Sims 4 cc + mods 101
Welcome to your cc and mod journey!
Questions I see frequently in Sims Facebook groups are:
'I'm new to cc/mods, what do I do?'
' What do all these terms mean - Alpha, Maxis Match, Trays?'
'How do I find broken/bad/unwanted CC?'
'Where can I find all this content?'
I wanted to help answer those, so I hope this guide serves you well!
Mods and custom content 101
Adding additional content to your game is relatively easy once you understand what everything is and where it goes! First, we need to understand the basics of mods and cc and what the different types of file types are. Then, we need to understand the Sims 4 folder structure and how the game reads the folder. This site is broken up into 5 main topics, all relating to how to add community-created content to your Sims 4 game:
What are mods?
As described by EA (on this thread):
Mods add features or change the functionality of the game. These Mods may include script code, but not always. For example, a new trait, new console cheats, objects with new functionally, new UI functionality, etc. Learn more about mods at the links below.
What is custom content, also known as CC?
This is the addition of player-made clothing or objects to the game. Sometimes just referred to in The Sims community as “CC”. CC packages are either meshes, recolors or overrides. There are also two main texture styles of CC, Alpha (realistic textures) or Maxis Match (clay/cartoony style of the Maxis/Sims 4 textures). Learn more about the different types of CC at the links below.
What are tray files?
Tray files are where your rooms, lots and houses live. If you download a sim or house that someone has created, you would place those files here and any cc that comes with it, would go in the mods folder.
What are save files?
Save files are versions of other simmer's saves that you can download and play! You can download a blank save to start fresh, you can download some from your favorite sim blogger, or you can download some themed ones!
Tools and Troubleshooting Resources
The process of adding content to your game can be a challenge and sometimes things go wrong. Check out this section for tools and troubleshooting resources.
Sims 4 Folder Overview
In order to feel comfortable editing your Sims 4 folder, you should first understand what all the different files do and which ones are needed to successfully add community-created content.
All of your important files will live in the Sims 4 root folder. Unless you have installed the game in another location, this is where the default location is for both Mac and PC players.
Documents > Electronic Arts > Sims 4
You must run your game at least once for some of the files to appear, so if you haven't, or need to reset your folder, run your game and it will generate any missing files.
Basic Folder Overview
Mods - This is where you add any mods or custom content.
Resouce.cfg - This file lives in your Mods folder. It tells your game how many folders deep to read for files. The default is 5 levels deep. While script mods cannot go more than one level deep, CC can be organized into folders up to 5 levels deep. If you want to alter this, you can, but keep in mind, the more the game has to look, the harder it will be for it to read. The best rule to abide by is 5 levels deep. If you are missing this file, repairing the game should generate a new one.
Custom Music - Here you can add custom music files to the game. Must be MP3 file format.
Saves - Your saves and any other custom saves you add to your game are stored here. No sub-folders, mods, cc, or tray files are allowed. ** Some mods (Basemental, Wicked/Wonderful Whims, can have some save data stored here, that will be generated by the mod. These are fine, as they are simple JSON. * DO NOT ADD ANY FOLDERS OR MODS TO THIS FOLDER.
Tray - Your rooms, sims, lots and other custom files you add are stored here. No sub-folders, mods, cc, or saves are allowed.
Screenshots - This is where any screenshots or pictures taken in-game with 'C', with the camera, phone, etc will be found here.
localthumbcache.package - This file stores all your local game data, including information about your mods and cc. It is suggested that you delete this file when making major updates to your mods and cc folders - like a refresh. This article does a great job at explaining cache folders and which ones can and should be deleted regularly.
Keep your game updated
Many creators and modders will not provide assistance if your game is not running the current version or if you are not using a cracked/illegal version. Some will have older versions of their mods/cc available for download, but in general, content is designed to work with the current version.
If you are running the legacy version, make sure you are using a version of the mod that supports legacy. Most creators will clarify if their content works with the legacy version
Organization is KEY!
Keeping your mods folder organized will help you in the long term if you need to remove bad or unwanted cc. When dowloading CC, I like to have a test folder where I put new CC, test it in-game, and then once I've confirmed working or looking as I want, I distribute to the relevant folders.
Here are some guides that will help you with your organization: