If you don't know how to install and use our creation.. no problem! Here you can find the complete instructions!
Installing custom content
There are several ways to install custom content in The Sims 2, it depends on the kind of files you download. Sims2pack files, like Sims, lots and often walls and floors, are self-installing and you just need to double-click in order to install them. But let's see what to do with different files types.
What to do with .zip or .rar files, that is, .package files
If you download custom content for The Sims 2 in .package format, the installation procedure is very simple.
WARNING: .package files for The Sims 2 cannot be used in The Sims 3 and vice-versa. They're different formats and are uncompatible.
.Package files must be installed in the Downloads folder, within the saves folder in your Documents. Usually, this folder doesn't exist. If you don't have it, follow these instructions on how to create it.
What to do with .sims2pack files
.Sims2Pack is a file extension that identifies files usable with The Sims 2, usually for custom content to add in the game. You can recognize it from its icon or reading the final part of the file name, that is the .Sims2Pack format. If you can't see your files' extensions, you can easily enable them reading these instructions.
It's the game's native format to read custom content. Usually, files extracted from the game are in this format, so we mean files exported with proper tools and not modified by third parties, like Sims, lots and often walls, floors and terrains.
There are different ways to install these files, the simplest one is double-clicking.
I don't have the Downloads folder. What can I do?
It's normal. As written in the glossary, the Downloads folder does not exist when you install the game.
You can solve the issues in several ways:
- Create your own manually, clicking on Create new folder while exploring the MyDocuments/EA Games/The Sims 2 folder. However, in this way the game may not read it. Be careful to write Downloads properly.
- Install a .sims2pack file, such as a Sim file or a lot, walls or floors. Follow the installation steps for a sims2pack that you can find above, if you don't know what to do.
- Open BodyShop. It's a utility that you can find with The Sims 2. In order to launch it, click on Start/Programs/EA Games/The Sims 2/The Sims 2 BodyShop.
Enabling custom content in the game
If once you've followed the above procedure, you still can't see the custom content, try to check if your custom content is enabled. You can see it in the Options panel in the game, in a window like the one below. If the option is set to Off, change it and restart the game.
From Nightlife on, a warning box appear when you launch the game, asking if you really want to enable the custom stuff, as being not made by EA Games, it may cause game issues. This window is absolutely normal, just click on Enable, restart the game and you should see your files at the following reboot.
My downloads don't show up. What can I do?
- Make sure you have followed the steps above and used Winrar to extract our files. They were created with Winrar version 3.51, so if you don't use this utility, you may have issues.
- Make sure that custom content is enabled in the game, and keep in mind that it takes a couple of reboots to the game to load the custom stuff.
How to see a file's extension
If you can't see your files' extension, such as .rar, .package, .sims2pack, try to follow these steps:
- Right-click on Start
- Click on Explore
- Now you should see a System Resource window. In the above menu go to Tools/Folder Options
- A small window will appear, go to View and you should see something like this:
Scroll down in the window until you see the option called Hide extensions for known file types, then uncheck it.
Now in the folder you have to change the display options like the picture below:
By choosing Details, the content of the Downloads folder will appear like this:
In the Type column you have Package Files, and you can see the .package extension even in the Name column. These files don't have a proper icon, and if you double-click on it, you'll get something like this:
This is normal. Don't worry, you don't have to open .package files, just put them in your Downloads folder. The game will read them autonomously.
Make sure to have the _EnableColorOptionGMND.package file, it's the file that shows you have the CEP installed. It must be placed in this folder (Downloads), NOT in subfolders.
If you have SimPE installed, you'll see your files like in the pictures below, that is, associated with SimPE. It will allow you to open them, which is not necessary for them to show up in the game.
GLOSSARY. Terms used
- Downloads folder: we mean the folder inside which are located your downloaded files, that appear maked with an asterisk in the game (they're not defaults). The correct path is: C:\Documents and Settings\Username\MyDocuments\EA Games\The Sims 2\Downloads (for Windows XP. If you have Windows 2000 or 98 the path is C:\MyDocuments\EA Games\The Sims 2\Downloads. If you have Vista or 7, the path is C:\Users\(Current User Account)\Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2. The folder doesn't exist when you first install the game, but is automatically created when you install .sims2pack using The Sims 2 BodyShop Package Installer. If you create it manually, won't be read by the game.
- .rar is the file extension for files created with Winrar and readable by any program that handles this format. I suggest using Winrar, that can be downloaded for free here: http://www.rarsoft.com/download.htm. This format is a compressed folder, the same as .zip files you can open with Winzip. In order to use them, you have to unarchive them that is, extracting through the proper feature.
- .zip is the file extension for files created with Winzip and readable by any program that handles this format. The most common one is Winzip, but if you already have Winrar, you won't need anything else as it can read this format too.
- .package is the file extension that you will find in your Downloads folder, it's the only format the game can read and load. If you have files with other extensions and mean to place it in this folder for The Sims 2, they won't be read. If you want to open package files outside the game, you'll have to use applications like SimPE. It's normal they won't open otherwise.
- .sims2pack are executable files, meaning that if you double-click on them, they are automatically installed by The Sims 2 Body Shop Package Installer (this is the default, but it can be done by Sims2Pack Clean Installer too if you have it). Even these files, if placed in the Downloads folder, will be ignored.
- Mesh files are .package files needed to give the shape to an item. EA objects recolors or clothing don't need them, as their mesh files are already in the game. If you download items with different shapes than the defaults, you'll need these mesh files. Usually, when you download something from a site you can read something like "mesh included", that means the file you need it's already included. Otherwise, you can also find "You need the mesh file, please download..." or "In order to view this correctly, you'll need the mesh file you can find..". This means you have to go to the indicated site and downloads the files you need. Be careful, as if you don't install these files, you won't be able to see your custom content in the game.
- Sims2pack Clean Installer is a very useful application IMHO. It's used to install .sims2pack files and browse the Downloads folder to check its content. You can download it for free here: http://sims2pack.modthesims2.com. To make it work, you'll need also Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1 (free). Browsing the Downloads folder or other folders, you can find highlights: red means hacked objects, pink double objects. By selecting the highlighted item and right-clicking, you can disable/enable/remove/move to another folder your file.
- The Sims 2 Body Shop Package Installer it's the default utility for installing .sims2pack files. You don't need anything to make it work, and if you don't have Sims2Pack Clean Installer, this utility will do the trick. Just double-click on a file to install it.
Is Winrar a pay utility? What happens when the demo expires? Should I install both Winrar and Winzip?
Both Winzip and Winrar are shareware softwares. This means you'll have a trial period after which their functions may be limited or may not work anymore or also, they may need more clicks to work. Most of the sharewares stop working or have less features.
Winzip can be downloaded here: http://www.winzip.com/downwz.htm (click on Dowload Evaluation)
Winrar can be downloade here: http://www.rarlab.com/download.htm
With Winzip or Winrar, none of the above will happen. Once your trial period expires, they'll keep working but you'll get a warning box asking if you want to purchase the program or proceed. Click on Proceed and the program will work just fine. That's what appears after your free trial month expires:
They're not harmful programs, don't mess with your computer and are useful to reduce your file size, archive or unarchive them. You don't need to buy them.
Winzip only handles the zip format, while Winrar handles zip, rar, cab, tar, jar, iso, ace, 7z, gz and many others. For this reason, if you download Winrar, needed for our files, you won't need Winzip. Winrar can open zip files, but Winzip can't open rar files.