Types of Mods (Oblivion)

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Finally getting around to the downloading... first, some tips...

Choosing from Multiple Downloads

  • BAIN - try to get normal archive versions, not OMOD, not EXEs (OMOD-READY means the download is a normal archive but contains the files necessary for easy conversion to an OMOD, those are still better to download that the "not" options)
  • OBMM - try to get OMOD or OMOD-ready versions of mods, not EXEs (Regular archives can still be packaged into an OMOD with ease if they are packaged properly, plus you can add your own scripts to handle the less simply packaged mods)
  • Manual - always check the structure of a mod's contents before installing by first extracting to a temporary location
  • Everyone - not all mods are packaged nicely, so you may need to repack them
  • "Packaged Nicely" - at the top level their is either only a "Data" folder OR the default folders OR (OBMM) already in OMOD format OR (BAIN) BAIN-ready
  • NOT "Packaged Nicely" - you have to do some work...fortunately the big, messy mods usually do not do this to you...
    • BAIN - make the package either a simple or BAIN-ready archive (explained later)
    • OBMM - write a quick script to install things where they should go

The "Required" mods, strongly recommended!!!!

  1. Unofficial Offical Patches:
  2. Optimization and Stability: Streamline (SL) (3.1b and the 3.1b patch)
    >> notes: there is a BAIN version of SL available at TESNexus
  3. In-game troubleshooting: RefScope,FormID Finder, Actor Details
  4. Optimization (users with onboard sound): Quiet Fee MAX
  5. Optimization (everyone who does not have a $3000 setup): Low PolyGrass (almost most robust) or RPG-BlackDragon's LowTriPolyGrass (most to least robust, has 12 options) or Short Grass (not as robust)
  6. Optimization (512MB or less Vid card): Optimised Distant Land MAX (definitely recommended for 512MB or less video cards)
  7. Other recommendations: Stabilization and Optimization Mods

Before you download a bunch of random mods are find that your setup is in the sewer...bg2408's Mod Compatibility and You

Where and How to Find Mods

There are two types of collections of mods for the general community, general mod uploads and [?page=places_to_find_mods#SpecificLists type-specific mod lists]. For an extensive list of lists, check out CliffWorm's List of Mods Lists. Since they are specific, lists tend to offer more comparison and detail. If you have a type of mod in mind and it seems to fit in some sort of category, find the related list and compare the options. However, many mods will not make the lists, and they may be just right for you. If you are looking for a certain kind of mod and cannot find something that fits, search for the "Mod Detectives" and "Mod Psychics" threads on the BethSoft forums and ask for whatever you have in mind there. The mods sites catch almost everything and are constantly updated. These are the top upload sites:

  1. The Elderscrolls Nexus (TESNexus) - http://oblivion.nexusmods.com/downloads/
    • biggest mod database
    • offers quick search (mod names), category search, tag search (user opinions), advanced search (many, many options)
      • a good way to find "top" mods is to browse a category and sort "downloads" "desc"
      • a quick way to find a certain type of mod is to do a quick search for part of a mod's name
    • See Searching TESNexus for search tips
  2. Planet Elderscrolls (PES) - http://planetelderscrolls.gamespy.com/View.php?view=OblivionMods.List
    • offers good download speeds
    • PES version sometimes linked in "mirrors" section of mods' TESNexus page due to greater size limitations
    • most PES uploads can be found on TESNexus as well
  3. TES Alliance - http://www.tesalliance.org/
    • pretty with lots of media
    • some mods can only be found here
  4. TES File Front
  5. ElricM
  6. Mods Download Sites
  7. Many more upload sites...

Utilities

Thse plugins, DLLs or applications extend capabilities for other mods, fix bugs, allow for more troubleshooting in-game or provide a pretty launcher with much more use that the original Oblivion launcher. The most important thing to be aware of when searching for utilities is that many are obsolete and out-dated due to newer mods that use later versions OBSE and the inclusion of various tweaks in Wrye Bash updates.

Examples

  • Auto Book Placer OBSE by Langy (original by Horny Quintus)
    - allows the player to activate bookshelves as containers and have books stacked neatly (most of the time)
  • Clean up by Kuertee - helps prevent bloat, cleans up old junk data from save files
  • Elys' Uncapper - allows skills to increase over 100
  • Elys' USV - extends time subtitles without voice files are displayed
  • FormID Finder - get the FormID and much more of any object
  • Kuertee's Actor Details - print out to the console a comprehensive list of the plugin ownership of characters and their inventory
  • Pluggy - a plugin and extension for OBSE
  • OSR - FPS smoothing and memory management
  • Streamline - memory purging and buffer management


Game Tweaks, Immersion and Special Items

These mods alter game play. This is really a miscellaneous group of mods offering many, many possibilities.

Examples:

  • Deadlier Sneaking - want sneak attacks to do more damage?
  • Common Oblivion (COBL) - adds a lot of useful features and items and is now supported or required by many mods
  • Enhanced Economy (EE) - Living Economy's spirit successor, regional pricing, different pricing schemes, reduce the value of magic items...
  • Harvest Flora - plants disappears after you harvest them
  • Immersive Mining - Roleplay as a miner...?
  • Living Economy - the original economy enhancing mod
  • MOBS and OMOBS - armor and weapons stats balancing system
    >> notes: OMOBS is the version used for OOO and FCOM.
  • MQSDone - for those who have already finished the main quest and do not want to replay it on a new profile...
    >> note: Read the TESNexus description, especially the bottom bit, for usage notes.
  • Oblivifall - large-scale project to bring a Daggerfall-esque feel to Oblivion
  • OOO Gems & Gem Dust OBSE - an OBSE-enabled rewrite of OOO geomancy system
    >> notes: FCOM users should not use the MMM version of G&GD, but this enhanced version of OOO's system can be used instead
  • SM Encumbrance and Fatigue - no more suddenly running up against an encumbrance limit (but there are penalties)
  • Start Choices - lets you start in a different location, even Kvatch
    >> notes: watch out for incompatibilities with quest scripts with alternate start mods

Guides:


Skills and Leveling

Like the Vanilla leveling system? modifiers? Get rid of it. Also, you will probably want to slow down the advancement rate if you add a overhaul that has your PC fighting for his or her life all of the time.

>> Note: Leveling mods may disable the progress bar and set it to either 0% or 100%. That is not an indication of anything being broken, unless the mod is supposed to have reimplemented the progress bar feature.

Examples:

  • Kobu's Character Advancement System - the most advanced leveling mod of its time, and it may still be the most configurable leveling mod around
    • It can take a lot of time configure things as you want, but that is why it give the options.
    • KCAS does offer preset level-advancement modes.
    • Read the ReadMe, especially if you are doing custom configuration or using a UI mod.
  • KCAS OMOD Script - if you use OBMM and you use KCAS, get this
  • nGCD - smooth leveling, no sleeping to level up, no modifiers, totally configurable
    >> Note: Equally as good alternatives are Realistic Leveling (another smooth leveler) and Oblivion XP (brings to Oblivion classic RPG exp). This mod is partly inspired by KCAS, so it is a nice, more current alternative for KCAS users.
  • Oblivion XP Update - this mod brings the classic RPG exp system to Oblivion, now every action has another price
    >> Note: This mod is not compatible with skill progression mods (i.e., Progress) because of how the experience gaining system has been modified. Also, take care when installing the menus. There are different sets of menus for Vanilla Oblivion's UI and other popular UI mods.
  • Progress - take total control over the rate at which your skills progress
    >> Note: The latest version, as of 03-30-2010, does not show an init message on screen or in the console. Do not worry about it. This is not compatible with Oblivion XP or Wrye Leveling
  • Realistic Leveling - another smooth leveling mod, but without a ton of configuration option, just install it and go
    >> Note: There are five settings in the INI that allow the user to control how "smooth" the leveling is. You could even have the vanilla leveling menu appear in full.

Magic Overhauls

Vanilla magic is weak, OOO is a little stronger, then you can go for a real magic overhaul. You can find a few mods in this group to seriously unbalance your game. This guide only mentions balanced options, however.

Examples

Guides:

Companions & NPCs

Feeling lonely or wish you had backup in the overhaul-ed Oblivion world? Or maybe you want new NPCs that offer convenient services for the traveling adventurer. Although they might provide good backup, having multiple companions can really bog down your system. Mods that add many NPCs (which means many AI packages) can quickly start hurting performance as well. There are hard limits to the number of companions you can have at once. This can be tweaked some with mods like the bashed patch. However, you could leave Sonia at home while you run around Viconia if you really have to have them all.

Examples

Animations

Maybe you want to take screen shots of your characters in interesting positions or give the Tamriel women a sexier walk.

Examples

Guides:

New Buildings & Locations

Modders have designed all kinds of player homes, new lands and shops. Quests may add plenty of these as well.

Examples

Guides:

New Armor, Items and Weapons

Self-explanatory, but look for new additions with OMOBS or MOBS stats if you want them to fit in well with Frans, OOO or FCOM. (See the FCOM-wiki for a list of some MOBS-ified weapon and armor add-ons.) Make sure to check the requirements. Many clothing and armor mods are only compatible with certain body types.

Examples

Guides:

Big Mesh Replacers

These mods are QTP3 (and variants) and optimized Vanilla and SI meshes. They are huge, and parts of them need to be overwritten by many mods.

Examples

Unofficial Official Patches and the Official Add-ons

There are unofficial patches for Oblivion, SI and the DLCs. There are also MOBS versions available.

Examples

Quests

There are so many to choose from. Do you play a good guy? a bad guy? Do you want a 40 hour immserive addition or a fast and furious adventure to get a new set of armor? Maybe you would even like to save your companion's life. Compatibility is a big issue with these guys because they may modify an area around or outside of Tamriel, but there are quite a few that get along with biggest, sprawling-est mods out there.

Examples


Guides:

Overhauls and Creature-Adding Mods

These mods contain many game tweaks, add quests, add NPCs and a little bit of almost everything. Fortunately, they do not actually modify everything, but the game will get much harder once they revamp Oblivion. Read the ReadMes or you could find yourself up to your neck in compatibility problems.

Examples

Guides:

City & World Aesthetics

Make the world more beautiful! from cities to mountains to creeks! BUT wary of compatibility issues. They have to vie for space with quest mods. Read the READMEs!!!

Examples

Guides:

User Interface

Change loading screens, menu videos, menu textures and menu operations.

Examples

Guides:

Texture Replacers

These mods are the second of three groups necessary to beautify all of Oblivion.

Examples

Guides:

Other Replacers

These replace the appearance of an assortment of things.

Examples

Cosmetic Mods and Body Replacers

The final beautification mods. Adding them can become addictive, but it only takes two of them to break some part of the games features if their installation is not approached with care. Some cosmetic compilation not only give your more options with which to create your character, but may also completely overhaul the Vanilla races. Give your PC a different body, new background history or a new race all together. Lastly, you CANNOT mix mods that use Elaborate Eye meshes with those the use the vanilla mesh. This applies ALL mods that add races. If you use EE, all quest mods you install better have EE support.

See Body Replacers for a more detailed break down of the available mods.

Examples

Guides:

Searches:

FCOM

If you have NEVER installed FCOM, read this first!!!!: FCOM Installation Guide

These are the "Basic" FCOM modules. If you are new to FCOM, do not skip anything and read everything! This is not a mod for fresh, impatient users who are unwilling to follow instructions to the "T." This mods must hold a record on the forums for people having the most trouble with a single mod. It is the gluing together or many mods, and you have to install them ALL CORRECTLY!!

  1. FCOM: FCOM 9.9 , UFCOM -
  2. Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul (OOO): OOO 1.33 Complete (omod-ready) and OOO 1.34b5 Patch
    >> Note: This mod is the core of FCOM.
  3. Martigen's Monster Mod (MMM): MMM 3.7b3, its BSA, 3.73b Diverse WaterLife Update (if you use this module)
    • This mod adds a ton of creature diversity.
    • It also contains an SI module.
    • The Diverse WaterLife plugin breathes new life into the water of Tamriel, but adding a lot of AI and fish can really hurt FPS.
  4. Entropic Order Rebalance
  5. Francesco's Leveled Creatures-Items Mods (Fran):Fran 4.5b (get both EXEs)
  6. Oblivion WarCry: Oblivion WarCry and the 1.08 patch
    >> Note: not actually required, but highly recommended
  7. Bob's Armory: Bob's Armory
    >> Note: not required, but also recommended
  8. Loth's Blunt Weapons
    >> Note: not required, but also recommended
  9. (SI) Dark Seducer Weapon Fix
    >> Note: recommended
  10. OMOBS 2.2a - Gives OMOBS stats to all Vanilla or all Vanilla and SI items.
  11. DLC MOBS - MOBS patches for the DLCs
    • For the greatest compatibility with the UOMP and other mods that may modify the DLCs, use a Bashed Patch and check these under 'Import Stats'.

See Also

External Links

BAsh INstallers

Oblivion Mod Manager

Shivering Isles

Oblivion Script Extender

Oscuro's Medieval Oblivion (Equipment) Balance System

Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul

Frans, War Cry, Oscuro's, Martigen

Martigen's Monster Mod

User Interface

Less Annoying Magic Experience

Medieval Oblivion (Equipment) Balance System

Downloadable Content

Unofficial Oblivion Patch

Unofficial Shivering Isles Patch

Unofficial Official Mods Patch

Blood and Mud

Race Balancing Project

Ren's Beauty Pack

Tamriel Immersion Experience

Atmospheric Weather System

Unique Landscapes

Direct Draw Surface

Crash to desktop

Construction Set