Hydra is an Enemy in Dragon's Dogma.


"Even the bravest man would surely gasp at the sight of the great, demonic serpent that is the hydra. The black scales that cover its body seem to beckon ill luck and the body that stretches well over a hundred feet splits at last into four horrible heads.

The trouble lies in the fact that those four heads each possesses a mind of its own and will act against you independently if you approach it as an enemy. Even one of the heads would be a formidable enemy, so it is probably easy to imagine the threat that four can pose when attacking simultaneously.

The hydra has great size and dreadful strength, but its intelligence is on par with its reptilian appearance. In the end, its destructive tendencies and various attacks are nothing more than the result of base instinct.

The hydra possesses such horrifying life force that it can even regenerate its heads if they are cut off once.
―Capcom official description [1]


Base Experience of 16,000

Can be more or less depending on a few factors such as:



Bitterblack Isle


On severing a head

On death

Master Thief is no use against it.



Stats Health Attack Defense Magick
100,000 2,700 240 1,000 240 48,000kg
Slash Bash FIRE BASED.png
110% 50% 60% 30% 30% 60% 10%
Tarred.png DrenchedWater.png Poison.png Blindness.png Silence.png Sleep.png Torpor.png Petrification.png Curse.png
D unknown.png D immune.png D immune.png D immune.png D immune.png D immune.png D immune.png D immune.png D immune.png
StrengthLowered.png DefenseLowered.png MagickLowered.png MagickDefenseLowered.png Fire.png Frozen.png LIGHTNING BASED.png HOLY BASED.png DARK BASED.png
D unknown.png D unknown.png D unknown.png D cannot obtain.png D unknown.png D unknown.png D unknown.png D unknown.png D unknown.png
Sources: Dragon's Dogma - ドラゴンズドグマ & Dark Arisen (www10.atwiki.jp), the Dragon's Dogma Signature Series Guide, List of Creature Debilitation Resistances, and in-game testing.


Attack Type Description
Charge Phys A powerful charge that knocks its foes over.
Neck Smash Phys If a neck is being climbed, that head will smash itself to the ground.
Head Strike Phys A head smash that stabs the ground.
Tail Whip Phys Spins around and whips its enemies with its tail. Has long reach.
Miasma Spit Mag/Status Sprays up to four long range jets of deadly Miasma, which will linger on the ground for a time. May inflict Poison. Poisoned prey will not be able to struggle when the Hydra attempts to devour them.
Devour Spec

Attempts to swallow a target; Arisens who fail to free themselves when swallowed will die if they are not freed before reaching the main body. Pawns swallowed and not freed in time cannot be revived and must be re-hired.

Solo Arisens who fail to free themselves will die instantly and do not get to see themselves sliding down the Hydra's throat.

Solo Arisens poisoned by Miasma Spit will not be able to struggle to free themselves and will be instantly killed by being swallowed.


Hydra02 7.jpg

Striking at the head, preferably with cutting weapons may remove a head, leaving an uncontrolled stump. Searing the stumps with Fire delays regeneration.

An alternative way to destroy a Hydra head is by using an Explosive Barrel; when thrown at the right moment, one of the Hydra's heads will swallow it. Shooting or striking the bulging throat will trigger an explosion. If done correctly, the head that swallowed the barrel will both take massive damage from the explosion and cauterize the wound to prevent regeneration.

By cutting off all four heads of the Hydra before each can regenerate, the Hydra's body will collapse, become immobile and highly vulnerable. During this time, the party should take advantage as the Hydra will take more damage from any attack on its neck stumps, making it an easy kill. However, it will regenerate at a high speed in this state, so one should inflict as much damage as possible. A Hydra will regenerate one full health bar in the decapitated state when regenerating, whilst an Archydra will regenerate two full health bars.

The Hydra faced in the Encampment does not die when the Arisen takes its head in the early game; it flees. The Hydra can be fought later during the Post-Game in the Proving Grounds as part of the quest A Challenge. After the quest is complete, the Hydra will respawn after three days like all boss monsters.

Offensive tactics

  • Strongly resistant to the Five Archmagicks : Nearly impervious to Dark, and very resistant to Lightning and Ice. Fire and Holy magicks will be more effective, but are still resisted.
  • Weak to edged weapons; swords and daggers can cut off its heads.
    • Attacks nearer to the head are more effective.
  • Immune to debilitations, except Tarred in oil and Lowered Defense (use Sapfire Daggers).
  • After cutting off a head, setting the stump on fire will delay the regeneration of the head whilst the stump is ablaze.
  • Attacking a dead stump seems to inflict more damage than attacking the other heads.
  • After one of the heads initiates a "head butt" strike, the head will be temporarily at ground level - use this opportunity to decaptitate with a strong physical attack, or to mount the snake near to the neck, and then attack.

Climbing tactics

Vocation-specific tactics


Hydra at the Frontier Caverns

A Strider with a Dragon's Ire bow demonstrating Downpour Volley's effectiveness against a Hydra.


Hydra slain, Arisen undamaged. No buffs, curatives or Wakestones. Hard mode. 2 Masterful Kill counters (D)

An Assassin demonstrating Masterful Kill against a Hydra at the Proving Grounds.

  • Rangers : Hydra Husk does much greater damage than all other longbows, doubling total attack power.
  • Magick Archer : Immolation whilst climbing exploits the Hydra's weakness.
  • Mages : High Comestion is the most effective mage spell against a Hydra.
  • Sorcerers : Bolide and related spells are the most effective - each head acts as a separate target for the meteors.
  • Mages and Sorcerers : For fun, the Arisen can cast a Brontide based spell and wait for a head to eat them. Canceling the spell will unleash multiple tongues of Levin's lightning into the Hydra's mouth. This may cut off the head that swallowed the Arisen and even if it failed to cut off the head, the Hydra will spit the Arisen out.
  • Mystic Knights : Great Cannon is ineffective unless Fire-enchanted; climbing attacks with Abyssal Anguish and Fire-enchanted weapons are effective; Stone Forest on a partially- or better yet, fully-decapitated Hydra does massive damage.

Defensive tactics

  • Avoid the tail area. Striking the tail inflicts no damage, but tail whipping can inflict great harm to the party.

Pawn Bestiary Knowledge

Tis' but a flesh wound!

  • Hydra Tactics - Grants knowledge for the whole Hydra family.
  • Hydra Strategy Vol. 1 - Advises using a sword to sever the heads.
  • Hydra Strategy Vol. 2 - Suggests searing the stump with Fire attacks to prevent regrowth of a severed head.
  • Throw an Explosive Barrel into a mouth and shoot the bulge to make it explode
    • If the pawn has this knowledge, they will say "Shoot the bulge in the neck" when the Hydra swallows a barrel. Knowledgeable pawns will also shoot the bulge, if their vocation permits
  • Have all 4 heads cut off at the same time

In addition to witnessing these techniques, it is necessary for Pawns to participate in killing 7 Hydras either with their own Arisen or while travelling with others.

Explosive barrel advice

Throwing an explosive barrel in the Hydra's mouth and then shooting the barrel with an arrow will decapitate a head, can be difficult to do, but is required for the Bestiary knowledge.

To illustrate, after sufficient attacks (lightning is especially useful), a Hydra's head can be stunned, with its head swaying slightly above the ground and its mouth open for about 15 seconds. During this moment, grab an explosive barrel, walk close to the head, and throw it towards the opened mouth. The head will immediately swallow it, bulging the throat as the barrel moves slowly down the neck over about a minute and a half. During this time, attacking the bulge with an arrow will explode the barrel, tearing off the head and sealing the wound with flame. Be sure not to jump when throwing the barrel towards the Hydra head (even though there seems to be a need for jumping), or the barrel will simply explode in its face instead of getting swallowed by the head.

  • The simplest way to observe a barrel throw is at The Encampment during the Hydra encounter in the quest A Rude Awakening. Be sure to choose a vocation that can shoot arrows.
    1. When the Arisen reaches The Encampment, remove weapons from Pawns, or release them into the Rift so they are less likely to decapitate one of the four heads and complete the quest.
    2. Wait, observe the battle, but do not attack.
    3. The Hydra will eventually coil itself in front of the northern gate, and a cutscene will show Mercedes throwing an explosive barrel to the Arisen who will then toss it towards the Hydra. After the cutscene, the Arisen must shoot the barrel in the Hydra's neck.

Witnessing the 'barrel throw' at least 2 to 3 times is required for the Bestiary knowledge. The Encampment Hydra encounter can be repeated quickly by switching difficulty to Hard Mode and back (resetting the game progress but not losing character development). This is repetitious, but Mercedes' assistance in the cutscene is much easier than throwing the barrels manually when fighting the Hydra or Archydra.

NB When shooting the neck, be sure to use the "Come" command, to ensure pawns are close enough to witness the event and gain bestiary knowledge.

Pawn Chatter

"Nothing should have that many heads!" (no Bestiary knowledge)

"Cut deep enough and we'll cleave that head off!"

"It cannot heal a wound burnt closed!"

"Its scales make a mockery of our weapons!"

"Hack the heads off and it's a common snake!"

"If this keeps up we're done for!"

"You'll not take me...!"

"If this keeps up, we're done for!"

"Its tail is a mighty whip! Beware!"

"The curs fear a flame!"



Official artwork

  • It takes 1 minute and 40 seconds for the Hydra to slide a swallowed Arisen or pawn from mouth to main body, with the prey going through five stages as they pass down the Hydra's neck.
    • During the Hydra encounter in the Encampment, the soldiers are not able to free themselves, and quickly slide down the Hydra's throat. Same goes with escort quest clients which will result in an instant "mission failed" with no chance of reviving the client via Wakestones.
    • The Hydra in the Proving Grounds will also attempt to swallow the Goblins. The swallowed Goblin will disappear immediately after the Hydra swallows it instead of sliding through its throat.
  • Aside from being Poisoned, characters inflicted by various other debilitations (e.g. Tarred, Torpor, Blindness, Cursed) will not be able to struggle when the Hydra attempts to swallow them.
  • Amusingly, a Hydra head will try to devour a character climbing another head, resulting in the head being climbed being cut off, and the character grappled by the head trying to devour them. This may be used to the party's advantage to save pawns by climbing on the head which has swallowed the pawn, waiting for another head to attack and severing the first head, freeing the swallowed pawn. Just be sure the Arisen doesn't become the Hydra's next meal!
  • Alternatively, if a pawn is swallowed and the Arisen isn't confident in freeing them, they can exit the area, with the pawn automatically freed. This is particularly useful during lower levels.
  • If the Arisen is swallowed, and all of their pawns become unconscious (knocked out by the Hydra or other enemies), this will automatically result in the Arisen being killed instantly, no matter whether the Arisen has reached the main body or not. Even if one of the pawns has Legion's Might equipped (so that they may be revived automatically after a few seconds), the same Game Over will still occur if all pawns are knocked out for a split second. To prevent this, consider giving healing items to the pawns (this is still possible even after the Arisen is being swallowed, somehow), so that they have lower chance of getting knocked out, and higher chance of saving the Arisen from doom.
  • During the Encampment encounter, pawns (except for Rook, somehow) will likely not be able to free themselves when the Hydra attempts to swallow them. Free them before they get swallowed or the party will have one less comrade fighting alongside!
  • To prevent being swallowed by the Hydra while climbing its neck(s), jump towards the tail area when the head(s) attempts to eat the Arisen. Cling onto the main body, and climb back up the neck.
  • After losing half of its health, the Hydra will take on a bloody appearance.



  • The Hydra is known from ancient Greek Myths as a many headed serpent-like water monster. In the myth the hydra regrew two heads for every one cut off. It was fought by the hero Heracles, first with flaming arrows, and then with a hand weapon, in the course of the battle discovering its ability to grow many heads. Using advice to burn the stump of each severed head, he successfully defeated the monster. In another version of the story he used the Hydra's own poison to cauterize the wounded stumps. (See wikipedia:Lernaean Hydra.)



  1. Hydra www.dragonsdogma.com
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