How to start Shivering Isles and other assorted troubleshooting tips


Hi! Did you happen to get Shivering Isles as a present for the holidays? Feeling lost, confused, can’t find your way? We’re here to help. I’m going to walk through all the different versions so just find the one you have below. Spoiler alert after the break.

How do I start Shivering Isles?

Wait 1 day. Afterwards, you will get a journal titled A Door in Niben Bay. You can do this with any save, any character. If you start a new character, you will need to leave the character gen dungeon first before waiting a day.

Not seeing the journal? Check out the troubleshooting tips below. If you are unable to resolve your issue, visit our Hardware and Software Forums or our technical support pages.

PC Specific Issues

Direct2Drive and Shivering Isles
If you install a Retail copy of Shivering Isles over Direct2Drive Oblivion, the game will require a retail Oblivion disk to run. To remedy this situation you will need to get the “Oblivion Shivering Isles CD Compatibility Fix” from Direct2Drive. It is available at Direct2Drive also sells the North American release of Shivering Isles, which is compatible with both the Retail and Direct2Drive versions of the game.

Content will not enable, or multiple assets are missing
We are aware that some people are having compatibility issues with third party, or user created mods and Shivering Isles. Please note that we cannot officially support any user-made mods for Oblivion, however we do want people to be able to enjoy their games. Here are some troubleshooting steps that seem to be fairly effective in eliminating some of the most common issues.

If you have been playing with mods installed please try these steps to eliminate any problems caused by the mods.

  • Backup all save files located in /My Documents/My Games/Oblivion/Saves/ to a separate folder.
  • Backup, or have some method ready for reinstallation of any third party or user created mods that you have.
  • Uninstall Oblivion
  • Delete any folders left behind such as C:\Program Files\Bethesda Softworks\Oblivion, and My Documents\My Games\Oblivion
  • Reboot your computer
  • Reinstall Oblivion (there is no need to install patch 1.1 or 1.2 at this point)
  • Install Shivering Isles
  • Install the Shivering Isles 1.2.0416 Patch from here
  • Copy your old saves into /My Documents/My Games/Oblivion/Saves/
  • Load Oblivion
  • Load an old save file and ensure that the save file load properly.
  • Wait 24 to 48 hours in-game then fast travel to a location near the Niben Bay, just east of Bravil. You should get a quest notification, or at least be able to see the island when looking due east from the Bravil Stables.

If you have had success with the steps above, it may be a good idea to install any third party or user created mods that you have, one at a time, or in small groups, checking to make sure that you have not lost functionality between each install.

Missing Dialogue or “I Have No Greeting”
The portal between the Cyrodiil and the Shivering Isles is used to set a number of variables within the game. Using third party mods, or console commands, that bypass this portal or move you between the two realms instantly will likely lead to missing dialogue, along with a host of other unforeseen issues.

Vista Compatibility
It should be noted that Oblivion and the Shivering Isles expansion are not officially supported on Windows Vista. Most attempts to run Oblivion and Shivering Isles on Vista are problem free. However, some users have reported that they have had success solving an issue in which the Shivering Isles content is not enabling correctly in game by attempting the following:

  • Fresh Installation of Oblivion and Shivering Isles
  • Running Oblivion in Windows XP SP2 Compatibility Mode
  • Running Oblivion as Administrator
  • Disabling Visual Themes and Desktop Composition

For more information, the original thread can be found here.

Xbox 360 Issues

Content doesn’t enable, or assets are missing
Some users are having issues with the Shivering Isles content enabling properly. Please note that Shivering Isles requires the latest Oblivion Title Update from Xbox Live, as mentioned above. If you are experiencing an issue with a hang on the “Loading Extra Content” message for 360 or the content isn’t enabling, it is likely because you do not have the 1.2.1 update. You can verify that you have the latest Title Update with the following steps:

  • At the Main Menu, press Start, and select Options
  • Select Video
  • Observe the bottom left corner of the Video Options screen, if it says Version 1.2.1, you have the latest Oblivion Title Update, otherwise you do not.

If you do not have the latest Title Update, you can get it 3 ways.

  1. You can either sign on to Xbox Live and download it before playing Shivering Isles.
  2. If you own Oblivion Game of the Year, insert disc 2 and select Yes when the disc asks to install the update. Disc 2 requires you to install the title update first before allowing you to install Shivering Isles or Knights of the Nine.
  3. If you own Shivering Isles standalone disc, insert the Shivering Isles disc and select Yes when the disc asks to install the update.

If you have the latest Title Update and you are still having issues, you might be having problems with Xbox Live… see

If you have the latest Title Update and it still isn’t working, there are a few things you can try to fix the problem yourself:

You can verify whether or not the content has enabled by taking any character and Fast Travelling to the Bay Roan Stables just outside of Bravil, and swimming almost straight eastward across the Niben Bay… if the content has enabled properly, you should see an island with a large doorway somewhere near the center of the Bay (just above the ‘L’ in Bravil, on the world map).

You may have a dirty disc… you can try to clean it with the steps mentioned here depending on the scope of your problem.

It may help to redownload the latest Oblivion Title Update from Xbox Live — if you are not receiving a prompt to download a Title Update when you start Oblivion and are logged on to Live, try the following:

  • At the Main Menu, press Start, and select Options
  • Select Video
  • Observe the bottom left corner of the Video Options pane, if it says Version 1.1, 1.2 or nothing at all, you do not have the latest update and may need to troubleshoot your Xbox Live connection
  • If it says Version 1.2.1, or you know your Live connection is working from the step above, you may want to clear existing game updates (please note the steps below will remove ALL game updates currently on your system, and that if you have downloaded any auto-updates for any other games, they will need to be downloaded again when you play them)
  • Go to the Xbox Dashboard, select the System blade, and select Memory
  • Highlight the Hard Drive symbol, and press the Y Button
  • Press the following buttons in order… X, X, Left Bumper, Right Bumper, X, X
  • A notification dialogue will ask for confirmation that you want to perform maintenance on your Xbox 360 Storage Devices, select Yes
  • After the maintenance is completed, restart Oblivion while connected to Xbox Live and you should be prompted to download an automatic game update… accept this update
  • Verify at this point that the game should be working properly, if the update download succeded

It may also help to redownload the Shivering Isles content from Xbox Live. You can do this by doing the following:

  • Go to your Xbox Dashboard, select the System blade, and select Memory
  • Select the Hard Drive, or wherever Shivering Isles is stored
  • Select Games
  • Select Oblivion
  • Select “Shivering Isles, Downloaded Content”
  • Select “Delete”
  • And finally redownload Shivering Isles as you did initially

You can also attempt to clear the Xbox’s game cache by holding the ‘A’ button as the game boots. Press and hold ‘A’ as soon as you turn the console on.

Playstation 3 Issues

Content doesn’t enable, or assets are missing when I download Shivering Isles from PSN
Some users are having issues with the Shivering Isles content enabling properly. Make sure you run the Shivering Isles package after downloading it from the Playstation store. When you first run Oblivion, you should then see an install bar appear as Shivering Isles is installed to the Oblivion game data folders. The install only occurs the first time. Once Oblivion starts, you can continue with any save or start a new character.

Is the NTSC version of the Shivering Isles standalone disc compatible with the PAL version of Oblivion?
No. For PAL markets, Shivering Isles is available on the PAL version of Oblivion Game of the Year (all languages) and will be available on PSN soon.

I cannot locate the Shivering Isles within the US PlayStation Store.
Here’s some simple steps to follow:

  1. Log into PSN
  2. Click on the tab that says “View All”
  3. Click on the box says “Browse by Title: D-E). “E” as in “Elder Scrolls”
  4. There are only two choices, the Oblivion trailer and Shivering Isles.
  5. Pay for the expansion, let it download…

General Issues

Character has trouble sitting
If your character is having trouble sitting to speak with specific NPCs which require it, and you have played Knights of the Nine, try sitting and waiting for a few moments (10-15 seconds) and speaking with the NPC after the camera view shifts. It will appear as if your character is still standing but this may resolve the issue. The same delay will likely occur when you try to ‘get up’ again.

Reader Comments

  1. Hello,

    I’m not sure if this is happening to very many people but once I uploaded/downloaded the game of the year edition with both Shivering Isles & Knights of the Nine to my XBox 360 I got a wierd flaw afterwards… There are no longer any oblivion gates!!!
    Everything else works just fine. Now that I’ve finished all the guilds and want to move on to “Closing shut the gates of Oblivion” I am left lonesome and unsure T-T
    Will I have to return to the OLD Oblivion series or is there a way to fix this bug?
    The gates were one of my favorite things to break because I left with a sigil that had some pretty great effects <(‘-‘<)
    Please write me back… whether it can be fixed or not, I just want to hear about it. Thank You


  2. I’m having a problem curing vampirism on the ps3 version because the witch won’t take the bloodgrass. Is there a patch or a way around this. thankyou.

  3. im stuck wiv the in stuling shivering islus i cant get it to work i in stull it and it ses insurt the oblivon disk i w8ted 24 huors and rested as well b ut steel it dont work can u plz help guys i been trying to get this game for ages plz help

  4. hey, i installed oblivion and shivering ilse on my new computer and booted up to play shivering ilse and waited 24hrs….then another….then another all in all i waited about a week in the game and still no message nothing. any ideas why??? im running on vista but ive done all the compatabilty and everything works fine but the shivering ilse and i installed them both on my other computer to make sure and still the shivering ilse quest doesnt begin….. help!?


  6. i bought the xbox 360 GoTY version and all the normal oblivion stuff worked and the downloads from marketplace worked but the extra knights of the nine and shivering isles content is not existent and the entry in jounal for shivering isles and the prophet and rumours in knights of the nine dont come up. there is also no island even after 24 hours. do i have to activate the content or something?

  7. do you have to be conected to live to play or something ecause i have waited weeks and weeks in game and still nothing so pissed off!!!!!!!!

  8. I bought the Shivering Isles expansion disk for the 360, and installed it last night. After loading up a save game, i noticed that as i went between sections of the game, the loading times were several minutes and at one point, it went to a black screen. I tried clearing the cache (hold “A” on xbox 360 boot up), and tried it again. It is faster now, but i cannot get the shivering isles content to appear. I waited for ages but no journal message appeared, and there is no prophet outside the chapel in Anvil (for Knights of the Nine). I dont have access to Xbox live, which is why i bought the expansion disk, and assumed that it would also contain the necessary patches to get the game to work, but maybe not! Any ideas? After reading the posts, I will try going to Bravil tonight, to look for the doorway on the island, but even if that does work, how do i start Knights of the Nine?

  9. I just found this on the bethesda website, regarding the Shivering Isles Expansion disk (ie; content not appearing). Here is the link.

    It looks like the problem is to do with the Date that is set on your box if you are not connected to Xbox Live (I assume that connecting to Xbox Live will download the correct date to your 360 and therefore the problem does not manifest itself). When you turn off your 360, the date reverts to 11/2005, which confuses the Shivering Isles installation. If you do not have access to Xbox Live and have bought the Expansion disk, you will need to set the correct date on your 360 before installing the expansion. If it is already installed, you will need to delete it. Anyway, full instructions are on this link. Hopefully they will solve my (and your) problems. I will be trying this tonight…

  10. Hope that works out for you tattwood. For the record, the necessary update is on the Shivering Isles expansion disc, and is necessary for the installation of the expansion.

  11. Thanks gstaff. Unfortunately, over the last two days of attempted re-installations, i still cannot get the extra content to work. I have followed the steps on the link i mentioned, but the extra content does not appear in the game. It looks like the problem has something to do with the “1.2.1 update”. Here is what i did…After changing the date, deleting everything, then re-installing the extra content from the shivering isles disk and clearing the cache, etc, i load the oblivion game. On the “Oblivion” title page, i press “start” and the “Loading extra content” message appears for about a second. I went to the Video options on the main menu to look for the “version 1.2.1” message, but there is no version number displayed anywhere. I also tried playing the game and waiting, looking around Niben Bay for the doorway and island, etc. but still nothing. Is there anything else i could try to get it to work?

  12. I have exactly the same problem with my copy of the game too. After emailing bethesda, I was instructed to reinstall the content , change the clock and so on but it still doesn’t work.. I’m wondering if it’s a problem with the update supposedly on the disk. If anyone knows how to fix this plz help.

  13. well i bought oblivion and shivering isles seprately.and i installed the shivering isles disc and waited 1 game day like it told me to. but it never gave me the quest prompt. i checked niben bay to see if there was the island but there was nothing. how do i get to play shivering isles?

  14. i too bought the disc separate from the game and i cannot get the shivering isles prompt either. i have xbox live, my date is correct, i have version 1.2.1 of oblivion, ive deleted and reinstalled/downloaded shivering isles from the disc twice, once connected to xbox live once without. neither worked. i obviously need some kind of new update and would appreciate it soon so my 30 bucks isnt a total waste. thanks

  15. Have you been using the game of the year edition / whatever version comes with Knights and Isles? I am having the same problem. I’ll go into as good of detail I can. I bought the old(er) Oblivion (version 1.1.511) and have been playing it for about a month. I decided to borrow the knights & Isles installation disk from my friend. I inserted the disk into the 360 and supposedly downloaded the patch and extras. I got the freezing while loading content problem. I went to the aforementioned website provided by tattwood and followed the instructions there to the letter multiple times. Now when I attempt to view the version number it is blank and every time I press the start button at the tittle screen the game tries to load the extra content. The “Loading Content” box appears for a few seconds and all seems well; but when I attempt to start either of the new series of quests neither the doorway on the island or the conversations about the knights are present. Short of buying the game of the year version I am out of ideas.
    Hope this will lead to some suggestions

  16. If anyone has been reading the above messages and is having the same problem as the rest of us, then i have some advice for you…basically, take your disk back to the shop and get your money back! I contacted various forums searching for a solution but to no avail. I’ve tried contacting Bethesda themselves via their support site and they said “Talk to the publisher”. I’ve tried contacting the publisher (Take-Two Interactive), who provided some “moronic” attempts at solving my problem, and then said they would look into it. Since then, I have not heard from them for nearly a month now, dispite repeated attempts at contacting them again. From my experience, there is a software problem resulting in the expansion disk not working for many people. All i can say is, dont bother wasting your time like i did, trying to find a solution, because there isn’t one. The companies involved know that many people are having problems, but from the responses (or lack of), that i get, there is no solution and they aren’t going to fix it. The publishers just dont care either. Do yourself a favour and get your money back.

  17. Hey everyone, I have had no problems with my Shivering Isles Expansion set. However, after completing most of the expansion with the exception of “Umaril the Unfeathered.” I hvae yet to complete the final quest because while in Garlas Malatar, i cannot get past the first three gates. There is only one button to open the gates, i activate it and nothing happens. The book says all three gate will be opened simultaneously upon activating the stone, however, none of the gates open. I have tried waiting for an hour, only to find that my knights are now on the other side of the gates, even though they are still closed. has anyone else experienced this problem?

  18. piece of sh@@@@@ ,when you buy a game expansion 20£ you expect to plug it in and chill,,,ooohh no not with xbox 360 Shoddy Isles,,If its to be a hassle i would just buy it on pc…thats it im going PS3

  19. have tried everything possible now,,including sleeping 100 times,,,but have not gone live..How can xbox sell such a piece of……that is giving everyone so many problems,,why should i have to go live for it to work,and why cant all the necessary updates etc just be on the expansion disk.. well im going to wipe my rectum with this disk,,thats all its good for

  20. I’ve got the exact same problems as tattwood, but im asking what can tech support do if you haven’t got xbox live? I’ve got the stand alone expansion pack disc, i’ve done everything this website and the link tattwood sent and still no avial =( please help on here, love the game and really want this too work, many thnx

  21. My brothers and i went and bought the oblivion GOTY and we could only install one of the expansions how do we install the second?

  22. Matt,

    As mentioned above, you might want to check with Tech support. Be sure to provide details as to which one you were able to install and what issues you experienced.

  23. THANKS YOU SOOO MUCH! I’m not the most computer savvy person and i was getting REALLY ticked off…10 min on your site and i had it up and running! thanks again

  24. ok there r no tips! You keep telling us to contact tech support! That doesnt help me at all they never respond wheres the hellp man??

  25. I downloaded Shivering Isles from the Xbox live marketplace,And like most people here when I waited 1 game day…Nothing.But when I had the idea to start a new game and try again,It worked,I think it has something to do with sealing the oblivion gates as in my fully completed save even though I’ve continued to play and sleep and rest and the like,The prompt still hasn’t been displayed,In one way it’s a solution,But in another way it’s something I need help with,I don’t suppose anyone knows how to fix it so I can play with my completed save? I know some people who are able to play Shivering even though they’ve completed the story line and shut the oblivion gates.

  26. I dont have xbox live.
    I have the Game of the year edition.
    I was able to install knights of the 9 and completed it.

    however shivering isles won’t download. (one or more items cannot download). i have all the right updates installed (1.2.1) and i assume the shivering isles and knights of the nine have the same download requirements corect??

    no my disc isn’t dirty.
    yes the date on my xbox is correct.
    yes i’ve tried deleting and reinstalling.

    Its too bad, I’ve enjoyed playing the entire elder scrolls series, and havent had any issues prior.. I’ll tell you one thing though, if I don’t get any support that actually fixes the problem, you’ll be losing not only me and a huge portion of oblivions fan based (since im not the only one with issues) but I’ll use the disc for target practice and go get “two worlds” instead..

    bethesda better do something about this asap.

  27. To everyone having trouble playing Shivering Isles who did everything perfectly to install:

    Did you complete the game and shut the gates? I have to back Mark up here. I was having trouble a couple months back and just now decided to make a new character and S.I. works fine.

    Bethsoft, gstaff and tech04(if you exist) please fix this so people who finish you great game and want more don’t have to start over to continue playing.

  28. I downloaded shivering isle from xbox live and it worked perfectly until I had to send my system in to be repaired. I kept the original hard drive and the SI data is still there, but now it won’t load. Since I don’t have a disk, will I need to pay again when I try deleting and reinstalling?

  29. I bought the PS3 Oblivion GOTY edition with both the Knights of the Nine and the Shivering Isles expansions. The Knights of the Nine works fine but the Shivering Isles is nowhere to be found. There is no map marker or topics pertaining to it. I’ve tried looking for the door in Niben Bay and tried waiting many days but it doesn’t work. I tried starting a new game and it won’t show up then either. Is there anything I can do?

  30. have tried everything that is said on this site and still it doesn’t work(SI) i tought that the whole purpose of buying shivering isles on disc was not having to use xboxlive,i tought that it was meant for us guys without xboxlive,if i had xboxlive i would have downloaded the expasion wouldn’t i?

  31. Hi, I have Oblivion IV, game of the Year Edition, and I have completed the main quest and the Knights of the Nine quests. I have played 80+ hours, and still haven’t had any message about a Door, and I have checked there to fund nothing. I have also tried it with two others characters, the same happened. What should I do?

  32. I bought the collecters addition for the xbox 360 and I put in disk 2 to download the expansions and when its done it says 1 or more files were not downloaded. It only downloads knights of the nine, not shivering isles. I even try downloading shivering isles alone…… Nothing. I have the updates obviously. Anyone else have this Problem?