Content Type: Gaming Guides
One of the many things that makes Skyrim so amazing are the sheer number of monsters to fight. Combat with nasty beasties not only adds interest to the game, but is the basis for improving fighting and defensive skills. Just imagine how boring it would be if you didn’t run across wolves, bears, or giant Frostbite Spiders as you traversed the wilds of Skyrim. The snowcapped mountains and towering pines would look pretty enough, but you can’t test your mettle against scenery — gamers everywhere need to improve their fighting prowess by going up against dangerous foes.
Some of the more dangerous foes you’ll encounter in Skyrim are Hagravens. These nasty witches are a grotesque cross between old crones and monstrous birds. Infused with dark magic, their bodies transformed into twisted monstrosities complete with feathers and bird-like claws. According to the in-game book, A Herbalist’s Guide to Skyrim:
These creatures have traded in their humanity for access to powerful magics, and the transformations they undergo infuse their entire beings with some element of that power.
Hagravens are as ugly as they are powerful. They are adept at the fire-based destruction spells of Fireball and Firebolt, and can really pack a wallop in a fight. To make matters worse for the wayward adventurer, Hagravens can heal inflicted damage with Close Wounds and Fast Healing. A Hagraven’s destruction and healing magic make for one dangerous enemy, and it’s best not to take the creatures lightly in a fight.
- Level – 20
- Health – 471
- Magicka – 314
- Stamina – 50
How To Kill Hagravens
As tough as these old birds are, Hagravens can be defeated. Obviously, it’s easier to win a fight when your character has leveled up, but even lower level characters can kill Hagravens. With that said, it takes skill and planning, and victory won’t necessarily be easy.
Generally speaking, you want to fight a Hagraven in close combat. Melee range will take away a Hagraven’s ability to use Fireball and Firebolt, and it’s to your advantage to get up close and personal. If your skill is high enough, attempt to creep up close for a Sneak attack. If sneaking isn’t your forte though, close the gap as quickly as possible with weapons drawn. Don’t come in on a straight heading, but bob and weave in order to evade fireballs. Once you’re in close, give it all you got with your weapons of choice. If you have an attack-based Shout, use it (Ice Form is especially effective against Hagravens). Don’t get so lost in the fight that you forget to keep your guard up. Hagraven claws are dangerous. Block damage with a shield or weapon, and use the Become Ethereal Shout to avoid taking injury.
Close combat is the preferred way to kill Hagravens, but depending on your play style, you may want to attempt ranged attacks. Being good with a bow or ranged magic is an absolute must. Remember, when fighting a Hagraven from a distance, you allow the creature to barrage you with fireballs. Move erratically to dodge, and take cover if you can behind rocks and trees. Fighting from a distance is definitely more challenging, but you can kill Hagravens if you play it smart and your archery and/or magic ability is high enough. Take a look at the YouTube video by Erythron at the end of this article, showing both ranged and close combat attacks against Hagravens.
A few other tips to keep in mind:
- If possible, make sure to save your game at the point right before engaging Hagravens in battle. Saving frequently is a good practice anyway, but especially before butting heads against a powerful foe.
- Make sure you have plenty of healing potions and/or nourishing food on hand. You’re going to take damage, and you need to be able to heal yourself quickly.
- If you have any potions or gear that allow you to resist fire, use them. A Hagraven’s magical attacks are fire-based.
- Depending on your play style, consider poisoning your weapons to give you an edge in battle. Every little bit helps.
Following the suggestions above should help you kill Hagravens. If you’re still having a difficult time, you may need to level-up a bit. There’s nothing shameful in having to run away to fight another day — Hagravens are tough opponents.
Another option though is to use the services of a hireling to assist you in battle. Read the Skyrim Fansite article Help Wanted: Finding The Best Hirelings In Skyrim to get a good one. Hirelings not only deal damage, but act as meat-shields to protect you in a fight. If you’re having a tough time, a joint attack with a hireling may prove the best way to kill Hagravens.
So how about it? Do you have additional tips to kill Hagravens? Share your ideas with your fellow Skyrim fans in the Speak Your Mind section below. We’d love to hear from you!
Bound bow with sneak attacks. If you aren’t discovered they don’t go into battle mode and won’t heal.
its easy to kill haravens with all ebony heavy armor
All Ebony heavy armor? Sweeeet!!!
I killed a Hagraven at level 7, the retrieving battlenet mission. After many failings I deicided to rode my horse through the log and my horse help me distract the witch while I killed her with Spark. That s a fight to remember , love my horse 🙂
Great story, Tuan!
I have been fighting a hagravem for like 10 minutes, it just keeps healing so I can’t kill it but it any kill me either. I have no idea what I am going to do, I think my melee levels up like 5 times already…
Hi Sean, what system are you playing on (PC, Xbox 360, or PS3?).
Lmao, 6 years later and still waiting for a reply
If you have the Beast Form Power, it literally takes 5 seconds to massacre this flimsy bird!
How do I get the quest “Cure for madness” ?
Modelled after Ruth Bader Ginsburg, these things are totally freaky looking!