Skyrim Glitch Fix (Kinda): Miraak Battle

As much as I enjoyed the new Dragonborn DLC, I did encounter a glitch during the final part of the main quest that is game-breaking.  Searching for a solution, I found that a lot of people have been having this problem.  And of course there are workarounds if you get this for your PC, but console users may be stuck until it gets patched.  And considering I don’t know if you can leave the Apocrypha once you start the last quest, this could ruin a lot of people’s games.

The glitch occurs during the final battle with Miraak atop the summit in Apocrypha.  What’s supposed to happen is that, after landing with the dragon, Miraak will say a few things before the battle actually starts.  Once you damage Miraak enough, he’ll use Spectral Form so that you can’t hurt him & he’ll kill one of the dragons flying overhead, absorbing their soul & healing himself back to full health.  This will repeat twice more (for a total of three times).  After he absorbs the third dragon you can actually kill him, completing the quest.

However, in this glitch, the first time Miraak goes into Spectral Form he’ll kill the dragon, absorb his soul, heal… but remain in Spectral Form.  He won’t do anything else but just stand there.  He doesn’t attack.  Nothing.  Unfortunately, this means you can’t damage him either, sticking players in limbo.


I tried to attack him using weapons, magic & shouts, but nothing worked.  Periodically during the fight the dragons will swoop down & use Frost Breath, but that doesn’t have any affect either.  I tried to kill the other two dragons, thinking their deaths would snap him out of the glitch, but I couldn’t damage them either.  Trying to command the dragons to attack him didn’t work either.  I also tried to do enough damage in the first round that he wouldn’t be able to go Spectral, but I couldn’t find a way to do enough damage fast enough.  It’s pretty instantaneous once he goes below a certain amount.

Unfortunately, I haven’t found a fix for this glitch once it happens, but I do know how to prevent it:

Hold back with your attacks during the first three rounds of the battle.

From what I observed, it seems that absorbing the dragon souls is supposed to fully heal Miraak.  However, it looks like there’s a set amount of health they’ll actually restore.  So if you drain Miraak’s health to almost nothing, he won’t absorb enough health back to trigger his AI to come out of Spectral Form.

The easiest way to prevent this glitch, then, is to not go all out until after he’s absorbed the third dragon soul.  Back off after a few attacks to see if he’ll go Spectral.  I accomplished this by using my second best weapon & backing off after a few hits.  When I was careful about how much damage I gave him, I didn’t have any trouble finishing the fight.

I hope this helps anyone who’s stuck or wants to make sure they don’t get stuck.

– GamerDame



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35 responses to “Skyrim Glitch Fix (Kinda): Miraak Battle

  1. Max B

    I hear that you can get around that glitch by slowing down your assault on Miraak. Unfortunately, some of us have a worse glitch where WE absorb the dragon souls and Miraak is left in ethereal form for the entire duration. So far, noone has found a way around this glitch and those who are facing it are stuck until a patch is released by Bethesda.

    • AssassinArsenal

      I am still facing this problem bro, we absorb the dragon soul and miraak is left stranded etereal.. Looks like a dead end to me 😦

      • Jeff

        you dealt too much damage to Miraak at once. Hit him with lower attacks until he absorbs the dragon souls and finally dies at the end.

    • Steelforcer

      Just kill a three dragons, (IF MIRAAK ABSORBS THE SOULS) then kill Miraak. I did that and it went it’s normal way…
      However this was my third time playing the game. (Meaning: I played it on two other accounts) The first time I played this, I never experience the problem, and yet I was going full on 1 hitting Miraak on my main account.
      Strange, isn’t it?

    • Storm Call released him. Nothing else has worked so far.

    • Kraldin

      I found out how to fix him no matter how powerful you are!
      Open the console commands.
      Click on Miraak.
      Then type resurrect.
      It heals him completely even if he is dead.

  2. evilrobdog

    i dont know if what you are saying will work but i will try and i do know one thing the first time you try to kill him and you do 100% he will get 5-10% health back … so i like your plan

  3. kill all three dragons then just kill him you can use lightning bolt or something while riding the dragon to kill the other two

  4. SkyrimMasterJJ

    I had that problem and what u did didnt work for me but what I did was start the game again and I killed him on the first battle with a low level carractor my level was 22 I think that if ur too powerful the glitch accurse and u absorbe the dragon soles when he was ment to that’s my theory so try it out guys

  5. keminsolar

    I used what you said and I’m lvl 81. It worked perfectly. Ps I am on the Xbox. Everyone who doesnt accidentally obsorb the Dragon souls should give this a shot.

    • Being at such a high level may be the problem. Given how long people have been playing the game & the fact that they’ll probably use their highest level characters, the sheer amount of damage some builds can dish out may be the cause. I was at level 81 as well, with an archery set up that can take out a legendary dragon in a few hits. Based on SkyrimMasterJJ’s comment above, using a lower level character may prevent this problem. Or adjust your damage output if you want to use a high level.

  6. Nate

    I actually got back on my dragon when Mirrakk started his speech. Commanded my dragon to attack the other dragons with an epic flying dragon fight (heal yourself when dragons attack) Mirrakk was unable to use those dragon souls cause I killed them first. Then I commanded my dragon to attack Mirrakk, when his health was low enough he killed & absorbed my dragon, but I only had to fight him once. I was trying to save that dragon & see if it was usable in later quests, but if Mirrakks health gets low enough he automatically absorbs the dragon everytime.

  7. J

    I appreciate the community effort to assist in fixing this bug but the bottom line is that there are indeed two separate glitches going on, and that fact should be understood before wasting any time trying to bypass the bug.

    Firstly I’m really , really disappointed in Bethesda for not even acknowledging the bug/glitch in the Miraak boss battle on their support or community forums. That is the most basic form of customer / public relations. People spent good money on this game and then spent real-life hours only to reach what could be an insurmountable glitch without a Bethesda patch.

    As many of the other threads around the web note, the worst of the two glitches occurs when you install the DLC before installing the most recent skyrim patch. The order of the installation actually matters. Installing the DLC and THEN patching the game with the most recent patch actually breaks those boss scripts. The clearest indicator of this was that you probably weren’t able to find the boat after you first installed the DLC until you patched the game. Most likely you spent a while searching the docks and waiting to be visited by the cultists etc…Remember that? When this didn’t happen that’s when you most likely patched your game. If this scenario sounds familiar you WILL NOT BE ABLE TO KILL Miraak no matter what you do. Smaller weapons, killing/not killing dragons, invulning, insta-blinking him- none of this matters. What will happen repeatedly is that you will absorb the dragons souls instead of Miraak , causing him to keep invluning. I even tried to do the hide trick (if you hide long enough he’ll exit his invlun stage) but it doesn’t matter either- because he’ll keep going back into invuln every time you attempt to kill him. He HAS to absorb the dragon souls or the boss battle cannot end.

    The other scenario is that you DID install the patch before the DLC. In this case your glitch is less serious. You can just dicker around with highly nerfed attacks until he dies. It’ll take longer , just watch how hard you hit him.

    That’s it. Basically scenario 1 folks are going to have to wait for a patch or alternately UNINSTALL the whole DLC and start from scratch from the beginning of the DLC. I’m not willing to do that. I’m hoping people will give Bethesda hell until they release a statement. And that’s really all they’d have to do to help their customers out is give them an idea of when there will be a patch and let us know they’re actually working on one. I’m really appalled that they haven’t done this small thing… really- how hard is that?

  8. J

    Today I received an update about this glitch from Bethesda in response to my query:

    “We’re definitely aware of the glitch, and we haven’t denied the issue at all. The issue that you are experiencing is a known issue and we are working diligently to fix it in upcoming patches. Unfortunately at this time we do not have an ETA on when the next patch will be deployed. Aside from loading a previous save file prior to reaching that point in the quest and trying again (which we understand doesn’t always work in the case of this particular bug), the best thing to do at this point would be to keep an eye on our forums, as this is the best source of information for emerging issues and patch information.”

  9. justin

    Alright I know the problem you guys/girls are having, it isn’t a glitch I assure you. :). I’ll be walking you through the issue. 1) On the island “Solstheim” early in the main quest you begin to notice miraak keeps stealing your dragon soul kills!! That asshat. 2) the dragons he absorbs on the island are put in ( The black book: Waking Dreams). Thoes dragons are used for miraaks health. 3) miraak heals himself 3 times, each time taking 2 Dsouls. 4) Six dragons are needed & there is 4 rounds of fighting.

    I killed 6 dragons on Solstheim, each time miraak stole the souls. when I went to the final fight I had 7 dragons flying above miraak & myself. If you’re only seeing 2 dragons + Sahrotaar you haven’t killed enough.

    • justin

      Another theory, see how many black books you have, there is 7 all together. And you need 5 for the achievement. Please count how many books you have try out the final fight, then get back to me. Just did a quick run jumping into the final fight with only 3 black books, and I ran into that problem where he stays invisible with no extra dragons to kill.

  10. Alex

    Yeah I have the same problem, however it happens at the first time he goes to low health but that I was the one to absorb the dragon soul…

  11. Mykolas

    I have another problem. I can kill him but the fourth time he dissapears he should appear in middle ant mora should show up but it doesnt it just dissapears and nothing happens what should I do

  12. alex

    i have the same f******g problem like Mykolas.can u help me??

  13. Beanie

    Use dragon-rend to bring down the dragon attacking and he (miraak) will absorb its soul

  14. Andy

    I found that attacking him with a very weak weapon I.E a steel longsword, Just keep hacking away and take a break when he gets to just over half way health, keep chipping away at him till he retreats, I did have to ground the dragon i rode in on at one point and kill him so that he could have his soul drained, hope this helps!

  15. I cannot find anyway possible to kill miraak, nothing has worked so where can I find a Patch for this or an update to fix this?

    • Jeff

      Bethesda didnt do an update to the problem when I had came across it. When I talked to them, they told me to tone down my attack power and it would work.

  16. I got the solution (only for PC).type console setstage dlc2mq06 580 and then setstage dlc2mq06 600 . This could help u 2 complete this quest and earn its that perk reseter BUT u cant get miraaks inventory.

  17. david

    every time i go to fight miraak there is only one dragon and when he goes to heal he a little bit of his health doesnt heal so since hes not competely healed he stays in ethereal

  18. RG19ninety

    If you’re having trouble with this glitch, try this strategy. It should bypass all possible problems:

  19. Juan Lopez

    When I start the battle one of the dragons is stuck in the air and wont come down anyone please how do I fix this

  20. WOW… Thanks for the help. Holding back the attack did the trick. I though I would have to skip killing Miraak and go back to an earlier save to do other quests if i could. Thanks a bunch.

  21. SP

    I had 1 of these glitches on xbox. I’m not having the problem where I’m absorbing the souls, it’s that he’s not healing enough and staying frozen. So I fought him on the ground to start. Then he calls for the 1st dragon but it’s not enough health. The dragon I was riding showed up and I killed it giving him enough health to restart. When he called for the last dragon I ran up behind him and cast healing hands on him while he was absorbing the last soul. He healed enough that he started attacking me again. I don’t know if this will work for you but it worked for me after trying a lot of other unsuccessful methods.

  22. get the glitch then kill the dragon that is helping you that should help you get out of the glitch

  23. After he absorbs a dragon soul kill another dragon so he absorbs that one then kill him again then he will kill the third dragon and absorb its soul th3n wait 5 to 10 minutes and kill him and then your done

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