Oblivion.ini

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Location: Documents/My Games/Oblivion/Oblivion.ini

Intro

The Oblivion.ini, found in the My Games Oblivion folder, contains all of the games configuration settings, from resolution to cell load distance. If this file is deleted or moved, launching the game will cause a fresh one to be generated.

Be Aware
  • You can add comments to the file after a semicolon (;), which is helpful for keeping track of default values and alternative settings in the file itself.
  • Lines read by the game (not comments) are limited to 256 characters. As a result, if the sArchiveList where BSABethesda Softworks Archive files can be registered for the game to load exceeds that limit, some BSABethesda Softworks Archive files will not be loaded, which can cause instant crashes and other issues.

Tweaks

Most of the default settings in the Oblivion.ini (especially after applying the latest patch) . (This is epecially true of the v1.2.0416 updated INI file.) Other safe edits are changing your main menu videos, border regions, screenshot and other INI settings that are required for visual enhancement or reduction. Many of the available tweak guides are out-of-date, so if you are thinking about "tweaking" your INI, find current information about it before doing so. Also, if you find that you are missing certain lines or settings, you can add them if you know they exist. (Ask if you are unsure about a settings existence and/or placement, which group it belongs to.) Also, remember to try regenerating your Oblivion INI files when troubleshooting CTDCrash to desktop on load and related issues. Regerating the INI is as simple as moving the current one out of your "My Games\Oblivion" folder (to make sure you have a back up) and clicking on the launcher. Oblivion will not overwrite an existing INI. Here is a collection of safe edits, in addition to the ones mentioned above.

Warning!!! DO NOT MODIFY Oblivion_default.ini unless you are sure you know what you are doing.

"Regular" Oblivion INI edits

smainmenumovie=Map Loop.bik
>>> in your "Data\Video" folder
SMainMenuMovieIntro=Oblivion iv logo.bik
>>> in your "Data\Video" folder
bAllowScreenShot=1
>>> ScreenShots enabled
SLocalSavePath=Saves\FolderForYour(Current)Profile
>>> allows for multiple profiles
>>> save managing utilities, such as Wrye Bash, change this for you
iShadowMapResolution=1024
>>> default setting of 256 is a known cause of problems (use 512 or 1024)
bBorderRegionsEnabled=0
>>> This setting removes the invisible borders.
iScreenShotIndex=53
>>> The number is the number of your next screenshot.
>>> Fix this setting if your game happens to crash,
>>> or you may overwrite screenshots taken during that session
fMainMenuMusicVolume=0.4000 (0.6000)
>>> This is the only way to change the volume for the main menu
bUse Joystick=0
>>> Sometimes this is set to 1 even if a joystick is not present.

Recommendations to avoid corrupt saves and certain save-related CTDs

[General]
bAllowScriptedAutosave=0 <--- Disables autosaves during starter tutorial

[Gameplay]
bSaveOnTravel=0 <--- Disables Oblivion's auto saves
bSaveOnWait=0 <--- Disables Oblivion's auto saves
bSaveOnRest=0 <--- Disables Oblivion's auto saves
bSaveOnInteriorExteriorSwitch=0
>> Note: If you don't see the last two save settings, your game is not patched to the latest version or you have not generated a new INI since making the update.

FPS Savers

bMusicEnabled=0  <-- disables music, very helpful for onboard soundcards and reducing some processing effort in general
uGridDistantCount=15 ;(default: 25) <-- reduces the number of cells loaded going out into the distance{{BNote: 15 cells out the world will appear to drop off suddenly if there is not any fog at that distance; therefore, using a mod that can decrease starting fog distance can help the visual experience when this setting is reduced (or even with the default setting).}}

SirDrinkAlot's recommendations for users with Onboard Soundcards

bDSoundHWAcceleration=0
bMusicEnabled=0
iMaxImpactSoundCount=16

Grass Tweaks

iMinGrassSize=120
>>raising makes grass more sparse, lower increases the density of grass (increasing performance cost)
fGrassEndDistance=8000.0000
fGrassStartFadeDistance=7000.0000
>>>change the range over which grass is shown
bDrawShaderGrass=0
>>>turn off grass

GEkko64's Suggested Lighting Tweaks "for reasonable HDRHigh Dynamic Range"

[BlurShaderHDRInterior]
fBlurRadius=6.0000 (default 7.0000)
fBrightScale=1.7500 (default 2.2500)

Arthmoor's additional edits and explanations

 uGridDistantTreeRange - Default value 15. Setting this lower will reduce the visible distance on trees, and potentially improve frame rates, at a cost to realism. Raising it higher obviously increases the view distance on trees, potentially reducing frame rates for increased realism.
 
 uGridDistantCount - Default value 25. Controls viewable distance for LODLevel of Detail buildings, ruins, etc. Especially useful when installing RAEVWD as lowering this to 20 or 15 will dramatically improve frame rates without having to turn distant objects off completely.
 
 SCreditsMenuMovie - Change this to a .bik formatted video of your choice. This movie runs between launch and the opening menu.
 
 SMainMenuMovie - Controls the movie played in the background behind the loading menu. Needs to be a .bik formatted video.
 
 SMainMenuMovieIntro - The movie that plays between the credits and the loading menu.
 
 SIntroSequence - Controls what order the intro movies are played in. If the field is left blank after the = sign, the game goes immediately to the initial loading screen.
 
 SSaveGameSafeCellID - Default value 2AEEA. This is where the game dumps things that get orphaned by removed mods. Cell 2AEEA is the formID for the Tiber Septim Hotel in the Imperial City. If you wish to change this, *ONLY* use a cell formID from Oblivion.esm or Bad Things� will happen. The infamous "dozens of naked women" post is a prime example of what gets thrown in this cell.
 
 fQuestScriptDelayTime - Default value 5.0000. Controls how many seconds to delay quest scripts between checks. I don't know the lasting effects of messing with this, but doing so does speed up quest checks, at the potential cost of frame rates. Increasing it may help with performance in some cases, though it will be minimal at best.
 
 SMainMenuMusic - The music played in the background at the opening menu. Needs to be a .mp3 file.
 
 bBorderRegionsEnabled - Default value 1. Controls the invisible borders around the game world. Changing this value to 0 will turn them off, and also overrides any changes made to border regions within plugins. This is the preferred way to turn off the game borders as it will not cause compatibility issues among mods.
 
 uGridDistantTreeRangeCity - Default value 4. Does the same thing as uGridDistantTreeRange when you are inside a closed city worldspace.
 uGridDistantCountCity - Default value 4. Does the same thing as uGridDistantCount when inside a closed city worldspace.
 [The above two are the real reason closed city worldspaces get better frame rates]
 
 bEquippedTorchesCastShadows - Default value 0. If set to 1, this value will cause all torches equipped by either the player or by NPCs to cast shadows. Some systems may not be able to handle the performance cost of extra shadows.
 
 bAllowScreenShot - Default value 0. Set to 1, allows taking screenshots from within the game using the PrintScreen key. Does not work if you are using the game's Anti-aliasing.
 
 bLocalMapShader - Default value 1. Set to 0, this changes the local maps from the parchment and faded brown coloring to a full color local map. IMO, the novelty of it wears off quickly.
 
 fLightLOD2 - Default value 1500.0000.
 fLightLOD1 - Default value 1000.0000. Both of these control how far away you can see light source radii. Setting either one much past 4500 leads to visual anomalies in the form of large colored blobs over LODLevel of Detail objects, and the same colored reflections in the water.
 
 iShadowMapResolution - Default value 256 (after last official patch). I have not observed this to do anything truly noticeable in terms of performance or visuals, but leaving this value at 256 has been shown to cause crashes. I set this for 1024 and all seems well. If it helps with visuals, so much the better.
 
 bUseWaterReflectionsMisc
 bUseWaterReflectionsStatics
 bUseWaterReflectionsTrees
 bUseWaterReflectionsActors - These 4 all default to 0. Setting each to 1 allows water to reflect images from the things near it while playing. Activating these has a small hit to perfomance, usually not enough to notice unless on older machines. The trade-off for visuals is worth it though if you can get away with it.
 
 bMusicEnabled - Default value 1. Setting this to 0 turns all music off. Known to help with performance on systems with on-board sound chips.
 
 bSoundEnabled - Default value 1. Likely to also help with performance if set to 0, but also a major blow to realism since the game would be totally silent.
 
 bForceFullLOD - Default value 0. Setting this to 1 forces all trees to load in full detail once you are close enough to see the 3D models. May have an impact on performance in areas with a lot of trees, but also helps avoid "pop in" as you get closer to them normally. Not to mention the visuals are much better.
 
 fGrassEndDistance - The distance at which grass view distance ends. Maxing the in-game slider goes up to 8000, but you can raise it higher still here at the cost of performance.
 
 fGrassStartFadeDistance - The distance at which grass starts to fade out in the distance. Maxing the in-game slider hits 7000 but this can be raises higher at the cost of performance.
 
 fDlgFocus - Default value 2.1000. This controls the zoom distance when talking to NPCs. Setting this to 4.5 virtually eliminates the zoom.
 
 SArchiveList - The list of BSABethesda Softworks Archive files the game should load at startup. This line is limited to 255 characters, so if you have lots of files you'll need to do some creative renaming. Usually only needs to be messed with when creating custom BSABethesda Softworks Archive packages.
 {{Note|The default BSAs should not be removed.  They are the following:<br />sArchiveList=Oblivion - Meshes.bsa, Oblivion - Textures - Compressed.bsa, Oblivion - Sounds.bsa, Oblivion - Voices1.bsa, Oblivion - Voices2.bsa, Oblivion - Misc.bsa}}

Video Settings Presets

These are the changes available through the OblivionLauncher.

Very Low
[Display]
iSize W=640
iSize H=480
iAdapter=0
bFull Screen=1
iMultiSample=0
iPresentInterval=1
fSpecularLOD1=250.0
fSpecularLOD2=550.0
iShadowFilter=0
iActorShadowCountExt=0
iActorShadowCountInt=0
bActorSelfShadowing=0
bShadowsOnGrass=0
bDoCanopyShadowPass=0
bDynamicWindowReflections=0
iTexMipMapSkip=2
fGrassStartFadeDistance=0.0
fGrassEndDistance=0.0
bDecalsOnSkinnedGeometry=0
fDecalLifetime=0.0
bFullBrightLighting=1
iMaxLandscapeTextures=1
bLODPopActors=1
bLODPopItems=1
bLODPopObjects=1
bUseRefractionShader=0

[LODLevel of Detail]
bDisplayLODLand=0
bDisplayLODBuildings=0
bDisplayLODTrees=0
fLODMultTrees=0.2
fLODMultActors=2.0
fLODMultItems=2.0
fLODMultObjects=2.0

[BlurShader]
bUseBlurShader=0

[BlurShaderHDR]
bDoHighDynamicRange=0

[Water]
bUseWaterReflections=0
bUseWaterDisplacements=0
bUseWaterHiRes=0

[General]
bUseEyeEnvMapping=0
Low
[Display]
iSize W=640
iSize H=480
iAdapter=0
bFull Screen=1
iMultiSample=0
iPresentInterval=1
fSpecularLOD1=250.0
fSpecularLOD2=550.0
iShadowFilter=0
iActorShadowCountExt=0
iActorShadowCountInt=0
bActorSelfShadowing=0
bShadowsOnGrass=0
bDoCanopyShadowPass=0
bDynamicWindowReflections=0
iTexMipMapSkip=2
fGrassStartFadeDistance=0.0
fGrassEndDistance=0.0
bDecalsOnSkinnedGeometry=0
fDecalLifetime=0.0
bFullBrightLighting=0
iMaxLandscapeTextures=0
bLODPopActors=0
bLODPopItems=0
bLODPopObjects=0
bUseRefractionShader=1

[LODLevel of Detail]
bDisplayLODLand=0
bDisplayLODBuildings=0
bDisplayLODTrees=0
fLODMultTrees=0.2
fLODMultActors=2.0
fLODMultItems=2.0
fLODMultObjects=2.0

[BlurShader]
bUseBlurShader=0

[BlurShaderHDR]
bDoHighDynamicRange=0

[Water]
bUseWaterReflections=0
bUseWaterDisplacements=0
bUseWaterHiRes=0

[General]
bUseEyeEnvMapping=1
Medium (Default)
[Display]
iSize W=640
iSize H=480
iAdapter=0
bFull Screen=1
iMultiSample=0
iPresentInterval=1
fSpecularLOD1=500.0
fSpecularLOD2=800.0
iShadowFilter=1
iActorShadowCountExt=1
iActorShadowCountInt=2
bActorSelfShadowing=0
bShadowsOnGrass=0
bDoCanopyShadowPass=0
bDynamicWindowReflections=0
iTexMipMapSkip=1
fGrassStartFadeDistance=0.0
fGrassEndDistance=0.0
bDecalsOnSkinnedGeometry=0
fDecalLifetime=10.0
bFullBrightLighting=0
iMaxLandscapeTextures=0
bLODPopActors=0
bLODPopItems=0
bLODPopObjects=0
bUseRefractionShader=1

[LODLevel of Detail]
bDisplayLODLand=1
bDisplayLODBuildings=1
bDisplayLODTrees=0
fLODMultTrees=0.5
fLODMultActors=5.0
fLODMultItems=5.0
fLODMultObjects=5.0

[BlurShader]
bUseBlurShader=1

[BlurShaderHDR]
bDoHighDynamicRange=0

[Water]
bUseWaterReflections=0
bUseWaterDisplacements=0
bUseWaterHiRes=0

[General]
bUseEyeEnvMapping=1
High
[Display]
iSize W=1024
iSize H=768
iAdapter=0
bFull Screen=1
iMultiSample=0
iPresentInterval=1
fSpecularLOD1=750.0
fSpecularLOD2=1050.0
iShadowFilter=2
iActorShadowCountExt=2
iActorShadowCountInt=4
bActorSelfShadowing=0
bShadowsOnGrass=0
bDoCanopyShadowPass=0
bDynamicWindowReflections=1
iTexMipMapSkip=0
fGrassStartFadeDistance=3000.0
fGrassEndDistance=4000.0
bDecalsOnSkinnedGeometry=1
fDecalLifetime=10.0
bFullBrightLighting=0
iMaxLandscapeTextures=0
bLODPopActors=0
bLODPopItems=0
bLODPopObjects=0
bUseRefractionShader=1

[LODLevel of Detail]
bDisplayLODLand=1
bDisplayLODBuildings=1
bDisplayLODTrees=1
fLODMultTrees=1.3
fLODMultActors=7.0
fLODMultItems=7.0
fLODMultObjects=7.0

[BlurShader]
bUseBlurShader=1

[BlurShaderHDR]
bDoHighDynamicRange=1

[Water]
bUseWaterReflections=1
bUseWaterDisplacements=1
bUseWaterHiRes=0

[General]
bUseEyeEnvMapping=1

Ultra High
[Display]
iSize W=1024
iSize H=768
iAdapter=0
bFull Screen=1
iMultiSample=0
iPresentInterval=1
fSpecularLOD1=1000.0
fSpecularLOD2=1300.0
iShadowFilter=2
iActorShadowCountExt=3
iActorShadowCountInt=5
bActorSelfShadowing=0
bShadowsOnGrass=0
bDoCanopyShadowPass=1
bDynamicWindowReflections=1
iTexMipMapSkip=0
fGrassStartFadeDistance=6000.0
fGrassEndDistance=7000.0
bDecalsOnSkinnedGeometry=1
fDecalLifetime=10.0
bFullBrightLighting=0
iMaxLandscapeTextures=0
bLODPopActors=0
bLODPopItems=0
bLODPopObjects=0
bUseRefractionShader=1

[LODLevel of Detail]
bDisplayLODLand=1
bDisplayLODBuildings=1
bDisplayLODTrees=1
fLODMultTrees=1.8
fLODMultActors=10.0
fLODMultItems=10.0
fLODMultObjects=10.0

[BlurShader]
bUseBlurShader=0

[BlurShaderHDR]
bDoHighDynamicRange=1

[Water]
bUseWaterReflections=1
bUseWaterDisplacements=1
bUseWaterHiRes=1

[General]
bUseEyeEnvMapping=1

See Also

Configuring Streamline

External Links