How to Fix an Oblivion Save File

By Matt Koble

Updated September 22, 2017

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The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is widely regarded as one of the most advanced, challenging, in-depth and fun Role Playing Games of all time. Yet, due to the plethora of advanced features and how they work together, sometimes a saved game can become corrupt. When a saved game becomes corrupt it can be impossible to open that specific save without modifying it as explained in this guide. While there is no definitive reason for this to happen, it is most commonly experienced when the player experiences the game crashing.

Fixing and Preventing

The first thing to do is to determine whether or not the saved game is corrupt. To do this, simply load the save file in question in normal fashion, as if you were about to play Oblivion and start at that save location. If the save file is corrupt a message will appear on screen, stating "This save game is corrupt". After the message is displayed the game will either go back to the saved game selection screen or exit all together.

Exit the game, closing it completely, then open the location of the specific saved game in question. These files are typically located in the "My Games" folder, which is located in "My Documents" or "Documents". Once in "My Games" open the "Oblivion" folder then proceed to open the "saves" folder as well. The file path should be similar to My Documents/My Games/Oblivion/Saves, but if the save files are not in this location they are usually easiest to find by preforming a system search. The saves may also be in the Oblivion folder located in your Program Files, though this is not the default location.

Instead of modifying the specific corrupted file, we need to instead modify the latest quicksave. A corrupted save file is actually impossible to fix so the next best thing is the quicksave as it will be the closest point in the game to where you were in the corrupted file. Locate the file titled "quicksave.bak" and rename it as "quicksave.ess". If a prompt appears, overwrite the original "quicksave.ess". Though this may set you back in game time a bit you will be as close as possible to where you left off.

The easiest way to avoid the headaches generated by a corrupt save file is to be prepared for such a thing to happen. Now that the game has been out since 2006 the developers have had plenty of time to release quality patches and updates to the game. Staying up-to-date on these updates will ensure the least likelihood of crashes, which is how these corrupt save files usually come about. Staying updated is easy, as there is a link on the Oblivion Launcher to visit, where you can find all information on updates and patches.


Make sure you back up any files you plan on changing or replacing in case any mistakes are made.