Modding The Sims 3

The Sims 3 Walkthrough and Guide

by Mike Hazleton  

Print page (no screenshots)   |   Print page

The Sims 3 Guide - Mod Guide

Modding The Sims 3

While EA's Store is a nice feature for The Sims 3, and there are some free items in there, the first two Sims games were made great by the user-generated content that numbered into tens of thousands of items – all free on the internet. EA have implemented the Store to provide items themselves (effectively creating a monopoly on objects, to stop people from providing their premium items for free). Thankfully, there is a way around this. After downloading a few files and moving a few things around, you are able to put mods and new objects into The Sims 3, and this guide aims to show you how to do this!

NOTE: Do not use this guide to download premium content for The Sims 3 for free. The instructions below are intended to allow you to use community created items.

Getting Started

The Sims 3 uses .package files for the majority of its extra content.

NOTE: This guide only provides instructions for Windows versions of the game.

First of all, there are a few files that must be downloaded and put in the correct location on your computer before your game will accept new content. The mega-hub at has a download that automatically does all the foot-work for you (as well as making it so you just double click the mod files and it installs them for you once you download them), which you can get here. We will cover the manual way too, however, if you don't want to change file associations or alter too much of your system.

Step One: Download the 'Framework' here. You will need WinRar or an alternative to be able to extract the files. Click 'Save' when the box appears, and put it somewhere easy to access, like your computer's Desktop.

Step Two: Right click the downloaded 'Zip' file and click extract files (this option will only appear if you have downloaded WinRar or an alternative!). Navigate to the game directory, which will be C:\Program Files\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3, or something to that effect. Click OK to complete the extraction. You can check the destination on your computer to ensure both the Mods folder and the resource.cfg file have been added to your system.

You are now ready to go on installing new items and mods.

Go to the linked website and download the Zip file. Extract it to the right folder, check the files have been added, and you're good to go

Installing New Items

Most gamers will be happy with The Sims 3 and just want new items to extend the life of their game. The following tutorial will show how to go about doing this.

The best place to download new items from is You need to register before they let you download anything, but it's well worth it (and it's free!). Use their site to select an object you wish to add to the game. For most things, such as new lots or items (anything really with a .package extension), you will be putting them in the same place. Go to Downloads ? Sims 3 ? and then choose your category – Buy Mode will give you in game objects and items. Pick anything that takes your fancy.

Installing new, free content is easy, once you know how

After using the link to download your chosen item, save it somewhere such as your Desktop with easy access, and extract the files to C:\Program Files\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\Mods\Packages. Once done, your item should now be available in game! Start up The Sims 3 and check it out – for most things the download page will tell you how to access them, but for something like a table, it should be self-explanatory – just go to the location in Buy Mode where you would usually expect to be able to purchase such an object.

NOTE: While the vast majority of items you download from third-party sites such as come in .package format, others (such as official The Sims 3 items) are Sims3Pack files. Luckily, these are even easier to install, and just require double clicking or activating from The Sims 3 Launcher.

Installing New Lots

Lots are downloaded in exactly the same way as items, but take a little more manoeuvring to get it into the game. Having downloaded the file to your computer and moved it into The Sims 3 folder, load up The Sims 3 and access Edit Town mode (you have to access one of your saved games and then go into the menu while in game to do this). Depending on whether your download was a community or private lot, you will need to open up the respective type of space on your game map. If you select a lot and try to pick your building from the menu, it will give you the plot size. Find a suitably sized location, change it to community or private depending on the downloaded file, and drag it in – you now have your new lot!

Putting one of the Sims 3 community’s impressive lots into the game.

Installing Mods

There is a huge wealth of mods available already for The Sims 3, most designed to correct what some see as errors in the original release, or to add life to the game with new challenges. Most mods work simply by putting their .package file in the usual folder, but some require a different set of actions to get them up and running, so your best bet is to just follow the guidelines attached to each. As long as you have the ‘Framework’ in place, as described above, you shouldn’t have too many problems.

The first mod many people download is the AwesomeMod. This fixes many of the game's flaws as well as adding things like new traits. It is also a good way to test out how to install mods.

First, download the files here. Extract the .package file into your C:\Program Files\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\Mods\Packages directory and you should be good to go! You can only have one ‘core’ mod at a time – that is to say only one which dramatically alters the game like the AwesomeMod.

There is also a wizard to tailor the mod to your own specific needs. Check out the AwesomeMod Configuration Tool to create your own mod! You can then run it alongside the main AwesomeMod with your own unique settings in place.

As well as the AwesomeMod collection, the previously mentioned community have a good selection of mods – varying from minor alterations such as a change in animation or an invulnerable fish-tank, to alterations to many of the games functions in one package.

Creating Mods

Apart from the AwesomeMod Configuration Tool outlined above, those hoping to design their own items, textures or entire mods for The Sims 3 have a bumpy road ahead. Depending on what it is you are trying to do, knowledge of programming, 3D design, meshes and texturing and generally a lot of work goes into making the game’s community content. The usual resource, has extensive tutorials on this side of the game, so it is recommended that you begin there.


Comments for Modding The Sims 3

Add a comment
30 comments, latest first.
To much advertisement that I can't ever get to the real guide stupid advertisements 😡😕😑

Added 20th Sep 2015, ID #609998

i have no mods and no expansion packs at all i swear its kind of boring lol

Added 4th Jul 2015, ID #579669

I don't get it. So if it really works:YAY!!! If it doesn't:NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Added 16th May 2015, ID #556960

you cant stab other sims .-.

Added 28th Feb 2015, ID #522231


Added 12th Mar 2014, ID #363421


Added 3rd Jan 2014, ID #338707

how do i create a sim? could you help me?

Added 23rd Jun 2013, ID #292134

Does this work on windows seven cuz the videos have window xp

Added 13th Mar 2013, ID #263362

Trying this now...........Hopes it works !! Praying ...! < 3[quote][/quote]

Added 20th Dec 2012, ID #225262

Do I have to register on to be able to download the Mega-hub?

Added 8th Dec 2012, ID #216769

Be careful, if you download too many mods, sims body builds with glitch and computers will freeze whilst playing the game. I once downloaded WAY too many things from the Exchange, and WAY too many mods, and even a couple mods and mess up your game completely and a mod is something to, enhance, or 'Modify' your game, hence the name mod. You can make neighborhoods with just a normal Edit Town mode (it comes with every game) Have fun!

Added 4th Nov 2012, ID #205058

I can use the mod, when i bought the car mod in the sims 3 it will be shutting down. HELP

Added 31st Oct 2012, ID #203418

[spoiler][/spoiler] This game sucks.

Added 21st Sep 2012, ID #187892

who do u install new skin??

Added 8th Sep 2012, ID #184297

As long as you aren't stupid and download crummy mods from the barren depths of the internet, you'll be fine, just read the comments.

Added 19th Jul 2012, ID #166103

click to reveal

Added 25th Jun 2012, ID #156651

Yah the server doesnt have a package but it downloaed?!

Added 23rd Jun 2012, ID #155971

Is there any way to clear the Game Launcher downloads list once items are installed so that only NEW downloads show up there?

Added 26th Mar 2012, ID #126586

Thank you so much this was the only thing clear enough for me to be able to download mods now I can enjoy mods in my game thank you so much!

Added 29th Feb 2012, ID #119267

Incase people are wondering (as many are) A Mod is a modification. You can download it from say modthesims3 (a website with loads of mods people make for our use)... and say if I downloaded a mod that had a hairstyle that I wanted, I could download it through my game with Winrar easily, plus its free... its basically a modification into your game. Seriously. Why are you on this website and you dont even know what a friggin Mod is? Dont be so stupid, and look it up, the internet is there for your use. Though dont use stupid mods, or too many it will seriously give your game the runs.(will mess it up like SHI*.)

Added 21st Feb 2012, ID #117102

haha hell yeah 1st to comment in 2012
ps. thanks from australia

Added 17th Jan 2012, ID #106968

I'm having problems with computer downloading from disc

Added 21st Dec 2011, ID #97172

Electronic Arts should add what people make mods for to the latest expansion pack (or the one in progress) to stop people from downloading mods with no knowledge what-so-ever, thus screwing up their game!!!!!

Added 26th Sep 2011, ID #76790

Thx ~!

Added 16th Aug 2011, ID #67541

Nobody download this there are several forums and complaints about this screwing up sims games such as food going bad in best fridge just as fast as it would sitting on counter. Loading time for hopping areas takes longer. Random freezing and random files getting deleted. Ea has somehow screwed up with this and ahould remove it

Added 10th Jul 2011, ID #56416

thanks[color=red][/color] green

Added 25th Jun 2011, ID #51984

When i put the mods in the packages folder and open the game autoplay on downloads it says :please make sure your game has the latest software: what does this mean?

Added 25th Jun 2011, ID #51952

Thanks dude

Added 13th May 2011, ID #42712

thanks so helpful vids make it so much more easy thx :P

Added 25th Jan 2011, ID #26736

It keeps saying for me every time I try to download a file: Adobe Reader cannot open ' *mod* '. HELP!

Added 20th Nov 2010, ID #18781