Custom Content and Mods play a large role in Sims 4 again. EA does offer unofficial support this time by providing a mods folder by default.
Despite of this, you’ll be using mods and custom content at your own risk
Below you’ll find answers to the most common questions.
- What are Mods/Custom Content/Downloads ?
- How do I install Mods/Downloads ?
- Which file formats exist ?
- How to install Script Mods
- How can I find custom content in game ?
- What’s the difference between Default Replacement and Non-Default ?
- Does custom content spread from the gallery ?
- What tools are there ?
- Where can I find good custom content ?
- Can I merge package files ?
Custom Content and mods as well as the tools are made by the Sims Community and are not verified by Maxis or EA. You’ll be using at your own risk
Be aware that mods/cc can get outdated with patches and need to be updated by the creator. Always keeps your mods uptodate.
What are Mods/Custom Content/Downloads ?
Mods und Custom Content (also called CC ) are content that is not created by EA/Maxis but by other players from the community. Sometimes they are also referred to as Downloads.
The terms are used sometimes used as synonyms but there’s a distinction between custom content and mods.
- Mods: Content that change the way the game works. These can be small changes from how the Sims behave autonomously to new traits and careers to monster mods like MC Command Center. In Sims 4 there’s two kinds of mods: Tuning/XML mods and Script mods
- Custom Content (CC): New objects, clothing, hair styles. Those can be either just recolors or patterns (swatches) or a completely new mesh. If you’re using recolors, make sure you also have the mesh that is needed for it.
- Houses and Sims: In game created houses and Sims aren’t custom content as such but they’re often also used in the term Downloads. Files of this kind do not belong into the Mods folder, they go in the Tray folder.
How do I install Mods/Downloads ?
Contrary to Sims 3, there’s no need to set up a modding framework for mods to work. Everything is already there.
Be aware that there are different kinds of mods/CC and that most files come as Zip or Rar file that needs to unpacked first. More details about that can be found in the section Which file formats exist ?
You can find the folder in Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 4\Mods.
The folder also contains the necessary resource.cfg file.
The resource.cfg allows you up to 5 nested sub folders (exception: Script Mods). It’s a good idea to sort your mods/cc by creator/type/download page to keep an overview on what you have installed.
After copying the downloaded and unpacked files into the mods folder, make sure custom content is turned on in your game option in order for it to show up. Be aware that with every major patch, custom content is automatically turned off.
Which file formats exist ?
Sims 4 mods/cc are either package or ts4script files. Package files are XML tuning mods or CC and ts4script files are script mods (see more details below).
Package files unfortunately can’t be distinguish them from Sims 2 or Sims 3 package files. It’s important to always read the descriptions to make sure you don’t get a Sims 2 or 3 download. Those will mess up your game.
Most files you’ll find on the Internet are .rar, .zip or .7z files. Those are compressed files that need to be unpacked first to get to the package-file inside. Good programs that can help you are 7-zip (free) or WinRar (free demo version). .zip-files can also be decompressed with Windows in most cases.
Houses and Sims are another special case. They consist of several files that are all needed. I don’t want to go in to further details on these in this post since those go in the Tray folder. If you don’t download houses and Sims through the gallery, make sure the instructions given by the page you downloaded them from.
How to install Script Mods
Script Mods are a bit special since they need to be separately activated in your game. To do so, go to your Game Options and choose the tab Other. Make sure the Script Mods tagged.
Script Mods typically come with several files. Unzip them into a folder that directly goes into the mods folder and not nested sub-folders. A script mod usually consists of a minimum of 1 ts4script-file but can also have a package file and potentially some other types like log files. It’s best to keep them all together so you know which mod they belong to.
There are older mods that come as zip files but they are usually very old and should no longer be used.
As per Get Famous Patch of Nov 2018, all script mods prior to that date will need an update. Do not use older script mods as they will not work.
How can I find custom content in game ?
All custom content and mods will be listed in a window you see on startup. You can also check the list in your options where you can also decide to hide the window if you don’t want to see it on start up.
The list contains a list of non-script mods (package files) and script mods (ts4script files). Script mods can appear in both sections since many script mods can also have a package file.
Zip files can also appear on the list but will not be recognized by the game so always make sure to unpack them.
Custom Content is marked by a little wrench icon
What’s the difference between Default Replacement and Non-Default ?
Default replacement cc replaces an existing EA entry while non-default adds an extra one.
Does custom content spread from the gallery ?
No. Custom content is not uploaded to the gallery and therefore you don’t need to be scared to get stuff you don’t want through it. If a custom content was used, it will show on the picture in the gallery but you won’t have it in your game unless you have installed the custom content yourself.
What tools are there ?
More tools can be found on the link list.
Where can I find good custom content ?
A good place to start looking is here: ModTheSims
More links can be found on the Link Page.
Can I merge package files ?
Yes, you can.
Sims4Studio allows you do do so easily: How to Merge Packages Using Sims 4 Studio
An older tutorial can be found here: Package Combining for TS4 recolors