The Sims 2

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The Sims 2
The Sims 2 cover
Developers
Maxis
macOS (OS X) Aspyr Media
Publishers
Electronic Arts
Engines
The Sims 2 Engine
Release dates
Windows September 14, 2004
macOS (OS X) June 13, 2005
Reception
Metacritic 90
IGDB 71
Taxonomy
Monetization One-time game purchase, Expansion pack, DLC, Sponsored
Modes Singleplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives Bird's-eye view
Genres Life sim
Themes Contemporary
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.

Key points

Large modding community.
The game cannot properly detect newer graphics cards which may result in various problems. (Corrupt graphics, no Anti-Aliasing and locked resolution or settings). See Graphics Rules Maker and Issues fixed.

General information

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

Availability[edit]

Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Retail
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 DRM.
Windows
Mac App Store
Icon overlay.png
Super Collection.
macOS (OS X)
Origin (unavailable)
Origin
Windows
SafeDisc retail DRM does not work on Windows Vista and later (see above for affected versions).
The Windows version is no longer sold digitally.
All Origin versions are automatically upgraded to The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection. Contact the EA Support for retail versions.[3]
The Ultimate Collection has been pulled from the Origin store in August 2014.
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[edit]

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

DLC and expansion packs

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

Essential improvements[edit]

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

Patches[edit]

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[edit]

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

Graphics Rules Maker[edit]

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[edit]

Delete or rename video files[5]

For the base game:

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

For the Ultimate Collection:

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

Note that for the Ultimate Collection, attempting to delete ealogo_audio.movie 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 ealogo_audio.movie in the search bar.
  3. Delete or rename all of these files.

Improved view distances[edit]

Remove fog[6]
  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[edit]

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

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

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[edit]

System Location
Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\
%USERPROFILE%\Documents\EA Games\The Sims™ 2 Ultimate Collection\
macOS (OS X)

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

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

Video[edit]

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.
Multi-monitor
Ultra-widescreen
4K Ultra HD
The text, UI elements and loading screen do not scale with resolution.[7]
Field of view (FOV)
See Field of view (FOV).
Windowed
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.[8] Windowed mode correctly uses the desktop's refresh rate even higher than that.[9]
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[edit]

The game cannot detect modern graphics cards properly and may force 800x600. Additionally its maximum default resolution is 1600x1200.
Use the Graphics Rules Maker[citation needed]
  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[10]

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

  • Set maxResWidth and maxResHeight to the display's native width and height, and edit the following lines accordingly:
option ScreenModeResolution
setting $Low
uintProp maxResWidth 2560
uintProp maxResHeight 1600
uintProp defaultResWidth 800
uintProp defaultResHeight 600

setting $Medium
uintProp maxResWidth 2560
uintProp maxResHeight 1600
uintProp defaultResWidth 1024
uintProp defaultResHeight 768

setting $High
uintProp maxResWidth 2560
uintProp maxResHeight 1600
uintProp defaultResWidth 1024
uintProp defaultResHeight 768
end

Field of view (FOV)[edit]

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)[edit]

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[11]
  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
       endif
    and set seti textureMemory to the GPU's VRAM.

Input[edit]

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

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

Audio[edit]

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
Subtitles
No intelligible dialog. All in-game dialog uses the fictional Simlish language.
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost

Localizations

Language UI Audio Sub Notes
English
Czech
Danish
Dutch
Finnish
French
German
Greek
Hebrew
Hungarian
Italian
Japanese
Korean
Norwegian
Polish
Portuguese
Brazilian Portuguese
Russian
Spanish
Swedish
Thai
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese

Issues fixed[edit]

Game stuck in 800x600 resolution[edit]

See Widescreen resolution.

No Anti-Aliasing available[edit]

See Anti-aliasing (AA).

Cannot set shadows to high quality setting[edit]

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[edit]

If using this manual fix, the Enable Sim Shadows fix on Graphics Rules Maker will not work.
Download Sim Shadow Fix[citation needed]
  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.

Windows Vista / 7 compatibility[edit]

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[edit]

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"
Disable UAC temporarily[12]
  1. Open the Registry Editor (regedit.exe).
  2. Go to Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System.
  3. Double-click on EnableLUA.
  4. Change the value from 1 to 0, and click OK.
  5. Restart the computer to turn off UAC.
  6. Install the game via the AutoRun program.
  7. Once installed, open the Registry Editor again and change 0 back to 1.
  8. Restart the computer again to turn UAC on.

Temporarily freezing during launch with certain AMD GPUs on Windows 10[edit]

Newer versions of the Radeon Adrenalin driver software cause this issue.
Rollback to Radeon Adrenalin driver v.18.12.1.1[citation needed]
  1. Download DDU (Display Driver Uninstaller).
  2. Download Radeon Adrenalin v.18.12.1.1 or earlier.
  3. Extract [Guru3D.com]-DDU.zip.
  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-18.12.1.1-Dec5.
  10. Click on Install and proceed with the setup.
  11. After the setup, restart the computer and launch the game.
Alternatively, use DXVK to circumvent DirectX issues[13]
  1. Download DXVK.
  2. Follow this guide on how to install DXVK for The Sims 2.

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

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[14] 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[edit]

Apply 4GB fix to the executable[15]
  1. Download the 4GB Patch.
  2. Extract 4gb_patch.zip.
  3. Run 4gb_patch.exe.
  4. Apply patch to <path-to-game>\TSBin\Sims2EP9.exe.
Alternatively, use DXVK to circumvent DirectX issues[citation needed]
  1. Download the newest Version of DXVK
  2. Follow this guide on how to install DXVK for The Sims 2

Issues on newer CPUs[edit]

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.[16]

Neighbourhoods inaccessible in Ultimate Collection[edit]

Remove ™ in registry key[citation needed]
  1. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\
  2. Find the EA GAMES folder and open The Sims 2. Delete from The Sims 2™ Ultimate Collection in the Display Name.

Low quality neighborhood terrain[edit]

Enable high quality neighborhood terrain[citation needed]
  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.

Stuck Sims/Poorly Placed Objects/Frozen Objects[edit]

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 mail box 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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

API[edit]

Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 9.0c
ExecutablePPC 32-bit 64-bit Notes
Windows
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.

Mods[edit]

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[edit]

These tools were created by Maxis and formerly hosted on the game's official website.
  • BodyShop (Demo) - Allow to create custom sims, hair and clothes.
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[edit]

Windows
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
32 MB of VRAM
DirectX 9 compatible
When the Seasons (or later) Expansion Pack is installed, T&L incompatible graphics chips can be used;[17] however it requires a minimum CPU speed of 2.4 GHz.
macOS (OS X)
Minimum
Operating system (OS) 10.3.8
Processor (CPU) 1.2 GHz PowerPC G4/G5
System memory (RAM)
Hard disk drive (HDD) 3 GB
Video card (GPU) ATI Radeon 9000
Nvidia GeForce FX5200
32 MB of VRAM

Notes

  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).

References