Beating Alduin (with pictures)

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Beating Alduin (with pictures)
Beating Alduin (with pictures)
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Alduin the World-Eater, a time-traveling dragon that eats the souls of the dead, appears twice in Bethesda's "The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim" to fight the player. For both battles you will have access to the powerful 'Dragonrend' shout, which will force Alduin to the ground so you can attack and fight him directly (this is also necessary for weapons used at a distance). The strategies for both fights are very similar, but the last fight has some limitations because it happens in Sovngarde.

Steps

Method 1 of 2: Fighting Alduin at the Throat of the World

Defeat Alduin Step 1

Step 1. Prepare to climb the mountain

Buy or make some health and fire resistance potions in a city. You'll also want to think about recruiting a follower to help you out.

  • A strong melee fighter like Lydia or Mjoll is a good choice to attack Alduin when he lands. Ilia is also in good pick, thanks to her skill in frost magic.
  • There will also be some Ice Wraiths when you climb the mountain, so it might also be a good idea to take some frost resistance potions with you.
  • If you have training in restorative magic, you can cast spells instead of health and permanence potions.
Defeat Alduin Step 2

Step 2. Learn the 'Dragonrend' shout

When you reach the top you will speak to Paarthurnax and watch a long cutscene to learn about the shout before the fight against Alduin begins.

Paarthurnax will help you during the fight against Alduin and act as a distraction, but you'll have to deal most of the damage

Defeat Alduin Step 3

Step 3. Use 'Dragonrend' to bring Alduin to the ground

Press and hold the shout button to charge it. Follow Alduin's flight with the camera while charging the shout so you don't miss. If you miss you will have to wait while your shout recharges.

  • Wear an 'Amulet of Talos' if you want to reduce the shout's cooldown time.
  • Although Paarthurnax will spar with Alduin in the air, Alduin cannot be damaged until you take him down with Dragonrend.
  • A single tap of the shout button will load a single charge of the shout which can still effectively stun Alduin after he's already grounded. You can use this to help prevent him from going back up in the air.
Defeat Alduin Step 4

Step 4. Use 'Clear Skies' tactically

Alduin has his own shout that will cause meteorites to fall from the sky. When this happens you can use Clear Skies to undo the shout.

  • You should have learned this shout from the Greybeards before you were allowed to climb the mountain, so you can't have missed it.
  • If your shout is in cooldown when this happens, then it's a good time to use a fire resistance potion.
  • Note that when you use Clear Skies your shout will go into cooldown again, and you will have to wait for it to load again before using Dragonrend.
Defeat Alduin Step 5

Step 5. Avoid the front of Alduin

When grounded, Alduin uses a powerful fire-breathing attack inflicting heavy damage on anyone in front of him, and swings his tail vigorously from behind. Try to attack him from the sides, regardless of whether you use melee weapons or ranged weapons.

  • Eventually, he will turn to bite you, bringing you back to his front, so keep moving to his sides.
  • Fire resistance potions can help if you choose to fight him from the front, but it's better to avoid this altogether.
Defeat Alduin Step 6

Step 6. Use frost magic

If you have training in destruction magic, games like 'ice spike' and 'ice storm' can do a lot of damage to Alduin, as he has a weakness for frost.

  • Be careful when using ice storm as it can cause damage to your follower.
  • If you have it, the 'Marked for Death' shout can greatly increase your magic damage, but it can be difficult to find the right timing for it between Dragonrend and Clear Skies.
Defeat Alduin Step 7

Step 7. Apply poisons to your weapons

Persistent poisons can be just as effective against Alduin as they are against any other living thing. These can be made or purchased from an alchemy shop in any city.

It is very effective to use poison with a bow from a distance while a follower attacks Alduin within melee range

Defeat Alduin Step 8

Step 8. Keep Alduin under pressure

Keep Alduin grounded with Dragonrend, use health potions when your health goes low, and after a short while Alduin should succumb to the damage and leave.

Method 2 of 2: Fighting Alduin in Sovngarde

Defeat Alduin Step 9

Step 1. Prepare for the fight

If you're already in Sovngarde and can't go back, hopefully you'll have a reasonable supply of health and fire resistance potions. Think about equipping yourself with armor that gives you fire resistance and a weapon that heals you on impact (like the Ebony Blade or others with the enchantment Absorb Health) if you have them in your inventory.

  • The point where you can't go back is when you have the option to go to Skuldafn from Whiterun. You'll lose a whole dungeon of progress if you decide to go back to a previous save to stock up on the city.
  • If you are trained in restorative magic, you can cast spells instead of health and permanence potions.
  • You can't bring followers to Sovngarde without mods, but you will get help from the NPCs out there during the fight.
Defeat Alduin Step 10

Step 2. Use the 'Clear Skies' shout three times

Your NPC companions will automatically use the shout when you do to clear Alduin's blocking nebula. Alduin will restore the haze until you clear it three times.

Defeat Alduin Step 11

Step 3. Use 'Dragonrend' to bring Alduin to the ground

Hold down your shout button to charge it. Follow Alduin's flight with the camera while charging your shout so you don't miss him. If you miss you will have to wait again while your shout charges.

  • Wear an 'Amulet of Talos' if you want to reduce the shout's cooldown time.
  • Even though the NPCs will shoot at Alduin while he's flying, he can't really be damaged until he's forced to the ground with this shout.
  • A single tap of the shout button will load a single charge of the shout which can still effectively stun Alduin after he's already grounded. You can use this to help prevent him from flying back into the air.
Defeat Alduin Step 12

Step 4. Have an ally take the damage

Every time Alduin lands, wait a moment for an ally to attack him and get his attention.

Defeat Alduin Step 5

Step 5. Avoid the front of Alduin

When grounded, Alduin uses a powerful fire-breathing attack inflicting heavy damage on anyone in front of him, and powerfully swings his tail from behind. Try to attack him from the sides, regardless of whether you use melee weapons or ranged weapons.

  • Eventually he will turn to bite you, bringing you back to his front, so keep moving to his sides.
  • Fire resistance potions can help if you choose to fight him from the front, but it's better to avoid this altogether.
  • If you have to choose between the two, take a blow from his tail instead of a fire-breathing attack. You will suffer much less from this.
Defeat Alduin Step 14

Step 6. Use frost magic

If you're trained in destruction magic, spells like 'ice spike' and 'ice storm' can deal large amounts of damage to Alduin, as he has a weakness for frost.

  • Ice storm can damage your allies, so be careful when using it.
  • If you have it, the 'Marked for Death' shout will greatly increase your damage with magic, but it's better to use as much Dragonrend as possible to keep Alduin grounded.
Defeat Alduin Step 15

Step 7. Apply poisons to your weapons

Persistent poisons are just as effective against Alduin as they are against any other living thing.

Using a bow at a distance is very effective, while NPCs absorb Alduin's attacks

Defeat Alduin Step 16

Step 8. Keep repeating this

Keep Alduin grounded with Dragonrend, and let your allies draw attention so you can heal yourself when you need to. Eventually, Alduin will run out and be defeated once and for all.

Tips

  • You may run into Alduin when wandering around the world. He can be seen around dragon pits and while bringing other dragons back to life. You can damage him, but he cannot be killed during these scenarios.
  • The battle in Sovngarde is the last (story) battle. If you still find yourself struggling after reading this and don't want to go back to a previous save, you may want to think about adjusting the game's difficulty settings (this can be done at any time).
  • Alduin is very resistant to fire and weak to frost.

Warnings

  • Watch your follower's health. Melee followers like Lydia are likely to die when Alduin spits fire. Try out essential (immortal) followers like J'zargo.
  • Even if you run around Alduin when you are near him he will follow you with his fire spit.
  • Skyrim suffers from many glitches. In some rare cases, Alduin can resist damage throughout the battle. If this happens, try reloading from a save point. If your Skyrim patch version is up to date, there is less chance that this will happen and the game will also be automatically saved before the battle starts. This glitch can be triggered by using Dragonrend before Paarthurnax tells you to, so don't use the shout for the first time until prompted.

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