“An unexpected error has occurred while saving: Error Code 12” Is this error message preventing you from saving your game progress, and the game entirely unplayable? According to the Sims game documentation, this is a “world save failure”. 

The error code essentially means that your PC has insufficient memory to save the world file for the game. You may get this error on various platforms, including Windows, Android, Xbox 360, and PlayStation consoles. 

Throughout this guide, you will learn what causes the Sims error Code 12 and how you can possibly fix it on your own. 

Sims 3 Error Code 12 

If you are getting error code 12 on the Sims 3 game, the world file for the game is refusing to save due to insufficient RAM. The error often occurs after long-playing sessions, especially the ones with large families. 

If you happen to be creating custom outfits for each of your sims, you are likely to run out of virtual space faster, causing the game to crash. In other instances, it occurs when two devices installed on a PC are assigned the same I/O ports, Direct Memory Access channel, or the same interrupt.

Some of the common causes of the error code 12 message in Sims 3 include: 

Insufficient Memory 

The Sims 3 game requires at least 4 gigs of RAM to run. If the allocated RAM space falls below this requirement, you are likely to encounter the error code 12 message. 

Game Running on Half Memory 

You may be having enough memory to run the game, but the game is running on just half of the memory. In this case, you should consider using the 4GB patch to ensure that your game is always running at the right amount of memory. 

However, you should never use the patch if your computer has less than 4GB of RAM. 

Low System Requirements 

Each computer game has minimal system requirements for it to run successfully. If your computer does not meet the minimum system requirements for the Sims 3 game, you may end up getting error code 12. To get the right experience with this game, your computer needs to be running on a 64-bit OS, and have at least 4GB of RAM. 

How to Fix Sims 3 Error Code 12 

As you can see above, the error code 12 message may be triggered by a number of things, but they all point to one thing—insufficient memory. First, you need to ensure that the computer you are using to play the game meets the minimum system requirements for the Sims3 game. 

If the computer meets such requirements, you may use the following methods and procedures to clear Sims 3 error code 12:

Method 1: Increase the Pagefile on Your Computer 

The pagefile is a point that Windows goes back to when it runs out of physical RAM memory. The computer will use this preoccupied space on the hard drive to free up more RAM for the running applications. 

To increase the pagefile on your computer, you should follow this procedure: 

Step One: Open System Properties 

Select the “My PC” icon, which is often located on the desktop or Libraries, and right-click on it. Select the properties option and navigate to the Advanced System Settings link, positioned on the right side of the Window. Now click on the Advanced tab. 

Under the performance section, choose settings and click on the Advanced tab on the window that opens. 

Step Two: Alter Virtual Memory Properties 

Under the Virtual memory section, select change. Now you need to ensure that the checkbox adjacent to the “Automatically manage paging file size for all drives” option is not checked. If checked, click on it to uncheck. 

Afterward, select the drive or partition where you intend to add more paging file memory. You should then click on the radio button adjacent to the custom size option and then adjust the initial as well as the maximum size. 

To solve the memory problem on the Sims 3 game, you will need to allocate 2GB extra, and be sure to set the maximum and initial size settings to the same value. 

Step Three: Apply the Changes 

Once you are done allocating the disk space, click on the Apply button for the system to effect the changes. Having closed the window, try launching the game and save your progress to see whether the Sims 3 error code 12 has cleared. 

Method 2:  Lower Sims 3 Graphic Settings

Although Sims 3 is a memory-consuming game, there is a limit to the amount of memory it can use at any given moment. This is about 2GB on Mac OS X and about 3.7GB on Windows OS. You will get error code 12 if the game exceeds this upper cap. 

If you are getting the error message regularly, you can fix it by reducing the memory requirements of your game. This can be achieved by reducing its graphic settings. To do this, you will need to twerk the in-game settings and reduce them in an effort to improve the performance of the game. 

The downside to this solution is that it will affect the aesthetics of the game, lowering the quality of the images. The following procedure will help you reduce graphic settings on your Sims 3 game:

Step One: Open Graphics Settings 

Launch the Sims 3 game on your computer, and click on the three-dots icon on the lower-left corner of the window. Click on the Options menu and then click on the Graphics Settings tab to open it. 

Step Two: Adjust the Settings 

On the Graphics Settings window, set the screen size to a relatively lower setting. This is particularly necessary if you are experiencing low FPS, which is the case with error code 12 on Sims 3. This window also has a number of sliders that allow you to alter such graphic aspects as Tree Detail, and Texture Detail.

Depending on how serious the error is in your case, you may need to turn all those sliders off. In some cases, turning just a few of them will resolve error code 12. Finally, you should apply the changes you just made and exit the window. 

With such settings, you will get lower quality images, but the game will be playable without any memory issues. Some users have also reported that playing Sims 3 in Windowed mode reduces the likelihood of getting error code 12. 

Method 3: Use the Save As Option

This is a quick workaround the error code 12 message on Sims 3. Instead of using the conventional save button to save your progress in the game, try using the Save As option. You should then give the save game a unique file title that is different from anything you may have saved before. 

Again, you should not include any spaces or special characters on the saved game file title. 

Method 4: Delete Sims 3 Game Save Folders 

In some cases, the world save failure error code on this game may be triggered by corrupted game files. In such a case, deleting all the game files with a  .bad extension can also clear this error message. To do this, click on the explorer button on the Windows 10 taskbar. 

You should then navigate to File Explorer: C:\Users\USER FOLDER\Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\Saves. On the saves folder, select all the folders with a .bad extension at the end of their titles, and delete them all.

Now choose the folders that have the to save game’s title, and add a .backup or .sims3 extension at the end of their titles before clicking the cut option on your File Explorer’s Home tab. You should now right-click the desktop and select New > Folder.

Name the new folder Backup, open it and then paste the cut folders into that directory. 

Method 5: Update The Graphics Driver

Outdated or corrupt graphics drivers on your computer may also be the cause of the error code 12 you are getting in Sims 3. To resolve this issue, ensure that you have the latest graphics driver version installed on your computer. 

This procedure will help you update your graphics driver to the latest version, hence resolve sims 3 error code 13: 

Step 1: Right-click on the Windows Start menu and choose Device Manager.

Step2: Expand the Display adapters category, and right-click on the graphics driver. You should then choose “Update Driver” from the menu.

Step 3: Select the “Search Automatically for Updated Driver Software” option from the pop-up menu, and then follow the prompts to install the latest graphics driver updates.

Step 4:If Windows is unable to locate and install driver updates automatically, you can download and install them manually. Navigate to the manufacturer’s website to download legitimate graphics driver updates to your computer. You will also get the steps on how to install the updates manually. 

Final Verdict 

Released in 2009, Sims 3 by Electronic Arts is an interesting simulation video game that has gained immense popularity. Over the years, players have encountered a number of bugs and error codes while playing the game, with the error code 12 being one of the commonest. 

As you have learned throughout this guide, the error means that you do not have enough space to save the world file for the game. Regardless of what is triggering the message, this guide will help you resolve the Sims 3 error code 13 problem in a timely manner.