Game Help:Avoiding Hood Corruption

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Some things you can do in the game can lead to the neighborhood corruption and have never been fixed. They should be avoided.

Symptoms of neighborhood corruption:

This is not a complete list of symptoms that could occur from neighborhood corruption in The Sims 2. Some of these can be symptoms of other types of problems as well, such as bad custom content.

  • Children and toddlers with LTWs (long-term wants) other than Grow Up.
  • Wants that don't fit the age group (for example, a toddler who suddenly wants to go on a date).
  • Memories and thought bubbles which contain squiggly lines.
  • Memories being lost or totally random.
  • Disappearing sims.
  • Disappearing lots.
  • Sims losing family members in family tree.
  • Sims becoming unplayable.
  • Lots becoming unplayable.

To avoid neighborhood corruption


  • Delete sims from the Family Bin.
Why? The game doesn't delete the sim entirely. It deletes the effected sim's information and saves as a 1 kb character file in your neighborhood's Characters folder. Other sims from the neighborhood who have memories, who gossip, or who have other links to the deleted sim will spread unknown information to other sims, and could create errors in the long run.
Here is the correct way to delete a Sim from a neighborhood:
  • Delete character files (from Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2 <X>\Neighborhoods\<Hood>\Characters folder).
Why? The character files are linked with the neighborhood.package file from your folder's associated neighborhood. Both files share information about the sim's character. Without the character file of the sim, your neighborhood will not work properly.
  • Delete lot files (from Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2 <X>\Neighborhoods\<Hood>\Lots folder).
Why? The lot files are linked with the neighborhood.package file from your folder's associated neighborhood. Both files share information about the lot's information. Without the lot file of the building in your neighborhod, your neighborhood will not work properly.
  • Move an inhabited lot (lot with family) or an owned lot (owned business) to the Lot Bin.
Why? The game transfers the information associated with your lot's sims, but does not completely erase your sims' information from the neighborhood. Sims living in the neighborhood will continue having memories of the binned lot sims, and risk gossiping about them. This will lead to errors in the long run. Also, placing your binned lot back into the neighborhood will create new character files, instead of overwriting the previous ones.
  • Install an occupied lot (lot with family), including packaged lots that you download with families included.
Why? Unless you are absolutely sure that they have been properly cleaned, you risk having the lot's sims spread unknown information from their gossips and memories to other sims in your neighborhood. Occupied lots from EA which are properly patched are safe.
Here is the correct way to move a Sim:
  • Use the DeleteAllCharacters cheat.
Why? This will cause shedding of you neighborhood's character files, meaning information will be missing or lost. Memories from existing sims will effect your neighborhood negatively, as mentioned above.
  • Delete lots that have graves present.
Why? Graves are treated as sims, and possess character file data in the neighborhood's Characters folder. As with deleting living sims, deleting dead sims will cause information with other sims to remain and will result in corrupt memories and gossiping. This will also create errors in the long run.
  • Bin lots that have graves present.
Why? As with binning a lot with living sims, deceased sims also contain character file data. Moving the lot to the family bin will not completely erase all traces from the neighborhood about the binned sims, and will create errors in the long term from memories and gossip. Also, as with living sims, deceased sims will create a new character file, instead of overwriting the previously used one.
  • Allow a Sim to die with tombstones or urns in their inventory.
Why? When a sim dies, their inventory items are deleted, as everything is treated like objects. Tombstones and urns are considered sims and have character file data associated with them. As mentioned, deleting a sim destroys the character file data and will cause errors in the long run via memories and gossiping from other sims who encountered the deceased sim.
  • Interact with Mrs. Crumplebottom, the Charlatan, the Grim Reaper, etc. in any way other than their intended in game purpose.
Why? These characters do not have playable data. These universal non-playable characters (NPCs) are objects and are associated with your game's object.package file. By interacting in other ways than what the game intends, you will create changes in your objects.package file, and risk a critical game file. Errors associated with changing the objects.package file will effect both your current and future neighborhoods, and could result in needing to re-install you game.
Here is a thread which discusses this issue further:
  • Remove multi-pollination technician or multi-plantsim mods after they have been used in your neighborhood.
Why? Multi-PT and Multi-Plantsim mods consist of one package which affects the selection of the parent and a number of packages which are the new pollination technicians or plantsims. When removing this mod, only remove the package which affects the selection of the parent. If you remove one of the pollination technicians or plantsims, then you are basically deleting their character file, which will corrupt your neighborhood.
Here is a thread which discusses this issue further:
  • Put tombstones or urns on any of the shelves that come with Open for Business and are used to sell things.
Why? When a tombstone or urn is placed on an OFB shelf, it will be duplicated. The duplicate tombstone will still be connected to the sim. This may cause the sim to become corrupted.
  • Save with Sims on the telephone.
Why? This will cause problems when the game is reset, for example when installing hacks or a new EP/SP. Sims on the sending side of the phone network are present on the lot temporarily. The sender is invisible and are considered Off-World Loiterers.
  • Delete owned lots (business lots) or residential lots with home business before shutting down the business.
Why? ...
  • Bin empty lots that have been lived in without getting rid of the Off-World Loiterers.
Why? Off-World Loiterers are sims that present themselves to the lot, temporarily & invisibly. They could appear through phone calls, for example, as the living sim on the lot communicates with the sim outside the lot. As with living sims, binning the lot will carry the invisible sim with the lot, and will cause long term errors. Pescado's Lot Debugger has an option to get rid of Off-World Loiterers, but it will only appear when they are present.
  • Rezone a lot with active Sims living or staying on it.
Why? The game sets different commands for the types of lots involved. Some lots do not allow the lot to be saved, others could make the lot disappear from the neighborhood. Only perform such a task on empty, preferably new & unused lots.
  • Remove custom careers/majors while a Sim is using them.
Why? This will cause an error to the households for the sims who use them. Your household will not load, and could cause problems when the sim visits your other lots.

THINGS NOT TO DO... unless you are willing to fix them using various tools & hacks.

  • Delete custom or geneticized/townified skins or eyes
Why? This can cause a corrupted skin tone for Sims using them. Unless you are willing to fix their DNA using SimPe.
  • Delete custom foods
Why? This breaks want trees for Sims that had it as a favorite food. Unless you install Pescado's1 Lot Debugger and are willing to reset all Sims that had a custom food set as their favorite, and are willing to remove all memories about the custom food using SimPE.
  • Let Samantha Ottomas’ pregnancy come to term
Why? Samantha Ottomas is pregnant with babies that do not have complete data, unless you fully patched your Seasons game prior to creating the neighborhood using the Seasons EP, or prior to porting your existing neighborhood to the Seasons EP.
  • Delete tombstones/urns
Why? As discussed previously, tombstones and urns are treated as sims with character file data, and not objects. Unless you have Pescado's1 noUnlinkOnDelete hack installed, you should not delete the tombstone/urn.
In regards to a deceased sim's tombstone/urn being damaged/smashed in-game from another sim, as long as the ashes or damaged tombstone is not deleted or trashed, that deceased sim's character file remains intact. If you do not have this hack installed, DO NOT SAVE YOUR GAME. Instead, quit back to the neighborhood WITHOUT SAVING, and play back to the time before the tombstone/urn was damaged/smashed.
  • Resurrect dead pre-made Sims that shipped with the game
Why? Most deceased sims have missing character data (e.g. Skip Broke, Darleen Dreamer etc.).
If you fully read and follow the proper instructions in the following guide, you can then perform resurrection of these deceased sims:

Other items of concern to maintain safe game play

You should also be aware that the neighborhoods which are shipped with the game have some problems. Strangetown is particularly problematic. You can solve some of these problems by installing clean templates, such as these clean and fixed templates from Tarlia:

You may also want to install empty templates for the stealth sub-neighborhoods, to avoid unnecessary townies and Family Bin sims:,13382.0.html

The discussion thread for this article can be found here:

You should also want to check this page:, which is about the NPCs and Townies that are safe to play with and add to households. Some are unsafe and adding them can cause issues.

1 Pescado's hacks can be found at MATY in the hacks directory under your most current EP:

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