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[FAQ] Troubleshooting Steps
[ Edited ]

There are several steps one can take to troubleshoot their own game before seeking help. There are some standard recipes that can help with several game problems.


Resetting the game to factory settings without reinstalling


Many problems can be pinpointed on custom content or corruption in your user data. There's an easy way to reset your game to factory settings without going through the ordeal of reinstalling the whole thing (Path can be different depending on your OS):


  • Make a backup of  theSims3 folder in Documents\ElectronicArts to an external drive (or burn it on a DVD or to a flash drive)
  • Rename your theSims3 folder in Documents\ElectronicArts to Sims3_Backup
  • Start the game or the launcher (All your save games will be gone, your options will be reset to factory settings and all your store content will be gone. Not to worry, it's all still there in that backup folder).
  • A new Sims3 folder will have been recreated in your documents\electronicArts folder. Some folders might be missing for they are only created when you need them.
  • Quit the game and the launcher
  • Move the options.ini file from your backup folder to your newly created folder in documents\electronicArts\thesims3 to recover your graphic/sounds/gameplay options
  • Start your game. You will need to start a new game for the other one is still missing right now.
  • See if your error is gone.


The Error is gone now


  • Starting putting the folders back, starting with your saves. Check your game after every folder.
  • This file UserPresets.package is all your custom styles you created in game, so you need to copy that one back as well.
  • The files PassportData.package and  ChallengeData.package contain your SimPort and Achievements progress. Make sure to put back.
  • The folder Collections contains your collections. Make sure to put that back.
  • If you find a mods folder in your documents folder, make sure you only put the stuff back that you know to be compatible
  • ALL custom content can potentially cause problems. If you found out which folder is causing problems, put your stuff back in groups or one by one until you find the guilty party.

Same Error still exists


For Beginners


Either make your own post,  following the guidelines here: or if you already have one and were referred here, post there.


For Advanced Users

  • Go to programs\electronicarts\thesims3 and make sure you DO NOT have a mods folder there. If you do, move that to your desktop. Also make sure that there is no resource.cfg on that level (there will be on in your gamebin folder, don’t delete that one).
  • Repeat above step for every expansion you have.
  • If you have the download version of the game through Origin, make sure there aren’t any left over installation files. They can be found here: programs\Origin Games\<name of the expansion>\__Installer.


Keeping your Computer updated


  • Out-dated graphic and sound drivers, missing Windows Service Packs and other components that are not up-to-date can cause problems with your game. Make sure you you update those regularly.
  • Computer maintenance is important. Defrag your Computer, clean your Registry and get rid of temporary files on a regular basis. Also clean the ventilators from time to time and if you have a desktop open it up and clean it inside.
  • Backup your important files. That goes for your music, your photos as well as your Sims User Files. You'll find the user files in Documents\ElectronicArts. Copy the whole folder to an external drive.

Virus protection and Firewalls


They are both very important and no Computer should be without. Nevertheless can they lead to issues. If you have trouble patching or the launcher doesn't work correctly, make sure you tell your Virus program/Firewall that the EA Site is safe. Disable it temporarily to find out if the firewall is the issue.


Things you can try if you run into a problem within the game


These tips are things you can try if you see any kind of weird behavior in your game.


  • Use the cheat resetsim <firstname> <lastname> to reset a particular Sim in your town. You won't loose any progress, all it does is put the Sim to a safe location from where he can start acting again
  • Use the cheat resetsim * to reset every single Sim in your town.
  • Delete your Cache files: In Documents\ElectronicArts you'll find these files: CASPartCache.packagecompositorCache.packagescriptCache.packagesimCompositorCache.package. Those are cache files that are recreated on start up. Delete them from time to time.
  • Restart the game or the computer
  • Go to Edit Town and move your Sim out of his home and then back into the same one. If you have money troubles, use the cheat freerealestate. You need to enable the the cheat testingcheatsenabled true first.
  • Go to Edit Town and save your Sim/family to the library. They will keep their skills and age and the relationship towards each other. Then start a new game and put the saved family into the game. You will loose all relationships you made with other Sims that are not in your family
  • Load a backup game.
  • Start a new game to see if the error is only happening in the current save game.

Bypassing the launcher

If you have issue with your launcher, you can bypass the launcher to start your game


  1. Navigate to the following file (location my vary depending on your Operating System): \programs(x86)\electronicarts\thesims2\Game\Bin\TS3W.exe.
  2. Right-click on the file and choose create shortcut. If asked if you want to create it on your desktop, say yes.
  3. If it gets created somewhere else, just move the shortcut to your desktop.
  4. Start the game by double-clicking on the new shortcut


Finding your Registration / Serial Code


If you still have the game on your computer you can follow these steps to find your serial code from your registry (PC only). Credits fo to Carl's Sims 3 Guide

You need to be signed in as an Adminstrator first.  Windows may require your permission to open the
Registry Editor and if so, just click on yes.

1.   Press the Windows key on your keyboard and type regedit in the search bar and press Enter.  
2.   Click on 'File' at the top left of the window that opens then click on Export.
3.   Choose a location and name for the file as this will be your backup registry file.
4.   Click Save.
5.   This backup is created just as a precaution.

Now to find your serial codes for each specific EP or SP installed on your computer:

  1. Expand the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE folder.
  2. Expand the SOFTWARE folder (Wow6432Node for 64 bit systems)
  3. Expand the Electronic Arts folder.
  4. Expand the Sims folder
  5. Expand the EP or SP you need the code for
  6. Click on ergc and in the box to the right under 'Data' you will see the code
  7. Write it down somewhere save
  8. Repeat above steps for each EP

If you don't have the game on your computer anymore, you'll need to contact Customer Support. They are the only ones that can help.

They can be found here:

You have the option to contact them by mail, phone or Live Chat. For Live Chat, make sure to choose US as your country.


Finding your game version

See this post for details: How to find your game version


Posting a question


If you need help, make sure you post as much information as possible. Include your computer information and info about whether you use Custom Content or mods and what EPs you own.


Please also state if you are on a PC or MAC and if you are using download version through Origin or Steam or DVD Version.


Common Issues




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Happy Gaming


I don't work or have any association with EA. I give advice to the best of my knowledge and cannot be held responsible for any damage done to your computer/game.

Please only contact me via PM when asked to do so.

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