Understanding How Sims 3 Runs on a Mac

anchor : [[Mac FAQ#Understanding How Sims 3 Runs on a Mac]]

The Sims 3 was originally written for Windows OS, so in order for The Sims 3 to be played on a Mac OS, there needed to be a way to make it compatible on a mac. The Sims 3 uses Cider by Transgaming in order to do this. Cider works by “wrapping" the Windows written game so it is compatible in a Mac environment. Your game thinks it is running in Windows, although it is not. The emulation EA is using for The Sims 3 is a 32-bit Windows XP SP2. This does not support any way of using more than 2GB for the process. It's like a "normal" 32-bit Windows but without all the tricks to squeeze out more memory. - SimAd_Nraas SimAd_Nraas This implementation is restricted to use only just over half the memory that the Windows OS version can use, and adding more memory (RAM) to your Mac will do nothing to lift that restriction.

The following tips can be used to help you run your game in a Mac OS, but ultimately, boot camping your hard drive and installing Windows on the other partition is the only way to have your game run smoother.[1]

Boot Camping Your Mac

anchor : [[Mac FAQ#Boot Camping Your Mac]]

To make your Sims 3 experience much less frustrating, you may want to consider Boot Camping a partition of your hard drive. Using the Boot Camp Assistant on your Mac OS, you will be able to put Windows 7 or higher onto a separate area of your computer. Before you use the utility, consider the following:
  • You need a retail standalone copy of Windows 7 or higher 64 GB version (which can be costly to purchase).
  • Do you have at least 4 GB of RAM? The more you have, the better. If you don't have at least 4 GB of RAM, there is no use Boot Camping your computer to play Sims 3. To check, click the apple icon and then go to About This Mac. It will tell you under memory.
  • You will need a CD or USB stick that is formatted to FAT 32.
  • Consider the size of your partition and if you can spare it from your HD. You will need to add up the following: base game requirements and the size of all your EP's and SP's you have installed+20 GB for the OS, the current size of your Sims 3 folder (command+i), then add at least 25 GB so the partition isn't full, but 50-100 GB, depending on the version of Windows you are working with, would be better. If you want to use CAW, add 5 GB to that.
  • Files you want to copy to your Sims 3 folder after you get it installed on the Windows side: Saves folder, SavedSims folder, Downloads folder, Library folder, and user presets.package file. If you have a Mods folder, it is best to download new copies on the Windows side as well as the Framework for it.
  • Can your Mac be Boot Camped? Check the list: Boot Camp System Requirements

A great tutorial has been put together on how to Boot Camp your HD. This one is not officially Apple and was done on OS X Lion, so if you have a later OS, things may look a bit different. Tutorial for Bootcamp Assistant

If you would like to be guided by the official Apple website, here is the link to it, which also contains links to other useful help for Boot Camp. Apple Boot Camp Support[2]

Resetting Ram and Helping to Avoid Error Code 12's

anchor : [[Mac FAQ#Resetting Ram and Helping to Avoid Error Code 12's]]

The following section was taken, word for word, from Bluebellflora's Blog. This is with her full permission. You may view the original by clicking the link in the first sentence.

If you suffer from frequent crashes/lagging/hanging in game this may be because your Mac is running out of RAM whilst you’re playing. You need to free some of it up and you can easily do this whilst you’re playing. You can buy apps from the App Store to do this but why bother when you can do it through Terminal for free? You can do this when your game starts to lag noticeably which seems to happen to me when I’m moving between Vacation and University and Home worlds. If you get “Command not found” in Terminal you may need to download Xcode in order for it to work. It’s free, provided by Apple, and available from the App Store. If you’re running Snow Leopard you can install Xcode from the disc that came with your Mac.
Firstly, play in windowed mode (please see Good Practices below for how to do this) <aspan style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;">so you can see what you’re doing. With the game running hold down CMD and press Enter. Next, open up Activity Monitor and see how much free RAM you have:
Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor


If it’s low you definitely need to free some up. Open up Terminal:
Applications > Utilities > Terminal
type in purge and hit Enter. After a few moments you should see the free RAM figure increase:


Your game should now perform a bit quicker. There’s no limit to the amount of times you can do this.
This is by no means a magical fix for the numerous crashing/lagging/hanging issues but it can help if your issues are memory related.

OS X Mavericks (10.9) and Higher users:

Typing purge no longer works due to the new compressed memory feature built into Mavericks and higher. However you can still purge the RAM by entering “sudo purge” (without the quotation marks) into Terminal. You will get a warning message and a prompt to enter your password. Once you enter your password the memory will be freed up. Because of the new memory feature built into Mavericks and higher you shouldn’t have to purge as often, if at all. Also, when you have the Activity Monitor in your dock, it will look more like a line chart instead of the pie chart.

memory_maverick.png memory_yosemite.png

For more information on how to avoid error code 12's, please visit this section general FAQ.

Good Practices for Playing Sims 3 on Mac OS

anchor : [[Mac FAQ#Good Practices for Playing Sims 3 on Mac OS]]

Play in Windowed Mode

It is good practice to play in windowed mode in the unlikely event that your game freezes and you need to force quit the game. If you don't have it windowed, you risk damaging your HD by using the power switch. In order to use windowed mode, hold down command and then hit enter. If you don't like the size of the window, you can resize it in the options menu after the initial start up. In order to force quit the sims 3, go to the apple symbol at the top left of your screen and go down to force quit.

Saving and Quitting

Using "save and quit" on a Mac can often lead to error code 12 because saving is one of the most memory intensive processes of the game. Before you save, pause the game, and then reset your ram. Now you can save. Then quit without saving. If you are still have lags, hanging or error code 12's after doing this, you may want to look at the size of your save file. If it is a large file, it may be time to use Porter to set your sims down in a fresh save.

Downloaded Content Not showing Up In Game

This is a common occurrence on a Mac. Please see - Crinrict Crinrict's guide on how to fix this: Store and Custom Content Uninstalls

Don't Use any Programs to Clean Your Mac

There are many threads in the official Apple forum discussing the bad things these programs can do to your OS as well as any software you have installed. MacKeeper is one of the most common, but there are many more out there. There are many things you can do to maintain your Mac without these programs.
  • Restart you Mac every few days. This makes the OS clear out a lot of junk for you.
  • Don't keep a bunch of files on the desktop. It slows down Finder. Keep the number of files on there to a minimum.
  • Go to Finder > Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility select your hard drive and then Verify Disk. If it needs repairing click on Repair Disk. Don't be alarmed if it needs repairing. Some computers need this done more than others and your files are safe while doing a disk repair.
  • Go to Finder > Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility select the Macintosh HD and Repair Permissions. This is especially relevant to those of you who have had to do a hard shut down of your Mac because your game is locking up your system.
  • Make sure you have enough RAM. You should really have a minimum of 4Gb nowadays to keep up to speed. It's relatively cheap and very easy to install in any Mac. This will allow you to have more time before the dreaded error code 12's start happening since OS X needs to use some RAM as well.
  • Empty Trash. You'll probably find gigabytes of stuff in there using up hard drive space.
  • Check your hard drive to make sure you have enough free space. Open a Finder window, click on the Macintosh HD (or whatever your partition is called), hold down CMD and press 'i' (without the speech marks). Have a look at how much space is available under the General tab. There needs to be at least 5Gb free in order for your Mac to work at it's bare minimum. The more space free the better.
  • Reinstall your OS from the Recovery HD or disc if your Mac came with one. Make sure you have backed up before doing this. This normally just reinstalls the OS over top of your existing installation, replacing any important system files that may have been inadvertently deleted but not touching any other software or data. There is always the chance, although very slim, of something going wrong though, hence the need to back up before you do this.
  • Finally, use Time Machine to Back Up your files! It is not a good idea to restore your OS from Time Machine, but you can at least save your important files there. [3]

- Veiledstar Veiledstar
  1. ^ Bluebellflora
  2. ^ Bluebellflora
  3. ^ Bluebellflora