Dragon Riding WoW: New Dragonflight Feature Explained

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Dragon riding is a new exciting feature Blizzard added in their recent Dragonflight expansion. It opens up a whole new dimension of activities for players and offers a more thrilling and comfortable way of traveling across the map. The new dragon riding WoW feature is only available in Dragon Isles for now.

There’s a lot to cover. The dragons aren’t just new mounts — Blizzard added tons of unique mechanics for riding these creatures. What’s more, you can upgrade your flying abilities by going through the corresponding talent tree. Not to mention, there is an entirely new customization feature specifically for your dragon.

Flying Explained

The riding process is itself different from the usual mount riding. The latter has tons of time-saving utility, but it was never exciting. With this mechanic, Blizzard went the extra mile. Here’s a small dragonriding overview to make you familiar.

It’s an inertia-based mechanic, which means you can’t just point somewhere to make your dragon cruise at top speed effortlessly. You need to drop, climb, rush, and turn in just the right combination to achieve the desired speed. Players can’t change direction immediately, meaning they need to put some thought into their decisions.

Riders have abilities to activate while airborne. They are part of the dragonriding talents WoW now has, and movement-related skills allow you to accelerate or change elevation, for instance. Airborne abilities cost Vigor, which are points that regenerate while on the ground.

You initially get three points Vigor, and using all of them up doesn’t mean you’ll just fall from the air. You just won’t be able to activate abilities, which makes the entire experience more miserable. Because of it, consider taking the Thrill of the Skies ability that regenerates Vigor while flying at top speed. It’s an absolute must-have.

You could decide not to read a proper WoW dragon riding guide and ignore flying altogether. But there are two arguments against that. Firstly, why would you? It’s genuinely fun. Secondly, some locations on the map are painful to get to on foot. In short, it’s utility + enjoyment.

Unlocking Dragons

The four dragon mounts correspond to each of the four areas of the Isles — red, blue, bronze, and green. You’ll visit all of them during the main campaign, and, in that time, you’ll be able to unlock each variety. Appearance is the only difference between them:

You unlock WoW dragonriding soon after starting the campaign. The initial breed — the red one — is given to you in the first zone after completing a few starting quests. After meeting Alexstrasza, you should accept a quest named “Dragonriding”. Just follow the directions and you’ll get your flying beast in no time.

The next step is learning about customization, which means going to another location, the Skytop Observatory, by air. After that, find the riding trainer in that location to pick up another quest. This last one will teach you about Glyphs — objects scattered across the skies that let you upgrade your riding talents.

Talents & Abilities

As you unlock dragonriding, you may notice shiny golden rings all over the skies. They are required to unlock new abilities. Glyphs often hide in the unlikeliest of places, but fortunately, you are visible from afar.

What’s even more fortunate is that spawn points aren’t unique for each player. The locations are universal, meaning that you can follow the lead of players who already found all of them and posted Glyph coordinates on the Internet. You could just sweep the map right away because it’s awfully grind-ey to collect them on your own.

You can make it even easier for yourself and order a full dragonriding talents unlock. This way, a dedicated professional will collect all those Glyphs for you, making you a fully qualified dragon rider. Both these methods take away some fun that comes from scavenging, however.

Some skills are movement-related, and others increase your supply of Vigor. Select few are combat abilities that might unseat an enemy rider if you surge into them or stun enemies if you land on them. There aren’t many skills, however, and you can master dragonriding to the fullest very quickly.


The WoW dragon riding customization is another outstanding addition on the menu. Your draconic pets can be customized from head to toe, almost literally. There is an infinite amount of snouts, tails, horns, armor, and legs that you can install onto your flying companion.

Some of you may remember just a few customization options in alpha and beta. Blizzard added a lot more options on release. Now, it’s a much more nuanced process. However, it doesn’t have much utility besides showing off or creating a design statement for your very own WoW Dragonflight dragon mount.

The options aren’t all available from the start — new ones get unlocked as you journey through the land. Quests, loot, and exploration could all provide a new customization part. In particular, they are uncovered via items called Manuscripts, which are found virtually anywhere.

The transformation itself is done in a Rostrum of Transformation, and there are four of these — one per leveling zone. The customization potential is immense, and lots of changes can be made here. In fact, even the color of their skin is modifiable, which means you aren’t just limited to four colors.

What’s different from breed to breed is their physiology. The green one is a furry wyvern, while the blue one is a classic four-legged dragon. Eye color, brows, horn appearance, horn color, and many other parts can be modified. They don’t change anything mechanically, and all appearances are purely cosmetic.

Racing Rewards

The Dragonflight riding system doesn’t have much bearing on the questlines of the new expansion, at least for now. Several quests are related to this activity, including 4 racing quests with 2 tiers each.

Each of the 4 quests corresponds — you guessed it — to one of the 4 zones of the Isles. Each requires you to finish several racing tracks (6–8 per area) in the air. Your goal is to clear every race in the area, and you’ll get a neat customization option for a mount from this area.

After you complete a race, you’ll open an advanced difficulty for the same challenge. Complete all advanced difficulty challenges in the area, and you’ll get even fancier stuff. Basic quests award rare hair options for each drake variety, while advanced difficulty provides rare armor.

In these races, you race against time. There are bronze, silver, and gold records. You need at least silver in these quests to turn them in. But don’t just stop there!

Achievement Rewards

No dragon riding system overview would be complete without new racing achievements. There are three unique achievement rewards for people who decide to complete all races across the Isles on successful completion, silver, and gold respectively. They are called “Dragon Racing Completionist”. Here’s what you get:

It can be a right challenge, seeing how time-consuming these quests are. Many races require exceptional handling of your drake, using your abilities reasonably, and avoiding obstacles. Some stun or slow you down, and, if you crash into something, you may just fall.

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