Modding the Create-a-World Tool to Unlock Hidden Features

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This tutorial will explain how to update your copy of the Sims 3 Create-a-World tool to unlock several hidden features.

These features are apparently used in game development by EA, but omitted from the beta consumer download.

This tutorial and patch are for the versions of the CAW tool specified in the 'Instructions' section. This tutorial and patch should not be used on versions of the CAW tool other than those stated.

For help on finding your CAW and Sims 3 gameversions, please see this article.

Nilxis has written a Spanish version of this article- see it here! (Registration required) Thanks Nilxis!

Jawusa has written a German version of this article- see it here! Thanks Jawusa!

joaoh2009 has written a Brazilian-Portugese version of this article- see it here! Thanks joaoh2009!

simsdetoi has written a French version of this article- see it here! Thanks simsdetoi!

Before beginning

Please backup the following folder: [Install Location] \Electronic Arts \The Sims 3 Create a World Tool. On a default install this will be C:\Program Files (x86)\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3 Create a World Tool.

You must make a safe copy of this folder, as we will be modifying the files contained within. If anything should go wrong you will be able to restore the original folder, so precluding the need to reinstall.

NOTE: If you have your copy of CAW installed to the default location (i.e, C:\Program Files (x86)\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3 Create a World Tool) you will have to run each of the programs and utilities mentioned in this tutorial as an administrator. This means that you need to right click> Run as Administrator to allow full read/ write privileges.

This patch will create a new version of the CAW executable which will allow you to access hidden developer features. Please note that the new executable may be in English, so could look slightly unfamiliar if you have the CAW Tool installed in a language other then English. However, your original executable will still be in your native language, so you can still choose to run the original version should you prefer. Note that if the new executable is compiled in English then the CAW user files will also be in English, so you may need to copy your previous CAW worlds into Documents \Electronic Arts \The Sims 3 Create A World Tool.


Before using the developer tools unlocked by this patch you should know that some tools and features may be problematic. Notably, the 'Pond Tool' is apparently abandoned and not used by EA, due to 'known problems internally'. For this reason it is advised that you instead use this external water plane tool, which has been used in worlds tested for several Sim generations.


For CAW version 1.13.7 only: Some users were finding that they were experiencing errors when trying to apply the patch in Tortoise Merge. If this happens to you, please check that you are first running each program as an administrator. Then, please read this post by atavera.

For CAW version 1.16.2 only: Some users were finding that they were experiencing errors when trying to apply the patch in Tortoise Merge. If this happens to you, please check that you are first running each program as an administrator. Then, please apply this alternative patch instead of the one linked in Step 12 of the Instructions section. If this also fails, please post in one of the discussion threads linked at the bottom of this page, and try the pre-compiled executable in this thread.


Step 1: Download ILSpy by going to this URL:


If you have CAW version 1.13.7 then click on 'binaries' for Version 1.0 to download the file ''

If you have CAW version 1.16.2 then click on 'binaries' for version 2.0 beta 1 to download the file ''

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Step 2: Save it to a new folder- I made one called 'CAW Modification' in my Downloads folder. Right click on the file you just downloaded and choose 'Extract all' to unzip it. You will now have several DLL files and an executable file in the folder.

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Step 3: Double click on ILSpy.exe to open it.

Step 4: In ILSpy, click File>Open and browse to your CAW executable. In a default installation this will be C:\Program Files (x86)\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3 Create a World Tool \CAW.exe. Click 'Open'.

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Step 5: In the left panel of ILSpy, click on 'CAW' to highlight it in blue. Then click File>Save Code.

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Step 6: In the window that appears, right click on a white space and choose New>Folder.

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Step 7: Name it 'Project', and click 'Open'.

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Step 8: Click 'Save' and ILSpy will save the project under the default name, CAW.csproj. ILSpy will give a message that it is 'Decompiling', and then you will see the following screen:

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Step 9: Close ILSpy by clicking File>Exit.

Step 10: Download Tortoise Diff by going to this URL: Save it to the same folder as you previously saved ILSpy to (in my case, the 'CAW Modification' folder).

Step 11: Right click on the file you just downloaded and choose 'Extract all' to unzip it. You will now have two files, TortoiseIDiff.exe and TortoiseMerge.exe.

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Step 12: Download atavera's patch for CAW from one of these URLs. Make sure you choose the correct patch for your version of CAW!

For CAW version 1.13.7 (Sims 3 version 1.29.55) use this patch.

For CAW version 1.16.2 (Sims 3 version 1.31 to 1.33) use this patch.

If you are asked to log in, you can try one of the usernames on Bugmenot. Alternatively, try the username [email protected] and the password modthesims (all lower case).

Step 13: Save it to the same folder as the other files. Double click on TortoiseMerge.exe to run it. In the window that appears, click 'Apply Unified Diff'. Where it says 'Diff file', click the 'browse' button.

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Step 14: Browse to the patch file that you just downloaded (in my case, the 'CAW Modification' folder), and click 'Open'.

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Step 15: Where it says 'Directory', click the 'browse' button.

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Step 16: Browse to the folder we made earlier, which is [Install Location]\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3 Create a World Tool \Project, and click 'OK'.

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Step 17: Click 'OK' on the Tortoise Merge window.

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Step 18: In the window that appears, right click> Patch all.

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Step 19: The screen will flicker and then look something like this:

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Step 20: Close Tortoise Merge.

Step 21: Go to the 'Visual Studio Express' download page: Click the 'Install now' button.

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Step 22: Choose 'Visual C# 2010 Express':

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Step 23: Save the file- I put it into the 'CAW Modification' folder too.

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Step 24: Double click the file ('vcs_web.exe') to run it, and follow the instructions to install the program onto your computer. You may have to click 'Yes' to 'Do you want to allow this program to make changes'. Once you have that program installed, click Start> All programs> Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Express> Microsoft Visual C# 2010 Express to run the program.

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Step 25: You may get a pop-up asking you to register, of course you can choose to do so but for the purposes of this tutorial you do not need to do so.

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Step 26: In Visual C# 2010 Express, click File> Open Project.

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Step 27: Browse to your project- [Install Location]\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3 Create a World Tool \Project. Click 'CAW.csproj' and click 'Open'.

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Step 28: Click 'Debug> Start Debugging' (or you could just hit F5 as a shortcut):

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Step 29: Visual C# 2010 Express will open up your completed project, a patched version of Create-A-World.

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At first, it looks the same as every other version of the Create-A-World tool, but if you start a world and begin exploring you will see the differences!


  • Figures greater than 300 can be typed into the height box to create a world elevation outside default parameters.
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  • On the 'Terrain' tab, you will see some new tools.
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The 'Vertex Count Tool' allows you to change the resolution of the wireframe of the world- so creating more accurate or more simple turrain sculpting.

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Note that this feature will significantly impact upon the performance and appearance of your worlds, so should be left at default values unless you really have a good reason to change things.

The 'Pond Tool' allows you to create water planes above the level of the sea in your world, without the need for an external tool. Warning: please read Notes before using this feature.

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This tool is a one-click tool- make an indentation in the terrain, point your cursor and click and a water plane will be created. Note that if your pond is not bounded on all sides by adequate thickness of terrain, the pond will continue on to the extents of the CAW work space. So you will flood your entire terrain!

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You will notice that the 'undo' button will not work for ponds you have created. Do not fear though, as you will find a solution in the next tool.

The 'Scene Statistics' tool allows you to view the number of objects in your world, as well as the ponds you have made. You will see the ponds displayed as co-ordinates; if you click on one you will see that you can click the 'delete' button to remove that pond.

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The 'visible objects' panel in that tool will show you how many world, lot (indoor) and lot (outdoor) objects there are, which is only really of use for information.

  • On the 'world description' panel, you will notice a new feature.
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We now have the ability to flag the world as a suburb (base), vacation world or downtown (city). This actually modifies byte 0x06 of UNKN 0x296A6258 to be 00 (Suburb), 01 (vacation) or 02 (city). More information about the implications of doing this here:

  • Metadata now has many more objects and effects available.
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Please note that anything beginning with an asterisk (* symbol) is a debug object and should not be placed in your world. It appears that most in-game objects are available to place in the world environment with this unlocked version of CAW.

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There are many effects available too, including the lighthouse fx and some of the others that we were previously obtaining through this method:

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As there are now so many items available in CAW metadata, it will be advantageous to use the filter box to find a particular object or effect.

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For new features in updated versions of the SuperCAW patch, please see the changelog in this thread.

Running Super CAW

When you have finished exploring your new version of the CAW tool, you can close it and also close Visual C# 2010 Express (There is no need to save when prompted).

In future, when you want to run your patched version of the CAW tool, you should go to [Install Location]\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3 Create a World Tool and run WorldBuilderCS.exe.

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You may want to create a shortcut to that executable on your desktop or start menu, so that you don't have to keep browsing to find it. You will also notice that your original executable, CAW.exe, remains unchanged, and you can still run that version from your original start menu/ desktop shortcut. You now have a choice of which version of CAW you run!

Note- you can change the name of WorldBuilderCS.exe by renaming it either in Windows or in Visual C# 2010 Express, although this is not necessary.

Large address aware

You can make your new executable Large Adress Aware in the usual way.

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Sims 3:Large Address Aware

Future Versions of the CAW Tool Beta

For future versions of the Create-a-World tool, it is likely that another patch will have to be created, and applied to the new CAW executable. Therefore, this patch will only apply to the current (1.13.7) version of the CAW tool.

Additional hidden Features of the CAW Tool

It has also been discovered that CAW is capable of automatically packaging certain resources upon world export to Sims3Pack. For more details see this thread-

Discussion Thread

There is a thread on the MTS forums where you can ask questions or discuss this modification:

It would also be useful if you could post bug reports or problems in this thread for the patch developer to see.


All credit goes to atavera (a.k.a atavera (retired)) for the tutorial, patch and discovery.

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