Many moons ago I bought a copy of The Sims for my Windows 98 computer. Thankfully, both the computer and Windows 98 have gone the way of the dodo but I always have had a soft spot for the game. It has since gone on to spawn sequels and expansion packs on just about every platform going but I still keep a warm woolly place in my heart for the original.
The only problem is, getting an old game to run on a modern operating system can be a challenge. Sometimes they can be run through emulators such as DosBox or re-engineered and re-sold through sites such as GoG.com. Unfortunately, The Sims doesn’t work straight out of the box on Windows 10. Maxis who make The Sims games don’t appear to have any interest in making their original game available to people who would like to play it.
Anyway, enough of that. I now have The Sims working on both my laptop and my desktop PC. The laptop runs Windows 10 32 Bit and the desktop the 64 bit version. This means there instructions differ very slightly.
I still own a legal copy of the original game. I’ve not tried to modify the game to run without a CD or anything like that.
- Install The Sims. Preferably as an Adminstrator if you’ve got that option
- Open Windows Explorer and navigate to either of the following locations. It will depend on what version of Windows 10 you are running.
For 32 bit, it’s C:\Program Files\Maxis\The Sims
For 64 bit, it’s C:\Program Files (x86)\Maxis\The Sims
- Rename the original Sims.exe file to Sims (Old) or something else.
- Download this file. It’s also called Sims.exe but has been reworked so that the game will work
- Copy this new Sims.exe into the C:\Program Files\Maxis\The Sims or C:\Program Files (x86)\Maxis\The Sims folder
- Make a shortcut to this file to the Desktop.
- On the desktop, right-click on the Sims shortcut you’ve just created and select Properties from the menu
- Go to the Compatibility tab and choose Windows XP (Service Pack 2). And there you have it.
I have no idea if other compatibility modes are better or worse than this one. I chose Windows XP Service Pack 2 because it was the last operating system I played the original game on. It worked so I’m working o the basis of “if it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it”.
There are instructions very like this on the internet and I tried some of these but with no success. I had no luck with any of the reworked Sims.exe files that were available elsewhere. The one I’m using came from an “obtained” version of the game that a friend owned. If you choose to try the Sims.exe file I’ve made available here, you are doing it at your own risk 🙂
If you played the original game, you may have used programs such as Sims Art Studio and Sims Homecrafter. None of these are working for me and I’m not going to chase those up to see if they can be made work again. The good news is that there are still lots and lots of custom made Sims goodies (floors, walls, skins, objects) freely available online.