User Files Explained

Where are my user files ?

Details can be found here:  Where are my files installed ?

What is the meaning of the folders/files ?

Main Folder

  • The 5 Cache Files are recreated on startup. Delete them from time to time, especially if you add package files.
  • Options.ini: 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 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 with any text editor before entering game if game crashes before you have a chance to enter F5.
  • Log Files: Log Files about the Computer and errors that might occur
    • DeviceConfig.log,
    • Sims3Logs.xml
    • 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.
  • ScriptErrors: 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.
  • tslus.bin: No Clue
  • UserPresets.package: Colors and patterns that you saved in the Create-a-Style (CaST) palette 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.
  • Version.tag: 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.

Collections

Introduced in patch 1.26 (PC) / 1.27 (Mac).

The collections you create ingame  are stored in this folder. Place any Collection downloads shared by the Sims community in this folder.

ContentPatch

Introduced in September, 2011 for patches to Store Items.

The launcher prompts to download the patch and it’s stored in this folder as ContentPatch.package if you accept it. If you don’t accept 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 temporary file of the ContentPatch.package, which should have been deleted after downloading is completed, so it is safe to remove if not.

CurrentGame.sims3

This contains the data used in the currently loaded Save game, when the game 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 .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.

Custom Music

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.

DCBackup

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). Store files can’t be opened unless you decrapify them first.

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.

There are also a few files that seem to be connected to badge challenges. They have the following numbers. I’m unsure if those are needed or not

  • 0x16ff149288174772bb2fa34416092e0f.package
  • 0x51ef155c2d68c7a645316fdb8eb4b48c.package
  • 0xb71cfd2158e04a7ea617ee9b4c6ac5b6.package
  • 0xc4fc5a4fb38d43469d2fc5c797ffaae0.package
  • 0xcd7e83bc6b2c09b745361ca52bddf5e8.package
  • 0xe02355dd40f6c7a548396b042af56004.package
  • 0xf954019ad5ecd2bf410a5e8597f6982d.package

Files in this folder have the extension .package.

DCCache

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.
  • dcc.ent: No clue. 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 dbc 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.

Downloads

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 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

dynamicchallenge_

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.

Exports

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.

FeaturedItems

Introduced in patch 1.29.

Contain images for Featured Store Items to be shown in the CAH/Buy/Build Catalog,

For further details see this post: Turning off ingame Store and preventing loading of pictures

IGACache

No idea

InstalledWorlds

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.

Library

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.

Mods

Your downloaded user-created content in .package format. Not present by default. You have to create this folder yourself.

See How do I install Custom Content/ Mods ? for details.

Recorded Videos

Videos you recorded in your game.

The Content of this folder shows in Uploads (Tab: Video) in the Launcher.

SavedSims

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.

Saves

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 .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 .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.

See this post: How do I restore a backup file ? for info on how to restore a backup file.

Screenshots

Pictures taken ingame.

The Content of this folder shows in Uploads (Tab: Screenshots) in the launcher.

SigsCache

Information about activities in Origin 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.

Thumbnails

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.

Credits
This post was originally posted here.  TS3 User Folders Explained  by me and edited by members of the Sims3Wiki