Problems with The Sims 4 on Macs with AMD Vega GPUs

The September patch seems to be wreaking havoc on Macs with AMD Vega GPUs. Users have reported crashing, glitched graphics and system lockups when trying to play the game. The affected Macs are:

  • 2017 iMac Pro.
  • 2018 15″ MacBook Pros. Not all these models will have Vega GPUs, it was an option at point of sale.
  • 2019 15″ MacBook Pros. This was the last model before Apple changed to 16″ screens. Not all these models will have Vega GPUs, it was an option at point of sale.
  • 2019 21″ iMac 4K. Not all these models will have Vega GPUs, it was an option at point of sale.
  • 2019 27″ iMac 5K. Not all these models will have Vega GPUs, it was an option at point of sale.

You can check to see which GPU your Mac has by clicking on the Apple in the menu bar then About This Mac. For 15″ MacBook Pros click System Report then look in Graphics/Displays you will have an integrated Intel chip and a dedicated AMD GPU.

There are currently three separate threads at Answers HQ which users are posting in:

If you are experiencing this on a Mac with Vega graphics, please head to the relevant thread and click the all important Me Too button in the first post. The more Me Toos, the more likely QA are to look at it.

No concrete workaround yet although lowering your settings to all low does seem to help. Try also switching to the Sims 3 camera if you are using the Sims 4 camera.

What is the ConfigOverride folder? Editing Sims 4 graphics files the easy way

The September 2020 patch 1.66.139.1220 has introduced an easier way to edit the Sims 4 graphics files. This is helpful if you have a newer machine with a GPU that isn’t yet supported in the game. Or you want to edit the files to override the in-game settings.

There is now a folder called ConfigOverride in the Sims 4 user data folder where your saves etc. are stored. You can place copies of the GraphicsCards.sgr, GraphicsRules.sgr and Default.ini files in here and any changes you make to the copies will override the existing game files in The Sims 4.app > Contents > Resources. If you have issues with the files you have edited, you simply trash them and the game will default back to the master game files in the Sims 4 app. You can then repeat the copy/paste to add them to the ConfigOverride folder and edit away. Repairing the game will replace the master files in the Resources folder.

Windows users – head over to Crin’s site for your instructions.

To make the file copies for editing:

  1. Right click on the Sims 4 app and select Show Package Contents (Windows: \The Sims 4\Game\Bin and skip step 2)
  2. Navigate through Contents > Resources
  3. Select the Default.ini, GraphicsCards.sgr and GraphicsRules.sgr files and hold down CMD and C to copy or go to File > Copy
  4. Open the ConfigOverride folder in your Sims 4 folder and paste the files into the folder, CMD and V or File > Paste
  5. DO NOT drag the files from one folder to the other, you must copy/paste them

These are not normally files that the average user has to bother with so if you’ve never had to edit the files before, chances are you won’t need to start now. However, for those who like to tinker around and potentially break things (like me), here’s a quick explanation for these files and what they do:

Default.ini – you can change the default plumbob colours for your sim in here

GraphicsCards.sgr – the database for all supported and some older unsupported graphics cards (GPUs) in the game. If you receive the warning that your video card is not supported when you load the game, this is where you add it. You can also raise the default setting for your GPU if you think it is too low.

GraphicsRules.sgr – this tells the game what to do with the in-game graphics options when you chose Low/Medium/High/Ultra. There are settings for each which you can change.

Repairing Sims 4 packs in Origin

EA updated the Sim 4 back in April to comply with Apple’s notarisation policy. This resulted in all DLC (Expansion, Game and Stuff Packs) being installed outside of the Sims 4 app and in a standalone folder called The Sim 4 Packs in the same location as the game app is installed to, by default the User Applications folder, Users > User > Applications.

If you open the Sims 4 Packs folder you can see the game files for each pack. This is the contents of the Eco Lifestyle folder:

Since this update, repairing the game only repairs the base game and ignores all DLC.

This shouldn’t normally present an issue but removing or altering files within this folder, or if any files become corrupted, can impact your game and cause error messages. The Game Data Incomplete error message is triggered by the SimulationFullBuild0.package file and the ResourceSimulation.cfg file missing or corrupted.

The Pack Download in Progress error message is triggered by the ResourceClient.cfg file missing or corrupted.

A missing or corrupted thumbnails.package causes the llama missing icons error:

Simply repairing the game in Origin will not fix this. You need to trigger a re-download of the pack to replace the files causing the error. The easiest and quickest way to do this is to trash the relevant pack folder (see earlier screenshot above). This will prompt Origin to notify you of a pack available for download.

Download the pack and you should once again see the folder in the Sims 4 Packs folder with all relevant files present and hopefully not encounter anymore errors.

If you’re unsure which pack number your affected pack is you can check in the System Requirements page here for each pack – https://bluebellflora.com/system-requirements/