The Sims 3 Technical Help - Slow Game
How to Recover Your Game Speed
This article was written by RockinRobin on our Forum, who published it to the Technical Help board. I've put it here to give it more visibility to guide visitors. This info is really helpful if your Sims 3 game has slowed down since your last install, and most players who don't have large amounts of RAM will experience this. Cache files build up, and these can be safely deleted. Thank you RockinRobin for sharing this with everyone.
Over the last week or so, my game has gotten so sluggish that it was almost painful to play it. I had tried numerous things to try and speed it up and I finally found the correct answer so I thought I'd share it.
The first thing I did was go through my hard drive and delete any unnecessary files to free up some disk space, but that didn't seem to help. Then I tried Pam's suggestion and move all my screenshots to a different folder to try and free up some space in the game. That didn't seem to help either. I felt like there HAD to be something, somewhere that was slowing down my game, so I started looking in all the game files. I knew I had not installed any new CC or any mods so it couldn't be that.
I came across the folder called DCbackup located in My Documents--> Electronic Arts--> The Sims 3--> DCbackup. I looked at those files and realized that they were just a bunch of backup files of all the package files ever used in the game. I did some checking to make sure it was ok to delete those and found out that it was fine. Once any CC is installed, it's there in your game, so you really don't need backups of it. But if it will make you feel better, you can always move all of those files to another folder somewhere other than your Sims 3 folder. But the best thing to do is just to delete all of those files in the DCbackup folder - except for ccmerged.package if you have Premium Content installed. In fact, it's probably a good idea to clean it out weekly or monthly....depending on how often you play.
Once I deleted all of those files, I was amazed at how much better my game played! It's like brand new again! I think that folder basically acts as a cache to hold all the items that are used in the game for easier access. The problem is, just like with web browsing, once you get too much junk in there, it just slows everything down.
Edited to add the following from mtglady:
You can also delete your compositorCache file and your simCompositorCache file. Just delete them both as they will regenerate when you start a new game. They can be found in your 'Your Name' > Documents > Electronic Arts > The Sims 3 folder. They are standalone files so if you sort the Sims 3 folder by name, they will appear toward the bottom.
And please do as Pam stated, restart your computer, close all unnecessary background files and try loading your game again. Hopefully this will cure your problem for awhile.
I delete these two files every evening when I am done playing and my DCBackup files monthly.
Note: For Windows Vista and Windows 7, look in Documents, not My Documents.
Automatically Clear Cache
Grimsoul has additional information that can help you to clear the cache every time you start The Sims 3:
I keep getting little bugs like the consignment shop not working, missing texture file on the drafting board and find that I have to delete the cache file regularly to to fix them. I've been doing it each time before I start the game and haven't had any problems this way.
So instead of trying to remember to do this each time I made a simple little batch file to take care of it for me and thought that others mid find it useful also.
Open notepad and copy and paste the following into it. You will have to change the directories path if they don't match where your files are. Like if you are using Late Night instead of Ambitions you will have to change that. If you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7, the path will be 'Documents' as opposed to 'My Documents'
Then go to File, Save as... and give it a name like Clean Sims.bat and under the drop down menu for Save as type: change it from Text Documents [*.txt] to All Files then save to the desktop or where ever you want.
When you click the batch file it will run and delete the four cache files then run the Sims.
del "C:\Documents and Settings\My Computer\My Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\CASPartCache.package"
del "C:\Documents and Settings\My Computer\My Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\scriptCache.package"
del "C:\Documents and Settings\My Computer\My Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\compositorCache.package"
del "C:\Documents and Settings\My Computer\My Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\simCompositorCache.package"
start /d "C:\Program Files\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3 Ambitions\Game\Bin" Sims3Launcher.exe