100 mods you should be playing for Oblivion
February 20, 2010 9 Comments
Edit 7/18/2014: You’ve probably gotten here thanks to Google, as this, as well as my Fallout 3 mods post, usually make the gauntlet run when doing a Google search. Most of these mods are probably outdated and I did not update the links to reflect the domain switch the Nexus made awhile back. I will also not update the links nor will I answer questions regarding them.
Having seen how successful the 50 mods you should be playing for Fallout 3 article was, I wondered if maybe I should take it a step further. You see, before Fallout 3, my top game on the list to mod the hell out of was Oblivion, and, unlike Fallout 3, Oblivion has a great deal more of mods to choose from, which has more to do with how long Oblivion has been around. To this day I still play Oblivion, and it is only because I am able to refresh every six months or so my modding experience by downloading a slew of quality mods that add a lot of content to the vanilla experience of the game. However, instead of just bringing you 50 mods that I recommend, I decided to go all out and up the ante by listing 100 mods that I personally recommend. Yes, I did say 100 mods. Keep your shirt on. So grab some popcorn and pull up a chair, because this is going to be lengthy.
#1: Oscuro’s Oblivion Overhaul
If you haven’t heard (if not, where have you been?) Oscuro’s Oblivion Overhaul (better known as OOO) is an overhaul mod for Oblivion and, quite possibly, the most popular one to date. OOO adds a boatload of content to Oblivion, changing the leveling content of how Oblivion works (enemies no longer level with you), adding a slew of new NPCs, objects, items, quests, and, generally, and overworking of the entire game.
Cobl describes itself as a “world enrichment mod,” adding more depth and variety in killing the usual mountain lion or two. It changes a lot of the ingredients loot tables to give you a variety in your pack rat adventures of searching every crate and barrel in Cyrodiil, as well as adding a number of new ingredient items for you to use, eat, or mix with alchemy. Cobl also includes other assorted things, such as books from Morrowind, alchemical sorters, and “The Luggage,” a persistent container of shared storage found in every rentable inn, buyable house, and joinable guild.
#3: Imperial Furniture
Tired of looking at the same stupid furniture in your different character saves? Wish you could truly decorate your home to your liking? Imperial Furniture offers that opportunity to the exact, allowing you to buy movable furniture and light sources for you to place in your home. Tapestry, storage, chairs, gardens, etc. You name it, you buy it…and then decorate your home! Don’t buy house upgrades and see how creative you can get.
#4: Kvatch Rebuilt
Kvatch Rebuilt is an amazing mod that does exactly what it sounds like it does. Unlike other Kvatch rebuilding mods, Kvatch Rebuilt has an entire quest line to start Kvatch being rebuilt. On top of that, the city isn’t rebuilt overnight; expect immersion as you wait for days and days before you start to notice minor changes to the scenery of Kvatch until it is finished and is restored to its glory. It even offers an option for you to become the Count/Countess of Kvatch!
#5: The Lost Spires
The Lost Spires is an extensive quest mod, adding an Archaeology Guild for you to join into the world of Cyrodiil, as well as numerous dungeons, items, and creatures. The Lost Spires is immersed in TES lore and is sure to bring goosebumps of nostalgia to long-time TES fans.
#6: Enhanced Daedric Invasion
Ever feel like the so-called “Oblivion Crisis” is a joke? Do you scoff at Mehrunes Dagon as you calmly stroll about Bravil with an Oblivion gate that’s sitting outside the city? Well, by the Nine, expect this mod to test your mettle by amplifying the Daedric invasion by increasing spawn rates for Oblivion gates, Daedric raiding parties into cities, and the Imperial Legion making a clear presence in trying to push back the invaders. The mod also tracks your work in closing gates to the sort of reinforcements you can bring along with you to help you wipe out war parties, giving you a feeling that you are really making a difference.
#7: Akaviri Stronghold
Akaviri Stronghold adds another Blades temple in the world space of Cyrodiil on the Gold Coast West of Anvil. Akaviri Stronghold is more of a house mod than anything else, allowing you a place to stay, safe storage, training areas, alchemical tools, and repairing tools. However, the real highlight to Akaviri Stronghold is that it includes a respawnable Oblivion gate in its walls, giving you access to Daedric ingredients once more after the Oblivion Crisis has been quelled (on the account that gates will stop popping up in the wilderness after that).
#8: Knights of the White Stallion
This mod expands the Knights of the White Stallion faction. Based off the Mazoga the Orc’s story with the Count of Leyawiin, the guild now has an extensive headquarters with other fellow Knights in the Order, as well as allowing you to achieve a higher rank for you to command and order around said NPCs. It also includes a quest to hunt down and kill the Black Bandit’s leader in their Black Bow Hold dungeon.
#9: Adonnays Elven Weaponry
Adds a slew of new weapons with varied quality types. Great for the player looking to immerse their Mer character experience.
#10: Armor of Heavens Fury
Adds an amazing set of armor and weapons. Great for a Paladin character.
#11: Akaviri Imports
Adds 81 new weapons of varying quality to Cyrodiil.
#12: Akatosh Mount
Adds a “drake” mount. Basically it’s a dragon mount using the Akatosh dragon model. Mount it, fly around on it, store things on its saddlebags, and marvel of the awesomeness of having a dragon mount.
#13: Armor of Mythologi
Adds a set of Greek armor. All you need now is to design a Brad Pitt character.
#14: Ayleid Amulets
Adds four powerful Ayleid amulets to the game.
#15: Barter Gold Mod
Multiplies every merchant’s base gold amount by ten. You’ll want this, considering the number of mods that add expensive items.
#16: Black Market
Adds a “black market” shop near the Imperial City. Offers every weapon and armor available in the game and a fence to sell stolen goods to; if you have the money to buy Daedric armor and weapons, why wait until LV20 to get them?
#17: Blades Ceremonial Armor
Adds a true heavy armor set for the Blades.
#18: Book Jackets: Oblivion
Retextures every book jacket to beautiful quality.
#19: Grimbots DLC Book Jackets
Retextures Shivering Isles book jackets as well as the official DLC Spell Tomes.
#20: Battlehorn Castle Enhanced
Greatly overhauls the official DLC Battlehorn Castle, adding a number of rooms to make it feel like a real castle.
#21: Unofficial Oblivion Patch
Fixes about a gazillion bugs.
#22: Unofficial Shivering Isles Patch
Fixes another gazillion bugs, but for Oblivion’s official expansion, The Shivering Isles.
#23: Unofficial Official Mods Patch
Fixes a number of bugs with all of the official DLC.
#24: Bruma Mages Guild Restored
Much like Kvatch Rebuilt, this mod aims at restoring the Bruma Mages Guild, which is destroyed in the Mages Guild storyline and is never restored. Adds a quest to getting it back in order.
#25: The Blackwood Company
Lets you join Blackwood Company. Includes an extensive quest line that intertwines with other guilds.
#26: Cities Alive at Night
Adds city lights from the world space view.
#27: CM Partners Mod
A companion system that lets you recruit and organize a party. Works well with other mods that add factions or recruitable NPCs. Includes options on what you want each party member to do, as well as assigning them tasks to perform without your supervision.
#28: Dark Brotherhood Outposts
Adds a few DB outposts throughout Cyrodiil, including NPCs, guardians, and quarters.
#29: Dark Brotherhood Shadow Set
Adds an awesome set of armor for DB characters.
#30: Deadly Reflex
Deadly Reflex is a combat overhaul mod that adds a number of new combat features, such as shield bashing, dodging, and kicking. On top of that, Deadly Reflex also takes combat to the next level, allowing you to chop off limbs and perform decapitations, impalements, and crushing people’s heads in with blunt weaponry. Also adds throat slitting, sleep stabs, and critical attacks (scoring a critical with a fire spell immolates the target, leaving a charred corpse; force spells can explode targets altogether, sending gore flying all over the place).
#31: Disenchant Spell
Allows you to disenchant enchanted weapons, giving you the option to fix enchantments or change them at your will. Not happy with Umbra’s enchantment but really dig the sword? Disenchant it and then enchant it to your heart’s content!
#32: Dude Wheres My Horse
Keeps track of your horse, adding it as a quest tracker to the world map.
#33: Dwemer Skyship
Ho ho, you heard right, your very own airship. Based off of Dwemer lore, follow a quest to gain your very own airship that you can fly where ever the hell you want around Cyrodiil.
#34: Custom Race Fix
Allows for the ability to play as other races. Necessary if you want to be using mods that add other races.
#35: Elves of Lineage II
Adds two races inspired by the MMO Lineage II.
Adds 250 different runeskull items. Basically it’s the normal world equivalent to the Daedric sigil stones. Found throughout dungeons and whatnot.
#37: Complete Gardening
Allows for cultivation in the world of Cyrodiil. Plant something and wait five days for it to grow. Harvest it and wait another three days for it to grow back. Great for the budding alchemist character or to add charm to your home.
#38: Glenvar Castle
By far my favorite house mod. Adds a castle on the Green Road, south of the Imperial City. Has an amazing view, enough rooms and storage to house all of Tamriel, and a quest line to get the deed to the place. Of course, it requires some fixing up once you get the deed, and the prices are steep, but it’s basically THE house mod for the veteran hero who can afford it.
#39: Goblin War Party
Adds the ability to wage Goblin wars against different Goblin tribes. Apparently it was something Bethesda was originally going to let you do in the first place but never got around to fully implementing the feature (via the Borderwatch quest line). Pick up the tribe’s totem staff and that tribe will favor you and not attack you, instead following you and attacking anything that attacks you (or that they have negative feelings for, such as Imperial Guards, so watch out where you bring them).
#40: Gold and Silver Bars
Adds gold and silver bars (duh) to the game space. Find a stack of them in a wrecked ship.
#41: Gray Fox Leather
Adds a set of armor as a reward once you become the Gray Fox. Goes wonderfully with the cowl.
#42: Guild Map Markers
Adds guild map markers to your map. You have to discover the guild in the game before you can fast travel to its location, however. This is really more a time-saver, especially when you have to visit each guild for related quests.
#43: Huntsmans Lodge
Adds a lodge player home Southeast of Chorrol. Great for Ranger-type characters.
#44: Phitts Helmet Collection
Seven new closed helmets. Hide that ugly Orc face!
#45: Hoarfrost Castle
Hoarfrost Castle is another house mod, adding a huge castle that you can gain through completing its quest line. Like Glenvar, the view is amazing and not cheap.
#46: Imperial Horse Armor
Adds horse armor to the patrolling Legion’s horses. Requires the Horse Armor DLC.
#47: More Training
Changes the max skill training between levels from 5 to 50. Hey, if you’ve got the money, why not?
#48: Illumination Within
This mod lights up the windows when you are inside cities, adding atmosphere and a feeling that the city is “alive” at night.
#49: Imperial City Library
Adds a library to the Imperial City. Adds a quest and a treasure hunt, but mostly cosmetic.
#50: Journal Mod
Adds a journal book that you open and then can write entries in. Great for the budding role player who wants to document what happens to his character each day.
#51: Landmarks with Wells
Adds map markers to Ayleid Wells, Runestones, Doomstones, and Wayshrines (once you have discovered the location, of course).
#52: Leviathan Soulgems
Replaces the textures and models for the current soulgems as well as separate textures when the soulgem is filled.
#53: Loading Screens Themed Replacer
Adds 43 different loading screens with 278 different loading descriptions. A lot of really great shots that really changes up the cycle of looking at the same load screen over and over again.
#54: Loading Screens Themed Replacer SI
Same deal with Loading Screens Themed Replacer, except this one deals with the loading screens in Shivering Isles, all with appropriate pictures for the expansion and appropriate tips.
#55: Loading Screens Themed AddOn
Just incase the two previous mods don’t add enough variety, this one should when it adds 300 new loading screens. Also includes a DevKit so you can make your own loading screens as well.
#56: Lootable Lich Helms
Just a neat little mod that lets you pry those neat helms off dead liches.
#57: Lost Paladins of the Divines
Adds an amazing set of armor and weapons for Paladin characters. Quite the adventure to find the armor, as there is a minor quest to get it.
#58: Black Crest Kit
Yet another interesting set of armor and weapons for a Paladin character. This one, however, you buy in a store.
#59: Mannimarco Revisited
Turns the Mages Guild finale into something much more than just a pushover quest end. Seriously. The stronghold is now evil as hell, and Mannimarco will eat you for breakfast if you try to face him at a low level.
#60: Misc Tracker
A neat little mod that informs you when your fame, infamy, or bounty has gone up. It also lets you know if you’ve murdered someone and if your murder was reported.
#61: Nighteye Goggles
Adds, quite possibly, the most useful item known to man. Buy the goggles, wear them, toggle nighteye, and voila! Infinite nighteye spell! Quickslot it so you can instantly put them on when you go dungeon delving.
A must for Necromancer characters. Adds a huge Ayleid ruined city with a couple of quests, two sets of armor,and spells for the budding Necromancer, including one that resurrects dead horses and turns them into skeletal horse mounts.
#63: The Dwemer Subway
Adds a Dwemer subway system “under” Cyrodiil. Basically, if you’re one of those “no fast travel” people, then this mod helps out a lot as you speed from the Bruma station to the Imperial City station in a minute.
#64: Natural History Museum
Another aesthetic piece, this adds a museum near the Imperial City to display a variety of creatures found around Cyrodiil. However, most of the displays are missing and require your work to collect parts dropped from the creatures to fill the museum.
#65: Myths and Legends
A wonderful mod, adding seven unique weapons around Cyrodiil. However, they are hard to find and clues are given only through the books that you have to buy.
#66: Myths and Legends 2
The sequel mod to Myths and Legends, this one adds 14 new weapons, as well as an even harder adventure to attaining the said weapons.
#67: Natural Environments
Alters the weather, water, habitat, and vegetation in the game, providing a more beautiful and “natural” experience.
#68: No More Quest Items
Lets you drop quest items from your inventory. Really more of a “because I can” mod.
Adds the “keychain” item that compacts all keys you find into that one object so you don’t have to scroll through numerous keys.
#70: Portable Campsite
Adds a portable campsite for you to place freely in the game space to spawn a tent, a campfire, a bedroll
#71: Quest Award leveling
Another base fix needed for Oblivion. This mod levels quest awards, such as weapons, to scale with your level.
#72: Quest Award Leveling Shivering Isles
The previous equivalent for the Shivering Isles expansion pack.
#73: Real Lava
Retextures the lava from “tomato soup” to “my eyebrows have been singed.”
#74: RealSwords Redguard
Adds lore-based swords on the design of the Redguard race.
#75: RealSwords Argonian
Adds lore-based swords on the design of the Argonian race.
#76: RealSwords Breton
Adds lore-based swords on the design of the Breton race.
#77: RealSwords Khajiit
Adds lore-based swords on the design of the Khajiit race.
#78: RealSwords Bosmer
Adds lore-based swords on the design of the Bosmer race.
#79: RealSwords Orc
Adds lore-based swords on the design of the Orc race.
#80: RealSwords Goblin
Adds lore-based swords on the design of the Goblin race.
#81: RealSwords Nords
Adds lore-based swords on the design of the Nord race.
Adds rowboats around Cyrodiil for you to use. Not all that fancy; you just get in a boat and it magically moves in what ever direction you want it to. No rowing actually involved. Better than nothing though.
#83: Sigil Stones Expanded and Extended
Changes the way sigil stones work, offering numerous different properties, as well as expanding their powers as you level.
#84: Summon Oblivion Gate
Ever wanted to be the bad guy? Wanted to summon your own Oblivion gates? Well, that’s exactly what this mod does, offering a spell to create an Oblivion gate (as well as one to destroy it) and a ring that, when worn, has all Daedric beings become friendly towards you. Open a gate in a city and wreck havoc!
#85: Sevant of the Dawn
Quite possibly one of my most favorite mods ever. Allows you to play the bad guy route once the game is finished, offering you the chance to join what is left of the Mythic Dawn to reopen the Oblivion gates and truly bring on the Daedric invasion. Extensive quest line with lots and lots of goodies. Rule Cyrodiil!
#86: The Black Cat Jewelry Store
Adds an interesting little shop with buyable welkynd and varla stones, as well as numerous Daedric statues that you can decorate your home with.
Allows you to move any object on precise axises to lock items in place. No more Havok cell loading killing your bookshelf!
#88: The Forgotten Shields
Adds 11 unique shields and 2 full sets of armor that can be gained by the accompanying quest or from vendors.
#89: Thieves Arsenal
A must for the Thief character. Basically think of all the items you would find in the game Thief, because, guess what, that’s what this mod adds.
#90: Unlimited Wear
While considered a “cheat” mod, I still think it’s ridiculous that you are limited to wearing only two wrings and one amulet, so this mod removes that limit altogether. Use at your own discretion (I mean, seriously, if you’re wearing 24 rings, then you’re definitely abusing it).
#91: Vampire Aging Disabled
Does what it says on the tin. You no longer are forced to have a terribly hideous face once you become a vampire. Extremely useful if you become a vampire and then you seek the cure, considering vanilla-wise if you’re cured your face stays like it was when you were a vampire.
#92: VAs Better Gold
Retextures the gold pieces found in the game world, making them more noticeable (and nicer-looking).
#93: Verona House: Bloodlines
Adds an amazing quest line that adds a new town across from the Imperial City, including various NPCs and a buyable house.
#94: DarNified UI
An absolutely beautiful UI mod that reworks the sloppy UI in place with Oblivion.
#95: tda Armoury
Adds a few sets of amazing armor and weapons to the game for you to buy.
#96: Color Map Mod
Colors in the lifeless Cyrodiil map.
#97: Rens Beauty Pack
Adds the Mystic Elf race and 19 female and 9 male hairstyles for all races.
#98: Petrify Spells
Adds the petrify spell, which lets you turn your target into “stone.” Also includes an unpetrify spell if you’re feeling particularly merciful.
#99: Alternative Start Arrive by Ship
A recommended use after you’ve had enough of playing through the prison intro. Start the game by arriving on a ship and choosing your character’s background!
#100: Menu Video Replacement Scenery
Replaces the default .bik that you see on the start screen with some beautiful video footage of the world space of Cyrodiil.
BEFORE DOWNLOADING AND INSTALLING
Before you download and install stuff, let me explain a few things to you, especially if you’re new to the modding scene. First off, there is one essential download that you will need for some of those mods to work. The Oblivion Script Extender (OBSE) is that one essential download. The other essential tool is the Oblivion Mod Manager (OBMM). You will be able to access your load order from here and rearrange it freely. You will also be able to download the .omod version to mods and install them easily instead of having to unzip each file and manually overriding files to place them in the Data folder. Make sure you also download the correct compatibility patches for mods that say that they directly conflict with either OOO or Cobl, or else you will find yourself a very unhappy camper. Another useful tool (totally unneeded) is the TES4LODGen. Running it will scan through all of your .esps (your mod files) and then add all new game space scenaries to see them from a long distance.
Q: Do these mod conflict with each other?
A: Yes, they certainly do. OBMM will even tell you which mods conflict with which. However, this is my personal list of mods; they currently are sitting in my Oblivion folder and I am playing the game in working condition. I will not lie to you; I have experienced some crashes here and there. However, crashes are to be expected once you start using numerous mods. Other weird instances include scenery and landscape clipping with one another. All minor and still allows you to properly play the game.
Q: These mods aren’t working! Every time I try to start Oblivion with them the game crashes!
A: It is possible that your load order is wrong. It’s crucial to remember that without a proper load order that Oblivion will crash no matter what. Exert common sense; all mods on that list include readmes, telling you what they conflict with and where they should go in the load order. If you’re still having trouble, post your load order on the Nexus Forums. Someone will be kind enough to help you.
Q: My load order is correct and the game is still crashing!
A: Still totally possible. In total you are looking at over 150 .esps that the game is trying to load, so it’s definitely a strain on the game. Other troubles could exist that are even unrelated to the mods, such as a video or sound card error (especially for nVidia graphics cards and on-board sound cards).
Q: Why isn’t Better Cities/MMM/FCOM/UL/*insert other popular mod here* not on the list?
A: Believe you me, I’ve had numerous Oblivion reinstalls, all at the hand to try different mod combos for the biggies like MMM and UL. The trouble is that they conflict the hell out of the majority of the mods that I like to use. OOO is the most popular one of them all, so the majority of modders include compatibility patches with their mods.
Q: I don’t like some of these mods.
A: Then don’t download them.
Q: I found something to complain about.
A: Color me surprised.
BY AZURA BY AZURA BY AZURA!
That’s all folks. Hopefully everything will work well for you and you will have an amazing and enjoyable experience that extends what the vanilla version of the game could have ever offered for you. I know this list does exactly that for me.
Originally written: August 2009