So the big news recently is that Origin is giving away The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection to all Sims 2 players. The Ultimate Collection includes all expansions and stuff packs ever released for the game, including Holiday Stuff which was a limited edition stuff pack and now goes for around $200 on Amazon due to its rarity. The nifty thing about this is that even if you own the base game and nothing else, you get the Ultimate Collection for free.
This isn’t a tutorial on how to get the Ultimate Collection if you don’t already have it but in quick terms, if you have a physical copy of The Sims 2, go to EA Support and go to their live chat to speak with an EA Adviser. Tell the adviser you have a physical copy of The Sims 2 and would like to go digital. Give them your registration code for the game to prove you actually do own The Sims 2 and the adviser will add The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection to your Origin account.
UPDATE 07/23/14: As of today, you are now able to get The Sims 2: Ultimate Collection for free on your own, even if you don’t already own any Sims 2 games. Log into your Origin account, go to Origin > Redeem Product Code and put the code I-LOVE-THE-SIMS into the field to redeem your free copy of The Sims 2: Ultimate Collection!
Now that you have The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection, you’ll most likely want to install custom content and mods into the game. Well fear not, this is much easier than trying to get CC and mods to work in The Sims 3, so take a deep breath and just follow these step-by-step instructions. You’ll be playing with all your CC and mods in no time!
- Obviously, install The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection. Start it up with no CC or mods and play it for a bit just to be sure it’s working without any downloads installed. If everything’s all good, quit the game.
- Go to Documents > EA Games > The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection and create a new folder called Downloads. Make sure it’s spelled correctly with a capital D.
- Put your CC and mods in this folder. You can’t compress .package files in The Sims 2 like you can with The Sims 3 so make sure you use subfolders to organize your content.
- Start up your game again and after the initial load screen, you’ll see a dialogue box informing you that the game has detected custom content in your game. Check the box to enable custom content and mods, then quit the game again.
- Restart the game. You’ll get the same dialogue box but you’ll notice that “Enable custom content” is already checked. Go ahead and proceed to playing the game and you should see all your custom content in your game. Your mods should all be working as well.
Things to Keep in Mind:
- The bigger your Downloads folder is, the longer it will take the game to load. Mine is 8GB and it takes about a half hour to start up, so don’t freak out if it doesn’t look like it’s loading anything for a long time. It’s not frozen, it’s just being slow.
- If you played The Sims 2 before and had CC and mods, you can just copy your old Downloads folder into your The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection folder in your Documents but keep in mind that if you didn’t own all the expansions and stuff packs before, you may need to update some of your mods and CC for Mansion & Garden Stuff. If you’re experiencing bugs and game crashes after transferring your Downloads folder to your game, that’s likely the reason.
- If your game isn’t starting after installing your CC and mods, try deleting your cache files in your Documents. Do this whenever the game isn’t starting because The Sims 2 has always been rather finicky about that.
- If you have updated all your mods and CC and you’re still having problems with your game after installing your Downloads folder, make sure all your mods are compatible with each other and that none of your content requires other downloads (like meshes or a certain object or mod from another creator).