Unplayable Lag

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Unplayable Lag

Post by kjtest21 on Fri 01 Nov 2013, 01:37

Hello G4TW!

My Sims 3 is lagging inexplicably and is making the game completely unplayable. It happens after I hit the Fast Forward button, it stops every few seconds. Graphic effects (Weather, plum bobs, etc.) still go on but everything else stops.

It is NOT a hardware thing.

16 GB 1600 MHz Ram.
3.6 GHz Intel i5 3570k Ivy Bridge
ASUS GTX 660 Ti 2GB 

Not. A. Hardware. Issue.

Installed everything just as read-mes told me to. So uh, Halp?

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Re: Unplayable Lag

Post by Sephymuffins on Fri 01 Nov 2013, 01:40

Hello,

I am so sorry you're having the issue and boy have I been there. I created a ten step list for people such as yourself to follow.  Please give every step a try and follow it word for word.  It ended up curing my own lag (sometimes my lag was so bad it'd make my game crash, and I have an amazingly powerful laptop made for gaming). 

1. Determine if your computer can actually handle The Sims 3. 
The Sims 3 is RAM intensive and graphically demanding - especially with multiple expansions installed.  Running this game with "Onboard graphics" or Integrated graphics has the possibility of DAMAGING your computer (especially on a laptop with poor cooling).
You can do a test of your system here: http://www.systemrequirementslab.com/cyri
[Click the dropdown menu and either search or type 'The Sims 3' under "1) Search for a game".]
[Once you've done this, hit the button 'Can You Run It'. A menu pops up, then select 'Automatic Detection'.]
[Let it do its thing.  Once a new screen loads up, scroll down and take a look at the results.]
> Comment 1:  If you do not have a fast enough processor or an out of date (old) graphics card, it is HIGHLY recommened you either try installing TS3 on another PC or update your current one!

2. Lower the graphics themselves.  Usually you don't have to set everything to 'low' or 'off'; however, a few settings you disable or set to low might help your performance more than others.
For example, turning reflections off may help, while lowering shadowing might help the next person.  Lowering your graphics is a bummer but it's still better than a lagging and crashing game!
Tip 1: Pull out all your downloads and mods, as to test your game and game settings, there will be a lot of 'closing out the game just to open it once again' stuff. Mods and Custom Content can slow your loading times and weigh your game down terribly!
Tip 2: "High Detail Lots" and "Edge Smoothing" tend to be the culprits in regards to slow gameplay.  "Draw Distance", "Visual Effects", "Lighting and Shadows", "Tree Detail" and "Texture Detail" can be adjusted to your liking. 
I'd suggest not having any above 'medium' if you're having choppy gameplay or bad lagging. Tweak these 'till your heart's content, restart your game if it advises you to in order to see the changes and find a "happy medium" so to speak.
[Place a mark in the box "Enable Object Hiding".]
[Slide the bar for "Edge Smoothing" to either 'low' or 'off'.]
[Change "High Detail Lots" to '1'.]

3. Close other applications on your computer.  You can find them by hitting ctrl+alt+delete or right-click on your taskbar and pull up "task manager".  Then click the 'processes' tab. (Please keep in mind that you should be using this as an option if you are PC/Tech savvay! You've been warned.) A PC, especially an older one or one that is used frequently has dozens of applications running silently in the background.
Closing a few may improve your game performance.  NEVER close/cancel programs under "system", "local service" or "network service". 

4. Take care of your harddrive and make sure you have enough drive space to comfortably play ANY game.  This is NECESSARY for a healthy computer and for it to function properly.  It CAN and WILL affect your gameplay.  
>Comment 2: Think about it this way: a computer is like a precious pet.  You can't expect a malnourished dog to do something as physically demanding as hiking mountains with you, right?  If you don't provide your pet substantial maintenance (i.e., food, water, adaquate shelter, etc) it can get sluggish, sick or worse - die. 
A PC is the same; you can't expect your computer to run a program that is so demanding of your computer's hardware when you don't maintain the computer to begin with.  
[To maintain your harddrive, uninstall programs you don't seem necessary - uninstall applications you barely use.]
[Delete or back up (put on an external source such as a flash drive or external harddrive) old files.]  
["Defrag" your computer's harddrive at least once a week.]
[Make sure you have a reputable, solidly made antivirus and a few programs to block malware/spyware (Spybot is free!).]
[Get a program that can tend to your registry.  Auslogics and Ccleaner are two off the top of my head that are great for this.]  
These are steps to ensure a clean, smoothly operating harddrive!

5. Go to: /My Documents/Electronic Arts/The Sims 3/Screenshots.
If there is nothing in here, no worries!  If there are photos here, drag and drop them on to either your desktop or somewhere else, just out of this Sims 3 folder!  
Tip 1: The photos in here can be from 100kb upwards to 2-6mb each.  If you aren't using them, delete them!  If you're a storyteller, get them outta' there!  All they do is bog down your game.

6. Go to: /My Documents/Electronic Arts/The Sims 3/Mods.
Delete ANY mods or Custom Content you DO NOT use or need!  Talk about a load off!  We can all be .package hoarders but remember that every file has a file-size and the more unnecessary files you have, the less acceptable your game performance will be.
Tip 1: My main suggestion with any mods OR custom content is to ORGANIZE them by CATEGORY!  Example: One folder is for 'hair' the other is for 'game mods', so on and so forth.
Organize your hoards.  You will thank me later.

7. Go to: /My Documents/Electronic Arts/The Sims 3/DCBackup.
Delete everything in here EXCEPT the ccmerged.package!  These files are basically backup files of all your Custom Content.  These files are not necessary for a fully functional game, thus slowing it down.  Depending on your downloading habits, you may or may not have a lot of files here.  Some people have over 1000+ files in this folder.  Interesting fact:  I had 715 files and I'd only been playing my game for FOUR DAYS.
> Sub. 7. The ccmerged.package is NOT a cache file.  This file is required for the game to run and read premium content as it is the EA's hub for XML data. It wouldn't blow up your game if you accidentally deleted it - you may just mess up your save data/s and/or make your installations unstable.  
Okay yes, deleting this file sort of does blow your game up.  Don't do it if you can help it.

8. Go to: /My Documents/Electronic Arts/The Sims 3/FeaturedItems.
Congratulations!  You've found the most annoying files contained within the most annoying folder!  Delete everything in this folder.  EA places pictures of every Featured Item here and it is completely unnecessary for you to have!  
Tip 1:  You can actually make this folder totally inaccessible to EA (in other words, they won't be able to place anymore junk in this folder!)
[Right-click on the FeaturedItems folder.  Choose Properties.  Go to the 'Security' tab. Click 'edit' - you might be prompted with administrator approval.  Click on the account YOU play The Sims 3 on.  Look lower for 'Write' and click on the first check box under 'Deny'.  All boxes should check themselves, then click 'Apply'.  Poof, no more invasive file dumping!]

9. Install these two mods:  Overwatch  and  MasterController.
Link 1: http://nraas.wikispaces.com/Overwatch
Link 2: http://nraas.wikispaces.com/MasterController
The easiest way to use the Master Controller is to load up a family (perhaps even a family/save game that is acting slow or laggy), zooming out to 'Town View' and find your Town Hall. 
Click on it and select the option 'NRass' then 'Master Controller'.  A whole menu should pop up for you.  At that point, click 'Town' and then 'Reset Everything'.  Let the mod and the game do its thing, as this may take a minute.  I suggest doing this every 12 hours (basically every day you play the game).  You can do this even after making a new family or save file!

10. Because I'm OCD and love even numbers, here's your tenth step:  ENJOY the game.  Have fun and don't stress - after all, it's JUST a video game and there are people able and willing to help!


Let me know if this resolves the issue for you! Razz
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Re: Unplayable Lag

Post by kjtest21 on Fri 01 Nov 2013, 02:59

The mods you supplied seem to be doing the trick for now, everything else, as expected, checked out wonderfully. Thanks for the tips

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Re: Unplayable Lag

Post by Sephymuffins on Fri 01 Nov 2013, 03:41

@kjtest21 wrote:The mods you supplied seem to be doing the trick for now, everything else, as expected, checked out wonderfully. Thanks for the tips
Good to know, glad I could be of some help!

Let us know if you have anymore questions or assistance. Smile
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Re: Unplayable Lag

Post by kjtest21 on Sat 02 Nov 2013, 02:20

Welp, it started happening again and completely shut down the game...

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Re: Unplayable Lag

Post by Sephymuffins on Sat 02 Nov 2013, 03:29

I strongly suggest you check the drivers for your graphics card.  Is this a brand new install of The Sims 3 on your PC?  Do you have any other mods or Custom Content running?
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