+ S H O T S
My in-game graphics settings are set at maximum, and I currently use the 2560 simsl3gacie’s HQ + No Glow Mod (which also removes the annoying EA glow of objects under certain lighting). This basically enhances the sharpness of your game, most obvious when taking close ups of your sims. I also apply Anime_Boom’s Better Shadows Mod to further improve the quality. Here’s a tutorial to install an HQ mod.
R E S H A D E
This one doesn’t specifically affect the definition of your screenshots, but rather overlays post-processing effects right in game. The best thing about this software is that it saves all the time spent on editing, because you simply can turn on and adjust an infinite variety of effects right in game. With a little tinkering, you can achieve unique, beautiful pictures in a wink. Remember to press Print Screen instead of the default C key to take pictures, or else the effects won’t show. Here’s a tutorial for using ReShade.
+ C C
P A C K A G E S
I always convert .sims3packs to .packages. This makes organising cc way easier, since you don’t have to tediously go through Launcher whenever you want to uninstall something. If you use Launcher minimally there’s far less chance of bad cc completely breaking down your Launcher and stopping you from uninstalling the culprit. I use the Sims 3 Multi Installer tool to convert everything except for lots. It’s super easy and quick and makes using cc that much easier. Here’s a tutorial for converting.
B A D C C
Sims 3 Dashboard scans for corrupted cc, duplicates or Sims 2 files (also conflicts, but I tend to ignore that). I had big problems with bad cc in the past so this is really helpful, and gives you the peace of mind that something won’t wreck your game. Here’s a tutorial for checking cc using this tool.
M E R G I N G
The final step is perhaps the most important if you have a crap ton of cc like me. A while after discovering cc, I noticed that my loading times for the saves and CAS were getting extremely long, plus my game was lagging hard. Merging your .package files (another reason to convert everything) into just a few large files will reduce this problem significantly — the game only reads the number of files, not the size. I use CC Magic: this handy app lets you sort cc into folders, then merges them for you. The wonderful thing about CC Magic is that it allows you to delete files easily from the merged packages, which you cannot do by manual merging.
+ S M O O T H G A M I N G
M O D S
Here are the life-saving Nraas mods I use to keep my game running smoothly. Apart from these basic ones, they also have many other mods that you might want to try.
- Master Controller is the ultimate mod for controlling what goes in the world. There’s an incredibly extensive list of options such as increasing the slider maximum, allowing multiple layers of makeup, having more than eight sims in a household, and lots of other super useful settings (be aware the CAS options only work through MasterController’s Edit in CAS).
- Master Controller Cheats somehow adds to the enormous number of cheats and options.
- Overwatch is a housekeeping sort of mod that regularly cleans up your game, to help the game run smoother and reduce lag.
- Portrait Panel lets you control more than eight sims in your household, by expanding the number of ‘icons’ or sim portraits on the side to maximum 24.
And here are various mods that just iron out annoying things in the game:
- Aikea Guinea No Drift Freecam allows you to move the camera more accurately- it disposes of the irritating drift.
- Misukisu Pose Player Add On is one of my favourites; instead of searching for the Pose Player every time, you can click anywhere to pose Sims. It also adds a huge range of new options including being able to pose any Sim, even outside your household, by clicking on them.
- Misukisu Door Opener does just that. You can click on a door to keep it open, which is great for storytelling picture-taking.
- No Camera Fade on Sims is another handy mod which gets rid of the fading effect when you try move the camera close to a Sim. Now you can take super close up screenshots!
- Nona Party Limit removes the annoying limit for the number of party guests.
- Topless Everyday Male lets male sims be topless for everyday clothing, not just swimwear.
- Bloom’s Sexy Feet makes feet look less like blocks and more like real feet.
B A C K U P
As often as you can, backup a copy of your save files to a USB or similar, and less frequently, your Mods, Library, and DC Cache folders. This is so if a save gets corrupted or you somehow need to reinstall the game, you can easily switch files back in. I recommend you back up DC Cache every time before you install a house, so later if you want to take out the house and it’s cc, you can just switch in the old DC Cache, which means you don’t need to try uninstall a ton of cc separately.
C R A S H I N G
Crinrict is most likely the best site for solving the numerous problems Sims 3 likes to have. A specific tip from me is to try deleting the downloadedsims.index file from your Saved Sims folder (it will regenerate). I once had the black screen error for a really long time because of this file being corrupted, so if you ever get a similar problem, try this before searching through your cc.
L A G
Here’s an excellent one-stop list by Nraas, that I use to minimise lag!
C H E A T S
I’m sure every seasoned Simmer knows this, but there are some extremely useful cheats in game. Static needs, moveobjects, family funds, teleport, freerealestate and hideheadlineeffects are particularly handy. Here’s a full list of cheats.