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The Sims

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games
The Sims
The Sims cover
Developers
Maxis
Mac OS (Classic) Westlake Interactive
macOS (OS X) Westlake Interactive
Linux TransGaming Inc.
Publishers
Electronic Arts
Mac OS Aspyr Media
macOS (OS X) Aspyr Media
Linux TransGaming Inc.
Engines
The Sims Engine
Release dates
Windows February 4, 2000
Mac OS (Classic) July 25, 2000
macOS (OS X) August 15, 2001
Linux March 12, 2003
Reception
Metacritic 92
Taxonomy
Monetization One-time game purchase, Expansion pack
Modes Singleplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives Bird's-eye view
Genres Life sim
Themes Contemporary, Zombies
Series The Sims
The Sims on HowLongToBeat
The Sims on IGDB
The Sims guide on StrategyWiki
The Sims on MobyGames
The Sims on Wikipedia
The Sims
Subseries of Sim
The Sims 2000
The Sims Online 2002
The Sims 2 2004
The Sims Stories (series)
MySims 2008
The Sims 3 2009
The Sims Medieval 2011
The Sims 4 2014

Warnings

SafeDisc retail DRM does not work on Windows Vista and later (see Availability for affected versions).
The Mac OS X version of this game does not work on Mac OS X Lion (version 10.7) or later due to the removal of support for PowerPC apps.

The Sims is a singleplayer life sim game developed by Maxis and published by Electronic Arts. It is the first installment of The Sims series.

The Windows version was first released in North America on February 4, 2000, followed by the releases in Europe and Japan on February 11, 2000 and in April 2000 respectively. Various ports of the game were also released, including the MacOS (Classic) and MacOS (OS X) versions by Aspyr Media that were released on July 25, 2000 and August 15, 2001 respectively, and the Linux version by TransGaming Inc. that was released on March 12, 2003.

General information

Official Website (archived)
The Sims Official Forums
EA Answer HQ
EA Answer HQ (OS X)

Availability

Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Retail
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
CD key
SafeDisc v1 and v2 DRM[Note 1]. Disc check requires latest expansion installed. Some base releases have an additional disc with a digital manual.
Windows
Mac OS
macOS (OS X)
Linux
SafeDisc retail DRM does not work on Windows Vista and later (see above for affected versions).
An earlier release of The Sims on Linux was included in the MandrakeLinux Gaming Edition package, released in 2001 exclusively for that distribution. This page covers the 2003 TransGaming release, released for all Linux distributions.
A faithful, higher quality icon can be found on Archive.org.

Version differences

The Sims: Deluxe Edition includes the base game, the Livin' Large expansion pack, The Sims Creator reskinning tool, and exclusive content.
The Sims: Double Deluxe includes the base game, the Livin' Large and House Party expansion packs, and The Sims Creator.
The Sims: Mega Deluxe includes the base game, the Livin' Large, House Party, and Hot Date expansion packs.
The Sims: Complete Collection includes the base game and all 7 expansions.

Monetization

DLC and expansion packs

This is the preferred installation order, installing expansions in other order may introduce problems or simply can't be installed. If installed in wrong order it's recommended to backup save data, completely uninstall the game and install again in correct order.
Name Notes
Livin' Large Released as "Livin' It Up" in Europe.
Windows
Mac OS
House Party
Windows
Mac OS
macOS (OS X)
Hot Date Requires House Party to install.
Windows
Mac OS
macOS (OS X)
Vacation Released as "On Holiday" in the Republic of Ireland and the UK,
although installer still refers to it as Vacation.
Windows
Mac OS
macOS (OS X)
Unleashed
Windows
Mac OS
macOS (OS X)
Superstar
Windows
Mac OS
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Makin' Magic
Windows
Mac OS
macOS (OS X)
Linux

Essential improvements

Skip intro videos

Run the game with the -skip_intro command line argument

Patches

Mousewheel Support Script

By default, the game does not allow for zooming in and out using the mousewheel. Use the following to add in mousewheel support.
Add mousewheel support using AHK[citation needed]
1. Download and install AutoHotkey.
2. Right-click an empty space in any folder and go to New > AutoHotkey script.
3. Right-click it and choose Edit.
4. Delete all code and replace with the following:
wheelup::
sendinput,{+}
return

wheeldown::
sendinput,-
return

F10::
Exitapp
return
5. Save and run the file then start the game. When done, press F10 to exit the script and restore default mousewheel functionality to Windows.

Low frame-rate, graphical glitches and crashes at high resolution

DirectDraw software emulation is used on Windows 8/10, causing performance and display issues in fullscreen.

Install a DirectX or DirectDraw wrapper

Stabilizes gameplay, increases frame rate to 60 FPS, allows for resolutions higher than 1920x1440 and fixes severe graphical glitches when using Alt+Tab .
Use dgVoodoo 2[3]
  1. Download the latest version of dgVoodoo 2 and extract the archive.
  2. Extract dgVoodooCpl.exe and the contents of the MS\x86 subfolder to <path-to-game>.
  3. Run dgVoodooCpl.exe. Click the [.\] button below the banner.
  4. Under the DirectX tab, choose a Video card. Change the resolution to anything desired.
  5. Tick "Fast Video Memory Access".
  6. Untick "dgVoodoo Watermark"
  7. Click Apply.
  8. Run the game.

Notes

Causes high input latency.
Use a DirectDraw wrapper[4]
  1. Download the DirectDrawCompat wrapper.
  2. Extract the contents from the .zip file into the game's installation folder.
  3. Run the game.

Notes

If the game only shows a black screen, G-SYNC must be disabled (either globally or manually)
When overriding the games DPI, the cursor can disappear in the phone call UI.
Run the game in a window by using the -w command line argument

Notes

Doesn't fill the entire screen, can be difficult to see

Game data

Configuration file(s) location

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\UserData\Options.iff[Note 2]
Mac OS (Classic)
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Configuration files are encrypted.
It's unknown whether this game follows the XDG Base Directory Specification on Linux. Please fill in this information.

Save game data location

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\UserData\[Note 2]
<path-to-game>\UserData*\[Note 2]
Mac OS (Classic)
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Game saves are in form of neighborhoods instead of a single household. Save folders are numbered (the first neighborhood is numberless).
Initial setting up of new neighborhood and household may take several minutes even with higher end machines, and it takes longer as more expansion packs are installed.

Video

General settings.
General settings.
Graphics settings.
Graphics settings.

Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
Natively available resolutions are 800x600 and 1024x768.
Change through the game's launcher. See Widescreen resolution.
Multi-monitor
Ultra-widescreen
Resolutions above 1920x1440 crash. See Install a wrapper
4K Ultra HD
Resolutions above 1920x1440 crash. See Install a wrapper
Field of view (FOV)
Windowed
Use the -w command line argument.
Borderless fullscreen windowed
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
Use dgVoodoo2.
Vertical sync (Vsync)
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
60 FPS
Frame rate is capped under 30 FPS. Can be changed to 60 FPS using DDrawCompat
120+ FPS
High dynamic range display (HDR)
See the glossary page for potential alternatives.

Widescreen resolution

Unable to zoom in as close as the default resolution.
Can see more at once.
Patch widescreen support[5]
The following fix requires a No-CD patch.
  1. Download The Sims: Complete Collection Widescreen Patcher
  2. Extract and run the patcher.
  3. Browse to the Sims.exe in <path-to-game>
  4. Select the desired resolution and wrapper: dgVoodoo2 (compatibility) or DDrawCompat (performance).
  5. Click "Patch" and close the patcher.
  6. Run the game normally.

Notes

  • To change the resolution or wrapper after patching, select "Uninstall" in the patcher, select a new resolution and patch again.
  • If DDrawCompat is installed, the game must be excluded from using G-Sync if using a G-Sync monitor. Also in the phone/clothes UI, the cursor can disappear if overriding the game's DPI setting.
  • If the game is still running at a low resolution, ensure that the -1024x768 command line argument is not present in the desktop shortcut.
  • If running the game fullscreen with DDrawCompat v0.4.0 at a lower than native resolution, add the line "DisplayResolution = app" in the DDrawCompat.ini file (located at the game's folder) to show the mouse icon at the proper size.
  • For manual patching, follow the WSGF guide, however some HUD elements may become difficult to read due to rendering errors, such as the employment screen.

Input

Keyboard and mouse State Notes
Remapping
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Mouse acceleration
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller
Controller support
Controller types

Audio

Audio settings.
Audio settings.

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Effects, music and speech.
Surround sound
Up to 7.0 Surround. No positional audio. Center speaker is used for in-game sounds (such as voices and sfx). Front speakers are used to reproduce songs, while side and rear channels are used to reproduce background noises.
Subtitles
Speech is fictional language called Simlish.
Speech is subtitled with generic icons, important speech e.g. phone calls are given as popup window.
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
Pauses the game on Alt+Tab , option to disable. However audio still stops.
Royalty free audio

Localizations

Game has to be installed with desired language option.
Language UI Audio Sub Notes
English
Simplified Chinese
Traditional Chinese
Danish
Dutch
Finnish
Starting from Vacation expansion pack.
Installing that or later expansions changes language.
French
German
Hebrew
Italian
Japanese
Korean
Norwegian
Polish
Brazilian Portuguese
Spanish
Swedish
Thai

Issues fixed

At the time The Sims was released, it had the potential for crashes and issues. With each expansion, the game became less stable, and even on properly configured systems would crash periodically. This has not improved over time.
Problems may vary from not being able to install the game, from not being able to launch the game, instability along with performance issues and lastly not being able to save the game. This is especially prevalent on Windows 10, when disc-based DRM was completely dropped along with broken DirectDraw emulation. See "Low frame-rate and graphical glitches".

Installer program not starting

Start installation manually without launcher[citation needed]
  1. Go to main disc's root and open the folder Setup.
  2. With most cases simply open Setup.exe, however to make sure correct language is used run preferred Setup_Language.BAT that resides in the Setup folder.
  3. Continue installation normally.

Notes

Content of the Setup folder varies from the base game and expansions.

Installer becomes stuck (hangs)

Certain processes can cause the installer to freeze or hang at certain stages
Analyze wait chain

Installer gives "unknown error encountered - aborting setup" error

Remove InstallShield information[6]
Caused by an improper uninstall of the game, which prevents re-installation due to setup remnants.
  1. Enable Hidden files in File Explorer (under the "View" tab).
  2. Navigate to C:\Program Files (x86)\InstallShield Installation Information.
  3. Look for a folder named {F2527115-B8BF-4FDB-B5DA-5AADFB7C13E1}.
  4. If the folder does not exist, look through all folders for Setup.ini files, open with a text editor and search for a mention of The Sims.
  5. Ensure that the correct folder is selected, then delete it.
  6. Re-start the installer and install the game.

Notes

Different versions of the game may have a different folder ID name.

Installer gives "An error occurred while launching the setup. The remote procedure call failed." error

Disable beta UTF-8 language support[citation needed]
  1. Open Control Panel > Clock and Region > Change date, time or number formats.
  2. Open the Administrative menu and click the Change system locale... button.
  3. Uncheck Beta: Use Unicode UTF-8 for worldwide language support.
  4. Select OK and restart the system.

Uninstalling The Sims Complete Collection gives "An installation support file could not be installed. Catastrophic failure" error

Delete setup.ilg file in the old InstallShield folder
  1. Open the File Explorer and check the "Hidden items" checkbox (under the View tab).
  2. Navigate to C:\Program Files (x86)\InstallShield Installation Information.
  3. Look for a folder named {F2527115-B8BF-4FDB-B5DA-5AADFB7C13E1}.
  4. If folder is not there, search folders for Setup.ini, open it with a text editor and search for a mention of The Sims.
  5. Select the setup.ilg file ONLY in the folder and delete it.
  6. Double-click the InstallShield's Setup.exe in the folder and click "Cancel" and "Yes", this creates a new setup.ilg file.
  7. The Sims Complete Collection should now be possible to be uninstalled from Start > Settings > Apps > Apps & features.

Notes

After uninstalling, it is recommended to manually delete the Maxis folder located at C:\Program Files (x86)\Maxis.

Stuck on first-time neighborhood loading screens

Run the game in compatibility mode for Windows XP SP2 and as administrator.

Issues saving when installed to the default location

Install game to a location different to C:\Program Files (x86)[citation needed]
Run the game in compatibility mode for Windows XP SP2 and as administrator.[citation needed]

Corrupted game files

It is possible for the game files to become corrupt, requiring a complete reinstallation. The Sims CD contains a tool called SimsEraser that will clean all traces of the game left over after an uninstall. Uninstalling the game, running SimsEraser, and reinstalling will restore the game to its original state.

Mod-related issues

Even properly designed mods can increase the chance of crashes and errors in the game. Mods have a major impact on loading time and stability, and should be used with discretion.

Other information

API

Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 7
OpenGL 1 Mac OS only.
ExecutablePPC16-bit 32-bit 64-bit Notes
Windows
macOS (OS X)
[7]
Linux
Mac OS (Classic)

Simitone

Inactive since May 15, 2020.
An open source re-implementation of the game based on the FreeSO project. Currently available as a pre-alpha release; see the GitHub repository for details

Mods

Mods may require dependencies.

Official mods

These mods were created by Maxis and formerly hosted on the games official website.

System requirements

Windows
Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 95
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium 233 MHz
System memory (RAM) 32 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 300 MB
Video card (GPU) 2 MB of VRAM
DirectX 7 compatible
Windows NT is not supported.
Mac OS
Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 8.1
Processor (CPU) PowerPC G3/G4 233 MHz
System memory (RAM) 64 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 3.5 GB
Video card (GPU) 2 MB of VRAM


Notes

  1. SafeDisc retail DRM does not work on Windows 10[1] or Windows 11 and is disabled by default on Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 when the KB3086255 update is installed.[2]
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 When running this game without elevated privileges (Run as administrator option), write operations against a location below %PROGRAMFILES%, %PROGRAMDATA%, or %WINDIR% might be redirected to %LOCALAPPDATA%\VirtualStore on Windows Vista and later (more details).

References