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Sims/Pets Don't Show Up

There are a few reasons why sims or pets might not show up in your game...

Installing Correctly?

Sims and pets come in SIMS2PACK files. To properly install a SIMS2PACK file you double-click on the file to install it to your game. If you're just tossing the files into Downloads, you're doing it wrong.

  • Install your Sims2Pack files using the game's installer, Clean Installer or Q-Xpress.
    • Q-Xpress will automatically install sims2pack files as you download them (from MTS2 only) so it's done - you don't have to do anything more than download it. If you're using Q-Xpress you don't have to double-click.

Looking in the Right Place?

You won't find sims or pets, even if properly installed, if you don't look in the right place!


You'll find sims you have downloaded in Create a Family/Create a Sim. Go in to Create a Family.


  • A. Create a new sim.
  • B. Make sure the settings are right for the age and gender of the sim you are looking for. If you're not looking under the right gender, the sim won't show up!
  • C. Click on the Premade Sims icon toward the top of the panel.
  • D. The Sim Bin will come up, with a list of premade sims for the age and gender you have selected. Choose the sim you would like.
  • E. Click the checkmark. You will now have that premade sim showing in Create a Sim.
  • Young adult sims will not show up in the normal Create a Sim screen. You will have to enter your University neighborhood, then go into the Young Adult Create a Sim to access these sims.
  • Again, make sure you're looking under the right age and gender for your sims. If you're looking for a female sim and you have a male sim selected before you go into the premade sim bin, you won't see any females!
  • Just because you recently installed a new sim doesn't mean it will be the first one to show up in the premade sim bin. It may be buried several pages back among old sims. Scroll through all your sims for that age and gender before you decide a certain sim isn't showing up.


Downloadable pets are pet breeds. To access them you'll need to go create a new pet.

  • A. In the game in Neighborhood view, click on the Sims and Families button.
  • B. Then click to go into Create-a-Family.
  • C. Once Create-a-Family has loaded, click on the icon to create a new pet. Choose whether you would like a cat or a dog.
  • D. If you are creating a dog, make sure you have it set to the right size - large dog, or small dog. You don't need to change the gender - pets are essentially identical, male and female.
  • E. Click on the 2 panel to see the premade breeds. Choose the premade breed, and the pet displaying in Create a Pet will change to your chosen breed.


If a sim/pet doesn't show up in your game and you're sure you're looking in the right place, the first thing to do is to reinstall them.

1. Go back to where you got the sim/pet file from originally and download a fresh copy of the file. If you have been using Q-Xpress to get sims/pets from MTS2, try a manual install this time, since you're having trouble with the way you've been doing it before.

2. Extract the SIMS2PACK from the ZIP or RAR file.

3. Double-click on the SIMS2PACK file to open it in either the game's installer or Clean Installer. Clean Installer will automatically open the file if you have it installed and have it associated with SIMS2PACK files. Install the sim/pet to your game using whichever method you choose.

  • If you get an error saying "This content requires expansion pack data that is not installed" when trying to install a sim using the game's installer, use Clean Installer to install the sim instead. The game's installer is lying - sims don't need expansions, even if some of their content does.
  • Pets require Pets but no other expansions. Use Clean Installer to install them if you get that error above, but you do have Pets.

4. Load The Sims 2 to see if the sim/pet is showing up.

If it's still not working...

Clean Install

If you've already tried a reinstall, it may be helpful to install a sim independently of their content. The following is just for sims - pets don't have custom content, though you can try using Clean Installer to install them anyway.

1. Again, go back to where you got the sim file originally and download a fresh copy of the file.

2. Extract the SIMS2PACK from the ZIP or RAR file.

3. You should now ONLY use Clean Installer to install your sim. The game's installer won't let you do what we're about to do. Double-click on the SIMS2PACK file to open it in Clean Installer.

4. In the list of included content, leave only the first file checked. This is the sim itself. Uncheck the box next to all of the other included content, so it will not be installed. That's okay - you already HAVE installed that content when you tried to install it originally, and/or when you reinstalled.


5. Click the Install button and install the sim to your game, leaving the settings default. If it asks if you want to overwrite anything, say Yes.

6. Now close Clean Installer and any folders you have open, run the game, and see if your sim is showing up. It should be working now!

If all else fails...


If you've tried everything described in this FAQ and it's still not working, click here.