How to play The Sims 3 on Linux

The Sims 3 is the third entry into Electronic Art’s life simulation video game for PC. In the game, the player is tasked with managing a virtual house, filled with various house-members they’ve created. The game came out in November 2006 and is one of the best games in the series. Here’s how to play The Sims 3 on Linux!

Method 1: Non-Steam retail

The Sims 3 was released when PC games were still sold in boxes at brick-and-mortar stores. So, if you own a physical copy of this game, you’ll be happy to know that it is possible to install it and run it on Linux.

Note: the retail copy of Sims 3 runs pretty well with Wine. However, you may run into issues getting the DVD to launch the game. If this happens, you must install a No-DVD patch to run the game correctly. Check the official WineHQ post on Sims 3 for more help on running the DVD.

Installing Sims 3 on Linux via the physical retail version of the game starts by getting the latest version of Wine working on your system. To get the most recent Wine, open up a terminal window, search for “wine” and install it the way you typically install software on your PC. Alternatively, follow our guide here to learn how to set it up.

Once Wine is up and running on your Linux PC, it’s time to start the installation of the retail version of Sims 3. Follow the step-by-step instructions below to get everything going correctly.

Step 1: Open up the DVD drive on your Linux PC and place a copy of Sims 3 inside the drive. Then, press the “close” button to tell the DVD drive to read the disk.

Step 2: Let your Linux PC process the Sims 3 DVD and load it up. When the loading is done, open up the Linux file manager, and look on the left-hand side for the DVD drive. Click on it to access the content of the Sims 3 DVD.

Step 3: In the file manager, locate the “Sims3Setup.exe” file, and right-click on it. Find “open with” select it and click on “Wine Windows Program Loader” to run the EXE file.

Note: can’t find Sims3Setup.exe? You may need to enable hidden files in your file manager.

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Step 4: Follow the Windows installer and install Sims 3 on your Linux PC the way you would on a Windows PC. When the installation is done, close the installer.

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After the installation process is complete, open up your application menu, find “Sims 3,” and start it up to enjoy the game!

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Method 2: Steam/Proton

Valve’s work with SteamPlay and Proton is a wonder, as it is making most Windows video games work flawlessly on the Linux platform. The Sims 3 is no different, as the game has a high rating on ProtonDB, and is very easy to get running.

Steam has had the Sims 3 available for purchase for a while, and if you’re unable to track down a retail copy of the game, or don’t own a DVD drive to install the retail copy, this is the only way to enjoy Sims 3 on your Linux operating system.

To start the installation process, ensure that the most recent version of Steam for Linux is installed on your computer. If you’re unsure on how to install Steam, head over to, and click on “Steam” for the Linux OS, you use to get the app installed.

Once you’ve installed the latest version of Steam for Linux, follow the step-by-step instructions below to get The Sims 3 working.

Step 1: Sims 3 is a Windows video game, so you must enable the SteamPlay feature. To do this, follow our guide on how to set up SteamPlay. Be sure to enable it for all titles!

Step 2: Launch Steam on your Linux PC, and log into your account. After logging in, find “Store” in the main UI, and click on it to go to the Steam Storefront.

Step 3: On the Steam Storefront, find the search box, and click on it. Then, type in “The Sims 3” into it, and press Enter to run a search for the game in Steam.

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Step 4: Click on “The Sims 3” in the search results to go to its store page. After that, find the “Add to cart” button and purchase it to add it to your library. Currently, the game is 19.99 USD.

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Step 5: After purchasing The Sims 3 on Steam, click on “Library” to go back to your game library. Look for “The Sims 3” in your list of games, and select it with the mouse.

Choose the blue “Install” button to download and install The Sims 3 on Linux. When the installation is complete, click “Play” to enjoy the game!

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The Sims 3 should work fine through Proton and SteamPlay on Linux. That said, if you run into any issues, be sure to refer to the game’s ProtonDB page.

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