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This article is about bugs that have been known to occur in The Sims 2. It doesn't cover expansion pack bugs.

Performance tips[edit]

When you run The Sims 2 for the first time, the game will automatically configure its graphics options based on your machine's specs. If game performance seems sluggish or choppy, there are a few things you can try to improve things:

  • Make sure your computer meets the game's system requirements (see above). If you do not meet these requirements, the game is unlikely to run acceptably.
  • The number of Sims you have on your lot is one of the biggest factors in determining performance. Lots with low numbers of Sims (4 or less) will run more smoothly than lots with many Sims (8+).
  • In the game, go to the Graphics/Performance Options panel. Reducing or turning off options will improve the game's performance. Reflections, Screen Size, and Smooth Edges are the options that will affect your frame rate the most, followed by Shadows and Lighting.
  • Turn off all other applications while running the game.
  • Some large showcase lots in the game (like 1 Wright Way in Pleasantview) may be slow when scrolling around. Frame rate should pick up considerably when the camera stops moving and you are interacting with the Sims.
  • Adding RAM to your system is an efficient way to improve performance.
  • Defragment your hard drive regularly for optimal disk performance (Start>All Programs>Accessories>System Tools>Disk Defragmenter).

Known issues[edit]

Low Hard Drive Space: If you run out of hard drive space while playing The Sims 2, the game will be unable to store new data, such as saved games, video captures, and new neighborhoods. In certain cases, when attempting to save the game with no hard drive space, the game will appear to save, even though data has not been stored. Please make sure you have at least 500 MB of free hard drive space when running the game.

Wheel Mouse Camera Rotation: If you’re unable to rotate the camera by using your mouse wheel, please make sure that you set the scroll wheel button function to autoscroll in your mouse settings.

Installation/Uninstallation: If you experience any problems installing or uninstalling the game, please temporarily close any virus scanning software you have, and try again.

Removing Saved Games on Uninstallation: Choosing to delete saved games when uninstalling will only remove saved games for the current user. Saved games for other users on the computer will remain under their respective folders under C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents\EA Games. Due to the large size of saved games, you may wish to remove them manually.

Locale Settings: Depending on your version of Windows, you will have two or three places where your locale settings are stored. If these settings are not consistent with each other, you may experience problems saving movies, and may have extra saved game folders generated under My Documents. In order to fix the problem, you will need to make sure all of your locale settings match. For example, if you are playing The Sims 2 in Thai, all your settings should reflect Thai location and language:

Windows 2000: Open the Regional Options Control Panel, and set the Your Locale option. Then click Set Default..., and select the appropriate location. These two settings must match.

Windows XP: Open the Regional and Language Options Control Panel. Under Standards and Formats, select your language option, then select your location in the Location field. Click Apply, then go to the Advanced tab. Select the correct language in the Language for non-Unicode programs field, and check the box under Default account user settings. Then click OK. Make sure you reboot to complete this process.

Video card issues[edit]

ATI Radeon series[edit]

  • Problem: Sims and objects sometimes appear too bright or all white. Sometimes Sims have patchy lighting.
  • Cards: Radeon 9500, 9600, 9700, 9800

This is a known bug in some older drivers. Upgrading to the latest manufacturer's drivers will resolve this.

  • Problem: Special cinematic events (such as first kiss) are too blurry.
  • Cards: Radeon 9000+

This is a known bug in some older drivers (Catalyst 4.5). Upgrading to the latest manufacturer's drivers will resolve this.

  • Problem: Texture dropout, distorted Sims and objects, strange horizontal lines on Sims and shadows.
  • Cards: Radeon 9000

This is a known bug in some older drivers. Upgrading to the latest manufacturer's drivers will resolve this.

  • Problem: When running in high resolution (1600x1200), lighting effects are corrupted.
  • Cards: Radeon, Radeon 7200, Radeon 7500, cards with below 64Mb video memory

This is a known issue and is caused by choosing a higher resolution than The Sims 2 can support. Running in a lower resolution should resolve this.

  • Problem: Neighborhood and water have bright flicker.
  • Cards: Radeon, Radeon VE, Radeon 7200, Radeon 7500

This is a known driver bug. However, updating your driver to the latest version may help.

  • Problem: In Create A Family, creating a baby Sim will result in a bad floor texture.
  • Cards: Radeon, Radeon 7500

This is a known bug in some older drivers. Upgrading to the latest manufacturers drivers will resolve this.

  • Problem: Bad textures and random color bars appear when using video capture.
  • Cards: Radeon 7000 series, 8000 series, 9000

This is a known bug in some older drivers (Catalyst 4.3). Upgrading to the latest manufacturer's drivers will resolve this.

  • Problem: Shoreline flickers in neighborhood view.
  • Cards: Radeon 7000 series

This is a known bug in some older drivers (Catalyst 4.3). Upgrading to the latest manufacturer's drivers will resolve this.

  • Forced anti-aliasing: Sims 2 will have graphical problems if anti-aliasing is forced on in display properties. To fix this:
  • Right click on your windows desktop and select Properties.
  • Choose the Settings tab and press the Advanced button.
  • Select the 3D tab and make sure SmoothVision is set to Application Preference.
  • If not, press the Custom... button and change the anti-aliasing setting to Application Preference.

nVidia GeForce series[edit]

  • Problem: In certain lighting conditions, Sims will have small flashing triangles.
  • Cards: GeForce FX 5600

This is a known driver bug. Turning lighting options from high to medium will resolve this. Updating your driver to the latest version may also help.

  • Problem: From certain camera angles, Sims may be missing some triangles.
  • Cards: GeForce FX 5200

This is a known driver bug. However, updating your driver to the latest version may help.

  • Problem: The neighborhood and many screens display all grey.
  • Cards: GeForce 6800

This is a new video card, and this is a known driver bug with an early version of the driver. Disabling hyperthreading on your machine may help (see below). Updating to the latest driver may help.

  • Problem: Interface panels and buttons may disappear or turn a solid blue color.
  • Cards: GeForce 4 series

This is a known bug in some older drivers (before version 6177). Upgrading to the latest manufacturer's drivers will resolve this.

  • Forced anti-aliasing: Sims 2 will have graphical problems if anti-aliasing is forced on in display properties. To fix this:
  • Right click on your windows desktop and select Properties.
  • Choose the Settings tab and press the Advanced button.
  • Select the GeForce tab.
  • Select Performance and Quality settings from the left menu.
  • Switch Anti-aliasing settings to Application Controlled.
  • Problem: Game crashes soon after starting.

Some recent NVIDIA drivers have problems when running when Hyperthreading is enabled on your processor. Try updating your driver first. If this doesn't help, turning off Hyperthreading in your BIOS will workaround this issue. If you have no idea what Hyperthreading or BIOS is, it's probably not worth messing around with this stuff. Contact your video card manufacturer for assistance.

Unsupported video cards[edit]

If you have an unsupported video card, The Sims 2 will run in software rendering mode. When software rendering mode is active, rendering performance is slower and graphical quality is reduced.

Examples of unsupported video cards are:

  • ATI Rage Fury
  • Matrox Millennium G400
  • Matrox Millennium G550
  • NVIDIA Riva TNT2
  • Matrox Parhelia
  • ST Micro KYRO
  • S3 DeltaChrome S8
  • SiS 315
  • Trident Blade XP
  • SiS Xabre 400
  • XGI Volari
  • Video Problem tip: If you are seeing graphical problems not described here it is always best to go to your video card or computer manufacturer's website and make sure you have installed the latest drivers for your hardware.

Windowed mode[edit]

To run The Sims 2 in windowed mode, first create a shortcut to the game by right-clicking on Sims2.exe and selecting "Create Shortcut." Then right-click the shortcut, and select properties. At the end of the "target" line, add a space and the text "-w" (without quotes). Click OK, then launch the game by double-clicking on the shortcut. Running the game in a window will allow you to more easily switch between different programs, but please note that running other programs at the same time as The Sims 2 will be detrimental to the game's performance. Also note that edge scrolling does not function in windowed mode. If you experience any graphical anomalies, please make sure your desktop is set to 32-bit color.

Other command line options:

  • -w: windowed mode
  • -f: fullscreen mode
  • -nosound: run with no sound
  • -r800x600: run at 800 x 600 resolution
  • -r(w)x(h): run at (w) x (h) resolution