[INFO] How to Use Mods and CC

by luthienrising
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Original Post

[INFO] How to Use Mods and CC

[ Edited ]

Introduction

 

The Answers HQ Sims 4 Mod/CC Isuses forum is here for your fellow Simmers to help you get playing again when, inevitably, a game update “breaks” some mods and CC. And even though Maxis has built mod use right into Sims 4, things can go very wrong, even corrupt a whole save. Ultimately, players are responsible for their own mod/CC use and its effects on the game. If you use mods/CC, it’s important that you know how to use them safely, how to manage them at game updates, and how to figure out when a mod is what’s causing you problems.

 

This topic covers how to use mods and custom content (CC) with Sims 4, whether you’re completely new to using them, have run into a problem with installation etc., or just want a refresher. It's also a support post. Please feel free to use it help you figure out your particular issues.

 

Finally, many thanks to Crinrict, whose previous FAQ on this topic was essential for parts of this one.

 

 

Index to This Topic

 

 

Related Topics

 

  • Using Mods/CC on a Mac – for Mac-specific technical issues in Mod/CC use
  • Recently Broken/Updated Mods and CC, pinned in Mod/CC Issues – regularly updated lists of broken/obsolete and updated mods and CC, creators clearing mods for the latest patch, new bugfix mods, and news from creators; a new topic is started for most patches
  • Mod/CC Issues Master Post – key new, recent, and common issues; includes links to previous Broken/Updated Mods and CC lists and other useful AHQ posts for mod/CC users [TO COME]
  • Common Game-Fixing Mods – a list of mods created as temporary fixes for game bugs, with links
  • How to fix your OneDrive issues  – OneDrive is a known cause of many Sims 4 issues, including with mod installation; head here to learn what it causes and how to get your Sims stuff away from it
  • Moving your “The Sims 4” game folder (and therefore your mods) – on Mac; on Windows
  • How to find your user files
  • How to back up your saves

 


 

Best Practices for Playing with Mods/CC

 

 


 

Terms We Use When We Talk About Mods/CC

 

  • mod = content that’s not from Maxis that changes how the game behaves or that adds new items to the game and that goes in the Mods folder. This doesn’t include Sims, lots, or rooms. It does include CAS and Build/Buy items (CC).
  • gameplay mod = a mod that impacts gameplay. Often just called “mods” in the Sims community. Some also require a Build/Buy mode object or downloading a lot.
  • custom content (CC) = Sims mods that that are items found in Build/Buy and CAS modes. Some have gameplay associated with them.
  • UI mod = Sims mods that change how the games menus look and/or function. Many mods with other functions (adding additional traits, enabling cheats, extending Build mode) also change the UI.
  • package file = a .package file extension (the last part of a filename, after the period) is used for basic file for a mod or custom content. Not all package files are for Sims 4!
  • script mod  = a mod that includes a file with the filename extension .ts4script. Script mods impact gameplay and often have multiple files. Don’t place mods with these more than one folder deep; see Installation.
  • dependencies = mods that other mods depend on. Read more on these here.
  • localthumbcache = a specific .package file in Documents > Electronic Arts > The Sims 4, created by the game. DO delete this every time you remove or replace files in the Mods folder.
  • last exception (LE) = an error, reported in a file, that the game produces.
  • vanilla = without mods. If you’re asked to “test vanilla,” drag the Mods folder to your desktop  and delete the file called localthumbcache. A vanilla test is used to determine if a game problem is caused by mods.
  • 50-50 = a method of testing mods in batches instead of one at a time. Explained here.
  • tools = software used to support Sims 4, including mod use, that doesn’t go in the Mods folder. For example, Sims 4 Studio (used for editing CC and batch-updates of CC) and Sims 4 Tray Importer (used for finding which CC a Sim is wearing).

 

 

 


Sul sul!
I don't work for EA, and I don't do private support.
I do receive products from EA as part of the EA Creator Network.
Have you backed up your Saves? Checked for broken and updated mods/CC?
Message 1 of 10 (6,875 Views)

Re: How to Use Mods and CC

[ Edited ]

Finding and Downloading Mods/CC

 

Index

 


 

“What are some good mods?”

 

“Where do I find mods?” and “What are some good mods?” are questions new Simmers often ask. Sims 4 does not have one dominant place mods are found, which makes the first question more complicated. Below, however, you’ll find lists of the most common common places creators post their mods and some places not to get mods (and why).

 

My tips for finding mods/CC to add to your game:

 

  • Looking for a specific type of mod or CC? Post a WCIF (= “where can I find”) request! Be specific: Your idea of “that enhances gameplay” or “looks good” will be different from someone else’s.
  • Search a mod-hosting site (such as Curseforge or Mod the Sims), sorting by date updated or date added. Why by date? To reduce the chance of ending up with broken mods.
  • Use the Broken/Updated Mods list to find creators who are actively supporting their mods, then look at what those creators make.
  • Check new articles on “best mods” and “best CC”. Don’t use old articles: They’re more likely to recommend content that’s no longer compatible with the game.
  • Check what streamers are playing with. Don’t download the mods/CC from the streamers, though (more on why here).
  • Check what’s being used in new Simblr (= Sims-related accounts on Tumblr) gameplay posts. Don’t rely on old posts.

 


 

 

Where Creators Are

 

These are some common places Sims 4 creators post their own mods/CC:

 

  • Curseforge – Hosting Sims 4 content from many creators, as the official mod hub. CF started hosting Sims content only in 2022, so you’ll find fewer outdated mods here. They can be downloaded individually or using the Curseforge mod manager. A portion of the ad income goes to creators. Curseforge is currently implementing new checks for ts4script files; for more on why, see [CURRENT ISSUE] Malicous Script Mods .
  • Patreon – Both CC and mod creators use Patreon; some will offer support on Patreon as well, while others use a Discord server for support. Maxis does not support the requirement that you be a patron in order to download content but does permit limited early access and donations, which many creators use Patreon for.
  • Mod the Sims – Hosting content from many creators. This is a long-time Sims site that includes mods for other Sims games. Check that mods are for Sims 4, have an active creator, and don’t have reported issues in the comments. Sometimes an outdated mod has a link to someone else’s updated version in the comments.
  • Tumblr – Lots of CC creators here, but not all are actively supporting their content; check for recency and comments.
  • their own website – Many creators have built their own websites for download hosting and/or instructions.
  • itchio and Nexus – Only a few Sims 4 creators use these sites – especially Nexus – but if you find a Sims creator on these, you’ve not ended up somewhere weird.

Discord is used by many creators who host mods elsewhere for support, announcements, and community building.

 

 


 

 

What to Avoid

 

X   Folders of Mods/CC Collected by Players

This might seem like a really convenient way to get mods/CC, but it’s also a really convenient way to not know what you’re actually downloading, and a really convenient way to end up with broken mods and duplicates. Download your mods from their original creators.

 

X   Third Parties (rehosting sites, YouTubers, streamers)

Sites that rehost mods are typically doing it to make money off of you. You never need to pay for a Sims 4 mod. Maxis policy allows creators to offer early access for a cost or to accept your donations. Rehosting sites often set themselves up to require money or extensive advertising click-throughs in order to download content you can get for free elsewhere, and it still might actually be outdated, broken content.

 

YouTubers and streamers will sometimes repost files of CC or mods they’re using. This increases the chance that you’ll end up with outdated/broken content. Instead, find the creators’ own posts.

 

X   Merged Files

Want a great way to end up downloading duplicates, broken content, and things that break more than your Sims save? Download someone else’s merged files! Unless it’s a creator’s own merged file of their own content, don’t do this.

 

Even if it’s a creator’s own merging, you can end up with other issues, like not being able to find a file that’s been listed as broken. If there’s an option to download either a merged or a separated version, consider separated.

 

X   Sites with Adfly and "Click Here" Ads

Being forced to click through advertising on your way to get mods/CC is a great way to end up with issues later, such as from malware or viruses. Avoid these sites if you can. Keep your antivirus software up to date. If you do end up on an ad-plagued site, don’t click on ads and be suspicious of a clickable “download”. 

 

X   Mods That Are Just a Text (.txt) or Similar File with a Link

This is never, ever a legitiimate way to post a mod. Do NOT follow these links. If you do, IMMEDIATELY delete the files you ended up with and run a virus scan.

 

X   Shady Requirements for Access

There is no legitimate reason for a creator to need your email address and send you a file. All legitimate mod/CC access is click-to-download.

 

X   Downloading Everything

There are so many amazing mods out there, and so much gorgeous CC. It makes it really tempting to just download everything you might ever want to use.

Someday, though, you’re going to regret that. That day might be when your Mods folder is too big for your computer to run Sims well. It might be when you have over 250 script files and the game starts producing errors because of it. It might be something in that folder is broken and you have to test thousands of files to find it.

Instead, consider downloading only what you’re going to use now and bookmarking things you might come back for later, or keeping a list with links to those mods/CC.

 

 


 

 

Things to Check Before You Download

 

Q: Is the mod still compatible with the game?

 

  • Check known broken mods/CC lists. Not all creators are still active to take down their modsCC, plus there are rehosters out there, so known broken mods are still available online.
  • Check the comments. Have people been reporting errors? Is the creator responding to questions?
  • Check the last update date: Older mods and CC are more likely to be broken.

Q: Can I actually use it?

 

  • Make sure it’s Sims 4 content, not for a different Sims game. Earlier Sims games also use .package files.
  • Check that you have all the packs required to use the mod. Read the creator’s full post to find out what the requirements are. If you don’t have the required packs, a mod might not only just not work — it might cause game errors.
  • Check for known conflicts listed in the mod description, especially with other mods that you already use or might prefer. TIP: Don’t rely on “mod conflict detectors” for this! All they tell you is if two mods/CC call on the same piece of game code; they don’t tell you if they do that in a way that will ever cause a problem.

Q: Should I use it? Could it be compromised?

 

  • Learn about recent issues with malicious script mods. Be especially suspicious of:
    • ts4script mods that come as part of content that doesn't affect gameplay or Live mode menus
    • "updates" of files appearing after the creator has cleared that mod
    • unannounced updates from creators who normally announce
    • creators or their mods showing up on a site they don't normally post their content to
    • any folder of mods from various creators
    • new creators showing up with a script mod as their first ever mod
  • Check if the creator has listed known issues. Those issues might be enough that you don’t want to use the mod.
  • Check if the mod can be easily removed without consequences if it becomes outdated or you don’t want it anymore, and decide your own risk level. For example, with some food/cookbook mods, you need to delete plates and food in-game before deleting the mod, or you could end up unable to load a household in gameplay. Removing some custom careers will produce LEs (last exceptions) when you play Sims who used to have those custom careers. Mods that add worlds generally can’t be deleted without completely breaking a save.
  • Check if the creator provides support you can access for free. Decide on your risk level for using a mod without creator support.

 

Best Practices for Content Creators

Your content is most trustworthy, including by people recommending mods to others, if:

 

  • You post to your own custom site or a site that checked uploads and has been responsive to emerging issues
  • You announce new mods and updates in places where Simmers can follow and look for notifications (NOTE: non-members can't read through your X posts)
  • You explain why and how a mod has been updated
  • You have support available to all Simmers
  • You respond to Simmers who post issues and questions on your mod pages or support forums
  • You announce if you will be unavailable for support or will no longer be supporting your mods
  • You follow the Maxis guidelines for creators, especially concerning monetization

 

 

 


Sul sul!
I don't work for EA, and I don't do private support.
I do receive products from EA as part of the EA Creator Network.
Have you backed up your Saves? Checked for broken and updated mods/CC?
Message 2 of 10 (6,874 Views)

Re: How to Use Mods and CC

[ Edited ]

Installing Mods and CC

 

 

Index


 

Installing Mods and CC

 

 

1. Install the Right Files: Creator Instructions

 

 

Location of Installation

Most mods don’t come with special instructions for where to install them. For those mods, follow the general instructions above. But some mods come with special instructions about where in the Mods folder its parts should go. Check if yours do.

 

NOTE: Are you trying to use a non-default location for the whole Mods folder? Support is available at the Sims 4 PC Tech Support and Sims 4 Mac Tech Support.

 

 

Picking and Choosing Files

  • Some mods have instructions to choose between certain files, not install both “flavors” of them. Leaving both options in will produce errors.
  • Some mods have instructions to remove files for packs you don’t own. Leaving those files in will produce errors.

Dependencies

Some mods need other mods to make them work. Instructions for this will always be on the mod’s main page. These are typical gameplay mod dependencies:

 

  • XML Injector and Other Injector Mods. Injector mods sit between a mod and the game code. They’re typically written by someone other than the mod creator. They make modding and your Mods folder more efficient. Injector mods rarely are broken by game updates. The injector mod you’ll see required the most is XML Injector by Scumbumbo (updated by Triplis). The updated version of XML Injector is available only on the Scumbumbo memorial website; the version on Mod the Sims is outdated.
  • “Core” Mods. These also contain code a mod relies on to make it work. Some, like Lot 51’s Core Mod, are used by many creators. Others are created by individual creators just for their own mods. Core mods, like injector mods, make both modding and your Mods folder more efficient.

If you’re testing your gameplay mods and put one in the Mods folder without its dependencies, you aren’t really testing that mod at all. You’ve only partly installed it, so you can’t tell if it’s broken or working.

 

If you remove an injector or core mod and the game now “works,” it doesn’t mean that that dependency was broken; it means that one of the mods that relies on it was broken.

 

Meshes are dependencies for some CC. They provide the shape or form for the CC. If you’re missing a mesh, you will generally end up with weird blocky shapes or invisible body parts because there’s nothing to “hang” the CC code on. Sometimes CC is relying on old meshes that are no longer available, unfortunately, and you simply can’t use that CC.

 

 

2. Install the Right Files: Handling Download Formats

 

Mods are downloaded either as individual .package files or as compressed folders (most often Zip files, but also .rar or .7z files). Individual .package files can go straight into Mods or a subfolder. Don’t put Zip, .rar, and .7z files in the Mods folder. Instead, extract the files from them and put the extracted files in the Mods folder, then delete the compressed file.

 

 

 

3. Install in the Right Place: The Mods Folder

 

 

NOTE: Having trouble finding your Mods folder? Has it disappeared on your? Are you trying to use a non-default location? For support, head to the Sims 4 PC Tech Support or Sims 4 Mac Tech Support.

 

 

The location for all mod and CC files is Documents > Electronic Arts > The Sims 4 > Mods. This is the only place the game will see your mods or custom content.

 

To create the Mods folder, start the game and then exit. Don’t create the folder yourself.

 

On a PC, the default path is This PC > C: > Documents etc.. Below, the installation drive was specified as F: when the game was installed. (For how to move the location of “The Sims 4” and its subfolders, see the links in the first post. Just moving the folder will not work.) NOTE: This folder should not be inside a OneDrive folder. OneDrive causes problems for Sims.

 

InstallFolder.png

 

The Mods folder includes a file called resource.cfg. This files is created by the game but can be safely deleted. The game will recreate it. When the game was launched back in 2014, you had to edit the file if you wanted to use subfolders in the Mods folder, and you can still find that advice on the internet; this is no longer the case. Just leave that file alone.

 

Common folder issues we see from users include:

 

  • Not being able to find the Mods folder. You can use this method to find where the game is storing files. For more support with game installation issues, especially if you’ve been moving installation locations, please go to the Technical Issues forum for PC or Mac.
  • Not having a Mods folder in the right place. Just start the game and exit. The folder will now be there, in Documents > Electronic Arts > The Sims 4.
  • Creating your own folder in the game’s program folder. Only use the folder the game creates in Documents > Electronic Arts > The Sims 4.
  • Syncing software, such as OneDrive, creating a second folder that the game can’t see. For this and other OneDrive (and related) problems, plus how to make OneDrive stop messing with The Sims, see this thread.
  • Using the wrong folder inside The Sims 4. There's a folder called "content," but it's not for your custom content.

A Note on Tray Files

These file types come with Sims or lots that you save to your Library, download from the Gallery, or download from places other than the Gallery. They go in the Tray folder, not Mods:

 

  • .blueprint
  • .bpi
  • .hhi
  • .householdbinary
  • .rmi 
  • .room
  • .sgi
  • .trayitem

Often, custom Sims or lots that aren’t on the Gallery will come with CC .package files. Those go in Mods, but test them on a new save first! They might have been on the internet a long time and not be compatible with the game anymore.

 

 

 

4. Install in the Right Place: Script Files and Your Folder Structure

 

The Mods folder can have up to five levels of subfolders inside it. These levels of subfolders are what we talk about when we talk about how “deep” you can put a mod. You can create these subfolders yourself; the game will not create them for you.

 

  • Script mods — mods that include a .ts4script file — must be no more than one folder deep. For example, a script mod’s files can go in Mods or it can go in Mods > TwistedMexi, but it can’t go in Mods > TwistedMexi > BE. That’s too many folders deep.
  • Non-script mods — mods that are only package files — can go up to five folders deep, but no more. This is useful for organizing your Mods folder.

In the folder structure shown below, script mods cannot go in the subfolders “Hair” and lower. They can only go in the first level, such as the folder “LittleMsSam,” which is also shown here, with a complete (two-file) script mod highlighted. That script mod can’t go in a subfolder of Mods > LittleMsSam.

 

ModsSubfolders.png

ModsSubfolderWithScriptMod.png

 

 


 

 

Enabling Mods and CC

 

 

By default, mods and CC are disabled in Options. To enable the game to see your mods and CC, from the Main Menu, go to Game Options > Other and select “Enable Custom Content and Mods”. If you also want to enable script mods (which are typically more complex), you must also tick “Script Mods Allowed”.

 

EnableModsInGameOptions.jpg

 

One issue we sometimes see is the mod settings turning themselves back off. This can be caused by antivirus/security settings. For more on this, see the topic Anti-Virus blocking User Folder.

 

NOTE: For support with mods not staying enabled, head to the Sims 4 PC Tech Support or Sims 4 Mac Tech Support.

 

 

 

Best Practices: Backups and Testing

 

Before enabling mods/CC, consider making a backup of your Saves folder. The game itself keeps five backups for you, but if the way your game has broken becomes apparent to you after you’ve saved that many times, you might be really happy that you have an outside backup that’s older than that. And very occasionally but tragically, save file corruption can actually spread to your whole Saves folder. Back up your Saves.

 

Things are very wrong? You can’t load a household/lot? Your Sims are missing their hair? it’s okay to exit without saving! If you accidentally save without mods and CC, you can load an older save file by selecting Load Game, clicking on the disk symbol with a back arrow on it, and selecting Recover on an earlier save point. Another method involves renaming files in the Saves folder.

 

 

 

Enabling a Specific Mod

 

Some mods have specific things you need to do to make the mod active in game. If you don’t do these things, you won’t “see” the mod. For example, Deaderpool’s MC Command Center mod has default settings that are very close to (but not the same as!) the game settings, and you need to do things in the game to change those settings. Toggle-style mods usually default the game setting and have a way to turn them “on” in-game.

 

 


 

Special Issues with Default Replacements and Translations

 

Some mods need to have priority loading to work right. For the average Mods folder, this doesn't pose a major issue. For people with large folder, though, it can. In those cases, one option is to force the game to see those files.

 

There are two ways to do this. BUT both these methods can cause problems. I advise doing this only if a particular mod/CC is working perfectly well when you test it alone (including dependencies) and the mod instructions don't tell you to not touch the name or installation location and you're very careful about how what you download, how you update, etc., given the cautions below each method. Some players may end up more comfortable in the end managing smaller collections of mods and CC instead.

 

Method 1: Rename the file to start with !

 

CAUTION: Changing filenames can cause problems in at least three cases:

  1. You don't delete the old !-starting version when you update. You will end up with both old and new versions installed.
  2. You download that CC or mod again, forgetting you already have it. You will end up with duplicates.
  3. You change the name of a mod that other mods refer to using the filename and they can't see it anymore. Those other mods now won't work.

Method 2: For Mac users, the first method can fail. Simmer mekelley25 has written up a set of instructions on how to use a subfolders and an edited resource.cfg file as an alternative. For support, head to the Sims 4 Mac Tech Support.

 

CAUTION: If you refresh your Mods folder or Sims 4 folder, the original resource.cfg will be regenerated by the game and you'll need to replace it again.

 

 

 

 


Sul sul!
I don't work for EA, and I don't do private support.
I do receive products from EA as part of the EA Creator Network.
Have you backed up your Saves? Checked for broken and updated mods/CC?
Message 3 of 10 (6,873 Views)

Re: How to Use Mods and CC

[ Edited ]

Removing and Updating

 

 

Index

 


 

… Do we HAVE to??

 

Modders create new versions of their mods for many reasons. The most important one is that new game code can “break” mods. This isn’t a bad thing. We generally want bugs fixed and new gameplay added and game UI improved. That’s especially the case for console players, who can’t “fix” things or expand the game with mods!

 

Choosing to use mods/CC means that you’re also choosing to maintain your Mods folder when the game updates. And that will often mean removing files or replacing them with the creator’s new versions.

 

 


 

 

Removing Mods and CC

 

 

WHEN to Remove Mods

 

When a mod is reported here at AHQ or elsewhere as “broken” or “outdated,” or when testing the Mods folder narrows down a problem to that mod, it’s time to delete it, even if you really wish it weren’t broken because you love that mod. Broken mods can do more than just not work as intended (as if they don’t exist) or creating annoying “last exception” reports. They can crash your game when you’re in the middle of playing and haven’t saved all day. They can prevent you from saving. They can corrupt lots, households, worlds, entire saves, or even every file in your Saves folder. Remove these files.

 

Note: Sometimes mods are listed by a creator as having specific issue but being otherwise okay to use. It’s up to you to decide if you want to keep using that mod. Sometimes broken CC you isolate with testing can be fixed by a batch fix in the tool Sims 4 Studio or you’re just missing a mesh.

 

 

HOW to Remove Mods

 

Deleting mods/CC is, in general, simple: Delete the files from inside the Mods folder and delete the file called localthumbcache.package. This file is located in Documents > Electronic Arts > The Sims 4. If you don’t delete localthumbcache, the game will NOT necessarily know you deleted mods/CC. The game will make a new localthumbcache file; this is normal and expected. Bonus: You might find some non-mod-related glitching also goes away!

 

IMPORTANT: If you use a mod manager, learn how it manages deletions. You want to know if a mod manager will put mods back in if you manually delete them from the Mods folder instead of using the mod manager. And you want to know if there are any circumstances in which it will delete a mod without you choosing to.

 

 

Special Cases

 

Some mods come with instructions for their deletion. If you use any complex mods, it’s a good idea to check if they come with instructions to follow before removing them. For example, TwistedMexi’s Better BuildBuy has instructions for the best way to uninstall it. For many food/cookbook mods, first delete plates and food make using that mod; not doing this could prevent you from opening a household. For custom careers, if possible have a Sim first quit the career; this could prevent a lot of last exception (LE) errors.

 

Some mods cannot be deleted without damaging save files. For example, if you delete a mod that adds a new world, you should assume that you won’t be playing with those save files anymore. A very few mods affecting body parts will leave uneditable body parts behind, though sometimes there’s a workaround using another mod. Most presets, sliders, and default/non-default body mods can be safely removed, though.

 

 


 

 

Updating Mods and CC

 

When you’re updating mods with new versions, don’t just grab the first one you find and drag it into your Mods folder. Make sure that you’re not creating new problems with these steps:

 

  • Check that the version of the mod you’re find online is the updated version. If a mod is hosted by the creator in multiple places, the Curseforge version might be updated a day or more later than other ones because there’s an approval process. A rehosted mod is likely to be the wrong version.
  • Check for new instructions for installation, dependencies, files to choose from, and mod use.
  • Delete old versions first. Some creators rename mod files, so just putting the new file in won’t remove the old one. Some mod managers rename mods, so this step becomes important. Note: This is a good time to check for duplicates. They might have been causing glitching or lag.
  • Don’t delete .cfg files unless the creator says to. These files hold your settings for that mod.
  • DO delete localthumbcache! You need the game to have a fresh look at the Mods folder. Its location is Documents > Electronic Arts > The Sims 4. The game will create a new one.
  • DON’T update mods until you update the game. Mods updated after a given patch might be broken on an older game version. This forum and most creators will offer support only if your game is up to date.

 

For more on deleting and updating, see Game Updates and Your Mods.

 

 


Sul sul!
I don't work for EA, and I don't do private support.
I do receive products from EA as part of the EA Creator Network.
Have you backed up your Saves? Checked for broken and updated mods/CC?
Message 4 of 10 (6,872 Views)

Re: How to Use Mods and CC

[ Edited ]

Organizing Your Mods Folder

 

 

When it comes time to find the files you need to remove or replace, having an organized Mods folder really helps.

 

Keeping an organized Mods folder also helps prevent duplicate mods. If you put peacemaker’s files only in a folder called “peacemaker” or put coffee table files only in a folder called “living room furniture” — not sometimes one, sometimes the other — you’re much less likely to end up with two copies of peacemaker’s coffee tables. Duplicate files can cause errors and lag.

 

There are many ways to organize your Mods folder. I use a lot more gameplay mods than CC, so my mods folder is organized with a subfolder called “Build Buy” for Build/Buy mode CC, a subfolder called “CAS” for CAS CC, and many subfolders named for gameplay modders. If you use a lot of CC, you might want to organize that by function or creator. Just be consistent in your structure.

 

I temporarily removed a whole lot for this screencap and then cut off the bottom anyway, but you get the idea!

 

SampleModsFileOrganization.png

 

Some creators don’t put their names in their mods’ filenames, which can be frustrating when all of that’s creator’s mods are reported broken or no longer supported or when mod has tested as broken and you want to search for an update. If you tend to run into these, consider organizing your folder by creator name and/or renaming files to include the creator name. Don’t rename files if a creator’s instructions specifically say not to!

 

 

Package Merging

 

Don’t merge your CC. For Sims 4, merging CC files does little to improve game performance compared to the issues it creates. What it does do is increase the likelihood that you'll end up with duplicate files (which cause lag... which you were trying to get rid of), both old and updated versions of files, and broken files you can't find anymore.

 

If you want to reduce how long it takes the game to load, look at Options to exclude the list of mods/CC on startup. If the quantity of CC in your Mods folder is causing lag, look for duplicates and consider removing CC you're not actually using.

 

 

 

Mod Managers

 

Many Simmers naturally want to hand some of the responsibility of handling their mods to a mod managing program. This has advantages and disadvantages. If you use a mod manager (for example, Curseforge), learn what it does and what it doesn’t do. Most mod managers will work best if you don’t reorganize the files in them.

 

 

 


Sul sul!
I don't work for EA, and I don't do private support.
I do receive products from EA as part of the EA Creator Network.
Have you backed up your Saves? Checked for broken and updated mods/CC?
Message 5 of 10 (6,871 Views)

Re: How to Use Mods and CC

[ Edited ]

Custom Content and the Gallery

 

Custom content does not get saved to your Library or uploaded with them to the Gallery when you save or update Households, Lots, or Rooms, not even in content flagged as “modded”. Any custom content that you see in pictures there will not be included when you place downloaded Sims or lots in your game. Some CC will just not be there; some will be replaced with game content.

 

Some Simmers who upload modded content to the Gallery will include a list of CC that they used so that you know what to look for. If you’d like to include a CC list with your Gallery upload and aren’t sure what you used on a Sim or in a build, you can use the tool Sims 4 Tray Importer to get a list.

 

If you’re looking for a wider variety of Gallery content and don’t mind that it won’t be exactly as it appears, or if you’re missing some of your own Library content in a search, tick the filter “Include Custom Content”.

 

Not everything flagged as “modded” in the Gallery uses CC. Also flagged as “modded” are:

 

  • Sims with custom careers, aspirations, traits, etc. These custom features will not download with the Sims.
  • Created-in-gameplay photos and paint-by-reference paintings.

 

 


Sul sul!
I don't work for EA, and I don't do private support.
I do receive products from EA as part of the EA Creator Network.
Have you backed up your Saves? Checked for broken and updated mods/CC?
Message 6 of 10 (6,870 Views)

Re: How to Use Mods and CC

[ Edited ]

Game Updates and Your Mods

 

Index

 


 

 

Why Mods and CC Break

 

Mods (game mods and CC) aren’t created by Maxis — they’re created by Simmers, who tie into The Sims 4 game code. When the game is updated, the code that gets updated is going to be the code that some mod out there “talks” to, which means that mod can “break.” A mod that uses code that almost never changes will almost never break. A mod that uses code that gets changed a lot will need updating often. This is nobody’s fault. It’s just how mods and games work together.

 

So how does this affect you as a player who uses mods? An outdated mod can cause you problems. It might only result in last exception (LE) error files. It might not do anything in your game when it was supposed to. It might make parts of the game inaccessible or really weird looking. It might stop Sims 4 or your game (save) or a World or a household or lot from loading at all. It might even make a save permanently unplayable.*

 

* Game bugs can also cause all these problems, but if you have mods/CC, we don’t know you have a game bug, not an outdated mod, until you test “vanilla”. Even then, sometimes a mod actually caused the problem but the problem isn’t reversible.

 

 


 

 

Before the Game Updates  

 

 

Consider Preventing Auto-Updates

 

If you need some time to back up your saves or think you’d rather wait a few days before updating the game, so creators can catch up and so you have time to back up your Saves first, consider turning off the game’s auto-update:

 

Once you’re ready to update mods, you must also update the game. You can’t put a mod made on, say, game version 1.104 into game version 1.101.

 

 

 

Back Up Your Saves

 

Because some outdated (“broken”) mods can actually corrupt your save file, before you let the EA App/Origin update your game, back up your Saves folder. You might want to also do this before adding newly downloaded mods/CC, in case you found outdated content.

 

“Backing up” a folder or file means making a copy of it in a different place. You’ll find your save files in Documents > Electronic Arts > The Sims 4 > Saves.  (Your Documents folder is likely not on your F: drive! I have a lot of drives…)

 

SavesFileLocation.png

 

You can copy that whole folder to somewhere else — such as your desktop, a different folder you make yourself (mine go in Documents > Sims Backups), or a USB key. (Don't rely on OneDrive etc. to automate this, as they don't behave well with Sims 4.) Now you’ll have a pre-patch or pre-new-mods copy to fall back on in case you run into serious problems.

 

Even after you’ve decided that you’re ready to play the updated game, keep regular backups. You’ll be grateful for them on that day something goes dreadfully wrong for your favorite save or even your whole folder, and the game’s own restorable files don’t go far enough back or are also corrupted.

 

 


 

 

After the Game Updates

 

 

Read the Patch Notes

 

Some game updates (patches) affect very few aspects of the game. Some affect a lot. The patch notes, which you’ll find pinned (when new) in Sims 4 News & Updates, show you what’s affected. Patches that are more likely to “break” more mods and CC

 

  • prepare for a new Expansion Pack or Game Pack,
  • introduce a new base game feature, or
  • fix a lot of bugs.

 

Check for Known Broken/Updated Mods

 

Before launching the game, check for which mods are obsolete, broken, updated, or cleared. That includes CC! Yes, your Sim’s eyelashes or that one pair of jeans can break the whole game! Remove obsolete and broken mods. Update updated mods.

 

When a mod is listed as “obsolete,” that means the thing it “fixed” in the game is now actually fixed by the game update. When a mod is listed as “unsupported,” that means that the creator is no longer going to be updating it. Eventually, it will break. It’s up to you if you want to remove it now or wait till it breaks.  Game update time is often when creators decide they’re supporting a mod for the last time.

 

Some creators will have a look at the patch notes and changes in game code to see if their mods are still compatible with the game. If the mods pass the test, those creators will “clear” their mods for the patch. Some creators do this only for major patches, and others not at all. Many Simmers will wait for a creator to clear their mods before re-enabling mods, especially for complex script mods. BUT... Modders are human and fallible, and a cleared mod can still have issues. The "Cleared" list in this forum is selective with a goal to get you going with some of your mods. It is NOT a replacement for backing up your Saves. 

 

Many mods aren’t reported broken, obsolete, updated, or cleared right away. There are many reasons for this, all of them valid! Modders might have full-time jobs or school, families, health issues, or other personal priorities. The mods might be complex to test and update. Tools that modders use for testing and mod creation might themselves need updating. Please be patient. One of the main reasons modders have stated they're leaving modding has been that impatient Simmers asking about mod status add to the already high stress of patch time.

 

 

Re-enable Mods

 

When you’re ready to play with mods again, re-enable mods/CC in game Options, then restart. (Why re-enable? For most patches, as an extra precaution against outdated mods causing problems, Maxis disables the mod/CC settings in Options.) Remember: Even updated and cleared mods can have issues that weren’t previously known. It’s always okay to exit without saving, and always good to have separate backups of your Saves folder.

 

If you can’t wait to play, you have options for that, too.

 

 

 


 

 

Obsolete, Broken, Updated, Cleared:  Using the Broken/Updated Mods List

 

The current AHQ Broken/Updated Mods & CC list list is pinned in Mod/CC Issues. A new list is started for most patches. If a patch doesn’t require a new list, that info will be in the top post.

 

Previous lists are linked in the Master Post [TO COME], for if you’re coming back to the game after a while or if the prevous list had a lot of updates. If you’ve been away a long time, you might still end up doing a 50-50 on your Mods folder to identify mods/CC needing an update.

 

The list does not include everything. Reasons for mods/creators not being covered are listed in the list’s first post, but sometimes things aren’t on the list just because they haven’t yet been reported broken or because they broke a long time ago or aren’t enough of an issue or common enough to be on the selective “Previously Broken” list. This is another reason to learn how to do a 50-50 on your mods!

 

 

Categories in the Broken/Updated list

 

  • Obsolete – These are bugfix mods that aren’t needed anymore; remove them and delete localthumbcache.
  • Broken – These mods/CC must be removed (and localthumbcache deleted), unless there’s a qualification about how their broken that doesn’t apply to your game. If they get updated, they’ll be removed from the list.
  • Updated – These replace your old version. Many were broken, even if they were updated before they made it onto the “Broken” mods or CC list. Don’t skip deleting the old version and localthumbcache!
  • Core/Injector Mods – These are script mods that other mods rely on. They're listed here so you have their current version numbers, update dates, and download sites.
  • Cleared – These are creators who have said that, to the best of their knowledge and testing, their mods are compatible with the game update and can be used. Some modders don’t clear mods; some do it only for major patches. Any creator may have missed an issue. This list is very selective. If you are relying on creator clearings, check creators' social media or mod pages. Even if you rely on this, keep backups of your Saves folder.
  • Previously Broken Mods – This is a selection (not a complete list) of mods that are still broken from previous patches. Remove them.

 

 

Other News Sources

 

For adult mods (or other 18+ mods) and others you don’t see covered at AHQ, check creators’ own social media or mod pages. Many gameplay mod creators keep a master post for mod status, which is extra helpful if you’re coming back to Sims after a long break.

 

 

Mod Managers

 

Mod managers work in different ways. If you use one, you should learn what it does and what it doesn’t do. No mod manager can know for certain by itself if a mod is no longer compatible with the game or is obsolete after an update. Any that even try will never find all instances, especially for obsolete bugfixes. Someone has to feed that info to a mod manager that does mod removals, or you have to remove mods yourself. Most mod managers will update your mods for you if an update is available where the mod manager is looking for it. Curseforge will update your mods after the site approves an update.  

 

 


 

 

"But I can’t play without my mods/CC!"

 

Please, please, please LEAVE MODDERS ALONE. Don’t ask them when they’re going to test their mods or when an update of a broken mod will be released. This is a very big reason for modder burnout. Don’t be like a 5-year-old in the back seat of the car asking their mom “Are we there yet?” Unlike your mom, a mod/CC creator can just quit. And creators who quit have often given pestering from users at game update time as what the last straw was.

 

If you want to play Sims 4 instead of waiting, here are your options:

 

  1. Remove your Mods folder to the desktop (delete localthumbcache too), and play a “vanilla” (unmodded) save for during the wait.
  2. Choose to play in spite of risk. If you do this, please first make a backup of your Saves folder!

If you want to wait for updates but it’s driving you crazy, please find other things to do. Pick out another game to play, or find a new book to read/show to watch/hobby to engage in. When not playing Sims nags at you anyway (assuming you’re well enough or able to), go for a walk or throw yourself into a necessary chore. Variety in how you spend time is a good thing to pursue!

 

 

 

 


Sul sul!
I don't work for EA, and I don't do private support.
I do receive products from EA as part of the EA Creator Network.
Have you backed up your Saves? Checked for broken and updated mods/CC?
Message 7 of 10 (6,869 Views)

Re: How to Use Mods and CC

[ Edited ]

When Your Game Doesn’t Work: Finding Broken Mods and CC

 

Index

 


 

 

Testing "Vanilla"

 

Sometimes your problem isn’t a mod but looks likely to be one. Sometimes you don’t think it’s a mod but you’ve been asked by a helper to make sure of that. This is called (in Sims world) “testing vanilla.” Here’s how to do it:

 

  1. Navigate to Documents > Electronic Arts > The Sims 4
  2. Drag or move (not copy) the Mods folder to your desktop.
  3. Delete the localthumbcache file.
  4. Start Sims 4 and test what’s needed (including whether you’re asked to test in your previous save or a new one). If it works, guess what? It was your mods/CC!

"Clean" User Folders

 

If you’re asked to test on a "clean folder," here’s Crinrict’s method. Mine is similar:

  1. Drag the folder "The Sims 4" out of Documents > Electronic Arts to the desktop.
  2. Restart Sims 4.
  3. Reset your Options (you won't be putting the old file back for that).
  4. Test in a new game to see if you still have the problems you did before.

When putting content back in after creating a new folder, copy files out of the old folder into the new one.

 

... and some other useful tricks

 

Some mods leave errors even after being removed. You might need to do a "Save As," have a Sim travel to a new lot, load a different household, or edit a Sim in CAS, for example. Testing a new save or new household can help problem-solve this too. Feel free to post to get support if you're sure your issue is a mod but it seems to persist in your save.

 

 

 


 

 

Previous Known Issues

 

The Mod/CC Issues Master Post [TO COME] lists and links to some recent and common issues that are known to be caused by broken mods/CC. You can also search the Mod/CC Issues forum for previous reports, but note that some symptoms can be caused by many different mods or by different mods after different game updates — the mod that was the problem two years ago might not be the problem now, several game updates later.

 

If testing vanilla showed that your issue wasn’t mod-related even though it really looked like it was, you might also find it in that post, or head to Game Issues or Bug Reports.

 

 


 

 

The Broken/Updated Mods and CC Lists

 

The Broken/Updated Mods & CC lists kept in AHQ (and, previously, on the earlier Sims forums) give players a convenient first stop when they have an issue and a way to generally keep up with mod news. A new list is started for most patches. If a patch doesn’t require a new list, that info will be in the top post. When you’ve found by testing vanilla that a mod is the cause of your problem, or if it seems really likely that it’s a mod, checking the lists might save you the hassle of more complicated testing.

 

More on using the current list is in this post above.

 

When to Check Previous Lists

If a recent patch was for an EP or a major addition to the game (on the scale of when Infants were added, for example), there will have been many mod updates. Many of those mods won’t need another update for a long time. Some of you with a lot of mods hoping not to have to test all of them might want to check the most recent major update list. You’ll find those linked in the Mod/CC Issues Master Post [TO COME].

 

 


 

 

The 50-50 Method: Batch Testing

 

Often, the lists don’t solve your problem. That might be because you’re using mods that we can’t discuss at AHQ. It might be because you found a mod that broke a really, really long time ago. You might have found one that hasn’t made it to a “broken” list yet.

 

Thankfully, you don’t have to test every gameplay mod and set of alternative eyelashes separately, one at a time! You can batch-test with a system that Simmers call the 50-50 method. Here’s how:

 

  1. Drag your Mods folder to your desktop and delete the localthumbcache file from Electronic Arts > The Sims 4.
  2. Start Sims 4 then exit.
  3. If you have enough disk space, make a test copy of your original Mods folder on your desktop. You can the test copy for the 50-50 so that you don’t lose the organization of your original folder.
  4. Divide your folder up into batches. You might not need to do much for this step depending on how your Mods folder is already organized. You can start with batches as big as half your Mods folder.
  5. Some mods depend on other mods to work. That might be a CC mesh or an injector mod like XML Injector or a core library mod. Make sure dependencies are batched with the mods that depend on them. Otherwise, a mod might seem to not work, but it could just be an installation error.
  6. Start with one batch. Copy it into the new Mods folder the game made. Try it out. Is it all okay? If yes, delete it from Mods, delete localthumbcache, and drag that batch to a folder for cleared batches.
  7. If a batch fails, test part of it. Somewhere in that failed batch is a problem. Separate it into smaller batches and test those separately. It’s common to take out half the batch, hence “50-50.” Remember to keep track of what’s already tested and what isn’t, and keep deleting localthumbcache. Test these sub-batches and keep making them smaller and smaller to narrow down the cause of the problem.
  8. Finally, test the likely culprit alone or with only the mesh/injector/core mods it requires.

A 50-50 won’t always find a mod problem. It will, for example, miss issues that aren’t a result of a game patch, like duplicate files, mod conflicts, missing dependencies, having mods you don’t have required packs for, and wrong mod installation. However, while you’re doing the 50-50, you might notice some of these issues, and it’s a great opportunity to make your Mods folder better organized for next time.

 

 


 

 

Other Things to Check For

 

  • Duplicates: Having two copies of a mod, especially an older version and a newer one, can cause lag and other game issues.
  • Installation issues: Are your mods that have ts4script files only one folder deep? Do you have mods requiring packs you don’t have? Are you missing mesh/core/injector mods your mods/CC depend on? Have you installed mods that are listed by their creators as conflicting with each other?
  • And more: Are your mods in the right folder? Is OneDrive or another syncing app messing with them? Do you have merged .package files that could include broken content?

 

A Note on “Conflict Detectors”

Mod “conflict detectors” are, unfortunately, accurate only for finding duplicate files and Sims 3 mods. When they point out that two mods “speak” to the same piece of game code, they aren’t telling you if they do that in a way that causes any problems. In other words, they don’t accurately show you that two mods conflict in a way that is meaningful. They also can’t tell you if a mod is outdated.

 

 

 


Sul sul!
I don't work for EA, and I don't do private support.
I do receive products from EA as part of the EA Creator Network.
Have you backed up your Saves? Checked for broken and updated mods/CC?
Message 8 of 10 (6,844 Views)

Re: How to Use Mods and CC

[ Edited ]

Getting Support

 

Still stuck? We’re here for support!

 

Support in this forum assumes that you are fully patched to the latest Sims 4 update. Also, before asking for mod/CC support, check the pinned Broken/Updated Mods thread to update your Mods folder and the Master Post for common issues.

 

When you post a new topic or add to one you found in the Master Post or in search, please be descriptive: To help you, we need to know what symptoms you have in your game, and we need to know what steps you’ve taken to try to isolate the problem.

 

Some kinds of issues are best taken straight to creators’ own support: for example, questions about or issues with particular features of a mod and questions about mod conflicts. Creators also appreciate being told (politely, please!) if you’ve done a thorough test that has found a mod problem. Some Sims Discord communities also offer general support. Note: Please check if you’ve got the right creator before asking them for support! And please don’t ask them if their mods/CC are broken or confirmed working for a new game update.

 

 

 

Adding Pictures and Requested Files

 

When it comes to CC and UI issues especially, sometimes a picture of your symptom helps a lot. Here’s how to add a picture to a post. Please remember that no adult content is permitted at AHQ. If we ask you to upload a screenshot of a folder and it includes an adult mod, we may delete the screenshot after checking the info.

 

Sometimes to help with narrowing down an issue, we’ll ask you to upload a file. For Mod/CC Issues, this is usually a last exception file. But sometimes it’s a list of all your mods and CC. (Yes, all!)

 

 

Getting a List of Your Mods

 

Sometimes a helper will ask you for a list of your mods and CC as part of troubleshooting. To get that, follow these instructions (instructions courtesy of the Deaderpool Discord server):

 

Windows

  1. Go to Documents > Electronic Arts > The Sims 4 > Mods
  2. Click on any empty spot in the address bar at the top
  3. Type cmd and press Enter; the command terminal will open
  4. Type the command here and press Enter:
    dir /s > mods.text
  5. You should now see a text (.txt) file in your Mods folder called mods. Upload this file.

Mac

  1. Locate the terminal. You can find it by going to Applications > Utilities, or using Spotlight by pressing Command + Space, typing terminal and clicking the app result.
  2. Enter the following command, which will take you to the /Mods folder: 
    cd ~/Documents/Electronic\ Arts/The\ Sims\ 4/Mods
  3. Enter the command exactly as shown and press Enter:
    ls -lr ./* > ./mods.txt
  4. There should now be a file called mods.txt in your /Mods folder. Upload it.

 

 


Sul sul!
I don't work for EA, and I don't do private support.
I do receive products from EA as part of the EA Creator Network.
Have you backed up your Saves? Checked for broken and updated mods/CC?
Message 9 of 10 (6,840 Views)

Re: How to Use Mods and CC

[ Edited ]

 

 

Having issues even after going through the thread? Please feel free to post here.

 

 


 


Sul sul!
I don't work for EA, and I don't do private support.
I do receive products from EA as part of the EA Creator Network.
Have you backed up your Saves? Checked for broken and updated mods/CC?
Message 10 of 10 (6,741 Views)
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