Some players of The Sims series of games may wish to build in, create Sims for, and play with a neighborhood of their own construction, rather than the Maxis-created neighborhoods. This tutorial details how new neighborhoods can be created in each game.

The SimsEdit

In The Sims, all neighborhood data is stored in UserData folders. Without any expansion packs installed, there is only one UserData folder, limiting the player to having only one playable neighborhood at a time. Multiple neighborhoods are possible however.

Base Game onlyEdit

To start, locate The Sims' data folder on the computer hard drive. If using a PC, this may be located at C:\Program Files\Maxis\The Sims. Select the UserData folder and copy it. Move back to the Maxis folder and paste the copy of the UserData folder there. You may wish to create a subfolder within the Maxis folder, but outside of The Sims, to organize multiple UserData files; in order to store more than one here, the names of each folder will have to be changed.

To switch neighborhoods, exit The Sims and open the Maxis program folder. Enter The Sims folder and cut the UserData folder there - it may be sensible to rename the folder before moving it, so it can't be confused with other UserData folders. Move out to the Maxis program folder, or to wherever the other UserData folders are stored, and paste the folder down. Locate the neighborhood that is to be played, and cut it from its location, then move back into The Sims folder and paste it down. Make sure once the folder is pasted that it is renamed to UserData, otherwise the game will not recognize it.

With Livin' Large, The Sims Deluxe Edition, or laterEdit

Locate The Sims' data folder on the computer hard drive. If using a PC, this may be located at C:\Program Files\Maxis\The Sims. The four new neighborhoods are stored as additional UserData folders (i.e. UserData2, UserData 3, etc.), and new neighborhoods can be created by duplicating one of the UserData folders and renaming it to the next number incrementally. Using this method, there can be up to 99 neighborhoods.

If playing with Unleashed installed, the Old Town extension of the neighborhood will be the same between neighborhoods. However, all these houses and lots can be demolished or modified and, if done, any neighborhoods that are copied off of that neighborhood will be modified in the same way.

Additional infoEdit

SimPrograms offers a number of downloadable programs that allow players to more easily manage organizing and duplicating neighborhoods for The Sims. Those downloads can be found here (Archived as beyondsims no longer holds this).

The Sims 2Edit

Neighborhood management for The Sims 2 doesn't take place in the program folder; it takes place wherever games are saved. This is often in the computer's Document folder; saved game information is often located at C:\Documents and Settings\[user name]\My Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\ (Windows XP), or at C:\Users\[user name]\Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\ (in Windows Vista or later). However, the amount of folder tweaking necessary to create new neighborhoods is reduced significantly from The Sims, so adjusting these folders may not be necessary.

Using premade terrainsEdit

The Sims 2 comes with many premade terrains available to use as a new neighborhood. To start, access The Sims 2 main menu (neighborhood select screen). If necessary, page through the neighborhoods until a button with four houses is available; click it. Once the icon is clicked you can choose one of the many premade terrains. Some premade terrains are arranged like premade neighborhoods, such as Pleasantview, Strangetown, or Riverblossom Hills. Once you have decided which terrain to use, click on the check to confirm your decision. On the following screen, you can customize your neighborhood in more detail; you can decide your neighborhood name, description, and type of terrain such as lush, desert, concrete or dirt. Click on the check to begin loading the neighborhood - if you have multiple expansion packs installed, the initial load may take longer than usual.

Using custom terrainsEdit

If you want to use/create custom terrains, you should firstly know that The Sims 2 terrains are ".sc4" files from an older game called SimCity 4. So, if you want to create a custom terrain, you have to own the game. Firtsly, open SimCity 4. Then, go to a 'small city, because bigger ones won't work. Then start terraforming as you wish. Do not select "Mayor Mode" if you have not finished. After you are done terraforming, switch to "Mayor Mode" and start building roads. Do not build streets or other transportation items (highways, railroads, etc.), and do not build any roads diagonally. Then save the city. Copy the city from C:\Documents and Settings\[user name]\My Documents\SimCity 4\Regions\[Region Name]\City - [City Name].sc4 (Windows XP) or at C:\Users\[user name]\Documents\SimCity 4\[Region Name]\City - [City Name].sc4 (Windows Vista or later) and paste it to C:\Documents and Settings\[user name]\My Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\SC4Terrains (Windows XP) or C:\Users\[user name]\Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\SC4Terrains (Windows Vista or later). Then you can use it as normal by following the 'Using Premade Terrains' section above.