Getting Started Guide or Beginner's Guide in Hollow Knight provides new and veteran players important, vital tips and tricks for the capability of your survival once you begin your venture of uncovering the secrets of the depths of Hallownest. The Hollow Knight Beginner's Guide covers various information that will help a player understand the basics of the game's mechanics as well as recommended things to do before starting the game.

Hollow Knight Helpful Pages

Listed below are more pages on our wiki that you can visit to help you get started, and go more in-depth than the advice just given to you. With all that said, good luck and have fun discovering Hallowenest's secrets!

  • Maps: Visit our Maps page to view the different layouts of the many Locations of Hollow Knight.
  • Walkthrough: Check our full guide for clearing Locations, beating Bosses, completing Quests, and finding important items.
  • Lore: Read about the story of the game, events that took place before The Knight's arrival, characters, enemies, and the Protagonist.
  • Controls: View the default mapping of the game's controls for PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox, and PlayStation.
  • Combat: Learn about the different combat tactics or maneuvers that The Knight can execute in Hollow Knight.
  • Charms: You can find a list of all the available Charms featured in Hollow Knight, as well as tactics on how Charms work in the game.
  • Nail and Nail Arts: Learn about the basics of the Nail, The Knight's main weapon, how to upgrade it, and how to learn special moves of the Nail.
  • Spells and Abilities: If you want to know more about the different Spells and Abilities that you can find in the game, as well as learning about the basic mechanics of how this combat mechanic works, visit our Spells and Abilities page.


Hollow Knight Beginner's Guide

Your Map is your Best Friend

Hollow Knight introduces an exquisite and gritty world that is like a labyrinth for you to explore, and it will consist of large areas, long hallways, and rooms that may or may not look similar to the naked eye. Always open and use your Map for navigation, since you will constantly need to open it and use it in order to backtrack your path to certain points of the area when you are trying to complete quests or progress the main story of the game.

map and quill hollow knight wiki guide

And once you have the Map and Quill, make it a habit to always use a Bench in order to update the map of certain parts of the area that have been discovered by The Knight - which brings us to our next tip, locating Cornifer.

Stop, Look, and Listen for Cornifer!

At the beginning of the game, players won't have the map in its inventory - and the primary way to acquire a part of the map for a certain area is by finding Cornifer, Hallownest's one, and only Cartographer. Each time a player discovers a new area, you can definitely expect to find Cornifer sitting and making a layout of the map. At the very start of your quest, you'll most likely be running around the area and later on, learn that it is the village of Dirtmouth.

cornifer npc hollow knight wiki guide

You'll have your first encounter of Cornifer at the Forgotten Crossroads (which is below Dirtmouth) where he will sell you the map of the current area for hollow knight wiki geo icon30. How do I know if Cornifer is around or how do I find him? In order to track down Cornifer, you'll find traces of paper scattered on the floor and you'll hear him humming. And if you miss the chance of finding him, you can always visit his wife, Iselda - which brings us to our next tip, visiting Iselda.

Iselda, your go-to Merchant

Iselda is a merchant located in Dirtmouth and is also the wife of Cornifer. As mentioned earlier, if you are unable to find Cornifer, you can always visit Iselda to buy the map of a newly discovered area but only for a higher price of Geo. It is also recommended that you spend most of your Geo on what Iselda offers in her shop since she carries the items that you need in the early part of the game.

iselda npc hollow knight wiki guide

Items like Map Pins that mark certain points of interests of the game like Benches and Merchants, as well as the Quill that is a must-have item that will allow you to update certain areas of the map that Cornifer hasn't discovered. Iselda's shop opens after The Knight either speaks to Cornifer or defeats the False Knight. The shop can be found in Dirtmouth, east of the Stag Station.

Use the Bench, Always Rest and Save

Each time you discover a new area within Hallownest, make it a habit of always finding and using a Bench. A bench can be used for multiple things, such as a checkpoint, recovery of health, organizing and equipping Charms, and the most important mechanic, updating and filling in undiscovered rooms and areas of the Map that you have visited.

bench locations icon hollow knight wiki

So it is important that you purchase the map pins from Iselda in order to have a detailed map that will definitely aid you in your traversal and your overall progress of the game, the Bench Pin allows The Knight to mark the location of a Bench that you've discovered, as long as he uses the Bench to update the map.

Speak and Listen to EVERYONE

Now that you have the items needed to traverse the depths of Hallownest, you'll most likely encounter various NPCs of the game - and it is recommended that you "listen" to them and make sure to run through their dialogues when you encounter one. These NPCs add more context and information that you will need to understand the story of the game, while other NPCs provide the player Quests that will reward you with unique items and even unlocks trophies and/or achievements.

bretta npc hollow knight wiki guide


Get Charmed

Charms in Hollow Knight are special items that provide The Knight buffs that will aid you with your overall effectiveness of survivability and traversal in the game. As you progress through the game, you'll find, acquire, and even purchase different Charms - and this will give you the opportunity to craft and customize your own playstyle, whether it be an offensive, defensive, or a balanced set of Charms.

kingsoul hollow knight wiki charms

How do I equip or change my Charms? Once you have acquired a new Charm or if you simply want to change your loadout, you need to rest on a Bench in order to swap out the Charm you want to use.

The Nail is More Than a Weapon

The Nail is the primary weapon of The Knight and it is surprising of what the Nail is capable of doing - The Knight can attack in four directions and performing a down attack while in the air seems to be a combat mechanic one must master, performing an aerial down attack allows the Knight to "pogo" on top of an enemy or an environment that has spikes.

hollow knight wiki old nail icon

Use the opportunity to learn how to attack in the four directions while on the ground and in the air since the enemies in the game consist of various ways of attacking The Knight -  one more thing, the nail is also used to interact with levers or switches.

nailsmith npc hollow knight wiki guide

When it comes to combat, the Nail can be upgraded by the Nailsmith, the Nailsmith will require The Knight to provide him with sufficient hollow knight wiki geo icon Geo and Pale Ore in order to upgrade it - this will increase the damage done of melee attacks. And apart from that, to further boost the capabilities of the Nail, you can find three Nailmasters around Hallownest who can teach you unique moves or techniques of the Nail. To learn more about the mechanics of the Nail, check our Nail and Nail Arts page.

Use your Spells and Abilities

Spells and Abilities are skills that a player can acquire while progressing through the game. Take note that these spells consist of ways of recovering your health and also for executing powerful offensive attacks, while the abilities focus more with providing aid with traversal.

vengeful spirit spell hollow knight wiki

With this, it is recommended to have a balance of using both spells, abilities, and the Nail in order to have a chance of survivability and winning boss encounters - Hollow Knight may look simple with its design and concept, but it provides a challenge and grows in difficulty as the game progresses.

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