Unknown Error message – Sims 3 base game only

This guide is for those who only have the Sims 3 Base Game installed. For help with the same error message on Macs with additional Expansion and Stuff Packs installed please go here.

There is no 100% fix for the Unknown Error messages countless Mac users experience with Sims 3 as it can be for many different reasons. There are however a few things you can try to fix it. The following are known to cause the error to pop up when only the base game is installed:

  • When uninstalling ALWAYS do a complete uninstall, never just use the Uninstaller as it leaves files behind which can cause the Unknown Error message after a subsequent reinstall. Full instructions on properly uninstalling here.
  • Purge RAM before launching the game.
  • If your Mac is a 2013 or later model, check your graphics card/chip is supported and add the details to the game files if necessary.
  • Go into Documents > Electronic Arts and move the Sims 3 folder to your desktop then try launching the game again. The error could be caused by a corrupted save or incompatible CC/Mods or downloads from the Exchange.
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32 thoughts on “Unknown Error message – Sims 3 base game only

  1. i have done all the step except purging ram cuz thats confusing and i do not get the error message however i launch the sims and the icon comes up on the bar then disappears again, it doesn’t seem to work? i dont get it

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    1. Girl same, I’m struggling though before like a few months to about a year ago it worked perfectly. I thought I was the only one struggling in 2018 with this.

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  2. I am also experiencing the same issue. I have previously got it to work, but sadly I had to uninstall it because of a corrupt expansion pack. The game won’t even launch. What I did previously was to place two files (GraphicsCard.sgr and GraphicsRules.sgr) on my desktop, and delete several files, but I don’t remember what files they were or where to find them. I have a MacBook Pro 2016 13-inch, but non of the pages I have looked at have any information about how to solve it on this model.

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      1. If I followed the steps in each scenario for my specific model of Mac and it still shows the same error message, is there anything else I could do?

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  3. Hello, I have played the sims 3 on my 2013 macbook pro 13″ for years but now having upgraded to a 2017 pro 13″ with touchbar I get the unknown error upon trying to launch. When I first installed it onto my new mac I was able to launch the base game and the launcher would pop up (I did not run the game) but when I started downloading expansion packs in whatever order the error occurred and now I can’t do anything. The uninstaller doesn’t show any games to uninstall so I just trash everything, restart and install again but nothing. I’m sure my graphics card isn’t compatible as I tried your graphics card solution, but I don’t have the part of the code you highlighted in the GraphicsCards.sgr part. These are my specs: MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports) macOS High Sierra, 3.1 GHz Intel Core i5, Intel Iris Plus Graphics 650 1536 MB. Please help!!

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  4. Hi BluebellFlora, so you told me to come here because the steps I’ve been taking haven’t worked. So, I used your Super Patch and the Graphics Fix, neither of which have helped. I have uninstalled and reinstalled the game several times, and there’s nothing in my Sims 3 folder since the game hasn’t even loaded up before I get the Unknown Error Notification. Do you have any other tips?

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    1. I asked you to come here for the graphics fix as it is not possible to post all the information for it and provide the downloads at AHQ. The super patch is from EA, I just provide a tutorial on how to properly download and run it because of Gatekeeper disallowing it, and EA don’t provide full instructions on how to do it.

      We’ve given you all the steps and instruction you need. As you can see here, at AHQ and other sites, some people just simply cannot get the game to run. I wish I knew why because we could then fix it. It’s worth noting that all the fixes you have tried are from us Mac simmers, EA have not updated nor provided any support since January 2014.

      You could cleanly uninstall the game then set up a new user account on your Mac and install in that account.

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      1. I’m so sorry. I’m going to try to do a clean uninstall like you said, and report back to you on that. I guess I don’t realize how my words can come across, but if there’s anything I can do to make up for it, just let me know. I’ll report back to you soon.

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          1. Hi, just thought I’d give a quick update. So, I cleanly uninstalled the game, created a new user account, and installed the game on that like you said to do, and patched it with the super patch. I got the notification that the game and the patcher weren’t compatible with my Mac. Upon opening the app, I was greeted with a pleasant surprise: the launcher actually opened up for the first time on this Mac! Only issue I’m facing now is when I push the play button, it tells me that the Sims 3 disc isn’t inserted, and I need to insert it, but I’m playing through Origin, and don’t have a disc. Do you know how to fix this?

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          2. Almost there! The game didn’t like something in your usual user account evidently. Did you definitely install the right patch, the one for the digital download, not the regional one?

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          3. Hey BluebellFlora, just needed to ask you one more thing, but I need to say a few things first. First, and this is long overdue, but I really need to thank you. You’re truly a superhero to all the Mac Simmers, and you’ve put so much hard work into helping us, and I really wanted to say this because my problem’s almost solved. Second, I need to apologize for how late this is. I’ve been so busy with school that I haven’t had a chance to report back, and I’m so sorry for that!

            Now to my actual report. First things first, I reinstalled the Super Patch with the digital version, and I’m not running into any problems, so that’s great! So after I click play on the launcher, the blue background with the plumbob shows up, like it should when you usually play the Sims 3. (That had never happened before, so that’s great progress!) But after it takes a while to load, i get this new notification: “Important Message! There is a problem connecting to the server. Please assure your internet connection is active. If the problem persists, try again later.” I’ve tried launching the game with several different Internet connections, all of which I am sure work, but the message keeps showing up. Is this anything to be worried about, and if so, what can I do? Or do I just need to wait it out like the message suggests?

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          1. BluebellFlora, thank you so much!! It’s finally working!! Just two more questions. When I open the game I get a notification that I have an unrecognized video card and that my graphics have been set as high as possible, but I may wish to reduce them if I’m experiencing poor performance. Do I need to worry about this? Also, can I install my packs as normal now? Just wanted to check before I screw up my game accidentally

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  5. I’ve done all of this, and even more since mine is downloaded from Origin and it still never works. I’ve tried every solution and at this point i’ve just given up. I love my mac and it makes me so sad I can’t play Sims 3 just because of my choice of computer.

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  6. Hi, I’ve been searching for a solution to my “Unknown Error Occurred” message for months, to no avail. I’ve followed your clean uninstall guide (deletion of the com.transgaming files) and your unsupported graphics card guide in hopes that something might budge. I’m running:
    macOS High Sierra (version 10.13.6)
    MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2018)
    2.6 GHz Intel Core i7
    16gb memory
    Intel UHD Graphics 630 1536 MB

    My game was installed digitally through Origin due to the lack of a disc drive, and after my uninstall I have only tried running the base game with no other packs installed. I have no firewall, etc. This is basically a fresh hard drive. Any info? Thanks!

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          1. It has the built-in Intel UHD Graphics 630, as well as the discrete Radeon Pro 560x. Hope this is what you needed!

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          2. Hummm, it should be ok as the AMDs don’t actually cause the same issue as the Intel and the game will only use the AMD. You say you had a clean hard drive but that you had to uninstall the game, are you absolutely sure you trashed every single file listed in the clean uninstall guide? Just one left behind can screw up a future install.

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          3. I believe I uninstalled every bit, but who knows what might have gotten lost in there. My next option is to try playing under a new user on my laptop, right?

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          4. Wow no way, I just did another clean uninstall following your guide, then clean uninstalled/ reinstalled Origin following EA’s guide. I have the launcher for the base game up and running!

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          5. Annnnd I have the ‘unknown error’ message again. However, this is after trying to install the first expansion that I own: Ambitions. I received a message during installation that “The version of the Sims 3 (base game) is more current than expected. This might be incompatible…” The only thing is that I have only installed Sims 3, but have not updated it at all. Do you know how to bypass this issue the next time around?

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