My entry level MacBook Air has finally arrived so I can start playing around with Sims 3 and Sims 4. This is my Mac:
2020 13″ MacBook Air
Apple M1 chip with 8‑core CPU, 7‑core GPU and 16‑core Neural Engine
8GB unified memory
256GB SSD storage
I have all packs up to and including Snowy Escape installed. Settings are maxed out in each game.
No problems downloading Origin from https://www.origin.com/gbr/en-us/store/download. I am aware that there were reports of Origin not downloading in Big Sur. This appears to have affected those using Chrome. If you’re still having an issue use Safari or Firefox and you will be able to download it.
When you launch Origin you will get a pop-up asking you to install Rosetta, go ahead and install it. Rosetta is the software developed by Apple to translate Intel x86 apps into a language the M1 ARM chips can understand:
Origin should now run and you can start downloading your games (at the time of writing there is a bug in the Origin beta/technical preview which prevents packs from being downloaded. Opt out of the beta in the Application Settings then restart Origin and you should be good to go).
The Sims 3
After installing all the packs the game was still showing as Finalising in Origin. I launched the game by double clicking the app in my Applications folder instead and the Launcher immediately came up (repairing will also fix this). After clicking play in the Launcher a couple of times the game finally started to load. Managed to load a household fine and get into the game and play. One thing I did notice is awful pink lines around some of the screen and sim icon edges. It doesn’t affect gameplay but doesn’t look great.
Overall performance was ok and stable. Having the 64-bit version now is fantastic but it’s no doubt still pretty buggy overall.
The Sims 4
With all the packs downloaded I could press play and start a brand new game. CAS loaded fine and I managed to move a sim into their Lot. There are a lot of reports of users having crashing issues in CAS or when leaving CAS to move their household into a lot. If this is happening you need to enable Vertical Sync in the in-game options (I have no idea why). As well as testing a brand new folder I also copied over my existing Sims 4 folder from my MacBook Pro. This folder is around 5GB in total with a ton of high poly CC. Still loaded and ran beautifully. Really smooth gameplay.
If you’re having issues please leave me a comment or report over in the Mac forum at Answers HQ: https://answers.ea.com/t5/Technical-Issues-Mac/bd-p/The-Sims-Mac
Update 24 September – MaxisJoe has posted another update confirming they are still working on it.
MaxisJoe has posted an update in the ongoing thread in the Sims 3 Mac forum at Answers HQ:
“Hey macOS The Sims 3 players!
Just popping in to give my monthly update to you. First is the tl;dr version:
- Yes, we’re still working on it
- Yes, we’re adapting to work-from-home. I can’t say that this is a core factor in things not going as fast as we’d like, but it sure isn’t helping.
- Yep, that switch to ARM processors is exciting. Like all macOS developers, we’re frantically assessing what this means to us and our games.
The longer version of things:
I’m sure most of you have heard of the 80/20 rule. That’s the old developer’s truism/joke that 80% of the development happens in the first 20% of the budgeted schedule, and then the remaining 20% of work fills up that other 80% of the budgeted schedule. It’s a cheeky way of noting that the big low hanging changes happen quickly but then fiddly detail oriented stuff end up taking really big blocks of time. Guess which part of the schedule we’re in. Go ahead. Guess.
Part of the challenge is that some components The Sims 3 depends on were deprecated (“are no longer supported and won’t be updated to address compatibility, security, or stability issues”) in the intervening decade or so since the game was released. It’s been a challenge identifying these components and re-writing the integration points to work with the replacement components. Anyone who says “I migrated from Foobar 5.7.12 to Barfaz 7.12.58 and it only took a day” is not being entirely truthful.
As noted above, these are historical times. We’re adapting to doing work in the midst of a global pandemic and a societal reckoning. We’re learning new skills and new attitudes across the team and across the company.
No conclusions have been reached about the ARM/x86 transition. WWDC is still happening right now! Give us a chance to digest it all. We’re looking at the options available to figure out the best path forward.”
So yeah, they’re still working on it. Isn’t it lovely having someone at EA who actually bothers to take the time out and update us? Such a breath of fresh air.
Woohoo! Thanks to those lovely folks at Aspyr, Mac users running 10.15 Catalina will now be able to run The Sims 2. First SimCity and now Sims 2, all we’re waiting for is EA to release their promised 64-bit upgrade of Sims 3 and we’re all done.
Just open the App Store and search for Sims 2. Alternatively, here’s the direct link.
The upgrade is free if you have already purchased the game through the App Store, otherwise you will need to pay for it, the price is currently £28.99 in the UK.