Installation from DVD differs depending on when you bough the base game with September 2012 being the important date.
The difference between the two is whether or not you need to have Origin. When Sims 3 first came out in June 2009, there was no Origin. EA only had the EA Download Manager and that was not mandatory. You didn’t need to register your game or make an account with EA. That is still true today. There is no EADM anymore, but you do not need Origin or an Origin account to enjoy your game.
The later version of base game, the Sims 3 refresh, is pre-patched to 1.42 and does need an Origin Account as well as a one-time Internet connection to install your game base game. The expansion packs do not need Origin and they do not need to be registered unless you want to claim your registration bonus.
Be aware that none of the disc version contain SecuRom so if you install from disc, your computer will stay SecuRom free.
Base games bought before Origin
You can install the game as many times as you want and on as many computers as you want (the license only allows 5 concurrent installations in the same household though). The game can only be registered once. You need the DVD to play the game.
Since this version is not available in Retail anymore, I will not go into details on installing the game from DVD for the first time. Instructions below are for reinstalling the game. A first time installation does not differ that much from reinstalling. Only difference is that if you want to register your game, you will need to open an account as well. You can only do this if you bought the game new. Used games can not be re-registered.
- Put the DVD in your drive
- Follow instructions on the screen.
- Depending on the country you bought the game in, you have different language choices.
- If asked for your serial code, put in the number on the back of your manual (or on a white sheet of paper that can be found within the DVD Box)
- Follow instructions on the screen until the game is installed.
- At the end, you’ll be asked if you want to install EADM. I recommend to skip that and download Origin if you do want to install it. It is optional. Only draw-back of not installing Origin is that you can’t patch through the launcher and the ingame store will not work properly either. Everything else works as intended.
Base Game bought after Origin
The following instructions are valid for the Sims 3 Refresh, the Sims 3 Starter Pack and various The Sims 3+ Versions (Details can be found here: Base Game Versions)
- Make sure you have an active Internet connection
- Put the DVD in your drive
- Click install on this screen
- If You don’t have Origin yet, it will be installed and updated first
- Accept the EULA
- Create an account or log in with an existing one. If you have already activated your game before, login with that account (best is to use your email address) and proceed to step 8. You do not need to activate the game again (also see problems below)
- Activate the base game by registering the serial number that can be found on the white sheet of paper inside your DVD Box
- Choose your language
- Choose your installation path
- Wait until the game is installed
- Click on Play in Origin, to start the launcher and download the newest patch. There’s a Store Content Patch and a Game Update.
- Create an account on thesims3.com to be able to use all features
- Happy Simming