Sims 4 custom content and mods: what’s the difference?

Sims 4 mods
Mod The Sims is a source of Sims 4 goodies

Not only is there a plethora of purchasable content available for The Sims 4, but it’s possible to download and install content made by fans of the game. Some of these are “mods” and some not. And all of it is “custom content”. Confused? Let me explain the differences, where you can get this content and how to install it.

Sims 4 custom content (CC) vs mods

All user-made content is custom content (also known as “CC”). CC can be clothes, hair, skins, eyes, makeup, new build objects, etc. Mods are a subset of this – this is content that modifies how the game works. These can be anything from minor changes to massive overhauls of the game play.

You can forget about any kind of Sims 4 custom content or mods anything other than PC and Mac, as it’s not supported on consoles.

Can custom content or mods break Sims 4 or include a virus?

The way that the custom content files are constructed means that you shouldn’t be able to install a computer virus or anything else malicious. However, they can break the game.

Whilst the developers of The Sims support the ability to create and install CC and mods, they can’t guarantee that updates they introduce to the game won’t break anything. This is particularly true of mods, due to the way that they’re deeply connected to the game code.

If you find blank screens or similar after the game has updated, then it may be due to a new incompatibility with one of your mods. The quickest way to confirm that is to rename your mods folder (see below for where you can find this) and restart the game. This will load the game without any custom content and, if it now works, you know that was to blame. How you then work out which one is causing the problem can be a long and exhaustive process and will be the subject of a later article. For now, be aware!

How do I install Sims 4 custom content or mods?

Both are installed in the same way and it’s really simple:

  • Download your CC or mods content (see next section on where to go for this)
  • Unzip the downloaded file, if required
  • Open Windows Explorer or Finder and head to Documents > Electronic Arts > The Sims 4 > Mods
  • Now drag and drop your CC or mods files into this folder
  • Restart The Sims 4

When playing the game, you can identify custom content by the spanner icon which is overlaid onto it, as shown below:

The Sims 4 mod content

How can I switch custom content and mods on and off?

If your custom content or mods don’t appear to be working then it’s possible they may be switched off. Even if they are, it’s possible to fine tune what is allowable in your game for future installations too.

  • Head into the Game Options from the home screen
  • Click on the “Other” tab in the left-hand menu
  • You’ll be presented with a screen similar to this:
Sims 4 game options
  • There are two tick boxes on here which are relevant – “Enable custom content and mods” and “Script mods allowed”. Change this based on your own requirements
  • You can also click on the “View custom content” button to see a list of what CC has been recognised by the game
  • Hit the “Apply Changes” button if you changed any of the settings

Where can I find Custom Content and Mods?

Some of the best CCs can be found via Patreon. You may need to pay a small amount to unlock the content, but you can get an awful lot of high quality stuff for very little money.

Some examples, recommended by my Sims-obsessed daughter include:

Otherwise, a search for “Sims 4 custom content” in your search engine of choice will bring up a plethora of sites that index and link through to content. Some of these include:

These are just indexes, but you’ll soon discover specific creators and their sites that you’ll want to follow (for example, Wondymoon). Over time you should be able to curate your own list of go-to locations for the best content.

Sites such as Tumblr are also good sources.

Just be wary that a lot of these sites, especially those that are simply catalogue of links, can be filled with advertising, some of it quite aggressive.

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About the author

David Artiss

Works for Automattic Inc., the company behind and Tumblr. Tech geek, international speaker and occasional PC Pro podcaster. Lover of Lego and video games.

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