Dragon Riding is a feature added in The Elder Scrolls V: Dragonborn that grants the ability to temporarily tame and ride Dragons. All three words of the Bend Will shout are required in order for it to work.
After the Bend Will shout is directed at a dragon, it will land and allow the Dragonborn to mount it. As soon as the dragon has been mounted, it will take to the skies. Most named dragons, such as Alduin and Paarthurnax will resist the shout. However, Odahviing can be mounted.
Once airborne, it's not actually possible to fully control the direction of flight. Rather, the dragon will follow certain instructions or orders given to it. If no orders are given, the dragon will simply circle the area.
A bug may occur where you mount the dragon, but you don't actually sit on the dragon's neck. Instead you stand on it.
As travel in any one direction is not possible, dragons cannot be used in place of a traditional mount, such as a horse. It is possible to fast travel while mounted on a dragon, however travel between Skyrim and Solstheim is not possible. Fast travel can also be initiated during combat or while near enemies. It's also not possible to travel to any of the walled cities, such as Whiterun, as these locations are absent from the map.
While mounted on a dragon, it's possible to scan the area below for any enemies. If an enemy is found and locked on to, their health bar will be marked on screen, indicating that they are viable targets. Ordering the dragon to attack a target will result in three possible forms of attack. It will either:
- Hover above the target and use its breath attack.
- Fly past the target while using its breath attack.
- Land on the ground and bite or use its breath attack.
- If directed to attack a human target on a tower or animals such as Cows or Netch Calves - the dragon will swoop down and grasp the target with its feet and then drop them from a great height.
- On rare occasions, if a human target is low on health and the dragon is on the ground, the dragon will perform its finisher. (Grabbing an enemy in its jaws, then flinging it.)
If directed to attack another dragon, the two will engage in aerial combat, continually circling each other.
In addition to ordering the dragon to attack, its also possible to use magic spells and shouts while mounted. Once an enemy is locked on to, any spells that are cast will fly in their direction. Area-of-effect spells, such as Blizzard, cannot be cast however. It's also not possible to use other forms of combat while mounted.
To order a dragon to attack, use these commands:
|Lock on||Space, 1 and 2 to cycle through targets|
Ordering a dragon to land will result in an automatic dismount once it lands. Upon landing, the dragon will fly off, unless there are enemies in the immediate area (which it may attack). If the Bend Will shout is used shortly after dismounting, the dragon may become hostile and attack.
If the dragon dies during combat, the Dragonborn will be dismounted, much in the same manner as on horseback.
To land, use these controls:
Landing after the shout is used
- "Hail thuri [master], shall we fly together?"
- "Zu'u fent aam [I shall serve]. I am at your command."
- "How can I serve you, thuri?"
- (During combat) "Climb on and we shall smite our enemies."
- (During combat) "They will be no match for us. Mu fen zind!" [We will triumph].
When directed to land
- "Yes thuri, Wah Golt [to ground], I will land at once."
- "I will look for a spot to land."
- "As you command, mu daal wah golt [we return to ground]."
When canceling landing
- "Bo pruzaan [(To) fly (is) better]. Better to fly."
- ''Yes, thuri."
After being dismounted and the shout wears off
- "I am no longer needed."
- "My service is complete."
- "Zu'u ni zaamiil [I am not your slave]. You cannot command me forever."
- "I must leave you now."
- "I have served you for long enough. Tiidi do ahmik oblaan [My time of service is ended]."
- "Ahmik Oblaan [service end], my service to you is over."
When directed to attack
- "Mu Fen Krif [We will fight] "
- "As you command."
- "At once, Zu'u Fen Al [I will destroy] "
When there are no targets to attack
- "Krosis, The land below us is empty of prey."
- "Drem. There is no prey here."
- "I sense nothing nearby."
When told to do something impossible
- "Krosis thuri [I'm sorry, my lord], that is impossible."
- "Zu'u nis. I cannot do that."
- "Zu'u nis krif tol. It cannot be done."