Dragons in Skyrim don't start appearing as random encounters until a certain point in the main quest - I'm not ready to take on the main quest, but I do want dragons about so I can unlock the words of power I'm finding.

What causes the Dragons to start spawning?

Does additional progress along the Main Quest affect the chance of dragons spawning?

  • 1
    I was wondering why a new dragon I found avoided confrontation, made me run around like a mad man for nothing...
    – Ivo Flipse
    Commented Nov 13, 2011 at 19:46
  • If you have High level (level 30 - above) im pretty sure you will randomly encounter Ancient or 2 Elder Dragon at your ramdom battle so be careful with that . be sure you have dragonrend shout
    – user24324
    Commented Apr 22, 2012 at 19:24

2 Answers 2


Once you kill the first dragon for the main quest, random dragons can start spawning. It's the second quest in the main questline, so it won't take you very long at all, and it won't reveal too much about where the main quest is going.

Specifically, the quest you need to complete is called "Dragon Rising".

  • I'm in my second playthrough of the game and I haven't encountered any Dragons at all after killing the first quest based one. I'm lvl 32 and over 10 hours into the game. I only find other quest based ones and ones guarding the word walls.
    – user17451
    Commented Dec 30, 2011 at 23:00
  • 2
    FYI it is the 3rd quest so I made edits Commented Apr 22, 2012 at 22:55

It is Dragon's Rising like others have said. Here's a tip: Before doing Dragon's Rising, go to the Word Walls and collect all of the words of power. There won't be dragons yet so it should be relatively easy. Then, go do Dragon's Rising. Now, for the rest of the game, whenever you kill a dragon you can unlock a new word since you already have most of the words.

  • Haha this is what my friend did to kill Krosis, It was no longer hard without the dragon :P Commented Apr 22, 2012 at 22:53

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