A modification, also known as mod or plug-in, is a software file that changes some aspect of the game or adds new content, such as weapons, armor, or quests. Several official plug-ins exist for the Xbox 360 (see below), but modifications are overwhelmingly most common for the PC platform.
Mods do not come pre-packed with the retail game. They are created by the game's fans, usually using the Elder Scrolls Construction Set for Oblivion. They can be downloaded from the internet, usually for free. Bethesda also offers official studio-built mods, which may be downloaded for a small payment.
Most mods are in the .esp format, and must be enabled as a Data File when the game first loads (see the 'Data Files' dialogue on the PC, as the game loads). Some mods may take the form of textures that replace those in the game, or .xml files that adjust display characteristics. Textures and .xml files do not need to be enabled as Data Files at start-up.
User-created mods range from cheats, new content (items, areas, buildings, quests, spells, NPCs), game fixes, gameplay variations, and graphical changes (textures, user interface). For example, some mods make the game more realistic by tweaking the difficulty and level-scaling, while other mods add new locations, quests, or factions. Other mods may improve the game's appearance by using higher resolution textures.
- Horse Armor (DLC1)
- Orrery (DLC2)
- Wizard's Tower (DLC3)
- The Thieves Den (DLC7)
- Mehrunes' Razor (DLC9)
- The Vile Lair (DLC5)
- Spell Tomes (DLC4)
- Knights of the Nine (DLC8)
- Fighter's Stronghold (DLC6)
- However, if you purchased the Game of the Year Edition, it ONLY has the Knights of the Nine and Shivering Isles, but NONE of the others.
For PlayStation 3 users, the Knights of the Nine plug-in is automatically included with the PS3 version of Oblivion. It is not known whether all of the other official plug-ins will be made available for download for that console.
Some popular mods in alphabetical order:
- Aundae In Cyrodiil – Improves the vampirism experience
- BTmod v2.20 – Interface mod allows for larger map, removal of quest and location markers, and smaller text to fit more items on-screen
- Modular Oblivion Enhanced – A comprehensive mod that enables various features that were not meant to be in Oblivion, such as playable male & female Dremora with dialogue, increasing realism and freedom, as well as adding many other features, including a Vampire Clan and Night Mother rituals. The newest version also adds the ability to become a Lich or a Werewolf and adds scythes as weapons.
- Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul – Major mod that makes many gameplay rebalances and tweaks; adds creatures, items, NPCs; adds some textures and is bundled with other various mods
- Scorn's Vampirism - Enhanced Vampirism, you become more powerful with each feeding.
- Sewer Mansion - A very unique underground mansion free for the player to own. Located in the Imperial City Sewer System it has much to offer with 10+ Rooms and 4 Friendly NPCs plus more!
- Silgrad Tower - Building the mystical city, and rebuilding part of the Morrowind province, with new models, tilesets, and more.
- Skingrad Home Improvement - Makes the Skingrad home MUCH better!
- The Ocean Mod – A Mod that adds a large many islands, highly know for its cannon combat and appeal to pirate fans.
- wz Inventory – Inventory changes make it more like Morrowind's, smaller text, larger map