Sims 4 CC guide: how to find, download, and install custom content

The ultimate guide to diving into the wonderful world of mods

Looking to get started with Sims 4 CC, but not sure where to look for it and how to get it running on your PC?

The Sims has enjoyed an incredibly active modding community since it’s first iteration all the way back in 2000. In a series about simulating whatever you can imagine, or being whoever you want to be, The Sims’ modding community has been there to fill the gaps left by Maxis to ensure that statement really is possible. Six years into its life cycle and the Sims 4 CC community has plugged an awful lot of content gaps. There are thousands of ways to tweak how your Sims look, what furniture you can cram into their homes, and even alter what recipes, activities, and lifestyles are available.

It can feel a bit daunting knowing where to start with downloading Sims 4 custom content and mods, so we’ve created a one-stop shop to tell you everything you need to know about custom content, how to install and manage it, and where to find it online.

How to download custom content and mods:

Downloading custom content and mods for The Sims 4 should be as easy as clicking download on whichever site you’re browsing from. Files will then be placed in your designated downloads folder on your PC or Mac, and will then need to be moved to the appropriate folder for the game to recognise them. This should be found by going to your ‘Documents’ folder, selecting ‘Electronic Arts’, then ‘The Sims 4’.

There are two folders that are used for custom content; ‘Tray’ is used for storing Lots and Sims, while ‘mods’ is used for everything else.

Types of custom content and Mod files, and how to install them:

There are a few different file types depending on what type of custom content or mods you’re downloading, so we’ll outline what to expect below:

Custom content:
Most custom content (for items like clothing and objects) and mods will use the .package file extension. These require no formal installation and simply need to be placed within the mods folder or a relevant subfolder within that for them to work.

Lots and Sims:
Downloaded Lots and Sims use several different types of files. Lots can be either a .blueprint, .bpi, or .trayitem file, while Sims can be .hhi, .householidbinary, .sgi, or .trayitem file types. Again there are no steps required to install these files past placing them in the Tray folder, or a relevant subfolder within that.

Script mods:
Script mods can, again, be one of a few file types; .ts4script, .pyo, .py, or .pyc. .ts4script files can be placed in the mods folder in the same way as .package files, while .pyo, .py, and .pyc files must be left inside their zipped/archive folder inside the mods folder.

Note that the .pyo file type is no longer supported by The Sims 4, and Script mods with that file type will likely be outdated.

Organising custom content and mods:

Custom content and mods aren’t without their problems, so we heavily recommend organising your downloaded content well and creating subfolders that categorise the type of content you have downloaded, i.e hairstyles, clothing, objects etc. This makes it much easier to find and troubleshoot any custom content or mods that aren’t working properly or showing up in your game.

Subfolders can go a maximum of five folders deep before they stop being recognised by the game, which is especially useful for categories like clothing, where you may have a lot of subcategories, like shirts, trousers etc. Note that Script mods, which usually consist of several files, cannot be placed into subfolders, so we recommend creating a single folder for that Script Mod within the main Sims 4 mods folder, and placing all relevant files there.

You can also rename your files as long as they end in the correct file extension, which is useful for logging the content creator and its item type.

Turning custom content and mods on:

Sims 4 players will need to manually enable any downloaded custom content and mods through the in-game menu. To do this, press ESC, then go to ‘Game Options’, then ‘Other’. From there, you can select ‘Enable custom content and mods’ and ‘Script mods Allowed’ to turn on your custom content.

Note that this can be disabled when EA releases official The Sims 4 patches, so always make sure this is turned back on after a patch has been installed. It is worth checking after official patches that any extensive mods or Script mods you have installed are compatible with that current version of the game, and if not, turning them off until they are updated in order to prevent any crashes or bugs appearing in your game.

How to find your custom content and mods in-game:

To check your custom content and mods have been installed correctly, you can view this in-game by pressing ESC, then go to ‘Game Options’, then ‘Other’, and clicking ‘View custom content’. The game should list everything that it has successfully installed.

All content relating to a Sim’s visuals, from skinstones down to accessories and clothing, will be in Create-A-Sim mode. Downloaded objects will be viewable in Buy and Build Mode,
which you can filter by custom content only by heading to ‘Filter Items’ on the right hand side, selecting ‘Content’, and then ticking ‘custom content’ from the drop down menu.

Read more about Sims 4:
Sims 4 cheats list
The best Sims 4 sex mods
The best Sims 4 mods

Downloaded Lots and Sims can be found by heading to the Gallery and going to ‘My Library’. Remember to tick ‘Include custom content’ from the left hand menu, as this will be unticked by default and will prevent you from viewing anything you have downloaded.

Tools for managing your custom content and mods:

Managing a lot of custom content and mods can be tricky, especially when official game updates can cause compatibility issues with what you have installed. An excellent Mod manager tool is available to download here, which assists with sorting and managing all custom content and mods for your game.

Where to find custom content and mods online:

There’s a plethora of places that you can download Sims 4 custom content and mods from, and we’ve outlined some of the best places to browse below:

  • Modthesims.info: One of the biggest Sims 4 custom content sites that contains what feels like a bottomless pit of Sims 4 CC for you to explore.
  • Thesimsresource: Another huge site for all kinds of custom content
  • Sims4downloads.net: A blogroll style site that collates new custom content from a multitude of sites. This site is particularly useful for finding individual content creators.
  • Tumblr: Yes, you heard correctly. Tumblr still has a thriving Sims community, ranging from aesthetic photo edits and role-playing, to custom content creation. We recommend using the tags #The Sims 4, #Sims 4 custom content, #TS4 CC and #Simblr to find custom content and creators.
  • Twitter: Like Tumblr, it’s another great platform to use to explore the work of individual creators. We recommend searching using the tags #ts4cc, #thesims4cc, and #sims4cc.
  • Patreon has a huge amount of Sims 4 custom content creators on the platform, making everything from exquisite building lots, to diverse hair and skin tones, to extensive gameplay additions that often outshine Maxis’ work.

Ebonixsims‘ custom content hairstyle, Roxie

Glossary of terms:

  • Mods: Modifications that can change the way the game and Sims behave. These can range from minor game changes to large system overhauls. These often need to be checked for updates more than custom content in order to keep working, and can sometimes become incompatible with the game after official updates.
  • CC: Abbreviation for custom content.
  • Mesh: A skeleton of an object. Everything in The Sims 4 requires a mesh, so when downloading custom content that uses a new mesh, rather than an already existing mesh in the game, ensure that it is also downloaded or your items will not appear.
  • Swatches: Colour options for all items
  • Recolour: An alternative recolour of existing Maxis content, or custom content made by other creators. Again you need to make sure you have the correct mesh when downloading a recolour.
  • Default replacement: custom content that replaces an existing Maxis made item or colour swatch in the game. You may use this if you want to override things like clothing or furniture colours without adding additional swatches to your game.
  • Non-Default: custom content that adds an additional item or colour swatch to the game rather than overriding existing items.
  • Alpha CC: custom content that is highly detailed and is designed to look as photorealistic as possible.
  • Maxis Match CC: custom content that aims to match the art style of The Sims 4.
  • 50/50 Method: A very popular method of troubleshooting bugged custom content and mods, which you can find here.
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