Tes4Mod:Better Cities/Readme

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Better Cities

BC Team: Ismelda, Vorians
Retired BC Team members: Bluepie, Nernie, Emerald Demond, Sigurd Stormhand
Original Better Cities Authors: Max Ischreyt (a.k.a. Bananasplit), Reckless, Wolfslady
Authors of larger mods merged in: Jadraxs & Sjors Boomschors, jlf2n, Reaper9111, SilentResident, Ryan O.Hershey, Acros and ANDORAN team
Download from Nexus
Download from The Assimilation Lab
Visit the Better Cities Wiki

Better Cities is a compilation of the following mods, integrated together to resolve conflicts between them all, and with literally thousands of minor glitches, bugs etc. fixed. We have also made enhancements to all of these, adding our own layer of modifications including new dialogue and quests. And we’re still working on it!

  • Bananasplit’s Better Cities Anvil, Bravil, Chorrol, Imperial City Market, Leyawiin, Skingrad
  • Reckless’ Better Cities Cheydinhal
  • Wolfslady’s Better Cities Bruma
  • Wolfslady’s Better Arboretum
  • Anvil Bay Expansion by jlf2n.
  • Blood & Mud Dirt Deluxe Anglais by Ryan O.Hershey.
  • Bravil Docks by jlf2n. Nernie has replaced a number of the interiors.
  • Cyrodiil Rebuild: by Acros and ANDORAN team.
  • Cyrodiil Rebuild II: Imperial Isle by Acros and ANDORAN team.
  • ImpeREAL City by SilentResident.
  • Let the People Drink! by Qazaaq & Khornate.
  • Leyawiin Port by TheXanadu & TheLastVoice. Vorians has filled all the empty interiors.
  • Nernie’s Bravil River Shack & Village.
  • Nernie’s Waterfront Market.
  • Imperial City Waterfront Tunnel Entrance by Jadraxs & Sjors Boomschors.
  • Delivery Job (a.k.a. Gold Horse Courier Service) by Manargo & Zaldiir.
  • The Bank of Cyrodiil by Zarkis.
  • Reaper’s Arcane University by Reaper911.
  • Reaper’s Waterfront by Reaper9111.

A number of smaller mods relating to the cities have also been included, please see the document Credits.txt in the “Docs” folder.


Better Cities Requires Oblivion patched to version 1.2.0416.
Shivering Isles is required. The game may fail to launch or may crash without Shivering Isles.
Enable General Dialogue Subtitles from the in-game options, as one or two quests contain unvoiced conversations between NPCs, which you will miss if General Dialogue Subtitles are disabled.
Disable region borders in Oblivion.ini to access some quest-related locations (find line bBorderRegionsEnabled and set this to 0).
The Better Cities in-game menu requires OBSE v16+ to work. Without OBSE, the menu will not be available, but you can still use the in-game console to trigger the same options.
The Gold Horse Courier delivery quests require OBSE v19+ to work. Without OBSE, you will not be able to play the GHC quests.

Download the entirety of this mod! Too many people download only one file and then complain that the mod isn’t working. If a BC file on Nexus has REQUIRED written underneath it, download it and install it.
Load Better Cities near the end of your load order and after any mod that alters the city worldspaces.
Read the Installation section of this readme. Even if you find it too detailed, just read it anyway, some people need this much detail to install.


If you toggled any city to be Open, then before removing BC from your game, you must first toggle the city closed again.


Download all files labelled REQUIRED. There will typically be two files to download: "Better Cities", "Better Cities Primary Resources".

There may be an additional archive to download containing a hotfix to fix any bugs or missing files from the main files. This may contain additional BSAs.

Below are three different installation instructions, one for OMOD, one for BAIN, and one for manually installing the mod. Scroll down to the section that applies to how you intend to install this mod.

Whichever way you choose to install, at the end you should have five BSAs from Better Cities, one ESM, an ESP named "Better Cities .esp" and various other ESPs depending on the choices you made. If you have less than five BSAs, then you installed the mod wrong.

After installing, adjust your load order so that all Better Cities ESPs are near the end of your load order, with "Better Cities - IC Imperial Isle.esp" loaded before "Better Imperial City.esp" or "Better Cities IC Elven Gardens.esp".

All Replacer ESPs should be BEFORE the Better Cities ESPs.

All Better Cities Patches should be AFTER the Better Cities ESPs, starting with the FPS patches, then the compatibility patches.

Highly recommend using BOSS (Better Oblivion Sorting Software) for this. Do not use LOOT instead of BOSS, as LOOT does not work well with Oblivion, and tends to place most mods in the wrong place.

If you want more information about what a specific ESP in the BC archive does, then read the file titled "What Does Each File Do.rtf" in the "Readmes" folder.

If updating from an older version, please ensure that you uninstall the old version before installing the new version.

Sometimes with an update we announce that a clean save would be wise when upgrading from a previous version. If we don't say so when we release a new version, then you probably don't need to do this.
How to make a Clean Save when upgrading Better Cities to a new version:

  1. Load your game with your old BC plugins activated.
  2. Go into a cell (a house or a cave or any inside place not related to Better Cities, preferably not a house in any of the cities).
  3. Save your game in a new save slot and quit the game.
  4. Uncheck/uninstall/delete the plugins related to Better Cities (the ESPs with "Better Cities" prefix; you shouldn’t need to remove/deactivate our ESM).
  5. Load the game and choose the save you just made.
  6. Once in the game save again (in a new slot). This is the clean save.
  7. Exit the game and install the new version of Better Cities.
  8. Load into your clean save and enjoy!

Customise your Better Cities

How to use the console:

  • Open your console with the key `
  • Begin by typing StartQuest
  • and then use the command you want to use.
  • press enter and close your console.
  • Leave the city affected or enter a cell/house and go back to the city if the changes were not made automatically.

StartQuest BANBravilToggleGore
will toggle off or on the gore in Bravil)

See the note added to your player inventory or read the Console page for a list of the console commands we provide.

A Menu in-game allows you to configure your Better Cities using the above options without having to type them into the console. The menu only displays options related to the parts of BC you actually have installed (and in the case of compatibility options with other mods, depending on those other mods being installed). This menu requires OBSE v0016+ so install it.
Alternatively, if you don't want to use OBSE, you will get a note describing which commands you can use to customise your cities.
On this note you will also find how to recall the menu once you have closed it. (StartQuest BBCMenu)

Open Better Cities

All cities include an option to toggle on Open Better Cities, which means that all Better Cities content (excluding the Imperial City) found in the enclosed city worldspaces will be transferred into the Tamriel worldspace, removing load screens at city gates, and giving the chance in some places to climb over the city walls or pass through water drainage arches below city walls instead of using the gates.

Prison: When you are released from prison in any city, you are now placed outside the city, near one of the city gates, instead of in front of the castle. This will happen even if you have not enabled the "open" version of any city.
Toggling Open Better Cities Option: You shouldn't enable/disable these options while in the city being toggled, nor when in the Tamriel worldspace. Go into an interior to do it, or trigger it from another city which you are not opening (the Imperial City would be fine).

Better Imperial City

We moved the Imperial City Districts to a different parent worldspace to allow the IC to have its own own landscape without conflicting with any mod which changes the land outside the city walls. The advantage of this is that any mod altering the Imperial Isle landscape will not affect the IC Districts as we designed them, and BC will not affect any mod altering the Imperial Isle landscape outside the city. The disadvantage is that you can’t fast travel from within the Imperial City walls outside nor can you fast travel from outside the city INTO the city. You can still fast travel between the Districts though. If you want to fast travel to any location outside the IC, you will need to use one of the City gates first to get outside.

You MUST have the IC ESPs loaded in the far end of your load order to ensure no mod will add something in the IC by error and change the worldspace back to the regular Tamriel and thus cause landscape issues. The easiest way to check whether your load order is good when in the Imperial City, is to view the world map. If you see our map which shows only the Imperial City, then all is correct, but if you see the normal world map showing all of Cyrodiil, then you have another mod loading after the BC IC ESPs which needs loading before them instead.

Animated Window Lighting System (AWLS)

Better Cities is fully compatible with AWLS - any building meshes we provide in BC have been adjusted so that AWLS will trigger their windows lit. They are unlit by default so if you don't use AWLS you won't notice any difference.


The additions are additional plugins (as their name suggest).

  • FPS Patch (The FPS patch removes objects from the Imperial City Waterfront to try to help improve FPS. You should only use the FPS patch if you actually need it)
  • Imperial Isle (reshapes the land height and adds walls for the Aristocratic District and the extended Arena District to the Tamriel worldspace)
  • Leyawiin Flooded (raises the water in Leyawiin around the castle and the lower class houses, as originally designed by Bananasplit)
  • VWD IC (BC adds a lot of new structures to the Imperial City. If you want to be able to view these buildings when standing distant from the Imperial City, install this ESP then run TES4LODGen to generate new VWD data – don’t use this ESP if you suffer from low FPS problems when outside the Imperial City and looking at it)

Integration Files

Integration Files are entirely optional. These are not required to make the mod they relate to work with BC, but rather they offer certain features from that mod to work in Better Cities.

  • Cobl, by Wrye & migck (makes BC wells usable in the thirst mods compatible with COBL Changes some BC ingredients to Cobl ones)
  • Enhanced Economy, by theNiceOne (changes the price of player-purchasable homes to match the pricing set by Enhanced Economy’s House Prices)
  • MOBS, by Jaga Telesin, Francesco, Corepc, BFG (changes BC weapon stats to match changes made by MOBs to weapons from the original game)
  • Storms & Sounds, by Deathless Aphrodite, lilith & Foghorne (adds weather sounds to BC interiors)
  • TIE, by VeritasSecreto (allows the use of Restricted Areas in BC new interiors)


Replacers are to be used instead of the original mod’s ESP to resolve conflicts with Better Cities. You may need to download these mods separately to get their resource files as we only provide the ESP replacer (some don't have any resource files).

  • Against the Zealots of the Nine, by Jolard
  • Clocks of Cyrodiil, by WillieSea (resources needed from here)
  • ICExpand - Imperial City Expanded, by Captain Chris
  • Mystery of the Dulan Cult, created by Juib Thealas
  • Old Crow Inn, by Confidence Man
  • Scribe Supplies, by Watchesfromshadows
  • Slof's Oblivion Goth Shop, by AlienSlof (resources needed from here)
  • Vaults of Cyrodiil, by bkrisher/Guiles

Compatibility Patches

Compatibility patches are additional plugins your need to add to your list to make the mentioned mod compatible with Better Cities.

  • All Natural, by Chong Li, Arthmoor, Brumbek, & WrinklyNinja (patch by Brumbek)
  • Alternative Start Arrive by Ship, by Robert Evrae
  • Blood & Mud by Ryan (patch for users of BC Imperial City who are not also using BC Bravil)
  • CUO Bravil, by Giskard
  • CUO Bruma, by Giskard
  • CUO Chorrol, by Giskard
  • CUO Leyawiin, by Giskard
  • Dall’s Skyrim Nords by Dall
  • Dark Brotherhood Chronicles
  • FCOM, by Team Alpha
  • Halcyon Island by exilehunter
  • Knightly Armory, by Phitt and Ghogiel
  • Oblivifall: Losing My Religion, by Cliffworms
  • Oblivion Collectible Cards, by Sam Lake and slart
  • Order of the Dragon, by Rung, Diener RE, Ryan, Lazarus, and Katan (patch by WalkerInShadows)
  • Origin of the Mages Guild, by Giskard
  • Reclaiming Sancre Tor, by DarkRider
  • Roads of Cyrodiil, by Arthmoor, Ukrr, mariedanj
  • Ruined Tails Tale, by Simyaz
  • Sexlivion and Sexlivion for Girls
  • Skingrad Outer District, by Topimagespoll aka 3beN
  • Skyrim Nords, by Dall
  • Tears of the Fiend, by Simyaz and Arilita
  • The Lost Spires, by Liquidgraph
  • Thievery in the Imperial City, by Jog
  • Trails of Cyrodiil, by Malachi Delacot (patch by Chaky)
  • Valley View Estate, by Glypha
  • Verona House Bloodlines, by DTOM
  • Vvardenfell Imports, by themythofanst
  • Werewolf Legends of the Noth, by StannieDum

Words of Warning

  1. Better Cities are more than likely to drop your FPS in cities and possibly in the surroundings around them in Tamriel. This is how it works so there is no need to complain about it. Get some of the tools/mods/optimisers which allow you to get more FPS for Oblivion. Some of them are linked on the Description page of Better Cities. Don't use Anti-Aliasing, this causes a severe FPS hit.
  2. Do not use older patches. Only use the patches or fixes currently present in this pack as they are the latest version which is currently working with Better Cities. If a patch you had before is missing, it only means that the conflict has been resolved in another way which makes the patch obsolete.

Load Order Advice

Try to put this mod near the end of your load order (with the most recent date) so the former mods that change the cities in any way would not affect it.
For the most part, ESPs (including our replacers) for other mods should load first, then the Better Cities City and District ESPs, followed by the BC FPS patches, then the BC patches, and finally (if you have one) the Bash Patch ESP from Wrye Bash.
Vorians recommends BOSS (Better Oblivion Sorting Software) to adjust your load order.

Legal Use

This mod is currently being worked on and as such is not free for others to modify except for translations to other languages.
Contact the BC Team at the Official forum in case of doubt.

Permission was received from Ryan (aka M.Sydjr) to include all sound, voice and music files from Blood & Mud in Better Cities. The following, copied from the Blood & Mud readme, still applies to these files:
The voice/sound & music files included in Blood&Mud may ONLY and except-less be released with mods of M.Syd jr./R.O.Hershey. The rights of the sound / voice and music files are owned by the depending voice-actors and R.O.Hershey.

A permission to use voice/sound or music files from Blood&Mud in other projects is always needed [from R.O.Hershey or the individual voice actor(s)].