Sims 3 for Mac to get a major update in early 2020

These really are exciting times for Mac Simmers! After EA_David’s announcement that Sims 4 is dropping support for Lion this week, he’s just announced that the Sims 3 is getting a big update. In a nutshell:

  • Sims 3 for Mac will be updated to support 64-bit (finally!)
  • It will also be updated to support Metal (yay!)
  • The update will be through Origin and will require existing users to uninstall their current game and install the new version
  • The update will be free to all users with a currently registered copy of Sims 3 and add on packs in Origin
  • The update is expected to be available in early 2020 although no exact date has been announced yet.
  • Requirements will be a Mac running macOS 10.9 Mavericks or later and be Metal supported.

64-bit information
The upgrade to 64-bit means that Sims 3 will run in macOS Catalina, the first macOS to completely drop support for 32-bit apps, which Sims 3 is. It will hopefully also mean the game should run much better than it ever has. This is because there is virtually no limit to the amount of RAM a 64-bit app can use whilst 32-bit apps can only access up to 4Gb RAM. The current version of the Sims 3 for Mac has only ever been able to use 2Gb RAM and is part of the reason for the frequent crashes and inability to run the game

Metal information
Metal is the graphics API introduced by Apple to replace OpenGL. For more in-depth information have a look at this Apple article. However not all Macs support Metal. The following Macs will be able to run the upcoming version of Sims 3:

  • MacBook models introduced in 2015 or later
  • MacBook Air models introduced in 2012 or later
  • MacBook Pro models introduced in 2012 or later
  • Mac mini models introduced in 2012 or later
  • iMac models introduced in 2012 or later
  • iMac Pro (all models)
  • Mac Pro models introduced in late 2013, plus mid-2010 or mid-2012 models with a recommended Metal-capable graphics card.

If your Mac is not listed above you will not be able to update to the new version of the Sims 3 but will still be able to play the current version.

I’ll keep this site updated with more information as it is released but this is really FANTASTIC news 😀

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Sims 3 issue connecting to server – Workaround

Update 17/10/18
Puzzlezaddict has discovered that a working dll file is already hidden away in the base game files, see her accepted solution (second post, page 1) in the AHQ thread.

Update 16/10/18
We have an unofficial workaround for this issue now. The problem is caused by a Windows file, paul.dll, buried inside the Cider installation of the base game. I copied over the dll file from an install on an old Mac into the new installation and the game successfully loaded without any server connection issues. It’s with BIG thanks to a fellow Hero at AHQ, Henalexandre, for this workaround as he posted of another user on the French forums who was experiencing the same issue and figured out what was causing it. That user was beerxced79000 and you can find his thread here (go give him some XP, he’s amazing).

If you would like to do the workaround you need to download my paul.dll file from here and replace your existing one with it. To get to the file:

  1. Go into Applications > The Sims 3, right click on the Sims 3 base game icon and select Show Package Contents from the menu that appears.
  2. Navigate to Contents > Resources > transgaming > c_drive > Program Files > Electronic Arts > The Sims 3 > Game > Bin > Packs > TS3 where you should see four files.
  3. Trash the paul.dll file in that TS3 folder and drag my file into there from your Downloads folder.

PLEASE bear in mind that this fix is unofficial. Hopefully EA are working on an official fix 🙂 BIG thanks to puzzlezaddict who, thousands of miles away, spent last night testing this issue with me 💚


A new issue that’s arisen in the last few days with Sims 3 on macOS. The game will not load as it cannot connect to a server. This only affects new installs of the game. If you already have the game installed then you will not run into this specific issue.

You may also get multiple app icons bouncing away in the Dock:

At the moment we have no workaround but if you are suffering from this, PLEASE post in this thread at AHQ and click the Me Too button in the opening post – https://answers.ea.com/t5/The-Sims-Mac/Sims-3-quot-There-is-a-problem-connecting-to-the-server-quot/m-p/7104362

I don’t believe this is a user issue, it seems like an issue on EA’s end so we need to make them aware.

Intel HD 6000 – fixed Graphics files for Sims 3

That pesky Intel HD 6000 chip that’s caused so many problems for Mac users attempting to play Sims 3? Well, after some testing we’ve finally managed to get it working, and I have pictures to prove it:

This Intel chip has proven to be the most difficult for users to get working and I could not have edited the GraphicsCards.sgr and GraphicsRules.sgr files successfully without zebragirls1221’s help. She has the 2015 13″ MacBook Air and after swapping information back and forth she can now successfully load and play her game. I cannot thank her enough, and neither should you when you get your game working again!

If you would like to apply this fix to your game you can download the edited files from my SimFileShare download. I have also included instructions on how to do it. All it involves is copying and pasting text from my files to yours.

Download Link – http://simfileshare.net/folder/38108/

Remember, there are two other very important fixes you will need to apply to your game if you have Ambitions/Late Night/Fast Lane/Outdoor Living:

  1. Adding the packs to the Launcher
  2. Fixing the Unknown Error message

So, after following those three sets of instructions, you should be good to go 🙂