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The Sims 2

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games
The Sims 2
The Sims 2 cover
Pets, Apartment Life EA Redwood Shores
macOS (OS X) Aspyr Media
Electronic Arts
The Sims 2 Engine
Release dates
Windows September 14, 2004
macOS (OS X) June 13, 2005
Metacritic 90
Monetization One-time game purchase, Expansion pack, DLC, Sponsored, Cross-game bonus
Modes Singleplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives Bird's-eye view
Controls Point and select
Genres Life sim
Themes Contemporary, Zombies
Series The Sims
The Sims 2 on HowLongToBeat
The Sims 2 on IGDB
The Sims 2 guide on StrategyWiki
The Sims 2 on MobyGames
The Sims 2 on Wikipedia
The Sims
Subseries of Sim
The Sims 2000
The Sims Online 2002
The Sims 2 2004
The Sims Stories (series)
MySims 2008
The Sims 3 2009
The Sims Medieval 2011
The Sims 4 2014

The Sims 2 is a singleplayer bird's-eye view life sim game in the The Sims series.

General information

The Sims 2 Official Forums
EA Answer HQ
EA Answer HQ (OS X)


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
CD key
SafeDisc v3 DRM[Note 1]. Later expansions use v4 or SecuROM 7 and SecuROM PA DRM.
A De-Authorization Tool is available for three expansions.
Custom DRM code may sabotage the game by disabling the build mode and the saving system.
Released on 4 CDs or 1 DVD.
Mac App Store
Icon overlay.png
Super Collection.
macOS (OS X)
Origin (unavailable)
Pulled from the Origin store in August 2014.
SafeDisc retail DRM does not work on Windows Vista and later (see above for affected versions).
All Origin versions are automatically upgraded to The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection. Contact the EA Support for retail versions.[3]
The Ultimate Collection from Origin no longer uses SecuROM DRM.[4] However, it still requires Origin running to play.
Multiple faithful, higher quality icons can be found on SteamGridDB.

Version differences

List of all different versions and regions can be found on Wikipedia.


Type Notes
Cross-game bonus Worlds made in SimCity 4 can be imported as neighborhood templates.
DLC Between 2008 and 2011, a "The Sims 2 Store Edition" client that required Pets and was included with Apartment Life,[5] could be used to buy items for real money.
Expansion pack The game has 8 expansion packs, and 9 "Stuff" packs.
One-time game purchase The base game is sold for money.
Sponsored H&M Fashion Stuff and IKEA Home Stuff were sponsored by Hennes & Mauritz and IKEA respectively.

DLC and expansion packs

Name Notes
University Expansion 1
macOS (OS X)
Nightlife Expansion 2
macOS (OS X)
Open for Business Expansion 3
macOS (OS X)
Pets Expansion 4
macOS (OS X)
Seasons Expansion 5
macOS (OS X)
Bon Voyage Expansion 6
macOS (OS X)
FreeTime Expansion 7
Apartment Life Expansion 8
Family Fun Stuff Stuff pack 1
macOS (OS X)
Glamour Life Stuff Stuff pack 2
macOS (OS X)
Happy Holiday Stuff Stuff pack 3. Also known as Festive Holiday Stuff in Europe.
macOS (OS X)
Celebration! Stuff Stuff pack 4
H&M Fashion Stuff Stuff pack 5. Also known as Fashion Stuff in Australia.
Teen Style Stuff Stuff pack 6
Kitchen & Bath Interior Design Stuff Stuff pack 7
IKEA Home Stuff Stuff pack 8
Mansion & Garden Stuff Stuff pack 9; default executable of The Ultimate Collection as it is the latest release.

Essential improvements

In-game camera and game recording settings.
In-game camera and game recording settings.


Retail versions of the game require patching and installing expansion packs/stuff packs in the correct order which can be found here. The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection on Origin is already updated to the last patch.
Although the game's patch site has now gone down, many patches are available from here or here. Patch notes can be found here.

Large Address Aware Patch

Enables support for 4GB of RAM, which should allow for smoother gameplay, faster loading times, better FPS and less frequent crashes.

Graphics Rules Maker

Updates the game configuration files to make sure the game recognizes processor, graphics card and screen resolution while improving performance. This tool solves the most common issues that occur on newer systems, such as graphics settings being inaccessible or not getting applied on newer GPUs, as well as black square Sim shadows.

Skip intro videos

Delete or rename video files[6]

For the base game:

  • Delete or rename in <path-to-game>\TSData\Res\Movies.

For the Ultimate Collection:

  1. Delete or rename in <path-to-game>\Fun with Pets\SP9\TSData\Res\Movies.
  2. Delete or rename in <path-to-game>\Double Deluxe\Base\TSData\Res\Movies.

Note that for the Ultimate Collection, attempting to delete usually results in the game loading the next one available in the expansion folders. Therefore all of them should be renamed or deleted.

  1. Go to <path-to-game>.
  2. Search for in the search bar.
  3. Delete or rename all of these files.

RPC Launcher

Adds Discord Rich Prescence, among other fix including "first-born syndrome" due to broken internal RNG. More information and downloads here.

Improved view distances

Remove fog[7]
  1. Open the cheat console with Ctrl+ Shift+C.
  2. Type boolprop dontMergeNHFlora false and uintProp lotSkirtSizeIncrease 120.
Cheats can be loaded on game start by adding them to the configuration file.

Game data

In-game general settings.
In-game general settings.

Configuration file(s) location

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\TSData\Res\Config[Note 2]
macOS (OS X)
<path-to-game> changes according to what expansions are installed. For example, the path of Ultimate Collection or all expansions would be ...\Fun with Pets\SP9\....

Save game data location

System Location
Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\
%USERPROFILE%\Documents\EA Games\The Sims™ 2 Ultimate Collection\
macOS (OS X) $HOME/Library/Application Support/Aspyr/The Sims 2
~/Library/Containers/com.aspyr.sims2.appstore/Data/Library/Application Support/Aspyr/The Sims 2 (Mac App Store version)[8]

Save game cloud syncing

System Native Notes
Requires enabling backup of the Documents folder in OneDrive on all computers.


In-game graphics settings.
In-game graphics settings.

Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
Up to 1280x720 by default. For more widescreen resolutions see Widescreen resolution.
4K Ultra HD
The text, UI elements and loading screen do not scale with resolution.[9]
Field of view (FOV)
See Field of view (FOV).
Use -w launch parameter.
Borderless fullscreen windowed
Use a utility such as GameCompanion together with the windowed launch argument.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
Enabled with the Smooth Edges slider. See Anti-aliasing (AA) if it is greyed-out.
Vertical sync (Vsync)
On by default.
Can be disabled by using the vsync off command in the console (Ctrl+ Shift+C) but that may crash the game.
60 FPS and 120+ FPS
The refresh rate option goes up to 100 Hz.[10] Windowed mode correctly uses the desktop's refresh rate even higher than that.[11]
Running the game above 60 FPS may cause sluggish camera movement, see Intermittent sluggishness when moving the camera.
High dynamic range display (HDR)
See the glossary page for potential alternatives.

Widescreen resolution

The game cannot detect modern graphics cards properly and may set the game to lock the resolution to 800x600 regardless of monitor's highest supported resolution. Additionally its maximum supported resolution is 1600x1200.
Use the Graphics Rules Maker[12]
  1. Open the program and select The Sims 2 in the game dropdown menu. If it doesn't automatically find the game, browse to the latest installed expansion or stuff pack.
  2. Modify the settings under Game Tweaks to apply the desired fixes.
  3. Press Save Files... and click Yes in the window that appears.
If despite using the tool the game cannot run above 800x600 resolution, or the game is locked to 4:3 aspect ratio, see the manual method below.
Manual resolution fix[13]

Navigate to the configuration file location and open Graphics Rules.sgr.

  • Search for:
option ScreenModeResolution
setting $Low
uintProp maxResWidth      800
uintProp maxResHeight     600
uintProp defaultResWidth  800
uintProp defaultResHeight 600
  • Set maxResWidth and maxResHeight to the display's native width and height.
E.g., for a 1920x1080 resolution:
option ScreenModeResolution
setting $Low
uintProp maxResWidth      1920
uintProp maxResHeight     1080
uintProp defaultResWidth  1920
uintProp defaultResHeight 1080
  • Save and close.

Field of view (FOV)

Each of the game's cameras can have their FOV set independently using the FOV parameter in their camera settings files, which are located in %USERPROFILE%\Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\Cameras.

Anti-aliasing (AA)

The Sims 2 cannot determine how much VRAM modern GPUs have. As a result, it defaults to its failsafe, which is 32 MB, and prevents edge smoothing. If the Graphics Rules Maker does not fix it, edit the config file manually.
Manually raise the amount of fallback value[14]
  1. Navigate to the configuration file location.
  2. Open Graphics Rules.sgr.
  3. Find the following section:
    if (not $useSoftwareRasterizer)
       # failed to obtain device texture memory size, force to 32 MB
       if ($textureMemory = 0)
          seti textureMemory       32
    and set seti textureMemory to the GPU's VRAM.


Alt-tabbing may not work properly during the game's loading screens.

Keyboard and mouse State Notes
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Mouse acceleration
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller support
Controller types


In-game audio settings.
In-game audio settings.

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Voices, sound effects, music and ambience.
Surround sound
Stereo, 4.0 and 5.1
No intelligible dialog. All in-game dialog uses the fictional Simlish language.
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
Royalty free audio
Parts of the BGM OST is listed on streaming services, but have not been known to trigger auto-DMCA systems. The Simlish version of Lily Allen's Smile that was added in the Seasons pack, may potentially trigger ContentID due to the instrumental intro, but individual songs can be turned off in the settings.


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Simplified Chinese
Traditional Chinese
Brazilian Portuguese

Issues fixed

Game stuck in 800x600 resolution

See Widescreen resolution.

No Anti-Aliasing available

See Anti-aliasing (AA).

Cannot set shadows to high quality setting

Use the Graphics Rules Maker or edit the config manually as follows.
Use a custom config file[citation needed]
  1. Go to the configuration file location.
  2. Make a backup of Graphics Rules.sgr.
  3. Edit Graphics Rules.sgr and paste the content provided here.

Black square shadows

Use DXVK to fix shadow issues[15]
  1. Download DXVK.
  2. Follow this guide on how to install DXVK for The Sims 2.
Download Sim Shadow Fix[12]
  1. Go here and download the prefered file. (0.2 shadows are more opaque, 0.4 more transparent and 0.3 are in between).
  2. Extract the .package file inside the downloaded zip file to %USERPROFILE%\Documents\EA Games\The Sims™ 2 Ultimate Collection\Downloads.


If using an Intel HD Graphics card, the author recommends downloading the xReallyNotMisty versions of the fix.
If using this manual fix, do not enable Disable Sim Shadows on Graphics Rules Maker as this option disable all shadows cast from a Sim.

Windows Vista / 7 compatibility

The retail release of the game might show an error message when loaded. Patching the game or installing the expansion packs will correct this.[citation needed]

Can't install the retail version on Windows 10

Attempting to install via AutoRun.exe returns an error message: "This app has been blocked for your protection; An administrator has blocked you from running this app"
Run AutoRun.exe through Task Manager[16]
  1. Open Task Manager, click "Run new task".
  2. In the "Open" field, type the path to the drive that AutoRun.exe is located on, such as D:\AutoRun.exe
  3. Tick "Create this task with administrative privileges" beneath the text field.
  4. Click OK.
Disable UAC temporarily[17]
  1. Open the Registry Editor and go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System.
  2. Double-click on EnableLUA.
  3. Change the value from 1 to 0, and click OK.
  4. Restart the computer to turn off UAC.
  5. Install the game via the AutoRun program.
  6. Once installed, open the Registry Editor again and change 0 back to 1.
  7. Restart the computer again to turn UAC on.

Temporarily freezing during launch with certain AMD GPUs on Windows 10

Use DXVK to circumvent DirectX issues[15]
  1. Download DXVK.
  2. Follow this guide on how to install DXVK for The Sims 2.
Newer versions of the Radeon Adrenalin driver software cause this issue.
Rollback to Radeon Adrenalin driver v.[citation needed]
  1. Download DDU (Display Driver Uninstaller).
  2. Download Radeon Adrenalin v. or earlier.
  3. Extract []
  4. Run DDU v<version_number>.exe.
  5. Click on Extract.
  6. Go to the DDU v<version_number> folder and run Display Driver Uninstaller.exe.
  7. Click on the Select device type drop-down menu and select GPU, make sure AMD is selected in the drop-down menu below.
  8. Click on Clean and restart and wait for the computer to reboot.
  9. Run Win10-64Bit-Radeon-Software-Adrenalin-Edition-
  10. Click on Install and proceed with the setup.
  11. After the setup, restart the computer and launch the game.

Failed to find any DirectX 9.0c compatible graphics adapters during launch

Use DXVK to circumvent DirectX issues[15]
  1. Download DXVK.
  2. Follow this guide on how to install DXVK for The Sims 2.
This issue might occur for certain AMD GPUs on Windows 10. In particular HBCC for AMD Vega GPUs.
Instructions[citation needed]

Open Global Graphics Settings in Radeon Settings → Advanced → deactivate HBCC.

The problem might also occur if the monitor does not support 60 Hz.
Instructions[citation needed]

Run the game in windowed mode, by adding the -w launch parameter[18] or installing Sims2RPC launcher and launching the game in Borderless fullscreen.

The frame rate will match the monitor frequency, breaking the internal 100 FPS limit.
The edge scrolling will stop working.
Alternative[citation needed]

Create a custom resolution at 60 Hz using the CRU tool.

The screen mode does not have to be used before running the game, the game will automatically select it.
It locks the frame rate to 60 Hz.
Possible frame pacing issues.

Fix crashing with Nvidia 1XXX and Windows 10

Use DXVK to circumvent DirectX issues[15]
  1. Download DXVK.
  2. Follow this guide on how to install DXVK for The Sims 2.
Apply 4 GB fix to the executable[19]
  1. Download the 4GB Patch.
  2. Extract
  3. Run 4gb_patch.exe.
  4. Apply patch to the desired game executable within <path-to-game>\TSBin (Sims2.exe for base game, Sims2EP#.exe for expansion packs, Sims2SP#.exe for stuff packs).

Issues on newer CPUs

The Sims 2 was made before the release of multi-core CPUs. It may have issues loading on startup on newer CPUs with multiple cores and hyperthreading.
Use -CPUCount:1 launch parameter.[20]

Neighbourhoods inaccessible in Ultimate Collection

Remove ™ in registry key[citation needed]
  2. Delete from The Sims 2™ Ultimate Collection in the Display Name.

Low quality neighborhood terrain, or generally poor visual quality with Intel Graphics.

If using Graphics Rules Maker, Enable High Quality on Intel Graphics[12]
Disable the game's tweaks for Intel graphics[12]
  1. Navigate to the configuration file location.
  2. Open Graphics Rules.sgr
  3. Find the following section, below elseif (match("${cardVendor}", "Intel"))
boolProp simpleTerrain true
boolProp enumerateMultisampleLevels false
boolProp disableVSyncSupport true
boolProp useShaders false
  1. Comment out all four tweaks by adding # before boolProp on each, or remove them altogether.
Enable high quality neighborhood terrain only[12]
  1. Navigate to the configuration file location.
  2. Open Graphics Rules.sgr
  3. Find the following section:
    boolProp simpleTerrain true
    and change true to false.

Z-fighting or trailing black squares

Issues caused by internal dirty rectangle cleanup conflicts with ReShade or when using graphics card's utilities to force multisample/supersampling anti-aliasing methods. Or drivers that doesn't properly handle framebuffer clear operations.
Disable turbo rect or dirty rect.[21]
  1. Create or open userStartup.cheat in save data location\Config folder.
  2. Add boolProp useTurboRect false. If existed and/or populated, add it on a new line.
  3. Save the file normally.
Alternatively, dirty rects can be disabled entirely with intProp dynamicRenderStrategy 0 instead, or alongside with turbo rect above. However, this may have large impact to performance on some systems.

Stuck Sims/Poorly Placed Objects/Frozen Objects

Periodically, a sim may become trapped or a special object may be placed in a bad location, preventing a sim from doing anything. In other cases, a normal object may be improperly tagged as "in use" and cannot be moved, sold, or manipulated.
Use this cheat carefully. Some objects like the mailbox cannot be replaced once deleted.
Use moveobjects cheat code[citation needed]
  1. Open cheat console with Ctrl+ Shift+C.
  2. Type moveobjects on and enter buy mode.
  3. Move the object to another location.
  4. Restore game back to normal with moveobjects off.

"More..." button does not work in conversations

This issue is caused by using a mouse when playing on a laptop with a touchpad.
Disable the touchpad[citation needed]
Alternatively, play with the touchpad instead of a mouse[citation needed]
If playing on a desktop PC, it is solved by pressing Tab when selecting options in the pie menu.

Intermittent sluggishness when moving the camera

The game might seem like it "lags" or it is otherwise not smooth when the camera moves while the game is running above 60 FPS.
Limit the game to 60 FPS.[citation needed]
Set refresh rate on 60hz.

Other information


Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 9.0c
ExecutablePPC 32-bit 64-bit Notes
macOS (OS X)
Starting with the Nightlife expansion in 2006, the game and all its expansions were made universal binaries for Intel Macs, which continued until the Bon Voyage expansion in late 2007.

The Apartment Life and FreeTime expansions were not released individually and thus require the Ultimate Collection, which is Intel-only. Fortunately, it is fully 64-bit as of 2019.


The Sims 2 attracted a large modding community, allowing further customization features. Unfortunately, even properly designed mods could increase the chances of crashes and errors in the game. Mods have a major impact on loading time and stability, and should be used with discretion if issues arise.

Official tools

These tools were created by Maxis and formerly hosted on the game's official website.
The Sims 2 and the BodyShop Demo should not be installed on the same machine at the same time. Existing save games may corrupt and other issues may arise.

System requirements

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 98SE, ME, 2000
Processor (CPU) 800 MHz
System memory (RAM) 256 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 3.5 GB
Video card (GPU) ATI Radeon 7200
Nvidia GeForce2 Series
Intel® Extreme Graphics
32 MB of VRAM
DirectX 9.0c compatible
System with non-T&L capable video card, such as Intel Extreme Graphics or Radeon VE requires a system with 2 GHz processors or faster. 2.4 GHz if Seasons or later expansion pack is installed.[22]
macOS (OS X)
Operating system (OS) 10.12 (Sierra) or later
Processor (CPU) 2.2Ghz
System memory (RAM) 4 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 10 GB
Video card (GPU) Nvidia 330M
Radeon HD 4670
Intel HD 3000
256 MB of VRAM
Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system. The Sims™ 2: Super Collection does not support hard drive volumes formatted as Mac OS Extended (CaseSensitive).


  1. SafeDisc retail DRM does not work on Windows 10[1] or Windows 11 and is disabled by default on Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 when the KB3086255 update is installed.[2]
  2. When running this game without elevated privileges (Run as administrator option), write operations against a location below %PROGRAMFILES%, %PROGRAMDATA%, or %WINDIR% might be redirected to %LOCALAPPDATA%\VirtualStore on Windows Vista and later (more details).


  1. Not Loading in Windows 10; this will break thousands of - Microsoft Community - last accessed on 2017-01-16
  2. Microsoft - MS15-097: Description of the security update for the graphics component in Windows: September 8, 2015 - last accessed on 2018-02-16
  3. Origin - The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection FAQ
  4. The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection: SecuRom Update - Sims Community
  5. The Sims 2 Store Edition - last accessed on 28 March 2023
  6. TS2; skip intro - PC Gaming - Tom's Hardware - last accessed on
  7. This is how Sims 2 can look in 2016 : thesims - last accessed on
  8. How to find my Saves and Game Folder - Aspyr - last accessed on May 2023
  9. Forcing The Sims 2 to run in 4K . YouTube - last accessed on 2018-06-16
  10. The Sims 2 Windows 10 Graphics Patch *FIX PINK FLASHING* - YouTube
  11. Verified by User:Keith on 2020-04-02
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 Verified by User:Fudgesiclesxd on 2023-02-28
  13. Verified by User:Yilku1 on 2022-08-29
  14. Verified by User:Nessy on 2022-08-04
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 The Sims 2: 2022 Setup Guide - osab - Google Docs
  16. Verified by User:Jathom95 on 2023-12-21
  17. Blocked, can't start the autorun. [SOLVED] - last accessed on 9 June 2023
  18. {{Refurl|url= Sims 2, DirectX 9.0c error,
  19. - last accessed on May 2023
  20. Sims 2, Graphics, Windows 10 - LeeFish forums - last accessed on April 4, 2020
  21. Verified by User:Fudgesiclesxd on 2023-02-28
    Issues found when running normally with system running Intel HD 4600, also dirty rect related issues also encountered when I force adaptive MSAA through AMD Settings app. However the fix also solves issue when using ReShade shaders that access depth buffer.
  22. The Sims 2: Seasons for Windows (2007) Tech Info - MobyGames - last accessed on May 2023