Technical Issues

Cannot start because required game data is missing or damaged


The game data missing or damaged message is mod related in most cases but can also point towards a corrupt installation.

You will receive the following message:

Unable to start: Cannot start because game data is missing or damaged.

The error number has multiple parts but so far they seem to be always the same for the variations of these number.

Known Numbers

The following numbers often occur. If you have those, start with the solutions provided in the linked posts.

General Troubleshooting

To make sure an issue isn’t mods/cc related, remove them all from your game and test without.

Always either start a new save to test or test on a backup of your save game. All CC will be removed from your save game.

  1. Open the following folder: Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 4
  2. Select the folder Mods and right-click on Cut.
  3. Go to your desktop and right-click on Paste
  4. Delete all cache files (again)

More information here: Incompatible Mods

A lot of issue can be pinpointed on corrupt installations or issues with Origin itself.

If something is corrupt or Origin itself is giving is troubles, try the following steps

Reset your game to when you first started the game to rule out errors with the user files by removing the user folder and let the game create a new one.

With this method all your downloads/saves/.. will disappear but it’s all still in your backup folder so no worries about that.

  1. Open the folder Documents\Electronic Arts\
  2. Rename the folder Sims 4 in Sims 4 Backup
  3. Start the game.

More details can be found here: Resetting the game to factory settings without reinstalling

Both are important and protect you from a lot of evil around the net. They sometimes do block connections and prevent you from up- and downloading things or from updating your software, though.

Because of this, you should add Origin and EA sites/files as an exception to your programs (refer to the manual on how to do that for your product).

The necessary files for Sims 4 can be found here (the path for Origin/EA app can vary depending on your installation)

  • <Installation folder>\Game\Bin\TS4_x64.exe
  • <Installation folder>\Game\Bin_LE\TS4.exe
  • c:\programs(x86)\Origin Games\origin.exe
  • c:\programs(x86)\Origin Games\OriginClientService.exe
  • C:\Program Files\Electronic Arts\EA Desktop\EA Desktop\EADesktop.exe

Windows now has a lot of security measurements to make sure external programs don’t harm your computer. This can be the reason that the game doesn’t have enough rights to execute a function and it gets blocked.

You can find the files for Sims 4/Origin here

  • <Installation folder>\Game\Bin\TS4_x64.exe
  • <Installation folder>\Game\Bin_LE\TS4.exe
  • c:\programs(x86)\Origin Games\origin.exe (Path can very depending on your installation)
  • C:\Program Files\Electronic Arts\EA Desktop\EA Desktop\EADesktop.exe