Welcome folks! You may know (or may not know as well) me as an author of Skyrim Ultimate Modding Guide. While there is an amazing guide for graphics and stability from Bevilex, this guide is a result of several monthes of modding Oblivion in attempt to completely overhaul its gameplay (meaning they are 100% compatible), transforming the game into something of absolutely new level, while being 100% stable at the same time. For the last few monthes, I was scrupulously testing and combing together hundreds of gameplay mods for Oblivion, learning more about their features, compatibility and stability level. I'm always trying to judge any work as much objectively as possible. That's why, this guide is not simply some kind a list of most endorsed mods, but a list of mods that are qualitative, interesting and stable, mods that I have tested myself. Long story short, using mods from this list you can be sure you will have a lot of new challenging and rewarding gameplay hours, and your game will not crash until your game itself is stable by default. Mod list contains tons of gameplay mods to improve absolutely any aspect of the game you may want - combat, enemies, spells, perks, quests, new lands, immersion, armors & weapons, leveling, hotkeys, towns & villages, guilds, and a lot of various minor fixes and improvements and much more. Everything is divided into sections. Also, there is a separate section in the end called "Install at your own risk" which contains the list of great in features, but dangerous/too bugged/too script heavy mods that you can install only...yep, at your own risk :) So if you won't see some mods you expected to see here for sure - scroll down to this section. Most of mods have my personal notes about them, compatibility advices and tweaks recommendations when needed. In addition, there is a separate mini-guide about my personal gameplay mod list. To make your modding expirience even simplier, if you will decide to replicate my mod list, there is a complete set of my .ini files for it, already tweaked for best compatibility and balanced gameplay settings - so after you'll install mods for my personal mod list, you only need to sort your load order and replace default mods .ini files with mine. I heartily love this community and have a huge respect to all amazing mod authors who gave so many talented creations for our favourite games, that's why I want to do my best to pay them back and this community a little, by making this guide and helping people to have best possible gameplay expirience. I will also support and gradually expand the guide, so feel free to ask questions and suggest great mods that in your opinion should be in this list :)
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Demonstration of heavy mod list with mods from this guide in actual gameplay:
Let's begin! == Remember that you can always find a modding help and friendly gaming chatting in our Discord ==
== READ THIS ==
No kidding. You must read this. Thanks.
== STABILITY, TOOLS & PROGRAMS NEEDED ==
LOOK HERE: even if you're not planning to have nextgen graphics (or your PC can't handle texture mods and ENB), you still must visit this page and:
1) Download and isntall everything from "Install these essential tools listed below:" section. This means Wrye Bash (main mod manager, and read A to Z tutorial for it if needed), Oblivion Mod Manager (secondary mod manager for some mods), Oblivion Script Extender (most of good gameplay mods require it), BOSS (load order sorting tool), 2) Install TES4Edit (great tool for cleaning dirty mods if you will have some, you can watch this video to learn about. Yes, it's for TES5Edit, but cleaning process is literally the same). You can as well read this amazing step by step page to learn about it and be sure to give special attention to the list of mods you should [NOT] clearn here. Also, TES4Edit is great for solving mod conflicts yourself in a few clicks. To learn more about editing the records in it, watch this video. It's once again for TES5Edit, but process and interface are literally the same. Once again, not just install these tools, but read how to use them on this page. 3) On the same page, find "Stability Mods, OBSE Plugins, Fixes & Patches" section. Read it and make it from A to Z. You must do this even if you'll run just a few mods. Oblivion engine is much less stable than Skyrim's and to have 100% stable game you must implement stability tweaks on 100%. 4) Now, find "Interface" section and install a few mods it contains. 5) A simple rule and a good habit. For gameplay mods, in 99% of cases, installation order doesn't matter, but load order and compatibility matters. To always be sure your game is balanced and you will always have 100% features from mods, after each 2-3 big mods and 5-7 medium/small mods, sort your load order with BOSS and update your Bashed Patch. Bashed Patch is very important! Let me expain why. Most of gameplay mods, especially big ones, are modifying so called "leveled lists". What is leveled list? In simple language, that's everything you may find and meet in the game. Enemies spawns, items in chests and enemies as loot, spellbooks in traders inventory and so on. Many other things like changes/addition to Race/AI records and scripts may be added as well. The key moment here is game is not updating this automatically, litereally meaning that you may never see some of new creatures, items, spellbooks or new NPC faces from OCO2 on mod-added NPCs. But thanks the Divines modders, you can fix that by making a Bashed Patch. Simply find an plugin called "Bashed Patch 0" in your load order, right-click on it, choose "Build/Rebuild" patch, click on it, wait until importing is finished and...boom, magic! Everything is updated and imported, so you can be sure everything you want from your mods - you will see it ingame. Doing this, Bashed Patch also solves many compatibility issues and decreases amount of plugins, merging them. So once again, after each 2-3 big and 5-7 medium/small mods installed - rebuild your Bashed Patch. 6) Remember. Oblivion engine is much older than Skyrim engine and much less stable. That means - while all mods listed in this guide are qualitative and stable, this doesn't mean you can just install them all. Oblivion engine most likely will die in agony. Read mod sections carefully, don't rush, and install mods you really like and feel you need them and you will use them. Though, it's absolutely possible to have list of ~200 gameplay mods, if majority of them will be not too huge and script heavy - you will be fine. Just remember - read, think, choose, then install :)
Finished with stability and preparations (don't forget to endorse Bevi's guide ;))? Good job! Now we can begin to mod your game :)
If you want to replicate my personal mod list, or use it as base for your own (.ini files with everything already tweaked are in files section), watch this video:
Breaking news! New Vegas U.L.T.I.M.A.T.E. modding guide with premade mod lists is here.
While ofc it's you choice, you can grab almost all mods from this section - you will lose anything and only gain, no matter what your mod list will be in overall and what class you'll be playing as.
SM Plugin Refurbish Tiny but awesome mod that stops all that annoying DLCs pop-ups. You can start DLCs by making simple actions, which is also much more immersive. For example, for "Horse Armor" DLC you can read notes in IC taverns. Thieves Den DLC - you will hearing the rumors about den from NPCs after you've stolen enough goods, and so on. AV Uncapper + AV Uncapper Settings Great mod that uncaps attributes, skills and other actor vallues to be able to go above 100. That's very useful in overall, first of all, as this removes level limitation, allowing you to level-up much more. Secondly, damage/skills/other formulas are counting uncapped values - you will do more physical dmg with 120 Strength, than compared to 100 Strength, etc. All this is making leveling much more rewarding. You can find my personal .ini tweaks for this mod in files section. Progress A mod for tweaking your leveling speed in general and amount of XP needed for each separate skill to lvlup as well. Main reason to have this mod is when you have decent mod list, you have much more to explore in your game, much more enemies, events etc. With vanilla (original game) leveling speed, that would mean to explore 80% of new content already being at very high level, which is very boring. In addition, if you'll have many armor/weapon/spell mods, you can just simply get lost in huge amount of new things with original leveling speed, that's why slower leveling is highly recommended. In addition, you can change leveling speed of separate skills (for example, Restoration skill that was going up toooo slow). You can find my personal .ini tweaks for this mod in files section. Q: why Progress instead of Fundament? Fundament supersedes Progress as it's newer and better! A: no, it doesn't. You see, we'll be using Fundament only as a "core" mod taht's required for some other mods (like TRAP). Until enabled in .ini file directly, Fundament does nothing itself. And why Progress over it? Because leveling/skills tweaking system is much more intuitive and easier to setup in Progress than in Fundament. Ofc, you can use any you like, but until you're not a ultra modding veteran, I humbly recommend you to use Progress. It offers everything you need. Alternative Beginnings (optional) This is Oblivion variation of "Alternate Start - Live Another Life" for Skyrim, from the the same author. If you are bored from running through starting dungeon once again, or just starting new game often to test something - this mod will be very useful for you, giving you a lot of options for quick game start. GOSH - Gecko's Oblivion Sound Overhaul Best audio mod for Oblivion, similar to "Audio Overhaul For Skyrim 2" in Skyrim. But why not to make whole audio mods section, you may ask? Pretty simple. While there are, no doubts, some other cool sound mods (like Sounds of Cyrodiil, for example, which is much bigger indeed), many of them cause weird performance hit and even random crashes, because sounds files in these mods are not optimized properly. GOSH is the best combination of quality, stability and keeping original sounds as much as possible. It has not given me a single crash for many monthes.
You should already have first 5 mods in this section, if you have read beginning of the guide attentively. But just in case, I place them here as well. DarNified UI Nothing less than a core for nex-level UI in Oblivion. Install it for sure. This mod must be installed with OBMM. Dynamic Map Main feature of this mod - it will show all possible map markers from mods you have installed automatically. Making exploration much more easier. Elven Map For Shivering Isles A great map for Shivering Isles DLC. Map Marker Overhaul Another must-have map mod. Place your own markers (like in Skyrim), know which dungeons are cleared and which are not and much more! Custom Spell Icons Great mod to have a full control of how your spell icons will look. Even more essential as you will be using magic/spell mods for sure, and so have much more spells. Let them look diverse in your UI! Enhanced Hotkeys Simply a must-have mod, both for heavy and light-modded setup. It's a complete overhaul of vanilla hotkeys that gives you up to 160!! hotkeys in total. This mod is actually better than even any similar mod for Skyrim, no kidding. Besides 160 available hotkeys, it has 2 main features: 1) It allows you to bind ANY key as hotkey, literally. Even the additional mouse buttons. 2) It allows to bind complex actions to make them in one click - multicasting, cycled casting, switching sets of armors and so on. It's simply an amazing mod, install it for sure. HUD Status Bars Great mod that allows you to expand game interface abilities drastically. You can add status bars for most of noticable data values in game, and it also can add status bars for data from other mods. New compass design, displaying enemis HP bar and much-much more. Skill Perk Descriptions Useful mod for planning your character build and for more cozy playing in overall. It shows complete descriptions and show numeric values for all skill levels. Display Stats Does exactly how it's named. It displays all hidden stats of items like range or attack speed of weapons and so on.
Important note: as for complete gameplay overhauls (like MOO, OOO, FCOM, TIE, all listed below), that add a lot of new events/enemies/items to the game - do [NOT] install them all at the same time, as in this case leveled lists will be just swarmed, you will meet enemies each 5 meters, many new content most likely will never appear in the game and you may face compatibility issues and overall game instability. For most variative and balanced result at the same time, install 1 or 2 of them. My personal combo is MOO+OOO, but it's up to you ofc. And always remember to rebuild your Bashed Patch. Maskar's Oblivion Overhaul MOO is litereally the best complete gameplay overhaul for Oblivion and definitely one of the most talented TES mod ever created at all. If I would like to describe all its features completely, I'd need to make a separate page for that. It improves almost all noticable aspects of the game, while also adding so many new things, so you can think "how is that even possible?". It improves combat, AI of all NPCs in the game, adds a lot of new quests, unpredictable encounters, notice boards, new factions and factions wars (no kidding!), crafting (yes, crafting in Oblivion), pet taming, and of course, hundreds of new enemies and bosses. Dynamics and details is all about MOO - even conjured zombies will have appearance based on the regin you are in now. And I has not listed even 25% of it's features. Should I mention that only user guide for it contains about 50 pages? Another main feature is that it's not modifying even a single game file, adding everything via OBSE dynamically, while also begin very good script-optimized. In addition, it has fully-configurable pack of .ini files where literally each aspect of mod can be tweaked or disabled, and it's compatible with 99% of gameplay mods on fly, as it's automatically detects other similar mods making itself compatible. Just be sure to load MOO AFTER Bashed Patch and simply place it in the very end of your load order. Whatever other mods you will install to improve your gameplay, MOO is one you must have for sure and it's my personal #1 mod for Oblivion of all times. And , as final notice - mod is in very active development, so you can receive support from author and mod users anytime, as well as suggest something new. You can find my personal .ini tweaks for this mod in files section. Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul - Updated My personal #2 between all gameplay overhauls. "It aims to make Oblivion a much more interesting, challenging, realistic, and dangerous place, and also offers great rewards for the daring adventurer, regardless of your level" - and this quote from mod description is 100% true about everything. It improves and rebalances many aspects of the game, adding a lot of new enemies, new factions, new dungeons, weapons and armors (many from them are unique looking with unique bonuses), new NPCs, quest and much more. What if even more great, it's compatible on fly with MOO - it will automatically detect OOO and solve all compatibility "questions" for you. Mod is in development even now, so you can receive support from author and mod users anytime, as well as suggest something new. OOO Shivering Isles A mod to add OOO functionality to Shivering Isles DLC. Grab it for sure if you're installing OOO itself. OOO Creature Addon Adding more beats and animals (neutral as well) to OOOm making it's creature variety even more bigger. It's a matter of taste - try OOO alone first, and if you'll see you lack creatures diversity - install this one on top. OOO Equipment Addon Pretty much self-explanatory :) Hundreds of new items, and also some balance tweaks to OOO itself. Take into account that OOO itself already adds hundreds of new items, so decide if you need it or not (especially if you are planning to use some other weapon/armor mods). Francescos Creatures and Items - V5 Another high-quality mod that rebalances all enemies in the game, making it much more realistic, adds a lot of new and increase variety of existing ones, a lot of new items and bosses, new quests and edits to vanilla quests. It's pretty much similar to OOO (previous mod in the list), just a bit different and a a bit smaller - try them both in a test walkthrough and pick up any you like more. Waalx Animals & Creatures My personal #3 between all similar overhauls. This mod is hosted on TESAlliance, so to download it you need to register there. It's one of the biggest overhauls ever made for Oblivion, and it has amazing quality. WAC is focusing on adding new things to the game, and it does that great. You will meet hundreds of new creatures (both hostile and friendly), a lot of new NPC (both hostile and friendly as well), new camps, tons of new items, huge variety of existing creatures (why only imps all the time - how about succubus?) You will meet completely new mechanics like wandering druids who can help you, or riding mounts. Also, WAC has all Real Swords mod series included. Be sure to grab small bugfixes patch for it. The only thing I'd recommend about it and other big overhauls is to use it alone or with MOO/OOO only, as it changes a lot in original game itself, so compatibility clashes may appear, and be very severe. MOO is not touching leveled lists so it will be fine, and there is an WAC/OOO compatibility patch here. Also, you may use this simple but great fix that removes custom races as way to add beards to any character you may create, and makes it through Blockhead functionality (in WAC it was done by adding separate custom races, and custom races are badly supported by most of racial mods). If you're using Open Cities, grab a patch for it as well. Martigen's Monster Mod 3.8 "No two creatures will ever be the same." That's all about this mod. It focuses mostly on diversity, not touching game so deeply as previous mods can do. All creatures and enemies will spawn with different look and size, different stats, different skills and even agression level. It also makes AI more realistic as well and making world more alive in overall. It also has pretty unique wounds system for more realistic and rewarding combat, and some crafting mechanics. It's compatible with OOO/FCOM in overall, but better to test it yourself if you're planning to use them together to see will you personally like the result or no. Sidenote: for weak PCs, MMM can sometimes cause severe FPS hits due to NPCs visual effects. Use this magic patch to fix it. Tamriel Immersion Experience The smallest from similar overhauls. Uses vanilla assets only, doesn't add new types of enemies. Mod mostly focuses on making game harder for low-level/bad equipped characters and favoring stealh gameplay, by making combat with monsters and bandits more dangerous. It also adds various realism/variety addtions like giving visual variety to monsters, adding high-level guards to shops to prevent robbery, assassin ambushes secret entrances and so on. Supports Shivering Isles as well. BT More Enemies Hosted not on Nexus. Small mod that adds decent amount of new creatures.
Next 2 overhauls are pretty simple and light-weight, the don't add nothing new or special. May be a good option for those who (for some strange reasons) don't want to bring big overhauls to their game and just make a minimal rebalance and add a bit of diversity.
Creature Diversity Doesn't touch leveled lists, but greatly increases visual variety of existing monsters in the game. Brashers Oblivion Overhaul Rebalances leveled lists, making rare weapons really rare and enemies level scaling - less annoying and more de-leveled
Enhanced Economy + fix/optimization patch for it A complete and best ever made overhaul for everything related to trading in Oblivion. In my opinion, that's simply how ingame economics should look like from the beginning. Dynamic traders gold amount, more interesting haggling, local prices based on the city and global events in the game affecting prices in overall, more rewarding Mercantile skill, merchant quests and complete repricing in overall. Moreover, absolutely everything is configurable in .ini files. You can find my personal .ini tweaks for this mod in files section. Alchemy Advanced + improvement patch Completely reworked alchemy to be much more interesting and comfortable in usage. Ingredients quantity slider, ingredient filters, new types of alchemical instruments, ability to save/load alchemy recipes, duration slider for potions to re-balance potion power up to your taste, ability to use potions as ingredients and some other things. If you will be taking Alchemy as one of your main skills, or just love to play with potions, this mod is essential. Don't forget to grab the improvement patch for it as well. Mysterious Bear's Epic Necromancy Together with Maskar's Oblivion Overhaul, this mod is another example of Oblivion modding community being able to make absolutely amazing projects 12 years after game release, when it seems nothing new can't be done already - bang, it happens again! Mod introduces completely new skill - Necromancy. Harvest bodies, rob the graves, gather more and more flesh in absolutely immersive way and create your own army from 5 types of undead minions - skeletons, zombies, shambles, flesh atronachs and skinned hounds. Expirience fully-implemented necromancer roleplay - join necromancers faction and become their leader, defend yourself against imperial battlemage attacks and much, much more! Oblivion XP Update Quite a unique mod that completely changes the way you'll increase your character level in game - removing skill-based leveling and implementing more "classic" leveling system. Now you'll increase your level making various amount of actions - killing your enemies, completing quests and even for various other actions like finding new cells and picking the locks. In addition, Oblivion XP is compatible with most of popular big overhauls like OOO. But of course, it's always a good idea to read trough mod comments section carefully as it's complex mod and you need to prepare your mod list for it. Curse of Hircine - Resurrected A mod that adds werewolves to Oblivion, simple as that. You can become a werevolf and gain unique powers, progressing in this form as your level increases. New models, new NPCs and even werewolf items. You can turn your companions into werevolves as well. Grrrr! Druid Mod Remade That's a pretty simple, but comprehensive and fully-working mod to become a druid. It adds more than 20 new lore-friendly powers and 2 paths of progression - path of Kynareth and path of Hircine. Shapeshifting and new conjurations skills are waiting for you! Mod also adds a quest and some custom items. Personal note: mod may (as well as not) cause rare CTDs when shapeshifting, I had that a few times when was stress-testing the mod. But in this current case that doesn't mean mod is unstable itself - it's just an Oblivion engine itself that doesn't like when your character is changing forms. This issue is pretty minor and mod itself is stable and doesn't cause save bloats or something similar, use it without fear. Hunting and Wildlife Expansion While it's still has "beta" in name, mod is stable and works just fine. It greatly diversifies wildlife in Oblivion and adds new alchemical ingredients, making this mod a good addition for hunter-based walkthrough.
Now here come a complete vampire overhauls, but remember that you can install only ONE of them!
Vampire Revolution Pretty new (as in Oblivion timespan) vampire overhaul. It adds a lot of new vampire powers (and greater powers as well) to let you became a really horrendous monster. It also adds more realistic vampire weaknesses. Main mechanics of this mod is blood points. Each time you feed you gain blood points. In return, any vampire skill/power and being affected by that pesky sun rays cost you some amount of blood points. Mod also adds unpredictable encounters sending vampire hunters to amush you. Nekhanimals Awesome Vampire Mod While having pretty narcissistic name, this mod (pretty new, which is also good) is really awesome and actually much more than that. It's my personal favourite between all vampire mods for Oblivion. It can be compared with "Sacrosanct - Vampires of Skyrim" mod. It's one of the most functional vampire mods for Oblivion and Skyrim (both) I ever seen. It drastically overhauls vampire life, making being a vampire much more challenging and unpleasant, but at the same time - making it much more rewarding, giving you a complete feeling of becoming more and more stronger the more you feed and exist. Two joinable vampire clans, new quests, absolutely greatly designed vampire rank/age progression system with each new rank giving you more and more powers, new powers and much more minor additions. Unholy Darkness This mod is hosted not on Nexus. It's also the biggest vampire overhaul for Oblivion ever made, absolutely qualitative (with quests, fully working animations and professional voice acting!) and deeply touching each aspect of vampire life, giving you a complete new game inside the game. To fully describe its features I'd propably also need to make a separate page, but mod brief description can be read at mod page as well. Also, it has blood points/powers system prety similar to Vampire Revolution. I'm not using it personally just because I prefer complete, but a bit more light-weight "plung and play" overhaul. This mod a real masterpiece for Oblivion vampire existence.
Next 2 mods are not quite a gameplay overhauls and rather visual, but anyway I'm putting them here because both are just great. Both changes appearance of all races in Oblivion, making them much more beautiful/badass looking. Pick up ONE you like the most. Be sure to read mod installation steps/requirements carefully.
Oblivion Character Overhaul 2 I'm using this one. Don't forget to grab this and this patches on top on it (even with Bashed Patch, yep, these patches will "polish" integration better) and this patch for some DLC NPCs. Enhanced Genetics Overhaul Sometimes even more fancy looking, but may be a bit "too much" for some people. A matter of taste.
Race and Birthsign is the first two major choices in the game for building your character class, and be with you during whole game. Some best mods for this :) Note: I'm not including directly any custom race mods here for 2 reasons: 1) custom race choice is 100% matter of taste 2) custom races are very often incompatible with many other mods, may cause quest bugs, and so on. That's why here I've included only mods that affects vanilla races. Also, some big game overhauls like OOO also rebalances races and birthsigns in many cases, so first of all, visit these mod description pages/websites/open mods in TES4Edit to see the changes - maybe you'll like them. Installing other mods that change races/birhsigns, be sure to load them after mods like OOO to have them working. And ofc, you can have only one mod for races and/or birthsigns from this list, do not install multiple mods and don't merge them.
Tejon's Racial Adjustment Package + Birthsigns Expanded Race/Birthsign overhauls from the same author, working great together. It's also my personal choice between all racial/birthsign mods. Amazing and roleplay-wise improvements. All new powers and abilities will be useful to you at ALL game stages, even when your character will be lvl 100. The key to that is Tejon's racial bonuses, for example, or bonuses from racial powers, are not static, but depend on so called "H" value. "H" is your highest attribute. For example, Altmers have passive bonus to magicka that equals 2H. If you have, let's say, 40 Int, it will be 2*40=80 bonus magicka. At 100, it will be 2*100=200, etc. Moreover, "H" can be ANY of your attibutes, that litereally means it also open a huge options for hybrid builds. Wanna go into tanky warrior, but still have a lot of mana to end as battlemage? No problems, raise your Endurance, and still have big Magicka bonus as warrior. And so on... Light-weight. Easy to install. What else needed? ;) Just be sure to install Fundament (just a core, don't tweak anything in it) as a base required for this mods to work. Race Balancing Project Should be installed with Oblivion Mod Manager. Read the installation instruction very carefully as it's also complex in its installation. Absolute great, deep and biggest race/birthsign overhaul. It's very good balanced, but once again, it's really deep and has it's own "spirit" (for example, it makes birthsigns much stronger, but also gives negative effects to each, etc), so before installing it, read the description page without rush. It also adds few custom race to play, which are normally integrated into the game. Moonshineguys Birthsigns and Races Revisited Fresh and pretty original race/birthsign rebalancing mod, which also introduces some cool new abilities. Dahyka's Vanilla Racials and Birthsigns Improved Very fresh and light-weight mod, making mostly rebalancing, but also adding several new abilities to races/birthsigns. You may want to try this is you want minimal changes and mostly rebalance. For that purpose, pick either this or next mods. Races and Birthsigns Rebalance This mod is the most close to vanilla, making just some balancing changes. Take a look on it if you don't want to add anything new. Birthsigns Revamped Birthsigns mod, adding mostly balancing tweaks and few new special abilities. Blademans Better Birthsigns Very good birthsigns-only rebalancing mod. Several changes are a bit OP, in my personal opinion, but that's a matter of taste :) Blademans New Birthsigns Project from the author of previous mod that adds 24!! new birthsigns to the game. Just an amazing addition for those who want to add something new to their game and try new characters builds. Though, some abilities are pretty much to close to OP as well. On the other hand, you can always simply modify them in TES4Edit to make mod a bit more balanced (if you personally will find them OP, ofc). Oblivion Races Unlocked The only mod that adds new playable race atm that I can recommend to use, as it's 100% stable. It adds ability to play as Dark Seducer, Dremora and Golden Saint. Fully working playable races - with own skills settings and racial powers. And Valen Dreth even has a new special greeting for them!
First of all, pick one from these 3 magic overhauls. They all also adds new spells - Supreme Magicka and Less Annoying Magic Expirience add more new spells, Balanced Magicka adds just a bit and it's much smaller magic overhaul in overall. All 3 are great, so choice is a matter of taste - they differs in size, some gameplay aspects, amount of spells added, etc. Just read through the all 3 mods descrption pages and pick one you like the most. Also, why no Midas Magic in this list, you may ask? Answer is a bit later.
Supreme Magicka Update An absolutely all-embracing magic overhaul. It rebalances almost all aspects related to magic usage and thigns that affect magic usage, adding decent a lot of new spells and also adds some unique features - the most original is magic sneak attacks, or, for example, your willpower raises your resistance to paralysys (that can be toggled off/on). It also changes important aspects of enchanting, spellmaking and alchemy. Though, that may be a bit too much for some players - so read mod description and see if you supreme magicka is exactly what you need. Less Annoying Magic Expirience Hosted not on Nexus. That's my personal favourite from magic overhauls. It rebalances magic system completely without toiching anything not crucially needed, adds decent (but not too big to get lost) amount of spells, very useful improved spell sorting system, increases duration of buffs, adds a lot of unique and what if more important, useful features. For example, now, when players is finishing tutorial and exists the sewers, hero doesn't start with senseless Novice spells (when mage skills he chosen as main area already Apprentice level ), but with Apprentice spells, and moreover, player can choose what starting spells to have from various categories. Balanced Magic This magic overhaul is much smaller and simplier compared to previous two. So if you don't like to add many new stuff to the game, or don't like the first two mods for some reasons, this one may be a good option for you.
Actually, after any of these mods isntalled, you will be just fine with magic and also have a new spells. Though, now after you've chosen one from these 3, a few more mods to take a look at.
Chargeable Spells Old-but-good mod, stable and working just fine. Does exaclt how it's named - it allows you to cast spells with much more powerful magnitude by holding the casting key. That's pretty fun and makes spellcasting more tactical in some cases. Though, it's not compatible with magic overhauls listed before, and with mods that add new spells. Dahyka's Vanilla Spells and Vampirism Improved Pretty fresh and very light-weight balancing mod for spells (covering vampire spells as well, so check how it works with vampire overhauls if you have them). May be an option for those, who for some (strange) reasons haven't installed any of magic overhauls listed before. Magic Effects OBSE Tweaks That's simply generally useful mod for any player who wants to play as mage. It allows to add previously unaccessable spell effect types when making own spells. May be a very useful mod for you, no matter are you using magic overhauls or not. Spell Effectiveness Scales to 100 Simple as that. In original game, spell effectiveness in both heavy/light armor could be maximum 95%. The thing is Oblivion "rounds off" this value down, so actual max. effectiveness was 90%. That was pretty ebmarassing. This tiny mod fixes the issue, making you being able to have 100% of magic effectivenes when you'll reach decent level of armor skill. To have its change on top on possible conflicting mods, just place it the very last in your order as possible, and after Bashed Patch as well. Paladin Mod - The Hand of Arkay Simply a great and one-of-a-kind mod for Oblivion that allows you to make a real paladin roleplay and gameplay, adding both functional and roleplay-wise paladin spells, new system of Divines karma, that's increasing when you're making good deeds - later this karma can give you powerfull bonuses or even divine intervention sometimes when you'll be in danger. Personal note: decent amount of users reported crashed when "reediming" the vampire souls (new roleplay feature), but this even doesn't make any save bloats, and mod doesn't make game less stable in any sense, besides this particular possible bug, that may happen or may not happen at all (I wasn't able to replicate it). So, mod itself is absolutely safe. Snowball Fight Redux Wanna have some fun? Get it :D
Combat is very important aspect of the game. In vanilla game, combat was very boring and dumb, first of all because of "damage sponginess". List of mods below is fixing this. Mods listed below will offer you absolutely complete overhaul of all needed combat moments while being stable and keeping everything balanced.
Vanilla Combat Enhanced Simply the best combat mod atm. While it's mostly (but not only) rebalancing vanilla combat-related values, it does that so variative and smart that with it installed you'll see that combat is now just fine - dangerous, more challenging and agressive. Mod reworks damage multipliers, some NPCs attributes, improves AI and greatly rebalances/improve many combat perks. Result is just great. What if even better, all it's features can be configured via .ini file, and so easily made compatible with other similar mods or overhauls. You can find my personal .ini tweaks for this mod in files section. Duke Patricks - Combat Archery Hosted out of Nexus. A complete archery overhaul, deep and comprehensive. Compatible with Vanilla Combat Enhanced and MOO. For other big game overhauls - you need to investigate this yoursef. The simpliest method is to load plugins you want to compare in TES4Edit and it will simply show you the conflicts. You can then edit conflicting values or remove conflicting section from one of the mods. This video can help you. Read the mod page carefully to decide do you need it or no. Also, a compatibility addon for it can be downloaded here for even more seamless integration. You can also check his profile on Nexus to download his works as separate smaller mods, but take into account that you won't receive any support regarding them. Tactical Combat Much more light-weight combat mod, similar to Vanilla Combat Enhanced, but touching less things. And option for those who want to have things maximum light. Archery Rebalance + Archery Balance Two very small and similar archery mods. Great choice to simply boost weak vanilla archery if you don't want to use Duke Patrick's overhaul. They mostly change same things, but couple different values as well. You can install both of them for maximum archery boost, or install both and tweak values yourself in TES4Edit. If you don't want to bother about that and only have one mods, get the first one. MOBS - Medieval Oblivion Equipment Balance System This mod aims directly on weapons, rebelancing their damage. Not needed if you have bigger mods like MOO/OOO+Vanilla Combat Enhanced, but can have a good impact on combat if you don't have them. Also, for even better usage with MOO, get this patch. Also, a bit more patching available here. Basic Physical Activities Simple, light-weight and fully configurable mod from MOO author that improves players abilities to jump/swim/run and adds ability to spring, like in Skyrim. Unidirectional Attack Great mod that is very similar to "Mortal Enemies" for Skyrim. It removes auto-aim from NPCs, making proper combat movement, jumps, dodges and speed in overall finally affecting the battle. It has only one minor flaw. In 1vs1 duels, this mod functionality can lead to exploit when you can just dodge the attacks with proper timing, make 1-2 hits and repeat until enemy is down, making you invincible. But if that doesn't bother you too much or you will just not use this exploit, grab this mod for sure - it's essential for battles, especially for warrior classes. One-Touch Dodge Fully-working dodge roll in all 4 directions. Working with double-tap as well. This mod will make an amazing sinergy with previous mod.
While most of quest mods usually have own worldscapes and are compatible with each other - still, read mod pages carefully to know about possible compatibilities/incompatibilities. Also, don't install them all at once, even if you will like them all. From my own and my other players expirience, if you'll install like 15 big quest mods, you will never finish them all in one playthrough anyway. So my advice is to pick 3-5 you like the most and play with them.
Knights of the Nine Revelation A masterpiece mod that literally can be without any exaggeration compated to official DLC. Actually, playing this mod you won't even feel you're playing a mod. It's huge in size of storyline, adds more the hundred of new items, a big list of another features. Moreover, it's fully voiced with a high quality. If you loved the KoTN DLC, play it for sure. Play it for sure no matter what, actually :) The Lost Spires (endorse here) + The Lost Spires website (download here, no other files from Nexus needed) A spiritual predecessor of "Legacy of the Dragonborn" mod for Skyrim, this mod is one of the best quest mods ever made for Oblivion and one of my personal favourites as well. It introduces a fully-voiced (and voiced just great) long and thrilling storyline related with explorations, excavations and relic hunting. Explore new dungeons and worlds, face unexpected dangers, tough bosses and lead the guild to glory! Dark Brotherhood Chronicles Amazing DLC-like quality mod that drastically expands Dark Brotherhood storyline, which always was looking really unfinished to me. Mod storyline starts after you finish the vanilla DB questline an what can I say here - it's just amazing. It's a complete, complex plot - always with multiple choices and consequences, with unexpected twists and full of dangers. It has amazing scriptwriting and voice acting, making it 200% worthy of your attention and endorsment.The time has come for you to finally decide the fate of Dark Brotherhood - to destroy it or to save and restore to unseen power. Reclaiming Sancre Tor Very big in size, challenging and excellent in quality, this mod makes direct continuation of main questline, allowing you to progress through Blades-related storyline as a completely working factions, resulting in dozens of hours of exciting walkthrough. Hoarfrost Castle A huge player castle and great quest mod at the same time, with questline unlocking more and more features in the castle. Btw, made by the same person who made amazing detective "Clockwork" mod for Skyrim. Thievery in the Imperial City This mod is very light-weight in size and simple in its design, but absolutely must have for anyone, in my opinion. It adds new fence at Market District who buy stolen items and have plenty of quests for you which he gives as a "hints" to very rare and expensive unique artifacts that you can try to steal from different houses/shops etc. It fits Thieves Guild spirit greatly and integrates itself seamlessly into the game. Personal note: one bug is happening really rare (so most likely you'll never encunter it at all), that crashes your game when you're first entering his shop and trying to sell him some stolen items. Game may crash only if you'll try to sell him stolen items added by other mods. To make sure that will never happen, just sell him some random vanilla item. Moreover, it's a not a best idea to sell him stolen goods as sadly items fenced to him are not counting in Independent Thievery quest. Dragon Captions - The Elder Council Very original mod that focuses on Elder Scrolls Lore and introduces Elder Council storyline. Also has qualitative voice acting. A Brotherhood Renewed Another DB quest mod of very good quality. Incompatible with DB Chronicles mod, so choose only one of them. In my opinion, DB Chronichles is superior in almost everyting compared to Brotherhood Renewed, but still this mod is a great quality work, so you may try them both and then choose :) Maids I - Euphoria Despite its name, it's not an adult mod, but actually a very good storyline. This said, it's also may be classified as pretty original, so it's a mod that is "a matter of taste" first of all, but, once again, a pretty good quality. The Ayleid Steps Pretty original and very qualitative mod focused on learning Ayleid culture and exploration, finding a new ways to travel all around Cyrodiil. Absolutely great level design on cells, thrilling storyline and a completely new angle from which you'll look on Cyrodiil exploration. Nascosto Isles 3 Big in size and beautiful new land, full with places of adventure. New dungeons, pirates factions and a new questline are waiting for you. Kragenirs Death Quest Detective, dark and humoristic storyline at the same time with llong main storyline and many new optional quests added. Now without bugs, but nothing walkthrough-breaking. A really good and original quest mod. Also if using Reclaiming Sancre Tor - don't forget the patch. Bounty Quests Fixed and Polished Simple, light-weight quest that adds bounty hunting quests. Can be useful if you don't run OOO/MOO (which have similar quests and this mod is not needed with them). If you'll be using it and like it, be sure to also endorse the original mod. Indornia Very...special mod. Yes, it definitely doesn't looks lore-friendly, but it's definitely original. Besides that, it's simply a beautiful huge new land to explore and enjoy the views, even if you won't be hooked by storyline. Rescue Menien From the Kvatch Oblivion Gate Not acutally very "quest" mod, as it's very short, but still :) Just a must-have fix for little detail or original playthrough through Oblivion realms. Rememeber this poor soldier in a cage? And how you, brave Hero of Kvatch, saviour of Cyrodiil, bravely...left him to die. Because game simply wasn't giving you a choice. Now you has this choice. Repetition - Imperial Requisition Quests If you like repetitive radiant quests - this mod can be a good little addition for you. Compatibility with game overhauls like OOO is not 100% confirmed (but that's not important as you won't need this mod if you have something big like OOO).
Two sections here. First is for mod affecting vanilla dungeons or dungeons in overall, second is for mods that add new dungeons.
Now, choose ONE of the next 2 mods: Better Dungeons The biggest dungeon overhaul ever. It improves design of most of Oblivion dungeons, adding logically needed objects - for example, vampire caves may have Molag Bal statues, bandit caves may have a lot of crates with stolen goods, bedrolls etc. It also adds whole new levels to dungeons sometimes, new puzzles and secret entrances/exits. Mod also makes dungeons darker and so, much more realistic. It's also compatible with most of big game overhauls that adds new enemies, such as OOO/FCOM/MMM etc, just rebuild your Bashed Patch. SnusDungeons Hosted not on Nexus. Another great dungeon overhaul. It's focused mostly on dungeons redisign as well, and, in my opinion, it does that just fantastically. I personally would play with it myself, but sadly it gives me much more FPS hit in many dungeons, that's why I'm playing with previous mod :) Though, as you can guess, it's very graphics mod list/PC dependant, so you may not have any issues if your rig is powerful.
Hackdirt- Abyss of the Deep Ones A great addition to the cave and quest related to it. Treasure Chest Adds new treasure chest with fantastic reward, but not less fantastic strong enemy guarding it, in many dungeons. Compatible with most of overhauls that adds new enemies like OOO/FCOM/TIE, and compatible with Better Dungeons as well. Also be sure to install this mod to use with it. Oblivifall - Something is Definitely Not Right (use this updated version, but be sure to also endorse the original version Immersive mod that adds informative messages about how your character is feeling about being in this or that cave.
Mods that add new dungeons:
Shadowfang Keep and Sundered Keep Two mods from the same author. Amazing quality, great degisn, many new items and even a questline on top on that. Skyrim Nord Tombs, Shivering Isles Root System, Dungeons of Blackwood Mods from David Brasher (which gameplay overhaul is listed earlier). Series of dungeon mods with themed design and unique types of enemies. I played through these 3 only, but I can presume all his other dungeons mods are stable as well. Dungeons of Tamriel Adds sewers system between Anvil, Chorrol and Bruma, and a new island. Very immersive mod, may be especially cool for thieves. Tho ofc, check it's entrances/exits for compatibility with major overhauls/landscape changes mods you're using. Depths of The Underdark Similar but much bigger mod adding huge amount of dungeons and sewers under the cities and villages with many secret entrances. Master Quest Dungeon Ambient dungeon mod with pretty strong bosses. The Ancient Dwemer Ruins One of my favourites here and very atmospheric dwemer ruins mod for Oblivion. As minior flaw, you can see several missing texture cases, but besides that, it's just great and absolutely stable. Colovian Barrow Mounds Adds colovian-themed dungeons. Analen Daelkhun + Foyada - The Faces of Arador Two mods from the same author introducing several new crawling dungeons with pretty unique look and achievement system.
Fighters Guild Quests + Mages Guild Quests Simply a must-have mods for any walkthrough, in my opinion. Mods are expanding both guilds with literally dozens of new quests - not only radiant, but bigger and pretty interesting as well. Guild Advancement This mod requires both previous mods. Have you ever asking yourself how can character with 20 Destruction skill become an archmage, character with 15 Block skill - fighters guild master, or how can just a one random muder instantly make you worthy of Dark Brotherhood attention? If answer is "yes" - install this mod for sure. It introduces a real ranks progression system, where you need to meet skill requirements and do more quests to advance in ranks, making guilds progression much more rewarding. Under the sign of the dragon - Fort Akatosh Redux Ever wanted to fully play through Imperial Legion questline? Dreams come true. Big mod that is adding huge legion fort - with HQ, port, barracks, dozens of NPCs and traders. There are THREE joinable factions in this mod (legion + 2 more factions), ranks progression system and own questline for each of 3 factions. It's also almost fully voiced. Gold Horse Courier - Delivery Job This mod allows you to join Gold Horse Courier factions and make dozens of delievery quests. Main questline is also fully-voiced. Oblivion Adventurers Guild Pretty much self-explanatory :) Join the adventurers guild to make about 40 small quests in different parts of Cyrodiil. StarX Vanilla Vampires Revised + update patch for it (you must install it to fix some original mod issues) Great vampire-themed mod that allows you to join either or vampire clan, or vampir hunters guild to progress in their questlines. Personal note: this mod also makes all vampires in the game MUCH stronger and give them special abilities. Vampire now will be a death sentence to uprepared adventurers. Keep that in mind. Servant of the Dawn A unique mod that allows you to play on the Mystic Dawn side, going through a fully functional storyline! Mod has several not game-breaking bugs, but in does not cause your game to be unstable in any sense. Imperial Bank of Cyrodiil A fully-functional bank mod with several quests and a lot of custom " The Blackwood Company This quest mod allows you to play as a member of Blackwood Company - opponents of the Fighters Guild. Questline is really deep and has multimple choices for many quests, and so, multiple endings. It's also partially voiced (which is is not often happening with older Oblivion mods at all). Only one minor bug was noticed (and it happens really rare), which sometimes cause crashes when you're trying to get the quest item from NPC. If you'll encounter this bug, simply add this quest item via console. Type: player.additem xx01DD87 1 (where xx is number of this mod in your load order, you can easily see that in mod manager, LOOT, etc). Woodland Rangers Revised + be sure to endorse original mod Mod allows you to join faction of woodland rangers who protect the nature, and progress through the short questline. Better Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary Great mod that is focusing on making DB sanctuary less dull and more glorious, ambient and useful. It improves interior design, some NPCs AI, adds new items and functional objects. You may also improve the look of abandoned house itself on top of this mod. Faction Followers Pretty useful mod for those who like to travel with followers. It adds generic followers in guilds so you can take them with you. They do respawn.
If you want to install some big weapon/armor pack that adds items to leveled lists, be sure to rebuild your bashed patch. Also, it's recommended to not install more than 1 big weapon pack as leveled lists have some limitations, and you can reach them fast if using too many weapons mods and big game overhauls like OOO, making adding new weapon packs senseless (as you'll be able to add them only via console which is not very comfortable).
Weapon Improvement Project No matter which weapons you'll be using, this mod is essential - it makes complete retexuring and gives better meshes to all vanilla weapons, while also adding some new ones. Grab it for sure. Armamentarium Complete 1-35 Propably the most huge collection of armors and weapons for Oblivion. More than 1000!! items. Greatly diversified vanilla items, completely new ones - katanas, staffs etc. Personal note: if you will install this one, do [NOT] install any other armor and weapon mods - that will be just too much. Weapons Of Morrowind My personal favourite in weapon mods category. Not too big, not too smal, but what is more important - simply astonoshing quality of weapons from talented InsanitySorrow (yes, you probably seen his Lore Weapons Expansion for Skyrim which is pretty much the same). Immersive Weapons Several hundreds of new and mostly lore-friednly weapons - new swords, hammers, bows, completely new weapon like spears etc. Weapon Expansion Pack for Oblivion Nthusiasts Huge (more than 600 weapons) pack, great in its diversity. Adonnays Elven Weaponry Beautiful elven weaponry, many of weapons have custom strong enchantments. Myths and Legends Weapons 2 14 new unique weapons you can find in the game following the sories in the books. Some players may find them unimmesrive and pretty OP (at low/mid levels), but as that's pretty much matter of taste, weapons are looking great, anyway. If you like badass weapons, try this mod. Crossbows of Cyrodiil Absolutely unique mod that is adding fully-functional crossbows to Oblivion. Rapier Set Simple as that. Fancy and stylish. SomewhatRealiticSwords Beautiful and shiny. Oblivion Staff Replacer Adds great diversity to staffs visual appearance in game, without adding new staffs. Ronnie Magnum profile Ronnie makes simply amazing and very high-quality weapons. Just take a look yourself. ElderScrollsFan001 profile Huge amount of simple new armors and weapons as separate mods. You may definitely find something you like in his works. Billyro profile Take a look at his Oblivion section. He made some badass looking weapons as well! Dark Adventuress Bow Set Stylish elven/assassin archer set in black colors. Lost Paladins of the Divines Several sets of legendary and glorious-lookin paladin sets of armor and weapon, and even a paladin horse armor! Andragorns weapons and armors Great looking sets of weapons and (mostly focusing on chain-looking) armors. Knightly Armory Badass-looking, for heavy armor lovers! Grab the patch for Open Cities if using it. Drake Knight Armor and Weapons Epic-looking, white-colored heavy armor set and custom weapon. Daedric Lord Armor Straight from Morrowind! Pale Rider profile He has several badass weapon/armor sets. Some may look not lore-friendly, but still badass. Unofficial Lv30 Francescos Leveled Item by Maltz Several new unique-looking weapons and armor sets from FCOM overhaul, separately. Umbra The Blood Drinker + rebalance patch Simply a must-have mod for those who love Umbra. It gives own quest to this sword, adding power progression (similar to daedric artifact Ebony Blade in Skyrim). Also it adds heavy,light armors and clothing sets as reward for the end of Ubra's quest, to fit all classes. Ice Morrigan Equipment + rebalance patch Beautiful ice-looking set of very strong armor and weapon with custom enchantments. Insanity's Improved Armoury Compilation Retextures of all vanilla armors in stunnifn quality, while still keeping them absolutely lore-friendly. Vanilla Gear Redux Amazing retexturing/remodeling project for all vanilla armors. Also has separate skimpy/not skimpy versions. Assorted Protective Female Armors Beautiful replacer mod that makes all vanilal female armors finally looks like female armors indeed, while not too much skimpy at the same time. Naihaan Kragnaidael profile Check it for some absolutely amazing retextures of vanilla armor and clothing. Divine Shields Small but pretty cool mods which adds pack of shields with emblems of each Divine to the game. Mikes Clothes Replacer v11 Must-have retexture mods for vanilla clothings. Mage Equipment 21 A great pack for mages that contains various great looking robes and some weapons. Extra Robe Pack v3a Robe/hood pack with about two dozens of items. Vermillion and Silverthorn Robes Two unique looking robes.
Here II'm including only mods I tried myself and made sure they are stable and lore-friendly. But ofc, this section is huge and definitely a matter of your taste. Why no Better Cities in this list? Don't worry, I'll explain later.
Open Cities Classic or Open Cities Reborn Great mods from a great author carrying the unique feature - removing loading screens from entering and leaving the cities. Open Cities Reborn differs from Classic version with much more design changes, so this version can have much more compatibility issues if you'll have other mods changing the cities or areas around them. Don't forget to check out patches page. In overall, there are much more patches for OC, so to be sure you have everything possible for compatibility with your mod list, just type "Open Cities" in Nexus search and see the wide lists of separate patches available. Open Cities, once again, is a great and qualitative mod, but you need to understand that it's very complex and so nobody can guarantee you 100% compatibility. Secondly, having all cities loaded in areas without loading screens will drastically increase memory usage around them, causing your game to be less stable and have fps drops. It's a great mod, but think twice if you really need it in terms of your own mod list and PC specs. Any village mods from Arhtmoor's profile Clean, lore-friendly and 100% stable. Rathunas Much more than just a new city - I storngly recommend you to play it at least once. It's a completely new town with own fully voiced questline, new dungeon and custom music. ImpeREAL Empire - Unique Forts Ever asked yourself why there is litereally zero imperial soldiers in imperial forts in Cyrodiil? Or why all imperial forts are ruined? Mod restores all imperial forts to former glory, making them high, glorious-looking, with interior cells, NPCs, traders and even some dungeons and quests. Legion-occupied Forts Plays greatly in pair with previous mod by adding new forts to the game. Also grab OOO/FCOM patch for it (if using OOO/FCOM). Imperial Outpost Bruma If you also think Bruma needs some more imperial presense, grab this little mod. ImpeREAL Empire Unique Cities - Sutch Restores city of Sutch that was removed by Bethesda before game release. Though, take into account that it's just restoring the city and wandering NPCs inside - no actual voice acting or quests. But it's great even just for immersion feelings when wandering around :) Mudwater Absolutely immersive argonian settelement with several quests. Viking Village Simple as that :) Explore, hunt and breath deeply. Talos Bridge Gatehouse Adds defencive settlement to Talos Bridge. Imperial City Suburbs Not compatible with previous mod. Adds a whole village in the same area. ImpeREAL Empire - Unique Castles Makes castles in all Cyrodiil main cities much bigger and look more glorious. Doesn't touch any interiors so compatibile with everything. Snowy Road To Bruma Makes travelling to Bruma and Bruma itself feel more like a northern city. Also you may want to grab some patches for it (take into account that patches for Unique Landscapes mods are not needed as UL Patches installer have them, updated). MTCThievesGrotto Atmospheric thieves community deep under imperial city, with several quests and MTC-Expanded Villages Revisited (standalone, but don't forget to endorse original mod please) Makes several vanilla villages bigger and more alive. Also you can grab the inns addon for it. Weynon Priory Alive More cluttered and fresh-looking priory. Hackdirt Alive Same for Hackdirt. Cloud Ruler Temple Alive The same :) Street Vendors of Cyrodiil Making streets of IC, Skingrad, Bravil and Chorrol much more alive by adding various street vendors. Shop Visitors Simple as that. Tiny mod. Great immersion boost.
I, personally, don't think Oblivion has a strong need in survival mods. Skyrim is fitting this topic much better because of obvious reasons. But, it's once again a matter of taste Oblivion has some simple and just working great mods if you are aimed on maximum survival realism in your walkthrough. Take a look :)
Basic Primary Needs "INEED", Oblivion Edition. Simple and great needs mod with own widget system. Hunger, thirst, fatigue - and so much more sense in eating, drinking and sleeping. Be sure that besides Darnified UI (which you should have for sure) it also requries Hud Status Bars mod. Camping Can be considered as very light version of "Campfire". Simple and just works. Hot Coffee and Tea + BEER for Oblivion May be useful with previous mods. Anywhere Sittable May come as a little immersion addon. Basic Personal Hygiene Makes baths having a real impact on your character life as now current state of hygiene affects on NPCs disposition to hero. Bathing Mod As an alternative to previous one. Choose one or another. Weather Effects Survival Mod Exactly how it's named. Weather conditions will now affect your character. Oxygen Makes breathing timer to restore not instantly after you emerge from the water, making it more realistic. See You Sleep DLL If sleeping is an important part of a game so you've installed Camping mod, why not to improve this part even more? Blankets of Cyrodiil Another visual realism addition. NPCs will now cover themselves while sleeping.
Oblivifall - Losing My Religion Immersive religion overhaul, returning some vibes from TES: Daggerfall. Makes religion aspects of the game more complex, interesting and having affect on the game. Persuasion Overhaul OBSE Changes to persuation minigame, making it more challenging and roleplay-wise. Oblivion - Enhanced Camera Same mod from the same author as Skyrim has. Great first-person camera mod. Ultimate 3rd Person Camera Very user-friendly, convinient, gameplay-wise third camera overhaul. Attention: read the mod page very carefully. Mod is working is very unusual way, and if you won't read the mod page, you may be confused. But if you'll read carefully and install carefully, it will work just fine. Loot Menu FO4-like quickloot menu. Has some minor bugs, but works great in overall. Vampire Race Disabler Get rid of that vampire ugly face at will. Book Tracker See which books you have already read before. Soulgem Magic Makes souls to fill the proper gems. No more grand soulgem filled with smallest pity soul. Relevant Scrolls,Potions and Staves Mod makes all three types of items in game much more useful, giving them minor effects. Have you ever used scrolls in Oblivion, seriously? Now you will. More Effective Enchantments Simple mod that increases enchantments pool, as in vanilla game it was just ridiculously low. Can be tweaked in .ini file to any value - let's say x2,x5,x10,x20 more enchantments pool, etc. Higher Independent Thievery Requirements Thieves Guild realism mod. Greatly increases amount of fences you need to make to gain access to next Thieves Guild quest. No more "lvl 1 adventurer stolen amulets in one ship on 1000 septims and became the right hand of the Gray Fox". Personal note: mod has two .esp in archive, normal and hardcore. Install only one. Listener Overhaul A great improvement of your personal quarters that you receive after finishing DB questline. Unequip Broken Armor Automatically. Also possible to automatically equip any other available armor in inventory instead of broken one. NPCs yield - refined They do now! Though, not needed if you have MOO. Populated Prisons For those who felt pity to Valen Dreath who was alone all the time. Roads of Cyrodiil While technically that's a pure graphics/landscape mod, it's very useful for travelling and exploration and so - saving your time. Remember how you always were running around half of IC to find a bridge to cross the river, spending like 5 minutes on this? Forget about it forever :) Cyrodiil Travel Services Great immersion mod that adds several lore-friendly ways for fast travelling. Travel agens, Divine Intervention (Morrowind-inspired), Mark and Recall, etc. Thieves Highway Revamp Whatever you class will be, you always will be stealing in IC. This mod is seamless and immersive addition for that adding many passages on the roofs in IC for attentive theives ;) And, in Anvil as well. Tamrielic Ingredients or (choose only one) Morrowind Ingredients A lot of new alchemical ingredients for your alchemical madness. Greed Vision New (updated and still updating in 2018), light-weight and just an amazing sneak detection overhaul that is fixing some vanilla notorious bugs and making sneaking process harder and more realistic, and also giving proper functions to NPC (which is absolutely unique feature) - vampire will have detect life, khajiit enemies will use night eye and so on. Try it! Sneak Penalties Mod that makes sneaking more realistic - mostly harder, but also more rewarding. Fully configurable through .ini file. Local Guards Features Great diversity mod making each city guard type look REALLY unique. Compatibility with big overhauls like MOO/FCOM may be incomplete even with Bashed Patch, but in worst case you'll just have guards in different outfit in the same cities. Personal note: don't forget to read mod page to see list of required mods. Bettys Vehicle Travelers Mod that adds pretty unique travellers to Oblivion - carriages and boats on rivers. Extra NPCS If with all your mods you still need more. Adds generic random NPCs here and there. Travelers of Cyrodiil - A Crowded Roads Mod + SI addon Adds a lot of various travellers to Cyrodiil roads. Though, not much needed if you have MOO or OOO. Oblivion Marriage If you ever thought about it. You may also want to grab custom player homes patch for it. ShowRaceMenu Useful mod for those who are testing characters/race/builds a lot, switching races via showracemenu commands. Prevent attributes and skills drops. RefScope Very useful mod for heavy mod list - working as light version of "AddItemMenu" in Skyrim, mod can show you ID of any item in the game, which can be helpful in some situations. Though, unlike AddItemMenu in Skyrim, it can't directly "access" to mod .esp files to get items from there.
Animations is absolutely subjective question, that's why I've added here only or must-have mods and just netral animations mods that diversifies vanilla animations or adds some cozy new one, that are just looking useful/cute. There are dozens of animation mods, just pick up any you like the most :)
Once again, just to be sure, let me repeat this. I have a great respect to all mod authors. I'm not claming the mods in this special list to be terrible or something like that, and don't blame their authors. Mods listed here are still great, but depending on mod, it can cause crashes/save bloats/impossible to finish moments in the game etc, that's why, if you want to use any of this mods, especially on medium-to-heavy or heavy load order, use them knowing issues mentioned before can (and most likely will) happen. I also can't guarantee troubleshooting support to players who use mods from this list. Thanks for understanding! :3
Better Cities In it's amazing design and overall approach, this mod is one of the biggest mods ever made for all TES series at all. Compared with Skyrim modding stage, for example, Better Cities is like JK's Skyrim + Dawn of Skyrim + Interesting NPCs + ICAO + many smaller quest mods together. It's huge and it's adds insane amount of beauty, quests and immersion to Oblivion. But at the same time, this mod is simply too heavy. I fills and overloads your game with scripts. Some of these scripts can work constantly, even if you're not in city or even close to city at all, later making them stuck in your save, bloating it. In theory, if you will use only one mod in your walkthrough, and this mod will be Better Cities, or you will just have minimalistic load order, you will be mostly fine. But with decent mod list Better Cities will turn your game into crash festival, more or less. Also, uninstalling this mod means only to start a new game, as many scripts still will be in your save file, corrupting it. Think about using it before building your load order. Deadly Reflex and Unnecessary Violence Both are great and complex combat mods that will bring combat to a new level, adding tons of new stuff. At the same time, both are script heavy as well, and both have compatibility issues with many different mods, overpowered and/or bugged mechanics, and so on. Also, uninstalling this mod means only to start a new game, as many scripts still will be in your save file, corrupting it. Think about using it before building your load order. Midas Magic Spells of Aurum The biggest spell pack for Oblivion ever created. It adds almost 300 new spells to feed the hunger to any type of magic and new special features, making variety of your magic arsenal simply endless. But the thing is the mod was made at the time of very old modding "era", with absolutely different standarts and approaches. Huge amount of its spells are or ridiculously overpowered, or simply useless. Many look very weird visually because of very bad quality models. Also, even while mod author improved it many times and fixed many bugs, this mod still crashes your game very often at absolutely random situations when using spells from it. If you really love the list of its new spells - install it at your own risk, but my humble advice is to simply go with any of big magic overhauls listed before, as most of them also add enough of new spells, while being stable and balanced. Kvatch Rebuilt This mod is amazing. It simply adds a storyline and possibilities that should have been in the game from the day one. Restore Kvatch after daedric invasion. Rebuilt it. Renew it. Bring it back to former glory, make it alive, and even become a count! This mod is great in its idea, very interesting, complex. On the other hard, its conflicts with too many mods, so until you don't have several years of Oblivion modding expirience, you may never be able to make it compatible with your mod list. It also still has decent amount of bugs and moments where you can crash. Once again, it's an amazing mod, and you should play it - but better do this on sepate save and in separate walkthrough, made especially for this unique mod. Vampire Hunting - Order of the Virtuous Blood Just an amazing quest mod that expands the Order with dozens of new quests. Mod can cause several crashes and bugs here and there, making some quests in it impossible to finish. But, it's "danger" rate is pretty low, as while some issues were reported by decent amount of users, it seems most of players were never facing these bugs at all in same situations, and they can be mostly bypassed by advancing to next qeust stage with console commands (can be found in comments section). Also, be sure to grab this patch if using this mod together with StarX Vanilla Vampires Revised. Knights of the White Stallion Mod is expanding Mazoga the Orc questline to a completely new level. That's just a great quest/faction mod and it's not dangerous in overall, but it needs some strict instructions to be made to make it fully playable, which requires a bit more than basic TES4Edit usage skills. The Imperial Legion V4 Part 3 Another one decent good mod that allows you to join Imperial Legion faction and progress through the ranks. It's not dangerous to your game directly, but simply pretty bugged here and there. You may never encounter the bugs, but may also face a lot. In this case the only option for you will be to search in mod page comments history, as most of bugs have console commands that can bypass them. If you really have a strong wish to play through Imperial Legion faction, better just get Fort Akatosh Redux (listed earlier), as it's simply bigger, more complex and stable at the same time.
Wait, what? That means...we did it? Yes! We, and you my friend, you did it. You reached the end, and if you was attentive during this path - let me pay you my respect! Now once again, just in case, sort your load order with BOSS, rebuild you Bashed Patch and - dive into completely new level of TES IV: Oblivion. Thank you for reading - and wish you a lot of exciting and stable gameplay hours! And, if you like this guide and you want to support my work and future development of Ultimate Modding Guides, consider supporting me on Patreon. See you! :)