How to unlock dragonriding in WoW: Dragonflight

World of Warcraft: Dragonflight screenshot
(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

World of Warcraft: Dragonflight is doing things a little differently when it comes to getting around the new zones. The new dragonriding feature means you'll be able to take to the skies from the start instead of having to wait half a year for flying to be unlocked in the new expansion areas.

Dragonriding isn't like regular flying though. While it's probably safe to assume that the latter will come to the Dragon Isles later on, you're going to want to master dragonriding to take advantage of the airborne exploration this new feature offers. So if you're ready to spread your wings, here's how to unlock WoW dragonriding, as well as how to customise your mount and level up your riding talents.

How to unlock dragonriding in World of Warcraft 

You unlock the dragonriding skill and get your first mount once you've progressed the main story quests a little way in the first Dragon Isles zone, The Waking Shores. Once you've been sent to meet Alexstrasza at the Ruby Lifeshrine, you can pick up the aptly-named "Dragonriding" quest which sends you to speak to Lord Andestrasz. After he gifts you your first dragonriding mount, you'll get to complete a few training flights to get accustomed to the way dragonriding works.

There are four dragonriding mounts to collect in total and you'll acquire the other three as you level through the Dragon Isles. The four dragonriding mounts are:

  • Renewed Proto-Drake
  • Windborne Velocidrake
  • Cliffside Wylderdrake
  • Highland Drake


The basics of dragonriding 

Discover the Dragon Isles

World of Warcraft Dragonflight screenshot

(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

Dragonflight leveling: Get to 70 fast
Dragonflight talents: New trees explained
Dracthyr Evokers: The new race and class
Dragonriding: Take to the skies
Dragon Glyphs: Upgrade your dragonriding
Dragonflight professions: What's new

Dragonriding is very different from regular flying in World of Warcraft. When you first mount up, you'll notice you have two dragonriding skills: Skyward Ascent lets you lift off the ground—or increase your altitude if you're already airborne—while Surge Forward makes your mount dart forward, giving you a burst of speed. 

You can't just use your dragonriding skills endlessly, however. You'll need to make sure you have enough Vigor to keep yourself airborne. Don't worry though, Vigor is regenerated whenever you're on the ground—whether you're mounted or not—as well as whenever you are in the sky and flying at high speeds.

There's a bit of a knack when it comes to dragonriding. The thing to remember is that you can't just gain altitude indefinitely—you will run out of Vigor fast if you try to do that. Instead, you should get used to flying at a slightly downward angle so you fly faster and constantly regain Vigor. 

That's not to say you can't reach high places, but it takes a bit of practice to master your momentum and keep yourself airborne when you're starting out. Luckily, you will also unlock dragonriding talents to help make things easier.


(Image credit: Blizzard)

How to unlock the dragonriding talent tree 

Shortly after picking up your dragonriding skill and mount at the Ruby Lifeshrine and completing the tutorial flying courses, you're sent to the Skytop Observatory. After completing the quest introducing mount customization, you'll pick up a quest called "Dragon Glyphs and You". Grab the glyph nearby and speak to the dragonriding Lithragosa to learn about talents.

The dragonriding talent tree lets you unlock various upgrades for your dragonriding, including new active abilities and additional Vigor slots.

To unlock dragonriding talents, you'll need to find and collect Dragon Glyphs which can be found scattered all around the Dragon Isles. You don't have to wait to collect them either—you can fly after all—but be aware that some may be quite tricky and you might need to make frequent stops to let your Vigor refill.


(Image credit: Blizzard)

Customizing your dragonriding mount 

The Skytop Observatory is where you learn about dragonriding mount customization. The Rostrum of Transformation has a similar layout to the barber shop, but for your dragon! Here you can change many aspects of their appearance such as scale type and colour, horn style, tail decorations, and so forth.

You can unlock customization options through Drakewatcher Manuscripts which are obtained through various types of Dragonflight content. These include quest rewards, achievements, and exploration. So if you're missing an option to change something on your mount don't worry, it might be that you haven't found that particular customization yet.

Sarah James
Guides Writer

Sarah started as a freelance writer in 2018, writing for PCGamesN, TechRadar, GamingBible, Red Bull Gaming and more. In 2021, she was offered a full-time position on the PC Gamer team where she takes every possible opportunity to talk about World of Warcraft and Elden Ring. When not writing guides, most of her spare time is spent in Azeroth—though she's quite partial to JRPGs too. One of her fondest hopes is to one day play through the ending of Final Fantasy X without breaking down into a sobbing heap. She probably has more wolves in Valheim than you.