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About this mod

Use intuitive ride commands to fully control your flights with any vanilla dragon, and with existing dragon follower mods.

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This is the LE version of the mod. The SE version can be found here: Intuitive Dragon Ride Control (SE)

IDRC v3.0.0 released - Watch this video to learn more on what's new:


"Intuitive Dragon Ride Control" (IDRC) provides you with full control over any dragon ride! Watch the videos in the "Video" section to see how this looks like.

IDRC can be used with any bend-willed vanilla dragon, including Durnehviir and Odahviing. You can also use it in combination with Philmorex and Valminoor (from Caistorshold Isle), allowing you to ride a bend-willed dragon while your dragon followers are following you. This enables combat with several dragons fighting for you!

For an easy entry point to dragon riding, consider to use IDRC in combination with Ride Dragon Shouts. It adds three new Shouts that will call Durnehviir, Odahviing, or a Levelled dragon, and directly make them land for riding.

Dragon Ride Controls

The following modes are available while riding a bend-willed dragon, or a dragon follower:

  • "Flying Mode" - Fly in the direction commanded by the player
  • "Orbiting Mode" - Orbit around a fixed position. As per default, Orbiting Mode is skipped. It can be turned on via MCM.
  • "Hovering Mode" - Hover above a fixed position
  • "Perch Mode" - the dragon perches on a building or rock. Only if a perch seat is nearby when commanding to perch
  • "Land Mode" - the dragon is landed

You can control the dragon while mounted by using the following commands:

  • [Forward] key (default: 'W') - When airborn this key accelerates the dragon (Hover -> Orbit -> Fly). When [Forward] is pressed in Flying mode, this sets the new flying direction towards the direction the camera is pointing to. When grounded, pressing the [Forward] key will command the dragon to walk forwards.
  • [Strafe Left] / [Strafe Right] key (default: 'A' / 'D') - Turn the dragon as long as the key is pressed. When pressed in Orbiting mode, the dragon will switch to Flying mode after the key is released.
  • [Back] key (default: 'S') - Slow down the dragon (Fly -> Orbit -> Hover -> Land). Keep key pressed to skip modes, eg to directly go from Flying to Land mode. When grounded, pressing [Back] will make the dragon take-off.
  • [Up] key (default: 'U') - When airborn the dragon flys upwards as long as this key is pressed (not while hovering). When grounded, pressing [Up] will make the dragon take-off.
  • [Down] key (default: 'H') - as long as this key is pressed, the dragon flys downwards (only in Flying or Orbit mode).
  • [Run] key (default: 'Shift') - 'Fast Mode': as long as this key is pressed, the dragon turns (via [Strafe Left] / [Strafe Right] movements) in a smaller radius, and changes altitude 2x faster (via [Up] / [Down] keys).
  • [Toggle Always Run] key (default: 'CAPS lock') - toggles the fast turning mode on / off. No need to keep [Run] pressed while turning or changing altitude.
  • [Sneak] key (default: 'Left CTRL') - Commands the dragon to attack.
  • [Toggle Combat Mode] key (default: 'G') - toggles between manual and automatic combat mode.

You can unmount the dragon at any time by using the [Activate] key. This is the same as in the vanilla dragon riding of the Dragonborn DLC.

Ground travel

When pressing the [Forward] key (default: 'W') while grounded, the dragon will walk forwards. Turn the dragon on the ground via [Strafe Left] / [Strafe Right] keys (default: 'A' / 'D'). The dragon will take off if you press either the [Back] key (default: 'S') or the [Up] key (default: 'U').

Note that in previous versions take off was triggered by the "Forward" key, which is now used for ground movement.


If a dragon perch is nearby, you can command your dragon to perch instead of land by pressing the [Back] key together with the Land command ([Run] key) while hovering.

Fast Mode

Fast mode is toggled via the [Run] and [Toggle Always Run] controls. As long as the dragon is in Fast Mode it turns (via [Strafe Left] / [Strafe Right] movements) in a smaller radius, and changes altitude faster (via [Up] / [Down] keys).

Fast travel while mounted

After you selected a fast travel target on the map, your dragon will fly with you to this target in real time (no load screen).

You can interrupt this trip at any time using the movement keys (as described above).

Combat while mounted

After mounting the dragon is in Manual combat mode (you can change this default in the MCM menu). You can toggle between Manual and Automatic combat mode at any time with the [Toggle Combat Mode] key (default 'G').

In Manual combat mode you have full control over the dragon during combat. It will not attack unless you command it to.

In Automatic mode the dragon will be automatically selecting and attacking its combat targets.

In both combat modes you can command a dragon attack (currently only breath attacks) via the [Sneak] key (default: 'Ctrl'). The dragon attack will be triggered upon release of the [Sneak] key. The dragon then will either breath immediately, or close up to the target first before breathing.

In case the dragon knows the Unrelenting Force Shout, you can command it to use that shout by keeping the [Run] key (default: 'Shift') pressed while commanding an attack (via [Sneak]).

In both combat modes you can also make full use of the Dragonborn DLC vanilla dragon combat commands to control the dragon's attacks. I.e. use [Jump] key (default: [Space]) to activate / deactivate the vanilla combat mode. While in vanilla combat mode:
  • press '1' and '2' to cycle through the combat targets
  • press [Sneak] key (default: [Ctrl]) to command an attack on the current target

In any mounted combat the player can assist the dragon in battle through certain (but not all) spells and shouts, and other forms of combat. This is the same as in the vanilla Dragonborn DLC. Note that this requires Dawnguard DLC to be loaded before Dragonborn DLC in your load order!

Silent Mode Options

You have several MCM options that influence the immersion you get while riding.
  • "Dragon Roars" option - You can stop the dragon from roaring during flight.
  • "Dragon Comments" option - You can de-activate the dragon's comments on the player's attack commands. 
  • "Display Ride Mode" option - You can de-activate flying mode update messages.

Regenerate Dragon Health

If activated via MCM, the dragon will regenerate health during combat. Otherwise it will only regenerate health when not in combat (which is the vanilla Skyrim behavior).

Display Ride Mode

When 'Display Ride Mode' is activated (via MCM), a message is displayed each time the player triggers a command ("Commanding <..> Mode"). Once the new ride mode is reached, another message is displayed ("Entered <...> Mode"). These messages can be very helpful when first learning to control the dragon ride.

Display Dragon Health

While riding you can also display the dragon's health by pressing the[Ready Weapon] key (default: 'R'). Dragons will loose their ability to fly once their health is below 35% (vanilla behavior). So it is always a good idea to keep an eye on your dragon's health, and steer him away from danger in case he's at risk. The key binding can be changed in the Config Menu.

Dragon Speed

You can set the dragon's flying speed between 0.5 and 2.0 in the Config Menu. Default is 1.0.

Turning Speed

You can set the dragon's base turning speed between 0.5 (larger turn radius) and 2.0 (smaller turn radius) in the Config Menu. Default is 1.0.

Configuration Menu (MCM)

In the MCM Configuration Menu you can change several settings, and most control key bindings.

Look for "IDRC" which should get registered automatically soon after you first used the mod in your load order. Note that this requires SkyUI. If you don't want the SkyUI look&feel in your game, you can limit it to providing the MCM menus, eg via SkyUI-Away (LE), or Hide SkyUI (SE).

Controller Support

The easiest way to use a Controller (GamePad) for your flight control is to re-map WASD to any of the digital keys on the keypad (eg the D-PAD) via MCM menu.

Alternatively you can use a 3rd party application like AntiMicro or XPadder to map the analog stick to the WASD controls. For example, for AntiMicro, the setup should look like:

BTW: Ever wanted to fight with several dragons at your side?

Add Ride Dragon Shouts, Philmorex and Valminoor (from Caistorshold Isle) to your load order. Then you can call yourself a bend-willed dragon (try Odahviing :-). When you ride the bend-willed dragon, Phil and Val will closely follow you and join your battles so you will have several dragons fight your enemies!


Add the package to your game via a mod manager (recommended), or manually place the files from the package into the Data folder of your Skyrim installation.



  • This mod should be compatible with all other mods, but I cannot give any guarantee on that.

Changelog v3.0.0

New Features -  see the description section above for details:
  • Manual Combat Mode
  • Ground Travel
  • Perch Mode
  • Silent Mode
  • Regenerate Dragon Health

Changes to prior versions
  • The "Fast Mode" now also works for Up and Down movements. Keep the [Run] key pressed while flying [Up] or [Down] to change altitude 2x faster. As before, keeping [Run] pressed while turning will let the dragon take tighter turns. For both cases you can also use the [Toggle Always Run] key (default: 'CAPS Lock') to switch to fast mode permanently.
  • Stability fixes: This release is aiming to fix several of the observed issues with previous versions. No guarantee that it fixes your specific case. Please give it a try and let me know if your issue is resolved or still showing. In any case, should your dragon show strange behavior, pressing one of the ride controls usually will give you back the control. If that does not help, commanding the dragon to land via [Activate] should always get it back to behaving normally. In case you do not want to unmount immmediately, press [Activate] a second time to cancel the landing.
  • Improved flying mode messages: with this release, there are two types of messages. One message is shown when the ride command is triggered, another message is shown when the new ride mode is reached.
  • After mounting the dragon now stays grounded, until you are triggering take off via [Back] or [Up] key (in previous version the dragon was taking off after mounting).

Updating from an older IDRC version - IMPORTANT - IDRC will not work correctly if you do not follow these steps!

  • Remove older IDRC version from your load order
  • Load your savegame. A message will say that the save relies on content that is no longer available. This is ok.
  • Re-save your game without "Intuitive Dragon Ride Control" in the load order
  • Add latest IDRC version to your load order
  • Continue playing with the new save

Known issues

Sometimes the following issues are occuring during or after combat in Manual Combat Mode:
  • You may see the dragon "skating" on the ground after landing. Saving your game and then reloading it (no need to exit Skyrim) should fix this.
  • After landing the dragon may not walk forwards when commanded via "Forward". In that case, you'll need to take off and re-land.
  • When commanding an attack on a combat target which is selected via the"Jump" key, the dragon sometimes switches to another target automatically, but does not attack. This usually  will fix itself automatically after a while.
  • In case the dragon does not react on an attack command, triggering a movement (eg walk forwards while landed, or trigger flying mode when hovering) should unlock the attack.

In some cases a commanded land will cause the dragon to fly up high or below the ground level. In those cases, wait some time, sooner or later the dragon should be landing.

Please continue to report any issues you observe, and I will try to fix them.

Why this mod

This mod is an extract from the dragon follower mod Philmorex - A Rideable Steerable Dragon Follower  (which in turn is a spin-off from Caistorshold Isle). I originally implemented Philmorex because I wanted a dragon follower with full ride control. The ride control got positive feedback, and it was suggested I provide it to all dragons. So, here it is :-)

Credits & References

I'd like to thank Darkfox127 for providing so many educative video tutorials on Skyrim modding. Without his videos it would have been much harder to ramp up on the CK, and papyrus scripting.

This mod would not exist without drawing heavily on the resources from Command Dragon - Ultimate Dragon Riding MOD (by rongphale).

Thanks to SpiderAkiraC for supporting the Silah integration (SE version only).

Thanks to GiraPomba for providing the implementation of the gamepad support (SE only), and also for his beta testing of v2.0.0.

Finally, thanks to LoeKnight, SpiderAkiraCkcaz25, and felinefine12 who have been helping with the beta testing of this mod. And thanks to EnclaveOverloard1 for the idea, and the beta testing the RideOdahviingDurneviir Add-On.