Find help here when The Sims 3 isn’t working on your computer.

Graphics Errors when installing, playing or loading Missing or damaged save files

First things first, make sure your computer meets the minimum requirements for The Sims 3 and for the most recent expansion pack you have installed.

Here’s how to check requirements for an expansion pack:

  1. Find the game tile for your expansion pack in the Store on or in the Origin client.
  2. Click on it to open the game details.
  3. Click on System Requirements to see the minimum requirements.

  4. This picture shows how to find the system requirements for your game or expansion pack in Origin.

My PC meets min specs, but my game is slow and choppy.

If you’ve updated your drivers and notice your game isn’t running smoothly, try turning down some of your graphics settings to see if it improves things:

  1. Open The Sims 3.
  2. Click on the (options) button at the bottom left of the screen or press F5 on your keyboard.
  3. On the Graphics tab (usually the one that opens by default), slide all the sliders under Graphics details to low.
  4. Click on the blue check mark at the bottom right to save your changes.
  5. Restart The Sims 3 and check to see if it runs better now.

 Still not better? Try running in Windowed mode:

  1. Open up the Graphics options again.
  2. Uncheck the box beside Enable Fullscreen Mode.
  3. Click on the blue check mark at the bottom right to save your changes.
  4. Restart The Sims 3, and see if windowed mode works better for you.

Depending on your graphics card, you may need to make a couple more adjustments to get the best out of your game:

Check Advanced Rendering is switched on.

  1. Open the Graphics options
  2. Click on the check box beside Advanced Rendering to tick it.
    • If the box is already checked, leave it as it is.
  3. Click on the blue checkmark at the bottom right to save your changes.
  4. Restart The Sims 3 and check how it’s running.

I’ve done all that, but my graphics are still weird.

If you’re still seeing glitchy graphics, it’s possible that there’s a problem with custom content you’re running.

Disable your custom content (see below), and try the game again to see if there’s an improvement.

If your game runs better with custom content disabled, it could be down to an outdated or corrupted exchange download.

Troubleshooting these can be tricky, but it’s more time-consuming than hard to do.

Follow the steps in this article, but make sure to back up and use The Sims 3 folders for all your testing.

To keep everything running smoothly, we recommend keeping your graphics drivers up to date.

Need to check what kind of graphics card is in your computer? We’ve got you covered.

I get an invalid email or password error when I log into the launcher, but I know my details are right.

To clear this one up, you need to open Internet Explorer, even if it’s not what you usually use to browse the internet.

  1. Close all open programs on your computer, and open Internet Explorer.
  2. Click on the cog icon at the top right.
  3. Choose Internet Options from the list.
  4. Click on the Advanced tab, and hit the Reset button.
  5. Check the Delete Personal Settings box.
  6. Restart Internet Explorer to apply your changes.
  7. Try logging in to the launcher again.

 If you have an older version of Internet Explorer, you may need to use the Tools menu to find Internet Options.

My game crashes when it’s loading.

Sometimes a problem with custom content can cause a crash when you’re loading into your game.

The quick way to check if this is happening is to disable custom content in the launcher and try the game again.

  1. Exit the Sims 3 launcher completely.
  2. Restart it, then click on Installed Content.

    This picture shows the check box to run your game without custom content.
  3. Check the box beside Run without custom content. You’ll see a pop-up warning, click on OK to continue.

  4. If you see this warning box, click OK.
  5. If your game loads properly, chances are that a piece of custom content is causing the problem.
  6. Now, it’s just a matter of adding your custom content in piece by piece until you can find which item is causing the problem. Once you’ve found it, remove it through the launcher.

I get a version incompatible error in the Launcher.

This can sometimes happen if you’ve uninstalled a stuff pack, and is caused by a leftover file throwing a wrench in the works.

  1. Go to My Documents > Electronic Arts
  2. Open The Sims 3 folder
  3. Look for a file named Version.tag, and delete it (don’t worry about deleting it, the game will automagically remake it next time you play).
  4. Restart the launcher.

If you’re still seeing an error, try uninstalling and reinstalling Origin on your computer, since this may force an update your game needs to run.

It can be super-frustrating when something goes wrong with your save files, and sometimes a problem with your most recent save file can even prevent you from loading in to your game.

Here’s a trick to help with that:

First, back up your saved games – make sure you’re backing up your Sims 3 folders when you follow the steps in that article.

Now, we’re going to switch some file names to get your game to start with an older save.

  1. Go to My Documents > Electronic Arts > The Sims 3.
  2. Open the Saves folder.
  3. You will see two files in this folder, one with the file type .sims3, and one with the file type .sims3.backup. The first is the one your game is currently trying to load; the second is the most recent other save file.
  4. Drag the .sims3 file to your Desktop (or any other place on your computer) for safe keeping.
  5. Once the .sims3.backup file is the only file left in the Saves folder, rename it, changing the extension to .sims3 instead.
  6. Next time you start the game, it will load the older file which should be enough to get you back in the game.

Still need help? Check out these articles:

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