How to Fix Error Code 12 in The Sims 3 Games

Posted on by demnaranda

Games are meant to be enjoyed with pleasure. Ignorance is bliss, in this department. Some people play games to ease their stress, while others do so to escape reality, albeit for a few moments. But what does one do when an error occurs and ruins the fun? Cursing your PC might ease your frustration, but it won’t bring back the 8 hours of gameplay.

The Sims 3, created by EA Games, is an open-world game, which lets you control the lives of multiple characters. It follows their lives in Sunset Valley, as they enjoy the highs and lows of life. Their wishes and personal goals all coincide together, in this roller-coasting epic of betrayal, happiness, envy, and satisfaction, all in one big package. It emulates real life perfectly, with each character knocking on your door with a specific purpose in mind. As you have spent the entire day monitoring their progress, leveling them to a point where their happiness levels have gone through the roof, what do you do when the file refuses to be saved? This is one of the few bugs associated with The Sims, and we shall tell you how to fix this particular error.

What is The Sims 3 Error Code 12?

The file refuses to save due to insufficient RAM. This usually results from long-playing sessions with large families within The Sims. If you create custom outfits for each of your Sims, then you would run out of virtual space, and the game would crash or refuse to save the file.

Symptoms of Error Code 12

You lose your game file, and are prevented from saving your game file until you restart the game.

Your game freezes suddenly; the application closes without warning, and you are redirected back to the desktop.

Characters or textures might load incorrectly.

Prevents you from logging in to Sims Wall if you have The Sims 3: Showtime installed.

Your files get corrupted and your saved games will have a .bad extension.

How to Prevent The Sims 3 Error Code 12

Save your data at nighttime when the Sims are asleep, or save before you go on any side quest.

Close any additional programs running in the background. Otherwise it leaves less space for your game to use, and eventually would crash.

Minimize using Windows Task Manager or switching between windows, as it eats up the processing time.

Since Error Code 12 seems to be caused by memory issues, upgrading the system to a 64-bit operating system and 4GB RAM processor could solve the problem.

Check the folder in CurrentGame.sims3, in the ‘My Documents’ folder. It should be empty when the game starts. If there are any files with the .bad extension, delete them immediately.

How to Fix The Sims 3 Error Code 12 for Mac/Windows

Switch tabs during the game by pressing Alt+Tab in Windows or Cmd + ~ on a Mac.

Open your Windows Explorer or Finder window to open your Documents Folder.

Browse to the folder where these games are saved. In Windows 7, go to

Delete all the files that end with a .bad extension. These are the failed saves. You can save them in a separate folder and rename the extension to .sims3 if you like to keep a copy for safe-checking.

Try saving the file again, as the game generates new files for every save.

Alternative Quick Fixes

As you go on playing the game for a longer period of time, the game gets saved in virtual memory. But virtual memory is part of RAM, and it can’t process the data more than what’s in-built. One solution is to increase your RAM, and thereby increase your virtual space.

If you have The Sims 3: Showtime installed, try logging out of the official site of The Sims through the options menu. Then lower the resolution of the save file. It unloads some of the graphical data back to the RAM, and thus saves the file.

If you have recovered from the Error Code 12, it’s recommended that you quit and restart the game. This unloads the data back to the RAM, and gives you a leverage next time you play.

You can save the game file using the ‘Save As’ option, and give the file a new name. This is the easiest method around the problem.

These are some of the methods by which you can fix the Error Code 12 problem. Once again, take a backup of your files with the .sims3 extension before you attempt any of these methods.

Originally posted 2016-08-02 04:30:38.