Advertisement

The Sims 2 was released back in September 2004 and, at the time of writing this, that was almost 17 years ago. It was very much designed for operating systems at the time such as Windows 98, ME and XP.

Advertisement

With many fans calling The Sims 2 the best Sims game of all-time, and with EA temporarily releasing “The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection” back in 2014, it’s expected that players may want to re-install and experience the game again. I have recently found myself in this position and struggled to find information in one place to get the game working properly on my computer!

Thankfully, the game does run on newer operating systems such as Windows 8 and Windows 10. However, the graphics do not work as expected with many players experiencing a low resolution of 800×600, bad graphics and – in some cases – glitches with shadows.

This tutorial will show you how to fix the graphical issues with The Sims 2.

Contents

Increasing the Resolution / Widescreen Support

800×600 is no longer the standard for computers, and it’s also likely your device supports widescreen, so it’s likely you’re going to want to fix this.

  1. Locate the directory where you have installed The Sims 2 game and go to The Sims 2 -> Latest Pack -> TSData -> Res -> Config.Please note you need to replace ‘Latest Pack’ in the path above with the newest Sims 2 game you have installed based on its release date (e.g. If you had Pets and Freetime installed, it would be Freetime). Refer to this article to see the order of release of Sims 2 games.For Ultimate Collection, it will be The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection -> Fun With Pets -> SP9 -> TSData -> Res -> Config.
  2. Copy and paste ‘Graphic Rules.sgr’ somewhere on your computer to ensure you have a backup
  3. Open the file ‘Graphic Rules.sgr’ with Notepad – you may need to open notepad in administrator mode to save any changes we make
  4. Search for option ScreenModeResolution and under the area of setting $Low you will want to update maxResWidth and maxResHeight to the resolution of your monitor.For example, you may set maxResWidth as 1920 and maxResHeight as 1080 if your monitor resolution is 1920×1080.Screen mode settings for TS2
  5. Save the changes you have mdae to Graphic Rules.sgr
  6. Open The Sims 2 and you will now be able to select a screen resolution up to the highest resolution you specified.

NVIDIA: Bad Graphics Fix

If your graphics are looking a bit pale and bleak, despite them being on high, this may be because your computer has an integrated AND dedicated graphics card. You can usually quickly tell if this is happening – there will be no shadows, grass textures look pale, and the water in neighbourhood views is a solid colour with no reflection at all.

As the game was released in 2004, your NVIDIA control panel won’t automatically identify Sims 2 as a video game, so it will only allow the game to use your integrated card. As The Sims 2 can’t identify what card this is, the graphics look awful.

To fix this if you have an NVIDIA card, try the following steps.

  1. Open the “Nvidia Control Panel” application on your computer
  2. In the left sidebar, click on “Manage 3D Settings”
  3. You will see a screen allowing you to manage your 3D settings and two tabs – one which says “Global Settings” and another that says “Program Settings”. Click on the “Program Settings” tab.
  4. Press “Add” next to the program drop down and locate your Sims 2 executable file. This can be found in your Sims 2 installation directory by going to The Sims 2 -> Latest Pack -> TSBin.This will need to be the one from the latest Sims 2 pack you have installed based on its release date. For Ultimate Collection, this will be The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection -> Fun With Pets -> SP9 -> TSBin -> Sims2EP9.exe
  5. Select the preferred graphics processor as “High-performance NVIDIA processor” so that it uses your dedicated graphics card.Sims 2 settings in the NVIDIA panel
  6. Launch The Sims 2 and you will find the graphics are better

Fixing Black Box Shadows on Sims

A very common issue is that when your Sims are inside of lots, there will be a black box shadow underneath them. There are a few ways to fix this.

Option 1 – Change Shadows to Medium

The easiest is to just change the graphics settings to medium. This will change shadow quality for everything else too, but its a quick and easy fix.

Option 2 – Edit Graphic Rules File

The second way involves editing the Graphic Rules file and allowing shadows for everything apart from Sims, so you get the benefit of the black box disappearing but also can enjoy high-quality shadows on objects etc, which option 1 doesn’t provide.

  1. Locate the directory where you have installed The Sims 2 game and go to The Sims 2 -> Latest Pack -> TSData -> Res -> Config.Please note you need to replace ‘Latest Pack’ in the path above with the newest Sims 2 game you have installed based on its release date (e.g. If you had Pets and Freetime installed, it would be Freetime). Refer to this article to see the order of release of Sims 2 games.For Ultimate Collection, it will be The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection -> Fun With Pets -> SP9 -> TSData -> Res -> Config.
  2. Copy and paste ‘Graphic Rules.sgr’ somewhere on your computer to ensure you have a backup
  3. Open the file ‘Graphic Rules.sgr’ with Notepad – you may need to open notepad in administrator mode to save any changes we make
  4. Search for option Shadows and under setting $high, you can change simShadows from true to falseShadow settings for TS2
  5. Save the changes you have made and launch The Sims 2.

Enjoy The Sims 2!

Hopefully these hints and tips have helped you get The Sims 2 running on your device. We will continue to update this article as needed so that you can find it all in one place.

Happy Simming!

1 COMMENT

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.