Troubleshooting Sims 4
Tips for troubleshooting issues in The Sims 4 game
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The Sims 4 | Troubleshooting:
Back Up Your Game!
I could tell you motivational stories that would curl your hair. But I won’t. Let’s just say I’ve learned the hard way. I tell people if you’ve progressed to the point you’d want to cry or scream if you lost your progress…
Make a backup. Now.
I highly recommend backing up your game before doing troubleshooting.
You will want to save the following files:
- Saves. This file contains all of your game-saves
- Tray. This file contains your Sims, Rooms and Lots you have saved to your Library.
- Mods. If you have Mods activated in your game you will have a Mods folder. If you have added any Mods or CC to your game they will be in this folder.
- Recorded Videos.
Confession time. I save my entire ‘The Sims 4’ folder, and just keep just a few copies of it. This is overkill, but you may want to back it all up once in a while.
How to find your game files:
- Go to:
Documents/Electronic Arts/The Sims 4
- Copy the following folders:
Saves, Tray, Mods, Screenshots, Recorded Video
- Paste the folders:
Paste the folders locally on your computer, on an external drive, &/or a flash drive. I recommend choosing two or all three of these locations.)
Sims 4 | Update Game
How to update your game:
- open Origin
- click ‘Game Library’
- right-click Sims 4 > Update Game
Sims 4 | Game Repair
Why do a game repair? Running a game repair in Origin will fix certain issues. It will compare your files with the the files on the Origin server. If any differences are found, Origin will download the correct folders. It will also do repairs to registry entries if needed.
How to run a game repair:
- Open Origin, click ‘Game Library’ then right-click Sims 4 > Repair Game
- If you’re on PC, make sure to let it run until it has completed all repairs (it will do the base game first, then run through each of your DLCs (Expansion Packs, Game Packs and Stuff Packs).
- If you’re on Mac, the repair in Origin will only repair your base game. Learn why and how to repair your DLCs (Expansion Packs, Game Packs and Stuff Packs) at this link: https://bluebellflora.com/2020/06/17/repairing-sims-4-packs-in-origin/
Sims 4 | Delete Cache
Cache is your friend – except when it isn’t. Your game will cache – store a copy of – certain files to help it load faster… much like a web browser does. Sometimes deleting your cache can get rid of files you no longer need. If you’ve repaired your game, deleting cache can remove cached files that may still show the issue you fixed.
How to delete cache:
- Exit your game and Origin
- Go to Documents > Electronic Arts > The Sims 4
- Delete the localthumbcache.package file in your “The Sims 4” folder (your game will re-create this folder next time you open the game)
- You can also delete the “Cache” folder in your ‘The Sims 4’ folder (your game will re-create this folder next time you open the game)
Sims 4 | Mods & CC Troubleshooting
Mods & CC (Custom Content) can develop conflicts after updates and other changes in your game. Following is the advice that I generally give as a first step in troubleshooting if you have Mods &/or CC in your game. This can eliminate the possibility of a conflict causing an issue, and in most cases if the Mod/CC is causing the issue this will help you find which one(s) is conflicting so you can remove them until an updated version is available.
Try the following in this order without skipping any steps, even if you’ve done some of these steps already:
- Exit your game then exit Origin. Drag the Mods folder from your ‘The Sims 4’ folder onto your desktop (for future reference) then delete the localthumbcache.package file in your ‘The Sims 4’ folder. (When you restart the game it will automatically create a new Mods folder.)
- Run a game repair [ Open Origin, click ‘Game Library’ then right-click Sims 4 > Repair Game ].
Do not re-add any of your Mods or CC at this time. Restart your game and do not enter your previous game-save but begin a new game. See if the issue is present in this new game-save.
If this fixes the issue you can re-add your Mods/CC one at a time to see which were conflicting with the function/causing the glitch – but do not re-add the old Resource.cfg file from the old Mods folder, as it is possible for it to have become corrupted.
If you have a lot of Mods or CC you can do so by via the 50/50 method.
Sims 4 | 50/50 Method
The 50/50 Mod troubleshooting method:
- Exit your game.
- Move your Mods folder to your desktop. (Do not delete it – save this for later.)
- Restart the game so that it will recreate a new, fresh Mods folder. Do not re-add your Mods/CC, but instead enter the game and begin a new, vanilla (no Mods/CC) game. Enter that new, vanilla game-save to confirm if the issues are gone. Now exit your game.
If that fixed the issue, now you need to troubleshoot your Mods/CC to find which Mods/CC are causing the issue.
Use the 50/50 method as follows:
- Divide your Mods/CC from the folder on your desktop in half.
- Add one of the halves back into the game’s Mods folder. Now re-start the game and see if the issue is still gone in the vanilla/new game-save you made.
- If the issue did not re-appear with those added Mods/CC you can try adding the 2nd half from the desktop. If the issues did re-appear, try only adding half of those mods and see if the issue is present in the game…
- Continue in this pattern dividing the folders’ contents in half then half again as needed to eliminate in groupings which Mods/CC are causing the issue.
Once you find the Mod/CC(s) that’s causing the issues, check with the Mod/CC creators for updates that may fix the issues. Note: Do not re-add the old Resource.cfg file from the old mods folder, as it is possible for it to have become corrupted also.
Sims 4 | Reset Your Game
Resetting your game is a more thorough way to troubleshoot an issue. It moves in a fresh install and allows you to overwrite certain files necessary to bring back in the ones you played and saved. ‘Cleaning house’ without moving out.
As stated above, make sure you create a backup first.
Resetting your game without reinstalling:
- Exit your game and Origin.
- Move your ‘The Sims 4’ folder ( Documents > Electronic Arts > The Sims 4 ) to your desktop. (Save this “The Sims 4” folder for reference.)
- Then start the game, and a new ‘The Sims 4’ folder will be created by the game.
- Exit your game and Origin.
- Re-add a copy of the ‘options.ini’, ‘screenshots’ folder, ‘saves’ folder, and ‘tray’ folder from the “The Sims 4” folder on your desktop into your new “The Sims 4” folder ( Documents > Electronic Arts > The Sims 4 ). Replace/overwrite the newly generated files/ folders with the old files/folders from the desktop “The Sims 4” folder.
Now see if your game will load properly.
Sims 4 | More Troubleshooting
That’s pretty much the end of my bag of tricks. If the above troubleshooting tips did not cover your issue, there are additional, awesome tips on Crinrict’s “Troubleshooting Your Game” post on Answers HQ. You can also search for the issue and post your issue on the AnswersHQ forum.