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I've almost completed the main quest and I've done a few side quests, and now I'm level 24. I am trying to defeat Alduin but I can't pull it off. Clearly my level isn't the problem, so something else is wrong.

My strategy so far has been to send in followers to help me, but they don't die and I do. I have fast healing but I don't have enough mana to keep it up.

What am I doing wrong? What strategy works to defeat Alduin?

  • 2
    Are you fighting him in Sovngarde? – Raven Dreamer Sep 27 '13 at 21:53
  • 3
    Could we get some more detail about your character? What skills and perks you have, what gear you're using, etc.? It could be that you have a weakness we can help you fix, but we can't know that unless we know more. – SevenSidedDie Sep 27 '13 at 22:35
24

There are a number of things that can be done to make the fight with Alduin (or any other dragon, for that matter) easier.

Do the Damage Yourself

Alduin, like all dragons in Skyrim, has the Dragonskin perk. This means that he takes half damage from anyone who isn't the player. Unless you've increased the difficulty, this means that allies, while useful, are almost always going to be doing less damage than you can.

Don't Take the Damage Yourself (When Possible)

In the Alduin fight, there are three NPCs attacking him along with you. They may not be able to overcome his Dragonskin like you can, but all three are marked Essential, meaning they cannot die. Let them get the first couple of hits in on Alduin, and he should keep his focus on them for a while. If he turns to attack you, feel free to run, try to find cover, and let them get his attention again. Even with Alduin focusing entirely on them, there will usually be at least one still standing at any moment, with another getting up soon.

Look After Your Friends

The NPC allies in this fight may be Essential, but that doesn't stop them from spending most of the fight in recovery mode. Directly healing them is often a waste of time, as they cannot die anyway, but buff spells like Courage, Rally, or Call to Arms can make them last longer between recoveries, and help them keep Alduin's attention longer. If you have high enough Restoration, though, Grand Healing and Guardian Circle can be quite effective. The former heals all three allies and you at the same time, while the latter creates an area that will continue to heal you over time for a minute, keeping you healthy while leaving your hands free to keep damaging Alduin.

Use Elements Wisely

Alduin has the ability to use both Fire Breath and Frost Breath, but that doesn't change the fact that he's a Fire Dragon at heart. He has 50% resistance to fire damage, but a 25% weakness to Frost, so switch to a Frost-enchanted weapon if you have one, or use Frost Damage spells. Lightning spells may also be useful, as the Dragons' versions of the various shouts they use cost magicka - drain all of Alduin's magicka, and keep it drained, and you should lock down his ability to breathe fire/frost.

Fight Smarter, Not Harder

Alduin is, overall, a giant beast made of pure pain and suffering. It's perfectly okay to turn around and run away, or hide behind cover when he attacks you. The area he's in doesn't have much, but it also doesn't take much to shield yourself from breath attacks. For more melee-oriented characters, try to stay to the side of him, attacking roughly his wings. Too close to the tail means getting caught in his tail swipe attack, but too close to his head opens you up for bites and breath attacks. As long as the NPCs are his main target, it shouldn't be too difficult to keep yourself positioned in the area he can't reach.

Use Your Outdoor Voice

Obviously for the first half of the fight, the Dragonrend shout is crucial to keeping Alduin grounded, and should be reapplied to him the moment it's available again. But, once he gets below half of his health, he will remain grounded for the rest of the fight, the same as all other dragons. Once that happens, Dragonrend is rather useless, and you can switch off to anything else you have available. Marked For Death is quite useful, as are either of the Frost Damage-dealing shouts, Ice Form or Frost Breath. If using Frost Breath, you're probably better off only using one word at a time; the reduced cooldown time makes it deal more damage overall that way. Become Ethereal is also quite useful for those times Alduin starts to breathe in, you're in the line of fire, and you don't have enough time to make it to cover.

Be Prepared

As with basically every tough fight in Skyrim, stocking up can make the difference between life and death. Healing Potions are obviously crucial, but also poisons; Alduin doesn't have any poison resistance at all, so high-power poisons of Damage health are quite useful. Especially Lingering Poisons of various forms, since the fight with Alduin is one of the few places where such poisons have enough time to really deal some meaningful damage. Drain Magicka poisons are also quite handy, for reasons described above. Also, potions of Resist Magic, Resist Fire, and Resist Frost can make a huge difference in survival against his breath attacks.

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  • 1
    If one are a wielding a shield, you can actually bash his face once you see he is about to breathe at you. This will stop the breath. If able, get the shield that offers absorption upon block, it's from a quest somewhere. It will let you take a full breath even upon highest difficulty. Once you have this down, it's all down to avoiding the tail, and not let him bite you at too low HP as it will likely trigger the finishing move from him. – Sharain May 8 '14 at 14:24
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I know this isn't a strategy as such more a FYI as I just ran into this problem. If you use dragonrend before Alduin has finished speaking then Alduin can become invulnerable (took me a while to work out as I initally thought I might not be a high enough level or he had some super high resistances or something). The fix for me was to reload a save from before I used the scroll and being patient and waiting for all the dialogue to finish before engaging.

When I actually came to fighting him it was relatively straightforward. I just drank a load of resist potions, warrior potion and some vegetable soup for infinite power attacks and hacked away until the was dead (if required I would have used ethereal shout to buy some breathing space and/or to avoid damage from his shouts - but in the end he died pretty quick).

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-12

Try using cheats. Just press the tilde key ~ and when a little bar come up, type tgm and fight Alduin. I think you'll kill him pretty easy.

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  • That would "work", but it's not helpful strategy advice. It's also entirely unnecessary to put that in spoiler markup since it doesn't spoil anything. – SevenSidedDie Sep 27 '13 at 22:34

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