Alduin, the eater of worlds, is the firstborn of Akatosh, who solely exists to annihilate worlds. He was considered the most powerful dragon ever to exist and the leader of all dragons back when they used to rule the world.
In Skyrim, he’s depicted as the main antagonist who can only be stopped by you, the Dragonborn.
As the child of a deity, Alduin is immune to all forms of damage. So, in order to make him vulnerable, you have to use the Dragonrend Shout at him.
This is the same shout that was used to overthrow the dragon cult back in ancient times. In the game, you can get this shout during the Alduin’s Bane quest line.
The overall fight with Alduin is divided into two parts. The first battle takes place on the land of the living, whereas the second fight occurs in the underworld.
However, the strategy for fighting against him remains the same. You first have to bring him down from the skies by using your Dragonrend shout. After then, use your strongest weapons or spells to deal the most amount of damage swiftly.
Note: The fight against Alduin begins shortly after reading the Elder Scroll at the Throat of the World, so it’s best to prepare yourself before reaching the summit.
Part 1: Battle in the Throat of the World
While you do encounter Alduin multiple times throughout the questline, such as Helgen, Kynesgrove, or even dragon burial sites, but this is the only part of the quest where you can actually deal damage to him.
After retrieving the Elder Scrolls: Dragon from the Tower of Mzark, you must return to the Throat of the World. There, you’ll need to read the Elder Scroll. This will play a small cutscene about the three brave warriors who used the Dragonrend Shout to defeat Alduin. Here, you will also obtain the Dragonrend Shout.
As soon as the cutscene ends, Alduin will appear in front of you, and the battle will begin.
Paarthunax will also be present in the battle to assist you. However, the damage he deals is quite negligible. So, you have to defeat Alduin yourself.
Now, the important thing to note here is that you won’t be able to damage Alduin while he’s airborne. The only way to defeat him is to force him to land on the ground by using your Dragonrend shout. This makes him vulnerable, thus allowing you to finish him off.
Rinse and repeat the above process until you completely deplete his health bar. After reaching this point, he will fly off to Sovangarde to heal himself and gather strength. This is a scripted event, so you cannot kill him, no matter the damage that you can deal.
Tracking Down Alduin
Before you head over to Sovangarde to fight Alduin for the second time, there are a couple of quests that you’ll need to complete first.
The first quest involves holding a truce between the Imperials and the Stormcloak over at the High Hrothgar. If you’ve already captured 8 of the nine holds for either faction, this quest will be skipped automatically.
In the second part of this quest, you have to capture Odahviing and interrogate him for Alduin’s location. Again, you must use the Dragonrend shout on Odahviing to capture him.
After the interrogation, set him free so that he can take you to the temple Skuldafn where you’ll find the portal to Sovangarde.
In Skuldafn, you’ll be facing numerous Draugrs, a couple of Dragons, and a Dragon priest. So it is best to prepare yourself before you reach the destination.
Use the priest staff on the ritual stone to gain access to Sovangarde
Note: You must not attack Odahviing while he’s in captivity, as he will immediately become hostile after being freed.
Part 2: Battle in Sovangarde
After reaching Sovangarde, your objective is pretty straightforward. You have to head over to the Hall of Valor, located on the opposite side of the map. As you make your way to the Hall of Valor, you also have to defeat Tsun, the gatekeeper.
Inside the hall, speak with either of the three heroes, Felldir the Old, Hakon One-Eye, or Gormlaith Golden-Hilt, and they will all help you with your final battle against Alduin. Leave the hall and make your way across the bridge.
Here, you must clear out the mist from the area in order to lure out Alduin. Simply use the Clear Skies Dragon Shout to clear out the mist. You’ll need to repeat this step three times to lure out Alduin.
After he emerges in the area, the final battle will begin. Here, we’ll be using the same strategy as before. First, forcing him to land on the ground via the Dragonrend shout and then using the weapon or spell to strike him down.
After dealing enough damage and depleting his health completely, he will stay still while also remaining on the ground. You must land the final strike at him to end the battle.
After defeating Alduin, speak with Tsun to return to Skyrim.
Here’s a video guide.
Tips and Tricks for Fighting Alduin
Although Alduin is the final boss in the game, the fight itself isn’t very challenging. Unless you’re playing the game in Master/Legendary difficulty or your character is super high-leveled, the final battle should be a breeze.
Nevertheless, we’ve compiled a few tips and strategies that can aid you in your fight against him.
- The first thing that you should keep in mind is that Alduin’s level will scale according to your character’s level (up to level 100). This means he will have a larger health pool, more damage reduction, and can also dish out high damage numbers. So the sooner you defeat him, the easier the fight will be.
- Unlike other dragons, he can use both Fire Breath and Frost Breath attacks. So armors enchanted with Fire and Frost Resist will greatly help here.
- Alduin has a passive that makes him 50% more resistant to fire damage but, at the same time, 25% weaker to frost damage. So make sure you learn some strong frost spells or equip weapons that are enchanted with cold damage. I recommend using spells like Icy Spear and Ice Storm or powerful bows like the Dragonbone bow and Daedric bow to deal damage from a safe distance. You can even make the whole fight trivial by using Windshear.
- As the Dragonrend Shout is an integral ability to this fight, you can reduce the cooldown timer of your shouts to use Dragonrend more frequently. You can equip the Amulet of Talos to reduce the timer by 20% and get the Blessing of Talos to reduce it further by 20%.