The Sims 4 Requirements

Can My PC Play it? & Shader Model 3.0 Help

The Sims 4 does not require a particularly powerful machine, but some of the requirements may be beyond a budget PC or laptop's abilities. Here are the minimum and recommended requirements for running The Sims 4.

Internet Required

Please Note that The Sims 4 requires an internet connection for initial activation. You can play offline afterward, but will have to be connected in order to start the game for the first time.

Supported Operating Systems

  • 64-bit OS is recommended but not required
  • Windows XP (SP3)
  • Windows Vista (SP2)
  • Windows 7 (Recommended)
  • Windows 8 or 8.1 (Recommended)
  • Windows 10 (Recommended)
  • Mac OSX 10.75 (Lion - Recommended)

The Sims 4 System Requirements

  • Minimum Processor: 2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2.0 GHz AMD Turion 64 X2 TL-62 or equivalent. See notes on shader model 3.0 to find out how to see your processor model).
  • Minimum Memory: At least 2 GB RAM
  • Disk Space: 10GB of free space for game data, creations, and saves, more with each Expansion Pack (1GB+ each)
  • DVD-Rom: Only required if you bought a disk copy. DLC are added to the game via download.
  • Minimum Graphics Card: 128 MB of Video RAM and support for Pixel Shader 3.0. NVIDIA GeForce 6600 or better, ATI Radeon X1300 or better, Intel GMA X4500 or better
    If you have, for example, an Nvidia GTX 7800, it will be superior. See notes about Shader Model 3.0 below as it is 100% required for The Sims 4 to run.
  • Sound/DirectX DirectX 9.0c compatible. 99% will not have a problem with these unless using a very old version of windows. If you're on Windows XP, make sure your version supports it. Hit Start > Run, type dxdiag and press enter.

EA Recommended System Requirements

See the minimums above, surpassing the recommended system requirements will allow you to turn the graphics up the more your system outranks them. You'll additionally experience better load times by having a faster processor and more RAM. You should never need more than 4-6 GB to run The Sims 4, even with DLC. See the next section for a post that explains the various components and helps to clarify how surpassing these will benefit your gameplay.

  • Processor: Intel Core i5+ or AMD Athlon X4 (see notes on shader model 3.0 to find out how to know your processor model.
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Disk Space: 10GB of free space for game data, creations, and saves, more with each Expansion Pack (1GB+ each)
  • Graphics Card: Nvidia GTX 650 or better. See shader model 3.0 below.

Better System Specs

Some of our staff have created a great post that indicates what system requirements should look like if you want an experience that allows you to set graphics on high while also supporting some of the more resource-intensive Sims 4 mods. You can certainly play with the specs that EA recommends, but it is more future-proof and mod-friendly to surpass them. See this post for more detail. This covers both The Sims 3 and The Sims 4. Thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Flynn for taking time to make this post in order to help people better understand how these work. These tutorials introduce you to the various computer components and how you can benefit from having a more advanced part.

Mac Requirements

  • Operating System: OS X 10.75 to 10.9+ Required
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4Ghz Required, Core i5 Recommended
  • Video Card: Nvidia GeForce 320M, 9600M, 9400M, ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro or better. Video RAM of 256MB or better.
  • Recommended Video Card: Nvidia GTX 650 or higher
  • Memory: 4GB RAM Required, 8GB RAM Recommended
  • Disk Space: 12GB Required, more with DLC

Shader Model 3.0 - Does Your Card Support It?





Your graphics adapter/onboard graphics must have the ability to draw with Shader Model 3.0 for the Sims 4 to work. This is not something you can add support for without having the proper graphics card. How do we determine what shader model the graphics card is capable of? One option is to hit start then type dxdiag (or run then type dxdiag) to run the DirectX diagnostic program. Go to the display tab from there, and you'll see your graphics card model and can now google it to determine shader model. Another option to get shader model version is to head to file explorer and right-click on This PC for windows 10, or my computer. Select properties from that menu. You can now go into the device manager in order to see a list of parts. Under graphics adapters (or something similar) you should see an Nvidia, Intel, or AMD Radeon graphics card model listed. Now google it with shader model or specs. This should tell you for sure if your card is capable of Shader Model 3.0, especially if you get a result that it supports version 4 or 5.

Tips: Buying a Laptop/PC for The Sims 4

If you're looking for a laptop or new PC to play The Sims 4 or other games, online and retail stores sometimes will not have the specific information that you need in order to be sure that it can run it. If you want to buy Sims 4 Expansions and such, you should have more than the minimum RAM (4 GB is OK, 8GB is great)- each expansion/stuff pack you add will put a bit more load on the game in my experience. Right now, if it's an $800+ PC/Laptop with dedicated graphics card it's fairly certain you will be able to run the game on medium to high graphics.

You should do this anyway to make sure you're getting your money's worth, but it's more important when shopping on a budget. Look up the model number of the computer or laptop you want to buy. We want to know if it has a dedicated graphics card, as those are usually better. If it's integrated type, we want to know what kind and that the processor is well over minimum so that it can handle both processing and graphics at once. Go to the manufacturer's site after googling it and look at the product specifications. You mainly want to look at the graphics adapter, as that is sometimes not shown in detail. Now you can google the graphics adapter that comes with that model of laptop and ensure it's capable of shader model 3. The graphics card/processor are the big bottlenecks that slow down the game or make it unplayable.

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