This page is for reporting and tracking bugs in the most recent version of The Sims 3, alongside sharing definite fixes or work arounds if these bugs are not patched. Please only submit bugs that occur in an unmodified version of The Sims 3, and preferably only bugs that are replicable (ie, other users get them too). Please provide a short description of how to reproduce your bug in the report. Be concise, and make sure you are not reporting a bug that is already on the list. Some bugs are indistinguishable from others in their effect on the end-user - in these cases describe the bug's cause in brief detail if it is known.
When a bug is officially patched please move your report to the Patched category.
Bug Category KeyEdit
List bugs that threaten system stability or crash The Sims 3 here.
- Random Crash to Desktop, No Error: Sometimes, due to high memory use, Windows 7 Data Execution Prevention shuts The Sims 3 down without warning or explanation. Fix: Add The Sims 3 to DEP exceptions list
- The Sims 3 Damages High-End Graphics Cards: The Sims 3 does not have V-Sync enabled by default and runs at extremely high FPS on medium to good graphics cards, overheating, damaging, and ultimately ruining the graphics card (and potentially other components). Common signs of this include a very hot, very loud machine while running The Sims 3. The computer may have a slight "screaming" noise. To replicate: Run The Sims 3 on a high-end graphics card. Fix: Use a frame-rate limiter to restrict The Sim 3 to c.30-60 FPS.
- Error 12 - Out of Memory Error: Very common on systems with less memory, Error 12 occurs from large save games and extended play sessions without restarting the game. It often strikes when saving. On 32-bit systems the game can only ever use c.2GB of memory. On 64-bit systems the game can only use c.4GB of memory before becoming unstable. To replicate: Run The Sims 3 on a low-end system.
List bugs that interfere with gameplay here. Not for feature requests.
- Massive Build Up of Invisible Taxis Causing Lag: The game does not clean up taxis very well after using them. Slowly uncleared taxis accumulate behind the scenes, to the point where the game can be running 1000s of invisible taxis or other NPC vehicles. Can cause major slowdowns. To replicate: Play across a few Sim-weeks. Partial fix: NRaas Overwatch catches this issue.
- Bad Skill Modifiers: EA intended Vampires to skill up twice as fast as normal Sims, but instead just messed up the skill modifiers, leaving some normal Sims unable to skill up and some Vampires skilling up at insane rates. To replicate: Learn skills in The Sims 3. Fix: NRaas Overwatch catches this issue.
- WA Destinations Load without an Active Sim: Player arrives in WA destination, but without a sim to control. This is a long-standing bug with multiple causes. It is due to EA's poorly designed travel system. To replicate: Travel a lot to WA destinations. It is likely to happen eventually. Partial fix: There are no guaranteed fixes that can prevent this, but NRaas Traveller mod protects against it to a degree.
- Inventory Wiped After Returning from a WA Destination: Player arrives back from WA destination with some or all of their sim/family inventory gone. This is a long-standing bug. It is due to EA's poorly designed travel system. To replicate:' Travel a lot to WA destinations. It is likely to happen eventually. Partial fix: There are no guaranteed fixes that can prevent this, but NRaas Traveller and ErrorTrap mods protect against it to a degree.
- Lag Spikes in Bridgeport/Shang Simla/Other EA Worlds: EA worlds tend to have quite bad routing, including areas where NPCs can get stuck. To replicate: Very difficult to replicate easily, but extremely widespread. Using the resetsim cheat helps verify that this is the cause of the lag as it unsticks NPCs. You can also find stuck NPCs throwing routing tantrums. Partial fix: There are no guaranteed fixes that can prevent this, but ellacharm3d provides some world files with substantially fixed routing data. Note: This is not the cause of the regular lag spikes in Starlight Shores, the cause for that is unidentified and its routing is generally good.
- Bad Routing on Specific Shang Simla Tomb Lots: NPCs get stuck on the Hot Springs and Dragon Springs lots, causing severe stuttering and lag. To replicate: Very difficult to replicate easily, but extremely widespread. Using the resetsim cheat helps verify that this is the cause of the lag as it unsticks NPCs. You can also find stuck NPCs throwing routing tantrums on these lots. Partial fix: Replace lots. Reset all Sims.
- Lag Spikes in Starlight Shores: Starlight Shores has a mysterious series of lag spikes, experienced by all players who spend much time there. There is also a possibly related stuttering when rotating the camera in Build/Buy Mode in Starlight Shores. To replicate: Extended play in Starlight Shores.
- Game is Stuck if User Tries to Use Ambitions Signpost with CAS: A signpost provided in Ambitions is not recolourable and if a user opens it in CAS they cannot cancel the process or save the game. To replicate: Open Ambitions signpost in CAS.
- Big Crowds of Sims Visiting Community Lots for No Apparent Reason: According to Twallan of NRaas some Late Night opportunities corrupt and do not stop calling NPC Sims to a lot after they are finished, including the "Hold Audition" opportunity. To replicate: Complete the "Hold Audition" opportunity.
- Story Progression is Cloning Sims: According to Twallan of NRaas when EA Story Progression moves a family into a town from the Sim Bin it temporarily stores that family as a homeless family - a bit like storing them to a clipboard - then it supposedly cleans them up once finished the process of moving them in. This clean up routinely fails, leaving a set of homeless clones that can then move into the town. To replicate: Move lots of families into a town from the Sim Bin. Some will clone as homeless Sims.
- Story Progression Killing Townie Babies: EA Story Progression likes to massacre babies en masse when it senses the populate is bloating. To replicate: Play with a heavily populated save game. Partial fix: Use NRaas StoryProgression instead of the default system.
- Showtime Photobooth Forces Any Sims into a Relationship: Any pair of Sims - including relatives - that use the photobooth object are forced into a romantic relationship with each other. To replicate: Use the photobooth with two Sims.
- Cars Piling Up in Inactive Sims' Inventories: EA StoryProgression gives inactive Sims their own cars (they do not need enough funds, they just get them magically) but never cleans them up from inventories of from parking spaces if they are abandoned. To replicate: Check inactive inventories.
- Showtime Shows Are Cancelled if NPC Starts Telling a Ghost Story: Any NPC that starts telling a ghost story will cancel shows on the same lot as it draws Sims in to watch. To replicate: Have NPC start ghost story while performing as Singer/Acrobat/Magician.
- Sims Constantly Drop Everything to Express Disgust at Occult Sims: Even if an Occult Sim is their best friend, Sims will stop what they are doing to express disgust at them. Very tiresome. To replicate: Play with a Simbot/Vampire/etc and alongside normal Sims.
- Late Night Musicians Only Have Access to 2/4 Fully Functional Jam Genres: Both Rock and Jazz jam options are hidden for no apparent reason. To replicate: Jam with LN musician, only "Jam" and "Blues" are ever available.
- High Martial Arts Skill Not Granting Catacomb Immunity: Evidence suggest that Sims with high Martial Arts skills are meant to be immune to negative scenarios while exploring the catacombs in a mausoleum, however this is improperly implemented and does not work. To replicate: Explore catacombs with level 10 Martial Artist. Get singed.
- Community Lot Parking Spaces Fill Up with Abandoned Vehicles: NPCs parked on community lots can often leave without the vehicle they arrived in, gradually locking up all the parking in town. To replicate: Place a parking space on a community lot and wait, basically.
- Moving Lots Clones Spawners: Moving or rotating a lot does not clean up the spawners currently on that lot, instead cloning them. To replicate: Move or rotate a lot, then look for the spawners with buydebug cheat enabled.
- Sim Portraits Show Wrong Ages in WA Destinations: Other sims still back in the homeworld may appear as earlier versions of themselves, for example adults appearing as children. To replicate: Travel to a WA destination and view portraits of friends and family back home.
- Sound Disappears after Bike Bell: Some sound files in The Sims 3 are corrupt and can cut off all sound after they play. The most notable example is the bike bell sound. To replicate: Follow a bike around your town until the bell rings.
- Giant Queues Outside School Rabbitholes: In towns with many children, Sims can throw routing failures trying to go to school as they all block each other's path. Can cause short term lag. Can negatively impact school performance. To replicate: See school in the morning in a town with lots of sims. Partial fix: Build a second school. Download Twoftmama's school routing improvements.
- Sound Cuts Out on Showtime Objects and Singing Career: Singer and other objects are suddenly silent for extended periods, sometimes temporarily returning when caches are cleared and game restarted. Cause unknown. To replicate: Play Showtime singer career or use Showtime objects such as the Karaoke Machine or DJ Booth. Partial fix: For some users upgrading sound drivers helps. Clearing caches and/or restarting games can return sound temporarily.
- Mortimer Goth's Portrait Often Does Not Update As He Ages: For some reason Mortimer Goth has a rather unique issue where, despite aging up fine, his portrait remains that of his child self. This manifests in several ways, both while playing as Mortimer, or when interacting with him through other Sims. To replicate: Play as or interact with Mortimer Goth in Sunset Valley.
- No Traits/Lifetime Wishes on Premade Ghosts in WA: All Sims buried in the graveyards of WA destinations lack traits or lifetime wishes, causing minor issues if they are revived. To replicate: Befriend and revive ghosts in Champs Les Sims, Shang Simla, or Al Simhara.
- Twins/Triplets Have Different Zodiac Signs: There is no actual cycle of zodiac signs, so Sims born at the same time - including twins and triplets - usually have completely different zodiac signs. To replicate: Have twins, odds are extremely high they will not share star signs.
- Camcorder Mode Moves Too Quickly: The camcorder mode introduced in Generations moves far too swiftly for players to capture any worthwhile footage. To replicate: Try to film anything while moving in camcorder mode.
List bugs that affect the look of The Sims 3 here.
- Shiny Plastic-y Horses: A glitch in all the tails except for the medium length one makes horses' entire bodies look like shiny plastic. To replicate: In game by default. Apply long tail to a horse then view in-game. Fix: Equus Sims has provided a basic fix.
- Putting Patterns on Ceiling Tiles Causes Floating White Glitch Tiles to Appear: Putting patterns on ceilings can corrupt the ceiling itself it seems, leaving weird white "ceiling tiles" visible only from certain angles floating in mid air or extending off of houses. To replicate: Paint lots of ceiling tiles.
- Lighting Does Not Flow Up or Down Floors, Causing Ugly Seams: Though probably working as intended by the TS3 team, lighting is very ugly in The Sims 3 and it can be very challenging to make a multi-storey lot look acceptable. To replicate: Build two walls on top of each other at night. Place a light on the top wall. Note the light does not flow down past the floor it is on.
- Horrible Banding in Night Sky: Though probably working as intended by the TS3 team, the night sky of The Sims 3 features awful banding (distinct seams between gradients of colour). To replicate: View sky at night.
- Wrong Signs on Anti-Stray Gnomes: Gnomes set to ward away strays are meant to show crossed out images of pet faces, but instead show love hearts. To replicate: Set gnome to ward away strays and look at their sign.
List bugs that affect the UI in The Sims 3 here.
- WA Destinations Load without UI: Player arrives in WA destination, but without any user interface. This is a long-standing bug with multiple causes. It is due to EA's poorly designed travel system. To replicate: Travel a lot to WA destinations. It is likely to happen eventually. Partial fix: There are no guaranteed fixes that can prevent this, but NRaas Traveller mod protects against it to a degree.
- Outlandish Restrictions on What Sims Can Cook When: Although probably functioning as EA intended, Sims cannot cook all the recipes that they know except at certain times of the day. To replicate: Attempt to cook a meal at the wrong time of day.
List bugs that affect Simport or the achievements.
- Hosted Acts Never Perform and Lock Game in Hosting Mode: A hosted Sim will not show up for their scheduled gig, leaving the hosting player incapable of cancelling the gig, saving the game, or entering Edit Town mode. To replicate: Host a Sim, they may never arrive.
- Achievements Do Not Register as Achieved: Sometimes even when the criteria for an achievement is filled it will not appear as achieved. To replicate: Difficult to replicate, but widely reported. Note: Sometimes achievements will register after restarting the game.
List typographical errors in Sim/object/world descriptions here.
- No Description Texts on Premade Sims and Families in WA: All Premade Sims in WA destinations have "No descrip. specified" instead of description text. To replicate: Move a premade WA Sim into active household and read their description text.