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The Sims 4 Modding Tutorial: Testing to see if a mod needs an update


Hey guys!

Today I wanted to discuss how to find out if a mod needs an update or not.

To begin you are going to follow the same resource extractions that I outlined in my Modding 101: How to make a mod tutorial located here:

Step 1

Important note:  If you are just testing the mods, you will need the resource files from BEFORE the patch.  I suggest extracting those before you update so you have files to compare against those from the patch.

Make a folder dedicated to modding. Inside this folder should be sub-folders. I’ll show you what mine looks like but set yours up in a way that makes sense to you. Below is the structure of my modding folder with the top line being the main folder:

Sims 4 Mods

–Mods WIP

—–Name of Mod

–Extracted Resources

–Patch 9_24 (this is the date of the old patch)

–Patch 12_4 (this is the date of the new patch)


Step 2

Now you are going to extract those resources from Sims 4. Begin by launching S4S and then you will click on the tools tab and select “extract tuning”. At the bottom of the popup window, make sure the “use sub-folders” and “extract all” boxes are checked. Do not have the “use EA naming” box checked. Click on the export button and select the folder you want to extract to (the folders with the date according to when that patch was released). The process takes a fair amount of time, so be patient and leave the program alone. It took almost 10 minutes for mine, so go grab something to drink or two.

tut1 tut1a tut1b

Step 3

Once you have finished extracting those resource files, launch the XML Compare program.  You will need to set the paths for each line.  This is why you were told to put each resource file for that mod into its own folder with the mod.  It will make this step easier for you.

  • “Your XML File” browse to your folder that contains the mod (and its resources) that you are testing.  Select all the resource files (don’t do more than 50 at a time) and then select open.
  • TS4 XML Extract Folders Old:  browse to the folder where you placed your old extracted resources (in this case it is the 9_24 folder).
  • TS4 XML Extract Folders New:  browse to the folder where you placed your new extracted resources (in this case it is the 12_4 folder).
  • Uncheck the box “Open all files in one instance of WinMerge”
  • Launch WinMerge


You will see a bunch of windows opening and closing, if none of them stay open then your mod does not need updating.  The windows that remain open will need updating.  Compare the differences between the two windows.  The file on the left is your old file and the one on the right is the new resource file.  The items in yellow may not need updating and could just mean that things were rearranged and that can be ignored.  Items in red will need updating.  The way I proceed at this point is to write down the resource files that need updating and what lines were affected.  Then I rewrite the mod.

Below are examples using my personal mod; No Auto Computers.  As you can see, the items that I need to fix are in yellow.  Wait!  Didn’t I just say that things in yellow may not need updating?  Yes; however, these do.  It’s why you should look at every item.  These are in yellow because all the instances where I added and/or changed “allow autonomous” to “false” have been removed.  I have to put them back.  Also, new coding has been added to make this an approved activity for clubs.  I need to look at them and see if I want clubs to be able to do this autonomously.  I created this mod for my police stations so my detectives didn’t have to fight to get to the computer.  So, I don’t care if the NPCs are hogging it up at the library.  I will keep that club addition in the script.

modcheck1b modcheck1c

What I do is I open the old mod with S4S and then open the changed resource file in Notepad++.  Since I wrote down the lines that were changed, I scroll to those and make the changes in the new resource files so that they are doing the same thing that they did in the old mod.  Once I have made all the changes, I save the mod with a new version number at the end.  I like to keep my things organized so the new mod and the new resource files are placed inside a folder titled “12_4 Mod Updates”.  It makes it easier to find them for the next update.

Once you have made the changes, test your mod in game but first be sure to delete that localthumbscache.package first.

Have a question about modding? Reach out to me on Sims Community Social!

About the author


I’m Tatiana AKA HarmonySims/Simlish and Dreams on Tumblr. I’ve always been interested in graphic design, photography, and computers. I played Sims Freeplay for years before discovering Sims 3. An obsession was born when I pushed myself to become a better builder and learned how to make CC and mods for Sims 4.

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