There are ten playable races in Oblivion, each with its own unique abilities, skills, and powers. Each race has a home province from which it originated (with the exception of Orcs, who currently live in Orsinium, but did not originate from there). An analysis of racial demographics by city in Cyrodiil can be found here.
- Altmer (a.k.a. High Elves)
- Bosmer (a.k.a. Wood Elves)
- Dunmer (a.k.a. Dark Elves)
- Orc (a.k.a. Orsimer or Pariah Folk)
Your choice of race determines your character's initial Attribute values and also provides bonuses to various Skills, as detailed in the following table. Each race also has special abilities (and in some cases weaknesses) as detailed on the individual race pages.
*Each race's movement speed is multiplied by its Height attribute (under Body Data in the CS). With the same Speed, Athletics, encumbrance, etc., an Altmer will move 10% faster than an Imperial because of the extra Height. Similarly, any race that is smaller than normal, such as a male Wood Elf or female Breton, will move slower than normal.
 Non-Playable Races
These races exist in the game or the Shivering Isles expansion, but are not selectable as a race you can play.
|Attribute||Dark Seducer*||Dremora||Golden Saint*||Sheogorath*||VampireRace**|
* These appear only in the Shivering Isles expansion. Sheogorath is of course unique. By appearance, he is an Imperial. The separate race exists to give him a beard and eyes like the Golden Saints.
** This race exists in the Construction Set but is not used for anything. Actual vampires can be any race, as it is a disease applied to the character, rather than an actual race.
In addition, there are also many other races that are known to exist in the Elder Scrolls universe, but are not present in the game of Oblivion. These races may be rare/extinct, live in remote areas, dwell on other planes of existence or in some cases are even thought to be pure myth. These races are all listed on the Races page.
Different races also have different reactions towards each other. These affect the base disposition that members of different races have on each other.
The player's race is on the left and the race they are interacting with is shown at the top.