Improve the graphics in your Sims 4 game

I’ve recently discovered an amazing Simmer, Simp4Sims, who not only makes very cool stop motion build videos but has also provided an edited GraphicsRules.sgr file which will greatly enhance your in-game graphics. The GraphicsRules.sgr file is a game file that tells your game which graphics settings to load. It is nestled within the Sims4.app files but, since an update in September 2020, you can place a copy in the ConfigOverride folder in the Sims 4 folder and this will override the hidden original. Spot the difference:

It’s very easy to make this change to your game as Simp4Sims has done all the hard work for you by editing various values in the GraphicsRules.sgr file but it’s also important that your Mac has a GPU powerful enough to handle the increased demand. If you have a Mac with integrated Intel graphics only I would not recommend doing this as it will most likely slow your game to a crawl and possibly cause it to freeze. If you have a Mac with an AMD GPU with 4GB or more VRAM then go for it. You may also notice a hit on performance in-game but you should be able to play. I don’t spend much time in Live mode, for me it’s all about the aesthetic and my game still runs great after adding this file.

After testing I can confirm this will reintroduce swimming pool reflections, something Maxis removed from the default file. It also improves the shadow lines and artifacting issues.

Instructions:

  1. Head over to Simp4Sims Patreon page here and download the GraphicsRules.sgr file. Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a Patron, the download is freely available to all. He also helpfully explains the main changes that have been made to the file.
  2. Navigate to your Sims 4 folder (where all your saves, Mods, Tray and other user data is saved) and open the ConfigOverride folder.
  3. Open the Downloads folder in a new Finder window, grab and drag the GraphicsRules.sgr file you just downloaded and drop it into the ConfigOverride folder.

and that’s it! It really is that easy. If you decide to go back to the original GraphicsRules.sgr file just trash the one in the ConfigOverride folder and your game will revert back to using the hidden file in the Sims4.app.

If you like to play a vanilla game don’t let this put you off, this is NOT a Mod. It is an edited game file that you can easily make changes to yourself if you prefer. We used to have to edit the GraphicsRules.sgr and GraphicsCards.sgr files in Sims 3 all the time just to get the game to work. You can find more information on the ConfigOverride folder here.

Sims 4 audio crackling or system freezing on Macs with M1 chip

The shiny and beautiful Mac with the M1 chip can run the Sims 4 beautifully even though the game isn’t native and requires Rosetta to run. There are two small niggles though which I’ve been a bit tardy about reporting here – sorry!

Freezing resulting in Mac restarting
I posted about this last November but just reiterating again. If you are experiencing freezing whilst playing, usually in CAS, just enable vsync in the game options at the main menu or open the Options.ini file in your Sims 4 folder using TextEdit, find the line for verticalsync and change the value to 1.

In-game audio crackle
Update – This issue has now been fixed in a game patch. Make sure your game is up to date in Origin.

This is pretty irritating and there doesn’t seem to be a fix apart from muting the sound. There is a thread here at Answers HQ so it’s worth subscribing to it if you want to see any updates.

Red and white sims, missing content, llamas, incomplete data

There’s always something so satisfying about finally experiencing an issue that is a recurring problem for others.

This was after updating the game installation on my iMac to the December patch:

I tried all of the following to fix this:

  • Repair base game
  • Super repair by trashing The Sims 4 executable file in Sims 4.app/Contents/Mac OS then repairing before loading
  • Trashed the ClientFullBuild0.package file from each DLC Pack to force a re-download
  • Trashed the entire Sims 4 Packs folder so all packs were re-downloaded
  • Trashed the Delta folder in Sims 4.app/Contents
  • Trashed the Data folder in Sims 4.app/Contents
  • Uninstalled the game and reinstalled completely. Did this twice both to the internal drive and changed location to external

But none of that worked, even a new game installation didn’t work. I then did the following:

  • Uninstalled the game
  • Ran the Origin reset tool
  • Deleted the residual files that the reset tool doesn’t delete
  • Trashed the Origin app
  • Emptied the trash
  • Restarted the Mac
  • Downloaded and installed Origin
  • Downloaded and installed the game plus all packs

And that fixed it. Looks like Origin, yet again, is to blame for another catastrophic game failure. I managed to put my Sims 4 folder containing my saves, mods and other content back into the game with no problems.

This problem seems to be down to corrupted downloads and seems more prevalent after an update, as reported by others at Answers HQ. If you’re experiencing this, make sure you back up your Sims 4 folder and be prepared to completely uninstall the game AND Origin in order to fix it 😡