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 –
- 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.
- This is a beta or a review copy of the game and RELOADED have made a blunder by releasing it as the final version.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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/
- 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.