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The Sims 2 Base Game & Expansion Packs

Updated on March 02, 2008

The much awaited sequel to The Sims game was The Sims 2. Released in 2004, this computer game lets players create simulated people who basically go about living their lives. You have to make sure their needs are met (they have to eat, use the restroom, bathe, sleep, etc.), let them earn enough money to buy stuff they need to survive, and cultivate their relationships. The Sims was very popular, but limited in game play because it wasn’t generational. Your Sims could have kids, but the kids never grew up (unless you used magic, but then they simply transformed into random people). And, unless you purposely killed off a Sim, they would never die.

The huge appeal about The Sims 2, besides graphics that blew The Sims out of the water, is that the Sims have set life spans and can add generations to their family trees. There are different life stages: baby, toddler, kid, teen, adult, and elder. Your Sims can now die natural deaths, in addition to being killed from unnatural causes (like drowning, starving, etc.). Sims pass on their DNA, personalities, and even inheritances to their children.

The Sims 2 Base Game

You have to have the base game before you can play any of the expansion packs. The base game provides you with the tools to play your Sims. You can choose to play three existing neighborhoods, or create your own. One of the neighborhoods, Pleasantview, is the neighborhood from the original Sims game, but in the next generation.

Your Sims have different personalities and life aspirations. They can be really clean, or big slobs. Maybe one Sim is very nice, but the other is grumpy. You can make your Sims lazy, super active, or somewhere in between. You know how happy your Sims are by checking their aspiration levels: if it is red, they are miserably depressed; green means they are okay; gold is great; and, platinum means they are so happy. Their wants and fears are guided by their life aspirations:

  • Romance: Your Sim loves romance.
  • Family: This Sim wants a solid, loving family life.
  • Knowledge: Learn, learn, learn—this Sim’s desire to learn more will outweigh everything else.
  • Popularity: Do the other Sims like me? This Sim wants to be famous with lots of friends.
  • Fortune: Show this Sim the money!

Oh yeah, and watch out for the aliens.

Sims 2 University Expansion Pack

This pack expands your base game, adding a new life phase: young adult. When your Sim is a teen, you can choose to send her to University where she can study for four years to earn a degree. Your Sim can also flunk out or get kicked out early, sending her back home. Sims with university degrees have more job options with higher paying careers. They also earn additional want slots.

The University neighborhoods are sub-neighborhoods where young adults can live. You can choose to have them live in dorms with other Sims, or in private housing on their own or with roommates.

Sims 2 Nightlife Expansion Pack

Do your Sims want to go out and party? This expansion pack adds the downtown sub-neighborhood to your game, with clubs, restaurants, bowling allies, and clothing boutiques. The game also adds cars to the game, so your Sims no longer have to rely on public transportation to get around. Nightlife offers more social interactions for you Sims as you can now send them out on dates or on group outings. Need help finding a date for your Sim? No problem! Just call the matchmaker, and she will set you up (just make sure you pay her enough). This pack also introduces vampires to the game.

Sims 2 Open for Business Expansion Pack

Now your Sims can run their own businesses. This expansion pack introduces a shopping sub-neighborhood. You can run home businesses or buy lots. Sell goods you make yourself, or learn to buy things at a discount to turn around and sell for a profit. You can hire employees, earn talent badges, and make a lot of money with this game. This game introduces new objects, styles, and the added bonus of personal inventories for each Sim. Now, you can place items into your Sims inventories, so they can take things with them wherever they go (this is especially helpful when you move Sims to new houses).

Sims 2 Pets Expansion Pack

Your Sims have families, college degrees, cars, social lives, and businesses…now they need pets! You can adopt full grown cats and dogs, or you can get kittens and puppies. Your pets have lifespans too, so you will want to enjoy the time you have with them. You can train your pets to do certain things (like not sleep on Sims beds or to use the litter box), and also teach them tricks. Talented pets can have jobs, adding funds to your Sim family’s account.

Along with the games comes other, smaller pets like a parrot and guinea pigs. You can even have your pets mate, as long as they like each other, to produce babies. Werewolves are also introduced into the game.

Sims 2 Seasons Expansion Pack

That’s right, the four seasons have now come to your Sim’s world. Honestly, this is one of the coolest expansion packs because it adds so much to your gameplay. The fours seasons bring different weather conditions, so now you have to dress your Sim appropriately. Too much sun can leave your Sim with heatstroke, and staying out in the snow too long can turn your Sim into an icicle.

The game also brings gardening to your Sims—with fresh fruits and vegetables that you can sell or prepare for your Sims to eat. A new creature is also introduced: the Plant Sim.

Sims 2 Bon Voyage Expansion Pack

Wow, your Sims are really working hard, don’t they need a vacation? Bon Voyage lets your Sims pick up the phone to call their travel agent. They can book a mountain, beach, or far East getaway. That’s right, you can whisk your Sims out of their everyday lives to new vacation destinations. They can camp, stay in hotels, or even buy their own vacation homes.

Your Sims can meet new people on vacation, learn new skills, and buy jewelry. One of the coolest things about this expansion is the introduction of beaches, with actual crashing waves. Your Sims can sunbathe, build sandcastles, and even swim in the ocean. Bigfoot is also introduced into the game.

Sims 2 Free Time Expansion Pack

This is the newest, and possibly last, of the expansion packs. I don’t even have it yet, but it focuses on the things your Sims can do during their free time. You can cultivate your Sims’ hobbies, and introduce them to new social interactions. Your Sims can build cars, take ballet classes, and play group games.

How do you play Sims?

Video: Growing Up (life) Sims 2

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    • Angela Harris profile image

      Angela Harris 9 years ago from Around the USA

      My daughter is a true Sims 2 addict. Your Hub here is her birthday list- every single one of these exact games. I have to show this to her.

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile image
      Author

      Stacie Naczelnik 9 years ago from Seattle

      I didn't even touch the Stuff Packs either! If you buy everything, it is pretty expensive.

    • gamergirl profile image

      Kiz 9 years ago from Antioch, TN

      Oh my goodness.. great job!! I wanted to write about the Sims 2, but I ran out of time. You've got it covered pretty nicely though. :P

    • bvcures profile image

      bvcures 9 years ago from USA

      the sims rocks!

    • profile image

      lulu 9 years ago

      that was the best

    • profile image

      Robbie 8 years ago

      The was great! But how did you do it?

    • profile image

      jaclyn Guy 7 years ago

      where can i buy the sims 2 base game

    • profile image

      sa 7 years ago

      jaclyn Guy you might as well wait for the june release of the sims 3 in stead of buying the sims 2.

    • profile image

      Ashley  7 years ago

      Do I have to install all the expanion packs in order?? and how many of the expansion packs can i play at once?? I know the sims 3 is coming out today, I've been wanting to play the sims2 since i got it back in 2004 - my stupid graphics card failed on me and i forgot about the game. I was playing the online version until they took it down.

      Thanks

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile image
      Author

      Stacie Naczelnik 7 years ago from Seattle

      Ashley, I have heard that it is best to install them in order, but you don't have to. I usually do, but not always. And, you can play them all at the same time. They kind of go together.

    • gamergirl profile image

      Kiz 7 years ago from Antioch, TN

      There are a couple you want to closely focus on installing in order, primarily the expansion packs. The reason you install them in order is because there are patches in the expansions that cover prior bugs or missing things, so at the very worst you should install the most recent expansion you own at the very end.

      Other than that, you can install stuff packs in whatever order you desire.

    • profile image

      Ashley 7 years ago

      Thank you Stacie Naczeinik and gamergirl. I appreciate it . :)

    • profile image

      chloe 7 years ago

      there are not any towns and it wont let me create one what do i do help please

    • profile image

      alastair 7 years ago

      apart fron university or the base game what would be the best expansion?

    • profile image

      carol 7 years ago

      i want to buy a sims 2 game scince i already have sims three which should i get the base game or expansion pack and if you say expansion pack which one?

    • profile image

      Nikalodian 7 years ago

      u have to have the base game to install an expansion

    • profile image

      Jessica 7 years ago

      which is better sims 2 or 3? my friend has sims 3 but its kinda limited...?

      btw i love sims 2 its the best...

    • profile image

      Jessica 7 years ago

      by the way people, whoever said wait for sims 3, they are actually different in gameplay... sims 3 is better than 2 in some ways and vise versa, so i say get both

    • profile image

      edwardelriclover 7 years ago

      you forgot apartment life

    • profile image

      Nikb9 7 years ago

      OK. Where did you get all the extra toys and baby furniture?

    • profile image

      Person xD 6 years ago

      your missing sims 2 apartment life.....but this gave me a good description of every game especially because imma bout to buy them all...

    • profile image

      cool girl 6 years ago

      im getting the sims 2 in the post and i have already got the teen style stuff pack but can u get cars that are not in the night life pack cause i dont think i can get that for cheap lol plz help!!!!

    • profile image

      sims fan 6 years ago

      i have a question i have the sims 2 double deluxe and i nstalled the sims 2 open for business,university,freetime,pets, and apartment life. I bought the sims 2 seasons and want to install it but i dont know if i have to uninstall them and install them in order or just install them randomly.

    • profile image

      Coco 6 years ago

      that video was so sweet! And itn was kinda sad,too. Good job!! :D

    • profile image

      Ruby 6 years ago

      Im really confused now, i've already got sims 2 and sims 2 bon voyage and i am going to get seasons... does this mean i have to uninstall the lot?!

      please help!

      much thanks :D .x.

    • profile image

      Dee 6 years ago

      Were do u find Bon voyage I have pets double deluxe and university and a bunch of little decoration packs but when I went to the store it waznt on the shelf I waz bumbed cause I really wanted the game

    • profile image

      dustin 6 years ago

      ur missing apartment life

    • profile image

      Lily 6 years ago

      I LOVE SIMS SOOO MUCH! I own all of the Sims pc games ! Along with man other sim games for other consoles.

    • profile image

      michella  6 years ago

      omg Great job i love sims, im trying to get all the sims 2 games possible

    • profile image

      simsmousy 6 years ago

      I have 6

      apartment life

      2 stuff packs

      night life

      uni

      open 4 business

      but my computer crashed but im hoping for christmas and more expansion packs

      ps.. sorry for the spelling

    • profile image

      jojo 6 years ago

      can you live in an apartment if you buy the sims 3 high end loft game?

    • profile image

      kaaay.x 6 years ago

      omg this is sooooo awsum i wish i knew how to do that!!! that's rely clever!!

    • profile image

      zafieya 6 years ago

      how many sims expansion pack that it have...can someone list for me...i already buy sims 2 apartmen life expansion pack.but i cannot build my own house..why???do i have to buy another sims game??

    • profile image

      Jess 6 years ago

      I'm installing my sims 2 and all of my expansion packs right now as I write this! I took them all off of my computer once I got sims 3 to make more room for it. I have all the expansion packs for sims 3 but it's still boring :/ I also have all the expansion packs for sims 2 so I'm gunna start playing that again cause it was so much fun! :)

    • profile image

      Tegan 6 years ago

      really dumb question, i haven't played Sims in AGES, and reinstalled them and expansions back onto my computer.

      my dumb question is this:

      If i play just 1 of the expansion packs (say university life), will all the items etc from pets be accesed? or do i need to play the base game in order to get all items from the expansions?

      sorry for the dumb question, like i said haven played in ages and having a massive mental block.

      thanks!

    • profile image

      Joolee 6 years ago

      @zafieya: you have to have the base game installed, not just the expansion pack. that should be enough.

      @tegan you have to have the specific exp. pack installed if you want to have it's items (nightlife if you want vampires), but at the end you run the last version installed, which, if you have all of them, would be "mansion and garden stuff". hope that helped

    • profile image

      kayla 5 years ago

      i have sims life stories and i was going to add games to it but i guess i have to buy Sims 2 so i can add games ):

    • profile image

      Inav 5 years ago

      Hi I installed the nyt life Exp pack and played it smoothly then i bought the univ and after i installed it says that i have uninstalled the nightlife. Now im torn between the two because i cant play it all together at once. Can someone please help me??? Please

    • profile image

      Ashley 5 years ago

      @Inav

      You might have to un-install all of your expansion packs and add them in order. If you don't know what the order is go online because this website list is not all of them in order. I would go on Sims2.com or get help on the sims 2 website.

      Hoped I helped.

      P.S. I could give you more information if you tell me if it is on PC or Mac.

    • profile image

      brianna 5 years ago

      do sims 2 double deluxe have cars

    • profile image

      Christian 5 years ago

      I still don't know how to make my sims get hit by cars

    • profile image

      Maria 5 years ago

      how to download the game?

    • profile image

      gabbie 4 years ago

      does any one know how much sims 2 barns cost?

    • profile image

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    • profile image

      Chloe 3 years ago

      Hi there is also the sims 2 pets and apartment life does anyone know where I can purchase a copy of the base games and all the expansion packs for PC. I did have them all a couple years back but we had to move and my sister sold them all. I was just wondering if anyone could help me get all of them. Thanks:) oh and seasons is another one you forgot also castaway

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