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Where To Find Simple Keys In Hollow Knight

Simple Key Hollow Knight

There are a bunch of hidden locations dotted around Hallownest, with some requiring more than just a keen eye to access. Occasionally, a hidden location or an entire area will be locked until you find a particular item. Simple Keys are one such item.

Simple Keys in Hollow Knight are fragile items and can only be used once. You’ll need to think carefully before you use one, as you’re committed as soon as the Simple Key enters a lock. Luckily, there are four Simple Keys in total, so as long as you’re willing to explore, you can find one for each matching lock. In this guide, I’ll show you where each Simple Key can be found, where you can use them, and what lies behind each door.

The search for Simple Keys in Hollow Knight

As I said, there are four Simple Keys in total, with their locations being quite spaced out. That said, you can obtain them in any order, and use them on any lock you’d like without worrying about soft-locking yourself out of something.

Simple Key 1 – Sly’s shop

Simple Key Hollow Knight Sly's Shop

If you pay a visit to the bottom right corner of the Forgotten Crossroads, you’ll come across a village rife with the Infection. At one end is Salubra, a seller of certain Charms and Charm Notches. At the other end is Sly himself, stuck in a crumbling house and slowly being driven mad by the Infection. You can save him once you approach, snapping Sly out of his stupor. After a few words, he’ll head back to Dirtmouth and set up a shop. Along with a range of other wares, Sly will sell you a Simple Key for 950 Geo.

Simple Key 2 – City of Tears

The next Simple Key can be found in the City of Tears, close to the City Storerooms Stag Station. Starting from there, head to the left and drop down into the Storerooms. Use the platforms to jump over to the ledge on the top right, then head inside this secret room. On the corpse of the Royal Retainer is the second Simple Key.

Simple Key 3 – Colosseum of Fools Pale Lurker

Pale Lurker

The third Simple Key will take you to a secret room in the Colosseum of Fools. You’ll need to head to Kingdom’s Edge, which can be reached from King’s Station in the City of Tears. Starting from there, head left and drop down, then go right. There’ll be a pool of water with a hidden section under the wall. Pass through, get to the end of the platforming segment, and enter Kingdom’s Edge.

Once at Kingdom’s Edge, all you have to do is climb to the top where the Colosseum of Fools resides. Having Monarch Wings for the double jump will be very useful here, and Mantis Claw is essential. Once at the top, head left and destroy the breakable wall to open a shortcut to the Colosseum of Fools. With the shortcut open, you can come back and compete in the Colosseum later. It’s worth doing, as you can get a bunch of Geo, a chunk of Pale Ore, and some other goodies. After you’ve opened the shortcut, head right and enter the Colosseum. Inside, you’ll need to go down to where the bench is, then go right and jump up the wall. At the top is another breakable wall.

Going through this wall will take you to a secret location. Soon enough, you’ll hear a funny little guy chunnering away to himself. He’ll scarper once you get close, but keep an ear out for him and chase him down. Eventually, you’ll be able to close in and start the fight with him. Well, I say fight, but it’s more like you chase him down while he throws spikes at you. Once you’ve finally delivered the final blow, you can obtain the third Simple Key from the poor little hermit.

Simple Key 4 – Ancient Basin

Ancient Basin

The fourth and final Simple Key is tucked away in the Ancient Basin. To reach it, you’ll need the Crystal Heart to cross a hallway of spikes. Starting from the Palace Grounds Stag Station, head left all the way to the bench. Use the Crystal Heart dash ability to cross the spikes, then continue until the second drop-down point. You’ll need to fight or dodge a handful of Mawlurks down here, but they’re broadly an easy-enough enemy. At the end of this mini maze is a Mawlurk Corpse, with the final Simple Key inside.

Where to use Simple Keys in Hollow Knight

There are four doors you can unlock with Simple Keys in Hollow Knight. The order doesn’t matter, and any Simple Key can open any lock, so you won’t have to worry about matching things up or accidentally locking yourself out of anywhere. Just make sure that the door you unlock has something you want, as Simple Keys are one-use items.

Confessor Jiji

Simple Key Hollow Knight Confessor Jiji

The first door that can be unlocked by a Simple Key is in Dirtmouth. You can find it by heading to the rightmost part of Dirtmouth, just past the graveyard. Behind the door is Confessor Jiji, who can offer you a pretty useful service. In exchange for a Rancid Egg, she will summon the Knight’s Shade that spawns once you die. Having Confessor Jiji’s home unlocked can be handy in case you meet your end in an awkward place with a lot of Geo, which will surely happen at least once or twice.

Royal Waterways

Simple Key Hollow Knight Royal Waterways

The second lock that can be opened with a Simple Key is located at the bottom of the City of Tears. Rather than a door, the lock is on a sewer grate, leading into the Royal Waterways. This area houses a bunch of interesting things, from items to bosses, and you’ll need to pass through here to reach the next lock, too. To find the entrance to the Royal Waterways, simply head left from the Monument to the Hollow Knight, and you’ll find the locked sewer grate in the center of the room.


Hollow Knight Godhome

To find this lock, you’ll first need to pass through the Royal Waterways. It’s a bit of a maze with a couple of hidden breakable walls, so I’ll start from the entrance to the Royal Waterways. Drop down into the area and head to the left. Inside this room will be one enemy and some platforms. Ignore everything and continue heading left until you see a small drop. At the bottom of this drop will be a bench sign. Follow it, and you’ll find a bench in the next room if you’ve never been here before.

If you sit on this bench, the floor will collapse, and you’ll end up at the bottom of a pit. From this bench, go left and drop-down into the grate. Go right until you drop, then left, hopping over the hole. In front of you will be a drop down point and a wall leading upwards. Climb that wall with the Mantis Claw, then go through the wall into the secret area. You’ll need to navigate this maze up to the top left corner, then go through into the next room. You’ll enter a large room with a pool of water at the bottom. Jump in and swim across to reach the Junk Pit. Your Simple Key will fit the lock on the Chained Cocoon, allowing you to meet the Godseeker and enter a new area, Godhome.

Pleasure House

Pleasure House

The final place to use a Simple Key is located in the City of Tears. Starting from the Monument to the Hollow Knight, head right through the corridor and into the large room with a bunch of doors. One of these ledges has a door with a hot spring sign outside. This door leads to the Pleasure House, and is the final lock that fits your last Simple Key.

Inside this door is a long elevator shaft leading up to the Pleasure House itself. While you could take the elevator, it’s worth taking a look in the nooks and crannies leading up to the top for secrets. Once in the Pleasure House, you can relax in the hot spring and make use of the bench. If you’ve already been to the bank and been scammed by Millibelle, you can find her resting here and recover your lost Geo. You can also find the spirit of Songstress Marissa, whose story you can hear if you have the Dream Nail. Once you’re done at the Pleasure House, you’ll have exhausted all the uses for Simple Keys in Hollow Knight.


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