Game Help:TS3 User Folders Explained
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Purpose of the files and folders in the User folder
This guide will explain the function of folders and files found in the User folder. Most of these folders and files are not there by default. They will be created as and when needed.
Delete those when you add new CC or remove unwanted CC. They will be recreated.
- CasPartCache.package: CAS parts that appear in Create-A-Sim
- compositorCache.package: New objects that would appear in Buy/Build mode
- scriptCache.package: Mods or Hacks
- simCompositorCache.package: New Sims, default skins
- socialCache.package.package: Information about the social aspects (Introduced with Patch 1.31)
Contains your game and graphic options set in the game. Save this file if you update your drivers and put it back after the update or all your Option settings will be lost because the game would reset it automatically. This also occurs when you install new Expansion or Stuff Packs.
This file may also become corrupted. If you get any graphical or sound glitch, removing this file would restore the Options and Lessons to "factory defaults" and you can then re-tweak the options as you desire, again.
Can be manually edited (in Notepad (PC) / TextEdit (Mac) or other Text Editors), before entering game if game crashes before you have a chance to enter F5.
- Sims3LauncherLogFile.log: This file tells you what happens when you try uploading/downloading to the Exchange. It might contain some useful info if you have trouble up- or downloading.
Errors produced by the game that were caught by Twallan's ErrorTrap mod. They are not used in the game. Delete or post at NRaas Industries, if requested. They contain information that were caused by his ErrorTrap mod and would assist him in troubleshooting the bugs (caused by EA code or his mods) that trigger the error. If you do not have this mod and you don't plan to ever contact EA for help in troubleshooting these errors, then you can simply delete them.
Colors and patterns that you saved in the Create-a-Style (CaST) pallette in Create-a-Sim (CAS) or Build/ Buy Mode.
xcpt*.mdmp & xpct*.txt
Crash logs that where written when your games crashes. You can have them analyzed with the Crash Log Analyzer or just delete.
Most non-hardware-related crashes can be resolved by doing the Game Help:Sims 3 Game Problem FAQ and other FAQs linked within that wiki page.
Info about the version of your game. This file only contains the gameversion of the last installed pack. Delete this file if you have troubles patching or Launcher is reporting errors. Should be recreated on game / Launcher start. If you have Launcher issues, see Game Help:Launcher Issues.
Introduced in patch 1.26 (PC, Mac Snow Leopard) / 1.27 (Mac Lion). You can organize your Buy/Build Catalog in Collections, and the resulting collections would be placed here, or place any Collection downloads shared by the Sims community in this folder.
Introduced in September, 2011 for patches to Store Items. When prompted in Launcher of Store updates, the file(s) would be downloaded and stored in this folder if one accepts the prompt. The patch file is named "ContentPatch.package"
If not, a 1KB file with the name "DontBugMeUntilNextPatch" would be placed here so you won't get the prompt in Launcher again.
There's also a subfolder in here called "Download" that may contain files with "*.part" in the name. This is a temp file of the "ContentPatch.package", which should have been deleted after downloading is completed, so it is safe to remove if not.
This contains the data used in the currently loaded Save game, when The Sims 3 is running. During a save procedure this folder would be renamed as you specified and transferred to the Saves folder.
If at any time, the Save procedure results in an error or is stalled, you can simply copy this whole folder into the Saves folder yourself before exiting the game, and rename it to <Current>.sims3 or something that you'll be able to identify later. It just needs to be different from the actual name of the Save that you loaded.
After quitting the game, ensure the contents of this folder is empty before starting the next game.
Contains your custom music that is played on the custom music channel. Don't delete the files that are already in there for it can lead to problems with patching. If you don't want them in there, move them to some temp folder and put it back before patching.
If these default mp3 files get corrupted, you can simply replace this folder's contents by copying the originals from the Program Files path.
It has been reported, however that the Custom Channel won't work properly if the default game's Custom Music are not present, so YMMV. The files need to be in .mp3 format and in 128kb bitrate.
Contains all package files that get unpacked when you install a sims3pack. This folder is bound to have many files if you install and test out a lot of content, for the files in here will not get deleted when you uninstall or delete something in your Launcher. The names in here are just numbers so you won't know which is which. To find out, you can open them in s3pe and find the picture (Type: THUM or ICON).
If you export a Sim / Household / House from your game, the game only packs the stuff used that is actually in this folder. Meaning if you used a window in your house but deleted the corresponding Package file in this folder, the window will not get packed with the house. Some Downloads don't need to be used to get packed. They just do, but only if you have them in this folder.
Since the introduction of premium content to the store, this folder contains a file called ccmerge.package. This file contains information about the buffs and skills given by the premium content. Don't delete this file or it will cause the premium content to not work correctly.
Files in this folder have the extension .package.
Contains all installed Custom Content/Exchange/Store items that you installed through the Launcher. Shows up in Launcher's Installed Content tab. This tab may list more content than you had downloaded and installed, as there are many Sims3Packs that have lots of files getting packed with it. Do NOT install hundreds of files in one go, do small batches that does not exceed 200MB. Launcher cannot handle too big a queue.
There are 3 different file types in this folder:
- *.dbc: All third party content
- *.ebc: Store content
- missingdeps.idx: Probably some kind of Cache file for it gets recreated when deleted.
The files are getting compressed together and unfortunately one does not know what CC item is in which numbered file. The size of the files can be changed in the Default.ini in your \Game\Bin folder. If a file reaches this value, a new one is created and files are named incrementally, from *0.dbc or *0.ebc onwards.
A first file is created the first time you installed ANY sims3pack. If it's a houses/household/Sims/Worlds the file will only be 1 kb big. No actual info is stored there. If you uninstall something, the file size does not seem to be reduced at all although the content is gone from your Launcher & game.
The content of these files is what you see in the Installed Content tab in your Launcher. If you delete them, ALL of your CC/Store item will be gone from your game (this does not include the houses/household/Sims/Worlds itself). Sometimes it's the best thing to do, if you have lots of corrupted stuff. You can cut and paste these files temporarily to your computer's Desktop to remove the content from your game. This is an especially useful trick if you suspect the .dbc (or .ebc) is already corrupted and cannot accept new installs. The pre-existing content would then need to be reinstalled.
You can use Delphy's Dashboard to scan those files but it will only tell you, IF something faulty is installed. It can't be repaired. If there is, you will need to delete the file and reinstall all your downloads.
Houses(Lots), Households, Worlds and Sims are installed in different folders.
If you install a sims3pack via the Launcher, or Download from the Sims Store or Exchange via a web browser, the original file will be downloaded first into this folder.
If you copy them here without installing, they will not show in your game and if you delete it from here but not uninstall via Launcher, they will still show in your game and the Launcher. This is basically just a backup and can be used for installing many sims3packs at once. To do so, copy your downloaded sims3Packs into this folder (if not already located here), open your Launcher and just check them all to install.
If the Launcher takes ages to load, you can move all installed sims3packs into a subfolder within this folder and the Launcher will ignore them and also load much faster. It is also recommended to move these files out after a successful install so you have them as backup in case a reinstall is required. Keep only the current "going-to-be-installed" files in here.
Files in this folder have the extension .sims3pack and will show in the Downloads tab in the Launcher.
Folder with very long number (Introduced with Patch 1.31)
This folder contains two files PassportData.package and ChallengeData.package:
- PassportData holds information about your SimPort progress which you loose all if you delete the file.
- ChallengeData.package holds information about your achievements. All completed achievements that were awarded with badges are also saved on the EA server but things you've started (like jogging a certain distance) is saved in this file.
You should keep a backup of this folder
This file is downloaded to your computer when there's a new challenge/achievement available that you can do. It's unclear what happens if you delete the file.
There might also be a new folder with a new very long number that only contains the ChallengeData.package.
Everything you export from the Game (CAS or Edit Town).
The files in this folder shows have the extension .sims3pack and show in Uploads in the Launcher.
Introduced in patch 1.29. Supposed to contain images for Featured Store Items to be shown in the CAH/Buy/Build Catalog, but is causing crashing issues (as of Dec 2011). Recommended to turn off the in-game Store feature from Options. Or turn it off manually by editing Options.ini, set the following line to 0 to turn it off.
enableingamestore = 0
Custom Worlds you installed like Riverview. The Town that came with the Base Game or an Add-Ons can't be found in here.
Files in this folder have the extension .world and show in Installed Content in the Launcher.
Houses and households that you installed through your Launcher. Every house and household has it's own file. Unfortunately the names are cryptic. If additional content came with the Sims3Pack that will be installed in your DCCache files.
The files in this folder have the extension .package and will show in your library in game and also in Installed Content in the Launcher. They can be either deleted in-game or uninstalled through the Launcher.
If you use a house or household in your game and delete the file in this folder, the house will still be in your game for it is saved with your savegame. Deleting the file will only result in the house/household not showing in the Library/Bin anymore.
Your downloaded user-created content in .package format. Not present by default. You have to create this folder yourself.
See Game Help:Installing Sims 3 Package Files/Setup and Files for instructions on how to set up this folder.
Videos you recorded in your game. The Content of this folder shows in Uploads (Tab: Video) in the Launcher.
Sims that you installed through the Launcher or saved in CAS. Every Sim has it's own file. Unfortunately the names are cryptic. If additional content came with the Sims3Pack that will be installed in your DCCache files.
If you use a Sim in your game and delete the file in this folder, the Sims will still be in your game for it is saved with your savegame. Deleting the file will only result in the Sim not showing in CAS anymore.
The files in this folder have the extension .Sim and will show in CAS (premade Sims) ingame and also in Installed Content in the launcher. They can be either deleted ingame or uninstalled through the Launcher.
Some Sims you download from other sites are NOT Sims but households (see above). If the Launcher pic only shows a head, it's a Sim, if it shows the whole Sim, it's a Household.
This folder cannot be organized into subfolders. .sim files stored in subfolders will not be recognized by the game and Launcher.
Your savegames. Back those up regularly. For every game you start there will be a separate folder. They have the name you gave the save. For every game there is also a folder called <yoursavegame>.backup. That is your second last savegame.
If you used the Save As command instead of Save, no .backup folder will be created.
Sometimes you will also find folders called <yoursavegame>.bad. Those are usually created when you have an Error 12, 13 or 16 and should be deleted right away. You don't need to keep those.
If you want to try to salvage your game progress after a Save Error occured before you quit, see #CurrentGame.sims3. If you want to restore a .backup save, after you have quit the game, go to Game Help:Restoring Backup Saves.
Pictures taken ingame. The Content of this folder shows in Uploads (Tab: Screenshots) in the launcher.
Information about activities in EADM and the Store. Files will be created again, if deleted.
- platform.bin: Probably some info about your Computer/OS
- igs.bin: Login-Data for the store.
Cached thumbnail pics. Saved here for faster loading the next time you start your game. If you have any trouble with strange thumbnails ingame, delete these. They will be recreated next time you start the game, albeit a slightly slower game when it is first loaded, after the contents of this folder had been deleted.
WorldCaches (not Mac)
Cache files for your installed worlds. There are no WorldCache files for worlds that came with the game and were not installed through the Launcher like Sunset Valley, Twinbrooks or Bridgeport. These can be deleted if you are on Windows, but must not be deleted on Mac.
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