Oblivion Custom Saves and Locations

This page will be most useful for Oblivion PC users, since it includes the location of saved games and information on customizing your saved game name. This information applies to both Oblivion and Shivering Isles.


The default names for saved games are less than useful, to be honest they suck. There’s no way to easily keep track of characters with custom names. Even if you have no intention of using the console codes for anything else, I highly recommend you use it to create custom saves. Just press the tilde key (~) to bring up the console, then type save filename. Replace filename with whatever you want to call your save. Here are a few examples:
Table Caption
Command to Enter
save Fighter
Creates a save called Fighter.
save "Fighter/Mage John the Fierce"
Creates a save called Fighter/Mage John the Fierce. Note that if you want to create a save with special characters or spaces, you need to use quotes.
save MageThiefGregor1
Creates a save called MageThiefGregor1. Names can be as simple or complex as you like.
Personally I recommend a combination of the save command and the in-game save system. The best way to keep track of multiple characters without having to use the save command all the time is to use the quick save and auto save features.

Let's say you have two characters, a mage and a fighter. This example assumes you'll want to play one or the other during a game session. At the beginning, load your custom save for the mage, which we'll just call mage for simplicity. As you go through the game in most places you can just use the quick save and auto save features. If you're covering a lot of ground it's a good idea to create a new base save, in case anything goes wrong. Then at the end, create a new updated save for your mage. Here's an example of what I mean:
Table Caption
Save Name
My most up-to-date saved game for my mage, I'll replace this one at the end of each game with a new save that has the same name.
Same as above, but for the fighter.
I'll use the quicksave feature (Press F5 on your keyboard) to save before a battle, entering an important conversation, etc.
Autosave is pretty much just there, it can save your bacon, but ideally you should plan ahead so you don't need it.
mage - first level out of sewers
A save of my mage character right at the beginning, totally optional, but a nice way to start over with a specific character.
fighter - first level out of sewers
Same as above, but for the fighter.
fighter - level 10
You can create saves of your character at specific levels instead of points in the game.
mage - before quest
You can create a base save before starting on a specific quest.
fighter - before console
If you plan to mess around with console commands, always save first, it's easy to inadvertently mess up your game and no realize it until much later.
Hopefully that gives you some ideas of the possibilities with custom saves.

Location of Save Files

If you want to delete, store or rename more than one save at a time, the best way to do it is outside of the game. You can find all your saved games in My Documents->My Games->Oblivion->Saves.

Two types of save files exist: .ess and .bak. The .ess file is the most recent file and the one you'll see in the Oblivion "Load" screen. If you have a corrupt save or need a slightly older version for some reason, just delete, move or rename the .ess file, and change the .bak to a .ess extension on the file with the same name. For example, delete quicksave.ess and rename quicksave.bak to quicksave.ess.

You can also rename a save file, just right click it and click the Rename option. This works just like any other file. Moving and saving your saved games to another computer is also possible, but keep this in mind:

  • Both systems need to be running the same version of Oblivion.
  • You need to have the same expansions and plugins installed in both systems.
  • Be sure both systems have the same active mods.
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