In the action-adventure game that is winning many hearts, you can easily get overwhelmed with the many mechanics the game throws at you. Couple that with the extra stuff you are able to obtain on your travels like Charms, Geo, and other items; you will be certainly confused. Our Hollow Knight Beginners Guide is here to make things a lot easier for you so you can get a better footing when it comes to starting the game.
Hollow Knight Beginners Guide
Believe it or not, Hollow Knight borrows some decent amount of mechanics from the SoulsBorne series. It is like a Souls game which is lighter in its tone and approach. There is the completely non-linear world which is quite popular in every SoulsBorne game.
Since this is an adventure game, after all, the number one priority would be not to rush things. Instead, you should always take out time to backtrack and explore different areas for the full experience. It is also advisable to look for secret passageways which will be hidden behind a wall and can only be accessed after hitting the wall.
Moreover, some areas will be locked; do not worry about them. Return after you have made some progress to see if you are now granted access.
On the top-left corner of the screen, you can see the number of masks that represent how much health you have got left. The small enemies will take out one mask per hit while the bigger and stronger enemies can deal enough damage to take out even 3 masks per a single strike.
Next to these masks, is the Soul Vessel which you gain on by hitting enemies and these Soul Vessels can be used as mana for magic spells and for regenerating health as well.
Another interesting feature is how the revive mechanics work. Similar to Dark Souls, enemies, with the exception of bosses, respawn after you have rested at a bench. You lose your main currency, Geo, after you have died and will be given one chance to retrieve it from the Shade, a shadow version of yourself.
Fight it to get what was rightfully yours. Otherwise, die in the path Shade and you lose all your Geo. Remember, you cannot exit the game while you have a Shade active since this will reset your amount of Geo.
Souls allow you to cast a spell and heal yourself. These are contained in the Soul Vessel. Whenever you die, 1/3rd of your Soul Vessel is damaged and needs repairing which can be done, again, by defeating the Shade.
The world is divided into sections each with their own unique geography, challenges, and enemy types. The map, first received from Cornifer, can be expanded by double tapping it, and your location can be pinpointed on it if you use a Wayward Compass. Note that only places that you have been to actually will show up on the map.
This will allow you to get a better sense of geography and the exploration will be more rewarding.
Interacting with the Vendors
Firstly, there is more to each vendor than just purchasing from or selling goods. If you move closer to them, you will get an additional prompt to listen which will result in them revealing certain details regarding the game’s lore which is not told to you explicitly.
Some vendors like Jiji, also known as the Shade vendor, will return your Shade to you i.e. return all your Geo and repair the Soul Vessel for a cost of 1 Rancid Egg. He is located in the east of Dirtmouth in a building that needs a Simple Key to unlock. You can purchase this key from the vendor, Sly.
Other vendors will repair your charms like the one in Fungal Wastes. You can also sell some of your useless items to a vendor in the City of Tears. If you are worried about the high prices of the goods at some of the vendors, a charm called Defender’s Crest will result in discounted prices.
There are a lot of charms or special items in the game with come with their Notch requirement, some Geo if you are purchasing it, and some would even be placed in hidden locations. Some charms will be rewarded as you progress through the game e.g. for rescuing Grubs, you get some decent charms from the Grubfather or the Elder Grub.
Most of the Charms can be coupled with other charms to produce devastating effects. Some will allow you to have an effect on the environment too like the Defender’s Crest which allows you discounts on purchases at the shops and opens up more dialogue lines with NPCs.
Charms range from increasing damage, mobility/range of attacks to gaining souls on hit or when health is low to perform stronger spells and regenerate health. A good example of a charm which awards souls on hit is the Dream Nail. Remember that charms can only be equipped or removed while resting on a bench.
The Fragile Charms; all are liable to be broken whenever your character dies. However, these can be repaired, as mentioned above, by heading to Fungal Wastes. Some charms will also have the ability to help you unlock two different additional endings so since they are such an important aspect of the game; we have detailed every one of these charms along with their locations and uses in Charms Locations Guide.
Just like Dark Souls, these boss fights can be frustratingly hard unless you start to notice the pattern and thus be able to predict their attacks and movements. It is best recommended to first spend all the Geo or rest on a bench before you take on a fight since you are most likely to lose the Geo on your first try with the boss enemy.
Do not worry about dying too much, each time you are learning and you will get better and smarter as you move on. There are also mini-bosses or secret bosses hidden in certain areas which require breaking walls or triggering secret doorways.
That is all! See if you can explore every bit of a new location, discover every piece of lore, upgrade every piece of your Nail Weapon, and acquire new charms as you go along the creepy but fun world of Hollow Knight.
This is all we have in our Hollow Knight Beginners Guide. If there is anything else that you would like to add, let us know in the comments section below!