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Sims 4 Game Problems
Do one or more of the following apply to you?
- The game crashes when loading - with or without an error message
- The game starts loading and then disappears or crashes
- The game loads super slow, or does not fully load, or loads to a black screen.
- The game crashes or disappears while playing (crash to desktop) - with or without an error message.
- Gameplay is glitchy or strange - actions disappear from the queue, actions don't work, sims pop out of what they're doing, go invisible, or pretty much any weird, unexpected behavior in-game.
- Any unexpected behaviour, errors, problems or graphical effects.
This FAQ will walk you through the basic troubleshooting steps for loading or gameplay issues. While this guide doesn't cover every possible thing it could be, it will diagnose (or rule out) the most common problems.
Make sure to do every step below, in order! Don't just read it without trying it or skip ahead! If the first thing to try doesn't work, go on to the second one, and then the third, etc.
Even if you think this will not solve your problem, the results of these tests will help us to determine where the problem is. Note that when it talks about loading the game, if your problem is with the game loading, all you have to check is loading. If your problem is something in the game's behavior, you'll need to go and check that thing specifically, not just load the game.
Computer Strong Enough?
First, you need to know what your computer has. For that, please see: Game Help:System Specs. That guide will tell you how to find all of the needed information.
You will need to know:
- Your processor (CPU) type and speed - for example, Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 3.0 gHz
- Your amount of RAM - for example, 3072 MB of RAM
- Your graphics card model - for example, nVidia GeForce 9600 GT
- What operating system you are running - for example, Microsoft Windows XP Pro
Then, you can compare what you have to the system requirements for TS4. See: Game Help:TS4 System Requirements. If you're not very computer-savvy, you can always post your system specs and ask whether they're sufficient, in our Sims 4 Help Forums.
If you don't meet the requirements...
If your computer is not up to the minimum requirements then you may experience issues with playing the game. Even if your computer technically meets the requirements, if it only barely meets the requirements then you may still have issues.
If you have determined that your computer is not up to handling the game, you can use our Computer & Software Help Forum to help you determine whether or not your computer can be upgraded, and if so, how. There's some great info on New Graphics Cards as well as Upgrading or Building/Buying a New Computer.
If you are sure your computer is up to the task, not only meeting but exceeding the requirements...
Step 1: Delete Cache Files
Cached files are temporary files that are saved by the game to make loading certain information faster. If the thumbnail cache has incorrect or corrupted data, your catalogue thumbnails or sim portraits may look wrong or broken. The game will regenerate a fresh copy of this file each time it loads, so deleting it is perfectly safe.
- Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 4\localthumbcache.package
Now try running the game. Try to load The Sims 4. Does it all look correct? If so, you just had some wrong/outdated images in there and it should be fine now. Continue playing and don't worry about it.
If deleting localthumbcache didn't help ...
Step 2: Remove Custom Content
Custom content that can be corrupted, conflicting, doesn't work with your game version, or otherwise have problems - so it may be the cause of your issues. To determine whether it's custom content related, you'll need to temporarily remove your custom content to test.
.package Format Content
1. Open Mods Folder: To remove your mods, open your \Mods folder. The exact location of this folder will depend on your game version and your operating system.
- Windows XP: My Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 4\Mods
- Windows Vista/7: Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 4\Mods
2. Cut: Select all of the files within the Mods folder. Right-click and choose CUT (or CTRL-X).
3. Paste: Paste (or CTRL-V) those files somewhere you can find them. Suggested is making a new folder on your computer's Desktop to hold them temporarily.
Now try running the game. Try to load The Sims 4. Is the problem still there? If not, one or more of your mods was causing a problem - maybe there was a conflict between two core mods, or something got corrupted or just otherwise didn't want to work. To narrow down what the problem might have been, you can put back half of your mods at a time, delete your cache files again, and test, then test the other half, etc., and continue dividing in half till you find what the problem mod(s) are. If you do identify a mod or mods that are an issue, check back with their creator(s) to see if there's an updated version.
If testing without mods didn't find the problem...
Step 3: Rename User Files
It's also possible that something in your user files - saves or otherwise - is causing a problem.
1. Open Folder: Open your Electronic Arts folder in Documents. The location is:
2. Rename: There will be a folder here called The Sims 4 - rename that folder to The Sims 4 Backup.
- Windows XP: My Documents\Electronic Arts\
- Windows Vista/7: Documents\Electronic Arts\
Now try running the game. It may take a little longer to load than normal this time, since it is making fresh new copies of all of the standard user files (as if you had just installed). It may also run full screen if you had normally had it windowed, and the graphic options will be turned down - that's normal, and nothing to worry about.
If you're no longer getting the problem with fresh user files, then it was something in the user files causing the problem. You can then go in and copy-paste individual folders from your The Sims 34 Backup to the new The Sims 4 folder to see which is the problem. Recommended is trying your Saves folder first.
What to Include
Before posting your question on MTS, we need certain information to figure out what the issue is and help you fix it:
Your System Specs
Because we're dealing with computers, we need to know details about your computer - that is, your system specs (specifications). If you don't know how to find your system specs, please see: System Specs to find the info you need to provide. We need to know AT LEAST the following about your system:
- What operating system you are running.
- Your processor's type and speed.
- The amount of RAM you have.
- The type of graphics card you have - brand, model number, RAM, and driver version.
The Circumstances of the Problem
Please be specific and tell us as much information as possible about the problem you're having. We need to know:
- What you were doing before the problem occurred. Have you installed something new, were trying a different function in the game before that you hadn't... whatever you were doing right before or recently before it happened.
- Exactly what is happening. Does the game crash when you click on a specific item (if so, what item)? Is it a problem with one sim, all sims, one house, all houses...?
- If you are getting an error... If you are experiencing an error message, popup, or other error text of any type, we need to know the exact full text of the error you are getting. That means telling us the message says "Direct3D returned an error: D3DERR_INVALIDCALL! The application will now terminate." - NOT posting saying "I got some Direct3D error thingie and nothing works!"
- Pictures if Possible: If you are getting a problem that you can see - an error message, graphics glitch, or other game glitch that is visible in any way, please consider providing a picture! If you can show the helpers what's going on, they may have a better idea of what the issue is! To take a picture, use a screenshotting program like FRAPS, then upload the picture to a site like Photobucket.com, or use the Manage Attachments button on a new help thread to attach the picture to the help thread.
- How often the problem happens... Is this a one-time thing - it happened once but you can't get it to happen again under the same circumstances? Does the problem occur every time you do a certain thing? Have you tried other sims, other houses, other neighborhoods to see if they are also effected?
- What you have tried to fix it... Have you done the recommended steps in some of our Game Help FAQs? If so, please let us know which ones (with a link to the FAQs you tried) as well as a description of WHAT you tried in the FAQ (you may have missed something critical that was covered in the FAQ) and what the results were. Have you tried other things to fix it?
Be detailed and precise! The more information you can give, the better! Most help posts should not just be a couple sentences, but at least a paragraph detailing the information above. Remember, our game helpers cannot lean over your shoulder and check out your computer and fix it for you. Your error report and info is the only information they have on your system and your problem, so give them as much information as possible so they can diagnose the issue and suggest fixes for you.
Please come up with descriptive a descriptive subject line for your thread - a short phrase which describes your problem. This not only helps when people search the forum for problems which have already been solved, but assists helpers in selecting the threads to open which they may have suggestions on.
A subject line of "Graphical glitch in buy mode" is MUCH more helpful to everyone than "HELP ME PLZ!!!" Remember, this is a Help forum... you don't need to put "Help!!!" with 50 exclamation points anywhere in your subject, or your post.
If You Post a Log
If you feel the need to post a log, or a report, or anything else which is insanely long; please either truncate it, or include it in [infobutton] tags (that is, type "[infobutton]Log stuff blah blah blah etc[/infobutton]"). This is so people don't have to scroll for ages just to get to the reply box.
When you have read the above...
When you have read everything above and compiled the information we have asked for to help you solve your problem, you may create a new thread in our Game Help forum.
If you post a thread regarding issues covered in this list, your thread may be locked. Please make sure you have actually reviewed the items above before posting!
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