You should probably be familiar with our troubleshooting articles by now- every time a major PC title is released we post an article with possible solutions to various known issues with the game. This time around it’s The Sims 3. One specialty in this occasion is that the game has not been officially released so far – in fact, it won’t be so for another two weeks. So naturally this article is a ‘work in progress’. We’ll be updating it as we discover new problems/solutions for the game.

Is the leaked release of the game a demo, a beta or the full & final version?

Let’s not kid ourselves here – a pirated version has been out and many people are downloading it. But is the leaked release the final version? Well, nobody really knows for sure – not yet anyways. Several people have reported missing objects, missing textures, missing regular features from other Sims games, game shutting down at random intervals and several other (minor) problems such as not being able to get married ( can’t marry a Sim in game). As for the missing objects/features there can be three explanations –

  1. This is the final version of the game and EA pulled out some objects to be included in later revisions of the game - You can always count on EA to do something like that. Don’t forget that Sims 3 will have tons of DLC and other expansion packs just like previous Sims titles. And remember, this game’s release was pushed from 2nd February or 2nd of July purely for marketing campaigning.
    OR
  2. This is a beta or a review copy of the game and RELOADED have made a blunder by releasing it as the final version.
    OR
  3. SecuROM DRM triggers built into the game are still in tact – As most of you probably know, this game is protected by SecuROM DRM by Sony. SecuROM API permits developers to insert checks at various points in game, which if triggered could make the game unplayable (ex- GTA 4 drunk camera, Mirror’s Edge slowdown, etc). It’s possible that RELOADED missed one or more such checks and it’s affecting game play performance.

If you ask me, I'd say the first explanation is most likely what happened. Anyways I could be wrong – if I find more information about this the article will be updated. Note that after reading the above it may sound like the game is unplayable or very buggy – it is not. There are no major showstopper bugs present in the game as far as I know apart from a few isolated problems.

What software and drivers do I need to get optimal system performance with minimal crashes?

Although there are reported crashes, there does not seem to be major, common ones that render the game unusable. Most of the crashes seem to be specific to certain hardware/software/driver configurations – we can only give general advice to minimize the possibility of crashes in this case.

  1. Update DirectX – If you are using Windows XP, please update to the latest DirectX monthly runtime. This will get rid of all the ‘missing dll file’ errors and will reduce the possibility of in game crashes. Latest monthly runtime can be found here.
  2. Update Video card drivers – Both NVIDIA and ATI have recent video drivers out – you should always try updating to the latest official driver version available for your hardware for best performance. If anything goes wrong, the option to rollback to previous release is always there.
    ATI Drivers: Download the latest ATI Catalyst drivers from this link: http://game.amd.com/us-en/drivers_catalyst.aspx
    NVIDIA Drivers: Download latest official NVIDIA drivers from this link: http://www.nvidia.com/Download/index.aspx?lang=en-us
    For Beta ATI/NVIDIA drivers for Windows 7, XP and Vista, check out this page: http://downloads.guru3d.com/
  3. Update sound card and motherboard drivers - Click Here to download 3DP Chip for Windows Vista/XP – This program will automatically detect your hardware (video card, sound card and motherboard) and find available driver updates.

Note that this article is a work in progress – more troubleshooting information will be added as we get more info. Gameplay issues will also be addressed once the official version is released.


44 Comments

  1. iamse7en // 5/19/2009 11:49:00 PM  

    I wonder if there are crashing issues on the Mac. I will have to test it out.

  2. TeeRavis // 5/20/2009 05:09:00 AM  

    According to the issues described by Eurogamer the issues with the RELOADED copy of TS3 and the Preview Copy (Not Final Copy) are identical. Game crashed, rebooting, etc. Read here: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/the-sims-3-final-hands-on?page=2

  3. Kyle // 5/21/2009 11:54:00 AM  

    Frustrating... I've lost 2 save games where I had made so much progress. I guess that's just my punishment.

  4. Ewan // 5/21/2009 05:16:00 PM  

    Game crashes at create a sim. Shuts the power off, too.

  5. SmileyMan // 5/21/2009 11:14:00 PM  

    Game crashes everytime at a certain point in your career development. I think it's around level 5 or level 6.

  6. Ewan // 5/22/2009 01:36:00 AM  

    Game crashes in build mode, too.

  7. `zm. // 5/22/2009 09:21:00 PM  

    The game's fine so far for me, except that the engine is using a lot of POWER it seems. my graphic card fan speed went to 100% on loading screen. lol.

  8. micheal // 5/24/2009 12:00:00 AM  

    It works perfectly on my laptop 100% no glitches no crashes

  9. `zm. // 5/26/2009 09:54:00 PM  

    a damn annoying bug(for those who cared about the music) just surfaced now.

    the music seems to stop playing and never plays when I play one of my sim. even preview in the options doesn't work.

  10. vella avyla // 5/27/2009 05:38:00 AM  

    I've just downloaded The Sims 3 yesterday....but I don't even heard any sound produce in my Sims 3...even the cell phone ringing, there's no sound...help!!!

    p/s: sorry my english is not good. hope you guys understand :(

  11. Dann // 5/27/2009 04:41:00 PM  

    I got Sims 3 running both in Mac and PC.
    Crashes only happen in my XP machine... on the mac side, it doesn't crash.. but there's this problem with the sound... regular sounds play, however, music in buy, build and create a sim modes sometimes stop playing and don't play til a bit later... sounds come and go...
    Hopefully this is just a slight glitch that will be solved after the official release?

  12. Ben Freeland // 6/03/2009 06:12:00 AM  

    I can confirm that the crashing problems are not exclusive to the pirated version of the game (At least in my case). I just reinstalled using my collectors edition version of the real thing and I'm still having crashes...

  13. Lightning_Struck_Tower // 6/03/2009 02:36:00 PM  

    @Ben Freeland
    Thanks for the info.

  14. Kaitlin // 6/04/2009 04:35:00 AM  

    ok so i downloaded the game yesterday and thee everything is showing up in solid colors so i dont know what i am doing when i play like on make a sim the whole sim is black except its eyes nad hair does anyone know how to fix this? please help soon

  15. Evelyn // 6/05/2009 08:10:00 PM  

    Have uninstalled/reinstalled officially released version of Sims 3 three times and still suffering crashes, choppy graphics, etc. Lowered in-game graphic controls with little help. Not compatible with Magick Jack. Has actually caused me to have to restart my computer more than once. I checked twice and exceed minimum system requirements. Currently downloading dirver updates. Pirated version or no, this game is uber flawed.

  16. AMie // 6/06/2009 05:40:00 AM  

    I am having a lot of issues with the game crashing also. I have XP service pack 2 and exceed the requirements needed however the game continues to crash.

  17. tkk568 // 6/06/2009 09:56:00 AM  

    this is foolishness!! im takin this game back.. ive waited so long for nothing!

  18. somfincute // 6/08/2009 07:01:00 AM  

    I am having the crashing issue. I even got the blue screen at one point. I am no so frustrated I want to throw the game in the trash. I can no longer get past the choose family screen

  19. artdyke // 6/08/2009 10:58:00 AM  

    My PC far exceeds all requirements, and i downloaded all the latest drivers/updates. Game crashes at Create-a-Sim. I got the blue screen of death a couple of times too. EA troubleshooting just keeps saying "well maybe your system doesn't meet the requirements" and offers no other help. WTF.

  20. Tinsel // 6/09/2009 08:17:00 PM  

    can't play the game for more than 10mins before everything pauses and then begins to flash. have to restart my pc everytime.

    my pc also exceeds the system specs required for the game. so really, it's just shabby programming and a poor piece of work overall. could we ever expect anything else from EA?

  21. tomaattikopio // 6/13/2009 12:20:00 AM  

    asjfhek. Seens like I'm one of the REALLY lucky ones here.
    My game just crashes on random occasions...

    ... which just caused my whole save to vanish into thin air with my beloved Sims and the progress I was very happy with.

    Seriously. Someone slap EA. I don't want random crashes. I DO NOT WANT TO START OVER AGAIN.
    Grr.

    *goes back to start again*

  22. meg // 6/13/2009 08:20:00 AM  

    there are problems with the mac too. it keeps randomly shutting down!!!

  23. Vickee // 6/13/2009 06:22:00 PM  

    When I'm playing the game it crashes over and over. And then I have to switch off the PC =(
    Does anyone know why that happens everytime ? Is it because I downloaded it or is my PC overburdened ?
    Please Help me ! >__< The game is awesome - I want to play it =(

  24. Amber // 6/16/2009 03:42:00 AM  

    I am having the same problems.
    I will be playing and it crashed my laptop shuts down and everything.
    I heard AVG may be the problem and I disabled it and it STILL crashes.
    The game is not ready.
    I hate EA.
    I met all of the requirements.

  25. 0mg // 6/17/2009 11:12:00 AM  

    Game crashes about 40-60 minutes of playing. Then he laggs and turns off.

  26. Hallo, // 6/19/2009 12:06:00 AM  

    Installed version: The Sims 3 collectors edition.

    Nice game , 1 BIG problem => crashes

    I used to play the sims (1 and 2) on playstation. For some reason it's not available on ps3. So i buyed it for pc.

    I never had any problems with my XPS, a very good, fast, amazing (and expensive) laptop. I runned games like Command and Conquer, Black and White, Fifa Manager,... Now i try to play the sims 3 but it always crashes. First black screen, now BSOD. The game just stops, bsod appears. I have vista sp1, nvidia geforce go 7950gtx latest update,...

    My pc crashes a lot since i'm playing the sims. I can't even open my windows explorer anymore. I have a new pc coming but if this game crashes pc's, i'm not gonna install it. I've read in other forums too, people's pc's crashing since they installed the sims 3. I hope there will be a patch or something that will help fixing this problem.

    It's a pity that it crashes so much, i love the game but not this way.

  27. hejish // 6/19/2009 08:53:00 AM  

    I'm having crashes as well. Macbook (white) and medium-new macbook pro. I need a fix. I was suspecting maybe something was overheating, but I have no way to know.

  28. Gregory // 6/25/2009 07:23:00 PM  

    I'm having alot of issues too. Game randomly crashes 20-50 mins in. I can't seem to play more than one day at a time. I have quad core processor, gtx285 video card, 4gb ddr3 ram. What's up with the programming? A computer like this should eat this game for breakfast! I hope a patch comes out soon!

  29. grubling // 7/04/2009 04:36:00 AM  

    i brought the game yesterday and installed it it crashed so tried again it crashed shutting my pc down i exceed requirements and contacted ea lol laugh a minute not had to send the dxdiag to them of my machine then told to update drivers so did so still no luck less than ten mins in crashed and shutdown my pc so got back to them gets another tec guy that tells me to clear temp files and only leave task manger and explore working so did this guess what no change so have got back to them again have been waiting 7 hours for a reply one tried reblaming my pc even with its specs which are well over so ive contacted the bbc program watchdog since they are fast to take money but dont want to help you

  30. Jeffrey // 9/06/2009 01:04:00 AM  

    It only crashes on 1 of my computers and runs perfectly on all the others which makes absolutely no sense because the one its crashing on is the best computer I own.

  31. Jeffrey // 9/06/2009 01:06:00 AM  

    My Problem is that it works perfectly on all my computers but one uninstalling reinstalling doesn't help but it still runs fine on the other three computers. How is that even possible they are all the same type of computer.

  32. dustingdustin // 9/26/2009 10:09:00 PM  

    Mine doesn't even get past the load screen. Ever. And I MORE than make the requirements.

  33. thelively // 12/18/2009 09:52:00 AM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  34. thelively // 12/18/2009 09:53:00 AM  

    Damn im angry with those morons at EA!!!

    This game crashes, when you've made tones of progress.. and when you least expect it..

    The first time, i saved 5 minutes prior to the crash; I thought it was my pc, but it kept doing it every time that i made some progress;
    The last time, i looked away, and then back and my computer was off, and i lost hours of progress............

    So, Screw those F@!%ers at EA, im bringing it back to the store, and im buying another game.. Oh and im not even downloading it, cause its gunna wreck my computer, since MY VIDEO CARD OVERHEATS!! (GForce G100 512MB)
    As if they would just do that, and let millions of peoples computers possibly get wrecked like that.


    DONT BUY IT, SAVE YOUR MONEY!!
    Dont even waste your time with it.

  35. thelively // 12/18/2009 09:56:00 AM  

    Sorry for double posting, but I also wanted to let everyone know that I had it fully updated.

    And as I sorta mentioned, I did buy it, so ITS NOT the pirated versions that are having problems; But still don't waste your time with it.

  36. thelively // 12/19/2009 08:25:00 AM  

    A couple more things;

    The game crashed on me a total of 5 times.

    Create-a-sim mode is DULL!!

    It didnt have my wicked-sweet beard, which is kept only on my chin - and the beard selection is short ~ AND they dont even have a place for beards in the store..

    Its not in-depth enough; Lacks TONES of what I thought it woulda shoulda had.

    I couldn't really make myself, and spent a while trying.. no crashes tho.

    Its no glitch, the library has an insdie, but the other bulidings dont;
    Not even the sims homes have furniture... or walls or anything... i dont think you even see them in there...

    also, he just vanishes into his car.. and he doesnt park it. Accually as far as I can tell, the car vanishes into his backpack, Depending on where you are.

    when you busk, he never looks away from closed in areas, he looks at walls.

    Mirror reflections shader is Kick-Butt! =P

  37. lala88 // 12/31/2009 04:17:00 AM  

    i bought this game 2 days ago, and since then ive been trying to play it but it keeps crashing at create a sim! ARGHHHHH.

    AND my computer meets all the requirements. and for some stupid reason, i can play perfectly fine with no lag or anything in the actual town and the houses.. but whenever i try to create a freakin sim... it goes crazy and my computer crashes!

  38. lala88 // 12/31/2009 04:18:00 AM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  39. Veronica // 2/16/2010 07:15:00 AM  

    I recently purchased the game (I'm late, I know) and have been having issues with crashing. Screen goes black then it's suddenly rebooting! I certainly hope a patch comes out soon to fix THAT.

  40. mnini2422 // 2/27/2010 02:58:00 AM  

    Everybody thinks its their computers fault but its actually EA Games that are responsible for the crashes. This game was released prematurely with major problems. By filing a complaint to EA Games at the better business bureau website we can put an end to these crashes. Go to the website (www.bbb.org/)type in your zipcode, then click For Consumers (check out a business or charity), then under Phone, URL, Email (type in the website www.ea.com or search the company name (Electronic Arts,Inc) and file a complaint.

  41. mnini2422 // 2/27/2010 03:09:00 AM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  42. manga // 3/30/2010 12:48:00 AM  

    I just bought the game, but after crashing two times and reading these comments, I'm taking the thing back to the store and replacing it with something else. So disappointed with EA.

  43. PCHead17 // 3/30/2010 05:08:00 PM  

    My system is Windows XP (so is my sisters) and we bought it, realising two weeks later that it was made for Mac- too late to take it back to the shop. So we spent $100 on something that crashes 20 minutes after we start play >:(

  44. Stephanie // 11/09/2010 06:28:00 AM  

    The Sims 3 simply crashes when loading either the saved game selections screen at the very beginning or when loading the screen after you select which game to use (which comes right after the first loading screen that crashes) this happens every time and it makes the game unusable, the the disk does work fine on any other computer I install it on. I DO have the system requirements because when I bought the game I knew I didn't so we uprgraded the computer it and it worked for around 6 months, then suddenly didn't, I have tried re-installing it, uprading the game,and not upgrading it and it still won't work! HELP!