The Sims

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The Sims
The Sims cover
Mac OS (Classic) Westlake Interactive
macOS (OS X) Westlake Interactive
Linux TransGaming Inc.
Electronic Arts
Mac OS Aspyr Media
macOS (OS X) Aspyr Media
Linux TransGaming Inc.
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
Metacritic 92
Monetization DLC, Expansion pack
Genres Life sim
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


SafeDisc retail DRM no longer functions properly on Windows Vista and later (see Availability for affected versions).

Key points

Limited video settings.
DirectDraw emulation is broken in Windows 8/10 causing performance issues. See "Low frame-rate and graphical glitches"

General information

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


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
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.
Mac OS
macOS (OS X)
SafeDisc retail DRM no longer functions properly on Windows Vista and later (see above for affected versions).
The Sims: Complete Collection includes the base game and all 7 expansions.
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.

Version differences[edit]

List of all different versions and regions can be found on Wikipedia.

DLC and expansion packs

This is also 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.
Mac OS
House Party
Mac OS
macOS (OS X)
Hot Date Requires Livin' Large to install.
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.
Mac OS
macOS (OS X)
Mac OS
macOS (OS X)
Mac OS
macOS (OS X)
Makin' Magic
Mac OS
macOS (OS X)

Essential improvements[edit]


Mousewheel Support Script[edit]

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. Rightclick an empty space in any folder and go to New > AutoHotkey script.
3. Rightclick it and choose Edit.
4. Delete all code and replace with the following:


5. Save and run the file then start the game. When you are done, push F10 to exit the script and restore default mousewheel functionality to windows.

Low frame-rate and graphical glitches[edit]

Stabilizes gameplay, increases frame rate to 60 FPS, and fixes severe graphical glitches when using Alt+Tab .
DirectDraw emulation is broken in Windows 8/10.
Use a DirectX wrapper[3]
  1. Download the latest version of dgVoodoo 2 and extract the archive.
  2. Open the MS\x86 folder and copy the D3D8.dll, D3DImm.dll and DDraw.dll files.
  3. Paste the files into the game installation folder <path-to-game> where the game executable is.
  4. Run dgVoodooCpl.exe. Click the [.\] button below the banner.
  5. Under the DirectX tab, choose a Video card. Change the resolution to anything desired.
  6. Tick "Fast Video Memory Access".
  7. Untick "dgVoodoo Watermark"
  8. Click Apply.
  9. Run the game.
Use a DirectDraw wrapper[4]
  1. Download the DirectDrawCompat wrapper.
  2. Extract the contents from the .zip file into the game's installation folder.

Game data[edit]

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

System Location
Mac OS (Classic)
macOS (OS X)
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[edit]

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\UserData\[Note 2]
Mac OS (Classic)
macOS (OS X)
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.


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.
Resolutions above 1920x1440 crash.
Resolutions above 1920x1440 crash.
4K Ultra HD
Resolutions above 1920x1440 crash.
Field of view (FOV)
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)
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
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

Widescreen resolution[edit]

A pre-patched executable is available for 1920x1080; for other resolutions see the WSGF entry.
Unable to zoom in as close as the default resolution.
Some HUD elements become difficult to read due to rendering errors, such as the employment screen.
Can see more at once.
Add 1920x1080 Support[citation needed]
  1. Copy this EXE file to your Sims installation folder.
  2. Run the file or rename it to Sims.exe to overwrite your original.
  3. Alternatively, use The Sims: Complete Collection Widescreen Patcher or follow the WSGF guide to patch in any resolution of your choice.


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


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.
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.


Game has to be installed with desired language option.
Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Simplified Chinese
Traditional Chinese
Starting from Vacation expansion pack.
Installing that or later expansions changes language.
Brazilian Portuguese

Issues fixed[edit]

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[edit]

Start installation manually without launcher[citation needed]
  1. Go to main discs root and open 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.


Content of the Setup folder varies from game and expansion.

Stuck on first-time neighborhood loading screens[edit]

Set compatibility mode
  1. After installation navigate to <path-to-game>.
  2. Open properties of Sims.exe and open compatibility tab.
  3. Select Windows XP (Service Pack 2) compatibility mode and check Run as an administrator.
  4. Select OK and open the game via shortcut.

Issues saving when installed to the default location[edit]

Install game to a different location[citation needed]
  1. Start setup normally
  2. When asked installation location select different location. For some users simply removing (x86) from path, but it may be safer to install either root or another drive.
  3. Continue installation normally.
Set compatibility mode[citation needed]
  1. After installation navigate to <path-to-game>.
  2. Open properties of Sims.exe and open compatibility tab.
  3. Select Windows XP (Service Pack 2) compatibility mode and check Run as an administrator.
  4. Select OK and open the game via shortcut.

Windows Update KB3086255 blocks SafeDisc[edit]

Uninstall KB3086255 update[citation needed]
  1. If using Windows 7, 8 or 8.1, uninstall Windows Update KB3086255 before the game installation.
  2. Open Control Panel > Programs > Programs and Features > Installed Updates
  3. Select the update with the code KB3086255, and uninstall it.
  4. Install the game.

Corrupted Game Files[edit]

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[edit]

The Sims attracted a large modding community, allowing further customization features. Unfortunately, even properly designed mods could increase the chances of crashes and errors in the game. Mods have a major impact on loading time and stability, and should be used with discretion if you are having issues with the game.

Other information[edit]


Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 7 DirectDraw emulation is broken in Windows 8 and later
OpenGL 1 Mac OS only.
ExecutablePPC 32-bit 64-bit Notes
macOS (OS X)


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 may require dependencies.

Official mods[edit]

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

System requirements[edit]

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 98
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium II 233 MHz
System memory (RAM) 64 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 3.5 GB
Video card (GPU) 2 MB of VRAM
DirectX 6 compatible
Windows NT and ME are 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


  1. SafeDisc retail DRM does not work on Windows 10[1] and is disabled by default on Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 when the KB3086255 update is installed.[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).