Before Posting a Help Question
This mini-wizard will help you find the solution to most problems with The Sims 3. The most common issues are listed here, and 99.9% of problems users have can be resolved by reading these FAQs and doing as they suggest.
Don't just read - DO!
Do this first!
- Is your game not working?
- Does your game not work as it should?
- Are you getting errors, jumping sims, or are things acting strangely?
- Does your game crash on loading? Does your game not load at all?
- Do lots sit forever on the loading screen or does the game crash while loading lots?
- Do you have any other general game problem, glitch, error, or weirdness?
Most problems are caused by bad, outdated, or conflicting custom content, problems with user files, or having an unpatched game. The following FAQ will identify if any of those are the cause of your issue, and help you resolve it if it is.
It usually takes no more than 15 minutes to go through the steps in this FAQ, and you must rule out custom content, user files, and an unpatched game before continuing. Do each step of this FAQ in order before continuing! Don't just read it - do the steps!
- Is your problem related to custom content?
- Do you need to know how to download or install custom content?
- Does some, all, or none of your custom content show up?
- Do you need to know how to use ZIP or RAR files?
- Do you want to organize your content or clean out your downloads?
- Do you need to find bad or unwanted custom content?
Other Game Problems
If you are having ANY problem, issue, error, crash, or glitch with your game, no matter what it is, no matter what you suspect the cause might be, please make sure you have gone through and done the steps in this FAQ - each and every step in order, not skipping anything:
- Sims 3 Game Problem
- Sims 3 Crashing Checklist (follow-up to the above 3-step-procedure with more things to check for)
- Are you trying to create something?
- Do you want to make or modify clothing, hair, makeup, accessories, sims, walls, floors, hacks, objects, or lots?
- Do you want tips, instructions, and tutorials to help you make custom content?
- Do you want feedback on your creations so you can make sure it's perfect before you upload?
- Do you need to know MTS's standards and guidelines for uploads?
- Do you need to know how to upload to MTS?
- Are you ready to upload your creations to MTS?
Where Can I Find...?
- Are you looking to find specific content?
- Do you need to know where to download something you had before?
- Do you need a hack or other piece of content and cannot find it?
- Check here first - a HUGE table of contents for all kinds of hacks and content.
Specific Hacks/Custom Content
Individual creators support their own uploads. Individual hack creators support their own hacks. If you are having trouble or have questions regarding a specific hack or piece of content, please post on the original upload thread (if it's on MTS) or contact the creator through their site's methods (if it's on any other site).
Here are direct links to where you can get support for most common hacks and mods. You may have to register separately on these sites to post or access support threads.
Remember, MTS only supports the PC (Windows) and Mac versions of The Sims 3.
There will be NO support for warez (downloaded copies of the game not obtained through EA Link), no-CD cracks (to play the game without the original disk in the drive), copied disks, or anything else that violates the game's EULA (license agreement) - no exceptions, no arguments.
Threads created asking for support with any illegal or EULA-violating problems will be deleted without notice and the poster warned/banned. Any contributing posts suggesting the use of illegal downloads, or the no-CD crack will have the posts deleted and the poster warned/banned.
We ONLY support the use of putting your original game disk which you legally purchased from a retailer into your computer (or using the EA Link legitimate digital download) and playing the game as it was designed. Anything else is not only supported but likely will not work, and we cannot and will not support it.
Other Sites/The Exchange/BBS
You are currently viewing ModTheSims, an independent user-created support site. We do not support any other sites. Please don't ask us here how to upload to the Exchange, why you were banned from the BBS, why you can't access the official site, or why InSIM is down. If you have problems with other sites, ask there. If those sites are down, wait till they come back up.
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.
After you have posted...
Once your game help question is posted on the forums...
These are forums, not a chat room. You may have to wait a while for a reply. Usually you'll get an answer within a few hours - in other cases it may take several days. The more information you give the more likely you are to get a good answer quickly. It's possible that someone with the proper knowledge, for extremely obscure problems, hasn't come along and read your question yet, so just be patient, go play something else for a while, and check back for answers later. Please don't insult staff or other helpers if you don't get the answer you expect!
Check Your Thread
Use your computer's browser to make a bookmark of the thread you've posted, so you can return there later easily. A helper may come along and offer suggestions for you to try to fix your problem... or they may ask you for clarification or more information about the problem. Check back often so you can see if there are new replies that are relevant to your problem.
Don't post to your thread again unless someone else has replied after you. Posting again to the thread to push it to the top of the thread listing is called "bumping" and is against the rules on MTS. If you have something to add or change on your post or any of your replies, click the Edit button at the bottom so you can change the text of your existing post. Help moderators routinely check several pages back for threads with no replies that may have been missed, so there is no need to bump your thread to the top if it has fallen off the first page. If someone can help you, they will.
Please do not send a PM (Private Message) to a game help moderator or other users who help in the Game Help section. Everyone who helps is a volunteer, and they do not have time to answer questions both on the forums and in PMs. Why should you post rather than PMing?
- You can get help from many people - generally faster than waiting for whoever you PMed to wake up, get on the computer, and respond.
- You can be more sure you're getting the right answer - if they're wrong or unclear about something, other people can correct them or clarify.
- If other people have the same issue, they can search and read previous questions and answers and get help without even having to ask.
When It's Fixed
If you get suggestions and help on a problem, or if you fix the problem with a different solution than is suggested, please let us know! Return to the thread and post (or edit your previous post if you are the last poster on the thread) to tell the helpers what you tried and what fixed the problem. This not only tells us that we can go ahead and lock the thread and move it to the Solution Center... but tells helpers what the proper solution to a certain issue was. Based on the information we observe in the Game Help section, we can help more people in the future as well as write new FAQs and guides for everyone's benefit.
When you have read the above...
When you have read everything above, tried the 'The Game Problem FAQ, 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!