When I launch the Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion via Steam I get this launcher come up, but the Play button is disabled.

What could be causing this?

It works fine on my laptop. Both machines are running Windows 8 Pro. I'm signed out of Steam on the other machine.

Yes, this is a legitimate paid for version.


  • 3
    Did you verify the games cache?
    – user28015
    Commented Jan 13, 2013 at 10:20
  • No, but that's a good idea. Anyway, it seems to have resolved itself as I tried again today (after a reboot) and it's fine. Commented Jan 14, 2013 at 17:23

1 Answer 1


This problem is the result of missing entries in the windows registry file.

If the game files are present on your hard-drive then this would indicate problems in the windows registry. The launcher reads the registry for the locations of the objects the links point to. If a link cannot be found the corresponding button will be greyed out. One way to solve this is to reinstall the game. On steam, verifying the game cache should have the same effect, otherwise you may have to completely remove oblivion and re-download.

If you are comfortable with manually editing the registry file yourself then make sure the following registry entries exist:

  1. [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Bethesda Softworks]
  2. [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Bethesda Softworks\Oblivion] "Installed Path"="Path to game folder on your hard-drive"

    Example: "c:\Program Files(x86)\Steam\SteamApps\Common\Oblivion\"

  3. [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Bethesda Softworks\Oblivion\1.00.0000]
  4. [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Bethesda Softworks\Oblivion - Construction Set]
  5. [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Bethesda Softworks\Oblivion - Construction Set\1.00.0000]

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