It becomes more and more important to follow a certain protocol when patching. The game grows and you’ve probably been playing certain save games for a long time and getting attached to them.
Maxis gives us new things and patches within short periods of time and yes, each of the steps below should be done before every patch, especially if you are using mods and custom content.
- Turn off automatic updates. This helps to prevent the game from automatically patching without you being able to do the necessary steps.
- Start the unpatched game and save your houses and Sims that you are attached to to your library.
- Backup your save games, mods, houses/Sims to an external hard drive. If you don’t have one, an USB stick, a DVD or if everything else fails, a different place on your current hard drive will also do.
- Patch your game through Origin. If you have issues, see below for a few tips.
- Once you start the game, all your mods and custom content will be gone from your game because they are automatically disabled in your options. Make sure not to save the game this way if your Sims/houses have custom content/mods or you will need to redo all your Sims/lots.
- Start your game this way and start a new save game to test if everything works as intended.
Play for a while to get a feeling for the new version and to see if there’s any problems. Afterwards you can put your custom content back but I would advise to only play your beloved save games if you know that everything works as intended. If you’re using mods it’s better to check with the creator to see if a mod is compatible with the game. If you want to play your current save game, make sure to have a backup handy in case anything goes wrong.
- If you’re not using custom content or mods, you can simply continue playing your old save game but make sure you have a backup. Check on potential issues like lots that no longer work properly, relationships that get lost or broken family trees, if your retail lot is still working and other things).
- If you find a new problem in your game, check the forums to see if others have similar issues. I would not play on a save game you love if there’s a new bug that influences something that’s important to you. Rather start a new game and wait until Maxis (or a modder if you don’t mind that) fixes the issue.
- Once you are sure everything works, check your mods for compatibility and check the forums for reports of custom content not working anymore. If everything is deemed save, you can enable them again in your options.
- If you run into problems after enabling mods, one of your mods is most probably not compatible, double check them again.
Common patch issues
- The game/play button stays gray after patching
- Origin Update Loop
- The game doesn’t start
- The update doesn’t finish downloading –> Check on your firewall and antivirus to make sure they don’t block the process.