Tips for playing The Sims 4 on a Mac

This list isn’t exhaustive and if you have any tips I have left out , please feel free to leave a comment and I will add them, giving you credit of course 🙂

  1. Ideally playing on a Mac with dedicated graphics will ensure the best possible gameplay experience. The current Macs with dedicated GPUs are the high spec. 21″ iMac, the 27″ iMac, the 5k iMac and the high spec. 15″ MacBook Pro. If the Mac you’re looking at only has Intel graphics then it doesn’t have a dedicated GPU.
  2. Play around with the graphics options in game to find the best configuration for your Mac. You may need to enable laptop mode for smooth gameplay.  There is a graphics thread on the official forum detailing other Mac users experiences, it’s worth checking to see what settings they have their games on and how it is playing. If your game won’t load properly after playing around with the graphics settings simply go into Documents > Electronic Arts > The Sims 4 and drag the Options.ini file to the trash. Empty the trash and restart your game. The graphics settings will have been restored to the default settings.
  3. For instructions on how to install The Sims 4 on a Mac go here. For uninstalling go here.
  4. Close all other applications running on your Mac, including apps such as Time Machine, Spotify and Dropbox.
  5. Turn off automatic updates for both Origin and The Sims 4. Instructions on how to do this can be found here.
  6. Play offline.
  7. Disable Origin in Game: Open Origin, click on Origin in the menu bar then Preferences. Click on the Origin In Game tab then uncheck the box next to Enable Origin In Game.
  8. For help on installing Mods on a Mac read ItsaprilXD’s excellent step by step guide.
  9. ALWAYS move your Mods out before applying an update/patch. Verify with the Mod creator that they are compatible with the latest update then you can put them back in.
  10. If your game isn’t performing properly try repairing it in Origin by right clicking on the game in My Games and selecting Repair Game. You can also try moving out your Sims 4 folder onto your desktop and letting the game regenerate a new one (Documents > Electronic Arts > The Sims 4). If your game now works the problem is in your user data somewhere, most likely you have a corrupted save or your CC/Mods are causing issues. For help dealing with Saves read Crinrict’s excellent post here.
  11. My help, bug and troubleshooting thread over on the official forum is updated regularly with known issues, possible bugs and what to do if your game is experiencing problems. Lots of Mac Simmers also contribute to it. Similarly Simsocity’s tips thread is definitely worth a look at.
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31 thoughts on “Tips for playing The Sims 4 on a Mac

  1. So, with intel graphics I can’t take decent pictures? Do you know of the game settings my computer will be able to handle so that I can still get good quality pictures? A lot of cc I have looks terrrible in-game but perfect in CAS and I don’t understand. Thanks, ❤

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  2. Dear BluebellFlora,

    at first I really want to thank you for all the hard work you’re doing, you’re really helping us out a lot!
    I have Macbook Pro Mid 2014 13″ Retina and Sims 4 is running very well. I only have the base game though and I would love to install the expansion packs. I am just very afraid because Sims 3 was running well, too, until installing my first expansion pack. After that nothing seemed to work anymore and I really tried a lot. Not even the base game ran without crashing when creating a Sim, so i just gave up and bought Sims 4.

    Do you think it’s safe to install an expansion? Or what do I have to consider? Does the chronological order play a role?
    Maybe you can help or give me a short advice?

    Thank you 🙂

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    1. Aww, you’re welcome, thank you 🙂 Sims 4 runs like a dream compared to Sims 3 because it is natively written for macOS whereas Sims 3 was the Windows version in a wrapper called Cider. This caused all the problems which EA have just swept under the carpet 😦 You should be fine but if not then I think EA offer refunds within 24 hours.

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  3. My Mac (with Retina) also gets really hot when playing the Sims 4, unfortunately so does the power pack. Has anyone ever heard of a pack blowing while playing the Sims 4 (I am onto my third – thank goodness for Apple Care)?

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    1. If you are running any kind of software that requires a lot of processor and graphics power, like a game, then your Mac will be consuming a lot of power too. However, your machine will only draw the maximum needed from the charger so it shouldn’t burn out. For example, the old non-retina 13″ MacBook Pro required a 60w charger, the 15″ an 85w and the MacBook Air 45w. You could use the 85w and 60w charger for the MacBook Air as it would only draw a maximum of 45w but you shouldn’t use a 45w or 60w for the 15″ MacBook Pro as it will not be providing enough power and could damage the battery.

      I’ve had one burnt out charger but three? Wow, that’s excessive! The white block should never be covered as it does get hot so be careful you don’t have a cushion/duvet covering it. Are your electrics ok? A power surge could quite easily cause this issue. And yes, Applecare is always a definite yes when buying a new Mac 🙂

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  4. I have a MacBook Air, and I really want to get the sims 4 with the cats and dog. will it work? Because some websites said that it won’t and some said that it will.

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  5. Hello,
    Thank you for all the information you provided. Im having a issue and hope you can help. Im sorry if the answer is here, I have been trying to fix my game since cats and dogs. I do have CC which is a nightmare to go through trying to find the bad ones. So, I took the mods folder out the game and started a new game with a sim and a medium sized dog to start. Things seemed better but not as good as it was before cats and dogs. Well, I thought it was better until I started seeing glitches like…. I saw the dogs body stretch out, the sim just didn’t seem to respond to what I was having it do, well not that it didn’t respond at all but he would just be standing there for a while before he started doing what he was supposed to.
    Then, after I played a little while and decided to see what happens when I age the dog up to a adult, the game froze on me after a short time of playing with him as a adult, I believe I was taking a picture of him when it froze and I had to shut down my computer.
    The same thing was happening when I had CC.s in the mod folder. I know I definitely need to clean my cc’s but even starting a new game with no mods or cc’s is still having problems. I haven’t been able to enjoy my game since the dogs and cats came out, all I have been doing is trying to fix it 😩
    Im using the newest MacBook Pro 13″, could this be the problem?
    All my game settings are on medium, if I switch them to low would that help?
    I definitely not a computer savvy person so I hope I explained everything correctly.

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    1. Hey 🙂 Go into the Sims 4 folder and trash the Options.ini file. This resets all your graphics settings to the default ones. If it’s still horrible lower everything and see if that helps. Your Mac has integrated Intel graphics which aren’t optimal for gaming. C&D does seem to be putting more pressure on lower spec’d machines 😦 Repair the game too after moving out your CC.

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  6. I’ve been playing The Sims 4 on the same computer for a few months and it ran on high settings with a lot of cc and all expansions pack, add-ons,… Now it just takes forever to load a brand new Sims 4 folder with no cc and only base game installed, plus medium settings on windowed mode. It came out of nowhere, I played, closed the game and went back to it a few hours later and it lagged like crazy. I didn’t download any cc in the mean time and even though I had I started a brand new game and reinstalled The Sims 4 completely. The game takes up to 15 minutes just to launch (it goes unresponsive for 15 minutes before actually launching) and then I have to wait for about 10 minutes for it to get to the Play Button. The camera takes a few seconds to turn around, I get the freaking Mac wheel of death when I am in Buy/Build mode. I am confused as I didn’t do anything to my computer or to the game in between the moment it worked fine and the moment it started lagging, I wasn’t even using the computer!

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      1. I tried what you suggested but no improvement… I saw something on another forum that says that the AMD Radeon R9 M380 is not supported by the game, I don’t know if that could be the problem but since I could play before I doubt it is?

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        1. So, I timed the launch: It goes unresponsive for 6min before, black screen for 4min, The Sims 4 logo for 13min, plumbob for 3min and then it just takes a few seconds to go from the play button to the world. It takes a total of 26min to load a vanilla game…

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          1. That’s ridiculous. Set up a new user account on your Mac and play in that account to see it if helps. Your AMD GPU is supported in the game, it is listed in the GraphicsCards.sgr file so whoever posted that is talking rubbish!

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  7. Tried and nope, nothing changed… Could it be a lot or a sims that I saved / shared in my gallery and came from a broken save or something? I tried looking up how to deleted the Sims 4 gallery on the internet but came empty handed… I did delete my tray file already! I’m kinda loosing hope, thank you so much for tying to help me!

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    1. It could yes but as you’ve tried a different user account then your saves etc. wouldn’t be loading – unless you copied over the Sims 4 folder and tried playing the same game? You need to try a completely new, clean game with no saves/CC/mods/etc.

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      1. I did create a new Sims 4 folder, with no saves, cc, etc… but in my gallery the lots I shared and my “friends” are still there. The only thing that is gone is the lots and sims I downloaded

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          1. I disabled Origin in game in The Sims 4 properties on Origin and launched the game while I was offline on Origin. Is there anything else I should disable?

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  8. Still the same… I think I’m just gonna reinstall the whole computer. I did open the monitor activity while playing and The Sims 4 only takes up to 54% of the processor and 2Gb of the memory which sounds like nothing to me ?

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    1. Sounds ok, depending on your playing style, Mac, and what you have installed. You don’t need to wipe your Mac, just reinstall the OS as it will replace any missing or corrupted files – great idea!

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      1. I uninstalled Google Chrome because I decided to just stick with Safari, and it fixed my game! It still takes up to 5-10 minutes to load but I do have 7Gb of CC installed right now (and it’s unmerged). I’m also able to play on full screen, high settings and with Origin enabled on now. My Google Chrome was up to date and only had AdBlock as an extension which also was up to date. I’m on a iMac 27″ late 2015 running on High Sierra, in case this happens to someone else it might be a possible fix even though I can’t find a link between Chrome and The Sims 4… Thank you so much for you time anyway, it’s really nice of you to take time to try and help me!

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        1. Wow! I don’t see how Chrome could affect it but that’s really helpful to know, thanks so much for reporting back. It’s always so helpful when people report what works for them, that’s how we can all help each other 🙂

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