If you’re getting this error:
Go into your Sims 3 user data folder (Documents > Electronic Arts > The Sims 3) and delete the Version.tag file. This affects users loading data from the original 32-bit game folder which was patch level 1.67. The 64-bit Metal version is 1.70. Trashing this file removes the mismatch which confuses the game.
Such a flurry of excitement since a second copy of Sims 3 started appearing in user’s Origin games libraries on the 20 October! It seems that we now don’t have too much longer to wait. In preparation, and to confirm what we do and don’t know, here are a few pointers:
Will my Mac run the 64-bit version of Sims 3?
- Your Mac must support Metal and be running macOS 10.13 High Sierra. This is most likely because Apple updated to Metal v2 in High Sierra and from issues reported in the Sims 4 Mac forum we know that it improves performance. These Macs support Metal:
- You must also read the system requirements posted by EA_Leeloo here to check processor and video card requirements.
- If you are running 10.11 El Capitan or 10.12. Sierra you can upgrade via the Mac App Store. You can also find the direct download link for High Sierra here.
- If your Mac is a 2011 model or earlier (excluding the Mac Pros mentioned above) this updated version is not for you. Carry on playing the original 32-bit version you have.
How do I install the 64-bit version?
- You should uninstall your current installation of the original game but make sure to back up your saves first. By now I’m sure you’re probably aware this is not an easy task and has to be done manually. Full instructions on how to do this can be found here.
- Once the updated version shows as available for download in Origin simply click and download as normal.
- If you have never registered the game in Origin but have the codes from the disc version you must download and install Origin and redeem the product codes in your account. Instructions here.
EA_Leeloo posted a FAQ here on Answers HQ and MaxisJoe posted his monthly update here. Both are definitely worth a read. They don’t answer all the questions I have such as:
- Will a new Sims 3 folder be created in the Electronic Arts folder or will the newly installed game successfully read the current folder (that you should have backed up before uninstalling the game)?
- Will installing Sims 3 Store content actually properly work now or do we still need to jump through hoops to get it installed into the Launcher?
- Has the 2Gb RAM cap been ripped off now the updated version is 64-bit (in theory yes)?
It’s REALLY important that people understand this updated version of Sims 3 is a compatibility version. It is not a bug fix, it does not add additional features. The game is no longer in development and has not been for years. It is so Apple users running 10.15 Catalina and later versions of macOS can once again play the game.
I’ll post again once it’s been released and I’ve had a chance to play around and check things out. In the meantime, feel free to ask any questions below if you need clarification on any of the above points 🙂
These really are exciting times for Mac Simmers! After EA_David’s announcement that Sims 4 is dropping support for Lion this week, he’s just announced that the Sims 3 is getting a big update. In a nutshell:
- Sims 3 for Mac will be updated to support 64-bit (finally!)
- It will also be updated to support Metal (yay!)
- The update will be through Origin and will require existing users to uninstall their current game and install the new version
- The update will be free to all users with a currently registered copy of Sims 3 and add on packs in Origin
- The update is expected to be available in early 2020 although no exact date has been announced yet.
- Requirements will be a Mac running macOS 10.9 Mavericks or later and be Metal supported.
The upgrade to 64-bit means that Sims 3 will run in macOS Catalina, the first macOS to completely drop support for 32-bit apps, which Sims 3 is. It will hopefully also mean the game should run much better than it ever has. This is because there is virtually no limit to the amount of RAM a 64-bit app can use whilst 32-bit apps can only access up to 4Gb RAM. The current version of the Sims 3 for Mac has only ever been able to use 2Gb RAM and is part of the reason for the frequent crashes and inability to run the game
Metal is the graphics API introduced by Apple to replace OpenGL. For more in-depth information have a look at this Apple article. However not all Macs support Metal. The following Macs will be able to run the upcoming version of Sims 3:
- MacBook models introduced in 2015 or later
- MacBook Air models introduced in 2012 or later
- MacBook Pro models introduced in 2012 or later
- Mac mini models introduced in 2012 or later
- iMac models introduced in 2012 or later
- iMac Pro (all models)
- Mac Pro models introduced in late 2013, plus mid-2010 or mid-2012 models with a recommended Metal-capable graphics card.
If your Mac is not listed above you will not be able to update to the new version of the Sims 3 but will still be able to play the current version.
I’ll keep this site updated with more information as it is released but this is really FANTASTIC news 😀