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What Is The Sims 4 Legacy Edition, and Do You Need It?

EA announced recently that they will be upgrading the minimum system requirements for The Sims 4 franchise, and users with Windows 32-bit operating systems and non-metal MAC OS will no longer be able to play future games. In a detailed post published on EA’s Answers HQ, Community Manager EA_Mai gave a detailed explanation of what the Legacy Edition is and which players should install it going forward.

In short, the Legacy Edition is a version of the base game that works with older computer technologies. You do not need to download and install it via Origin unless you turn on The Sims 4 and receive a message telling you to do so.

All previous expansion packs before University will work, but online features, including The Gallery, will no longer be available. For small children or ultra-casual players, this may not be a problem, but many others may now struggle to play The Sims without a machine that’s equipped to handle it.

What Does 32-bit Mean? 

All computers have an operating system, and Windows comes in two versions: 32-bit and 64-bit. In short, these terms refer to how much data a computer can process at any given moment. A 64-bit processor processes over four billion times more memory than a 32-bit processor, according to Digital Trends.

A 64-bit processor can work with more RAM, which stands for “Random-access memory” and determines how much data a computer can process while it’s in use. When you play video games and don’t have enough RAM, they’re likely to lag, glitch out or even be totally unplayable.

Most computers have 64-bit processors nowadays, but laptops and PCs made before 2015 may still have 32-bit systems. In order to regain access to The Sims 4online features and play Discover University and future packs, you’ll have to buy a 64-bit system.

All Previous Packs Still Work With The Sims 4 Legacy Edition

EA_Mai confirmed that previous Sims 4 stuff, game and expansion packs will be fully playable with the Legacy Edition of the base game. So, you haven’t lost all the money you’ve invested in the series so far if you’ve just discovered your computer is no longer supported. A small consolation, but worth noting nonetheless.

To find out what type of operating system and processor you have, you can use this free tool.

Switching to the Legacy Edition means that The Sims team wants to advance the series; not only are they ensuring that the game runs on the latest, mainstream technology, but they may also be hoping to expand future packs’ contents, which would require greater processing power to run efficiently.

The Sims 4 Legacy Edition is available for free on Origin for any player who has already purchased The Sims 4 base game.

 

About the author

lunasysims

Lunasysims has been playing The Sims for 15 years, and she has no plans on stopping! She loves finding creative ways to use The Sims to tell stories and bring interesting characters to life. Some of her favorite games include Animal Crossing, Cooking Mama, Mario Kart and the Mass Effect trilogy. When she's not Simming, you can find her writing one of her many book ideas and finishing her degree in Psychology.

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  • I was wondering if it will let you buy discover University even if you can’t play it.. because you need legacy…? Because I’m not sure if I need legacy because origin let me buy discover university… and I’m not sure what to do…

      • The same thing is happening to me, it starts but then it just unexpectedly shuts down I REALLY hope I’ll be able to play again someday.

    • You don’t need Legacy as long as your computer runs a 64-bit operating system. But if you do, then you won’t be able to play The Sims 4 Discover University or any new packs going forward.

    • How can i delete the legacy download? I can change my pc from 32 bit to 64 bit so i can play the university expansion pack. Really want to buy it, so can i remove the legacy edition?

      • So now I have lost my very first household thanks to legacy!!! now I will never get to play normally again!!! I HATE THISSSSSSS goodbye 13 year old me’s household!!!

        • I know it’s been a good amount of time since you posted this, but- if you go into your Sims 4 save file folder, you can copy your saves & move them into the legacy edition folder. Hope that helps?

          You can also download stuff from the gallery, still, via the web. Builds, households, and otherwise. Just a quick google search should help!

          • Hey! I have legacy on my
            Mac. How do I download stuff from the gallery? And do you know if I can buy other packs(not discover university) and still play with legacy?

    • It sure will let you buy AND install University. Once you launch the game, that’s when you find out you need legacy and can’t play the pack you’ve just purchased.

      • Actually, I think 64-bit installers won’t proceed when they detect 32-bit systems, that happened with a program on my old laptop. Though I’m not sure EA would mind you buying it…

    • It let me download discover university and then told me that I needed to download legacy and discover university now hasn’t appeared in my game

  • I have a 64 bit PC but I had to download the legacy edition because after the update u could no longer play the game. Someone on Twitter said it may be because I have an i3 processor and the new update requires an i5? Is this the case? I’m no longer playing the Sims as I can’t afford a new laptop or PC when I already have a 64bit PC. I’m returning Discover University

    • hi Karlene,

      Maby this works. Make a back-up of your game before you make these chances if it goes wrong than you still have a back-up to recover your game. If you open Origin > go to My Game Library > Right klik on the Sims 4 cover > klik on Game Properties > then klik Advanced Launch Option > klik on when launching this game .. klik The Sims 4 64 Bit.
      I hope that this works

      Try to open the game if that doesn’t work than you can chance it back to the The Sims 4 32 Bit Legacy Edition

    • I also have 64 bit PC an i3 processor, and everything runs fine and smooth. I updated it with the latest patch and also bought the Discover University.

    • Hi, Caitlin,

      It depends on your computer’s operating system. If it’s a 32-bit Windows operating system or non-metal Mac OS, then you will need to download the legacy edition. The article offers a free tool you can use to check what your operating system is. :)

  • I have been playing the sims for about 19 yrs, since the launch of the very first Sim 1 became accessible to every one. I have been through this situation before when the computer systems do not support the games, and you have to purchase new systems. I do understand the reasons for the legacy versions to be able to continue to play the game; I am glad EA thought about that, because If you do the math for the amount of years I have been playing the sims then you all know the amount of money that has been spent. Right now I am disappointed that I will not be able to obtain future packs, for I have been through this before with sims 2, and having a windows system at the time forced me to purchase a new one. This time I have a iMac, for almost a decade now. It is a wonderful system, that have served me just fine without a lot of issues. It is unfortunate with the sims at the moment, but let’s see what happens. When I am not Simming, I am working and attending college finishing my degree in Art history and Philosophy.

    • your processor isn’t the issue, it’s your version of windows, if you do as KiraSimming suggested above it will tell you next to system type if you have a 64 or 32 bit system

  • Great article! Very informative – I had no idea about this! Very fortunate to have a beefier computer already lol I’m not sure what I’d do without all the Sims content possible LOL

  • One thing to note for a few commenters is that having a 64-bit CPU doesn’t mean you’re running the 64 bit version of Windows; for a variety of reasons you may be running the 32 bit version on a 64 bit machine. (Short version: the 64 bit version has slightly higher general system requirements, so for performance reasons the 32 bit version is sometimes preferable on low end configurations. While your hardware may *technically* be capable of running the 64 bit version it may result in terrible performance, so if your machine is old and shipped with a 32 bit OS you may want to consider upgrading anyway, Sims or no Sims.

    Here’s instructions for checking CPU compatability and then installing the 64 bit version for Win 10, but remember there may be a very good reason you’re not already running it! https://www.faqforge.com/windows/windows-10/upgrade-32-bit-64-bit-version-windows-10/

    The process is more or less the same for Win 7 or 8.1 – you can download the relevant installation software here, but if you can I would recommend updating to Win 10: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/15088

  • Oh, and if anyone was wondering why this change is being made specifically for TS4, 32-bit applications are limited to using 4GB of RAM and if you’re running a 32-bit OS you can only run the 32-bit version of the game. I’ve got all the addons and a few packs installed and did a quick test; just starting a game with a new household with a single sim takes TS4’s memory usage up to about 2.6GB and this figure steadily rises during gameplay once it starts having to track a lot of goings on. I imagine with a larger household, lots of relationships to track, more content, etc., the game could easily nudge towards the 4GB mark and if you’re running the 32-bit version it’s just going to crash unceremoniously if it hits it.

    Presumably EA/Maxis have had to make a choice between not releasing any more content or going 64-bit only for the future, and from a commercial point of view they’re obviously going to go for the latter option. Given that Windows has had a 64-bit flavour since XP (and OS X has *only* been 64-bit since Lion, and as of Catalina no longer supports 32-bit applications at all) it’s not unreasonable for them to expect everyone to have adopted technology that’s been available to consumers for 18 years…

  • This is crap now all my Mods wont work and my game is Crap. Fuk u EA games I wasted all that DAM MONEY BUYING THIS SHAT. I have 64 bit and the shat still wont play

    • Calm down! Pretty much every update breaks some mods, and most will probably get updated soon. It’s not EA’s responsibility to support third party add-ons, and neither should it be – at best it would take forever for them to test them all, and at worst it would prevent them from making changes to the code to support their own content.

  • While the 4b times more memory is theoretically possible, technically it is not. The important limit is 4GB of RAM for 32 bit machines, and no (realistic) limit from the CPU for the average player or pro-sumer.

  • is there going to be a time limit to get the legacy edition if i need it? or will it always be available to download? playing the sims isnt at the top of my to do list currently due to the kids needing my attention more and more, so when i finally get around to playing it again i’d like to know if i’ll actually be able to or if they’ll remove the legacy edition from origin after a certain amount of time, like i’ve seen done with many other games in similar scenarios as this. I’m asking this here because after a search of the ea forums i’m yet to find any info on it. Thanks in advance to anyone that takes the time to reply.

    • I thought about the same thing but, I think they won’t remove it because they wouldn’t be that cruel to leave simmers behind just because they didn’t get the Legacy Edition in time.

  • Updated my game Monday and just downloaded the legacy today and I’ve lost 2 of my households plus the 2 towns my sims where living in. Not overly happy about this new update. Plus I do have a newer laptop and now I can’t play my game! I’ve never had any issues with this game before until now.

  • All you do is update windows to 64bit.. then you can add all the new games.. problem is.. dont buy expansions from origin.. they force to to t
    Download legacy.. then expansions after that.. you cant just download the expansion and get the product key.. and please dont buy there bundles eather… i play my sims 4 without origin.. deleted origin.. dont care to go online..

  • I just checked my laptop and I have a 64 bit so it should hopefully work fine but before /and/ after downloading the legacy edition my game is unplayable as all of my households have disappeared and no new households will load to play. In my EA folder a new Legacy folder wasn’t even created – not sure if this is an ongoing bug while we wait for the next update? Or if my system still isn’t up to spec?

    I am running the Sims 4 Limited Edition, not sure if it needs to be the stand-alone Sims 4 and that is where i’m going wrong?

    • For the most part is it better out without it for both 32 and 64? I don’t know if I should download it because I am planning on getting university and future packs? Seems quite frustrating!

    • You shouldn’t be downloading the Legacy Edition if you have a 64-bit operating system. Legacy Edition is only for those running a 32-bit operating system that doesn’t have a processor capable of upgrading to a 64-bit version. The operating system is Windows, for example.

  • hi, i have recently downloaded the legacy game and so does that mean in the future i won’t be able to buy the expansion packs ;-;

  • When I go on origin and click the Sims it tells me that the Sims 4 legacy edition is available for players with older operating systems or hardware . Does that mean I need it ?

    • No, this is just a notification pushed to all owners of The Sims 4. I saw this when I went to go start SimCity 2000, but I already had TS4 installed. I even had Discover University installed! The notification is just a reminder for all 32-bit Windows and non-Metal macOS users, but is pushed to all Origin accounts with TS4 installed, mainly because there is no difference between 32-bit and 64-bit Origin. I’m glad that I can help.

  • I have a 64-bit operating system, x64-based processor with 4.00GB RAM and it is still making me install Legacy Edition. Why? What else do I need? I hate this..

  • I have no idea what is going on but I had Sims 4 Deluxe Edition so I could not play it with out legacy edition so I got it and I went to my gallery the community tab will not show up or any of my saved game everything was gone even my account in the gallery there’s no tabs literally I need help.

  • Don’t do it !!! I purchased university and moschino pack and it didn’t work! Been playing sims since 2000 and gutted isn’t the word!

  • A few questions, answer any you know the answer to guys, i want to speak for everyone going through the same thing.

    1.how do i delete the legacy edition if i update my windows, and how do i know i can delete it.

    2.do i need any other requirements other than 64-bit to remove legacy edition?

    3.why can’t we buy future packs etc.

    4.will legacy edition have updates

  • Stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of. This is going to easily ruin the game for a ton of people because they don’t get any new content. Ever.

  • I’m so confused. When I first saw the notification on Origin saying that you needed legacy if your Mac didn’t support Medal or if you had 32-bit, my game stopped working. I have a 64-bit computer. I spent about four hours CC shopping so now I’ve wasted so much time for nothing. I restarted my computer: it didn’t work. I updated and repaired the Sims 4: didn’t work. So I had nothing to do, so I installed legacy. I got my game running again, but now everything is gone and all the cc I wasted so much time downloading won’t show up. I’ve turned CC on and off five times now and nothing is working. How do I delete legacy because I’d really love to play this game again but I don’t think I’ll get the chance. It’s such a waste of time and a stupid update. We’ve wasted so much money on a nonfunctioning game and now a bunch of people either won’t get any more updates or won’t be able to play the game with cc or with all of the saves they used to have. What a waste of time and money.

  • I have found if you go into setting on the game in Origin, then Game Properties, Click on Advanced Launch Options and change the option when launching this game to 64 Bit rather than Legacy which run at 34 Bit. Hope this helps

  • Yet another sudden change from EA that hurts their player bases for one of their games. This has been an ongoing trend, and it will not end anytime soon. This is reminiscent of Dragon Age Inquisition; they made the decision to release the game for both the last gen and current gen systems, then, suddenly, part way through it’s life span, they announced that the future dlc, which would continue the story, would ONLY be available for the current gen systems, and you would need to purchase the game for that system to transfer your save files over. At least in this case, they aren’t forcing a complete repurchase like they did then, but it’s still a really crappy way to treat their customer base, not that that’s anything new.

  • I didnt get a message saying I need legacy’s but I can’t go on the sims 4 so I figured that was the problem? hopefully it is because if not I’m screwed