I've already played through Skyrim on the PS3. Now, finally tired of waiting on Bethesda to re-align their fecal matter, I've bought the game and all DLC on the Xbox 360.

While I did enjoy the story and everything about the game the first time around, my new playthrough on the 360 is going to be primarily targeting DLC. I'll probably be putting off a lot of the main quest line in favor of prioritizing the DLC. To that end, I'd like to know when an appropriate time would be to start pursuing the missions associated with each DLC.

Do they each have a minimum level, or a particular place in the larger story? Or are they fairly well separated from the main story, and level down or up to match the player? Could I dive straight into things, right out of Helgen - or do I need to buff up a bit and slay a few dragons, giants, mammoths, etc. first?

I would like an answer to cover all of:

  • Dawnguard
  • Hearthfire
  • Dragonborn
  • 10
    +1 for waiting on Bethesda to re-align their fecal matter Commented Jan 29, 2013 at 10:49
  • We always used "get their poop in a group" but I like that better. I'm still waiting on Bethesda, last rumor is early 2013 (February?) but we'll see.
    – Travis
    Commented Jan 29, 2013 at 12:25
  • Dragonborn DLC would be a continuation of the history of the Dragonborn.
    – Jim
    Commented Oct 17, 2015 at 18:26

2 Answers 2


Dawnguard has a minimum level requirement of 10. I'd recommend waiting until 15-20 though since some of the quests are long and tough (lots of trekking through falmer infested territory).

Hearthfire can be started at any time as its simply a material collection quest to build a house. Though collecting all the materials may take a long time. To get the courier letter, you must be level 10.

Dragonborn requires you to have started the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller quest. This is a tough DLC and having good gear matters more than levels, I wouldn't recommend anything below 30.

  • 2
    "Dragonborn requires you to have completed the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller quest." I've finished the main Dragonborn DLC questline before I have completed the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller quest. Commented Apr 27, 2013 at 8:58

To start the Dawnguard main quest (and also the side quests) your character must either be at level 10 or above, or you need to go to Fort Dawnguard. You will get the quest by visiting a city and listening for rumors, someone will approach you to recruit you into the Dawnguard or by going to the fort and speaking with Isran. There is also a side quest (Lost to the Ages) after you read a book (The Aetherium Wars).

For Hearthfire there is no particular quest, just get along with the jarls, buy land for them and built your dream house. And then you can adopt children, decorate your house and so on...

For Dragonborn, you must have at least started the quest The Horn of Jurgen Windcallert to start the main questline. After that, the next time you visit a city two Cultists will engage you in a brief discussion and then will attempt to kill you. Once they're dead, a note can be found on one of them which will trigger the quest.

For DLC quests I believe they are quiet separated from the main story (that's what I think, as I've only Dawnguard DLC atm). The leveling for enemies in DLC will depend on your level and I suggest you to get around level 25-35 before jumping into the main DLC quest.

  • 1
    A note about Hearthfire: After completing Helgen, the Sven/Faendal quest, and finding the Golden Claw, Dragonstone, and first Word Wall, I got a courier with a note from the Jarl of Falkreath. The note mentions the possibility of becoming Thane and purchasing property. Last I recall, there were no player-ownable houses in Falkreath - so, this must be part of Hearthfire. I'm not sure what the trigger was for this, but I'm only level 9.
    – Iszi
    Commented Jan 29, 2013 at 14:00
  • Yes, for Hearthfire just like I said, be good, get along with the jarls and you should be ok. The recommended level is only for Dawnguard and Dragonborn quests only. Commented Jan 29, 2013 at 14:18

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