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Path of Pain Guide: Hollow Knight

Path of Pain Hollow Knight

So, you want to undertake the Path of Pain Hollow Knight after hearing about it from your friends or online? Well, we have the guide for you. This guide will discuss accessing the White Palace, the best charms to utilize, and the best strategy to go through the Path of Pain.

Key Takeaways:

  • Gain entry to the White Palace by acquiring the awakened Dream Nail and using it on the Kingsmould outside the Ancient Basin.
  • Collect 1800 Essence and visit Seer to obtain the Awoken Dream Nail, unlocking access to the White Palace and providing new dialogue options with NPCs.
  • Choose charms like Deep Focus for healing, Fragile/Unbreakable Heart for increased health, Mark of Pride for extended nail range, and Lifeblood Core for temporary extra health masks.
  • Customize your charm loadout to your playstyle, strike a balance between healing and combat charms, and hone your precise platforming skills to navigate the Path of Pain effectively.

How To Access The White Palace

The White Palace is a hidden area located within the Ancient Basin of Hallownest. To access the White Palace, you must first meet the minimum requirement of obtaining the awakened version of the Dream Nail.

Access The White Palace

Once you have this item, you can use your Dream Nail on the Kingsmould outside the broken and dilapidated palace. You must journey through the entire palace to get the second part of the Kingsoul charm.

How To Get The Awoken Dream Nail

To get the Awoken Dream Nail, you must gather a total of 1800 Essence and visit Seer after doing so. This will grant you the item and allow you access to the White Palace alongside some new dialogue from NPCs when you Dream Nail them.

Awoken Dream Nail

You can get this 1800 Essence from a few different avenues. The first being dream bosses, which are harder variants of the normal bosses you have fought. Another option you can do is beat dream warriors.

How To Enter The Path of Pain

To enter the Path of Pain Hollow Knight, you have to make your way through the palace until you reach a certain point. This point is denoted by three things:

  • You just moved up to a new screen.
  • There is a saw above you and to the left.
  • There is a Wingmould to the right of the saw.

When you have made it here, you have to walk into the left wall next to the sheeted furniture and go into it. This is a fake wall, and you will know you are in the Path of Pain when you see the text at the bottom say it, and you will see an intricate design with the Hollow Knight’s face in the middle, known as the Seal of Binding.

Best Charms To Use

There are a few different charms you can use for the Path of Pain Hollow Knight run you are about to undertake. The charms can be mixed and matched to suit your specific way of undertaking the run, but so far, these charms have proved to be the most effective, and we will explain each charm in-depth.

Deep Focus

Deep Focus is an excellent choice for those who prioritize healing during challenging encounters, such as boss fights or the Path of Pain. When equipped, it allows you to recover a substantial amount of health with each use of the Focus spell. This can be incredibly valuable in situations where you need to recover quickly to survive spikes and enemies in the Path of Pain.

In the Path of Pain, Deep Focus can be a lifesaver. While it increases the healing time, the ability to restore a large portion of your health with a single Focus can be crucial for surviving the grueling platforming sections. 

Deep Focus Charm

It reduces the need to use Soul for healing, which can be scarce in such challenging environments. Additionally, since the Path of Pain doesn’t have traditional benches for resting, Deep Focus allows you to recover health efficiently during brief moments of respite, helping you progress further through this challenging area.

When navigating the Path of Pain, it’s essential to balance the use of Deep Focus with other charms that enhance mobility or offensive capabilities, as surviving the platforming challenges often requires a combination of skills and charm choices.

Also Read: How To Find All The Charms In Hollow Knight

Fragile/Unbreakable Heart

Both versions of this charm are valuable for increasing your overall health pool, making you more resilient to damage from enemies and hazards.

In the Path of Pain, where precision and avoiding damage are crucial, having extra health can be a significant advantage. Here’s how the Fragile/Unbreakable Heart charm can be beneficial.

Unbreakable Heart

The additional health provided by this charm gives you more room for error. When you make mistakes in the Path of Pain’s challenging platforming sections, having extra health can prevent a quick death and allow you to recover. This is especially important because there are no checkpoints in the Path of Pain, and dying means starting over.

The Path of Pain is a lengthy and demanding gauntlet. With extra health, you can endure longer and have more opportunities to learn and adapt to each section’s challenges without constantly needing to heal.

Since you have a larger health pool, you may find yourself relying less on healing charms or spells. This can free up charm notches for other utility or offensive charms, enhancing your overall performance.

The Unbreakable Heart version of the charm is particularly advantageous because you won’t lose it upon death, eliminating the need to return to the charm vendor to repair it. This means you can explore the Path of Pain without the fear of losing the charm if you die repeatedly.

However, it’s worth noting that the extra health doesn’t make you invulnerable, and you’ll still need to practice precise platforming and combat to successfully navigate the Path of Pain. Nevertheless, the Fragile/Unbreakable Heart charm can provide you with a significant advantage and a buffer for mistakes in this challenging area.

Mark of Pride

Its primary function is to extend the range of your nail’s attack, allowing you to strike enemies and objects from a greater distance.

In the context of the Path of Pain, where both combat and platforming challenges are intertwined, the Mark of Pride offers several advantages. When it comes to combat encounters within the Path of Pain, this extended range can be a game-changer. 

It empowers you to engage foes from a safer distance, reducing the risk of taking damage in battle. This can be particularly helpful when dealing with enemies placed strategically within narrow or hazardous spaces, allowing you to eliminate threats without getting too close.

Mark of Pride Charm

In terms of platforming precision, the Mark of Pride enables you to execute precise nail strikes with greater ease. Whether you need to hit switches, break obstacles, or eliminate enemies while navigating intricate platforming sequences, the increased range offers a substantial advantage.

It allows you to interact with objects and foes from a distance, minimizing the need to approach hazards or navigate treacherous terrain up close.

Furthermore, the charm proves beneficial when dealing with environmental hazards such as spikes. By extending your nail’s reach, you can activate switches or manipulate elements that trigger platform movements without exposing yourself to the dangers of spikes and other traps.

Additionally, the Mark of Pride can be advantageous for enemy avoidance in certain sections of the Path of Pain. 

If your primary goal is to bypass foes rather than engage in combat, the charm allows you to maintain a safe distance from enemies, simplifying navigation without provoking unnecessary confrontations.

However, it’s crucial to exercise charm notch management when utilizing the Mark of Pride. This charm occupies three notches, which is relatively high, so you may need to carefully consider your loadout and balance it with other charms that enhance mobility, survivability, or offensive capabilities, depending on the specific challenges you face within the Path of Pain.

Lifeblood Core

The extra Lifeblood masks essentially give you a buffer, allowing you to absorb damage before your permanent masks are affected. 

This is particularly valuable in a challenging area like the Path of Pain, where spikes, enemies, and precision platforming can quickly deplete your health.

Since the additional Lifeblood masks cannot be healed, you’re less reliant on Soul for healing. This can free up your Soul reserves for offensive spells or utility abilities, giving you more options to tackle various challenges.

Lifeblood Core Charm

The additional health can provide you with more room for mistakes. In a challenging environment like the Path of Pain, where precision is essential but not always achievable, having extra hit points can help you survive unexpected hazards or enemy encounters.

The Path of Pain features numerous tight platforming sections with spikes and other hazards. The temporary Lifeblood masks can offer extra confidence when navigating these areas, as you can withstand a few hits before your permanent health is affected.

However, it’s crucial to keep in mind that the extra Lifeblood masks are temporary and will disappear if you unequip the charm or take a hit that depletes them. This means you’ll need to be cautious when using the charm, especially in situations where you anticipate frequent damage or anticipate the need to switch to other charms. 

Additionally, charm notch management is essential, as the Lifeblood Core Charm occupies four notches, a significant investment that may require adjustments to your charm loadout to accommodate its use.

Quick Slash

The Quick Slash Charm is a formidable choice for those who prefer an aggressive and rapid combat style in Hollow Knight. When equipped, this charm increases your nail’s attack speed, allowing you to strike more rapidly than with your standard attack speed.

While the Path of Pain primarily focuses on platforming challenges, you will still encounter enemies throughout the journey. The increased attack speed from the Quick Slash Charm enables you to dispatch foes more swiftly and efficiently. This can be especially advantageous when dealing with enemy placements in tight spaces or when facing multiple opponents simultaneously.

Quick Slash

Some sections of the Path of Pain require precise nail strikes to hit switches, break obstacles, or eliminate enemies while navigating intricate platforming layouts. The faster attack speed provided by the Quick Slash Charm simplifies these tasks by allowing you to execute rapid, precise strikes. This can be particularly useful when facing time-sensitive challenges or enemies positioned strategically within platforming sequences.

In the Path of Pain, where resources like Soul for healing spells may be limited, the Quick Slash Charm can help you conserve your Soul by dispatching enemies more swiftly. This can be beneficial when navigating sections with sparse opportunities for healing or when facing enemies that drop valuable Soul upon defeat.

Faster attacks can also reduce your vulnerability to enemy attacks. By eliminating threats more quickly, you spend less time exposed to potential harm, allowing you to maintain control of challenging situations and minimize the risk of taking damage.

However, it’s essential to remember that the Quick Slash Charm occupies three notches in your charm loadout. Therefore, when using this charm in the Path of Pain, it’s crucial to balance its benefits with other charms that enhance your mobility, survivability, or utility, depending on your preferred playstyle and the specific challenges you encounter in this demanding area.


The Path of Pain is an arduous journey with limited opportunities for healing. Hiveblood’s passive regeneration ensures that you can gradually recover health between challenging platforming sections or encounters with enemies. This can significantly extend your endurance and reduce the need to rely on healing spells, which may be in short supply in this challenging area.

By reducing your dependence on Soul for healing, Hiveblood frees up your Soul reserves for other uses, such as offensive spells or utility abilities. This flexibility can be advantageous when facing various challenges, allowing you to adapt your strategy as needed.

The Path of Pain can be frustrating due to its demanding nature and lack of checkpoints. Hiveblood can alleviate some of this frustration by allowing you to recover health during brief moments of respite. This can make the journey feel less punishing and encourage you to persist in your efforts.


Hiveblood serves as a safety net in situations where you might make mistakes or take damage from unexpected hazards. It provides an extra layer of protection that can be a lifesaver when navigating perilous platforming sections filled with spikes and other dangers.

However, it’s important to note that Hiveblood’s healing rate is slow, and it won’t instantly restore your health during combat or when facing immediate threats. Therefore, it’s best suited for gradual recovery between challenges and should be used in conjunction with other charms that enhance your survivability or mobility. 

Additionally, the Hiveblood Charm occupies four notches in your charm loadout. You’ll need to consider how it fits into your overall charm setup and balance its benefits with other charms to optimize your performance in the Path of Pain.

Sharp Shadow

The Sharp Shadow Charm is a versatile asset in Hollow Knight, enhancing both mobility and combat. When equipped, it grants the ability to dash through enemies, dealing damage. It offers distinct advantages in the Path of Pain.

In this challenging path, precise platforming is essential, and Sharp Shadow’s dash is invaluable for navigating tight spaces, evading spikes, and completing complex sequences. This enhanced mobility is a game-changer.

Sharp Shadow

Sharp Shadow’s offensive utility shines in combat scenarios. Dashing through enemies allows you to reposition swiftly, dodge attacks, and counter, bolstering your combat capabilities.

Additionally, Sharp Shadow aids in enemy avoidance, letting you bypass foes efficiently. It simplifies traversal through hazardous areas and spikes, reducing health risks.

However, it occupies two notches, necessitating a balanced charm setup. When used effectively, Sharp Shadow greatly enhances your chances of success in the Path of Pain by augmenting mobility, survivability, and combat prowess.

Best Strategy To Use For Path of Pain

Now, the Path of Pain Hollow Knight is an extremely difficult platforming section. However, this is also divided into a few separate sections, and we will cover each section to help guide you down the right path.

The first thing to do would be to brace yourself for a tough time since it can take up to four hours if you are not decent at platforming. However, do not let this discourage you since it can be beaten, and only perseverance can prevail in the face of adversity.

Use the checkpoints you are provided to take a breather and heal up. You can identify these checkpoints by there being a statue with infinite Soul located at it. These are there so that in the event you hit a spike or a saw, you are sent to this point rather than starting all over again.

However, be careful since running out of masks means starting the journey from scratch. That is the last thing you want, trust us. But overall, just see what charm combinations suit you best and keep moving forward since the Path of Pain Hollow Knight is nothing more than a binary skill check.

Also, something to note is that you will have to face two Kingsmould that are guarding the door to your completion. Just be prepared since they do two masks of damage, so just take your time and try to use Descending Dark since it provides you with invincibility frames and loads of damage.


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