Oblivion Modding Guide

Oblivion, unlike Morrowind and Skyrim, is pretty complicated to mod. There are many procedures and installations you need to check before you actually start to add mods. Oblivion has had a long and strange history of gigantic game altering overhauls and PLENTY of lewd mods, sex mods, and Japanese mods. Whether or not you're interested in the latter, be sure to know that Oblivion has something for everyone since it's such a blank slate of a game for mods, especially for an Elder Scrolls game.
*NOTE* This guide will not go into details for waifu/husbando making, that shit's too hard.
 
We expect that you have already followed the Skyrim guide, that way  we won't go into too much detail on familiar subjects and mods.
 
In this section, we will discuss:
-Where to start?
-Essentials
-Gameplay
-Graphics
-Quests and Environments
-Misc

Squiggums' Guide

For those who want an alternative.

Gretch's Guide

A little guide on  Oblivion performance tweaks.

updated April 23rd, 2016

Want to try something new?

Nehrim

Nehrim is a Total-Conversion for TES IV: Oblivion, meaning that this has little to do with Oblivion itself other than looking similar. Explore the namegiving land of Nehrim with dense forests and deserts, delve into old crypts and caves, and experience an unusual, multi-layered storyline that takes place beyond known patterns of good and evil. If you already played through Oblivion and wanna try something new, try Nehrim! If you haven't played through Oblivion, keep reading the guide.

Misc

Mods that don't really fit into the other categories.
And that's pretty much it on the basics of things...sorta.  Now unlike the Skyrim guide, where everything will mostly work together, you'll encounter various issues if you don't read each mod's compatiblities. Good luck, you'll need it.
Oblivion Stereo Sound Overhaul
This overhaul subtly enhanced most of Oblivion's stereo/ambient sounds and have increased variety by adding 42 additional sounds (8 new thunder sounds and 34 new wind sounds)! Enhancements include expanded stereo dynamics, boosted bass, crisper sounds, subtle reverb, loop fixes, and a greater variety.
CM Partners
The CM Partners Mod is a companion system that provides everything required to recruit and organize a party of adventurers. There are around 70 base followers in this mod, but you can also download other CM based follower mods you find.
Put it in its Place - Enhanced Grabbing
Grabbing is actually useful and immersive now, and WON'T send you to jail.
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Warning!

Hey, Just wanted to inform you about some incompatibilities in the guide. The Lost Spires, RTT and Malevolent are all incompatible with Open Cities + Unique Landscapes. If you use both OC and UL with one of those quest mods there's horrible landscape tears and to my knowledge there are no patches for a combination of all 3. The High Rez HGEC skin textures have seams with OCO2 heads because of the latter's large changes to skintones. The textures work better with OCO1, but it's taken off Nexus. Squiggums has it on Mega: https://mega.nz/#!asdUwLzL!IMPHPtV8Rhl7XDqCTWMeuMz8ojE5U4OQN7NGGNS4fTc