Loading a family just reloads the map

Problem

When I want to load my family, all it does is load the map overview. I also get an error message. The recommended relaunch of the game does nothing.

Cause

This problem isn’t as much as a bug but a symptom of a problem that occurs in your game. The game tries to load the household and then hits a problem/corruption and can’t load the lot because of that. It then bounces back to the world screen which was the last safe place for the game.

If you don’t get an error message, then you most likely have this issue: Traveling causes reset to map/crashing (no Error Code)

The Error Message

Information about these error codes do not source in anything official. They are theories of mine based on the experience with error codes over the past years.

The Error Code on the message is relevant in it’s full length and can point towards the cause.

Error Codes have the following structure: <ThreeDigitNumber>:<LongHexNumber1>:<LongHexNumber2>.

  • <ThreeDigitNumber>: Mode in which the error occured
  • <LongHexNumber1>: The actual error
  • <LongHexNumber2>: Unknown. Can vary for the same error

<LongHexNumber1> can occur in different combinations with <ThreeDigitNumber>. Because of this it can happen that error 102 occurs if the player tries to load the lot in live mode and error 122 when he tries to load in build mode. There are other <ThreeDigitNumber> like 110, 123, 125, 134.

Known Causes

EA/Maxis has fixed a lot of causes for this since it first started happening but there’s still issues around and causes need to be found. It could be something on the lot or a faulty Sim or object.

Most of the time it’s not easy to find the actual cause for the issue.

Known causes

  1. Easels/Activity Tables, especially if they have a started painting on it
  2. Certain pictures on walls
  3. Pictures of content you don’t own (can happen if you download a house from the gallery)
  4. Corrupt relationships
  5. Incompatible mods, especially the No Relationship Decay Mod or old versions of MCCC.

Specific issues with error codes

Solution

If you don’t want to search for the cause yourself, the best thing is to try a backup or to keep the current save game in a safe place and start a new game until EA/Maxis has fixed the cause.

Be also aware that despite best efforts the bug may come back anytime. Keeping backups is important.

Before you try any of the solutions below, make sure to backup your files.

For this issue, it’s very important to know, that it’s contagious. Once you have it in one household, it spreads to all others and also other save games if you don’t close down the game completely. Going to the main menu will affect other save games.

So for troubleshooting, always close down your game and restart before trying something different.

Caused by Mods/CC

First always rule out incompatible Mods/CC as possible cause for the issue. If mods are the cause, the game will load fine once you removed them.

First step is to do a factory reset and rename your user folder. Let the game create a new folder and then only put back the bugged save game. Then start your game. If the problem is gone, it’s probably a mod, custom content or maybe even an issue with the cache files that the problem. Do not save the game in this state or your Sims will loose any custom content they might have.

If you get your game to work like this, put back your custom content (without Mods) and other important files. Wait with putting back other save games. If your game now works, save it under a new name. After that you can copy back the rest (only stuff that’s needed as stated in the linked article). Check on your mods as last step.

Suggestions for known issues

If your game doesn’t load after removing mods/downloads, it’s time to start and find the cause. Follow the steps below for the known issues (do not copy back anything but your save game)

Issue with paintings/broken easel
  • Close down your game
  • Start your game and load the faulty save game
  • Go to the family you have last played with and go straight to build mode
  • Delete any easel/drawing tables including unfinished paintings and paintings on the walls.
  • Go back to map view
  • Load your family
  • If it works, then you found the cause. If you don’t use any downloads, you can save your game now. If you did use downloads, copy back your custom content (without mods) and do the correction again.
  • If it works, continue to play.
  • If it doesn’t, try other houses but it can be very time consuming.
Issue with pictures of content you don't own

If you don’t own all expansions and downloaded lots from the gallery, this could be your issue.

  • Close down your game
  • Start your game and load the faulty save game
  • Re-place the house from the gallery
  • Go directly to build mode and delete all pictures
  • Go back to map view and load your household
Issue with relationships

For this method which does take a lot of time, it’s very important, that you close down your game each time you have the bug or if you have deleted Sims that don’t need deleting. If you don’t care about the households, you can leave them deleted of course.

The solution is also not very satisfactory but the game should start working again afterwards.

  • Close down your game
  • Start your game and load the faulty save game
  • Delete ALL households from your game via Manage world (yes, that may take a while)
  • Go to the library and  download use a Maxis single household to place in any home.
  • Check if that household now loads. If this is the case, it’s most probably a faulty relationship
  • Close down your game again and then restart and reload the save game
  • Go to manage world to narrow down the household. Start with the played Sims and delete them neighborhood by neighborhood. Try loading a family after deleting all families from one neighborhood. Close down the game and restart after each.
  • Once you found the neighborhood the faulty family is in, you need to narrow down the family. Use the 50/50 method.
  • Once you have found the family, narrow down the faulty Sim in it. Take them to CAS via Manage Household and determine the faulty one by deleting, again using the 50/50 method.
  • Once you have narrowed down the faulty Sim, split him from your household and upload to your library.
  • Delete the faulty one
  • Load your remaining household and re-place him from the gallery. You can’t reset the relationships but that might be possible with a cheat, didn’t try.

There is a chance that the issue does not lie with the Sim but with an easel in that house. Use the method above in the house that faulty Sim lives to find out if deleting the easel also resolves the issue (without having to delete the Sim)

Further Troubleshooting

There are other causes for this problem

The simple steps

Sometimes a simple reload of the game also makes the issue go away. So close down your game completely and reload it. You can also try repairing the game through Origin.

Do you have all expansions and if no, did you download houses from the gallery ?

If the answer to this is yes, then this could be your issue. Replace the house with a different one and delete it from your library.

Does your game load if you bulldoze your lot ?

If so, the problem is probably something on the lot that causes the issue. It can be enough to level through all levels (from basement to roof). If that doesn’t help, delete room by room and check after each one to see if it loads.

Do you own Get to Work and have Sims in active careers ?

There is a possibility that something goes wrong when you save the game and then close while the Sim is in his active career. I would recommend to never close the game while the Sim is working but make sure that he’s safely back home before turning off the game.

Did you ever get a message about incomplete Game Data ?

Details can be found here: Game Data Incomplete

If so, it’s possible that this causes the corruption of your save game. Try to repair the game and see if that helps. If not, it’s probably the easiest to load a backup.

Did you ever use mods and save the game with them ?

If you used an incompatible mod with your save game, it’s possible that you corrupted the save game by doing that. Try a backup and make sure to follow these instruction before patching: In Preparation for Patching.