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I'm high level and finished the main quest, but my game is unplayable at the moment:
It was said that every dragon fight is something special, why am I spammed with dragons like every 5 minutes then?
I can not do anything in this game anymore, because a new dragon is just waiting for me.

If that would just be out in the wild, ok, but I have 2 dragons raiding Dawnstar, 1 old dragon (not targeting me, but just attacking NPCs) in Whiterun, ...

Tried to kite them out of the city and then using Dragon Fall (they won't land on their own), but that sometimes just results in them flying far away (effect still "active"), just waiting for me to return next time.

How to deal with dragons or play the game without them?

I recently resolved the civil war and one situation was that two dragons wiped a whole camp in 30 seconds.

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I have to agree, eventually the stupid dragon attacks become silly, there's so many that you can't fast travel anywhere without having to kill one. –  z - Dec 3 '11 at 19:16
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At least your dragons are attacking, the last three dragons that have seen me have just circled and left after getting bored. –  stay Dec 3 '11 at 19:47
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I think how many dragons you encounter depends (a lot) on how much you fast travel. I saw only a few of them during my first 20 or so hours of play, when I rarely fast traveled. Once I started fast traveling more frequently, they seem to pop up all the damn place. –  Krazer Dec 4 '11 at 20:28
    
Easiest way I can think of is never doing one of the first quests that sends you to search for the dragon stone. Interesting that you encounter so many dragons, possible a result of the recent update that bugged dragons. My main character is level 40 and only encountered about 10-20 dragons –  Domocus Dec 5 '11 at 5:09
    
I think after a certain fight in the main quest, the # of dragons drastically increases. At least that's the way for me. –  z - Dec 5 '11 at 16:09
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7 Answers

I've completed the game and all factions with a level 51 Khajiit archer and didn't notice any significant increase in the number of dragon attacks at any particular point in the storyline. I am attacked perhaps once every 2-3 in-game days. In your circumstances, I would suggest adapting your character to deal with the increased attack rate and develop a few evasive procedures. Some ideas:

  • You already have Dragonrend. By forcing the dragon to land, you are able to kill them more easily or force them to fall behind if you wish to escape.

  • Take potions of fire and frost resistance to reduce the damage the dragon is able to deal, potions of healing to negate that damage, potions of stamina to help you put distance between yourself and the dragon if necessary, and potions of fortify one-handed/two-handed/archery/destruction to help you deal more damage.

  • Hire a companion with high health that engages the dragon in melee or ranged combat. Optionally also seek out Shadowmere from the Dark Brotherhood questline. By having one or two tanks to absorb damage and distract the dragon, you will be free to fight or escape at leisure.

  • Attack the dragon from the side, targeting the wings. The tail attack can stagger you, and the head attack can one-hit kill you. The wings deal less damage comparatively.

  • If you need to escape, aim to run through a forest or an area with a significant number of large objects covering the ground. The dragon, unable to land, will attempt to deliver one or two aerial attacks before locating the nearest wild animal, hunter or guard and get distracted by it. By using Dragonrend, you can force it to seek an area to land, often a fair distance away.

  • Sell the dragon bones and scales, or craft armour from them. The profits will offset the cost of fighting the dragons. By accepting the dragon hunter bounties from the local Jarls, you will get extra coin for eliminating dragons and ensuring a dragon-free Skyrim.

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As Krazer mentioned in comments, it seems that one way to avoid dragon attacks is to not use fast travel. In various discussions on the Bethesda forums, I've seen a lot of people complaining about the number of dragon attacks and pretty much every one of them starts off with saying that they get attacked every time they fast travel anywhere. At the other extreme, I pretty much never fast travel and I've got a level 56 Khajiit who has faced a total of 21 dragons in 130 hours of play - and that includes plot-related dragons and dragons sitting on top of word walls. At a guess, I'd say I've seen seven or eight random dragons, tops, and I get in several hours of play between them.

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how far along the main quest are you? I suspect the # of dragon attacks goes up after a certain point. Up until then, no matter how much fast traveling I did, I rarely ran into dragons (on the order of 1 every few game days). –  z - Dec 5 '11 at 15:59
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There are a few mods now that you can install to prevent or reduce dragon encounters.

Stop to Dragon Encounters was made specifically to fix the sort of problem you're having ("I've finished the main quest, so why the heck are random dragons still spawning?"). It turns off the random dragon encounters, but leaves the quest-based ones and the dragon lairs intact. It can also be installed before the main quest is done – installing it after is just the suggested use.

Waiting More Time Before Next Dragon Encounter increases the amount of time between random dragon attacks. If you still want dragons around but want them to be reasonable, this will help. (It looks like it's not maintained anymore, but should work fine regardless. There is a maintained version of this mod, but it's part of the modular Erkeil Real Skyrim Overhaul. You could download that and only use the ERSO 06 - Wait More Time Dragon Encounter.esp file from it, if active development is important to you.)


This won't help an existing character, but for completeness' sake another way of avoiding dragons is to use an alternate-start mod that doesn't start the main quest until you want it to. Alternate Start - Live Another Life is my favourite for this: you start out with a character with gear, starting location, and a bit of appropriate background based on a questionnaire you complete after chargen. The civil war and main quest don't start until you follow up on rumours of something strange happening at Helgen. This skips the intro cinematic and scenes entirely (you never get to – or have to depending on how you look at it – play through that first dragon attack again) and lets you start a character with a more suitable background for your character concept. My last mage started as a new student at the College, recently arrived from High Rock by boat.

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The link to the 'Stop to Dragon Encounters' mod seems to be down (File not found). Know of a mirror link or alternate mod? –  galacticninja Aug 8 '13 at 11:55
    
@galacticninja Hm, that's annoying. I can't find it anywhere else, and I don't know of an alternate mod. –  SevenSidedDie Aug 8 '13 at 16:26
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Basically the dragons are still frequent so as you can complete your collections of shouts and for the dragon bones and scales. Once modding is available you will be able to create or find a mod that can lower the spawn rate or get rid of them completely if you wish. Bethesda has also announced that the PC version of the game is going to be getting a lot of updates in the coming months. Maybe they will do something about this themselves at one point or another.

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I have just started playing Skyrim but I am level ten and have thus far encountered three dragons, not including the one at Whiterun. I fast travel a lot. I generally use it to get to cities that are close to a destination I can't fast travel to. I think it may have to do with how much work you put into being Dragonborn. Maybe it's a case of the more dragonborn stats, the more dragons.

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Fast travel alot! –  fredley Feb 8 '12 at 15:51
    
dragons only naturally spawn after level 15 and after some main quests, the dragons you saw were guarding word walls. –  IrishPersonality Feb 20 '12 at 5:58
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in my experience of Skyrim (80+ hours) it seems that when you fast travel there is a high chance of a dragon being there, there are a few factors to them spawning

  1. your level: the higher your level the more likely there is a dragon there(this also affects the type of dragon).

  2. storyline progress: the further in the game the more dragons that spawn (this is most likely a plot to the game, more progress more Alduin revives his fallen brethren).-unconfirmed

  3. the location: it matters to which location you travel to, if you travel to solitude for example there is less likely to be a dragon but you travel to Mount Anthor, there's most likely a dragon waiting to F**k you up.

these are the few that i have found myself, there may be more reasons but these are the main, my advice for dragons would be get a set of Deadric or dragonplate armour and a Deadric sword/high destruction skill with good spells like the runes for when the dragons about to land. bow and arrows are not recommended (unless 50+ archery) as you are most likely going to miss, a lot. also get whrilwind sprint mastered (for if you die and you don't have any health potions/magicka left).

i hope this information helps you in your struggle against the dragons, it helped me a ton.

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Fast travel's destination matters. Going to Whiterun or other "well-fortified" cities never attracts dragons (though I haven't kept a character all through the further quests, maybe that changes), but Dawnstar, Winterhold, and other smaller cities or open spots are fair game-- especially the further you fast-travelled to get there. (All that travel time gives them more time to notice you, even though they can't attack until you arrive and they see whether you're defended or not.)

Which means, quick money or dragon-armor: Bounce back and forth in fast travel between open, opposite spots on the map, and watch the scales pour in...

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That's incorrect. I have encountered dragons even in Solitude. –  kotekzot Jul 14 '12 at 13:03
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protected by Community Mar 28 '13 at 11:36

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