Oblivion:Minor Glitches

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Brush Jars

Due to a glitch in physics, brush jars cannot be placed on their side. Attempting to place them in any other direction than face-up leads to them swinging back-and-forth in a pendulum motion until the jar is upright. This also happens to the reward painting that you may receive for completing Canvas the Castle.

Permeable Walls and Terrain

In many places it is possible to walk through walls, fall through cracks in the floor, or irretrievably lose items (particularly staffs) in these places. When the player is the one falling, they will usually fall until reaching the bottom of the cell, at which point they will suddenly reappear in their previous position. In the case of items, NPCs, and sometimes the player however, they will remain at the base of the cell unable to return. The only sure fix is to reload an earlier save.

If you're using a PC, you can also try using the console command tcl to remove all movement restrictions and get out of that location or grab the item that fell through the crack. After you are on safe terrain again, use tcl again to restore normal movement. If you've lost an item, you may be able to create another copy of it using player.additem <Base ID> <Quantity>, however this may have unintended side-effects in some cases.

Graphical/Display Glitches

This section documents minor problems that primarily consist of items being displayed incorrectly. For game-breaking graphical bugs, please see the Graphical Problems section of our Technical Support page.

Broken Candles

Xbox 360 photo of some broken candles

Installing any of the 1.2.xxx patches introduces a graphical glitch when displaying certain candlesticks. The candlesticks will appear as large gold-yellow triangles containing a gray-black exclamation point (only part of the exclamation point may be visible). The glitch does not directly alter gameplay other than being annoying and making it difficult to see.

The specific item that triggers this glitch is a candlestick identified as CandlestickFloor01DarkFake. The mesh file for the candlestick has an incorrect path. Prior to the 1.2.xxx patch, the game engine would look in the general Clutter path for any missing mesh files and find it there; with the patch, the game no longer searches to find the missing file and instead displays its error symbol, namely a yellow diamond with a black exclamation point. This one type of candlestick is the only object in unmodified Oblivion that has this problem. Other than test areas only accessible with console commands, the only problem candlesticks that can be found are: four in Eugal Belette's basement in Chorrol; two in Fort Hastrel; one in Fort Roebeck; and two in Fort Redman.

Bethesda Softworks silently patched this bug in Shivering Isles (which replaces the master file Oblivion.esm) by deleting the entire CandlestickFloor01DarkFake object definition and all reference instances of it in the gameworld (which is strange, as they could have simply corrected the mesh file path).

On the Xbox 360 and PS3 there is no way to fix this glitch, other than by installing Shivering Isles.

Float in Midair Glitch

If you are arrested while swimming and choose to pay the fine, you will be swimming in mid-air when you're released, although most changes in terrain type or height will return you to walking. While funny, this can also be a potential combat advantage.

This can also happen when jumping out of water onto a steep surface, such as the hills in Blackwood.

Floating Landscape

There are many rocks or plants that seem to float above the ground or mushrooms that float a little way from their tree. Several hundred of these are fixed by the Unofficial Oblivion Patch.

Floating Clumps of Arrows

Floating clump of arrows

If the player (and possibly NPCs) has been shot with arrows, they stick in the player's body. If the player goes through a load door into an unloaded cell (one that hasn't just been visited), the game engine doesn't know where to put the arrows, so they are moved to co-ordinate 0,0,0. In some interior cells, this origin point is visible, and the clump of arrows can be seen there. They can't be picked up but can be selected with the console, and will fade away via the same game setting that they would fade from the player's or NPC's body.

Items Disappearing from Containers

Sometimes items appear to disappear from containers if you have already put a lot of items in. This is merely a display bug, however: if you start removing other items from the container the missing item(s) will reappear. Also, if you "Take All", the missing items will still be added to your inventory. Saving the game while in the same zone as the container then reloading the save will often make all the missing items reappear; leaving the room, or looking in other containers after reloading, will break the container again.

This glitch seems to be caused by an error in the recorded number of items stored in the container. It looks like that number sometimes becomes less than the actual number of items stored. This causes the most recently added items to not be listed in the container's inventory. Often, if you add another item to the container, a previous missing one will appear, but instead the new item disappears.

Storing items that you will not be using at equal to or less than 100% health will reduce the likelihood of items disappearing. Armor repaired to 125% can quickly fill up a container.

Note that if you are using mods which raise your maximum encumbrance, the same glitch may also happen to your inventory.

Rain Through Roofs

Rain will fall through covered areas outdoors as if the cover was not there. This renders some of the beggars' AI that causes them to find shelter in wet weather absolutely pointless.

See Clearly Underwater

Swimming with one's head just underwater results in a perfectly clear view of the terrain beneath the water level instead of just the usual murk.

Spasm Glitch

Various items in the game can become stretched and highly distorted, at which point they may begin violently shaking and twisting. Some of these occurrences are random, but it is also possible to intentionally trigger this behavior:

  • One way is to drag a body into an open doorway, then close the door. Single doors can cause moderate spasms; double doors are more likely to stretch the body and produce more extreme behavior. The door must be one that swings open and closed, and not a load door.
  • Another method is to attack an NPC as they are passing through a load door. After the NPC activates the door, they will start to fade. At that moment, cast a Paralyze spell (or attack with a Paralyze-enchanted weapon), then kill the paralyzed NPC. The corpse will melt on the ground and can be stretched great distances.

Unable to Sit

Completing Umaril the Unfeathered - the final Knights of the Nine quest - can trigger a bug in which it is no longer possible for your character to sit. See here for details. This can subsequently cause problems on quests that require the character to sit, in particular A Door in Niben Bay and The Ultimate Heist.

Lit Torches Glitch

If you leave a torch on the ground and leave that cell, when you return to the cell after a short time you will find that the torch is lit, but does not cast any light on nearby objects.

Audio Glitches

These are glitches with the game's dialogue that affect multiple NPCs. Any glitches that only affect a single NPC are documented on that NPC's article.

Let me do that one again

After completing Misdirection, asking about rumors will cause some female elven NPCs to say "wait a minute let me do that one again" between two renditions of "I heard that thieves broke into the Arcane University, the Imperial Legion Compound, and the Temple, all on the same night!" Evidently the audio was not edited correctly. Affected NPCs include Thamriel and Palonirya, but specifically all female elves who are members of the Imperial City faction but are not beggars or in the Thieves Guild. (Listen)

New Captain Dialogue

When you click on rumors for male Bretons in Anvil after Taking Care of Lex, they will say, "Lady Umbranox has hired a new captain of the guard." wrong, stopping at "Cap-" and starting over again. Affected NPCs include Norbert Lelles and Colin Stedrine. (Listen)

Spriggan Dialogue

Spriggans. "Nature's guardians" my foot! Mean things. They'll curse you, or they might call a bear to tear you apart.

When a male Redguard delivers this line, he stumbles slightly at "bear" and then repeats the whole line. (Listen)

Ghost and Wraith Dialogue

I saw a wraith once. It threw a curse on me I'll never forget.
I ran across a ghost once. Seemed to suck the energy right out of me.

When a female Breton or Imperial delivers either of these lines, the audio of one line will play but the subtitles for the other line will appear.

You Rat!

If after A Rat Problem you tell Arvena Thelas that it was Quill-Weave who lured the mountain lions into Arvena's basement, Quill-Weave will then greet you by saying "What do you want, you... you rat?" However, there is a dialogue glitch where instead of saying the aforementioned dialogue she will say "what do you want, you... you... what do you want, you... you rat?" (Listen)

Mute female NPCs of Daedric races

Encounters with female Dremora Markynaz archers reveal a minor oversight in the development of the game: Female Dremora NPCs have no voice whatsoever. They do not converse or otherwise interact with other NPCs, any attempt to engage one in conversation will yield the "I HAVE NO GREETING" message, they do not taunt or shout in combat, nor will they even grunt or groan upon injury or death. The bug itself is caused by a complete lack of assigned dialogue and audio files to the female gender of the Dremora race.

With the Shivering Isles expansion pack, this bug also affects the Summonable variation of the Golden Saint and Dark Seducer, which are both assigned to the in-game "Oblivion gate Daedra" faction. The reason for the latter two is unclear, as the Golden Saint and Dark Seducer races normally have assigned dialogue and audio files recorded for both genders.

Inconsistencies

Minor problems that primarily consist of inconsistencies, i.e. facts that are incorrect or in disagreement with each other.

False Information about Recharging Items

The book Arcana Restored can be found in various places, e.g. Southern Books in Leyawiin. It states that it is possible to recharge magical items at Mana Fountains if you have the book and a gold nugget in your inventory. However, this does not work in Oblivion. This book is a carryover from Battlespire, but the associated scripts were not carried over into Oblivion.

Worthless Fortify Alchemy Enchantments

Several unique items claim to fortify Alchemy. However, this effect does not have any advantages since the potions that the player makes while wearing these items have the same potency as they would if you were not wearing them.

With the Wizard's Tower official plug-in, there is a structure called the Altar of Alchemy which provides a working +15 Fortify Alchemy effect. However, other Fortify Alchemy effects remain ineffective.

Accessing Places

Minor problems that primarily involve getting into or out of places that you normally should or should not be able to get into.

Climbing Into Cities

From atop a Wilderness hilltop, cities can be seen to contain homes, shops, churches and castles. By climbing over the wall into the city these can be discovered to be low-resolution props. The walls of homes and shops can be passed through, and buildings, doors, and gates are transparent from within. A good place to try this is to enter Cheydinhal from its northwest corner, where a hill rises nearly to the height of the walls. A high Acrobatics skill or a floating paint brush will enable you to hurdle the battlements and access the interior of the city.

Climbing Out of Cities

In the same way it is possible to enter cities without using the gate, it is possible to exit them. It is even possible to do this without the paint brush glitch, though most players will need a fairly high Acrobatics skill.

Anvil

  1. Jump onto the roof of the Abandoned House.
  2. Jump onto the roof of Silgor Bradus' House.
  3. Follow the chain of roofs from Pinarus Inventius' House to Newheim the Portly's.
  4. Jump out of the city.

Bravil

  1. Jump onto the roof of S'Krivva's House.
  2. Jump across the street onto the roof of the other building.
  3. Jump onto the highest point you can.
  4. Jump out of the city.

Bruma

  1. Climb onto the roof of Olav's Tap and Tack.
  2. From there jump along the roofs over the houses of Brotch Calus, J'Ghasta, and Helvius Cecias.
  3. Jump onto the battlements from the chimney of Helvius Cecias' House.
  4. Jump out of the city.

Cheydinhal

  1. Get onto the balcony outside Riverview.
  2. Jump on the railing around the balcony and then onto the roof.
  3. Jump out of the city.

Chorrol

  1. Jump on the low rock wall on the north side of the Fighters Guild.
  2. Jump onto the wooden target, then the overhang, and then the main roof.
  3. From the chimney, jump onto the roof of the Mages Guild.
  4. Get as close as possible to the chapel and jump onto it.
  5. Head around to the north side of the chapel then jump onto the city wall and out.

Leyawiin

  1. Get onto the short wall to the east of the Five Claws Lodge.
  2. Jump onto the low roof of the lodge then get to the highest point.
  3. Jump onto the city wall and out.

The Imperial City

  1. Go to the small pond near The Main Ingredient.
  2. Face northeast and jump onto the wall.
  3. Head down the wall towards the gate to the Arena district, jumping over when you get there and continuing to the northeast watchtower.
  4. Jump to the very top of the small roof and face northeast.
  5. Jump through the walls of the Imperial City.
Method 2

It is possible to jump out of the Arcane University area after obtaining recommendations from all the local guild halls and your acrobatics skill is high enough.

  1. Go through the iron bar gate to the right from the entrance.
  2. Jump onto the railing, then, if your acrobatics skill is high enough jump onto the roof of the Alchemical Garden.
  3. Go to the other side of the garden then jump on the roof of the Lustratorium.
  4. From there, jump over the wall and out the city.

Frostfire Glade

  1. When inside Frostfire Glade, run up the side of the surrounding cliff.
  2. Either jump from rock to rock (this will take a while) or use paint brushes.
  3. Once you reach the top there is a small area of grass.
  4. Jump off the grass and you will be in an area of "nothing".

Entering the Imperial City Invasion Prior to Light the Dragonfires

By using the Floating Paint Brushes glitch enough times, you can climb onto the rooftops around the Temple of the One (or onto the temple itself) in the Imperial City, and jump onto the temple (you will fall through the roof). Do not go through the main door when you are inside; instead, you will find a door that is partly underground a few steps ahead of it. Go into that one. You will find yourself in the invasion of the Imperial City that occurs during Light the Dragonfires. If you wait for a couple of days, Martin will arrive and the final cutscene will begin. On the Xbox 360, this can be used to get the main quest achievement very early but it is not wise to save afterward as it blocks the rest of the main quest achievements for that character.

Non-Glitches

These are things that look like glitches but aren't.

Loot Bags

A loot bag will appear in a cell when too many items are dropped on the ground in order to prevent the game from crashing. It will appear directly under the player at the time it is created and all items in the cell at that time will be moved into the bag. Items may then be dropped normally again. If there is another "bag creating event" in a cell already containing a loot bag, items in that cell are moved into that bag. Loot bags can be "created" by using the Duplication Using Scrolls glitch.

  1. Duplicate a single lockpick with about 360 scrolls.
  2. Start picking up as many lockpicks as you can (the intent is to lag out your game).
  3. When you see a message that says "Loading area...", attempt to enter and exit your inventory repeatedly.
  4. If you see all the lockpicks disappear, a loot bag should be directly under you.
  • This can crash your game, which is to be expected from irresponsible duplication.
  • This may be used to steal everything in a room or access items that can't normally be accessed ie. caged Varla Stones, items that have fallen into an abyss or through a floor, wanted posters, etc.
  • This has only been tested on Xbox 360.

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