Picture Tutorial

anchor: [[Porter FAQ#PictureTutorial]]

Porter is a great way to rescue beloved sims from a failing save. The neatest thing about it, is it allows your sims to keep all of their relationships. It is fairly easy to use too.

  • Two things to start with:
    • First, you need to be in live game mode, not Edit Town.
    • Second, the game needs to be paused.

  • Now, I am going to show it the way I do it, but it is not necessary to click on the wall like I do, you can use the maptag or roof of an occupied house, just like the How do I use this mod FAQ states. I just prefer to click directly on my active's house outside wall.

Part One:How to Pack


  • So, when I click on the outside wall of my active's house, and follow this path: NRaas/Porter----the Pack interaction will show up:
    • external image pqyo.jpg

  • Click on Pack, and you get a menu like this one:
    • external image kai9.jpg
    • Some things to note about the above picture. At the top it states Capp, that is the name of the household I am using the Pack interaction on. Then there is a long list of all the households in my town. Depending on how many households you have, it can be quite lengthy.
    • The right column, tells you how many sims live in that household.
    • The middle column tells you whether or not the household has already been packed or not. It all shows up as No currently, because I have just started, so none of my households have been packed. For the purpose of this simple tutorial, we are not going to pay much attention to whether or not they are packed, but that is really useful information for when you are packing up a lot of sims (like a town!).

  • For the purpose of this tutorial, I am just going to pack all Capp family members. So I will go through the list, and click on all the households that have a Capp family member living in that household. Notice it will be highlighted (yellowish/whitish) when you select it.
    • external image tdvx.jpg

    • Once I have selected all the households I want to include, I click accept.

  • Once you click accept, it will bring up another menu. This one lists all the sims singly from all the households that I previously selected.
    • external image y3df.jpg

    • You'll notice that it shows the relationship status to my active sim in the middle column. The right column tells whether or not that particular sim has been packed, and how many times. Again useful for when packing a lot of sims, but we'll ignore that right now for the purposes of this simple tutorial and leave it for a more advanced one.


  • Select the sims you want packed, they will be highlighted once selected. In my example below, I am selecting all of them, because I want the whole family. Sometimes a friend has moved in, or a sim I don't care about, those I would leave unselected. If you knew for sure that you wanted every sim in that list, it would be easier to click the (ALL) instead of each sim individually like I did below. =)
    • external image dmoq.jpg

    • You will notice that in my list of sims, I have ghosts. I usually pack the ghosts that are related, to preserve the family tree. If they are not packed, they won't show up in the family tree in the new town.
    • Click accept when you are done.

  • Once you click accept, it brings up another menu, this is where you will name your file, so that you can find it later when you go to unpack it. I tend to use descriptions, that makes it easier for me. The default will be the household name---in this case: Capp.
    • external image 2jdp.jpg

    • You'll notice it tells you how many families were packed, and how many sims total. 18 sims total in this case. How many sims can be packed at once? There is no concrete answer for that, it really depends on your computer. And sometimes on whether or not the planets are aligned with the stars correctly, you know how this game works! :P I personally have packed as many as 130 sims at once, but I have also had it crash and burn on me when trying to pack 88 sims. The stars were not aligned that day, lol I usually try to keep it to around 50-60 sims myself, it is more manageable that way. You'll just have to do some experimenting to figure out a good number for you.
    • Click accept once you have named it.

  • Now it will process it all, this takes some time, depending on your computer and how many sims you packed.
    • external image p0ts.jpg

    • You may notice sims appearing and disappearing on the doorstep, this is normal.

  • If it is successful, you should see this:
    • external image gfw9.jpg

    • Success! You'll notice that "NRaas.Porter:" is now preceding your file name. This is actually pretty convenient, because when you go to unpack your sims, they will be easy to find, just look for the "NRaas" prefix. This is super handy when you are portering a whole town and you have multiple files, they will be found in one spot instead of scattered alphabetically.

  • Now you will want to quit to the main menu, don't save, and don't keep playing without quitting to the main menu first. Porter rearranges things, so you may find things are not quite right if you continue to play right after using Porter.
    • external image sbr6.jpg

  • Congrats, if all went well, you have successfully packed your sims. Next, how to unpack them.


Part Two: How to Unpack


  • Unpacking is not difficult, there are just a few things to do before starting.
    • Once you have selected a new town to play in, you must select an existing household to initially play.
      • As noted in the How do I use this mod FAQ, "You must do this in order to get into live game-mode, otherwise you cannot receive the "Unpack" interaction"

    • You have to be in live game mode, not Edit Town.
    • You must pause the game.

  • Now you'll need to find an unoccupied/empty house. Size does not matter, the only thing that matters is that it is empty. Again, you can click on the tag or the roof, but I prefer clicking on the outside walls. I tend to have 200+ sims in my towns, maptags all over the place, so I just find it easier to click directly on the outside wall.
    • external image u02b.jpg

  • NRaas/Porter brings up the Unpack Menu.
    • external image futw.jpg


  • Click unpack, and it brings up a menu of all your saved households, Porter ones, and ones from your Library in Edit Town. (Now you can use Porter and place a Library household directly into an empty house, it'll tell you it wasn't a Porter household, but it will still move them in. That's a handy tip when you want to move a family in but you feel lazy and don't want to go into Edit Town. :P ) You can also see your saved/exported StoryProgression settings here if you use that mod, but don't click on those, evil will befall you, lol
    • external image ezsf.jpg

    • So there's a long list of households. I'm going to be looking for the "NRaas:" part first, and then find the file I want from there. You'll notice some of the descriptions I have used to remind me what sims are in what file, anything from color (rainbow sims) to teens. For this tutorial I am looking for: Capp Porter Test


  • Once you have found your file, click it, then click accept. It is going to process it. How long this takes, depends once again on your computer, and how many sims you are unpacking.
    • external image pwnj.jpg


  • If all goes well, you should see when it is finished:
    • external image btml.jpg

    • Success this time!
    • Sometimes it does fail, and instead of a 0 failed, there will be a number greater than 0. That tells you how many sims failed to unpack. I've had it happen a few times, and if it is only one or two sims, I will go back into my old save, save those sims (either to the library or the CAS bin) and add them manually into the town. MasterController can be used to fix any broken family links.
    • Congrats, you have successfully unpacked your sims!

  • Just some interesting tidbits:
    • The house you used the unpack interaction on, will show the file name--like so:
      • external image 5fp6.jpg

    • If you want to know where Porter placed all the other sim families, it does notify you where each family was placed in the notifications.
      • external image wbdn.jpg

      • A little less useful when they all have the same last name, but it does work well when they don't. =)

  • That's the basics of using Porter, I hope you found this tutorial helpful. Happy Simming! =)