Despite the game being over 13 years old at this point, you’d be surprised by the amount of Oblivion mods still coming out on a weekly basis. The modding community for The Elder Scrolls games is one of the most dedicated out there and that of Oblivion is still going strong to this day. With dozens of new mods released over the past month alone, it’s safe to say that this classic RPG remains very popular among modders.
Considering the sheer amount of mods available for this game, it may be a bit difficult to decide which ones to download. After all, not all mods are created equal and some are clearly better than others. With that in mind, we’ve taken the opportunity to carefully assess Oblivion’s current modding scene and select the most popular mods you shouldn’t play without in 2019.
Models & Textures
Oblivion Character Overhaul Version 2
Let’s be honest. Oblivion doesn’t have the prettiest characters you’ve ever seen. Sure, some look alright but most of the faces you come across in this game looked weird even way back in 2006. There are quite a few mods that have attempted to fix this over the years. However, none have come closer to achieving that goal than Oblivion Character Overhaul Version 2. This mod acts as a comprehensive revamp that adds new skin and eye textures, hairstyles, head shapes, and more. Most importantly, though, the mod makes each race look distinct and more like those found in Skyrim.
Qarls Texture Pack III
Oblivion’s graphics haven’t aged particularly well, which isn’t exactly surprising. Again, this is a pretty old game. Luckily, you can make it look a lot better thanks to this texture mod. The mod touches upon most textures found throughout the game and makes them look a lot cleaner and sharper. This mod only affects environments and doesn’t add any changes to NPCs. This means you don’t have to worry about installing both Qarls Texture Pack III and Character Overhaul Version 2. In fact, it’s recommended that you do install both to make things look consistent across the board.
Improved Trees and Flora
Speaking of consistency, you’ll probably also want to install this mod in addition to the previously mentioned ones to make everything look even better. Just as its name suggests, this particular mod adds new textures for everything related to trees and flora, including flowers, plants, and fungi. Seeing as how a large part of Cyrodiil is covered by lush forests, installing this mod will make the world of Oblivion look a lot more vibrant and realistic.
Color Map Mod
A lot of mods aim to make large-scale changes so this one may seem rather minor by comparison. However, you’d be surprised at how much of a difference it can make. The mod replaces the vanilla map with a retextured and colored version. You’ll need to look at your map often in this game so might as well have a better-looking map to keep things fresh.
Alternative Start Arrive By Ship
Anyone who’s played an Elder Scrolls game multiple times knows that the starting areas can be a bit tedious. Oblivion and its tutorial dungeon are no exception. This mod fixes that by having the player arrive in Cyrodiil by ship and skipping the starting area. Even better, you can choose from one of several presets to determine what sort of character you want to play as. Maybe you want to start off as a priest or a blacksmith or simply roam the wilderness as a bandit. This is one of the few mods that allow you that sort of freedom right off the bat.
Combat has never been Bethesda’s strong suit. And although combat is passable in Oblivion, it could certainly be a whole lot better. But don’t worry because you can make it better with Deadly Reflex. This mod is a combat overhaul that introduces new moves and forces the player to be more tactical when engaging with opponents. Naturally, enemies also benefit from the improvements and will be more difficult to take down as a result.
It’s pretty annoying that plants in Oblivion never change their appearance after being harvested. Well, thanks to Harvest Flora, they do. The mod makes visible changes to plants whenever the player collects their ingredients. For example, if you harvest a plant that has flowers, its flowers will be gone once you’re done collecting them.
This is one of those mods that has the potential to affect your gameplay in a major way. What this mod essentially does is replace the game’s default leveling system with the classic XP system found in most RPGs. No longer will you need to improve your skills in order to progress towards the next level. Instead, the mod allows you to gain experience by completing quests, defeating enemies or performing a number of other such actions.
Weapons and Armor
Despite Oblivion’s huge assortment of weapons on offer, you’re likely to get bored by most of them after a few playthroughs. That’s where this mod comes in. Immersive Weapons adds hundreds of new weapons to the game ranging from bows and daggers to swords and axes. The weapons are seamlessly integrated within leveled lists and can be found randomly while playing or purchased from NPCs. In addition, there are also a number of new unique weapons that can only be acquired by completing certain quests. All weapons are lore-friendly and fit it naturally with the world of Oblivion. Hence, the name of the mod.
Frostmourne and Lich King’s Armor
This one isn’t exactly lore-friendly but it’s a must-have mod for anyone who enjoys Warcraft 3 or World of Warcraft. Just as its name suggests, the mod adds the iconic sword and armor worn by Arthas in the aforementioned games. Frostmourne is available in two variants – one-handed and two-handed. Meanwhile, the mod creator also added a shield for good measure. The Lich King didn’t really use a shield in any of Blizzard’s games but the one included by this mod fits perfectly with the character’s overall aesthetic.
Assorted Protective Female Armors
It’s a well-known fact that female characters tend to wear absurdly revealing armor in many video games. While some might enjoy the eye candy, it’s definitely not a very realistic look as the whole point of armor is to protect the wearer. That’s exactly what this mod was created for. Assorted Protective Female Armors replaces all the vanilla armor sets with ones that offer a lot more protection and coverage.
Of all the mods that add new weapons and armors to the game, this is probably the most ambitious. The mod adds well over 1000 new items to the game, which can be crafted, purchased from NPCs, or found randomly while exploring the world. Armamentarium was initially a series of mods that gradually introduced all these new items. This is essentially just a compilation of all those mods put together.
Quests and Adventures
Kvatch is the first city to fall to the forces of Oblivion and it does so before the player’s first visit. As a result, you never really get to see the city in its full glory. Well, now you can. This mod allows the player to help with the gradual reconstruction of Kvatch and even become Count once the city is fully rebuilt. In addition, the mod also introduces new quests, dungeons, items, and more.
Oscuros Oblivion Overhaul
Oscuros Oblivion Overhaul is a large overhaul mod that aims to make the entire game a bit more interesting and dangerous. The mod does this by making monsters and NPCs more difficult to defeat, as well as making many familiar areas a lot more dangerous than before. You can expect to die a lot more often because of these changes, however, the mod also adds great rewards for players skilled enough to overcome the new challenges and survive in this harsh world.
Knights of the Nine Revelation
There aren’t many Oblivion mods out there that do such a good job at this one at continuing a storyline established by the vanilla game. That makes Knights of the Nine Revelation pretty special. This award-winning mod is essentially a sequel to the Oblivion DLC, Knights of the Nine. The mod adds over 100 new items to the game, more than 40 new voiced NPCs, a new epic soundtrack, a huge functional player home, and more. Thanks to this mod, the famed Crusader’s Relics can now be upgraded and customized in a number of ways.
The Lands of Solstheim, VVardenfell and Mournhold
This is one of the largest mods out there to the point where it even rivals the size of the original game. The mod essentially attempts to recreate The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind along with its two expansions in Oblivion’s more advanced game engine. In addition to adding the main island of VVardenfell, the mod also recreates the island of Solstheim found in the Bloodmoon expansion and the city of Mournhold found in the Tribunal expansion. The three new areas can be fully explored, however, only some of the original quests have been recreated by the mod. Still, this is an absolute must-play for fans of Morrowind regardless.
Similar to the previous mod, Valenwood Improved adds a new province to the game. As you may have guessed, the province in question is the Bosmer’s homeland of Valenwood. This mod isn’t quite as large as the Morrowind one but it’s definitely not very small either. Valenwood Improved adds a total of eight new cities, several smaller towns, a number of new ruins, dungeons, caves, and more. There are also a few quests found throughout the land, however, this mod is mostly about exploration and doesn’t put a big emphasis on the story.
Hammerfell – The Eastern Grasslands
Since we’re talking about Oblivion mod that adds new provinces, we would be remiss if we didn’t at least mention Hammerfell – The Eastern Grasslands. The mod adds portions of Hammerfell to the world of Oblivion complete with new cities, dungeons, NPCs, quests, and more. Unfortunately, this is an alpha release of the mod and it seems like the creator discontinued the project some time ago. Still, it might be worth checking out regardless if you’re a fan of Redguards and want to get a small glimpse of their homeland of Hammerfell.
Oblivion Stutter Remover
That is just a little mod that will make the game stutter less and improve its overall stability. This mod is required by several other mods that improve performance so you’ll definitely want to grab it if you want your game to run as smooth as butter.
Operation Optimization is another mod that improves performance and can have a big impact on your enjoyment of the game. This particular mod aims to improve FPS by optimizing large meshes and will not have a negative effect on the video quality.
This is an absolute must-have for anyone who likes to display armor sets on mannequins. Once the mod is installed, you will be able to find mannequins for purchase at certain shops found in each of the main cities. The mannequins can be dropped anywhere in the world and equipped with any number of armors you may have in your inventory.
Final Thoughts on the Best Oblivion Mods
While most Elder Scrolls fans may have switched to Skyrim or even ESO years ago, there are still players who like to dust off their copy of Oblivion on occasion and reminisce about the old days. Oblivion hasn’t aged particularly well over the years but you can make it look and play better with the assortment of mods found on this list. Naturally, there are plenty more where these came from so don’t hesitate to experiment. Who knows, you might find other great mods that will reignite your love for this timeless classic.
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