Hollow Knight – An easy Steel Soul route

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This is a Steel Soul route/walkthrough through the game that tries to get powerful as soon as possible while not wasting time and delaying some hard parts and fights until you’re a little more powerful. Kind of like a 100% speedrun for people that don’t want to die.


This route

This guide describes a specific route through the game intended for Steel Soul mode that tries to pick up every upgrade along the way. This route prioritises speed over difficulty, aka if something is hard but easy this route will probably take it with some exceptions. This route assumes you are decently good at Hollow Knight, since you’ve probably beaten the game before attempting a Steel Soul run. 
If an item does not make you stronger immediately (like an amount of geo or items that unlock specific late-game locations like King’s Brand) and require significant detour and if we will return to this general area later, I will delay it. I also delay specific parts or bosses, mostly the entirety of Deepnest or the Watcher Knights, until we are more powerful, because I don’t think I could consistently beat those without upgrades. 
Also grubs, while nice, don’t usually give significant upgrades, other than a mask shard at grub 5 and a pale ore at grub 31, though the charm Grubsong might be nice. Other than that they give geo, which is nice, but since we know what to spend we don’t need that much geo anyway. This means grubs are not a priority, which means that we won’t be going out of our way to collect it on our first run through a region unless it’s on our path, but we will if we visit the region later on. 
This route is in no way the fastest route, or the safest route, or the single most optimal route (though I try!!). This route also keeps in mind that you might want to 100% this savefile or use charms usually considered unviable. If you want the fastest route or even a route that gets to the final boss safely without wasting any time at all, this guide is not for you, though I might recommend fireb0rn’s no damage speedrun for a route. Also if you are the kind of player that wants to get absolutely everything and leave no nook and cranny unsearched, even those without upgrades, I wouldn’t recommend any Steel Soul run, because you *will* die even after all that effort. 
Lastly, I appreciate feedback. This is my first guide ever so if something needs clarification please say so. Also of course if there’s on optimisation please say so, but I will not be changing the route to someone’s specific need, or making multiple paths. Thank you! 

King’s Pass

I assume you are familiar with this sight. After landing go left for some geo, then just take the normal route, picking up geo where you can, including behind the breakable door. After the floor collapses beneath you, go right but go down after the platforms, destroy the geo deposit and pogo on the spikes (downstrike the spikes in the air while holding right) until you drop down and collect your first charm, Fury of the Fallen, which boosts your damage if you have one mask left. 
Now walk back, but this time when you fall at the place the floor collapsed, hold right, because there’s a geo deposit there. Do all this, and you won’t have to return here until Grimm asks you to. Now continue, go up, and exit the King’s Pass. 

Hollow Knight - An easy Steel Soul route 

Dirtmouth and the Forgotten Crossroads

You have entered Hallownest the same way the Pale King once did, and arrived at the marks of his influence. 
When you arrive in Dirtmouth, there’s not a lot to do. Talk to Elderbug if you want to be nice and rest at the bench if you want to. You could also now equip the Fury of the Fallen, but since you’ll never want to be at one mask left while attacking, you could just skip that for now. Just venture on and dive into the hole, because you’ve got a god to kill. 

You entered the Forgotten Crossroads, as your game will now tell you. Fall down left, kill the bug and destroy the geo deposit, and go left again into the next room. Go left and fall down while holding left, fall down evenn when you land on the Entrance to greenpath, to the third left exit in this room. 
Hollow Knight - An easy Steel Soul route 
Destroy the breakable door and go left until you hit a spiked wall. This can be a bit tricky, but you can jump and pogo on the right spike and land on the wall. If you lose too much health trying this you can go back to the other room and strike some easy enemies for soul to heal. After this wall do the jumps past the spikes until you hit a split. Take the left path for some geo and soul, then go down again and take the right path this time, where you will fight your first boss, the Brooding Mawlek. I hope this boss isn’t too much of a problem for you. Just don’t get too close, jump over the Mawlek if it did its spread move and take the opportunities to heal. After you beat the Mawlek, claim your first Mask Shard and destroy the wall to the left. 
You will probably want to buy a map from Cornifer here. Then go down and right into the next room. Go up for some geo deposits and you can break the wall here to go to the soul spring and bench to the right of this room (and another geo deposit) right away, but you’ll have to go down eventually. Beat the enemies until you can leave and go right after you visited the soul spring. Jump down for a deposit and back up. Above you, you can see a Mask Shard taunting you. If you want to, you can actually carefully lure the vengefly to the right without it being killed by the spiky bugs all the way to the place you’re supposed to walljump and downstrike the vengefly to gain the little amount of height you need to make it there, and past the spiky bug section you can grab the Mask Shard, and go the right out of this room. 
Get through the next room, destroying deposits as you go, until you get to the next room and immediately go up to leave the room again. You probably want to rest on the bench here and open your first stag station, and maybe quickly go to Dirtmouth to buy the Quill from Iselda to update your map. When you get back, go up and when you can go left, don’t and instead go up and break a wall and rescue your first grub. 
Hollow Knight - An easy Steel Soul route 
Now enter the room to the right and go right until you fall down, go left to enter a room with a grub. You will have to pogo here to rescue the grub, and when you do, go back to where you rescued the first grub and go left this time. Defeat the bugs in your way and fight the False Knight. When you defeat him, claim your prize, open the chest for a lot of geo and go to the left to find the snail wizard who will give you the Vengeful Spirit. Now do this section like normal, at one point quickly go left for some geo and lifeblood, and after you defeat the Baldur go left before going down to grab the charm there, the Soul Catcher. You probably want to equip this at the bench when you’re done. Now go to Cornifer and the room up and take the entrance to Greenpath. 

Hollow Knight - An easy Steel Soul route 


Greenpath contains a host of upgrades, but most of those are locked off until later, and require significant detour and the upgrades available aren’t great either, like Baldur Shell or Thorns of Agony, so you can skip those until you return to Greenpath later with the upgrades required. 
Defeat the Baldur standing in your way and walk left. You might want to rest on the bench and collect a slightly obscured geo deposit to the left, but otherwise just keep walking left. In the next room you will see Hornet, who will jump away when approached. But you can follow her. 
Go down and then to the right to lure in the squit flying there. If you can lure it to the ledge Hornet was standing on and then downstrike the squit to land on the platform. 
Now keep walking left, destroying deposits up and down, until you enter a long room and go up. When you get past this room go left and defeat the Vengefly King that’s in battle with Zote for a lot of geo, or don’t if you don’t want to bother Zote in his fight. Go down and defeat the Moss Knights that are defending some geo deposits, go right and free the grub that’s being guarded by a moss knight. 
After you drop down quickly go right and cut a vine to open up a shortcut and go left until you enter another room. Continue until you fight Hornet and beat her, and obtain the Mothwing Cloak that allows you to dash. 
Continue downwards until you hit a split path. Go left if you want to stop by the bench and Quill in the Lake of Unn, but there’s nothing else to do here. Go right to the way you came, but when you leave the room go down and follow the signs into the Stag Station, and travel to the Forgotten Crossroads again. 

Hollow Knight - An easy Steel Soul route 

Fungal Wastes

Walk out of the Stag Station in the forgotten Crossroads and go down and then left through several rooms until you can go down again. Drop down for some geo and go back up again and now make the jump with your dash. Go down to leave the room and descend down this long room while tending right to enter a small entrance to the home of Leg Eater. Here you should buy Fragile Greed to increase your income along your journey. You could also buy Fragile Heart if you’re afraid of dying yet, but you shouldn’t spend too much geo because you’ll need it later. Remember, the savefile is destroyed upon death, so these charms while never break as long as you’re on this save, so you can always use them. Fragile charms are very much your friend. 
After this, descend the long room further until you hit the ground and go left to defeat a miniboss that will reward you with a Charm Notch. After this fight go right and take the other exit out of the long room. Continue through the following rooms in the only ways possible (left, down and right, respectively), descend from another large room where you will greet Hornet, but then ignore her as you go left. Descend down the following room and go right and down in the next room, and take the entrance to Mantis Village on the left. Flip the switch on the right and grab the Mantis Claw. You now have a double jump. Collect some of the loot in this village and flip the switch that allows you down in the hole in the middle. Jump in this hole and do the puzzle room, until you can go down and fight the Mantis Lords (by the way, there is some lifeblood hidden in the top left corner). Beat the Mantis Lords and go back up the long room, but now there’s an opening left, where you can collect a lot of loot (Mark of Pride, 620 geo and a Hallownest Seal). 
Go back to the Mantis Village and take the upper exit. Collect the Wanderer’s Journal to the left and take the upper exit. Climb your way up the next room but this time take a short visit left of the room to free a grub stuck there, and flip a switch to open up a shortcut later.Hollow Knight - An easy Steel Soul route 
After this go back to the long room again and start climbing. When you enter the next room this time take the path Hornet took and do the walljumping section until you reach the giant statue, in which you place your City Crest, and enter the beautiful City of Tears. 

Hollow Knight - An easy Steel Soul route 

City of Tears

Go right through the room after the giant statue, and enter the room downwards, and descend down that room and the next one until you have to choose between left and right. Go left to the Nailsmith to upgrade your nail and then go right again. take the elevator but jump off before you go “inside” again, to reach a platform. Climb these platforms upwards to grab a Hallownest Seal and go right (while still jumping on the platforms) to the room to the right. Go down to Lemm and sell all of your stuff. Go down and right to trigger the Hornet cutscene, then go back up again. Pick up the rancid egg hidden in an elevator shaft to the right and in the upper room take the elevator that leads to the bench. Rescue the grub there and go up, and then right to enter the Soul Sanctum. 

Go through the Soul Sanctum the normal way by going right and then up and right upwards and climb upwards in a long room. The room to the left has the Spell Twister which you can go collect by going up just before the left exit, then use that exit and fight the Soul Master and get the Descending Dark
Go left of this room but before you bash the glass under the floor go up to collect 380 geo from a chest. When you do bash the glass, flip the switch and bash again, and then double jump to collect a Hallownest Seal, and go up to the right (where you bashed the glass) to bash the crumbling floor instead, next to the Soul Totem. When you drop into a large room, climb up and flip the switch and return to the Soul Totem again, but this time fall slowly, because you missed a grub. Now climb up and leave the Soul Sanctum. 

Go left this time and do the mini-gauntlet and go up to rest at the bench for some geo. After a really long hallway to the right, flip the switch and start climbing, but explore the enclaves to the right to collect a Simple Key, then leave in the left upper corner. Collect the Wanderer’s Journal here and open the Stag Station to the right, but walk out again and to the left to open the elevator here, and take it upwards. Go to the left to obtain your first Vessel Fragment. Now go to the right, fight the Gruz Mother and go to Salubra. Buy a Charm Notch and maybe a charm you might use, but don’t spend too much. Be strategic in your purchases! You should have at the very least 2000 geo left. After this enter a small house and get Sly to go to Dirtmouth. 
Now go upwards through the Forgotten Crossroads, past the Stag Station until you can hit a switch, hit it, go up and go left. Free a grub along your way, and go to the grubfather in the top left corner of the very large room, and collect the mask shard he gives you. Now go to Dirtmouth. Buy the Lumafly Lantern and a mask shard for a full set from Sly, and maybe the maps you missed from Iselda and you could buy the Simple Key from Sly and open up the cave of Steel Soul Jinn (who replaced Confessor Jiji) to the right of Dirtmouth who will buy Rancid Eggs for a lot of geo, but you don’t have enough Rancid Eggs to profit from that interaction (you probably have one in your inventory and can buy one from Sly, which nets about 700 or 800 geo, 150 less than the Simple Key). 
Since you have the Lumafly Lantern now, there are no more movement-option purchases in the game. The only thing you can buy now are upgrades like charms or shards or nail upgrades, and this is pretty free for you to choose which upgrades to buy and which not, and this guide will be compatible with it. Though, general advice is that you should keep money free for when you get Pale Ore, try to purchase Charm notches sooner rather than later, fragile charms are your friend, and if you have 1800 geo you can buy two vessel fragments from Sly after you get the Shopkeeper’s Key, which should be enough to complete a set, which can be very useful in a Steel Soul run. Also try to keep around 300 geo free for access to things like benches, stag stations and shortcuts along the way, though if you’re short at some point you can probably grind geo for 5 minutes. 

Hollow Knight - An easy Steel Soul route 
Hollow Knight - An easy Steel Soul route 

Crystal Peak

You now want to take the Stag Station to Forgotten Crossroads and go up again, past the switch there, but now go right. Before entering the entrance to the Crystal Peaks, go up and defeat a guard guarding a grub. Free the grub and go back to enter the Crystal Peaks, and take the elevator up. There will be a floor crumbling beneath you, and you want to bash that while standing on steady floor, so you break the floor without falling in it. This allows you to hold right and get a rancid egg. Go right in the next room and right again until you can rest at a bench. Go to the top left corner of this room to grab a rancid egg, and then go to the room on the right. Exit this room in the top left and make your way across a small room. Take the spiky path in the next room to free a grub. Remember, you can kill the enemies with the lasers if you shoot them with Vengeful Spirit. Then go up in the next room, you could go left and buy a map from Cornifer if you want to, but then go up again. In the next room, climb and go right to fight the Crystal Guardian
Then go back in the previous room and climb in the vertical shaft with the killable crystal critter to obtain the Shopkeeper’s Key, and then go to the room upwards of this one, and then go right. Go down and get the Wanderer’s Journal to the right and break the breakable floor to the left to get a rancid egg, then go back up and descend to the right until you can hit a switch. Now make it through the tough platform room to the right (remember! the switching platforms snap right back if you downstrike them) to obtain the Crystal Heart
Crystal Dash to the left and walk to the left again to a room with hydraulic presses. Take the upper path to free a grub and hit the switch, and go left again but drop down in the next room and break a breakable wall and make your way across the next room to obtain the Deep Focus charm, which can be very useful because it allows you to heal two masks for the same amount of soul. Anyway, get back and start climbing again to the room with Cornifer, and make your way left. At one point, you can go down. Go down this room and skip the first grub, for it is a mimic, and break the wall to the left of it to free an actual grub. Get back to the crystal dash rooms and continue going left. You are now back in Dirtmouth, and can buy the things you want, including the Simple Key to open the doors to Steel Soul Jinn, which is now very profitable for you, and Sly has new items to sell. Once you’re done shopping, take the elevator back up and go right across the super dash rooms. When you get to the place where Cornifer was, enter the next room and go down again, into the hydraulic press room and go right and down in the next room, which has hydraulic presses again. Then drop down and free the grub. 
Hollow Knight - An easy Steel Soul route 
Go right across the dark platforming room until you reach a large hole. Don’t jump in this hole, but crystal dash across it to enter a house. Make your way across this very very tricky platforming section and free the grub within. I would advice you ignore the flying enemies until you’re on solid ground and lure them in to kill them there. Here you will obtain Descending Dark, one of the best combat abilities, because it grants a full second of invincibility. After you obtain this, leave the house and jump in the hole this time, and enter the Resting Grounds. 

Hollow Knight - An easy Steel Soul route 

Resting Grounds

When you land on the ground, immediately go right and trigger the dreamer cutscene, which grants you the Dream Nail, a very useful item because it allows you to obtain soul and heal infinitely with any enemy. You wake up in the Seer’s house, walk out and activate the Whispering Root, activate the Stag Station and walk through a hidden wall on the left side to obtain the Dreamshield charm. When you’re done, go left, defeat Xero and go back to the Seer to report that you already have 100 Essence, and receive a hallownest seal. There’s a breakable tomb, so break it with Descending Dark and go right. You might be afraid of the lurkers here, but they can only attack forward so if you can strike them from above or below you’re safe. Watch out for the exploding enemies though. Also be watchful for breakable ceilings and walls, because they hide many secrets, such as a grub or a hallownest seal (and the Grey Mourner, but we don’t do her quest yet) and at the very right they hide the Soul Eater charm. After you obtain this charm, go left until you run into an elevator and ride it down. 

When you arrive in the City of Tears, go the room on the right and go up and fight a gauntlet of enemies to receive a Vessel Fragment. Then go back and descend the room until you reach the “outside” of the City of Tears, and then go to the right to open the Stag Station. There is a hallownest seal above you if you pogo on the rooftop. 

Though this is not necessary for the routing, for safety, if you can now travel to the Forgotten Crossroads and buy a charm notch from Salubra, and then go to the grubs taking the route via the False Knight bossroom, you can pick up the Glowing Womb and beat the Failed Champion on your way there, both hidden behind breakable walls. Remember, this is a Dream Boss, so because you’re in the dream world, your savefile won’t be deleted if you die to Failed Champion, so you can try this boss as many times as you need to beat it. When you make it to the grubfather, he will give you geo and the Grubsong charm. This is a pretty useful charm in combination with Deep Focus, because it allows you to heal almost all damage back provided to opportunity, so this makes tricky platform sections pretty safe. You can now also go to Dirtmouth and purchase a Vessel Fragment to complete a set if you hadn’t done that before. Since you beat the Failed Champion you can also go to the Seer and obtain a Pale Ore and travel to City of Tears (City Storerooms) and upgrade your nail. If you bought the Elegant Key from Sly, you can also pick up the Shade Soul while you’re in the City of Tears by going left at the entrance to the Soul Sanctum. There’s no real better moment to pick it up so might as well. 

Hollow Knight - An easy Steel Soul route 
Hollow Knight - An easy Steel Soul route 

Greenpath and Howling Cliffs (optional)

Ok so the game opens up a lot from here, and you can explore most areas while obtaining most power-ups, so we’re gonna go to Greenpath and Howling Cliffs next to get some upgrades from these pretty easy areas until we continue our path to the main upgrades again. Most notably, we get Great Slash and Cyclone Slash and Howling Wraiths. I think Great Slash is great (haha) for Steel Soul because it’s very good at killing flying enemies, who can be pretty annoying and very dangerous in tricky platforming sections. The only power-up that we’ll be missing is the Shape of Unn charm, who is only a short walk away from the station. Anyway, you can follow me or skip to the next section (or honestly the section after that). 

Travel to the Greenpath Stag Station, and start descending the long room. When you arrive in the thorns room go left and crystal dash your way across the next room until you get to a new room. Pick up the rancid egg there and talk to Sheo to get the Great Slash. New get back to the thorn room before the crystal dash room and go right into another thorn room, then go up into a new room and immediately right across a platforming section to get the Thorns of Agony charm, then go back down, and right again until you can go down. You should be able to go right to a bench and then after going down go right again to a very dark section. After this enter the Stone Sanctuary and fight No Eyes. After No Eyes make your way right to obtain a Mask Shard. Then leave the Stone Sanctuary and go left. 
You will now have to fight the Massive Mosscharger, the easiest fight in the game. If you do go low you can always just leave the arena. Continue left, free the grub, cut a shortcut (though you also need to cut it from the other side to make it work) and grab the Vessel Fragment, and make your way out again to before the Massive Mosscharger. Go down and enter the Fog Canyon. 
Here go down and take the first left exit. Make your way across this room and wall jump over to the Overgrown Mound, and obtain the Howling Wraiths. Now leave the Fog Canyon again. 
Go up out of next room and go right. Go right for a grub and then up and right for the Hounter’s Journal. Go back and up again and then go right, where Cornifer used to be and free the grub and go left again. In the next room go up until you come at the place where you first saw Hornet. Take the same path you did when you chased Hornet until you’re in the room above the Moss Knight, the Crossroad-y looking room and go right this time. Go right and open the chest with 1 geo, and jump in it. Defeat the baldurs and go right to grab the Baldur Shell and walljump up. Free the grub you come across and enter the Howling Cliffs. 
To the left there’s a King’s Idol. Climb the Howling Cliffs and at one point there will be a breakable wall that grants you a wanderer’s journal and another breakable wall to the right that calls the Grimm Troupe. You won’t do anything with this for a while but it’s nice to have open. Continue up to Cornifer and go right. This is a very tricky platforming section. I like to use the Great Slash to kill the vengeflies easily. When you get past this, get Joni’s Blessing and go back and climb again. When you reach the top of the cliffs, go right and down to the house of Nailmaster Mato, and learn the Cyclone Slash from him. After this go up and left to fight Gorb and go right to fall back into King’s Pass (go to Dirtmouth) or Dirtmouth if you crystal dash, and talk to Grimm to obtain the Grimmchild, though it is still very weak. If you really like Grimmchild you can go to the places to level it up, but I won’t write about that. You can also go buy anything you want at Sly or Salubra. 

Hollow Knight - An easy Steel Soul route 

Ancient Basin

Honestly, at this point the game is almost entirely open to you and you can probably explore any region you want, so you can stray very far from this guide if you want to. I’ll be grabbing the Monarch Wings next, located in the Ancient Basin. 

Travel to the City of Tears (King’s Station) and go left until you can go down to enter a very long shaft. Then go left until you land at the Tram Station. Then fall into a hole on the left and walk left until you obtain the Pale Ore and continue, break the floor at some point and free a grub. Then walk back to the Tram Station. Now drop in the hole. If you are willing to part with 3000 geo, you can drop it in the fountain on the right for a Vessel Fragment (but be careful! you will need 550 geo for the bench and stag station further along). You can also buy a map from Cornifer. Drop down and walk to the left, and possibly buy access to the bench. Right now would be the best time to go to a different savefile and practice the upcoming Broken Vessel fight. \Go left and make your way through like normal. Drop down at one point to obtain a Simple Key and continue to fight the Broken Vessel. Obtain the Monarch Wings, aka the double jump, and fight the Lost Kin by using the Dream Nail on Broken Vessel’s corpse. Remember, your savefile will not be deleted if you die to Lost Kin. When you return, go up the previously inaccessible area on the way there and free a grub. Go back to the bench and more right until you can double jump on a ledge. Go all the way right, break a wall and open the stag station 


Hollow Knight - An easy Steel Soul route 


Royal Waterways

Travel to the Royal Waterways, either by going to City Storerooms and going down or to King’s Station and going left (past the Hollow Knight statue), and get access using a Simple Key. 
Go left, past the bench sign, and take the upper path left. Pick up the rancid egg along the way and then kill some enemies to open the shortcut to Greenpath (and be able to talk to Cornifer). Briefly step into Greenpath to pick up the Dashmaster charm and go left of the statue to free Bretta, then go back into the Royal Waterways. Take the lower path now and step into an obscured path to get a Mask Shard. Then continue going right and break a breakable wall on the right to free a grub. 
When you are at the bench sign, smash it and sit on the bench there, then fall to your left and smash the floor again. Go right and eventually left when you can, then take a small path to the left to fight Flukemarm. When you kill it you get the Flukenest charm. Now go back to the bench and walk go right until you are able to go up to follow a suspicious trail of dung. Follow this to fight the Dung Defender. Pick up the Defender’s Crest that he leaves behind and hit the switch so we can get Isma’s Tear later on. Also break the floor right under the switch and collect the kings idol on the right. Unfortunately the Dung Defender hasn’t returned to his hole yet so we can’t find the White Defender yet. Walk back until there’s no more dung and take the lower path where you last took the upper path, and walk right. Fall into a hole all the way on the right now. 
Conitnue through this path and crystal dash across the City of Tears shaft. Make your way through the following section until you can obtain Isma’s Tear, and then swim under that platform where Isma’s Tear was and walljump up to free a grub. Make your way back but this time while you’re crossing the City of Tears stop your crystal dash and climb up top and return to the King’s Station 

Hollow Knight - An easy Steel Soul route 

Kindgom’s Edge and The Abyss

Still in King’s Station, go left and down and then right into a broken station, and swim in the water through the hidden entrance. Free the grub and go right into the Kingdom’s Edge. Climb up and right and enter a room and go right by swimming in the water. Continue going right until you need to double jump on a ledge and keep climbing. Break a breakable ceiling for a bench and go right to fight Hornet, for the second time. Go further and claim the King’s Brand. Make your way back to the King’s Station. 
Travel to the Hidden Station. Make your way out of the palace grounds and fall down a hole. Make your way down and open the gate to the Abyss. If you want to go out of your way to gather some lifeblood (after putting on fragile heart, joni’s blessing and lifeblood heart from Salubra) you can get the Lifeblood Core on the left, but otherwise you have to get it later. Fall down the Abyss. Go left and use the Howling Wraiths in the final chamber to upgrade it to Abyss Shriek, if you did pick it up in Greenpath. Go to the right and climb your way up the Lighthouse and hit the switch. Now go to the right and sit in the bowl held up by the statue to obtain the Shade Cloak and pick up the Arcane Egg on your way back. Make your way back to the Hidden Station. 

Hollow Knight - An easy Steel Soul route 
Hollow Knight - An easy Steel Soul route 

The End

The guide ends here. You have all the upgrades you need to explore any part of the map to its full contents. The world is your oyster. If you want to end the game now go to Herrah, Lurien and Monomon that are marked on your map, and then defeat the Hollow Knight. If you want upgrades like Mask Shards, Vessel Fragments and Nail Upgrades before beating the game, then look those up online. Some general advice for your journey, though: 

  • Your savefile will not be deleted if you die to Dream Bosses, including Nightmare King Grimm. This also includes the entirety of Godhome, but does not include the White Palace or the Radiance, meaning your savefile will be deleted when you die in White Palace or while fighting the Radiance. 
  • You might think Millibelle is completely useless in Steel Soul, but the money you get back from her in the Pleasure House when she steals from you is your deposited geo times 1.5, so you can actually use Millibelle to multiply some of your geo. 
  • Deep Focus + Grubsong means you get almost all of your soul back, so this makes it very safe for platforming sections. Hiveblood can also be very useful for this, especially in the White Palace. 
  • Don’t kill the Nailsmith, he gets a good life after you safe him (unless you need the achievement). Not necessarily a gameplay tip, but I’d prefer him alive and happy.

Good luck on your journey, traveler, and may you not have to use this guide again! 


A “short” summary for people who really know their way around Hallownest, who I can just say “go to False Knight to and they will. 

Go through King’s Pass while picking up the Fury of the Fallen. Go to Crossroads and fight the secret Mawlek fight for a Mask Shard. Continue your way right to the stag station while picking up the Mask Shard by luring a vengefly. Open the stag station, free the grubs above and to the right of you, and fight the False Knight, and get the Vengeful Spirit. Go through Greenpath, do the Hornet vengefly skip, defeat the Vengefly King and kill a Moss Knight to free a grub. Fight Hornet and open the stag station in Greenpath, and ride it to the Forgotten Crossroads. Go to the Fungal Wastes, visit Leg eater and fight the big mushrooms for a charm notch. Go down to the Mantis Village, get the Mantis Claw, fight the Mantis Lords and pick up the Mark of Pride, and make your way out of the Mantis Village. Free the grub on the left path and open the shortcut, then go to City of Tears. Go down and upgrade your nail at the Nailsmith, sell stuff at Lemm and go to the soul sanctum, get the Spill Twister, defeat the Soul Master. Get out of the Soul Sanctum, pick up the Simple Key in City of Tears, open the stag station and take the elevator up. Go left for the Mask Fragment and right to get Sly and Salubra and Gruzmother, then go to Dirtmouth and hopefully you have enough for the Lumafly Lantern (if you don’t, it can get vey dangerous). Go to the Crystal Peaks via the crossroads, Go to Crystal Guardian, pick up the Shopkeeper’s Key and go over to the Crystal Heart. Pick up Deep Focus to the left and open the shortcut to Dirtmouth, and go to Resting Grounds, but before falling pick up Descending Dark. Get the Dream Nail, pick up Soul Eater underground and take the elevator down. Pick up the Mask Fragment above and open King’s Station. 

(Optional) Go to the Greenpath station and get the Great Slash on your lower left. Go right, pick up Thorns of Agony and go down to defeat No Eyes and the Mask Shard, defeat the Massive Mosscharger and pick up the Mask Fragment. Quickly dip into Fog Canyon to get the Howling Wraiths then go up to the Hunter. Go to the Howling Cliffs to the right of where you first saw Zote, pick up Baldur’s Shell and summon Grimm. Get Joni’s Blessing and learn Cyclone Slash, defeat Gorb and land back in Dirtmouth. 

Go to King’s Station and down into the Ancient Basin. Go left for a Pale Ore, and then jump in the hole to get a Mask Fragment, and go left to get the Monarch Wings, picking up a Simple Key on your way there. Go to the Hidden Station and travel to King’s Station. Take the shortest path to second Hornet fight and then go back into the Hidden Station, into the Abyss and get the Shade Cloak 


Just a little credits section. 
First of all https://scripterswar.com/hollowknight/map-sketch# and https://scripterswar.com/hollowknight/map for having a wonderfully detailed map that made most of this routing possible, especially their feature to show which ability you need to get somewhere. 
Second, https://www.hallownest.net/ for having a higher res version of this map, which allowed me to take those screenshots. 
Third, https://hollowknight.fandom.com/ for most of the information on this game and minor things. 
Fourth, Team Cherry for making such a wonderful game that sucks me back every so many months, I would not have made this if I didn’t have so much fun playing this game. 
Finally, my friend Sweet for listening to me ramble on and on about maps and routes and possible optimisations while making this. 

Written by Lord Netu

I hope you enjoy the Guide we share about Hollow Knight – An easy Steel Soul route; if you think we forget to add or we should add more information, please let us know via commenting below! See you soon!

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