A simulated thing pretends to be something it’s not, like a fire drill with fake smoke. Relax, it’s only a simulated emergency, created to feel exactly like the real thing.
Simulated and similar have the same Latin root (similis), and a simulated situation is similar to the original, like a theme park that feels like India when you’re actually in Florida. Emotions can be simulated too, like your simulated sadness when you just want to get out of trouble. The word implies fakeness, but not always in a bad way. A simulated airflight video game can teach you how to fly without the negative side effects of crashing and dying.