they were both very happy despite not having a single home improvement item in the house.
Tip: You can win trophies for
marrying someone with the same career, someone with less than $75 or more
then $200 in the bank. Be on the look out for those opportunities.
There is room in the house for up to 6 children. Your couple can’t have more children even after one leaves for college.
They are not always cooperative when you want them to have children. The secret is to be persistent. If they just embrace or argue about the timing of the birth, you can keep trying as they could very well change their mind. If they tell you “it’s too soon to try to make a baby again”, you will have to wait until they are ready. That could mean 15 minutes or a couple of hours. It is very hard to predict when they will be ready again.
Even if they go to the bedroom, your couple may not succeed in having a baby. Couples who are young, well nourished, happy and healthy have obviously better chances of being successful. Other factors come into play such as the time elapsed since they last tried.
If your couple keeps being unsuccessful after a couple of years, you might need a little help like in real life. You can buy the baby boost in the medicine section of the store. It is expensive, so you may want to get a doctor’s consultation for both parents before making that investment. The doctor will confirm whether the baby boost would be useful to one of the parents or both. Do not assume getting the baby boost will make you have twins or triplets. Multiples are largely random.
There’s also the possibility of adopting a child. This is a random event but it is not rare.
Once a baby is born the mother will nurse until the child is two years old, or 4 hours in real time. She will not be able to work during this time, but can do almost any other house chore or activity in the house.
Your child will grow up and will eventually leave for college at some point after they turn 18. They may write you an e-mail from time to time, but they will not see them again until it is time for you to choose one of the children to inherit the house.
Transitioning to the next generation
Your virtual family members will be aging a year every two hours (real-time). They normally will pass away in their 60’s, occasionally in their late 50’s. That means you could be starting a new generation every 3 or 4 days.
As soon as one of the parents has died, you will be have the possibility to start a new generation from the family screen. If you don’t have any children, your game will stop right there.
You will be able to scroll through the children and learn more about them etc., as often as you like, so don’t be afraid to press the “try again” button. All the children will automatically be the around the same age as their parents when they moved in into the house.
Be aware that any parent or sibling still living in the house will be moving out to make room for the new family. Some players like to wait until both parents have died and/or all children have gone to college before making the transition to a new generation. When both parents have died, any remaining children in the house will be fine as long as you have food in the fridge and money to buy groceries.
Tip: If you have one upgraded career room in the house, such as the kitchen, you could make the most of it by picking a child who has a food career, if there are nay. You could also try to find a spouse who is in the same line of work. They will both progress in their careers much faster that way.
Managing your virtual people: the detail screen
The detail screen is where you can monitor each member of your virtual family. You can change their name here.
In the detail screen you will also see their current salary and you can monitor their career progress. There are 8 career levels, the highest being Master. Once you reach that stage, your person will keep working but they will not make any more progress.
The red bar shows how close they are to getting their next promotion. It will always take longer for a person to reach their current level then the previous one. You can eventually speed up their progress by buying career room upgrades. They are expensive, but they will make your person making career progress at twice and three times their current rate.
On the detail screen you can also monitor each family member’s happiness, health, energy and how well fed they are.
The happiness bar of a person entering the house (including children) will usually be 50% full. If it gets a bit lower your person’s status will show as “a bit blue”. Do not worry. There are a couple of events that will give a nice happiness boost to your person: getting married, getting promoted, and having a child.
It should not be difficult to keep your virtual family happy after that. Just make sure that:
When one of family members dies, the others will get depressed and there’s nothing you can do to prevent it. A depressed person will tend to be lethargic and not want to work.
However, depression is not too hard to cure. All you have to do is give the happiness bar an up-swing. If there’s food in the fridge and no underlying illness, happiness will continue to go up gradually. Just be patient and give it time. You should see a significant improvement overnight.
To jump start the process, having a depressive person pick up collectibles and praising them will work. They just love that. Buying candy or fruit from the store (fruit from the varied items, not the groceries) will give them a little boost because they are a stronger form of praising. Just be careful what behavior you are reinforcing when you give them candy or fruit because they will likely do it more often afterwards!
You could also try to make your depressed person do any activity you think would be “fun”, or making kids spend quality time with their parents. But it’s difficult to tell whether one activity or the other affects the happiness bar over the long run.
Home improvements items will help happiness over time, but do not feel obligated to buy them if you’re just beginning the game. Some of them are expensive. Picking up collectables and praising seem to always work. We have had several families with very happiness bars without having bought a single home improvement or goodie for the house.
There are two reasons why a virtual person would get weak: because the fridge is empty or because they are sick. But once they have food again or they are cured of their illness, their health bar should gradually replenish on its own.
There’s little you can do to make the health bar go up much faster, especially at the beginning of the game. Giving a weak person vitamins or fruits (from the varied items section of the store, not the groceries) will help a little. But it’s debatable whether they are worth the money. Time is really the greatest healer. You should a significant improvement overnight, as with the happiness bar. Just make sure your weak person doesn’t have an underlying illness. You should investigate if they keep getting sick within an hour after they were cured of their symptom (see then medicine and illnesses section).
Some home improvements are advertised as helping health or reducing illness rates, but your family can be perfectly healthy without them. Those ones are relatively cheap though.
The fed bar of your virtual persons will go down fairly quickly during the day. Do not worry too much about it. It will never get lower than 30% as long as there is food in the fridge. If there’s food, they won’t starve and their health bar will not be affected in any way.
Hungry family members will tend to wander off and do food-related tasks in the kitchen. To keep them more focused, feed them by preparing a meal. Just drop any family member over 14 on the kitchen table. They won’t prepare a meal if they is not enough food available in the fridge, but your food has to be very low for that to happen.
Once the meal is on the table, you will need to make all your family members sit down and eat. Cleaning up the table after the meal is an action you can’t initiate. One of your family members will decide to do it eventually.
Energy is probably the trickiest element of the game. The key for your people to have high energy all day long is to let them sleep roughly 6-8 hours each day without checking on them or pausing the game. But expect your family members to have lower energy levels in thee evening than during the day.
An overworked person will get tired quickly. You should try to find a good balance between work and other activities, unless you want workaholics parents in the house. Trying to have a baby is also very tiring, whether your couple succeeds or not.
A few activities will make your person’s energy replenish over the course of the day and some are available when you start the game. Napping and going to bed are the obvious ones and are fairly effective. We found that reading a magazine and daydreaming on the couch also work. So if you catch one of them doing those actions, you might want to praise that behavior. When your little persons are not working, they will be doing more of these activities and will replenish their energy in the process.
Managing your family’s finances
Do not get discouraged when you start the game and see the price of food or upgrades. Your family can earn money much faster than it seems at first glance. We found that the in-game family bank account screen projections were not very useful and could not be accurate.
Your family members earn money in many ways.
Selling the collectables you already added to you collection is a great way to supplement your family’s income, especially when you are starting out. They are worth from $5 to $50 each, depending on how rare they are.
Some random events can also make you some money, but they can take some away from your account also.
Illnesses and Medicine
Your family members will get sick from time to time. They will become lethargic, some might even sit on the floor, and their status will say “a bit sick”. Sometimes you will hear an audio clue about the illness. If they’re not letting you know what their symptom is, pick up and drop the person until they tell you in their action bar. You can then buy the appropriate medicine from the store and cure them.
Here’s a list of the symptoms you may encounter:
Sometimes those symptoms will be caused by an underlying infection that needs to be treated with penicillin or even a stronger antibiotic. You will know your family members have a more serious infection if they keep getting sick over and over again, usually within an hour of apparently curing them.
Penicillin and Vancomycin are hard on the body so it is recommended that you buy a doctor’s consultation before using them. If you can’t afford it, try penicillin if the same symptoms keep coming back. If a person is experiencing several different symptoms, they could need the Vancomycin. When you cure a serious infection, you may need to also cure their current symptom one last time.
It is important that you cure any illness in a timely manner. It will affect the sick family member’s health bar and make them weaker over time. Also, the longer someone is sick, the more chances another family member will contract the same illness.
Collectibles will keep appearing on the lawn of your house throughout the game. If you’re not quick enough to pick it up, they will disappear. When you drop a person on it (including children), they will bring it to the collectable drawer in the house. You can see your collection on the collection screen. It will take several generations before you complete all the collections.
If you pick up a collectable that you already have in your collection, you’re going to sell it on the internet for some quick cash. It’s a great way to supplement your income, especially at the beginning of the game.
There are 100 trophies you can win while playing Virtual Families. We suggest you go through the list at the start of the game. You’ll know what to be on the look-out for, for instance there are trophies relating to marriage, or buying certain items from the store. It will take several generations before you get all the trophies. They will not be reset when you pass the house to another generation so you can continue to work on getting them.
Some trophies you get for praising specific behaviors. A couple are self-exploratory, but most are bewildering. Here are the ones that give most people trouble.
Sticky situation: removing a cobweb
Boob tube: praising someone who turns the TV off.
Sleeping dragon: praising someone for practicing Kung Fu.
Go-pher it: praising someone for chasing gophers.
That funky smell: praising someone for throwing out rotten fish.
Lotta latte: praising someone for making a latte. You’ll have to wait for someone to make themselves a latte in the kitchen.
1000 strokes: praising someone for brushing their hair.
House malfunctions (tips and spoilers)
You’ll experience a malfunctioning plumbing fixture or an appliance fire from time to time. They will prevent your family members from using the room it is happening in the leaks and fires are taken care of. You’ll first need to find the right tool.
Tip: The toolbox in the home improvement section of the store will make your repairs last much longer and will reduce the frequency or house malfunctions.
There are many repairs to do
around the house. They involve solving a puzzle or waiting for a specific
product to appear in the store. You might need more than a generation to
complete all the house repairs.
House repairs puzzles hints:
House repairs puzzles spoilers: