The Sims 3

The Sims 3 (all versions).

Application Details:

Version: All
License: Retail
Votes: 81
Latest Rating: Gold
Latest Wine Version Tested: 8.21

Maintainers: About Maintainership

Test Results

Selected Test Results

What works

Game works correctly (every DLC as well, and downloadable content).

What does not


Sometimes Saving the game might fail (Error 12)


Launcher needs vcrun2005sp1/dotnet20

Run the game Medium to Low resolutions

What was not tested

Custom Music. 

Hardware tested


  • GPU: AMD
  • Driver: open source

Additional Comments

I would recommend configuring the game to run on the standard
resolutions that were present by the time the video game was launched. 
Because saving the game might fail  if you're using the higher
resolutions (not to mention the font will be awfully small).   

Medium to Low resolutions will also smooth the textures and pretty
much make everything run in a much more stable manner (keep in mind it
is a 32bit video game (defaulted to use less than 1024MiB of vram for
example) so nowadays it even struggles on it's native Mac/Windows OS
releases; similar issues have been reported there too).  

Optional: There are a couple of mods to avoid
garbage occupying the VRAM, such as: NRaas master controller (manual),
"nointro" (skips the videos at the beginning like the trailer and
branding logos).  
Nraas saver is also recommended, it prompts the save dialog every 30 minutes (can be configured iirc).
The save folder will grow (expected) so it is also recommended to "clean"
it with tools available on the internet (Steam community has a great
guide on how to configure the game to be played today 2023/24) as Big
sized save + High Resolution (let's say 1920x1080) will often cause Error 12.

Keep in mind that on every OS the more Expansions and downloadable content you add, the game will get more prone to not working correctly/smoothly.  

selected in Test Results table below
Operating systemTest dateWine versionInstalls?Runs?Used
CurrentDebian GNU/Linux 12.x BookwormMar 02 20248.21Yes Yes YesGoldEMDuff 
ShowManjaro 21.1.5Oct 23 20216.18Yes Yes NoPlatinumJackMacWindows 
ShowDebian GNU/Linux 10.x "Buster" x86_64Dec 01 20205.22-stagingYes Yes NoGarbageHerman Tafintsev 
ShowDebian GNU/Linux 10.x "Buster" x86_64Dec 01 20205.21-stagingYes Yes NoSilverHerman Tafintsev 
ShowDebian GNU/Linux Unstable "Sid" x86_64Jul 09 20205.9-stagingYes Yes YesGoldSki-lleR 

Known Bugs

Bug # Description Status Resolution Other apps affected
7411 GLSL shaders work badly with fglrx CLOSED INVALID View
10778 Gothic3 crashs after warp (VIRTmem > 4096MB?) CLOSED FIXED View
13335 Wine virtual memory exhaustion causing OpenGL crashes / slowdowns CLOSED FIXED View
18879 The Sims 3: Textures go Black and sometimes Abnormal patterns. CLOSED FIXED View
21609 Multiple games loose most sound effects or crash CLOSED FIXED View
22160 The Sims 3: Sims3Launcher.exe doesn't show web site when started second time NEW View
23807 Unsupported texture formats: DF16, DF24, RAWZ: format unrecognized(909198916) NEW View
25516 Sims 3 flickering white textures CLOSED FIXED View
25547 Sims3Launcher freezes when attempting to launch game CLOSED ABANDONED View
26986 The Sims 3 blacks out the screen immediately when starting. CLOSED ABANDONED View
30988 Multiple .NET applications using System.Windows.Forms.WebBrowser crash with Wine-Mono (libgluezilla needed for Mono.WebBrowser/Mono.Mozilla support)(Ragnarok download manager, The Sims 3 Launcher) NEW View
31266 SIMS 3 installer crashes at the end(?) CLOSED ABANDONED View
33261 Sims 3 pause key (`) doesn't work with Spanish keyboard UNCONFIRMED View
34155 EA Sims 3 startup failed CLOSED ABANDONED View
34390 Cannot install The Sims 3 CLOSED INVALID View
35277 The Sims 3 (Steam) launcher 'Sims3Launcher.exe' doesn't start reliable CLOSED ABANDONED View
37416 The Sims 3: Display locks when running in window, uses 100% cpu CLOSED FIXED View
40828 Switching resolution in desktop mode makes task bar redraw on top of full screen game CLOSED FIXED View
45361 Texture explosion in The Sims 3 (Nvidia negative viewport coordinates quirk) CLOSED NOTOURBUG View
47058 The Sims 3 Launcher (.NET app) crashes with Wine-Mono (libgluezilla needed for Mono.WebBrowser/Mono.Mozilla support) CLOSED DUPLICATE View
50237 The Sims 3 - cannot interact with objects and floor. CLOSED FIXED View

Show open bugs

HowTo / Notes


Videos of the gameplay on Linux, courtesy of Jake Ward:

  • If you make a new starter on your desktop, then type "xgamma -gamma 1" (w/o quotes) as the command to run. Quickest way to reset gamma.
  • You should leave the game set to fullscreen and set the "Screen Size" option to the resolution you chose in winecfg. The game will change your screen's brightness, which is annoying, but attempting to run it windowed inside the virtual desktop causes odd problems. Although this is dependent on your video card and I myself did not get the problem.
  • "Enable Advanced Rendering" may not work for some. It's worked fine in 1.1.21, but had some odd problems with it in 1.1.23. Sometimes the screen, starting at the top left corner, would become tinted with a colour, usually red, purple, or white. This hasn't happened to in the slightly older wine, only 1.1.23.
  • Lighting and Shadows is slightly buggy at higher settings. Specifically, there is a lot of flicker at times with certain shadows.
  • SAVE OFTEN. There still seems to be another memory leak, even with the patched source. Try to save once or twice a day, game time. Depending on what you're doing, the game may crash often or may only crash rarely, but it will eventually crash. Large events, frequent travel, and build mode all seem to cause this to occur faster. *Please note this may be fixed in newer wine versions
  • Downloading content doesn't work, but the launcher itself does, and can be accessed easily from within Sims 3 (the "Open Launcher" menu item). If you have access to a windows PC with the game installed, you can download content, such as the Riverview town, there and then transfer the .Sims3Pack files to your Linux install. Put the .Sims3Pack files in My Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\Downloads\ ('My Documents' being the path you set My Documents to above) and the launcher should be able to install them. *Please note this may be fixed in newer wine versions
  • If the Sims3Launcher crashes of an error such as "Unhandled Exception: System.AccessViolationException: Attempted to read or write protected memory" it's probably a truetype font problem. See for details on how to fix.
  • Seting OffscreenRenderingMode to fbo in regedit, the texture problems seem to have disappeared altogether

To use the launcher you need to install dotnet20 via winetricks!

Receiving the following?
fixme:actctx:parse_depend_manifests Could not find dependent assembly
L"Microsoft.VC80.CRT" (8.0.50727.762)
err:module:attach_process_dlls "MSVCR80.dll" failed to initialize, aborting
err:module:LdrInitializeThunk Main exe initialization for
L"\\Program Files\\The Sims 3\\Game\\Bin\\TS3.exe" failed, status c0000142

Fix by installing vcrun2005sp1 with "winetricks vcrun2005sp1"

If you have nvidia card and are having brightness issues, after entering the game, use the command 'nvidia-settings -l' (in terminal) or just launch the nvidia panel to solve the brightness problem. If the problem appears again, just repeat the command.
For ATI on Ubuntu 10.04 x64 the following works fine; Go to System->Control Center->ATI Catalyst Control Center->Color and click the Default button. The colors now change back to normal.

Bug 18991 (crash loading a town) fix:
env WINEPREFIX="~/.wine" TZ="America/Bahia" wine "TS3.exe"
Note: It might be best to change America/Bahia to your own TimeZone

Note that Greg Noe was able to download content (at least the Rivertown) by launching the Launcher from within the game, killing the TS3.exe process (launcher won't let you download while the game is running), and then just downloading like usual.

Fix Brightness/Gamma After Exiting the Game
Simply type the following into a terminal which should fix the brightness/gamma change the game performs: xgamma -gamma 1