meetme2theriver (meetme2theriver) wrote,

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.
Tags: sims 2, stealth hoods, tutorial
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