• Check every corner and strike walls to find hidden rooms and collectibles in the vast map of Hallownest in Hollow Knight. Don’t overlook locations that have already been visited.
  • Show respect to the Nailmasters by bowing to them when speaking, though it’s not mandatory. Killing one of the Nailmasters may raise eyebrows among the playerbase and affect the story.
  • Remember to consistently save progress by sitting on benches as checkpoints, saving a lot of time in the long run.



When Hollow Knight was released in 2017, it quickly became one of the most popular Metroidvanias of the past decade. Years later, Hollow Knight is still finding a great deal of success in the gaming community. However, for newcomers and those trying to fill the time until the sequel, there are a few unwritten rules that every player should be privy to.

Of course, it should be noted that because Hollow Knight is a notoriously tricky indie game, there are several different ways to conquer it. As such, not everyone will finish it the same way. Regardless of play style, these guidelines should be helpful in the long run.

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Check Every Nook and Cranny

Hollow Knight Geo-2

While veteran Hollow Knight players are likely accustomed to searching every corner, newer players may not realize just how massive the map of Hallownest is on their initial playthrough. Though striking all the walls can land The Knight in trouble at certain points, slashing about with the nail is a good way to check for hidden rooms. Some highly traversed paths contain secret rooms, so players shouldn’t write off locations they’ve already been to. Additionally, dark places are optimal places to find alcoves with geo or other collectibles.

Respect the Nailmasters

Nailmaster Hollow Knight bowing

As people get further into their save files, they will eventually come across the three wise Nailmasters of Hallownest: Mato, Oro, and Sheo. Not all players know that they can bow to the Nailmasters when speaking to them, but if they have this knowledge beforehand then it’s treated as a requirement by the community. Thankfully, if players don’t do this it doesn’t actually affect the game. However, later there’s a choice to kill or spare one of the Nailsmiths which does alter some of the story elements. Players are free to make their own decisions, but killing one of the Nailmasters may return a raised eyebrow from the rest of the playerbase.

Remember to Save Consistently

hollow knight, protag sitting on a bench, garden

This tip may sound incredibly simple, but it’s also vital. Sitting on benches in Hollow Knight is often overlooked as players rush to fight different bosses and explore various points of interest. If there’s a bench close to where a player wants to go, it’s almost always a good idea to take a moment to sit down and set a checkpoint. This may end up saving them quite a bit of time in the end. Of course, players should use their best judgment when determining whether certain benches are actually safe.

Primal Aspids Are The Real Enemy

Aspid Hollow Knight-1

No matter the boss fights that players find to be the most intensive, it’s become a meme that primal aspids are the worst enemies in the game. Since most of them are small and rather innocent-looking, they’re easy to overlook. Still, if a player comes across them, they should do their best to eliminate them as quickly as possible. While aspids aren’t the worst by themselves, those who come across them in confined spaces or during The Trial of the Fool will likely understand why so many people despise them. The fact that they can deny space, such as platforms when The Knight is already precariously balancing over a pit of spikes, while also firing venom blobs can be a deadly combination.

Ultimately, the main storyline of Hollow Knight usually takes 25 hours or more to beat. Due to this, a list of unspoken rules could become exceptionally lengthy. Fortunately, the world of Hollow Knight doesn’t require people to play any certain way. The best way to navigate the game is to simply dive into it and continue to learn from past mistakes.

Hollow Knight is available on PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One.

MORE: Every Hollow Knight Feature Silksong Needs to Reprise

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