How to Make "The Sims 3" Faster
By Shea Laverty
Updated September 22, 2017
With tons of data to load on each start-up, "The Sims 3" can easily become a slow, bogged-down mess. Even loading just a portion of the numerous expansion and "Stuff" packs, Sim Store items, and custom Sims and cities can reduce this game to a stuttering mess, making play a chore at best and pointless at worst. Reclaiming some speed for your Sims is possible, but requires a little bit of tidying up of the game's numerous caches, as well as fostering smart gaming habits.
Cache folders store data for the game and are designed to load that data faster. However, sometimes they get so full of information that they actually slow loading and performance. Deleting most of the cache data should improve the speed of "The Sims 3" without harming any of your saves, but be careful: not all files should be deleted. The following are the only files you should delete, all located within the "The Sims 3" folder, which is stored in the "Electronic Arts" folder of the Documents library.
The Sims 3 (main folder): "CasPartCache.package," "compositorCache.package," "scriptCache.package," "simCompositorCache.package" and "socialCache.package." DCBackup: All contained files, except "ccmerged.package." WorldCaches: All contained files, unless you play on a Mac; the Mac version needs this information to run properly.
Featured Items and Screenshots
Your Featured Items and Screenshots folders can also slow things down. Featured Items contains nothing but images of items from the Sims 3 Store, which load into the game and can cause a lot of slowdown. Deleting these files should improve speed while doing no damage to the game itself. Screenshots, which you take yourself, can similarly bog things down when loading. Copy those you want to keep to a different folder and delete the contents of the Screenshots folder.
Adjusting your graphics settings can also help. Depending on your computer's hardware, generally the better your graphics, the slower your game. The Graphics tab in the Options menu features a number of options you can change to reduce your graphic quality, and thus the strain and slowdown on your computer. You can change the screen's resolution and adjust the draw distance and level of detail on textures, trees and Sims. You can also adjust the level of detail on various effects and visual enhancements. Changing these settings will produce a faster game with lower visual quality, but you can try different setting levels to strike a balance between quality and speed.
You can also improve performance by closing out any unnecessary programs before starting a session of "The Sims 3." Media players, Web browsers and any other programs will all draw from your computer's CPU and RAM resources, which can negatively impact performance in your game. If your computer's RAM memory is insufficient, you can also upgrade it by replacing or installing additional RAM modules or getting a professional to do it for you.