Elder Scroll: Oblivion game play hints, tips & cheats
What you'll find on this page is information about some of the more unusual locations and quests you'll come across when traveling around Elder Scrolls : Oblivion, various Oblivion game play hints and tips are provided below as well as a few 'cheats' to help you out in those sticky moments. Please note; this page may take a while to load as it contains a number of images.
Other Oblivion articles
Oblivion cheats and useful commands ^
These can only be accessed from the in game console.
HOW TO GET THE CONSOLE TO APPEAR: For PC versions of the game, Oblivion's game console can be activated using the "~" (tilde) key - for USA keyboards that's to the left of the "Enter" key, or the "¬" key - for UK keyboards that's to the left of the "1" key.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Windows VISTA users. In some instances neither the "~" or the "¬" key will work due to an issue between Oblivion and the way Vista works. Possible fixes, of varying success, for the Oblivion console not showing problem are;
Disable any Infrared hardware listed in Device Manager (Control Panel >> Device Manager), a reboot may be required.
Uninstall keyboard drivers (again from Device Manager), reboot and allow Vista to auto-install the drivers again.
Change keyboard language (Control Panel) to "US".
Install the "Ring of Console" mod to re-enable the console. Note this is not an official mod/file and requires the additional 3rd party installation of the unofficial "Oblivion Script Extender".
How to get the "Ring of Console" to work in Oblivion
The "Ring of Console" mod is used in the same way as any other 'custom' mod file in that it's simply dropped into Oblivion's "data" folder and activated at load time;
Once added, Oblivion needs to be started from the Start Menu or Desktop short cut so that the initial game configuration screen appears (the screen that has "Play", "DataFiles", "Options" and so on). Click "Data Files" and make sure the entry titled "Ring of console.esp (Player Files)" is checked (crossed out), then click "OK".
This needs to be done because subsequent installation of the required OBSE Loader will bypass the configuration screen when Oblivion is started and launch straight into the main game interface.
Installing the Oblivion Script Extender mod requires the addition of a number of *.dll files as well as an *.exe into the root folder; as these files are not loaded or used in the same way as standard *.esp files their placement is important. Drop the following files;
Oblivion is then started by clicking on the exe, "obse_loader.exe", which will launch straight into the game.
For further details and updates on both these mods please read the accompanying readme files that are packaged with the mods.
God mode makes you invincible (including the main plot quests - god mode didn't work the same way in Morrowind). It also allows you to carry an infinite amount of gear. It's the biggest cheat there is for any game, but the funny thing you may find that you still sneak around and fight the same way you normally do, completely forgetting that it's on, tough fights are still tough fights; the only difference is that *you* don't die!
This is a cheat in that it allows you to go places you normally wouldn't, but it's actually something you may need to use 'legitimately' once in a while when you get stuck inside or onto objects in the game world, caused by various collision and clipping issues. Just open the console, type 'tcl' and move away from the objects sticking you in place. Be careful not to use when there are enemies present or other NPCs as they'll can pass through the world and into the void which may adversely effect other NPCs and animals - they'll be able to 'see' where the character is but not get to them.
One of the more frustrating aspects of Oblivion is picking locks. Unlike the previous system used in Morrowind, picking locks in Oblivion requires genuine skill; you have to be quite deft with your mouse movements, this makes it both frustrating and enjoyable at the same time. Because the lock picks get destroyed each time you fail, you'll soon find yourself running out of them, and whereas with a pick you can potentially unlock a very hard lock, the same can't be said of lock pick spells as each of those requires a certain skill level to use effectively. If you find yourself in this quandary try the following lock pick cheat.
Drop the in game console then click on the object you want to unlock (a chest for example). Once that's done you should see some text appear, when this happens type the following to unlock the object selected;
On closing the console you should find the item unlocked and the contents accessible.
Tips on weapons use ^
Stick to a max. of two types of weapons; preferably one 'ranged' (distance) skill - either bow or magic, although some magic spells tends to travel slowly - and a melee/close quarters weapon. The reasoning behind this is that it's quicker to level up your characters skills when using a few main items than it is to use a much wider range; using a short sword and longbow *only* will have you increase skill quicker than using any weapon you can get your hands on; mace, axe, fireballs, shock, etc.
Having said that, you can level up on other 'main' skills quicker by using other weapons; 'strength' for instance isn't weapon specific, in other words, if you use a number of different heavy weapons your strength may increase faster than it would otherwise when using a 'focused' approach. The downside is that your weapon specific skill doesn't increase as fast.
Oblivion's Magic & Daedric weapons, where are they? ^
Unless the weapon or item is associated with a game quest then both Magic weapons and Daedric (Daedra) weapons can only be found once you start to develop a character past a certain skill level; they're not generally items that simply lie around like other items and weapons.
Because most events and items in Elder Scroll : Oblivion are closely linked to your characters development it means that many of these events and items can only be found once you either reach a certain 'global' character level or once your character has leveled a certain skill set; leveling marksmen for instance would mean that you start to find 'higher' level bows or 'marksmen' related items. This can happen before your global level is higher in a generalised way because of the skill set focus.
Having said that you can still find Daedric weapons before you generally would otherwise by finding some of the 'green' power stones dotted around the game world ('red' power stones will add an attribute to your character); they will give to your character, for a short period of time, a 'bound' weapon, usually in the form of a Daedric Blade or Daedric Armour piece.
Tips for early low level skill training ^
Mud crabs : very innocuous and useful creatures, they do pack a punch and that can be used to your advantage for training up certain skill sets; namely 'block' and various 'armour' skills. Simply find one (or a few), equip your armour and shield and let them attack you when your in 'defend' mode (right click for PC version of the game). That's all you need to do, just stand there an then them have at you! They'll actually kill themselves doing this so don't forget to loot them afterwards for gold and other misc. goodies.
On a side note, wait for them to attack you, we don't know yet (as of the time of writing this Oblivion hints and tips) whether a traders best friend, the 'Talking Mudcrab', made it into Oblivion (rumour has it that he has), so you don't want to accidentally kill a crab you could earn a few bob from!
They're also good to test your marksman skills against, esp. because other animals and enemies are pretty tough when you first start out. Just buy (of find) some cheap iron arrows and go crab hunting. As above, don't forget to loot the corpse for goodies, you can eat the meat or use it to level up on spell making (see below).
General Oblivion game play tips ^
If you're not a geek about leveling up a character (believe it or not there is a methodology to gaining the best and fastest leveling possible, and some Oblivion-ites have worked it out) then the best thing to do would be to join one or two of the factions or guilds and get your character leveled up a few notches *before* attempting the main story; on Oblivion's default game 'difficulty' setting, the NPCs and monsters *are* tough, the two notable being the mountain lion and the Clanferr; mountain lions especially are a real challenge out in the open country because you can't really sneak up on them too easily; 'grass' doesn't block a computer characters awareness of you, so even though you can't see them they can see you. They're also pretty fast movers.
There's a nice little 'sneak skill test' in game that's a real challenge; dear. These animals are so skittish that it's next to impossible to get near one in normal walk/run mode. So here's the sneak tip; find a group of them (one will do, but the more you can find, the better the test of skill will be), go into sneak mode some distance away and simply see how close (or far) you can get to them before they freak and run away.
Leveling up magic, potions and spells ^
A quick way for level magic based characters and skills when just starting out is to buy a mortar and pestle (or 'acquire' one) and 'harvest' every plant or item you come across. There are three reasons for this;
You learn about the plants/items (eat them to find out what they do).
You can create low level potions from the ingredients (which you can use).
You can sell the created potions for cash (as well as the ingredients).
It's an effective and cheap way to gain skills associated with magic, the better the magic equipment the better and more valuable the potion created.
Creating potions and poisons ^
You need a few pieces of hardware for this which can generally be picked up without to much trouble. Once you have at least one of the required items - calcinator, mortar & pestle, alembic and retort - you can create a potion by simply selecting the hardware and then adding ingredients; compatible ingredients are shown as you choose.
Creating potions and poisons
Poisoning Weapons ^
Weapons aren't the only thing in the game you can poison but they are the easiest, simply open the inventory (TAB key or F2) and select the potion you want; it'll be applied to whatever weapon is equipped (actively selected in the weapons inventory).
Adding poison to weapons like this is an effective way to 'power boost' the hit points on a target. If combined with the sneak hit multiplier it will allow you to dispatch enemies relatively quickly.