Sims 3 issue connecting to server – Workaround

Update 17/10/18
Puzzlezaddict has discovered that a working dll file is already hidden away in the base game files, see her accepted solution (second post, page 1) in the AHQ thread.

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 🙂

Apple dropping support for 32-bit apps. Sims 2, Sims 3 and SimCity will no longer work in macOS

Apple announced last year that macOS 10.13 High Sierra will be the last version of the OS to support 32-bit apps. You can read this article which explains why they are doing this and what it means. Most apps produced in the last few years are 64-bit so there is no cause for concern but for most of our beloved Sims games this most likely means that it will be the end. This does not affect Sims 4 as it is already 64-bit.

If you have updated to macOS 10.13.4 you should have started receiving this notification when launching 32-bit apps:

Until we can download the beta of the next macOS we’re not going to know when 32-bit apps will be rendered completely obsolete. I hoped to wait until we had the beta before posting this but I’ve received so many messages asking about it I thought a post now may help.

The following Sims games are currently 32-bit:

The Sims 2 Super Collection (Aspyr)
The Sims 3 (EA/Maxis)
SimCity 4 (Aspyr)
SimCity 2013 (EA – Origin; Aspyr – Mac App Store)
Sims Medieval (EA/Maxis)

If you would like to carry on playing these titles after 32-bit support is withdrawn there is a workaround. You can install High Sierra on a bootable external drive and install your 32-bit games on this drive. You would then simply boot up your Mac from that drive when you want to play. For those who haven’t done this before, it really is a very simple process – don’t be scared! I will upload a tutorial soon showing easy step by step instructions on how to do this.

Aspyr have announced that they hope to update their 32-bit games to 64-bit so they are still playable on future releases of macOS. You can read their support statement here, together with a full list of affected titles.

EA have yet to confirm or deny whether they will update their titles.

If you would like to see whether your apps are 32-bit or 64-bit read Apple’s article for instructions on finding the info in System Report. You can also check when the app is running by opening Activity Monitor: