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Tutorial: How to DISABLE the "stealth 'hoods" for The Sims 2
It has come to my attention that very few people know that you can actually do this, and rather than explaining it to a handful of people in #sims2chat over and over again, I decided I'd write a little tutorial for how to do it.

Background: You need to know what a "stealth 'hood" is, first. This is the community's loving name for the "neighbourhoods" that attach themselves to every single neighbourhood you make, ever since the Pets EP. (This is what's happening when it says "Creating Pets", "Creating Weather", etc - those are actually the names of the stealth 'hoods!) Basically they are hidden subhoods that contain very little of value and that your sims can never visit (with the exception of the Free Time and Apartment Life ones, more on that below), and the only thing they do is add a bunch of sims to your neighbourhood, which you may or may not want.

These sims are the playable "sim bin" sims, such as Cyd Roseland (Pets), the Ottomas family (Seasons), the Traveller family (Bon Voyage), etc. There's also a number of townies and NPCs included, such as strays, the Garden Club, tourists, social group townies, hobby mavens, etc. You can of course get my cleaned templates if you only want the playables (and some of the NPCs), or the empty templates from MATY if you don't want any of the sims at all.

But if you truly want a completely clean neighbourhood, free of EAxis created scum, there's a better way - disable the stealth 'hoods completely, so that they never get added to your neighbourhood at all!

NOTE: This will not affect any of your existing neighbourhoods! It's only useful for when you create a new neighbourhood (just like the empty/clean templates).

First, why?

Well, even the empty templates add empty "subhoods" to your neighbourhood that take up space and are basically completely useless garbage *. If you have OCD-ish tendencies like me, you wouldn't want that.

Also, if you want to create a neighbourhood that can be converted to a subhood template, such as a custom university or shopping district or downtown or whatever, and share this with other people, then disabling the stealth 'hoods is absolutely NECESSARY, as a neighbourhood that already has subhoods attached to it CANNOT be converted into a subhood template.

Plus, it's just a neater way of doing things than having to download and fiddle around with replacing templates, when all you need to do is rename some folders instead.

* The FT and AL stealth 'hoods actually do have a function. The FT one contains the "secret hobby lots" and the AL one has the "secret good/bad witch lots". So if you would like to keep these, get empty templates for those two rather than disabling them. Note that disabling them doesn't cause any harm if you never use them (I never do) - sims will still get access to the secret lots, but I wouldn't recommend actually trying to send them to these lots when they do not exist. I haven't tried it, but my bet is that it would crash the game.

Okay, so enough about the why - here's the how. It's actually very simple. All you need to do is rename the folder named "NeighborhoodTemplate" in \TSData\Res\ in the following EP folders:

The Sims 2 Pets
The Sims 2 Seasons
The Sims 2 Bon Voyage **
The Sims 2 Free Time
The Sims 2 Apartment Life

You can rename it to anything you want (or even remove it), but I like to rename it to "NeighborhoodTemplate_Stealth" so it's well labelled and easy to name back if I DO want the stealth 'hoods for some reason. The trick is - the game looks for a folder specifically named "NeighborhoodTemplate", so if it cannot find it, it cannot add its contents to your neighbourhood! Here's some screenshots to help:

1. Find the NeighborhoodTemplate folder:

2. The contents of the NeighborhoodTemplate folder. This is the stealth 'hood for Seasons:

3. Rename the NeighborhoodTemplate folder:

Repeat for the 4 other EPs **.

** The NeighborhoodTemplate folder for Bon Voyage also has the three vacation subhood templates in it! You probably don't want to disable those, so you need to do things slightly differently for BV. Instead of renaming the folder, make a new folder alongside it instead, and move the stealth 'hood - V001 - inside it.

4. Make a separate "NeighborhoodTemplate_Stealth" folder for Bon Voyage:

5. The contents of BV's "NeighborhoodTemplate folder". These are the three vacation subhood templates (Three Lakes, Twikkii Island and Takemizu Village). No stealth 'hood here (V001), as you should move that to the other folder.

6. What should be in the "NeighborhoodTemplate_Stealth" when you're done:

And that's it! You're done. Enjoy your stealth 'hood free game.

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Do I understand this correctly, that you should only do this before you start pkaying a game, and not after you've already got going?

Yes, it won't have any effect on an already existing neighbourhood. I should probably specify that in the post. Thanks!

This, this is delightfully simple!

Thanks, meetme! This is great and will work for my future challenge hoods.

Sorry I think I am confused by the statement below. When you say never use them I am not sure I understand how they would be used. Is it when you add subhoods or that you would be using them for the additional sims that they add to your neighborhood ? I thought I understood in the previous paragraph that they were essentially junk to begin with .. Sorry I just need a little more clarification if you could. Thanks

"Note that disabling them doesn't cause any harm if you never use them (I never do) - sims will still get access to the secret lots, but I wouldn't recommend actually trying to send them to these lots when they do not exist. I haven't tried it, but my bet is that it would crash the game."

Are you familiar with the secret hobby lots and secret witch lots?




These are located in the FT and AL stealth 'hoods. If you disable them, you won't be able to go to these lots anymore. I think these secret lots are completely pointless so I never use them anyway, but if you want to use them you shouldn't disable the stealth 'hoods for these EPs, but use empty templates instead. Even with the stealth 'hoods disabled, your sims will still get the "access cards" to the hobby lots, so you can actually attempt to send them to these lots - which probably would crash the game since there aren't any lots to send them to.

Got it Thanks. I did not realize that you were saying you saying you did not use the secret lots at all.

Thank you for the info, plus all the other hints, tips and tutorials that you provide. You've helped make TS2 so much fun to play (at least when I can), thank you.

Aww, you are most welcome! <3

Thank you for this! I had no idea! I do have a couple questions though:

1) if I am planning on doing custom vacation hoods and have already placed in empty templates and removed the lots, do I still need to copy and rename or can I do it like the other hoods?

2) if I have an empty neighborhood I am working on but would rather not have stealth hoods attached to it, do you have any recommendations for how to keep that hood when creating a new template (if that makes sense)?

Anyways, thank you for this! It's greatly appreciated.

Ugh, sorry, I kept meaning to get back to this and I completely forgot!

1) The stealth 'hood (V001) isn't really related to the vacation 'hoods and doesn't have any lots, only tourist NPCs and the Travellers (bin family). If you've already put in an empty template for V001, then you don't NEED to move it like described in this tutorial, but it would be cleaner as you wouldn't get a useless stealth hood attached to all your neighbourhoods anymore. No matter how clean a stealth 'hood template is, having no stealth 'hood at all is always cleaner.

2) If you already have a new neighbourhood with stealth 'hoods attached to it, you can't get rid of those stealth 'hoods again without starting the neighbourhood over. You'd have to make a new neighbourhood (after disabling the stealth 'hoods) and move your lots to the new one.

Hope that helps and isn't FAR TOO LATE. Sorry for the late reply again. :(

Okay, thank you! I will see if there is some sort of hood replacer deal (I think there is), so I'll stop trying to make this neighborhood and follow your tips! Thanks for replying. :)

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