Hollow Knight: How to Get Every Spell (2023)

Quick Links

  • Focus
  • Vengeful Spirit
  • Shade Soul
  • Desolate Dive
  • Descending Dark
  • Howling Wraiths
  • Abyss Shriek

As players progress through Hollow Knight, they will be rewarded with numerous abilities to explore Hallownest to its fullest. However, mobility skills are not the only upgrades that the Knight can find. One of the most valuable resources at players’ disposal is their Soul meter. The Knight will generate Soul by striking enemies or Soul Totems with their nail, and some Charms provide a passive boost to how much Soul they can earn.

Soul has two functions: healing and casting spells. In the heat of battle, players will often need to decide if they need to risk leaving the Knight vulnerable to attack while they take a moment to heal or use their Soul to go on the offensive and cast a spell. Here is where players can find all of the spells in Hollow Knight, as well as their upgraded forms.

RELATED: Hollow Knight: Tips for Beginners


Hollow Knight: How to Get Every Spell (1)

Focus is the first spell that players will discover as they progress through the tutorial along the King’s Pass.

In this area, players will come across a large stone tablet that will glow as the Knight approaches it. By interacting with this tablet, they'll learn how to generate Soul and use it to heal. The Soul meter can be found in the top left corner of the screen and will gradually fill as players hit enemies.

Upon death, players will lose any collected Geo that was on the Knight’s person and a Shade will be left behind at the location of their death. Players will also notice that their Soul meter is broken, limiting how much Soul they can gather. The Soul meter can only be repaired by engaging with the Knight’s Shade and defeating it in combat, which will also restore any lost Geo.

Vengeful Spirit

Hollow Knight: How to Get Every Spell (2)

The Vengeful Spirit spell becomes available to players after they defeat the False Knight and gain access to the Ancestral Mound. Here, they will be greeted by a Snail Shaman who will grant the Knight the ability to use a new spell.

Vengeful Spirit is a projectile attack that will launch in a straight, horizontal line from where the player casts it. Not only does the spell deal damage to enemies, but it can also be used to penetrate breakable walls.

The Elder Baldur that players will find at the end of the Ancestral Mound becomes immune to Nail attacks by curling up and using its armored shell to defend when the Knight gets too close. This is where Vengeful Spirit shines, and players can use the same tactic to pass another Elder Baldur that's guarding the road to Greenpath from the Forgotten Crossroads a little later on.

It is possible to circumvent the False Knight battle by breaking the support beams above the locked gate to the far left of the arena. Although the rewards for the fight will be unavailable until the False Knight is defeated, players can go straight to pick up the Vengeful Spirit if they use this skip.

Shade Soul

Hollow Knight: How to Get Every Spell (3)

The upgrade to Vengeful Spirit requires players to have collected the Shopkeeper’s Key, which can be found in the Crystal Peak. To the left of the room where the Crystal Knight is first encountered, with the central bench in Crystal Peak, the Shopkeeper’s Key is nestled away in a corner. Upon inspecting the key, players will notice that it resembles a familiar face.

With the key now in hand, players should travel back to Dirtmouth and return the Shopkeeper’s Key to Sly, who will then be able to expand his stock. Amongst Charms, simple keys, and other items, Sly will now also sell an Elegant Key for 800 Geo. When the player buys this key, they will then need to travel to the Soul Sanctum in the City of Tears.

Players may have come across a large locked door further up the path from the shortcut between the bench where Cornifer is first found and the Soul Sanctum. This is the door that the Elegant Key will open, but players will need to prepare for a mini-boss fight against a Soul Warrior. After defeating the mini-boss, players can interact with a device where they can obtain the Shade Soul.

Desolate Dive

Hollow Knight: How to Get Every Spell (4)

The Soul Master is the boss in the Soul Sanctum sub-area of the City of Tears. One of their attacks is a slam, where they target the Knight and slam directly down into the ground before teleporting away again. This is the Soul Master’s version of the Desolate Dive spell that players obtain after defeating them.

This spell is useful both in and out of combat. During a battle, players can take advantage of invincibility frames (or I-frames) to chain attacks after they slam down onto enemies, but the timing of this can be finicky and may require some practice to get right.

Players may have also found areas throughout Hallownest where the ground shakes as they walk across it, which can now be broken through by using the Desolate Dive spell. Players will have an opportunity to test this out as they leave the Soul Sanctum after the boss fight, where they can smash through brittle glass-like flooring.

Descending Dark

Hollow Knight: How to Get Every Spell (5)

Descending Dark works largely the same as its previous iteration, only now it has a much wider range and deals more damage against enemies.

This spell is found in the Crystallised Mound, a sub-area in the Crystal Peak. To obtain this upgrade, players will first need to have collected the Crystal Heart so they can use the Crystal Dash ability, otherwise, they will not be able to access the area.

Inside the Crystallised Mound, players will be dropped into an area that can only be left by either completing the platforming challenge or dying. For this reason, it is recommended to have unlocked the Monarch Wings to make the jumps easier. After progressing through, players will find another Snail Shaman that is encased in crystal and will grant them Descending Dark after the crystal is broken open.

Howling Wraiths

Hollow Knight: How to Get Every Spell (6)

Howling Wraiths releases a burst of energy above the Knight in an arc, simultaneously dealing 3 hits at a time. The spell is especially useful for attacking enemies that are flying or jumping over the player to get in damage as they pass rather than chasing them down.

Located in the sub-area of the Fog Canyon, players must travel to the Overgrown Mound to the west to obtain the Howling Wraiths spell. They will be ambushed by Squits and must defeat them to open the gate to the top right of this chamber and continue down the path.

Players will soon discover the body of another larger Snail Shaman, with the Howling Wraiths floating just in front of them.

Abyss Shriek

Hollow Knight: How to Get Every Spell (7)

If the player is able to hit an enemy with all four bursts of the spell, alongside equipping the Knight with damage boosting charms, Abyss Shriek is arguably the most powerful attack at players’ disposal.

To add this upgraded spell to their arsenal, players must travel to the Abyss. This is a sub-area of the Ancient Basin and can only be accessed if the player has already collected the King’s Brand.

At the very bottom of the main chamber of the Abyss, players should travel to the left and through a passage that has a few Shadow Creepers scuttling around in it and opens up into another room. If players Dream Nail the pedestal in the center of the room, they will receive a clue on what to do here. To use the Knight’s “voice,” players must use the Howling Wraiths spell while standing on the pedestal to unlock Abyss Shriek.

Hollow Knight is available on PC, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.

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