Oblivion Tricks from the Developers…


If you feel like starting a new character, but you want to get him or her off the ground more quickly, head to the Arena after escaping the character generation sewer. The entire arena quest line will take you a few hours to beat if you’ve sharpened your fighting skills. In the process your character will probably gain several levels, and a good bit of gold to move around on some equipment upgrades before heading out to do some adventuring. Don’t forget to check the Arena coffer on the way out. This is the best way to get a character into the mix quickly.

Buying a house is not just a good way to kill some time. It instantly gets rid of the need to part with those oh-so-valuable items to avoid being over-encumbered. Especially if you have finished a Daedric quest or two, and you don’t want to have to carry around those rare artifacts, but you don’t want to sell them either. Try to purchase one that can be easily accessible by fast travel. The on e in the Imperial City waterfront is quite accessible, and fairly affordable (though it is not much to look at). You can purchase this house at the Office of Imperial Commerce, in the Market District, assuming Vinicia likes you enough.

Invest in your character early on. It may seem expensive to pay for training at low character levels, but later in the game when you have more money you will level up slower and won’t be able to train as much. Pick a minor, non-specialty skill that would level slowly through use alone, and you can be a journeyman by level 10. In no time your pure mage can swing a mean sword.

Want to max out your level? Choose a race that doesn’t give bonuses to your major skills and a specialization that doesn’t include your major skills, and all of your major skills will start out at 25, allowing you to achieve the highest possible level. Of course, it will be slow going.

A tip for persuading that NPC a couple more points when their disposition is at its max: Take off that Arena garb (or anything that boosts your personality) and draw your weapon. Persuade them again, then put away your weapon and put on your personality enchanted accoutrement. You’ll notice you’ll have squeezed a little more disposition out of them.

Sigil stones are among the most useful items in the game. They can be used to enchant weapons, armor, and other items with special abilities, and they scale up in level as you do. Be aware that once you enchant an item, you can’t repair it yourself without a high Armorer skill.

If you are specializing in the Marksman skill, don’t bother taking Blade or Blunt skills, because you will be better off standing and shooting your bow than swinging weapons you aren’t skilled with.

Varla Stones that recharge all of your enchanted weapons can be found in the depths of most Elven Ruins. Use them with care, however. There are only 50 in the game!

Advancing far enough into the Mages Guild to create enchantments can open the door to a super suit of armor by enchanting each piece with a 10 percent shield spell. Don’t forget rings and amulets.


When you wait, your allies heal up at the same time you do. When you’re fighting alongside allies, take every opportunity to wait to allow your allies to heal themselves.

Watch your fatigue when fighting, you do about 50 percent damage when your fatigue is low. In addition, check the condition of your weapon. You may lose many fights when you have a damaged weapon and low fatigue.

If your enchanted items keep running out to quickly, seek out the Shrine of Azura after you’re level two or higher. Azura’s Star can do wonders for keeping enchanted weapons effective.

Clannfear staggers can be lethal! No matter how much armor you’ve got , learn to circle them, and do as much damage as you can before they get close.

If you exit a city on foot or fast travel to a stable, keep your eyes open for a Khajiit in a dark grey robe. M’aiq the Liar has some of the most “interesting” rumors in the game. Talk fast! If he leaves, you can’t catch up!

Be sure to use your shield often in melee combat. It’s easy to forget to use it in the heat of battle, but it’s not just for emergencies, and it makes a huge difference. Try alternating between attacking and defending, even against weak enemies. Shields are much better than weapons for blocking.

In combat with most melee opponents, a good thing to do is block the first attack then sidestep around the enemy while attacking them. They’ll turn to face you, so you can keep sidestepping and hitting with the occasional block.

If you ever find yourself getting killed by something you can’t beat, jump to a higher level just out of the opponent’s reach and chip away at their health with whatever is available, like spells or arrows.

Out of arrows? If you are facing off against and archer, dodge his arrows and then collect them later. You’ll get more this way than killing him right away and looting his corpse.

Trisha had a really epic biography, but made us take it down. Something to do with government conspiracies, Cthulu, and being the "Chosen One" or something. You can follow her on Twitter @TrishaDuerr.