The Sims(TM) 3

The Sims(TM) 3

39 ratings
Sims 3 Trouble shooting guide
By -Fields- and 1 collaborators
This guide will hopefully get your Sims 3 to work on steam, you will most likely have read these answers in the various topics in the sims 3 discussion area and I hope/plan to add as many fixes here as I can which will hopefully make your game playable. AT least thats the theory.
Registering Sims3 CD key at the sims 3 store
To register your CK key at the Sims3 store you will need your Cd Key which can be found by right clicking the game in your library and then CD keys.

You will need to copy this and then open notepad as you will need to add each section seperate

Once you got your notepad with the code in you will need to register at the store

Once registered and then signed in you will need to click My page and then scroll down to register a game.

Copy and paste and then you should get a email with links to extra content and free sim store points.
Note: Not all expansions or stuff packs offer store credit

There is a free world called Riverview available to everyone who owns the Sims 3 - you will find it in the Sims 3 store here -> Riverview download page[]

There is also a page of free downloads for people who own some of the expansions - also in the Sims 3 store here -> Registration reward downloads page[]
How Do I Find The Serial Number Needed To Register the Sims?
In your library if youclick the game in the left window, you should see the option to view CD keys in the right side at links, This is also called the serial code that it refers to and that you use to register your copy of the sims at Sims site or at EA

Note: This is how you get the serial for all other games that require the serial or CD key to register your new purchase.
Missing CD keys
If for whatever reason you are missing a CD key, your best bet is to go to Steam support

Whilst this seems to be a common issue with the 70s, 80s, 90s pack, you could be missing other keys to, but so far its just the pack named here that is having the issue apparently.

Please check above for our guide for how to get your CD keys as this could already be solved already and we are not informed off it.

Originally posted by FrakenBerry:
My experience was pretty painless, other than waiting a half hr to get someone. The customer service rep I talked to used a screen share option in the chat so he could see what was on my screen , then I simply showed him my steam records showing I bought the new DLC , and then just opened my cd key, showing again that I had not received a key for 70s'80,90's. As all my cd keys were already registered with EA , there was no danager of showing them the keys. Then he simply asked my name I had used to resister account with EA and my email I used to register with Ea. And bam he added the game to my EA/Origin account and sent me a 15% discount code.

Only thing I can recommend is treat the service rep as a cop who just pulled you over. They deal with all kinds of over angsted gamer/console ppl all day and another one yelling or acting like a child because of a mistake another company made will prolly just make them ignore your pleas for help. Not to say this how you treated them. Just try to be as nice and positive as possible and you might get a treat instead of a it is Steams problem, talk to them answer.

Thanks to Frankenberry for sharing this in a topic on the discussions.
Launcher crashing?
Originally posted by UGUF Stoutticus:
Did some deeper research into known issues and their possible solutions and came across this:

I followed the instructions on that page and was able to get the Launcher to finally come up!

HOORAY I can play my game!
Content Downloading
How do u get the stuff u buy on the Sims website on to the games

When you download it should open the Sims launcher and place your content under downloads. If it doesn't install automatically then select the new content and click install.
How to check if DLC [Expansions and stuffpacks] Are installed correctly?
To check if your expansions or stuff packs are installed, you maybe familer with this view in the launcher.

The circles each represent a pack or expansion, IF the circle is filled in then that usually means the pack has been installed sucessfully, if its faded out then you dont have that installed or installed correctly.
My expansions/dlc/content packs bought on Steam have not downloaded, are not in the game.
*Update notice* The current version of the Steam client is having problems with some installers not writing to the Windows registry. Reports are that this has been fixed in the current Steam beta.

If you go to Steam->settings at the top left of the client, in the Account tab you will find the option to join the current Steam Beta.


In the Steam client, right click on the game in your library list, select properties from the dropdown list then in the Local Files tab select 'Verify integrity of game cache'

If the content is still not in the game try Exiting Steam properly by going to Steam->Exit at the top left of the client or clicking on the Steam icon next to your clock and selecting Exit, then restart Steam - or even better, reboot your PC then restart Steam.

Then follow the instructions already posted for verifying integrity of the game cache again.

Content still not there? Try following these Steam support instructions for removing and refreshing your Steam files (this does not remove your game content!) ->

You can also try switching to a different download region in case it is a problem with your local download servers. Go to Steam->Settings at the top left of the client, and in the Download+Cloud tab click under Download Region to bring up the list of servers and select a different one.

If all of the above fails then in the Steam client, right click on the game in your library list and select Delete local content - then try downloading the game again.
Long loading times
1a. Clear your cache. Navigate to The Sims 3 in your DOCUMENTS folder. Delete the following:

1b. Delete your thumbnail cache. The Thumbnails folder is in The Sims 3 in your DOCUMENTS folder. You can delete all the files in there. Step one didn't help me at all, but it may help you, so that's why I'm suggesting it.

2a. If step one didn't work for you, you may have some corrupt or outdated custom content. This is what my problem was. Go to The Sims 3 in your DOCUMENTS folder, then click MODS, and then PACKAGES. Cut all of the files out of that folder, create a new folder on your desktop to temporarily hold them, and paste them into that new folder.

2b. In The Sims 3 in your DOCUMENTS folder, there is a folder called DCCache. Cut any files from the folder that end in .dbc, and paste them into your temporary folder on the desktop. Try running your game, now. If this worked for you, but you would still like to have some of your mods or custom content in the game, you will have to re-add the things you want one-by-one to see which of them was causing your game problems.

Thanks to
Sims bugging to buggery not sure whats causing it
Sorry this solution was moved to this guide
My Sim is lazy and won't go to work!
Sorry this solution was moved over to this guide.
Create a world tool install for steam version of Sims 3
This guide will hopefully help you to install Create a World programe for Sims 3

Non Steam Expansion packs
Q. If I bought Sims 3 through steam can I still use expansions and stuff packs from the store?? As in can I buy a retail copy of "seasons" from WalMart and install it??

A. You will have to register them at origen and download from there instead.
Useful websites
Some useful reference websites that MIGHT also help with your troubleshooting


Content and mods Websites [NOTE: Be sure you download SIMS 3 mods as this site also has a lot for Sims and SIms 2]

Note: Whilst these sites that I have provided have a very large fan base it is fully dependent on players to upload the content, therefore I SHALL NOT or be responsible for ANY issues arrising from using the above mentioned websites. This is purely to protect myself from any issues arrising from any issues if such any do occur. When using mods or custom content, MOST will normally have player feedback and it is best to check the comments, evern if you only check them breifly to check for possible problems.
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-Fields-  [author] Jan 26, 2013 @ 4:40am 
Oh one more thing, on sims site add me Fields007 and I might send you random potions and stuff haha also send my sim to you for a show etc,

Happy gaming
-Fields-  [author] Jan 26, 2013 @ 4:39am 
@Alecmoi, No worries glad we could help, also it might be worth checking our section "Missing CD keys" and look at the quote from another player IF for whatever reason it does not work, you never know, you might get a discount code and get it sorted at the same time

@All, for those missing keys, our guide is updated and HOPEFULLY might get you a code to, I wish you all luck and I hope you point the EA staff to provide us with some fixes I may have missed OR even better fixes.
AlecMoji Jan 25, 2013 @ 3:19am 
Thank you for the answer. Yes, I did try to register my CD key right when I registered for Sims 3 forum. And I got a welcome Email from EA, titled "Welcome to The Sims 3 Community," yes.

I'll wait for a few days before attempting again or contact the EA rep. Thanks for the great guide! I was looking at your guide for where to find my CD key, LOL. ^^
Magic Gonads Jan 24, 2013 @ 10:43pm 
How do i feed a vampire? i cant seem to drink off anyone, alseep, awake, freind, enemy or relative.
-Fields-  [author] Jan 24, 2013 @ 1:42am 
@AlecMoji, okay so from my understanding is you registered for a forum account then instantly put in your CD keys?

If so it could be that one system is slightly behind, I know from late night expansion it took a few hours for it to be registered to my account and the email to come through.

I assume you had the welcome email from EA? If not then also dont worry to much, at the moment EA is probably getting hit hard with the sale thats on, however as I said it can take a little time to clear the back log, its just a time issue Im sure, IT could also be a system that is checking with Steam to double check that steam have actually issued that key out for a sale, I dont actually know, but its a time thing Im sure
AlecMoji Jan 24, 2013 @ 1:32am 
I got The Sims3 as a gift on Steam, so I downloaded and installed it. I registered an account on the Sims3 community and tried to register my CD key. It keeps saying the CD key is wrong. So I went to the website by a browser, it says under "my game" that I have Sims3. But I didn't get any email from Origin or Sims3. I cannot find the free gift pack or whatever that the help says I should be getting. And when I launch Sims 3 on Steam, before I load the saved file, it keeps giving me the button to "register" my game. It seems the system doesn't recognize my registration, yet it remembers that my CD key is spent. So what do I do now?
d_smoke31 Jan 23, 2013 @ 3:18pm 
yes because a family is onpartin
NotAHugh Jan 22, 2013 @ 4:51pm 
Ok kidding but I think I foudn the source...everytime I sart the game the computer gives me a seriouse error on read cookies or I frogot, should I press yes or no
NotAHugh Jan 22, 2013 @ 4:47pm 
-Fields-  [author] Jan 22, 2013 @ 3:33pm 
@JJ ok try this,
Go to my documents folder and REMOVE the whole SIMS 3 folder and move it to desktop or somewhere else totally away from that area then start the launcher again and start the game

Once you done that, the folders that WERE in the documents are are remade and IN THEORY is as close as you can get to a fresh install without the instal if that makes anysense, THIS should hopefully solve the buggyness off your game, I suggest you do not move all your mods or custom content over in 1 hit, but smaller bundles so you can hopefully find the content that is bugging your game, this COULD even be somthing you recently installed from the EA exchange