Hollow Knight is full of secrets and rare items that make the Knight stronger. Arguably the most valuable of these items is Pale Ore. A few chunks of this Pale Ore, some Geo, and a trip to the Nailsmith can turn the Knight’s rusty old nail into a weapon of legends. Unsurprisingly, this prospect makes Pale Ore one of the rarest yet necessary items hidden throughout Hallownest. To make your search for these items easier, I’ve put together this guide on where to find all of Hollow Knight’s Pale Ore and how to fashion them into upgrades for your trusty nail.
Where to find Hollow Knight’s Pale Ore
There is a total of six Pale Ore chunks to be found in Hallownest; three hidden in specific areas, and another three locked behind the completion of a task. I’ll start with the three hidden ones first.
Pale Ore 1 – Deepnest
Likely the earliest opportunity to nab some Pale Ore is in Deepnest. It’s tucked away in a hidden passage at the southernmost part of Deepnest, close to the hot spring. Rest up there and make sure to use the bench; you have a tough battle ahead for the first piece of Pale Ore.
When you’re ready, head west from the hot spring until you reach the wall of the neighboring room. Crack open the wall to open the hidden passage, then make your way through. Close to the end is the Nosk’s Lair, home of the shapeshifting miniboss between you and the Pale Ore.
Killing Nosk is easier said than done, however. He’ll work you hard for that chunk of Pale Ore, so you’ll need to bring your A-game. Keeping near the small platform in the center is a good idea for an easier fight. Nosk moves fast, and his attacks deny you a lot of room for maneuver, making it easy for you to get backed into a corner.
Staying close to the platform gives you some breathing room, and lets you get a couple of hits in when Nosk uses his Infection attacks. Spells can also get some good damage in, if you have the Soul to spare. Once you’ve bested Nosk, move to the back of his chamber for your reward.
Pale Ore 2 – Ancient Basin
The next Pale Ore location is found in Ancient Basin, and is much easier to obtain than the chunk in Deepnest. If you’ve just acquired the first Pale Ore chunk in Deepnest, you should first grab the tram pass found in the area, if you haven’t already.
The pass is found in the tram wreck, which is located at Deepnest, near the drop-down point from the Queen’s Gardens. If you come through here, you’ll need to loop around and enter the tram area from the right side, as the left entryway is blocked.
With the tram pass collected, you can head back down to the hot spring and move to the east. This leads to the Deepnest tram, which links to Ancient Basin. Once off the tram, the Pale Ore is in the room directly beneath you. Pretty simple compared to Nosk, right?
Pale Ore 3 – Crystal Peak
The third chunk of Pale Ore will take you to the very top of Hallownest, up Crystal Peak, and to Hallownest’s Crown. To reach the Crown, you’ll need to make your way to the northeast most part of Crystal Peak. You’ll know you’re there once you’ve passed a long horizontal room and have reached the bottom of a vertical set of rooms.
To make your climb easier, you should first acquire the Crystal Heart and Monarch Wings. They aren’t strictly necessary, though; fancy platforming, enemy exploitation, and pogo skills can get you to the top, but it isn’t easy. Once you’ve reached Hallownest Crown, head west to the cliff edge for your Pale Ore reward.
Pale Ore 4 – The Colosseum of Fools
This next chunk of Pale Ore marks the start of the “quest reward” chunks. You’ll probably get here somewhat late into the game, as it’s tucked away on the easternmost part of the map in the Kingdom’s Edge. In this Colosseum, you can face three sets of gladiatorial combat, each with rewards of increasing quality. The second, called the Trial of the Conqueror, will reward you with Geo and Pale Ore.
If you thought Nosk was tough, then you’d best buckle up for the Trials. You’ll face wave after wave of increasingly powerful enemies, a changing arena, spikes, walls, and minibosses. There isn’t much to say here; simply bring your best combat charms, an upgraded nail, additional health and Soul, and a warrior spirit.
Pale Ore 5 – The Seer
If you’ve been exploring the Hallownest thoroughly with the Dream Nail, you can get this chunk of Pale Ore fairly passively. If you haven’t already, you’ll first have to obtain the Dream Nail and pay a visit to the Seer. This will take you to the Resting Grounds, which can be reached toward the end of Crystal Peak.
Once you’ve reached the Resting Grounds, you should first interact with the Dreamers’ Statue to the east of the tram. After a bit of lore and a brief platforming sequence, you will be rewarded with the Dream Nail and a trip to the Seer. This nail is a handy one, allowing you to peer into the minds of friend and foe alike, fast travel, and collect Essence. For the Pale Ore, you’ll need to collect 300 Essence and show it to the Seer.
Collecting this amount of Essence is quite easy. There are plenty of opportunities to get it, from Dream bosses to platforming challenges. The quickest way is to defeat a couple of Dream bosses or Warriors, as each rewards the Knight with at least 100 Essence. Once you have 300, return to the Seer for your Pale Ore.
Pale Ore 6 – The Grubfather
The final chunk of Pale Ore is a reward for saving 31 grubs. You’ll probably have found a few during your travels throughout the Hallownest, with each one netting the Knight some excellent rewards. If you find all 46, you’ll get a couple of charms, a few items, and thousands of Geo, making it worth doing even without the Pale Ore.
If this is your last piece and you haven’t found 31 grubs, there is an easy method of rescuing the final few that doesn’t involve a guide. First, you will need the Love Key, found on a corpse in the southeast part of the Queen’s Gardens. Next, take a Stag to the King’s Station, drop down, then head to the east. You’ll have to swim under a wall to reach a secret area called the Tower of Love.
Head up and inside, use the Love Key, then climb the Tower. At the top is a miniboss, the Collector, who is responsible for bugnapping the grubs. Defeat him for the Collector’s Map, showing all the grubs you haven’t yet found. Once you’ve rescued 31, head back to the Grubfather for your final chunk of Pale Ore.
Hollow Knight Pale Ore – Fashioning the Pure Nail
Once you have some Pale Ore, it’s time to make the journey worth it. Head to the southwesternmost part of the City of Tears to find the Nailsmith. He offers four upgrades to your nail, with each upgrade being more expensive than the last. To make all four upgrades, you’ll need a total of 7050 Geo and six chunks of Pale Ore. Once you’ve delivered it all to the Nailsmith, you’ll be rewarded with the legendary Pure Nail, an achievement, and a difficult choice. Think hard before making it.