How to Install Custom Content in Sims 4
Since this side of the blog is all about mods and custom content, I figured I should at least have a beginner’s guide to installing everything, so here we go!
*Note: Some custom content creators place their content behind ad links. These links may sometimes contain viruses or intrusive pop-up ads that can be dangerous to your computer. Be sure to check where the link leads to protect yourself.
If I had to guess, you’ve probably seen a bunch of cute hairs or outfits on Pinterest or Tumblr that you absolutely need in your game. Or maybe you heard about this mod that can do amazing things for your gameplay. You’re ready to take your sims’ lives to the next level and dive head first into the wonderful world of cc but there’s just one problem, you’re not sure where to start. Well worry no more cause I got you. Keep reading to learn how to install custom content for the Sims 4.
Table of Contents:
These are terms that you will see referenced often throughout this guide and the modding community.
Custom Content or CC: content such as: hair, clothes and objects created by members of the sims community that add additional items to the game.
Mods: modifications made to the game that enhance current gameplay features or introduce new features altogether.
Enabling Custom Content and Script Mods:
For CC or mods to show up in your game, you will need to enable it in the game’s options. If you have not done so already, load up the game, click the three little dots in the top right-hand corner of the screen and click Game Options > Other. Place a check mark next to Enable Custom Content and Mods and Script Mods Allowed.
When installing CC or mods, there are two folders you need to be familiar with, the Mods folder and the Tray folder. These folders come pre-installed with the Sims 4. If you recently installed the game and you don’t see them, you may need to load the game once for them to generate.
Mods folder: this is where all of your mods and custom content will go. This folder comes with a Resource file that should stay in there at all times. This is how the game reads CC and mods.
Tray folder: this is where your tray files will go for all lots, rooms, households (sims) that you download online. Lots, rooms and sims downloaded from the gallery go straight into your Tray folder (library) automatically so you don’t need to worry about that here.
Tray files typically look something like this. They contain a few different files that end in .blueprint, .bpi and .trayitem. You will need to place each file into your Tray folder.
*Note: If you download a house/room or sim online, that contains CC, you will need to place the CC in the Mods folder and the tray files in the Tray folder.
These folders are located in your C: drive (for Window’s users) > Documents > Electronic Arts > Sims 4.
Some mods or CC come compressed in .zip files or .rar files. You will need a program to unzip them before placing the files into your Mods or Tray folders. I use 7-zip but there are also other programs such as WinRar.
*Note: You should only be placing .package files into your Mods folder unless specifically instructed otherwise by the creator. Some mods will also come with a .ts4script file to accompany the .package file, more on that in the Organization section of this article.
I recommend storing your CC and mods in sub-folders within your Mods folders to keep things organized.
I usually keep my CC sorted by type (CAS or Buy Mode) then creator. This helps with cleaning out old or unwanted CC as things are much easier to find.
There are two types of mods to familiarize yourself with.
Non-script Mods: smaller mods that may need to be updated less frequently. Usually just a .package file (like all other CC)
Script Mods: larger mods that may make big changes to the game that need to be updated frequently (think every patch)
Script mods can only go one folder deep within the Mods folder, so you’ll want to make sure to keep them together.
*Note: It’s a good idea to keep your mods and CC separate. On patch day, it’s a huge hassle trying to track down possibly broken CC when everything is thrown all in there together. Even if you’re not huge on organization, you’ll thank yourself for at least having a sub-folder for your non-script mods, a sub-folder for your script mods and sub-folders for CAS, build, buy, etc … Just trust me on this.
Cleaning Out CC:
This can be a time consuming but necessary task for all players (those who use CC anyway). There isn’t really a way to get around having to go through your content manually but there are a few programs that can help speed things up.
Sims 4 Studio (registration required): can open your entire Mods folder (by clicking the My CC button) and let you delete items with one click. It’s also useful for batch fixing older CC from creators who may have retired from the community or disabling CC for random for to keep your townies in check. Check out this article (external link) if you’re interested in learning how to batch fix.
Tray Importer: another useful program that can open up your Tray folder and identify all CC used in a build or on sims. Super useful if you plan to share your creations as well.
Alright, to sum things up:
- Enable CC and Mods in Game Options
- Download CC or mods from the creator’s website (making sure to read creator’s notes)
- Unzip folder if necessary and place .package or .package and .ts4script files in Mods folder and .blueprint, .bpi and .trayitem in Tray folder
- Double check that .ts4script files are placed no more than one folder deep within the mods folder and that it’s placed with its accompanying .package file
- Double check that tray files are placed in the Tray folder and not the Mods folder (to find them on the Gallery, click My Library and be sure to check Advanced Options > Include Custom Content)
- Make sure to keep all of your mods up-to-date by visiting the creator’s website often, especially after a patch
- Load up your game and have fun!
Any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below!