These threads and guides are not definitive nor exhaustive but they have proved extremely popular on my website and do seem to have helped frustrated Simmers along the way. The locked ‘help’ thread on here by simguruhydra has not been updated in over 3 years. Unfortunately us Mac Simmers have to help each other as EA do not offer much support for OS X, if any. If you receive advice from Customer Support to quit Processes on your Mac PLEASE ignore it. For a detailed explanation please read this.
Whenever you play the game you should play in windowed mode:
To do this hold down CMD and press Return when the main game window launches. In the highly likely event of your game freezing/hanging you can then click anywhere on the desktop and go to the Apple logo, top left, and select Force Quit. This will save you having to power off your Mac using the power switch (which can damage the HD). Tabbing between apps you have open doesn’t always work when you have the game running, hence the need to play in windowed mode.
Saving and Quitting:
ALWAYS pause your game and then Save. DO NOT Save & Quit. It is also a good idea to purge your RAM before you attempt to save. If your game is hanging or crashing whilst saving, and you have saved as recommended, then try your game without any CC/Mods. There is no magical perfect solution for the Save problems – please don’t expect one!
If you play with Mods, these must be moved out prior to patching. You should then update your Mods accordingly.
CC & Mods:
I don’t use any CC and have never used Mods but here’s a super duper guide on where to install CC and Mods to, courtesy of itsaprilXD.
Primary things to try first (especially if your Launcher doesn’t open or your game will not load):
- The first step to trying to figure out how to get your game working again is to try a new game, without any CC, mods, saves etc. This will help figure out if your install is dodgy or you have corrupted data. Doing this is simple, open your Documents folder then open the Electronic Arts folder. You will see one folder in there called The Sims 3. Drag this to the desktop DO NOT DELETE IT. This folder holds all your game data like downloaded content, saves and everything precious to your game.
- Now, fire up your game (it regenerates the folder you just moved) and see if you can play with a new Sim in a new world. Make sure you open CAS and make sure you try out Build/Buy mode. Try playing for at least an hour or so. If that works then the installed game and EPs/SPs is fairly stable so the issue lies somewhere within the folder you moved out. The difficult part is figuring out where the problem is within the data. You will need to move back your CC/Saves/Downloads/Mods etc. bit by bit from the folder you moved out to the newly generated folder to work out where the problem lies.
- To put your game back to how it was (not working presumably if you had to just do that step!), navigate through to the Electronic Arts folder again and trash the Sims 3 folder the game just recreated. Put your old folder, the one you moved to the desktop, back in it’s place.
- Navigate to the Electronic Arts folder again, this time opening The Sims 3 folder. Trash the following files:
Now try loading your game again. These files are regenerated.
- If you want to know more about your game’s user folder have a look here on the Sims Wiki page. All the individual files and folders are explained.
- Tremayne4260 has posted some great tips on trying to get your game going in this post.
If your game is constantly crashing you’re probably running out of RAM during gameplay. This is due to Cider not being able to access more than 2Gb RAM. You need to manually free up your Mac’s RAM so the game always has access to more memory. You can download various Apps to do this or you can do it yourself VERY easily using Terminal which is already built into OS X. See this page on instructions – https://bluebellflora.com/resetting-ram-during-gameplay/
Downloaded content not showing up:
If your Store downloads aren’t showing up in game try deleting the missingdeps.idx file (thanks to Crinrict), the game will regenerate a new one:
Finder > Documents > Electronic Arts > The Sim 3 > DCCache > missingdeps.idx
This isn’t a sure fire fix as Origin seems to be causing a lot of issues with the Launcher but it’s worth a try. For more info read Crinrict’s blog post here.
Bypassing the Launcher:
Bypassing the Launcher can sometimes resolve issues of, amongst other things, the game hanging on startup, crashing during the intro and the base game icon bouncing up and down in your Dock but nothing else happening. Instructions on how to bypass the Launcher can be found here.
Unfortunately, because the game is not natively written for OS X, it is not the most stable of programs to run on your Mac. To understand it a bit better have a look here:
For general maintenance you could try these steps:
The only solution for a proper Simming experience on your Mac is to play it in Windows, the OS which the game was written for. For detailed instructions on how to install Windows on your Mac please read this thread:
Checking Exchange items and downloads for nasties (dodgy CC) – Julia526’s Mono tutorial:
You can also analyse your crash logs using Mono and the MTS Crash Log Analyser
There are numerous errors Simmers encounter whilst playing. And unfortunately there is no common denominator as to why some can play and some can’t. Two of us could have the exact same spec. Mac yet one can play and one can’t. The most important thing to bear in mind is that 99% of the time it is not because there is a problem with your Mac, it is Cider.
Common Error Threads on the official forum:
Error 65538: 15000 (Unable to download from Origin) – thanks to katoo4 for posting the link to a solution.
Possible fix for Error Code 12 – thanks to kirby356
Known graphics issues:
– This issue has now been fixed with patch 1.63 –
– possible workaround on page 2 of this forum thread, thanks to tmethei –
Error Code 12 Fix:
(takes you to external site – The Ever So Woderful Life of Zac M)
Installation freezing at a certain file number:
For those suffering from a frozen installer, please post on this thread so we can try, once and for all, to fix it.
Unknown Error running Sims 3 in macOS El Capitan and Sierra
A very specific issue if you are attempting to run the game in El Capitan or Sierra and you have Late Night/Ambitions/Outdoor Living/Fast Lane installed. Links to workaround here.
Caspinwall and Tremayne have a great thread going about issues to do with Origin. Please post in it whether you’re having problems or you know of any fixes to problems you’ve had: