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Build mode not working, cannot build anything!
That because you have the base game with a no-CD cracked .exe. I never found a working crack able to use build mode, so you can play the game with the DVD inserted in the drive, in Daemon Tools or whatever you have. This happens only for base game. In case of Expansion Packs, no problems occurs if you crack the .exe if you want to play without CD-ROM.
How to money cheat
Place your family in an empty lot, press Ctrl+Shift+C and type motherlode as many times as you need, each time you will add $50,000, save the lot, evict family and it will can buy expensive palaces. Or, if you have Nightlife or newer expansion packs, you can press Ctrl+Shift+C in neighborhood view and type familyfunds <familyname> <money>.
How to built basements
Some people ask which expansion pack is needed to build basements, WRONG! You can built basements just with the base game. Place a foundation at desired level (default is 4 steps above ground), then lower the ground 12 steps, and place a stair from foundation to lower ground. Now you can built rest of foundation, surrounding stair or U-shaped foundation and a normal wall on 4th side to make a house on sloped terrain or garage in basement.
How to design apartment lots
You need EP8 Apartment Life. You can have any number of apartments on one lot, apartments do not need to be in same building and one above others. You can make multiple landed houses, like a trailer park, on same lot too.
Make a residential lot, built everything and when you finish everything press Ctrl+Shift+C and type changelotzoning apartmentbase. You can change lot zoning earlier too, but be sure to changelotzoning residential back before making build mode changes. Do not make build mode changes after you changed lot zoning to apartments, because you can lose apartment validity.
You may get a message There is an invalid apartment on this lot. Check main door rug to be outside of apartment, be sure that is no other entrance, etc.
Many people experienced problems in designing apartments and they think that is not allowed for apartments to have terraces and ground access. WRONG!
– Valid apartments should have only one entrance (the unique separator door) and no door connecting them (no back door to a common courtyard)
– Valid apartments CAN have garage, as long as it is accessible internally.
– Valid apartments CAN have balconies, rooftop access and helipad, as long as they are fenced.
– Valid apartments CAN have private ground area and pool, as long as it is connected to building at same level and is fenced.
– Valid apartments cannot have a basement terrace with stairs to ground, even if the ground area is enclosed.
How to solve invalid apartments
Delete all apartment doors and place them back one by one, type changelotzoning apartmentbase, even if it is valid, type changelotzoning residential to change back and check next apartment. After you get which apartment is invalid, try deleting stairs or built a wall or fence to see which part is invalid.
I tried to built 4 units of semi-detached housing with garage and pool (photo). I kept getting message that one apartment is invalid, I found that the green house is the invalid apartment. How the fuck 3 are valid and 1 is invalid since all 4 units are identical????
How to rent furnished apartments
Sadly Maxis did not made this option available without cheating. Tired of losing furniture when rent an apartment? Just activate cheat mode boolProp testingCheatsEnabled true then shift+click apartment door and select Rent furnished.
How to have more than 8 sims controllable
Activate cheat mode, shift+click on NPC Sims and make them controllable. You can have dozens of controllable sims in this way (useful if you want for example, to record a movie with dozens of dancing sims), best to do in a crowded apartment building, controllable sims does not mean they will not be added to your family. You cannot have more than 8 sims in a family (or 10 including pets)
How to cheat and control everything
Type boolProp testingCheatsEnabled true. Beware, you can do everything with this cheat, even RUIN THE GAME!
Example of things that you can do: click on the skills and maximize or reduce them, click on the mood bars, shift+click on refrigerator and restock it, shift+click on TV or computer and break them, shift+click on the Sim itself and change the age and the clothing, shift+click on newspaper and choose any career and any job level. Shift+click on NPC Sims and make them controllable