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Elder Scrolls V Skyrim: Dragon Shouts and Words of Power

Updated on November 22, 2011

In Elder Scrolls V Skyrim, you are a hero who is gifted with a special ability to absorb dragon souls and learn special powers and abilities. You are known as a "dragon born," a gift which few heroes possess. You will not be able to unlock words and use dragon shouts until you complete the main quest "Dragon Rising," however. Once that quest is completed you will be able to learn words of power that are needed to learn shouts. You will also need to use dragon souls to unlock the words.

Shouts in Elder Scrolls Skyrim

There are many different types of shouts in Skyrim. Some of them freeze your enemies, catch your enemies on fire, and some can even slow time. In order to learn a new shout, you need to learn the word(s) first. Words of power can be found in various dungeons throughout Skyrim. Each shout has three words of power. You need to find all three words of power to get the strongest version of a shout, and must also have 3 dragon souls. Sometimes, however, all three words are learned all at once, but this is very rare.

Note you will learn some shouts from the graybeards during the main quest in Elder Scrolls Skyrim. But if you want to get more, you will need to explore caves, dungeons, and other lcoations through Skyrim. Many of these will have puzzles that need to be solved. There will also usually be a boss enemy guarding a word of power.

Unlock Shouts in Elder Scrolls Skyrim by Absorbing Dragon Souls

Even if you find words of power for a shout, you will not be able to use it until you unlock it by using a dragon soul(s). Dragon souls are absorbed from dragons you kill in Skyrim. Some dragons will be featured in the main quest, while others will attack randomly during game play. There are also dragon lairs that are on top of mountain peaks.

One dragon soul will unlock one word. If you have all three words of power, you need three dragon souls. As mentioned, dragons will attack you randomly. They can attack cities and towns through Skyrim. It's usually easier to kill dragons when they attack cities because the guards will help you. Dragons in Skyrim may also attack you randomly when you are traversing the vast landscapes.

Dragon Lairs on Top of Mountains in Elder Scrolls Skyrim

In Skyrim, there are dragons that reside on top of high mountain peaks. If you enter their lair, they will attack you on sight. There will also be a word of power in their lair, which may be guarded by an enemy boss.

Check your compass often to see if you see a picture of a dragon head. This indicates that you are near a dragon's lair.

Dragon Shouts Summary in Elder Scrolls Skyrim

  • Each shout has three words of power. Tapping the button uses the weakest version, holding it slightly longer uses the medium shout, and holding it for a few seconds uses the most powerful version of the shout.
  • Each word of power needs to be unlocked by using a dragon soul. You can use a dragon soul in the magic menu, where the shouts are located.
  • Words of power are found in caves, dungeons or dragon lairs. Some words are learned in the main quest, but the others will need to be found doing side quests etc.
  • Using the weakest version of a shout takes the shortest time to recharge, while the most powerful version will take the longest.
  • You can favorite shouts just like weapons and magic.

Have you learned the "Ice Form" Dragon Shout? It freezes enemies, very effective!

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What do you think about Dragon Shouts in Skyrim?

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    • profile image

      Elite008 6 years ago

      for xbox press x on the shout you want to unlock and you will have to spend a dragon soul for each word. I had the same problem.

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      niggert 6 years ago

      unlock with souls

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      mike 6 years ago

      I've gotten like 6 or 7 shouts andkilled over 20 dragons but I can only use the two I learned with the grey beards. Why can't I use all of them

    • steffer profile image

      Stef Verheyen 6 years ago from Belgium (Europe)

      i think it's pretty cool, and very usefull at some quests, i like to use the shout that blows all the foes away, very effective, need to find a lot of words though

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      trilidad 6 years ago

      word thnkx didnt kno tht

    • profile image

      Simon 6 years ago

      This was helpful, didnt know that i had to learn all three words of a shout in dungeons.