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Installing Custom Content for The Sims 3

How do you install custom content for the Sims 3? Installing content is very easy and straightforward - the basic three steps apply:

  1. Download item
  2. Extract item
  3. Place (install) item

This guide is for the advanced computer user, who knows what the terms used meant without lengthy explanations or pictures. If you need a more step-by-step guide, read Game_Help:Downloading_for_Downright_Dunderheads.

Things to note

Some basic things to note, when downloading and installing CC.


Content in The Sims 3 is more version-specific than in The Sims 2. What this means is that, even for the base game, what may work for a newer patch version would not work for an older patch version and vice versa. And this applies to objects in the Buy/Build mode catalogs and CAS catalogs, not just for mods or hacks.

Compatibility with a pack is a given - this has always been the case - you need a required EP/SP if the cloned item is made with that EP/SP

Make sure you've read and checked the requirements as written by the creator on what games and patch versions are required to have the item installed and working properly in your game.


There are no recolors as in The Sims 2 as we now have the Create-a-Style (CASt) tool in-game. If you downloaded an item classified as "recolors", it is probably for the wrong game.

MultiPart Files

A new file format is introduced in The Sims 3 ie *.world. This is for any custom world created with the Create-a-World (CAW) tool. As file sizes for worlds can be huge, the files are archived as multi-part files. You need to download all the files before joining and extracting the .Sims3Pack/.world archived within. To learn more about downloading and installing MultiPart Files, read this.

Defaults and Overrides

As usual, some care need to be taken for Default Replacements.

And if the item is classified as an "override", that means it does not contain the mesh, just the resource that would override the global setting of the game or the item. If the file override is for a camera or lighting hack in .ini format, politely ask the modder if they would consider making it in .package format, as that would be better than replacing core-game files, especially when it comes time to apply updates.

File types

Standard file types when downloading CC for the game are:


You need an archiver/extractor program that recognizes these files. 7-zip or Stuffit are popular choices for Windows and OSX systems, respectively. Of course, you can use the built-in .zip capabilities of each OS, but an external application usually has additional features. More information on what you need here and the filetype here.


This file type goes in the Documents/Electronic Arts/The Sims 3/Download/ folder and is installed via Launcher. If you have one file to install, just double-click it; if you have multiple .Sim3Packs to install, start Launcher and click the Download tab and you can select a bunch of items to be installed at a time. More information available here.


This file type goes in the Documents/Electronic Arts/The Sims 3/Mods/Packages/ folder and you also need the resource.cfg file. More information available here.


Custom Sims in .sim file format goes in the Documents/Electronic Arts/The Sims 3/SavedSims/ folder. More information available here.

Refreshing Caches and Thumbnails

Remember to delete *caches.package and *thumbnails.package whenever you install or remove CC.

Staying Organized

Start early and keep to it! Before you know it, you'll have a few GBs of content to keep track of. Get organized now, because it's a huge pain to try to fix after you've got tons of stuff.

Keep Hacks separate. Keep default replacements separate. How you can subfolder content depends on what content file format and resource.cfg file you have, and exactly the system you use depends on you and your needs. Some guides to get you started: Preparing the folder & browser and Organizing Custom Content

Additional Information

Some common FAQs regarding CC has been compiled here, so be sure not to skip this page!

Need Assistance?

If you get stuck or don't understand this guide after numerous readings and tries, read the Game_Help:TS3_CC_Basics and step-by-step Game_Help:Downloading_for_Downright_Dunderheads guides first.

Sims 3 Game Help Categories:

Custom Content  | Installation  | Gameplay Guides  | Technical & Graphics Issues  | Miscellaneous Issues

MTS Help Q&A Forums