The Sims 2 Build a City Challenge (BACC) Rules

The Sims 2 Build a City Challenge - Emerald Bay
The Sims 2 Build a City Challenge – Emerald Bay

In the Sims 2 Build a City Challenge (BACC), the goal is to build a thriving neighborhood from scratch using rules to guide your ‘hood expansion – including creating new Sims and community lots. I find this to be an enjoyable, challenging, and realistic way to play the game.

This is the Pleasant Sims version of the BACC, which is different from other versions you may have seen. The most notable differences in my version include no calculating the population, no locked careers, and use of a tax-based system of building/unlocking community lots.

CHALLENGE GOAL: Build a thriving neighborhood from scratch.

This is less of a true “challenge” and more of a ruleset for building custom neighborhoods. These rules are always a work in progress and will be updated as I play. Check back for updates.

LAST UPDATE: 06/21/2019

NOTE: These are the rules I use to play my own custom neighborhoods. These rules differ from the ones I use to play pre-made Maxis neighborhoods, although there is some overlap. Any topic not covered here defaults to my Sims 2 gameplay rules.

Want to see these rules in action? You can watch my BACC Livestream Playlist where we build my custom ‘hood Emerald Bay.

Table of Contents

Recommended Mods

  • No20khandout – These rules are written for use with this mod. If you choose not to use it, you’ll have to decide how you want to handle the $20k automatically given to new households.
  • Monique’s Hacked Computer – For paying taxes and managing Sims’ money.
  • Edukashun Iz Gud – Limits promotions for uneducated Sims. They can only be promoted to a certain career level based on how much education they have.
  • Sim Transformer – Allows you to change Sim into Supernaturals (see rules for random traits).
  • Hereditary Supernaturalism – Allows children and teens to inherit supernaturalism from their parents. I only use the teen version.
  • Autonomous Casual Romance – Optional, but highly recommended. This mod allows Sims to have autonomous romantic interactions – including trying for baby.

You can also check out my Sims 2 Recommended Mods List for more mods that I use in my game.

Getting Started

  • Create a new, blank neighborhood with no lots. Do not attach a Downtown, University, or any Vacation ‘hoods.
  • Roll a number between 2 and 10 to determine how many Sims you’ll be starting with. These are your founders – your pioneers – who move to the new ‘hood to colonize.
  • Create each Sim as a separate household. You may choose personality, aspiration, and appearance yourself or allow them to be randomly selected.
  • Roll a number between 6 & 20 to determine how much money each Sim starts with. If you roll a 6, the Sim starts with $6,000, etc. This is the amount of money Sim City has granted each Sim for their expedition. Some will get more than others. (Maybe they bribed someone or had a better application. Who knows why the City does what it does?)
  • Use the family funds cheat to give your Sims the correct amount of starting money.
  • Move them into a downloaded house that they can afford or onto an empty lot and build them a house with the extra money.
  • After moving in your founder Sims, you may build or place a single community lot free of charge for your Sims to use. This must be a park or natural area (see rules for unlocking community lots below).

NOTE: If I don’t build my own houses, I use the Newbie Road houses by plasticbox found on Mod the Sims for housing in my BACC. A pack that contains starter houses beginning at $6,000 can be downloaded here.

How to Play the Challenge

  • Play each household for one week, from Monday morning – Monday morning, in the order they were established to keep ages in sync.
  • Follow the rules while you play and build up your neighborhood as you unlock new community lots and Sims.

Pleasant Sims Build a City Challenge Rules

These are the general rules you must use as you play through your new neighborhood. As stated above, if any topic is not covered here, the rules default to my original Sims 2 gameplay rules.

Expanding the City

You will expand your city by creating new households, which in turn earns you community lots. Then the community lots earn you new Sims to create in CAS. Households can be created in any of the following ways:

  • Traditional families – Have your founder (or any other created Sims) move in a townie and allow them to procreate. When the kids grow up, they can move out and start their own households.
  • Servos – Have any playable Sim earn a gold robotics badge and then have him craft servos. Move the servos out to establish their own household.
  • Create a Sim (CAS) – Place community lots, which earns you Sims to create in CAS. These Sims can then begin their own households. For each community lot you place, you earn one CAS Sim. You may immediately create that Sim and set him/her up in a new household, or you may save up CAS Sim and create entire families.

You may use downloaded and/or Maxis pre-made lots for new residences and community lots. You may also build all your own lots if you like.

Funding new Households

  • Each time you create a new Sim to move in and begin a new household, roll a number between 6 & 20 to find out how much money they start with. This is the amount of money currently being offered as a move-in grant from Sim City.
  • They may purchase land with this money and build their own home, or you can move them into a downloaded home that they can afford. (Again, I use plasticbox houses for this challenge.)
  • Sims that were born in the neighborhood and move out from their parents’ homes to start a new household, do not receive a grant. Instead, they take a portion of the household income with them. I use the No20khandout mod to achieve this (see recommended mods above).

Making Money

  • Sims may take any job available in the newspaper (or on the computer once you have an electronics store selling computers).
  • Sims may make money by running a business if they have enough money to purchase or build a business. Home businesses are also permitted.
  • If a hole is dug in the yard of a Sim’s home by a stray dog, they may dig in the hole for treasure ONE TIME. Then they must fill it in. Sims may sell or keep whatever they find in the hole.
  • If a Sim receives a dusty old lamp, they may wish for money.
  • When a Sim family welcomes a new baby through birth or adoption, Sim City gives the family a grant of $500 to help them purchase the necessities (crib, potty chair, etc). However, there must be an open business selling these items in order to purchase them.

NOTE: I use my Sims 2 wants-based gameplay rules to dictate how my Sims get jobs and use the magic lamp. Once a Sim has at least a couple thousand Simoleons, I allow them to open a business based on their interests/personalities and the needs of the community at the time.

Managing Population

  • You must play every single Sim you create, every single Sim that is born or adopted in the game, and every single former townie that you make playable. All Sims must be played until their death.
  • When Sims become adults, they must move out of their parents’ homes and start their own households. One child may stay behind to take over the home after the parents pass away.
  • All Sims must die of old age or from accidental accidents. You may not “dispose” of them in any unnatural way.

Marriages & Move-Ins

  • Any Sim you create in CAS may only move in/marry townies or Sims that were born in-game, not other Sims that you create in CAS.
  • If you move in or marry someone who has money, you may keep the money and use it however you wish. Sims who move in with jobs may also keep their jobs.

Obtaining Food

  • If you have Seasons, your Sims may fish or grow vegetables and keep the fridge stocked with whatever they can catch/grow.
  • Establish a community grocery store and send someone from the family there to buy groceries.
  • Have groceries delivered from Sim City via the phone for a fee.
  • Buying a new fridge in order to restock your groceries is not allowed unless you have an appliance store in your neighborhood. Then, you may go to the store, purchase a new refrigerator, and bring it home in the inventory.

Obtaining Items

  • After furnishing the initial home lot with the basic things the family needs to survive, Sims may only purchase new items by visiting a city- or player-owned store and purchasing the item. (Buyable object mods like the Sim Blender and Batbox are excluded, of course.)
  • If the family wants new clothing, they must visit a clothing store. If they want a new TV, they must visit an electronics store, etc.

Random Traits

In order to make the neighborhood more interesting, I roll for random traits when creating new Sims in CAS. For each trait, roll a random number between 1 – 100.

  • Glasses – If you roll a number between 1 – 20, the Sim needs glasses.
  • Fatness – If you roll a number between 1 – 30, the Sim is fat.
  • Facial Hair (for Males) – If you roll a number between 1 – 40, the Sim has facial hair. Your choice of beard, mustache, or stubble.
  • Supernatural – If you roll a number between 1 – 10, the Sim becomes a supernatural. Roll another number from 1 – 5 to find out which kind.
    1. Plantsim
    2. Vampire
    3. Werewolf
    4. Zombie
    5. Witch or Warlock

Use a cheat or hacked object to turn your Sims into supernaturals after creating in CAS. I use the Sim Transformer from MTS.


Every household must pay taxes each week on Monday morning. To collect taxes, simply deduct the amount of money from the household funds or have Sims “donate” the money using the hacked computer. Taxes are sent to Sim City for processing. Tax rates are as follows:

  • 10% net worth
  • 7% net worth for retirees
  • 5% if net worth is over $100,000

Keep track of the amount of taxes “collected” so you know how much is available to purchase and improve new community lots.

If your Sim doesn’t have a computer or enough money to purchase one, you can use the family funds cheat to set household funds to the correct amount after taxes are “paid.”

Unlocking Community Lots

  • After moving in your founder Sim, you may place a single community lot to start with. This lot must be a small to medium natural area, such as a park or beach. It can contain bathrooms, grills, and a few fun items such as swings and chess tables. Sim City has financed a single recreation lot to keep the pioneers happy, but they don’t have money for anything too fancy. Keep it simple. You may improve this lot with tax money over time.
  • Community lots may be placed at any time if enough tax money has been collected to pay for them. However, there are restrictions on these lots. Sims may never own or run a business on lots purchased with tax money. These lots are owned by Sim City. It’s wise to use tax money to buy things like parks, libraries, and other public services that don’t generate income while allowing Sims to purchase income-generating properties.
  • Sims with enough money may build community lots at any time. You can have Sims save up money to build a lot or they can take out a loan using Monique’s Hacked Computer.

Unlocking University

  • Once enough money is collected in taxes to build a single dorm and a single building for classes, you may build a University in a sub-hood of your choice (or in your main hood if you prefer). If a wealthy family has the money to spare, they may donate it to build a University.
  • You must build your University from scratch to make sure you stay within your budget. However, you may use downloaded or Maxis lots for dorms and other buildings if you don’t want to build them yourself.
  • To start, you must have at least one dorm and one building for classrooms. Once these are built, you can add any other lots you choose with your remaining money.


  • Added new rule for beginning with a single community park lot. 03/17/2019
  • Updated University section to remove amount of money restriction. A University may be built as soon as enough money is collected to build a single dorm and school building. 06/21/2019
  • Added Section on Making Money. 06/21/2019

17 thoughts on “The Sims 2 Build a City Challenge (BACC) Rules”

  1. Hi, thank you for the nice fun challenge and such detailed rules ^^
    I do wonder what you do with uni sims when there are more sims then a dorm can carry. Do you play dorm per dorm or 4 days one 4 another then again 4 one 4 another?
    I want to keep them close to another in age and relationships tbh but dont’ know how to best go about that, thus the question. 🙂

    • If I had more than I could fit in a dorm, I would just play each one all the way through, I think. I haven’t had this problem yet. But I would likely just play one dorm until everyone is graduated, and then play the second dorm.

  2. Hi Cindy! Love your content and rules!
    I know I’m a bit late to the party, but I want your opinion on how to handle Seasons between rotations. For example, I had Sim A, B and C as my first rotation and it’s Spring. Then I get to create Sim D, but I’ll play Sim A, B and C first, and it’s Summer for them. So by the time I get to Sim D the season will kinda revert back to Spring, right?
    What would you do in this situation, like would you even care about it, or would you sync the seasons as well? (in this case, my first ever rotation with Sim D would be Summer instead of the standard Spring).

    • Thank you! I always sync the seasons to keep everyone in the same time of year. So in your example, if you’re starting a rotation and all your other households are in summer, then you add a new Sim at the end of that rotation, I would make it summer for them too. Hope that makes sense! I just keep everyone in the same season for each round.

  3. Hey Cindy!
    Where can I find the empty neighborhood that you used in your livestreamed challenge? I would really love to play in it as well.
    Thank you in advance!

  4. Hi, Cindy! How are you?

    I am planning to start this challenge and I’m wondering, how do you do when a family owns the business that sells the item they need to purchase? For example, a family owns a babies’ stuff store and there’s a pregnant person in this family. Would you just have another store that sells those items or would you just buy through their own store (like, as if they ordered it along with the stock for the store or smth)?

    Thanks in advance!

  5. Hey Cindy! The challenge is real fun, I’ve been playing for 5 rotations or so and didn’t get bored at all! Just a question: how do you realize it’s time to create universities, downtown and other sub-neighborhoods? Do you need to use tax system and save money for this as well or is there any other option?

    • It’s really up to you and how you want to play. I don’t do sub-neighborhoods at all in my BACC (except for University). All lots that I would have placed in downtown or shopping, I just place in the main neighborhood. For university, I like to save up tax money to pay for it, but you can build it earlier if you want and just pretend it was paid for by Sim City. I like to have something by the time my first generation of children are ready for college, so I may take out a “loan” to build a small University and pay it back over time with tax money. Hope that helps!

  6. Hi Cindy, I’m new to the bacc but excited to try it! Just a question re the community lots. You said you unlock them when the city has enough tax money. If you’re building a community lot from scratch, do you check how much the cost of the lot is in the lot info and try to stay in your budget as you build? I guess you could also just build without limits, check the price, and if it’s too much, place it in the lot bin until the city can afford it.

    Thanks! 🙂

    • Hi Colleen! You could do either one. I check the tax budget and stay under that budget while I’m building. The beginning shops are usually a bit…bare. LOL

  7. Hi! I’m crazy for this challenge. I always try to build a custom neighborhood, but give up because it’s so much stuff to do before start playing. This way I can play and build at the same time!

    I’m a little bit confused by the community lots rules, however. I must only build a new public community lot when a new household is created or whenever the neighborhood money is enough?

    Thanks in advance 🙂

    • Hi Andre! New community lots can be built when the neighborhood has enough money (through taxes) or when a household has earned enough to build one themselves. A family can also take out a loan if your ‘hood is in a bind and really needs a certain lot.

  8. Love this– I play all the Sims games, but I always love the Build a City or Royal Build a City challenges. Your site is so fun and I am so glad to find someone who is still interested in Sims 2 like me!

    • The BACC is a lot of fun. It’s really the only way I enjoy playing a Custom Neighborhood. I have to play a little differently so I can include my Patrons in the ‘hood, but it’s still loads of fun. Thanks for stopping by!


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