Close this search box.

Hollow Knight Steel Soul Mode

Hollow Knight Steel Soul Mode

Hollow Knight is one of the most fun adventure games in the gaming community. The game has a unique 2D design and aesthetic, making it stand above competitors. Additionally, the game has such mesmerizing world-building and beautiful story that will keep you immersed till the end.

While the game is a casual story game for you to slowly progress through, the stakes get even higher as you play through. We wanted to inform you all about what the game has in store even after you finish it.

Key Takeaways:

  • Hollow Knight’s Steel Soul Mode is a challenging gameplay experience where death means the end of the game. Unique character introductions, like Steel Soul Jhin, and increased stakes create a distinct and captivating progression.
  • Success in Steel Soul Mode requires a strategic and defensive playstyle. Players are advised to be patient, focus on precise timing, and utilize specific charms like Fragile Heart and Fragile Strength to endure challenging encounters and minimize the risk of losing progress.
  • The game has certain Green Zones, such as Dream Boss fights, offering multiple attempts, and Red Zones, like The Radiance and the White Palace, where death ends the game. Recognizing these distinctions is crucial for planning effective strategies.
  • The text provides miscellaneous tips, including dealing with challenging enemies, environmental dangers, and an exploit to save progress. The completion of Steel Soul Mode is rewarded with rare achievements—Steel Soul and Steel Heart—highlighting the satisfying nature of overcoming this formidable challenge.

What is the Steel Soul Mode?

Steel Soul Mode

The Steel Soul mode is one of the most challenging modes in the game. It is only available once you have completed your first playthrough. The steel soul mode is a very punishing mode and differs from normal in the ways mentioned below. 

It offers a new and fun experience instead of the vanilla playthrough, making you more hungry for achievements. In this mode, we are introduced to new characters and plotlines with higher stakes. So, let’s take a deeper look at what raises the stakes.

Also Read: Hollow Knight: How To Find All The Charms (Complete Guide)

Steel Soul Mode Differences

Firstly, you do not respawn once you die. Your playthrough will end, and the file will reset to the start. 

This means that no matter what, you cannot take risks as there is too much at stake. Imagine hours of farming and progress just gone in one misstep. However, this risk makes the mode that much more adrenaline-inducing. Moreover, the satisfaction of beating the game without a single death is a crazy feat.

Steel Soul Hollow Knight

Additionally, once you die, you’ll be in for a treat. The game offers a new and unique death animation that will mesmerize you. Sure, dying sucks, but at least you die gracefully in this mode.

We are introduced to a new character in this mode, the Steel Soul Jhin. The steel soul Jhin is a merchant that you can only find in this mode. He resides in Dirtmouth and takes the place of Confessor Jiji and will trade you Rancid Eggs in exchange for Geo. 

Lastly, another character-related change happens for Tuk. She gets killed off by the infection, making you lose out on ever making trades with her again. However, in this tragedy, there is a silver lining. You can find a rancid egg beside her corpse, which you trade for Geo if you want to.

Steel Soul Mode Tips & Tricks

As the Hollow Knight Steel Soul Mode is one where dying means the end of the game, you need to find ways to sustain in fights rather than brute force it. Hence, here are some tips and tricks you can use in your Steel Soul mode playthrough.

Starting off, wait for the right timing. A single mistake could cost you everything as the risks are elevated in this mode. A slight misstep and everything you would have done so far would flash away in an instant. 

Thus, you have to be patient and dodge the onslaught of enemy attacks while waiting for the right opportunity. Once you get that opportunity, go in for a few hits and then back off to regroup to prepare for the next wave of attacks. Once you get this habit down, it will be much easier and more efficient for you to beat bosses without actually having a threat of dying.


Furthermore, because you will be playing so defensively and cautiously, you’ll need some charms to help you sustain in fights and output damage. Our pick for a good charm in this playthrough is one you wouldn’t wouldn’t normally use. It is the Fragile Charm line. Among them, the following two are the ones that will be the most beneficial for you.

Firstly, we have the Fragile Heart Charm. This charm will increase your maximum health, allowing you to tank more hits. This will give you some leeway and will cover up if you happen to make a misplay.

Furthermore, the penalty of the charm dissipating on death doesn’t mean much in this mode, as if you die, you would lose your whole progress rather than just a mere charm. 

The additional health can also allow you time in the early game to adjust to the play style required to beat this mode. If you are having trouble finding this charm, it is most commonly found in the Fungal Wastes.


Next, we have the Fragile Strength Charm. As the name suggests, this grants the player more damage against enemies, making them a Goliath with a nail. And as with all the fragile charms, the penalty is the same, meaning it isn’t a penalty in this mode.

The increased damage allows you to finish off your enemies quickly, making fights less risky than they have to be. The enemies can’t kill you if you kill them before they get an opportunity to release their arsenal. 

Lastly, you can still go with the other stronger charms in the normal mode, such as the Unbreakable Strength Charm or the Unbreakable Heart. They will also help you do the same stuff as the Fragile Charms but are rarer. You can find them in Dirtmouth.

Also Read: Where To Find Simple Keys In Hollow Knight

Green Zones

Even though the game mode is punishing and pushes you to be near perfect in your playthrough, it still leaves some room for comfort. The game allows some areas and fights where, if you die, they won’t end. 

Among them, we have the Dream Bosses. Fighting enemies after you defeat them and hit them with your Dream nail takes you into a dream sequence where you fight a stronger version of an enemy you just defeated. 

As it is a dream sequence, the game doesn’t constitute reality and gives you more tries to beat the Dream Bosses. This provides such a breather room for players and allows them to mentally reset and not sweat on the Dream Bosses as much. The Dream Bosses in the game are namely:

  1. Failed Champion
  2. Grey Prince Zote
  3. Lost Kin
  4. Nightmare King Grimm
  5. Soul Tyrant
  6. White Defender
  7. Elder Hu
  8. Galien
  9. Gorb
  10. Markoth
  11. Marmu
  12. No Eyes
  13. Xero

Fights with these characters allow room for mistakes if you make them, but you have to proceed with the utmost caution for the rest.

As the Dream Bosses are non-punishing. Areas in the Dream Realm are also free of the death penalty, such as Godhome. Hence, if you wish to chill out for a bit without constantly worrying about dying, this is the place for you to go.

Red Zones

While the dream realm serves as breathing room for you, there are some red zones where the death penalty still applies, meaning the game will end if you were to die. 

The first one is your fight with The Radiance. While the fight does take place in the dream realm, it still carries the same weight as those outside it, with the only exception being that it is much harder.

Red Zones Hollow Knight

The Radiance is one of the game’s final bosses that you must defeat to beat the game. This means he possesses the skill set of a final boss, allowing him to decimate you with only a few attacks. Hence, you will have to play around with your timing if you want a chance at beating him.

The White Palace is a place that you will come across in the Dream Realm. This dangerous area has a treacherous path that will challenge your parkour expertise. You will have to maneuver your way through here to reach the Pale King. That fight with the Kingsmoulds will be unforgiving and will end the game if you are to die.

Miscellaneous Tips

Next up in our Hollow Knight Steel Soul Mode guide, we have some miscellaneous tips that will provide you some insights and almost cheat-like tricks you can use to make your way through the mode.

Grimm is a boss that you will find during the Grimm Troupe questline. During your boss fight with him, he will have a wide range of arsenal that will gnaw at your health. Among these attacks will be his summons. 

Grimm summons minions during the fight that attack you. They don’t do much damage during the early stages, but as the fight enters the second phase, they will start chunking you. So you have to be careful of them when fighting him. 

There are damaging enemies that do a lot of damage and take you out by catching you unaware. Among them are the Husk Guards, Belflys, Sporgs, Great Husk Sentries, Hive Guardians, Stalking Devouts, Traitor Lord, and Failed Champion. They all do two masks of damage, which could mean the end of you before you even dream about getting to the game’s later stages if you are not careful.

Quit To Menu Hollow Knight

There is also a tip that you can use if you are getting frustrated with losing your progress to save yourself from dying. If you find yourself in a pickle and think this is the end for you, pause the game and quit. 

This will cause the game to start from the last saved point, meaning the bench before you get to the fight. This is an exploit that you can use to cheat death and save yourself the time and effort of clearing the whole game again and again.

The boss fights, and enemies aren’t your only enemies. You have to watch out for the environmental dangers as well. Be careful of the terrain and how you want to go past it. If you make a mistake here, losing all progress would be devastating. Hence, be cautious even when traversing. 

Lastly, don’t be hesitant to use your spells. Spells are very powerful tools that you can use to leverage and elevate your position in a fight. 

However, you can still blow away all your souls by clearing easy mobs. Find the right timings and place for the spells and use them. You can gather up the souls you used from the enemies you would have slayed, if not more.

Related Guide: Path of Pain Guide: Hollow Knight

Rewards for the Completing the Soul Steel Mode

This game mode is probably one of the most difficult modes you’ll ever play in any game. Therefore, it is mandatory that the reward for it be something worthwhile. While I was happy with the satisfaction of beating the game at the hardest difficulty, the developers put in something to reward you for all your efforts.

Steel Soul Completion

Upon beating the game mode, you get the Steel Soul achievement. This is quite a rare achievement, with only 3.7% of the total Steam players having it. That shows how hard people find it to complete this mode and how satisfactory it would be if you were to add an accolade to your profile.

Furthermore, if you were to complete 100% of the game and beat the Steel Soul mode, you’ll get the Steel Heart Achievement. This is an even rarer achievement, with only 3.1% of the players having it. 


The Steel Soul mode will be captivating for you if you are really invested in the game or have a competitive nature like me. Although the game becomes more terrifying, it also feels more liberating with every enemy you slay. 

Moreover, the excitement of doing a no-death challenge and the achievements speak for themselves, making this whole journey quite worthwhile. The tips and tricks in this guide will help ensure that you are able to make your way through this mode one way or another. 

The key point is not getting impatient and running straight in. Even if you are low on masks, don’t panic, but take some time to regroup and think of an effective strategy to deal with your situation. The outplay potential will exist; you’ll just have to seize it.


You May Also Like

Leave a Comment

Articles You Might Like

Share This Article

More Stories