The Sims 3 is has a lot of bugs and problems. This means that if your game is crashing or your launcher will not run, it may be a problem with custom content you have installed, but it could also be a problem with the game.
Giving help and advice for technical problems with The Sims 3 is beyond the scope of this website. This topic will only include information about problems with our custom content specifically. I have, however, included a list of links where you can find information about common game bugs, other custom content and technical issues etc. I recommend starting with the Delete Cache Files topic if your game is crashing and you have a lot of custom content as well as making sure you have the latest patches.
Related Links - help and support if your game is not working properly
It seems that all games are given to die at some point, usually within just a few generations, after which you're forced to start a fresh game.
Whilst there is no magic cure for this issue, there are a few things you can do which may help reduce these problems.
When you save your game, the game creates one back-up copy of the previous save. Directly after saving pause your game, press Alt & Tab to switch back to your desktop, open your My Documents \ Electronic Arts \ The Sims 3 \ Saves folder and copy that back-up folder - you can keep it in the Saves folder or put it somewhere else. I suggest naming it with the name of your neighborhood and the time and date.
This won't make your game any less likely to fall apart, but it will give you options to go back to an earlier point than just the last back-up (which may also be corrupt).
Periodically saving your game as a new game using the Save as option can clean up a significant number of potential corrupters that exist in your game which will likely mean your current game will last longer than expected.
You've probably heard this recommended - it's a good idea to do if your game is crashing, but you can also do it anyway before a problem happens to help maintain your game's integrity. See this Sims Wiki Topic for full details of which files to delete:
Deleting the DC Cache files will uninstall any content installed with the launcher - you'll need to reinstall it before restarting your game (which will take an extra long time to load the first time after doing this), but it will often be enough to fix a crashing problem. Deleting the script cache is also a good idea if you use any mods, things like story progression mods for example.
If you are having issues with our Worlds please see the extended information topic for Worlds which hopefully covers all the things we know can go wrong with worlds (that aren't related to general gameplay bugs - for that you'll need to seek help from EA or Google). It also covers boring stuff like how we've tested our worlds to try and make them fit for distribution (lest you are in any doubt).
All custom objects for The Sims 3 require the 1.29 game patch (often referred to as the Pets patch as it came out at the same time as the Pets EP). If you have not patched your game up to or beyond that level then the objects will not work. It's not something we've done wrong, it's just the way it is. Either patch your game or discard the objects.
If you'd like to patch your game but are unable then try this Sims Wiki topic for some ideas of things to try:
For specific technical information on things like mesh poly counts please see this topic here about our furniture:
There is a problem where some clothing and accessories can cause Sims to become extremely disfigured if they age up whilst wearing them.
I am not sure precisely why this problem occurs, but I am in the process of fixing files that have this problem by removing age groups which do not transition well and creating stand-alone versions for the other age groups. They should all be fixed by spring 2012.
This problem will NOT harm your game or permanently damage your Sims! Change their outfit at a dresser to make them return to a normal body shape. Please delete files with this problem from your game and download replacements if/when they are available.
I have recently learned that a few creators are still distributing old versions of our patterns with their downloads, patterns which had a fault (caused by the TSR Workshop used to make them) which labels them as Store premium content which you have not bought and thus so you cannot install them. This bug only occurred for a few weeks more than 2 years ago, and I have repeatedly asked the creators of the lots and Sims that use these out-of-date files to update the copies they are sharing but have had no response.
To fix this problem delete the file you cannot install and download the newer version from our Create-A-Style section.