Electronic Arts frequently releases updates and patches for The Sims 4. When this happens, people might experience crashes during the game. Most often, though, mods are the culprit of game corruption. Luckily, there are a few precautions you can take to keep your game running smoothly.
The Sims 4 team does a really great job of informing people about updates. If you follow @TheSims on Twitter, the company shares detailed information after each patch update. The Sims 4 website also dedicates an entire page to each released patch.
Sometimes, the company also releases patch notes after a new expansion to elaborate on the new pack details. However, most of the time, they target bug fixes and other unintentional issues.
When EA releases a patch update for The Sims 4, you have to install it. On Windows, Origin automatically installs updates by default. It notifies you that the game should be updated, and you must then close the game so the update can download. After Origin installs the update and you relaunch the game, the client informs you that all mods have been disabled.
Before all of this, though, there are some steps you can take to prepare for a Sims 4 update.
How to Prepare for a Patch Update
There are a few things you can do before you even install an update to help prevent future crashes or game interruptions.
Turn Off Automatic Updates
If Origin is set to automatically update The Sims 4, and you have mods installed, chances are high some errors might occur. Even if you’re in-game, Origin will notify you that an update has been released.
If you’re playing The Sims 4 and don’t want to turn off the game for an update, no problem! If you turn off automatic updates, you can choose to download the updates at a later time. This also gives you a chance to prepare your files.
To do this, select “Origin” at the top left in your Origin client, and then select “Application Settings.” In the “Application” menu, toggle-Off “Automatic Game Updates.” The green slider will switch to gray to indicate automatic updates are turned off.
Back Up Your “Sims 4” Files
A lot of gamers use external hard drives to back up their games. Copying a video game folder to an external hard drive is always the safest choice. If your main computer crashes and you never saved your backups anywhere else, your files are likely lost forever. An external hard drive solves that problem.
It’s good practice to back up your files before every patch, and at least twice a month, just in case your computer’s hard drive fails.
For this exercise, simply copying your Sims 4 folder to your desktop will work. We don’t need to perform a real backup, so we’ll just temporarily move a copy off to the side.
On Windows 10, the default location for The Sims 4 is
C:\Electronic Arts\The Sims 4\Mods
. Navigate to your Mods folder, and then click and drag the folder to your desktop. EA always disables custom content for every patch update, but perform this step anyway just as an extra precaution.
Depending on how large your Sims 4 folder is, this could take a while.
Update “The Sims 4” in Origin
It’s now time to download and install the update. After you move your mods folder to your Desktop, navigate to the Origin app, right-click The Sims 4, and then select “Update.”
What to Do After a Patch Update
After a patch update is installed, it’s good practice to launch The Sims 4 with mods disabled. Wait until after this step to move the “Mods” folder from your Desktop back to the Sims 4 folder.
Launch The Sims 4. When The Sims 4 client notifies you that custom content is disabled, click “OK”; We’ll re-enable this later.
Play around with different game-play features to make sure everything is working correctly, and then close the game without saving.
Important: If you save the game before moving your Mods folder back, some content might be removed from your saved game. Later, after you move your Mods folder back into The Sims 4 folder, households might be broken or might not load correctly. Some Sims might also be missing custom content, like hair and clothes. If this happens, you might have to individually load into every Sims household that’s missing content.
The “Create a Sim” screen won’t automatically load what your Sims were previously wearing, nor will it load missing items from lots. To fix broken households, launch a saved game, and then select “Manage Households” at the top right on the world menu.
Click the household you want to edit, and then click the Pencil icon (“Edit, Add, or Remove Sims from the Household in Create a Sim” appears.) You’ll need to re-dress all your broken Sims. You can either replace or reuse the custom content that was missing when the game reloaded.
You can avoid this altogether if you close the client without saving when you test a new patch.
The Sims 4 folder automatically generates a new “Mods” folder after you close the game. A “Resource.cfg” file will be the only thing in this folder. You must delete this re-created folder before you move your original “Mods” folder from your Desktop back to your Sims 4 folder.
How to Update Mods
Most larger mods, like MC Command Center created by Deaderpool, require updated files that must be downloaded after every EA patch update. If you’re in the script’s dedicated Discord channel, announcements are made with every release, and they’ll direct you to the recent download file.
For other mods, most creators announce updates on their websites or social media accounts. In some cases, you can also revisit the mod page to see if the creator has released an updated version. It can be especially troublesome, though, if you can’t recall where you originally found a mod.
However, most mods have an in-game preview image of the creator. Most creators will also include their names in the .package file you’ll find in your Mods folder. If there are no indications in The Sims 4 client of who the creator is, you might have to give up and remove the mod.
If you find the custom content online, there are some steps you can take. Mod downloaded pages always include the creator’s name and (usually) contact information. You can usually message the creator and ask about recent updates—just be sure to include the game version number and screenshots of the errors you’re encountering.
You’ll find the version number in the lower left of the “Main Menu,” or in your “The Sims 4” folder (just look for the “Game Version” text file).
MC Command Center author, Deaderpool, also maintains a “Mods News” channel in Discord which will inform you of many mod updates. Of course, this won’t cover every mod, but it’s a good place to start if you’re hunting for updates to broken content.
The community is also really helpful—you can use the MCCC Discord channel to ask any mod-related questions you might have.
If you encounter a mod that no longer works and are looking for alternatives, the Deaderpool channel might be able to recommend related mods that are more actively maintained.
At first, this might seem complicated. But the main thing to remember is to always back up your game folder somewhere besides your primary drive. Ideally, it should be located somewhere off your main computer, like an external hard drive, USB device, or online file service, like Dropbox. It’s better to be prepared in case anything goes wrong.