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Welcome to the wonderful world of Modding The Sims 2! You've probably got an idea of some of the sort of things you want to make already, but with the vast number of tutorials and information threads and discussions going on here it can be a bit daunting to try and find your way there. You need a road map!
MTS2 offers a multitude of tutorials and FAQ's on all forms of modding. We do, however, assume you already know how to make your game and your new custom content work.
If you're looking for help on the actual game, go to Game Help.
If you're still unsure about what a RAR-file is, or why certain clothes don't show up, try reading Downloading for Dummies first.
Before you Start
The whole point of modding a game is to change or add content to it. The great thing about the Sims 2 is that there is a LOT to mess around with. Please note that some mods are easier to make than others. That's why our tutorial section has the following difficulty rating:
|#1||Newbie||Level 1 tutorials assume very little previous knowledge and explain things every step of the way.|
|#2||Beginner||These tutorials are a bit more specialised. They will assume that you at least know how your paint program works. They're easy to follow but don't necessarily explain every single step of the way in detail.|
|#3||Intermediate||You'll need to have gathered some skills here, or be prepared for long and complicated procedures.|
|#4||Advanced||Basic meshing skills and moderate understanding of SimPE are needed to complete these tutorials. You're no longer making 'the basics', ya know.|
|#5||Numenorean||So you know all about joints, bhav's and basic animation? Looking for a new challenge? These require high levels of concentration and very good prior knowledge of the programs used.|
This rating is set by experienced modders and tutorial writers to reflect what we think is the most common or most logical path. The difficulty of making a mod, however, is very subjective. So please use the rating as a general guideline, and not a strict step-by-step program.
Your first and most important skill here is reading. The sheer volume of some tutorials may seem daunting, but then again, there's no quick-and-easy way to make ANY mods.
Firstly, though, reading tutorials will be much easier if you're able to understand the weird slang modders speak.
See main page at: Modding Glossary
The modding glossary is a page that describes all the shorthand words and key phrases used through the creation of Sims 2 content. It is advised that everybody read it just so they have an understanding of what is being talked about in the tutorials.
Now you know the lingo, it's time to start modding. In order to get any good, you'll need to read a lot of tutorials. So pick your area of expertise and start learning.
In the diagram below, you'll find a lot of the more popular tasks and goals that new modders have. If you've never modded before, you're in the box at the top with the bold writing. Find the place you want to be, then follow the path from the beginning to that point. You will need to learn a bit about all the areas (boxes) in between. That way you'll be able to learn all the skills you need, in an order that makes sense.
This is not the only way to get to an end point, but it's probably the most logical. Skipping straight to an end point will probably just make you and everyone trying to help you get frustrated, so take your time, be patient, and enjoy the experience.
Once you've mapped out where you want to be and how you want to get there, you will need some resources. Some of the core tutorials for each of these areas are listed below. These tutorials only cover a very small subset of the available information for any of these fields. However, they should provide a solid core of knowledge to let you explore the area further if you wish.
You don't need to become an expert in everything, but make sure you understand what you're doing in any area before you move on to something more advanced. Good luck!
Terrains, Walls and Floors
Do you want to make walls and floors? Homecrafter is not a hard program and messing around with flowery wallpaper and marble tiles is a great way to get to know your paint program. Newbie-proof!
Building Houses and Lots
Do you want to build houses? For this, all you need the Sims2 game and a lot of imagination. Read up on tutorials, cheats and building tricks here on the wiki.
Clothing and Pretty Things
Do you want to make fashion? You can add so many things to the game to make your sims pretty: hair, clothes, skin, make up, jewelry, etc. Knowledge of a good paint program is essential here. In some cases you'll also need a 3D editor. Learn all about layers, joints and what not to wear here.
- Faylen's Skinning Tutorial 1 - Basic Clothing Recolor
- Faylen's Clothing Recolor Tutorial Part 2: Selective Recoloring
- Faylen's Clothing Recolor Tutorial Part 3: Adding Textures
- Beginning Clothing Recolor using The Gimp
New Bodyshop Meshes
- Everything You Wanted to Know About Meshes But Were Afraid to Ask
- Beginner Clothing Mesh Tutorial – Using Unimesh/Milkshape
- Unimesh/Milkshape Tutorial: Level 2, Editing and UV Maps
- Unimesh/Milkshape Tutorial: Level 3, Combining Mesh Parts
New bodyshop accessory meshes
New bodyshop hair meshes
Furniture and objects
Do you want to make objects? Furniture sets, cars, greenery, oh my! To make objects you'll firstly need knowledge of a decent paint program, SimPE and in a later stage of 3D editing. Prepare to start fifteen times over on the same table and see this list to start:
New (static) object meshes
New (animated) object meshes
Careers and Job stuff
Do you want to make careers? Majors and careers require good writing skills and advanced knowledge of Simpe. Roll up your sleeves and get to work.
Do you want to make hacks? This is the most daunting side of modding, mostly cause it can break your game if you get it wrong. Advanced knowlegde of the complicated side of SimPE and probably some programming skills are needed to get things done here. You'll be mostly on your own, but will find some starter tutorials here.
Custom Behaviour Objects
Where do I go from here?
Your first table is made, your first t-shirts uploaded, now what?
Once you get past the beginner's tutorials, you're mostly on your own. If you have a definite idea of what you want to make, chances are slim you'll find a step-by-step tutorial to do it. So improvise: read up on different tutorials that might get you a step closer, look at different packages in SimPE and if you're completely lost: ask There's plenty of people on the forums that will be willing to help you.
Ideas and models:
- Sketch. Good old pencil and paper. Making your mod will likely take a while, and it's frustrating to start over several times cause the design was wrong. Sketching the basics up front tends to make life a lot easier.
- Google Images is your friend. There's very few things indeed that you won't find a picture of on google. So if you need a little reminder as to how exactly all the bars on a bike fit together, or how you can design your latest dress, do a search.
- Go outside. ZOMG! Yes, even modders get out in the open air once in a while. Taking a walk or a ride can be incredibly inspiring. Seeing something and going 'Hmm, that would look good in the Sims,' is part of the modding condition.
- Google is your friend. Didn't I say this before? Doing a search on any material will likely get you some pictures. Even if they're unfit to use for your specific object, they can be used as a guideline for colours etc, to make the texture yourself.
- Google, part two. Look through fabric catalogs, marble manufacturers, nature photographers, paint shops etc. Most sales sites have sample pictures of the material they distribute.
- Texture sites. Some sites, like the Fat Strawberry, are repositories for textures.
- Wood Workshop. This is a little program to make all sorts of wood textures. Find it here.
- Credits to the original version of this go to Lethe_s
- Incorporating a Modders roadmap by Echo