Skyrim: How to Start The Dawnguard DLC Quest

Published 2 years ago by

Skyrim Dawnguard

We’ve been waiting a long time to say this: the first official expansion for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is now out! Dawnguard became available this morning for Xbox 360 players as a 30-day timed exclusive, but if you’ve purchased the new content – or are going to – and don’t know how to get started, we’re here to help get you on your way.

The story of Dawnguard allows players to make another important faction-related decision in Skyrim where they can choose to become a vampire or work for the vampire hunters of the Dawnguard. Choose wisely as each choice grants the player a different home and different perks to unlock.

Before you get to enjoy the brand new skill trees for vampires and werewolves, and before you setup shop in Castle Volkihar or Fort Dawnguard, you need to initiate the Dawnguard quest. Here’s how:

  1. Talk to any guard in Riften about vampires/the Dawnguard quest.
  2. Head to the Dawnguard location marker on the map.
  3. Head through the cave (the only way to get there) and follow the path to the castle.
  4. Meet Isran, the Dawnguard leader, there and enjoy your new crossbow.
  5. You’re on your way to rebuilding the Dawnguard order.

The above video from Backend Gaming does a wonderful job of presenting a full walkthrough to launching the Dawnguard adventure but there’s more to it than that. The Dawnguard DLC for Skyrim also adds legendary dragons to the game and hence, a few new exclusive Dragon Shouts. Once you build your character in Skyrim, you’re stuck with the facial design and physical build, but Dawnguard also adds a new NPC which will allow you to alter your appearance. Head to the Riften’s Ratways to find the woman who can help you with a makeover.

Eager to learn more? Check out the Dawnguard trailer and our gallery of screenshots for the first Skyrim DLC. If you’ve been out of the land of Tamriel for a while, busy with other games and such, the latest Skyrim updates added Kinect voice support as well as plenty of big fixes and a few new features, including horse combat!

Dawnguard is now available to download on Xbox 360 for 1600 MS Points beginning Tuesday, June 26, 2012.

Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes.

TAGS: Bethesda, PC, PS3, Skyrim, The Elder Scrolls, Xbox 360

  • Matt

    Wait, so if there’s only one way to trigger the questline, how do you choose between becoming a vampire or a vampire hunter? Because you have to talk to the leader of the Dawnguard, which makes it seem like you have to become a vampire hunter.

    • Rad

      I would bet that later on in the questline you’ll have the opportunity to switch sides.

    • Rob Keyes

      That happens within the story – this is just how you start it :)

    • Michael

      During the first Dawnguard mission you meet a vampire and the leader of the vampires grant you the wish of becoming a vampire or be banished from there castle and stay with the vampire hunters.

    • Ian

      You can talk to any guard in any place. I got started by a guard in Solitude.

    • alfski

      nope u have to start that quest to become a vamp u have to talk to the leader then u get a chance to choose in 2 mission’s time mate

  • Chris

    Um…any news on a PC release? I don’t really plan on shelling out another $60 for an Xbox copy and rework my way up to lvl 70 over a few weeks again.

    • Tristan Parillo

      PS3 and PC: July 26th

      • tankD

        If you just started this game saaay…. yesterday? could you do this DLC??

        • Cullen


        • MattBearPig

          Yup, it’s the same as the Shivering Isles or Fallout 3/NV DLC, it’s wedged into the game like it was always there at all times.

        • Ben

          all they said is that its desgined for players above level ten

    • Jonah Barker

      It comes of in 30 more days for ps3 as well as pc

      • Greg

        They’re providing a skill tree for werewolves ? I was one but did the quest to remove the werewolfness. Guess I’ll have to do it all over.

  • theaiden28

    I have downloaded this dlc but i cant seem to trigger it? Help please

    • mujiha

      Did you actually read the article? Or did you skip down to the comments.

      • Brandon

        LMFAO!!! My thoughts exactly!

    • N

      I also had trouble triggering Dawnguard upon initial installation. Just restart your console and you should be able to talk to the guards.

  • alpha

    Riften is guarded by Imperials in mine. I can’t get any of them to talk v to me about anything.

    • you179

      It’s because you did the quest where the Imperials take over Riften, in the Imperials vs. Stormcloaks storyline. As it says in the video, you can talk to any guard.

  • phil

    which side do you join to get the horse

  • phil

    which side do u join to get the purple horse

  • phil


    • DJDooley

      Join the vampires and you get the horse when your in the Soul Cairn

  • Jason

    There is also a walkthrough here if anyone is still stuck:

  • Benay, when i hit 50,

    Legendary Dragons were all ready in the game; they werent addded by the expansion. Maybe they lowered the cap, but i started seeeing them on monday when i hit level 50.

    • Cullen

      ancient dragons are the highest without the expansion. I’ve never heard of ledendary dragons… Maybe I’m wrong.

      • Ben

        no your right i was thinking of ancient dragons lol

  • alex

    i wonder if I’m already a werewolf and i decide to become a vampire if i will lose my werewolf powers

  • Ashe

    So I’m highest level I guess that means to get vamp perks I have to uh…start over….?

    • Abel

      no those work by feeding in that form

  • MilaRosa1313

    Oh my god thank you so much I have been trying for 3 days to start the dawnguard then came to this page then got it started in no time 😀

  • Beefman123

    Is there a level requirement to the quest?