Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim How To Kill Dragons

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim How To Kill Dragons
Dragon Slaying is one of the best aspects of Skyrim, our Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim How To Kill Dragons guide gives you some basic information and tips that can help you get through all the random Dragon Fights.

Dragons are very easy to kill if you’re at your best, if you’ve ran out of potions when you come across one, or have no soul gems to refill your enchantments, it becomes really difficult to kill the Dragons early on. In short, you need to make sure you’re fully prepared for anything every time you go anywhere. You need to be self sufficient so make sure you have items that recharge mana and healing spells, these two combined with whatever play style you choose it becomes almost impossible to die but to kill the Dragon, you need to be good with a bow.

Level Range as much as possible early on, any opportunity for a stealth bow shot, take it. The quick kills and easy exp can get your archery high in no time. You can check our How To Level Fast guide for other methods. Make sure you have an Enchanted Bow, they’re easy to come across in the first couple of towns so make sure its charged at all times. Getting Azeura’s Star can really help, check out our Tips Guide for her location.

You’re then set to kill a dragon. The majority of the Dragon Encounters are randoms, you can tell by the name of the dragon like “Dragon” and “Blood Dragon”, and can vary in a few way such as ice and fire. Having a few fire and ice resist potions can make it a lot easier to stay up if things go wrong. At the beginning the key to defeating dragons easily is looking for support, they’re fickle beasts and lose attention very quickly. They’ll attack anything moving, Horses, People, Giants, Wolves etc. Just go near anything you want to help you and make sure the dragons breath hits it, that usually changes the targets aggression to the dragon. While the Dragon is occupied, hit it with as many arrows as possible. If you get low on HP for any reason, switch to double-cast heal and run around until you’re back to full. Repeat until the Dragon dies. They’re especially easy to kill if you can get Guards involved as they can take a real beating off the Dragon.

If you’re struggling to get a Dragons attention as he flies aimlessly around your head taunting you with his escaping Dragon Soul, summon a Flame Atronach. It can attack him from the ground, can’t take much damage but it initiates the fight almost every time. If that doesn’t work, using Relentless force shout will force a hovering Dragon to land.

Check out our Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Walkthrough Guide for all our guides, including Housing, Trainers, Horses, and Treasure Maps.

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  • Tommy

    What if i’m not a bow type or a restorative type?

    • All you gotta do it wait till it flies down, run in circles around it and hit it. You can also use destruction spells on it, umm, bring it close to a village or giants, the guards or giants will attack it.

    • N French

      I encountered my first dragon outside a guard watch tower, had no idea what I was doing, not very quick at aiming with arrows so decided to get in close holding a mace & equipped with fire. I hit as many buttons as I could and somehow ended up climbing up on the dragons head & bashing it to death with the mace!!! crude but surprisingly easy ?

      • It’s a death blow animation, similar to the ones you perform on normal monsters. Very entertaining to watch 😀

  • how do i get its attention if its flying above me???

    • Arrow or magic. Really if they see you they will come down to fight.

    • Just make sure it remains red dot on your compass, this means it’s not going to flee. Then just get as close to it as possible.

  • I play Khajjit and I can take down dragons with my bare fists. The unarmed Khajjit is pretty insane.

  • Getting dragon’s attention to get him to attack you is actually harder than killing it. It is usually just flying in circles around you, being impossible to hit or anything (I tried shooting about 60 arrows on him, but it’s evasive maneuvres were astonishing, so I tried to run around, casting Flames into the air so he would notice me, shouting at him.. nothing.. so after about half an hour I gave up on it and went inside a dungeon)

    Melee is especially fun if your drake is already low on health and can’t take off. Decapitating animation is worth the risk 🙂

    • I’ve yet to see that damn animation and I’ve killed 10+ Dragons. Quite disappointed 🙁 lol

      • ray

        heh, I’ve seen it right on that first dragon, at watchtower 🙂

        I’ve jumped on his neck and …. “spoilers”, won’t tell ya 🙂

  • I agree with ray111 i need help drawing the dragons out of the sky to challenge. Any help? Firing arrows at the beasts is near impossible. It’s like trying to fire an rpg at a butterfly

    • I’ve not had any problems with it. I rarely hit them when they’re airborne. As soon as I see them, I run straight for them, they always seem to attack me. I then only retreat when they’re attacking or swooping, never seem to lose aggro. Not sure what you’re doing wrong :/

    • OK TO GET IT TO STOP FLYING GO RUN OVER TO IT AND FIRE ARROWS AND WHEN U HIT THE DRAGON BE READY ITS GONNA ATTACK also to stop it from breathing fire or something do fus ro dah!

  • well, it was after dark, so maybe I was hidden in shadows.. but I tried not to. I was running back and forth from plains to the mountain (where he seemed to turn around on his path), but he didn’t notice me. I even used crawling to see if HE knows of me, but most of the time he didn’t. He noticed me few times, but then he just flew over me and didn’t engage. Maybe my OP upgraded Ancient Nord Battle Axe with Fiery Souls enchant was too scary for him.

    btw too bad you can’t upgrade Headsman’s Axe, that’s a shameful waste of model for something that weak. I was hoping to cut some dragon heads with it, but it’s two times weaker than ancient nord battleaxe, and several times weaker than those better pieces. Can’t wait for construction tools to fix it 🙂

    • I’ve updated the guide with info that may help, summon a Flame atronach and you should be good to go.

  • I hate blood dragons, but i got attacked by one, got 2 giants and 2 mammoths to attack it and won no worries

  • link to video of dragon slaying: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BhO7KlSElY

  • I need help with Elder Dragons, their breaths are ferocious, and every time i get close to it a cinematic angle appears where the dragon just bites me and throws me!

  • Something else to consider: Staggering a dragon will interupt its breath. The Archery perk, or the Destruction dual-cast perk is very efficient for this.

    A quick, accurate ice spike or lightning bolt repeatedly cast at the dragon will turn the fight into a joke, especially if you have a follower to do some damage.

    • When it pulls back it’s head and gets ready to shout at you if you just use a powerful shout to it’s face it’ll stagger it for a second and stop it from shouting 😀 I just do that and use my bow and every dragon so far is easy

      • GlassDeviant

        1) Relentless Force will not get a circling dragon to land unless it hits the dragon.

        2) Any staggering attack to the head when it is getting ready to breathe will interrupt the breath attack, but you have to time it well because once it has started the hit won’t interrupt it. I use this strategy with my archer/thief/assassin Khajiit all the time to take on any dragon short of an Ancient Dragon head-to-head.

  • Anyone had a dragon get stuck in the sky and break the game? Im pretty sure his head got stuck in the sky geometry if thats even possible. I came out of the final Thieves guild storyline fight and ran right into a blood dragon who was flying backwards. When it hovered I was able to hit it with arrows, but it never agro’d onto me. After a while it flew straight up (still flying backwards) and the head stopped moving, however the wings and tail kept lashing about. Game slowed to about 3-4 fps at this time.

    Reloaded from save post fight, dragon was still glitching out so I just ran away. Havent been back by that area yet.

    • It’s a bug that was introduced with the latest patch, nothing you can do I’m afraid. Bethesda have said they’re aware of it and it will be addressed in the next patch.

    • i had no prob with it i killed it and wlked away one more dragon soul happier

  • just found another way if you have dragon rend keep applying stand far enough back that the breath attack wont hit then spam your best arrows.

  • I use destruction magic to take on dragons usually. I usually get attacked by ancient dragons and I use an overcharged chain lightning spell the whole time, I don’t even have to worry about it damaging me if I get the first hit in.

  • the shout became ethereal is very useful in dragon fighting

  • mtd

    most of the times i have fought a dragon i have had a companion with me and made easy work of it with my various war hammers. the only time i had trouble is fighting the dragon when you first go to a burial ground and then i resorted to shouts and archery til it landed

  • this game would be 10 times better is it did not glich when im fighting a dragon!but i like to keep my distens when im fighting and elder dragon take it out with a bow but it takes some time

  • just dragonrend them to make it land use spectral assasin as a distraction cause hes a pretty tough git and he doesnt disappear, then use the dragonbane which does 30 points extra damage to dragons ( u can get dragonbane from a chest in sky haven temple) works most times for me (im level 40, nord)

    • dude i am trying to get to the temple i am a kajjit and level 15 and nomatter what i try this dragon finds a way to eat me what do i do i have tryed poisoined aorrows and he ate me i tryed geting up close and he ate me i tryed dwell every thing he ates me he has stomech issuses

  • Plz help me im lv 12 Argonian on my way to Sky Haven Teemple and a FREKIN blood dragon keeps killing me!

    • blood dragons are really strong so go get stronger befor fighting it.

  • elder dragons are a huge pain in the ass.

  • I was at riften and a dragon was there and it was in the air, pulled out a arrow and tried to and it went away.

    Why did not attack?

  • P

    Seriously? On master difficulty I usually go around picking flowers and mushrooms and the like while the dragon hits me with all it’s got. Found it kind of unbalanced that way and it’s a shame. What about introducing a dynamic difficulty setting for those of us that do a lot of side quests early on?

    • P

      Correction. They did get harder, but not dramatically. At least they can now take my head off. From what I hear Elder dragons and the like might be that longed for kick in the groin? I think I was too quick to judge.

      Good dragon hunting.

  • Burned to death

    I’m on expert and I’ll admit I rage a lot maybe to much, put it on novice 🙂