Skyrim: How to Get Dragon Scales

Craft Dragonscale and Dragonplate armor sets, using this guide on how to get dragon scales in Skyrim.

Dragon scales are needed in Skyrim for some of the strongest pieces of armor you can get in the game, but naturally they're not so easy to get as to just pick some up from a vendor. You'll have to actually farm dragons (gasp!) to get your hands on some dragon scales to use in crafting.

This guide will provide you with tips and tricks on how to get dragon scales in Skyrim. There is also a special place where you can simply pick up dragon scales, but of course, the most consistent source of dragon scales is the dragons themselves.

How to Get Dragon Scales in Skyrim

Find the Dragons

There are 12 different locations in Skyrim where you may encounter dragons. The 10 places indicated on the map above are the main dragon lairs in Skyrim:

  1. Ancient's Ascent
  2. Autumnwatch Tower
  3. Bonestrewn Crest
  4. Dragontooth Crater
  5. Eldersblood Peak
  6. Lost Tongue Overlook
  7. Mount Anthor
  8. Northwind Summit
  9. Shearpoint
  10. Skyborn Altar

Besides these ten main dragon lairs, there are two other places where you are also guaranteed to encounter dragons:

  • Saering's Watch. This dragon location can be found in the northern part of the Solstheim island, which is located to the northeast of the Skyrim kingdom.
  • Bleak Falls Barrow. An ancient tomb dedicated to dragons, which can be found to the west of Riverwood village.

Defeat the Dragons

There are nine different types of dragons in Skyrim with different abilities and resistances:

  1. Brown Dragons (Fire, Frost)
  2. Green Blood Dragons (Fire, Frost)
  3. White-Blue Frost Dragons (Frost)
  4. Bronze Elder Dragons (Fire, Frost)
  5. Red-Black Ancient Dragons (Fire, Frost)
  6. Orange Revered Dragons (Fire)
  7. Black-Purple Legendary Dragons (Fire, Frost)
  8. Blue Serpentine Dragons (Fire, Frost)
  9. Undead Skeletal Dragons (Frost)


  • Dragons of all types can be defeated using both melee and ranged weapons.
  • The best sword against dragons is Dragonbane, obtained from "Alduin's Wall" quest given by Esbern, the Elder Nord.
  • The dragon is most vulnerable when it lands and roars.
  • The most effective attacks against dragons are Shield Bash and Power Attack.
  • It is better to use horse while hunting dragons, such as Shadowmere, obtained from "The Cure for Madness" quest given by Astris of Dark Brotherhood.
  • The best magic spell against dragons is Firebolt with the Impact perk.
  • The best shouts against dragons are Fire Breath and Dragonrend.
  • The best shield against dragon breath attacks is Spellbreaker, obtained from "The Only Cure" quest given by Kesh the Clean at the Shrine to Peryite in the Reach hold.
  • Vampirism can be useful against frost dragon attacks.


Once a dragon is defeated, players will be rewarded with the following items:

  • 1-3x Dragon Bone
  • 1-3x Dragon Scale
  • Dragon Heartscales
  • Gold
  • Precious Gemstones
  • Enchanted weapons and armor

Dragon Heartscales are basically the same as ordinary dragon scales. They have the same weight of 10 Encumbrance and value of 250 gold, but they serve as special quest items. They can be obtained from a dragon only while holding Kahvozein's Fang, a unique dagger that drops from dragon priests found inside the Nordic tombs.

Alternative Method

If for one reason or another you don't want to get dragon scales from dragons, you can find them in another place, such as:

  • Rorikstead, a village in the Whiterun hold

On the hill at the village there is a Shrine of Akatosh that generates one dragon scale a week. You can come here and collect it without any hassle.

Crafting With Dragon Scales

As already mentioned, dragon scales are mainly used for crafting Dragonplate and Dragonscale armor sets. But before crafting this type of gear players need to obtain the Dragon Armor perk and reach Smithing Level 100.

Dragonplate armor set crafting recipe looks like this:

Armor Piece
Dragon Scales
Dragon Bone
Leather Strips
Dragonplate Armor
3 2 3
Dragonplate Boots
3 1 2
Dragonplate Gauntlets
2 1 2
Dragonplate Helmet
2 1 2
Dragonplate Shield
3 1 1


Dragonscale armor set crafting recipe looks like this:

Armor Piece
Dragon Scales
Leather Strips
Iron Ingot
Dragonscale Armor
4 1 3 2
Dragonscale Boots
2 1 2 1
Dragonscale Gauntlets
2 1 2 1
Dragonscale Helmet
2 1 1 1
Dragonscale Shield
4 - 2 2


Dragon scales can also be sold to general goods merchants, alchemy merchants, and blacksmiths with the Merchant perk.

That's all you need to know on how to get dragon scales in Skyrim. For more Skyrim tips and tricks articles, please visit our dedicated hub page.

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Sergey has been a freelancer in the video games industry for more than five years, writing for various publications around the world. His favorite games are MtG, Dark Souls, Diablo, and Divinity: Original Sin.

Published Dec. 3rd 2021

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