The time has come for me to stop trying to help Mac users attempting to play Sims 3. The game came out in June 2009 and hasn’t been updated at all since January 2014. That means that no version of macOS since OS X 10.9 Mavericks, probably 10.8 Mountain Lion would be more accurate, is supported so there is no guarantee it will work. This is also true for all Macs released since 2013 as the hardware will not be supported.
There are fixes you can try and if anything miraculous comes to light then I will update my pages. These workarounds still work for some:
To be honest, I’m growing weary of users posting the same issues over and over again and expecting a magic fix when there simply isn’t one. EA have been silent over the Sims 3 for years now, they’ve moved on. It’s disappointing that the game had such a short shelf life for us Mac users but it never worked well right from the beginning due to EA’s decision to use Cider.
If Sims 3 works for you great, count yourself lucky. If Sims 3 doesn’t work then maybe it’s time to move on and accept that you will not be able to play.
The links to the manual patches for the Mac version of Sims 3 are all dead. If anyone has the digital version of the patch on their Mac PLEASE let me know, specifically the patch for the digital version of the game. It will be Region 17 and look like this:
The file with the .tar extension is the download, the file with the plumbob is the extracted patch.
I don’t yet know whether the game is still updatable through the Launcher. Again, if anyone has confirmation before I get a chance to test this myself please let me know. In the meantime I’m searching old drives for the patches myself.
UPDATE – The amazing Crinrict has found the file online. You can get it here.
If you are running macOS Sierra 10.12, or later, on your Mac and have iCloud Drive enabled then you may be having an issue with your saves. Is the game like new again every time you start it up and all your previous progress is gone? This will be because when you set up Sierra – whether as an upgrade, brand new install, or set up a new Mac – you will have been prompted to set up iCloud Drive. If you just ploughed forwards without reading the prompts, accepting everything the setup assistant was asking you (god knows we all do!) you will have set up your iCloud preferences to move your Documents and Desktop folders to iCloud. So every time your game loads it is recreating a brand new Sims 4 user data folder because it cannot find the original.
You can get round this by going into System Preferences > iCloud > iCloud Drive then click on the Options button and uncheck the box next to Desktop & Documents Folders:
This means that your Documents folder will stay localised on your Mac and not be pushed to the cloud. Your game will then happily be able to load your previous save from your Documents > Electronic Arts > The Sims 4 folder.
The following links explain iCloud Drive in more detail, including how to save your Documents folder contents back onto your Mac: