The Sims 3

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The Sims 3
The Sims 3 cover
Developers
The Sims Studio
Expansions EA Salt Lake
macOS (OS X) TransGaming Inc.
Publishers
Electronic Arts
Engines
The Sims 3 Engine
Release dates
Windows June 2, 2009
macOS (OS X) (Cider) June 2, 2009
Taxonomy
Monetization Sponsored, DLC, Expansion pack
Series The Sims
The Sims 3 guide on StrategyWiki
The Sims 3 on MobyGames
The Sims 3 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

The macOS (OS X) version of this game does not work on macOS Catalina (version 10.15) or later due to the removal of support for 32-bit-only apps.
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

Key points

Strong modding community
Lacks native vsync functionality. It is advised to force vertical sync via the graphics control panel to lessen the strain on your GPU.

General information

The Sims 3 Official Forums
Answer HQ for The Sims 3 at EA.com
Answer HQ for The Sims series at EA.com (OS X)
The Sims Wiki
Steam Community Discussions

Availability[edit]

Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Retail
CD key
Can only be used x times
Requires online activation
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SecuROM 7 and SecuROM PA DRM, unknown machine limit. A De-Authorization Tool is available.
Dropped starting with patch 1.2.7.
Later expansions add Origin DRM.
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Windows
macOS (OS X)
Origin
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Included with Origin Access Basic.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Steam
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Windows

Version differences[edit]

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

DLC and expansion packs

Name Notes
World Adventures Expansion 1
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Ambitions Expansion 2
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Late Night Expansion 3. Included with Origin Access Basic.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Generations Expansion4
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Pets Expansion 5
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Showtime Expansion 6
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Supernatural Expansion 7
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Seasons Expansion 8
Windows
macOS (OS X)
University Life Expansion 9
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Island Paradise Expansion 10
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Into the Future Expansion 11
Windows
macOS (OS X)
High-End Loft Stuff Stuff pack 1. Also known as Design and Hi-Tech Stuff in Europe
Included with Origin Access Basic.
Windows
Fast Lane Stuff Stuff pack 2
Windows
Outdoor Living Stuff Stuff pack 3
Windows
Town Life Stuff Stuff pack 4
Windows
Master Suite Stuff Stuff pack 5
Windows
Katy Perry's Sweet Treats Stuff pack 6
Windows
Diesel Stuff Stuff pack 7
Windows
70s, 80s, & 90s Stuff Stuff pack 8
Windows
Movie Stuff Stuff pack 9
Windows

Microtransactions[edit]

Type Notes
Cosmetic SimPoints are spent on additional clothing and furniture.
Currency Real money is exchanged for SimPoints which are spent in the Sims 3 Store. SimPoints are not available to be earned in-game.
Unlock Stuff Packs are sold which consist of additional clothing and furniture. Additionally, other maps and gameplay elements are sold piecemeal on the Sims 3 store.

Essential improvements[edit]

Patches[edit]

Patch 1.67.2 are the latest patch available.
The patch notes can be found here here.

Skip intro videos[edit]

Skip intro videos[1]

Download and install this mod.

SMAA injector[edit]

Universal fix for most D3D9 and later games. Should provide better anti-aliasing especially with objects that use alpha effects e.g. hair and foliage; the default FSAA implementation unfortunately does not cover such effects.

Bypassing the launcher[edit]

Rename the executable[2]
  1. Go to <path-to-game>\The Sims3\Game\Bin.
  2. Delete or rename Sims3Launcher.exe.
  3. Rename TS3.exe to Sims3Launcher.exe.

Game data[edit]

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

System Location
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/47890/pfx/[Note 1]

Save game data location[edit]

System Location
Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\Saves
macOS (OS X) ~/Documents/Electronic Arts/The Sims 3/Saves
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/47890/pfx/[Note 1]

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

System Native Notes
Origin
Steam Cloud

Video[edit]

Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
Multi-monitor
Use The Sims 3 FOV tool. HUD Position Affects Gameplay.
Ultra-widescreen
Vert- scaling.[3]
4K Ultra HD
UI does not scale with resolution and is extremely small in 4K.
Field of view (FOV)
Use The Sims 3 FOV tool.
Windowed
Borderless fullscreen windowed
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
Vertical sync (Vsync)
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
60 FPS and 120+ FPS

Input[edit]

Keyboard and mouse State Notes
Remapping
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Mouse acceleration
No mouse acceleration.
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller
Controller support
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.

Audio[edit]

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Surround sound
Up to 5.1 when zoomed in.
Subtitles
No intelligible dialog. All in-game dialog uses the fictional Simlish language.
Closed captions
Sound effects accompanied by visual effects.
Mute on focus lost
Can be turned off

Localizations

Language UI Audio Sub Notes
English
Czech
Traditional Chinese
Danish
Dutch
Finnish
French
German
Greek
Hebrew
Hungarian
Italian
Japanese
Korean
Norwegian
Polish
Portuguese
Brazilian Portuguese
Russian
Spanish
Swedish
Thai

Issues fixed[edit]

You can find various fixes in this Steam Community Guide .
Many performance issues can be fixed with mods. These include Overwatch, ErrorTrap, Traveler, Mastercontroller and DebugEnabler

Poor performance[edit]

Turn off online functionality
  1. Open the ingame settings
  2. Go to general settings
  3. Turn off shop mode, lessons, usage sharing, memories and interactive loading screens
  4. Go to online settings
  5. Turn off online notifications

World Adventures Region Error[edit]

Incorrect Region Codes can be fixed with a simple registry tweak.
World Adventures Region Error[citation needed]
  1. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\The Sims\The Sims 3
  2. In the right hand pane, double-click on SKU
  3. Change the value to either 1 or 2 or 3 or 5 or 7 (depending on your version of expansion pack*.)
  4. Try to install the expansion pack again.

Region Codes

  • North America (languages: en-US, fr-FR, es-MX)
  • Europe (languages: en-US, fr-FR, es-ES, de-DE, it-IT, nl-NL, sv-SE, da-DK, no-NO, fi-FI, pl-PL, pt-PT, hu-HU, cs-CZ, pt-BR, el-GR, ru-RU)
  • East Asia (languages: en-US, ko-KR, zh-TW)
  • Japan (languages: en-US, ja-JP)
  • Worldwide (languages: en-US, fr-FR, es-ES, es-MX, de-DE, it-IT, nl-NL, sv-SE, da-DK, no-NO, fi-FI, pl-PL, pt-PT, hu-HU, cs-CZ, pt-BR, el-GR, ru-RU, ko-KR, zh-TW, ja-JP, th-TH)

Other information[edit]

API[edit]

Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 9
Shader Model support 2.0
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Not compatible with macOS Catalina

Mods[edit]

The Sims 3 attracts 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.
AwesomeMod - A large compilation of mods and small tweaks. More information can be found at The Sims Wikia and Matywikka (archived)

Mod resources[edit]

The Sims 3 Exchange - The official website for sharing user-made content (sims, households, clothing and etc.). The website uses the Sims 3 launcher to download and install custom content. Both the exchange and Sims 3 launcher require the same account.
Mod The Sims - Also hosts mods for The Sims 2 and The Sims 4.

Tools[edit]

Official[edit]

These tools were created by EA and are hosted on the games official website.
Create a World (Beta)

Unofficial[edit]

More tools can be found here

Better performance[edit]

SaveCleaner

System requirements[edit]

Windows
Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) XP SP2
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium 4 2.0 GHz P4
Pentium D 2.6 GHz, Intel Core 2 Duo 1.8 GHz
System memory (RAM) 1 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 7.1 GB
Video card (GPU) ATI Radeon 9600 series
GMA 3 series
128 MB of VRAM
Shader model 2.0 support
VRAM requirements do not apply to integrated GPUs.
macOS (OS X)
Minimum
Operating system (OS) 10.5.7 (Leopard)
Processor (CPU) Intel Core 2 Duo
System memory (RAM) 2 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 7.1 GB
Video card (GPU) ATI Radeon X1600
Nvidia GeForce 7300 GT
Intel Integrated GMA X3100
128 MB of VRAM
VRAM requirements do not apply to integrated GPUs.

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 File/folder structure within this directory reflects the path(s) listed for Windows and/or Steam game data (use Wine regedit to access Windows registry paths). Games with Steam Cloud support may store data in ~/.steam/steam/userdata/<user-id>/47890/ in addition to or instead of this directory. The app ID (47890) may differ in some cases. Treat backslashes as forward slashes. See the glossary page for details.

References