I’ve been browsing the net for information about the dragons in Breath of the Wild, but haven’t really found any decent spot. Got me thinking that maybe there isn’t one yet. So I’m making one. Disclaimer in advance, I don’t have the strategy guide, there might be some flawed information here. This is purely based around my own findings. I’d love for some discussion around the dragons to happen, and please include any information you have that I haven’t jotted down yet.
Dragons I’ve found so far:
The dragons are generally for two things: Entering shrines with their scales, and upgrading your items through the great fairies. Some items, for example the Champions Tunic, need x2 Shard of Farosh’s Horn for the upgrade to level 2, and x2 Shard of Nyadra’s Horn to level 3. Ergo, you need to hunt dragons to get the cool gear!
Dragons spawn (from the compendium) around the time the sun sets, so roughly around 22 in-game time and through the night. I’ve generally found that they will not spawn if you stand close to where they appear in game. Proof of this is waiting for Nyadra at the top of Mount Lanayru, where you fight it the first time. I’ve waited here from 21 to 4 without having it spawn, but roughly ten, fifteen seconds after jumping down the mountain, looking back up against the summit you’ll see the dragon coming after you. I’ve had it spawn this way at midnight, at 4 o clock, at 2. This is lead me to conclude that the dragons will not spawn if you’re in the exact area they start their route.
Music will change when the dragons spawn, to a more oriental-sounding melody.
It’s worth noting that the items you get off the dragons shoot off in random distances. They can fall into the water (they will float), take off behind a ridge or ledge. If you don’t have eyes on it at the time it goes off, you might have a hard time finding it. I’ve lost one Shard of a Fang from Nyadra because I didn’t find the item. They do shine quite a bit, though, to help you search for it. As an example, I fired on Nyadra around Purifier Lake, and had the item shoot off into the water in the middle of the fortress/ruins below Lanayru Bluffs. That’s quite far.
Lastly, as far as I know, there are only two items you can get from the dragons, as mentioned, the Scale and the Shard. The Scale will drop from anywhere on the dragons body, while the Shard will only drop from the Horn/Mantle/Headpiece. Most of us will look for the dragons multiple times for the Shard of the Horn, which is the hardest one to get. You can only get one item per spawn, so if you miss the Horn and hit the body instead, you’ll have to wait until the next night. Wait until the dragon is as close as possible and don’t shoot for the horn until you’re near one hundred percent sure you’ll hit it. Missing and hitting the body is pretty annoying..
Edit: /u/ChestShitter69 said in a comment below that there are two more items from the dragons I didn't know about. You can get Fangs from shooting them in the mouth/teeth, and Claws from shooting them in the claws/legs. All of the items from the dragons can be used in cooking, sold for Mon in the Kilton's Monster Shop, and to upgrade your gear.
A spirit of lightning has taken the form of this giant dragon. Making its home in the Faron region, it's said to have served the Spring of Courage since ancient times. An old saying goes, "The dragon ascends to the heavens as the sun begins to set," but nobody has witnessed this in the current age. The electricity that coat its body makes it dangerous to get near, but Farosh bears no ill will toward people.
Farosh is found in Floria Falls, Lake Hylia and if I’m not mistaken he’s also around Mount Agaat. Notable and important drops are Scale of Farosh and Shard of Farosh’s Horn.
Personally I prefer hunting for Farosh in Floria Falls. Port to Faron Tower, wait for night time at the Lakeside Stable, then wait around the bridge till night time. He usually flies from Riola Spring, moving directly south to Rassla Lake, where he dives into the water and sometimes disappear. If he doesn’t, he’ll come back down and do the route in reverse and disappear in the lake above Riola Spring.
Standing on the bridge has netted me the most success. Usually there’ll be updrafts you can take advantage of by getting slow motion arrows off, but I’ve actually found it to be better to just sit on the bridge and wait for a good shot. Others might have a different experience. He shoots electricity at you, and if you screw up the stamina while in the slow motion, you might go tumbling into the water and lose track of the item you’re looking for. Locating the item might be easier if you’re looking for him in Lake Hylia. I’ve never not had it fall into the water here, and you have a decent overview up at the bridge, so locating it shouldn’t be an issue. His path is more narrow in Lake Floria though, so getting a good shot off is easier.
A spirit of ice has taken the form of this giant dragon. Making its home in the Lanayru region, it's said to have served the Spring of Wisdom since ancient times. An old saying goes, "The dragon ascends to the heavens as the sun begins to set," but nobody has witnessed this in the current age. The ice that coat its body makes it dangerous to get near, but Naydra bears no ill will toward people.
This one only has one location and he’s found where you fight him the first time, at the top of Mount Lanayru. As I mentioned previously, he’ll arrive from here, but you cannot wait here for him. I’ve had 100% spawn rate from waiting at the top of the mountain till midnight, then go jumping off the summit down west towards Purifier Lake and the East Gate of Lanayru. He always spawns while I’m paragliding down, around halfway to the bottom. Turn your camera around and watch him appear from behind the mountain! It’s quite the view. Naydra also creates updrafts around him, but these almost feel random to me. I’ve had them spawn and I’ve had them not spawn at all. So I’ve started just camping right next to the Eastern Gate I mentioned, where you find one of the memories for quest. You can scale the ridge here and stand right above the gate, Naydra will pass right by you and continue through the ruins.
The Lanayru area is rocky and mountainous, so finding the items can be a bit of a hazzle. There’s usually poor weather when Naydra spawns as well, snowstorms are common and visibility is poor. He also sends off ice crystals which are quite similar to the design of the item he drops, so finding it can be a bit confusing. Try to get a decent camera angle and don’t lose sight of him after you’ve shot your arrow.
A spirit of fire has taken the form of this giant dragon. Making its home in the Eldin region, it's said to have served the Spring of Power since ancient times. An old saying goes, "The dragon ascends to the heavens as the sun begins to set," but nobody has witnessed this in the current age. The flames that coat its body makes it dangerous to get near, but Dinraal bears no ill will toward people.
This one iss a work in progress. The compendium says he can spawn in Eldin Mountains, which is to the northwest of Death Mountain, and Tabantha Hills, which is west/northwest of Hyrule Castle. I’ve only seen him once, and that was above Tanagar Canyon, flying from the north to the south. I don’t have much information about Dinraal or where he spawns, but I’ll go looking for him throughout the day and update the post with more information as I come over it. I did however note that he seemed impossible to reach from the eastern side of the canyon. Tabantha hills is located way higher up than the Salari and Rowan plains, so I reckon looking for him from the west would be the best suggestion. If anyone knows more about Dinraal or where he starts his route, please let me know.
Also, if you have questions about the shrines, let me know and I'll tell you. Might just update the post with these later on.