mates are not used in simulation in any way
you use fixtures to connect parts with respect to the environment
you use connectors to connect parts with respect to each other
so basically they are the replacements for your mates in solidworks simulation
motion is different, it converts the mates to joints for motion
PLease excuse me for the late reply.
Thanks for clarifying my doubt. Has been useful to broaden my understanding.
Have a wonderful day ahead!!