The Sims 2: How to fix the flickering screen on Windows 10

The Sims 2 seems unlikely to return to Origin, but but if you have a copy installed and you are dealing with the dreaded screen flicker, there is a way to play in peace.

To this very day, The Sims 2 straddles a weird space that both transcends its era and makes it a frustrating game because of some limitations. First released in 2004, the second edition of the popular Sims franchise, The Sims 2 gave players four years of content as the franchise came into its own.

In 2021, The Sims 2 remains one of the fan-favourites and in 2014, the release of The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection on Origin brought some nostalgia to players who previously owned the game.

But the cult classic was removed from Origin in 2018 and Sims players have been holding out hope for its return.

Recently, those dreams were dashed – or at least dealt a blow – after a response from EAHelp to a Simmer’s query about whether the game would ever return to Origin.

That response on Twitter said:

“Unfortunately I don’t really have any good news for you. The Sims 2 game is no longer available on Origin and we don’t have any game codes to share.

The reason for this is that it’s a very old game and wasn’t designed to be run on the most recent versions of Windows. There is also no support or development team for the game so we wouldn’t be able to help players if things started to go wrong. For those reasons, it wouldn’t be fair to sell the game today. I’m sorry for the bad news.”

While that is indeed bad news for players who do not own a copy of The Sims 2, the game is from a time where most games were installed from a Compact Disc (CD) and anyone with a hard copy should still be able to play.

The Sims 2 and the dreaded flicker on Windows 10

While it is correct that this “very old game” comes with some technical challenges to be made compatible with newer operating systems like Windows 10, as pointed out by the original poster in the thread about the game’s return to platforms like Origin, getting The Sims 2 to play nicely on Windows 10 is still possible.

We are not going to deal too much with how to purchase a copy of The Sims 2 (there are other helpful sources for that out there). But, your best option is to find copies on places like Ebay and Amazon or even thrift stores. But, with anything purchased from the online retailers, do be careful of scammers.

But back to the flickering screen, you get when you play The Sims 2 on newer operating systems on Windows 10. The website leefish.nl has a wealth of resources to help you. These include the relevant “graphics card” downloads to get The Sims 2 working on Windows, including tutorials on how to create your own “graphics card” for The Sims 2 if it does not currently exist.

Depending on which version of The Sims 2 you are playing and which expansion you have, your fixes might need to fit into different folders. However, all of these fixes involve creating graphic card rules to get your game to work.

While there are several custom fixes you can apply with The Sims Community website offering a really solid tutorial for those who are more technically savvy, downloading and installing the correct graphics card fixes from leefish should solve most of the problems.

The most important thing is  that your downloads need to be installed into two different folders. There is a thread on the forum dealing with the different issues and how to apply fixes for both Graphics Card and Video Card issues.

You’ll need to add these files to your The Sims 2 install folders on Windows 10 – and they must be applied into two folders. These might differ depending on the packs you have installed. Read the tutorials on the leefish site carefully and make sure you apply the fixes accordingly.

Once you have applied the correct fixes, make sure you run The Sims 2 as “administrator” on Windows 10. This is done by right-clicking the short cut icon and selecting “Run As Administrator”.

You can also run The Sims 2 in windowed mode by right-clicking the shortcut and adding -w to the end of the Target in the shortcut location. This works similarly to the Windows 10 widescreen fix for The Sims 1.

With all of these fixes, make sure you follow the instructions carefully. While these fixes might look complicated, they are very much flat-pack solutions that should fix most problems if you follow them step by step.


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