Sims 3 issue connecting to server – Workaround

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.

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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 🙂

Sims 3 Mac players – I need your help!

The graphics card issue is still grating away at me. I’m not affected by it and I don’t play Sims 3 anymore but it’s still irritating me because so many users are affected. I’ve always flirted with the idea of editing the .sgr files myself and uploading them but not having an affected Mac makes testing a little difficult. So, this is where you lovely Mac users come in! I need people willing to test the files for me, to download and put them in their game folders and see if we can get all of those pesky Intel chips finally recognised in the game.

This is a (hopeful) graphics fix only. If you are getting Found:1 Matched:1 and still encountering errors you need to read my Sims 3 help page for more help. If you have Late Night/Ambitions/Fast Lane/Outdoor Living installed you need to carry out additional fixes – getting the packs to show up in the Launcher and adding the relevant folders to the game files.

Jump to:
Description of problem and how it is solved
Information needed
Files ready for downloading and testing
Files confirmed as successful in launching the game


Description of problem and how it is solved:
Macs with AMD graphics cards are not affected as badly, this is the only type of card that throws up the unrecognised video card error in the game but will play anyway. Unsupported Intel chips just point blank refuse to load, as do some NVIDIA GPUs.

As a test I played around with adding lines to the GraphicsCards.sgr and GraphicsRules.sgr files for the AMD GPU in my current 2017 15″ Touch Bar MacBook Pro. It has an integrated Intel 630 chip and a discrete/dedicated AMD Radeon Pro 560, the game uses the AMD so we can safely ignore the Intel. After testing a couple of different lines the following text was recognised by the game and we finally had a recognised card!

For the GraphicsCards.sgr file:
card 0x67ef "AMD Radeon Pro 560"

For the GraphicsRules.sgr file:
match("${cardName}", "*Pro 560*")

Checking the DeviceConfig.log file confirms that the game has found and matched the card:

The graphics in my game really pop now. I added the card to the Uber settings as it has 4Gb VRAM so can happily handle super high settings.

Information needed:
If you’d like to help yourself and fellow Mac users, miserable at not being able to play their game properly, PLEASE let me know. Leave a comment on here, contact me on Facebook or on Twitter. I will need the following information from you though, in full:

  1. Exact model of your Mac. You can find this by clicking on the Apple in the menu bar then About This Mac. Please provide everything shown here:  You may not think all that detail is important – it is!
  2. Device ID – Click on System Report > Graphics/Displays and look for the Device ID:
  3. If you have a 15″ MacBook Pro with an additional NVIDIA or AMD graphics card please provide the Device ID of that card together with the VRAM figure.

I’m confident that I already have the correct Device IDs for all unsupported Macs, giving me this information is just for verification. It also helps determine the graphics level your Mac is capable of.

Files ready for downloading and testing:
If your Mac has the listed graphics below please feel free to download and copy and paste the text from the files I have already uploaded. I have included a readme file in the download with full instructions on what to do, please read it! You must edit your GraphicsCards.sgr AND GraphicsRules.sgr files, not just one of them. These files have not been confirmed as 100% accurate yet, they are for testing, PLEASE comment below if they worked or not. Once I have confirmation that the files work and the game loads successfully, yielding both a Found and Matched positive result, I will post in a separate list.

AMD Radeon Pro M380 2GB
AMD Radeon Pro 570 4GB
Intel Iris Graphics 6100
Intel Iris Graphics 540
Intel Iris Graphics 550
Intel HD 5300
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655

Files confirmed as successful in launching the game:
You can download the files below and add the details to your game, they have been confirmed as working. Instructions are included in the download:

AMD Radeon R9 M295X 4GB
AMD Radeon Pro 560 4GB
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 650
Intel HD 6000
Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200

20/08/2018
I have to post this because I cannot believe how utterly selfish some people are. This fix depends on YOU, the user having issues, to leave me feedback and informing me whether the Found and Matched values are 1 or 0 after you have copied and pasted my text into your sgr files. You’ve taken the time to post here with your details, why not help others and post back, it will take 20 seconds of your precious time. And for those not bothering to follow the instructions properly, you’ve only got yourselves to blame when it doesn’t work. I don’t believe in spoon-feeding people to the nth degree.

And to all those who have posted back with their Found and Matched values….. thank you so, so much. You’re helping others and making the Mac Sims community a better place ❤