08 / Tips & Tricks

I am no way a tech whiz, but I have picked up a couple tips and tricks for simming over the years. I’ve had sooo many problems with both my game, so I hope the solutions gathered here will prevent someone from going through the same troubles 🙂 If you have any gaming questions or requests regarding my story, feel free to ask!


High Quality Screenshots

Graphics Settings

My graphics options are all set to the highest. You probably shouldn’t try this if your computer has weak specs. I think the graphics card and resolution of your computer affects the screenshots, too?

HQ Mod

I currently use the 2560 simsl3gacies 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 simmies. Here’s a tutorial to install an HQ mod. 

ReShade 

This one doesn’t specifically affect the definition of your screenshots, but rather adds cool 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 many, many effects right in game. You can customise to literally whatever you want — what’s not to like? My favourite elements of this software are probably depth of field, HDR and colour adjustment. With a little tinkering, you can achieve unique, beautiful pictures in a wink. Remember to press Print Screen instead of C to take pictures, or else the effects won’t show. Here’s a tutorial for using ReShade.

I have written a tutorial that explains how I take my pictures here!


Organising Custom Content

It took me a long time to figure out a process to manage my cc well, and to prevent bad cc from corrupting my game. Here are my steps to convert, clean, and merge my custom content.

Converting Sims3Packs to Packages

The first thing I always do is 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 and sims (if they have cc attached to them). It’s super easy and quick and makes using cc that much easier. Here’s a tutorial for converting. 

Checking CC

The next step is checking for bad cc. The 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.

Merging CC

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 was 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 awesome thing about CC Magic is that it allows you to delete files easily from the merged packages, which you cannot do by manual merging.


Smooth Gaming

Mods

I’m sure most of you already use the Nraas mods, but if not, here’s the ones 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.

Backing Up Your Game

I think this is probably obvious, but I used to not do this and problems arose. 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.

Crashing/Errors

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.

Reducing Lag

Here’s an excellent one-stop list by Nraas, that I use to minimise lag!

Cheats

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.

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9 thoughts on “08 / Tips & Tricks

  1. Oh my gosh, thank you for such an amazing guide!! ❤ I've been using most of NRaas mods (of course) and some of the others, but I always wanted to use the pose player add-on – does it work with the latest patch? I was always so afraid to use this 🤔 I'll surely check the programs for coverting and merging files, I really hate sims3packs too! Thank you again for this awesome guide! 😀 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you liked it 🙂
      As far as I know, it’s fine with the latest patch, since it works with my newly installed game 😛 It makes posing soooooooo much easier so I definitely recommend using it! You’re much more careful than me because I always download stuff without looking at the patch compatibility 😅

      Like

  2. Excellent idea to share your experience! Thank you so much! I have finally installed a preset of reShade, getting it to work and all, but when I checked the hundred or so pics I just took for my story, they were just as usual – except super ugly as I had had to turn off edge smoothing to get it to work… Is there a special way to take pics? I use the the basic C key…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, you have to use the Print Screen key instead of C, and they will show up in your Bin folder (within Program Files, inside the game’s folder somewhere). The pictures will show up straight away within the folder, so have a look right after you take the picture to check if it worked! Let me know if it goes okay!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey Lila! I had some questions about screenshots, and in particular how WordPress treats them.
    So lately I’ve been looking at the screenshots in my story and thinking that they look noticeably grainy compared to the originals, and even compared to the compressed versions of the originals. Because you have the best-looking screenshots I know, I compared them to yours in terms of size and resolution and noticed a few important details.
    1. Your pictures are pngs (and this was the case even before you started using reshade, I believe, from the start of Gen 3). As I understand it, Sims 3 saves screenshots as jpegs by default, so is there a setting I’ve missed to change that, or do you convert them to pngs yourself?
    2. Although WordPress compresses images by default when you upload them, yours don’t seem to be compressed from the originals. Did you change something in your blog settings to stop it from compressing them, or is this simply because WordPress can’t compress pngs?
    3. Your images are each a whopping 1MB on average, which is around the same size mine are before I run them through a compressor. I started doing this after Gen 1, when I realised I was fast running out of storage space on my blog, and it has saved me a lot of space but apparently at the cost of image quality. My final question is how do you not run out of media space on your blog? Is there some third-party hosting secret I don’t know about, or have you upgraded to a paid edition of WordPress?
    In summary, could you run me through how you take your images (for example, did you start using the print screen button to take screenshots even before reshade?), how you process them, and how they are hosted on your blog? I would appreciate it hugely 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello! 😀
      I haven’t fiddled with any settings or converting method. I had a look through and I’m not sure why some are .png and .jpeg. It could be because of the way I edited my pictures. I used Picsart and Enlight — both mobile apps — to edit the pictures (before I began using Reshade), so the format could have been changed through that process. The ones I haven’t edited at all (Gen 1 + most of Gen 2) definitely seem to be .jpeg though.
      Likewise, I haven’t changed anything in terms of compressing. My pictures in 3.17 seem to range from 2-4 MB, which I think is probably because of Reshade or me editing in Photoshop (or maybe the resolution of my laptop). It appears WP compressed any pictures over 2 MB to 2 MB. So basically, WP is compressing them, it’s just my original sizes are huge lmfao.
      Currently, my space is at 2.2 MB of 3.0 MB, I haven’t paid for any upgrade or use any third-party but I will most likely have to upgrade by the start of Gen 4. What I do is go through Media Library and comb for any pictures that don’t appear on the blog (extras) and delete them. I also have decreased the number of pictures in each chapter, I think 3.17 had around 23.
      All in all, I’ve barely done anything conscious to save space lol. Sorry I can’t help that much!

      Liked by 1 person

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