Author Topic: How to deal with your lagging games, and how to prevent it  (Read 36979 times)

Offline kiko94

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How to deal with your lagging games, and how to prevent it
« on: December 22, 2011, 04:52:07 PM »
    Many Simmers experience lag and glitches and long saving/loading times with their games, especially after playing a few generations. I was one of those Simmers. I have done a lot of research since experiencing these problems, and decided to share what I have found so far. I hope you find it as useful as I have.

What can cause the game to lag and slow down so much?
      Now that is a very difficult question to answer. The word to describe it is "trash". After some playing (can be noticed even within the same gaming session) all the data the game collects and creates during that time will be cluttered, and it will push to use more and more memory and resources to keep running. At some point it will hit a memory wall and will crash. It is strongly recommended to make gaming sessions short, save as often as you can, exist and restart so that the game can rest and cool down a bit. You can restart as soon as you exit.
      Now in the long term, there will be a huge amount of data, and will be too hard for it to handle it correctly. Glitches start to show up, and the file will be unplayable. When will that happen? It depends on how big the world you are playing in is, the number of lots and especially the number of Sims that the game controls, as they are what stores the most data. Just think of all the relationships, inventory, skills, and personal statues that the game will have to keep up with, and at some point the entire town will know each other. That is about 6000 relationships for the game to handle (79 squares) Even strangers will count toward this number. Add to that all the issues brought by the game itself; glitched actions and routing issues like elevators and spiral staircases, when EA pushes townies to do actions and those prevent them they will keep trying causing lagging eventually . Even ‘resetsim’ isn't powerful enough to clean it all. That will also clutter and count toward the amount of "trash" on your saved file.
      Travelling! Another big glitchy ability from EA. The game will put to sleep all the home town to focus on the travel destination, and on returning, the game has to extract all the data again, and there may be errors, so beware of that!
      Memories from the Generations patch: besides being annoying? You will notice that each Sim will get memories from *doing almost anything* and it applies to all Townies. So you can guess what would happen after a few Sim “weeks”! Unfortunately, you can't disable them unless you are using a mod.
If you have a good machine, with powerful CPU, graphics card and RAM, the symptoms may slow but you can't avoid it forever.
      Deleting sims and other various objects could cause big issue, because the game won't remove them from the background processes and data treatment, at some point, they will end up in causing a critical situation, congrats, your game is corrupted.
What can I do to work around the issue?

   The main idea is to "help" the game by reducing the amount of data it has to treat, and give it more resources to use. My research on the internet came up with this:

  • - Try to keep your world as empty and small as possible. Avoid Bridgeport as it will eat your graphic card alive (so to say) and the number of routing issues is huge
  • Use “resetsim *” from time to time to make sure to  clear any routing issues or corrupted actions.
  • Reduce the number of NPCs that the game has to spawn by deleting ropes, bars, cash registers, styling stations and tattoo chairs as much as you can. Reset tourists to send them back to their hometown.
  • Save as often as you can, and especially before travelling, so you’ll always have a save point to go back to in case it all goes wrong.
  • Clean your graveyard of any remains you don't need. Those cause some serious issues.
  • Even if most of the travelling bugs have been fixed in the last couple of patches. There are still problems that people are reporting.
  • Save your household and move it to a new town from time to time. You can save a few and put them in a new file so that you don’t completely the story progression that has happened. Doing that will remove relationships and so cleans the game from a huge amount of data.
  • Clear up free space on your hard drive. Defragmenting your drives from time to time, and following instruction in this thread can help as well. Also try to do a factory reset if the lag gets too much. That will clean all of the game files and make it as good as a freshly installed game.
  • Never delete sims and objects using shift clicking.
[li] delete parking spaces from community lots (gym, diners, bars ..etc), also change a few residential to no visitors allowed ( but leave a few empty ones for NPC's), this will cut back on the game's spawning of the cheap cars and NPC spawning spots
[/li][/list]

Common Saving errors and how to deal with them:
 
Error 12 => Is caused by your game hitting a memory wall, it will start to slow down and lag after some play time as cathyknits mentioned, the game won't have enough resources to use to save the game, however that is temporary, what I have tried and worked for me is to wait a while (stay calm and keep playing), reset your town "resetsim *" got into edit town mod and try there, this will reduce the resources  that game uses, since most townies will be pushed to sleep, and then try again, should be working, also consider ditching any cc, or buying more memory
 
Error 13 => Is supposed to be fixed , it is mostly same as error 12, caused by too much data for the game handle, clearing inventories, going into edit town, reseting, all seem to help
 
Error 15 =>  Game does not have writes to write in the save folder, make sure it isn't read only, and run the game as admin.
 
Error 16 => Game could not overwrite the save file, using "save as" should help, try to make the name short without any special characters
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I will be updating this thread with any info you guys provide, Big thanks for Forum member Neashaleigh for help ![/list]
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Offline Neashaleigh

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Re: Lagging games - how to help ?
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2011, 04:02:56 AM »
Thanks Kiko :)

I do suffer lag and random crashes, and that's even in an empty builder's world! What I found to be a huge problem with mine is Firefox!!!

If I have Firefox running in the background (like facebook or whatever), my game will randomly crash. Most especially if I'm playing, but even when I'm building. As long as Firefox isn't running, it seems to be mostly ok.

Another thing I found is if I have any launchers or programs in my tray, that can have a negative effect. I guess because The Sims is such a HUGE memory hog, there just isn't enough spare RAM to cope with extras.

So what I try to remember to do is clear out my tray of everything (except Zone Alarm) and make sure I don't have Firefox running.
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Offline kiko94

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Re: Lagging games - how to help ?
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2011, 05:27:09 AM »
Fire Fox do consume a lot of memory compared to other browsers, and the sims 3 is poorly codded, it will start consuming more and more memory, after some play time it will reach the "wall" and stop working
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Re: Lagging games - how to help ?
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2011, 06:13:01 AM »
That is a great list Kiko!

Offline ladybug53

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Re: How to deal with your lagging games, and how to prevent it
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2011, 10:43:47 AM »
This is a great article kiko . Bookmarked !
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Offline wednesday21

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Re: How to deal with your lagging games, and how to prevent it
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2012, 07:07:24 PM »
Kiko; this is great. I advise playing in unpopulated custom worlds, created by yourself or by other simmers to avoid the relationship data buildup for at least a few sim weeks. Surely there will be all kinds of NPCs but at least it will be much easy for the game to handle rather than the game's default towns which are huge in the very meaning of the word.

I didn't know about those errors. That is some really great info to know. Thank you!!

Offline Figwit

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Re: How to deal with your lagging games, and how to prevent it
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2012, 07:28:38 PM »
Agree with Wednesday.  I only ever play in small to medium sized CAW worlds.  Gameplay is fast and smooth and my hoods last much longer before the lag sets in.



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