How to Install Custom Content for "the Sims 2"
By Morgon Luvall Newquist
Updated September 22, 2017
So you have been playing The Sims 2 for a while now, and maybe the clothes and furniture are getting old. Well, you're in luck, because The Sims 2 is a game made for custom content, and new things are constantly available for your game. You can add new clothes, hair styles, furniture, cars, houses and neighborhoods for your gaming pleasure, and change things up a bit in the Sims world. Get those downloads installed so they show up in your game.
Find the new objects you want to add into your game and download them (see Resources below). To keep things from getting cluttered, it might help to have a specific folder that isn't the install folder to save all your custom content to. Call it something like "Sims 2 Custom Downloads." The game won't read files that aren't within specific folders, so you must move all of them later. This folder is a temporary holding place for your downloads.
Have Winzip or an equivalent folder to unzip downloads if they require it. Other files ( .rar ) require a program similar to WinAce. Install this program if your computer doesn't have it. Most of the big custom content sites have the option of which kind of file you want to download, so in most cases you'll only need one of these programs.
Check if there is a Downloads folder for the game. Go to My Documents/EA Games/The Sims 2. If there is already one there, then you're good to go. If not, create a new folder and name it Downloads. Name it exactly that--capital D, and an s on the end. If it isn't, the game won't read it.
Extract all the files from the downloaded archive and put them into the Downloads folder. Either extract all the files into the temporary holding folder or move them directly into the Downloads folder. If a file is a .package file, move it into the correct folder, and the game will just read it from there. Sims2Pack files, however, need to be double clicked on to be installed into the game. Double clicking on the file will bring up the game's install; indicate that you want to install the custom item, and it will do so. Most files are .package, but custom Lots, Pet breeds, Sims and several other types of custom items tend to be Sims2Pack files.
See the items when you start up the game. (e.g. Hair in the Create-A-Sim screen, Furniture in Buy mode) If you have later expansion packs, the load screen allows you to turn on/off custom content. The default is to turn it off, so you may have to click the option to turn it on and restart the game. Other than that, start playing with your new content immediately.
Close The Sims 2 Body Shop before installing custom content. Back up your save files so if anything goes wrong with your game after installing custom content you don't lose all your families. If you're going to be downloading "Buy" mode custom content, get the CEP, or Color Enable Package. It allows custom recolors of objects already in your game (see Resources below).
Make sure the websites you are downloading your custom content from are reputable! Downloads that aren't can break your game, and even include viruses or spyware or programs that will hack your computer. Even legitimate mods can mess up your game, so be sure that you want it before you install it.
Morgon Luvall Newquist is an aspiring writer and in the midst of earning a degree in Latin at the University of Georgia and has been working as a freelance writer since 2007. Some of her work includes writing how-to guides for eHow, short stories and world-building articles for the video game Iron Grip: Warlord, and various other creative and professional projects.