The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is an iconic open-world RPG. Its successor Skyrim might have the bigger cultural legacy, but there’s no denying the impact of Oblivion. It made huge strides from previous Elder Scrolls games in increasing the franchise’s accessibility. This opened it up to more casual players who’d been turned off by the complexity of earlier games like Morrowind. These changes were refined and perfected by Skyrim, but that title owes no small part of its overwhelming success to the trail blazed by Oblivion.
That said, Oblivion, like any game, is far from flawless. Bethesda is well known for the glitches that plague its open-world titles, and Oblivion is no exception. Since the game launched in 2006, players have been discovering countless bugs and errors. Some of these can be frustrating, leading to game crashes or quests that can’t be completed. Some can be amusing but ultimately unremarkable, like a dead enemy bouncing around after it’s been killed. But there are a few glitches that are actually beneficial. Exploiting them can earn you perks like infinite gold, duplicated items, and even permanent buffs. Oblivion is now a 17 year old game. It’s possible that some glitches have been or will be patched out as time goes by. But here are some of the most helpful recorded glitches for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.
Floating Paint Brush Glitch
One of the more amusing glitches in Oblivion concerns paint brushes. These small and largely worthless items can be found throughout Cyrodiil. As the name suggests, they are simple, mundane paintbrushes. However, unlike the other miscellaneous items that litter the shops and homes of NPCs throughout the game, paint brushes have a uniquely bizarre property: they float in the air when dropped. If you remove a paint brush from your inventory, it will hover in the spot where you were looking instead of falling to the ground like a normal item.
On its own, this is little more than an amusing novelty. But if you manage to stockpile enough paintbrushes and carefully plan where you drop them, you can assemble a floating staircase of brushes. By standing on these tiny objects, you can scale walls and reach high places. It’s not hard to find ways to abuse this. With a little effort you can find countless places you were never supposed to enter. It should be noted that this glitch does not work for the Game of the Year edition on the PlayStation 3. Make sure to test its effectiveness before you go hoarding paint brushes.
Infinite Gold Glitch
While it’s easy enough to get infinite gold in Oblivion through things like console commands, those aren’t available to console players. Luckily, there exists a freely accessible source of infinite gold in the form of Dorian. Dorian is a Redguard commoner who lives in the Talos Plaza district of the Imperial City. For some reason, Dorian’s inventory doesn’t run out of money, letting you take as much as you want from him. In the past, the easiest way of looting Dorian’s limitless hoard was by killing him and taking it from his corpse. This has since been patched, but his pockets remain bottomless.
In order to access Dorian’s infinite stash now, you’ll have to pickpocket it off him. Using a paralysis spell on the character first is the best option for this. While he’s paralyzed, he won’t be able to catch you in the act of pickpocketing him. This means you can freely rifle through his belongings. Simply take however much you need and when the spell wears off, Dorian will be none the wiser. Repeat as needed and you’ll never have to worry about running out of funds.
Drinking More Than Four Potions
One of Oblivion’s most annoying mechanics is its limit on potions. Unlike Skyrim, which lets you freely chug as many potions as you like, in Oblivion you can only drink four at once. After you’ve consumed four potions, you need to wait a while to drink any more. This can be extremely dangerous in the heat of battle if you need to chug a healing potion at a critical moment. Luckily, there are a few ways around this. The first is to make sure all four potions you drink have a Drain effect. After that, you can quickly exit and re-enter your inventory after you’ve consumed them. After this, you’ll be able to immediately drink four more Drain potions. The problem with this, of course, is that it only works on potions that debuff you. Even if the tradeoff is worthwhile, that’s still a pretty big setback.
Luckily, the same basic glitch can be accomplished by drinking three potions that have a lasting effect and one that has an instant effect, like a health potion. After swiftly closing and reopening your inventory, you’ll be able to drink four more potions once again. This glitch is especially useful if you want to stack lasting buffs. A Feather buff is a particularly enticing use for this glitch. This allows you to expand your carrying capacity well beyond its normal limits. If you have a lot of loot you want to haul, consider stocking up on Feather potions first.
Item Duplication Glitches
There are quite a few ways to duplicate items in Oblivion. The first involves spell scrolls. If you have two or more identical copies of a spell scroll in your inventory, you can select them once, then highlight the item you want duplicated and drop it. On the ground you will find multiple copies of the item. This works best if the amount of scrolls you drop is an exact multiple of the number of items you want to duplicate. Another useful duplication trick involves stolen arrows. First you must clear all arrows from your inventory then steal some from an NPC. Then you can repeatedly equip and unequip your stolen arrows, increasing the amount in your inventory every time. These new glitched arrows have no carry weight either, preventing you from becoming over-encumbered.
Permanently Unlock Doors
The Skeleton Key is a powerful Daedric artifact in Oblivion that allows you to pick any lock in the game without fear of your lock picks breaking. But if you want to improve your lock picking abilities further, save your game while standing next to a locked door you have the key for. Then, once you’ve opened the door and received the notification that you used the key, load another save without closing the notification. After you do this, you should be able to open any door that needs a key, whether or not you have the required key at all.
Permanent Clone Glitch
If you’re feeling lonely wandering the wilds of Oblivion, you can use this glitch to create a permanent clone of yourself. It requires the Skull of Corruption, a potent Daedric relic which, under normal circumstances, can be used to create a clone of an NPC that will attack them on sight. In order to clone yourself with it, you need to find a cave with an NPC near the entrance. Without arousing the suspicion of that NPC, you should make your way through the cave and kill every other NPC there.
Once they’re all dead, make sure none of their weapons are lying around; stash them in containers or just hold on to them yourself. Then make sure the NPC by the door has no weapon, either through Disintegration effects or pickpocketing. Drop the Skull of Corruption next to them and attack. They should pick up the Skull and zap you with it, creating your clone. Once that’s happened, kill the NPC quickly, then pick up and drop the Skull of Corruption, then swiftly run out of the cave. Your clone should follow you out and remain in existence permanently. Keep in mind that in order to keep your clone alive, you must never return to that cave.