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Many times in the game i've found myself looking at a flying dragon kind of trolling me. Sometimes the dragon just keeps flying around in circles or ovals without landing or even atacking me. I've tried to walk around to nearby locations and to the points where he stops for a while, but it usually does not work and I ignore him and keep walking until we both get far enough for him to disappear.

Why does this happen? Is it a terrain issue? I mean, since the game is enormous, they probably couldn't find a way to make dragons fight in every place, so you kind of have to reach an fight area so that a dragon will atack you and engage in combat. Is this it?

Is there any way i can force them to atack me other than using "Dragonrend" which is too late-game for most of my characters?

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Still might be too end-game, but I've noticed once they switch over to elder dragons, they land every time. Perhaps in the early game, some dragons appear just to keep you on your toes until you're ready to face the tougher ones. – user3389 Jan 2 '12 at 21:30
Hm...Makes some sense,i will begin to pay attention to this – Marcello Grechi Lins Jan 2 '12 at 22:24
I use the Unrelenting Force shout each time I see a dragon. Makes them attack me each and every time. – ヴァイシャリ Jan 3 '12 at 1:31
I believe this is actually a feature of the game. I remember watching one "behind the scenes" type video where they mentioned the dragon behavior is somewhat randomized. I've also had a couple dragons just lurk for a bit and then fly away like you describe. It's a little annoying, but also kind of adds a cool bit of extra flavor to the ambiance of the world. – Iszi Jan 3 '12 at 14:22
possible duplicate of What's the easiest way to pull a flying dragon? – Mr Smooth Jan 4 '12 at 12:13
up vote 7 down vote accepted

If you are near a village, farm, etc. go to it. If you are quick enough then the dragon will most likely attack the village instead of flying in an annoying circlular loop. You could also try to get it's attention by shooting it with a arrow... To the knee xD

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+1 Hah hah arrow to the knee! – Jim Jones Nov 7 '15 at 19:06

If you have good aim and long range, you might be able to hit it with an arrow or a spell, but I typically can't force dragons circling high in the air to land.

Later in the main quest, you get a more direct solution to this that I won't spoil, but by that point, every dragon had murder on its mind when it flew near me.

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+1 whoops! didn't see your answer talked about the same thing as mine (I mentioned the shout by name, deleted now! >.<) – JohnP Jan 3 '12 at 15:33

Anecdotal answer from my side: I was travelling without any arrows when a dragon attacked. Rather than its usual circling, it landed and so I could engage in hand-to-hand. I'm playing a stealth archer though, so I haven't investigated this further.

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A good way to get a flying dragon to attack you is to either hit it with a spell or arrow or use a shout which produces noise (Throw voice is good) and shout at the dragon, this should get its attention. if it doesn't, if possible try to go to places where there is NPCs like a village or town or find an area which is fairly flat or sloped and clear with no trees the dragon should engage, all these methods work for me. If these methods do not work then i don't know what else you can do.

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