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Happiness and YOU - a guide to maximising happiness in SS2

I originally wrote this and sent it to the Season 3 City Plan Masters contest entrants to help ensure their entries would be valid. It is also useful for players and other city builders.

I will describe how the happiness mechanic works, then it will be followed by theorycrafting 100 happiness.

For a city plan to upgrade it needs to reach very specific happiness targets. From memory it must reach 70% for level 1, 80% for level 2, and 90% for level 3. It is my recommendation that you exceed those targets.

Since the introduction of the Sanitation need, I don't think that there are any base SimSettlements 2 plots that lower happiness. I can not confirm if the same is true for addon plots. A developer can correct me if I'm mistaken.

There are two happiness mechanics in play in your settlement. The vanilla mechanic, and the SimSettlements 2 mechanic.

I'll start with the vanilla mechanic. This only cares about the basic needs of the human and ghoul settlers*, and if they are all met, you can hit 80% happiness easily. For each settler:
If they have a bed +10 happiness
If the bed is undercover + 10 happiness (this mechanic is known to not always work correctly in vanilla FO4)
If there is 1 unit of produced food each + 20 happiness
If there is 1 unit of produced water each + 20 happiness
If there is 1 unit of defense each + 20 happiness

Some objects also add a flat happiness bonus to the settlement. This is divided by all settlers. For example a vanilla level 3 bar adds a flat +40 bonus. A weight bench adds +2.

If a settler does not have a sheltered bed, happiness is capped at 60.
If defense is lower than the number of settlers, happiness is capped at 60.
Out standing minutemen quests for a settlement give a -20 happiness penalty until completed.

SimSetlements 2 mixes things up a little bit. There are now plots that consume produced food, water, and defense. You'll need to increase production of these to trigger vanilla happiness mechanics. In addition, some plots provide a flat happiness bonus to the settlement. As with vanilla objects this is divided by all settlers.

Most commercial plots provide +30/+45/+75 bonus happiness at levels 1/2/3
Relaxation (not training) plots provide +75/+100/+130 bonus happiness at levels 1/2/3

Lets theorycraft our way to 100 happiness. Our target is to exceed 2000 total happiness points. I'll assume that all plots are level 3. I will assume that you use SimSettlements 2 plots for jobs. Average happiness is total happiness / number of settlers.

We have 20 settlers. They have sufficient food, water, defense, and sheltered beds.
20 x beds (10) = 200
20 x sheltered (10) = 200
20 x food (20) = 400
20 x water (20) = 400
20 x defense (20) = 400
2 x weight bench (2) = 4
1 x slot machine (5) = 5
1 x Level 3 Bar (75) = 75
1 x Level 3 General (60) = 60
1 x Level 3 Clinic (75) = 75
1 x Level 3 Clothing (60) = 60
2 x Level 3 Relaxation (130) = 260
Total Happiness = 2139 happiness points.
2139 happiness points / 20 settlers = 106.95 happiness. The game caps this at 100.

Weapons stores do not produce happiness.
Armor stores do not produce happiness.
Training plots do not produce happiness.
*Robot settlers are capped to 50 happiness maximum in vanilla FO4.