HOW TO INSTALL THE SIMS 2 IN 2020
Once upon a time, Simmers around the world were able to purchase, register and download The Sims 2 on Origin. It was a time of peace and prosperity. Then… it was taken down and replaced with Ultimate Collection. The new version was a blessing, but it didn’t come without a price. For years, Simmers were able to contact EA support to register it, but EA shut that option down. Now, The Sims 2 for PC can’t be purchased on any official sources. However, thanks to it being abandonware, it’s pretty easy to download from many places. There are many different versions of the game available, some easier to install than others, but I want to cover the most common ones: Origin version of The Sims 2 (in case you own it), disk installations (and Old Games Download’s separate packs, since they are almost the same), as well as a torrented version of Origin’s Ultimate Collection, which anyone can get and is the easiest one to install if you don’t actually own it on Origin.
AFTER YOU INSTALL THE SIMS 2 ON WINDOWS, REFER TO THIS THIS GUIDE FOR ADJUSTING THE GRAPHICS FOR MODERN SYSTEMS!
MAC USERS: You can purchase and download The Sims 2 Super Collection on Apple’s App Store. It includes 6 Expansion Packs, 3 Stuff Packs, works on new Macs, requires no compatibility fixes, and it’s even 64-bit (!!!). Everyone say “Thank you Aspyr.” Apple users have it easy.
1. ORIGIN: THE SIMS 2 ULTIMATE COLLECTION
This is the easiest way to install the game, provided that you managed to snatch a copy for yourself while it was available from 2014 until 2018. Just log into your Origin account, go to your Game Library, right-click on The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection and click Download. Choose the language, agree to EULAs without reading them, and proceed. The game should download and install automatically.
There is a small, but annoying issue with CAS content from The Sims 2 Happy Holiday Stuff pack in Ultimate Collection, as it might not show up in the catalog. The fix for this bug is available here, thanks to Moonkist Sims. Once you download the fix, extract the skins.package file and place it in ~\Origin Games\The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection\Double Deluxe\Base\TSData\Res\Catalog\Skins\ (you can overwrite the original file as it’s no longer needed).
OPTIONAL, but RECOMMENDED if you have at least 8GB RAM: The Sims 2 can use up to 2GB RAM by default, but it might not be enough if you use a lot of CC and play on large lots and in large neighborhoods. That can be fixed with the 4GB Patch, which will allow the game to use up to 4GB and possibly improve performance.
To apply the patch, do the following:
1. Go to your The Sims 2 installation folder and find Sims2EP9.exe (for Ultimate Collection from Origin, it is located in ~\Origin Games\The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection\Fun with Pets\SP9\TSBin\). Right-click on the file and choose Cut, then paste it on your desktop.
2. Extract the 4GB Patch from its archive and run it as Administrator (right-click and choose Run as Administrator). A window where you need to locate the game executable will pop up.
3. In that window, locate the game executable that you moved to your desktop, click on it, and click Open. You should get a message that the executable was successfully patched, and a backup of the file will be created.
4. Place Sims2EP9.exe back to its original location, the TSBin folder.
5. To check if the patch worked, load the game, then go to Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection\Logs (or wherever your Documents folder is), and look for a file named DESKTOP-config-log.txt or similar. Open it, and look for Machine info (near the top). For Memory, it should say 4096MB. If it doesn’t, then repeat the patch. If it does, you’re good to go.
NOTE #1: In case you wish to play without Origin, that is an option too. Download a No CD version of Sims2EP9.exe (2nd post, thank you celebkiriedhel), extract it to your desktop, apply the 4GB Patch, and place it in TSBin (overwrite the original one).
NOTE #2: If you repair your game through Origin, the 4GB Patch, No CD hack and the Holiday pack fix will likely be removed and you’ll have to apply them again.
NOTE #3: You can no longer register new copies of The Sims 2 on Origin. Not even through EA Customer Support. They will say NO. Please, DO NOT PURCHASE any Ultimate Collections on eBay or other sites. You will either: get scammed, receive a stolen account that EA will likely ban, or get a link to a pirated version that you can find yourself pretty easily anyway. You have been WARNED! If you plan on buying the game, buy CDs from sellers that you trust.
2. DISK & SEPARATE PACKS FROM OLD GAMES DOWNLOAD
If you have disk versions of The Sims 2 and its packs, you can use them to install the game. You can also download packs separately, from Old Games Download, and mix & match if you’re missing some packs on disks; or you can just download them all from that website. This is possible thanks to separate packs on Old Games Download being just disk images of normal, physical disks. Please note that I DO NOT recommend installing Ultimate Collection from Old Games Download website, since it appears to be missing some content and might cause issues in the long run. It might work, but I haven’t tested it and I will not be covering it here.
NOTE: for some games that you download from Old Games Download, you’ll need WinRar or 7zip to unpack them, as well as Daemon Tools to mount disk images. They are all free, and you don’t need them once the game installation is done.
While The Sims 2 packs can be installed in any order, usually with no issues, I recommend installing them in release order, and updating them as soon as they are installed to avoid possible issues later on and ensuring that the installation goes as smoothly as possible. You can find all available update files HERE. Once you install a pack, update it immediately if there is a patch for it available. Also check NOTE #2 in this section.
If you use 4 CDs to install the base game, use the top base game patch. If you use Old Games Download base game, or 1 DVD, use the bottom base game patch.
I put together the full installation order and also included collections/deluxe editions in case you have them, as well as installation codes for some of them:
1. The Sims 2 base game (5GGG-XR4L-6845-R845-6845), The Sims 2 Deluxe OR The Sims 2 Double Deluxe
1.1. The Sims 2 Patch*
2. The Sims 2 University Expansion Pack (KJPX-NT8G-WDUC-9LX6-CLWF) (skip this if you have The Sims 2 University Life Collection)
2.1. The Sims 2 University Patch*
3. The Sims 2 Nightlife Expansion Pack (4LPP-B5UF-VCWQ-6A3V-KLST) (skip this if you installed The Sims 2 Deluxe or The Sims 2 Double Deluxe)
3.1. The Sims 2 Nightlife Patch*
4. The Sims 2 Open for Business Expansion Pack (BXQQ-22QU-T2B2-MLDA-7XWY) (skip this if you have The Sims 2 Best of Business Collection)
4.1. The Sims 2 Open for Business Patch*
5. The Sims 2 Family Fun Stuff (RL5D-MK9F-FHUK-YT9T-5SFZ) (skip this if you have The Sims 2 Fun with Pets Collection)
5.1. The Sims 2 Family Fun Stuff Patch*
6. The Sims 2 Glamour Life Stuff (EXYQ-P8BS-NZ5W-KTWM-VG8Q)
7. The Sims 2 Pets Expansion Pack (URCL-USKQ-TBLV-N27F-WDRT) (skip this if you have The Sims 2 Fun with Pets Collection)
7.1. The Sims 2 Pets Patch* **
8. The Sims 2 Happy Holiday Stuff
9. The Sims 2 Seasons Expansion Pack (KF44-YZ9M-535V-WGKZ-5UYF)
9.1. The Sims 2 Seasons Patch**
10. The Sims 2 Celebration! Stuff (YQ22-KH8G-5XEX-K5LF-THGY) (skip this if you installed The Sims 2 Double Deluxe)
11. The Sims 2 H&M Fashion Stuff (B87F-77MR-N2YG-6KZ3-EER6) (skip this if you have The Sims 2 Best of Business Collection)
12. The Sims 2 Bon Voyage Expansion Pack (WPWE-73NX-QZ4L-DG5L-HKF3)
12.1. The Sims 2 Bon Voyage Patch
13. The Sims 2 Teen Style Stuff (ZERR-ZNVA-J3FY-BZCM-GDUC) (skip this if you have The Sims 2 The Sims 2 University Life Collection)
14. The Sims 2 FreeTime Expansion Pack (4PT3-VZUH-H99Z-U4CF-4RGL)
14.1. The Sims 2 FreeTime Patch
15. The Sims 2 Kitchen & Bath Interior Design Stuff (NT8G-C2G8-D7UY-LRJB-89B4) OR The Sims 2 Best of Business Collection
16. The Sims 2 IKEA Home Stuff (3U99-CJXY-Z8SZ-Y964-RWKP) OR The Sims 2 University Life Collection
17. The Sims 2 Apartment Life Expansion Pack (TAWN-F96C-HRQ9-6QRV-CWPG)
17.1. The Sims 2 Apartment Life Patch
18. The Sims 2 Mansion & Garden Stuff (JGJS-P4JU-PDG9-U4DR-JW2B) OR The Sims 2 Fun with Pets Collection
Once you install all packs, install the crack for the latest one (Mansion & Garden Stuff; if you don’t have it, then the latest EP, but don’t touch others). Here is one for M&G. Then follow the 4GB Patch installation instructions mentioned in the Ultimate Collection section.
*Only install these patches if you installed their respective packs separately, and NOT as a part of a deluxe edition/collection! All deluxe editions/collections are pre-patched and do not require an update.
**Mod The Sims has two versions of updates for Pets and Seasons: Disk and Digital (DD). Please download disk versions since digital copies of Pets and Seasons are no longer available, so the digital patch is useless.
1. To install The Sims 2 and its packs from disks, insert the disk in your disk drive, start the installer by opening AutoRun.exe, and follow the on-screen prompts.
2. To install them from Old Games Download, once you download the desired pack(s), unzip all the files somewhere (preferably into a labeled folder for easier organization), and look for .iso, .bin, .mdf or .mds files. Those are the disk images that contain the installation files. Windows 10 is able to mount .iso files, but for the others, you’ll need Daemon Tools to open them. After they are mounted, they should show up in This PC sectio