Sims 3 and Sims 4 – testing in Big Sur and on an M1 Mac

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.


Origin

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

External Drive not showing in Origin

If you’re trying to install your game to an external drive you may have issues if you’re running macOS 10.15 Catalina or later. Here are quick steps on how to successfully install your game to an external drive:

1.  In System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy click on Full Disk Access and add Origin if necessary.

2. Whilst in the Privacy tab make sure Origin is showing in Files and Folders

3. Open Origin and go to Preferences > Installs & Saves > Game Library Location and click on Change Folder

4. On the left menu click on Computer then double click on the ‘/‘ that appears next to a picture of your hard drive. You should see four folders – Applications, Library, System, Users

5. In the field at the bottom, where it says Directory, type in /Volumes/[the name of your external] then hit Enter/Return or click Choose.For example, my external is called Backup so the file path is /Volumes/Backup

6. The window will disappear and reappear again but you may not see your external. That’s ok, quit Origin then reopen it. You should get a Gatekeeper message popping up asking for permission to access files on a removable volume. Just click Ok

7. Now repeat steps 3 to 5 and you should see the contents of your external in the window

Sims 3 64-bit – installing Store content, Exchange items and CC and packs not showing in Launcher

There are lots of threads and posts highlighting the issues with installing external content into the game since the Sims 3 64-bit was released. There have ALWAYS been issues installing content through the Launcher, this is nothing new, but after having done some proper testing and actually understanding what is going on with this updated version I can post about it. I also have this instructional post about how to successfully install Store content separately.

Why is this happening?
Essentially the Launcher and Origin are not talking to each other properly. An Installer Data folder is not being created in Macintosh HD⁩ > ⁨Users⁩ > ⁨[UserAccount] > ⁨Library⁩ > ⁨Application Support⁩ > ⁨Origin⁩. This folder is important because it stores the preference files associated with your Origin account for the base game and installed packs

  • If the Installer Data folder does not exist, and it does not contain the .plist files for your base game and downloaded packs, they will not show in the Launcher.
  • If the base game does not show in the Launcher then it is not possible to install Store/Exchange/CC items.
  • If Store/Exchange/CC items require EPs or SPs to function then it will not be possible to install that content without the relevant pack showing as installed in the Launcher.

Where can I look for the Installer Data folder?
In Finder click on Go in the menu bar then Go to folder… In the window copy and paste the following then press Go:
~/Library/Application Support/Origin
The Origin folder will open.

How do I fix it?
Firstly, navigate to the Origin folder as above and create a new folder called Installer Data:

Then:

Base game not showing in the Launcher:

  • Right click the game in your Origin games library and select repair. This will create a base game .plist file in the Installer Data folder resulting in the base game showing in the Launcher.

Expansion and Stuff Packs not showing in the Launcher:

  • Open the Sims 3 Packs folder in your Applications folder, or wherever your Origin games are installed to:
  • You will see a folder for each owned pack labelled EP and SP followed by a number. Open each pack folder and trash the GameData folder:
  • Open Origin and re-download your packs. The .plist files for each Pack should now be in the Installer Data folder and the Packs should show up in the Launcher.

If you run the Origin reset tool you will need to repeat the steps above.

Edit – adding this screenshot to show yes, it is absolutely possible to do this. CC may show up as Store content, Store content may not actually show as Store content in the catalogue but it does show. Make sure you are following the instructions fully 🙂