Hollow Knight Best Areas In Order

Places in Hallownest you may or may not want to visit

The Knight kills an enemy in Greenpath accompanied by Grimmchild.

Welcome to Hallownest

In the game Hollow Knight, you are a Knight told by an old bug that the only path forward is into the city of Hallownest located in a well. Armed with your nail-like weapon, you make the descent into the deep. If you’re a new player to the game, it helps to know which places are worth visiting. The reason being is because there are places you may want to visit, or avoid in  order to continue your descent. We will be covering  places that are visited in Hallownest based on difficulty from easiest to hardest . 

1. Dirtmouth

The Knight sits on a bench in Dirtmouth with friends!

The Town Almost Forgotten

Dirtmouth, a ruined little town faded through time. When you first arrive, the stores aren't open as you must journey to find the shopkeepers. When you go further right, there’s a building that is locked from the inside that you can’t access yet. That building is the Stag Station and can be unlocked when you find the Stag, this station will help you travel in the future. Another key detail to the town is the first person you meet is the Elderbug, an NPC, who is just someone to talk to.

Once you find all the inhabitants, it's as if a light has been given to the town. Not only are there more friendly bugs to talk to, but the stores are filled with an array of items to purchase from. Dirtmouth is first on the list because you don't have to worry about enemies, and can visit the NPCs to talk to. Players shouldn't hesitate to frequent this place after a long hourly trek through Hallownest.  often. The items, and friendly faces are a nice change of pace from what lies beneath.

2. Resting Grounds

The Knight meets Revek, Guardian of Spirits Glade.

Home for the Fallen

After passing through the Crystal Peaks, players fall into a seemingly abandoned monument site. An event will happen where the area will spring to life with an atmosphere of the past. Welcome to the Resting Grounds.

The Resting Grounds is second on the list because it's another place that has no mobs in the main area. Although it's peaceful like Dirtmouth, the reason its second is because players may  venture for a bit before reaching this place. Even when you first arrive,, the place is basically lifeless and quiet until you go to the monument.

One of the things you’ll find here are the graves of spirits that won’t attack unless provoked. After the Knight awakens, you will meet the Seeker who will give you the Dream Nail, which will help uncover secret areas. Located to the left of the Stag Station is a Dream Warrior grave, but you can choose not to challenge it. 

Despite its appearance, the place does hold a dark secret. There is a hidden location leading to a reclusive NPC in this area. The enemies where the NPC is located deal two shells worth of damage and can cause a game over if you aren't careful.  reaching her is dangerous, but thankfully it's a place that new players don't think visit yet. Despite this, the Resting Grounds isn't too difficult unless you’re intentionally looking for confrontation.

3. Howling Cliffs

Ascending the Howling Cliffs one jump slash at a time!

Voices in the Cliffs

In the beginning cutscene, the Knight jumps off of what appears to be a cliff. Returning to Dirtmouth and looking at that gate makes players wonder if escape is even possible? Will going back past that gate let them leave this place? No, but it will lead them to where their journey really began, in the Howling Cliffs. 

The Howling Cliffs is where the game started off in the cutscene. This place introduced you to the tutorial and is the area you pass through before heading to the city of Dirtmouth. The other tutorials introduced you to healing and the use of your nail. When you first arrive here,  there’s not much to do but move forward and follow said tutorials. But the good news is that  revisiting the place is possible once you obtain the Mantis Claw.

Upon revisiting this place, there’s a bunch of hidden secrets and areas to discover. For all the items you find here, the difficulty remains beginner friendly. The Howling Cliffs is placed here because unlike the previous areas, there are a few mobs here that are directly hostile to the player. The only thing you have to worry about is the small mobs and stalactites that fall from the ceiling.

Hidden within the cliffs, there are optional bosses that are exceptions to the starter friendly mobs. There is a Dream Boss located here, but he’s not a direct threat to the player as all Dream Bosses must be challenged. Another optional boss can be summoned here in this location, which will lead players to fight them in Dirtmouth. But unless you have the Dream Nail, they won't be summoned and you don't have to worry about any fighting.

4.The Forgotten/Infected Crossroads

An Infected Vengefly attempts to devour the Knight

Weep for the Roads Once Travelled

The Forgotten Crossroads is the first area in the Kingdom of Hallownest you find yourself in after hopping down into the well. Upon the first descent down the well , there are little foes, but many places to explore. However, as time passes in the game, this area gets plagued with a deadly disease. Upon returning to it after obtaining the Moth Wings, it will later be  known as the Infected Crossroads.

The Infected Crossroads is the Forgotten Crossroads, just covered in orange puss with the mobs having glowing orange eyes.  The Infected Crossroads has its differences to it’s clean and uninfected counterpart. The enemies here are in a bit of a frenzy and have new abilities caused by the infection. Some of the enemies are explosive when you defeat them, dealing two shells of damage if you aren't careful. Located near the Stag Station within the Crossroads was a  once accessible pathway leading to Salubra. Now it is completely blocked off with the infection covering both ends of the path. This means you have to take an entirely different route to be able to purchase those charms.

Nothing the player does can bring the Crossroads back to its clean state, which means post game will still have the area infected. It's on this spot because it used to be an easy level as Forgotten Crossroads, but as Infected Crossroads the difficulty has been raised slightly.


5. Greenpath

After fighting Hornet, the Knight checks on its fallen comrade..

Into the Forest

Once you get past the Baldur, you enter an area where you are met with serene shrubbery and plant-life you’ve never seen before. This map that’s covered in green is ironically named GreenPath. This area creates a stark contrast between the bleak and desolate atmosphere of Hallownest. Although it appears slightly welcoming, this place is like a jungle. There are new mobs that blend in and acidic puddles to avoid.

 The story of the game picks up after accessing this area. The player is also given a taste of the lore and your purpose venturing down into the depths of Hallownest. You meet the secondary character, Hornet in a boss battle as well as acquire a new ability. The ability you obtain, Mothwing Cloak, will help further your progress and enhance gameplay. Making traversing this level easier than when you started off.

Greenpath is one of the places players can farm for more Geo. There are two bosses that drop a significant amount of geo when killed. The Vengefly King, that you find in one of the other entrances  drops sixty-five geo upon defeat. However, the Vengefly is optional as the only reason you face it is if you want to save another NPC, but it won't stick around for long. If you get the Mantis Claw before fighting this boss, it is no longer accessible in this area.  The second boss you find, Massive Moss Charger will drop three-hundred geo upon defeat as well. That combined with the other bugs you faced along the way will easily help you into buying at least two items from Sly’s Shop.


6. Fog Canyon

The Knight takes down an Uoma!

A Deadly Canyon

The Fog Canyons is one of the smallest areas in Hallownest to visit. Even though this area looks mystical and inviting, it can be quite the dead end if you don't have what you need. When you first reach this place, you can't progress because you need Acid Swim and Shadow Dash. Both skills can be obtained later in the game, past this point.

What makes this place dangerous is that if you’re a starting player, you may unintentionally set off a minefield. The large jellyfish creatures, Ooma, deal two shells of damage when hit. Even when you’ve completed most of the game, it’s still a bit dangerous to pass through here. Some players have accidentally triggered the Ooma with their assist charms attacking them without their control. 

Fog Canyon is also on the list because the boss,Uumuu.  Getting Into the boss would be easy if it wasn’t heavily guarded by Oomas and Charged Lumaflies. Once you  get past them, you have to mind the acid everywhere that you have to avoid. If you don't have Acid Swim and attempt the feat, you may have a hard time getting to the boss.

7. Fungal Wastes

Purple mushrooms help the Knight reach greater heights!

Spores Galore

Fungal Wastes, a map that's an  intermediate farm for more geo. While the mushroom mobs aren't too difficult to handle, there are a few things to look out for.

Like the previous map entry, there will be acid pools, so you have to avoid falling in them until you get Acid Swim. It's recommended using the Mothwing dash to help you avoid falling in. While falling in acid doesn't give you a game over, every Shell counts if you intend to progress further. There’s also the Sporgs, mushrooms that shoot out explosives when the player passes by. The projectiles follow the player and deal two shells worth of damage if they make contact, so pass with caution.

Then there is the Mantis Village, a small area within the Fungal Wastes that leads to the Deepnest. The mantises can be intimidating to battle, but the good news is they deal only one shell damage. If you ever see yourself facing the boss of this map, an NPC recommend players upgrade their Nail first. Fortunately, the Mantis Village is another optional path out of the wastes, so players could double back here if you don't want the headache.


Other than the few mobs mentioned, most of Fungal Wastes is pretty easy to traverse with the purple mushrooms giving you a boost to higher places. You can very much get past this level without having to worry about the shroom based mobs killing the Knight.


8. City of Tears

A statue stand tall in memorial of the Hollow Knight

The Tears Never Stop

By now, you’ve gotten past the fungal wastes and made it through to the gates, into what appears to be an empty city. You are relieved as you think that there may actually be inhabitants here. Unfortunately, that is not the case, as a great tragedy befell this city. This map is the desolate City of Tears.

The city is named for the constant rain pouring from the lake above it. You also get to learn a bit more about the civilization that used to thrive in Hallownest before its fall. The ambience of the map itself speaks of sadness and tragedy as rain continuously pours from the lake above it. 

Despite the name, the city has a few resources that aids the player when they reach it for the first time. In the City of Tears, you find the only Blacksmith that helps upgrade your nail. With your nail upgraded, you can deal more damage to foes that would otherwise take forever to beat. He’s also another character to meet and speak to in this bleak kingdom.

Located in the heart of the city is Lemm, a relic collector who will buy relics from the player. It's a quick way to earn geo without getting your nail dirty for these items. It's worth the amount you get if you don't mind the long climb back to the shops to upgrade your maps. Just be aware that he won't be doing business with you if you have the foul-smelling Defender’s Crest equipped.

The City of Tears despite having these great shops, have dangerous enemies that prowl the area. These mobs are the old citizens and guards who are infected, so they are doomed to wander mindlessly forever. The Great Husk Sentries that march back and forth deal two shells worth of damage. They also adapt to the players attack pattern, so  mix up your approach when fighting them.

But the reason this place is higher on the list is because of the Soul Sanctum located within it. This place has enemies that use spells just like the player as well as levitation abilities. However, the Sanctum is inaccessible until you find a key to open its doors. Until then, it’s best players take their time before accessing the Sanctum, for there are truly disturbing things behind that door.


9. Queens Garden

A Mantis Petra faces down the Knight as they advance!

A Forest of Thorns

When you hear about a queen’s garden, you think of the beautiful Flora that her majesty may keep. But what if the queen may have a different preference of what she wants to grow? What if she decides instead of roses and lilies, she wants giant thorns? There is no other garden in Hallownest quite like the Queen’s Garden.  

The Queen's Garden is an area similar to Greenpath for the simple fact that there is plant life residing here. However, the contrast is that the Queen’s Garden is way more unforgiving than Greenpath. There are twice as many hostile mobs that hound the player on sight.The terrain is covered with thorns that overtook some parts of the garden.

The mobs you face here are the remnants of the Mantis Tribe. So it's not like you’re fighting your typical moss chargers, these enemies are relentless. With the thorns everywhere you turn, you have to time and choose your jumps wisely. This level introduces these strange flip platforms that fall if you stand on them too long.

All of these factors combined make traversing the Queens Garden, a bit of a hassle. Imagine dodging enemies on an unstable platform while there are a pit of thorns below. If that weren't enough, there’s also a boss here that will be alot easier to beat if you have acquired Shade Dash. It was once doable to face the boss without it, but the recent patch changed this. Now the boss does two shells worth of damage and Shade dash is the only ability that helps the player dodge the attacks.


10. Royal Waterways

A Hwurmp is deflated while the Knight goes for a swim!

Secrets beneath the City

You travel to the left of the Resting Grounds hoping to get to the Blue Lake, but decide to take a detour under Xero’s Statue. You drop down into a dark and damp network of tunnels with the sounds of dripping water in the darkness. You are now in the vast maze that is the Royal Waterways.

The Royal Waterways is just a subtle way of saying sewers, so you may slightly get the feeling where this is going. The Waterways is a maze just through a door in the City of Tears. In case you were wondering,yes, there is an area in the waterways composed entirely of dung. So, you won't be wading in it, at least until you reach that area. Fecal matter should be the least of your worries when traversing down here, as the waterways house something far worse.

When you traverse this maze, you meet the normal infected bugs you typically see throughout the city. As you venture deeper, it gets darker and you start to see these disturbing enemies called Flukes. When you kill Flukes, their body parts come to life and chase the player if they aren't dealt with. If the Flukes lurking around the corner wasn't unsettling enough, there is the boss of this area that spawns the mobs. 

Difficulty wise, this level isn't hard to overcome, but it can be bothersome. There are enemies that actively hound the player in the darkness and some places that lead to a dead end. If you don't mind mazes and Flukes, then this area should not be much of a problem. However, that doesn't take away from the fact that going here for the first time subverted a few expectations. I don't think players expected a place titled, Royal Waterways, would be filled with such disgusting creatures.


11. The Hive

The Knight defends itself against a Hive Guardian

A Fallen Monarch

On your way to Kingdom’s Edge, you may hear strange buzzing noises coming from a wall. You strike it down and a strange opening welcomes you in. Once inside, you are greeted by the golden hexagonal walls that make up, The Hive. 

The Hive, a map that hides treasures, is anything but sweet. Located in a hidden area before you reach Kingdom's Edge, The Hive is another kingdom of its own that houses tragedy. Unlike most of Hallownest, this place fell  when it’s Queen died, thus allowing the infection to take over. When you enter the Hive, most of its workers are overcome with the infection, despite not being able to see it in their eyes. One of the worst enemies to face here are the Hive Guardians and they really live up to their name. These bugs barrel their bodies through platforms and the player if you aren't careful, dealing two shells of damage. They are often spotted in the area with the most space, sometimes with the Hive Soldiers. The Hive Soldiers are another mob to look out for as they can home in on players if you aren't paying attention.

It doesn't help that the Hive is a crowded map on its own, so mobility when trying to avoid the mobs is slightly hindered. The plus to this area is that there is a charm called, Hiveblood, located here if you need it. There is also a bit of an abundance of geo to harvest from here.  Even though I listed some pros about this area, never let this make you complacent when coming here. There is only one bench to rest from here and a ton of angry bees, it's best to not try your luck.


12. Crystal Peaks

A miner attempts to attack the Knight as they climb the mine shafts.

Diamonds are Forever

When you travel further left in the Forgotten Crossroads, you stumble across a little NPC named Myla. There you see her mining to provide treasure for her family. Daring to test your fortune, you proceed further into the mines. Here you are surrounded by the prismatic beauty that is the Crystal Peaks. 

All that Glitters is not gold in the Crystal Peaks.The Crystal Peak, at its top, holds a  clue to the start of this madness. A statue of a forgotten God of Light looks down upon Dirtmouth and all of Hallownest. One would think that you found an abundance of geo in this level, but that's only a half-truth. You can find geo deposits here, but like all maps the danger is on another level. 

You see, the mobs in this area have evolved to having crystals attached to them making it difficult to damage them. If you try and strike them with your nail, they won't be damaged at all unless you wait for an opening. That means the direct approach may not work on a few enemies and you have to use Soul for your spells instead of healing. There are also some enemies that shoot laser beams that are hard to avoid , be sure to use caution when navigating around them.

 Among the many decorated mobs there’s the Crystal Hunters, tiny flying bugs that shoot crystals at the players. The crystals stick wherever they land and deal damage to the players on contact. It may seem harmless because they do only one shell of damage, but the swiftness of the Crystal Hunters make it all the more difficult. If they aren't dealt with, players can find themselves surrounded by sharp crystals with nowhere to go. Definitely not a mob you want to face if you find yourself airborne.


13. The Deepnest

The Knight clashes blades with an angry Stalking Devout!

Spiders, Spiders Everywhere

Below the Fungal Wastes is a map that moves constantly as strange centipede creatures dig out the tunnels. As you traverse further, spiderwebs decorate the walls as if a large arachnid lives here. But the webs were not made by one spider, it was made from many. You have entered the Deepnest, Kingdom of Herrah the Beast.

If you suffer from arachnophobia, then it's best to have someone else play this level for you. The Deepnest is a level consisting mainly of creepy crawlers and hostile bugs out to harm the player. Like many places in the game, the mobs here have the infection, so don't count on finding a friendly face here. This area  can be accessed from the Mantis Village , but just remember to heal yourself before you do.

What makes the level stand out is that there are constant sounds of spiders skittering about heard in the background. This doesn't help those with a fear of spiders to see them constantly skitter across the foreground as well. All of these  combined can make a player’s skin crawl out of game. With Hollow Knight being a game focused on bugs, players may have seen the spider theme coming, but the Deepnest takes it to a whole new level.

If the arachnophobia part doesn't bother players, then the constant bombardment of mobs will. Some bugs come from the foreground to attack the player and some come from underground. The most dangerous of these mobs are the Stalking Devouts that make traversing the Deepnest an absolute pain. These spiders have a hard facial shell, so you can’t directly attack them like you used to. Instead you have to get close to get them to open up their shell before you sneak in an attack. If you miss your chance, you could be dealt two shells worth of damage.

14. Kingdom's Edge

A Primal Aspid is descended upon by the Knight!

The Beginning of the End

White delicate flakes fall as you head into this strange wonderland. A cool wind blows while strange tattered wraps blow into the wind.  Upon reaching this area, don't be fooled by the serene music and what appears to be snowfall. The music foreshadows tragedy and the snowfall is just the shed skin of a larger bug. You have arrived at the Kingdom’s Edge.

This map houses a variety of threats to players who haven't come prepared. However, if you want to access the Abyss, you must obtain the King’s Brand located in this area.One mob that plagues this area is the Primal Aspid, a bug creature that spits triple shots at the player. If you guessed why this mob in particular, it's because they NEVER miss. Even the most experienced of players have met their demise at the hand of this marksman foe. The worst part is that the Primal Aspid isn't even trying to hit the player; sometimes players accidentally run or fall into these attacks. All of this, before reaching the area's boss, I might add.

In Kingdom’s Edge, there is a colosseum located at the very top called the Colosseum of Fools. You can tell if you're getting close when corpses start to literally rain from above. Depending on the NPCs you meet along the way, some of the corpses may even look familiar. You can partake in the Colosseum if you want for Geo, just know that it doesn't hurt to have a few extra shells before you do.


15. The Ancient Basin

A Shade is dispersed by Grimmchild

What lies Beneath

You head down into a pit after taking the Tram for the first time in the game. Upon descending further, you enter what appears to be a barren and abandoned plot of land. This desolate and ancient map is none other than the Ancient Basin.

The Ancient Basin, one of the bleakest if not the difficult places to visit in Hallownest. It may seem empty when players first enter, but it is teeming with danger. What’s worse is that in order to get the Moth Wings, you have to proceed this way. Another thing to remember is that getting the Moth Wings allows the Forgotten Crossroads to become infected.

This area is not easy to access as you must get a Tram pass, in the Deepnest. In the basin is the Abyss, another area that is inaccessible unless you get the King’s Brand. You can find it in Kingdom’s Edge, and the journey to get both items is a bit tedious if you don't know where to look. All of that, and you can say you have full access to all places within the Ancient Basin.

Later, once players acquire the King’s Brand, things go south...and in a very literal way. You get to a door in the Basin that leads to The Abyss, which is basically a pit filled with corpses. The descent into the Abyss can be a bit dangerous as there are spikes on small platforms. This takes a look before you leap to a whole other level as you can't see the ground underneath you yet.  When you finally land there, you will be haunted by Shades and tendrils that each do two shells of damage. 

There is a way to get the tendrils and the Shades to leave the player alone altogether. The player must obtain an item from the Queen’s Garden and The White palace. Without those items, the player will be constantly attacked by these creatures and have to defend themselves at every turn.

16. White Palace

A Royal Retainer pays with their life at the hands of the Knight

Castle of Glass

On the way to Kingdom’s edge, players may stumble across a large mass of stone and rubble. It appears that whatever building was here, isn't here anymore. The only thing tangible of this place you can find is the silver armor of a guard. Striking it with the dream nail takes you to a place that's nearly pure white with serene beauty. Welcome to the dream of the old White Palace.

Experienced players that have traveled through the Path of Pain, definitely know what it’s like being in the White Palace. At first this dream-like temple seems welcoming ,with bugs bowing before your very presence, but that welcome is short lived. This is a castle teeming with danger as the guards and palace itself is armed to the teeth. Although this place isn't a map of its own, it deserves to be mentioned because of how frustrating it can be to navigate. 

To get to this illusive palace, the player must upgrade their Dream Nail to the Awoken Dream Nail after obtaining enough dream essence . Once inside, players must navigate through spikes and rotating buzzsaws to progress to the upper levels. There are also Kings Moulds, guards that deal two shells of damage, that can catch players off guard if they aren’t careful. If you think that’s tedious, wait until you hear about the Path of Pain sub-level within this area.

The Path of Pain is a hidden area within the Palace in which players will navigate through even harder puzzles. To add to the difficulty if you die in the Path of Pain, you have to start all over. The good thing is that this sub-level is optional, but it does add to the difficulty of the White Palace. Players may want to visit this place later on if they are playing Steel Soul Mode, because a death in this dream palace counts as a game over and can ruin your run.

17. Godhome

The Knight displays Abyssal Shriek to the God Seeker!

Enter the Realm of the Gods

In the Royal Waterways, the player will come across a weakened bug that once dream nailed, will take them to a strange new area. This area is decorated with golden statues and warm hot springs to relax in. It's as if the player is in heaven, but this heaven is actually hell. This realm is the Godhome, and it houses all of the bosses that you have ever faced.

Godhome’s appearance is that of a paradise for the gods, but it’s more like a colosseum for them. In the game of Hollow Knight, there are a total of five endings, but to get the final ending requires suffering. Players must beat all encountered bosses back-to-back before taking on the final boss. What makes this even more difficult is that in the final pantheon, each boss does two shells worth of damage. Binding modes can be set to up the difficulty on these pantheon runs, but that is completely up to the player. 

One may argue that even though you may fail at the pantheons, it doesn't count as an in game game over. But Godhome is at the top because of the difficulty of the final boss, The Absolute Radiance. The one boss that stands between players and that platinum trophy is a giant moth god whose boss battle is several phases. All of that, after fighting through fourty(or thirty-eight) bosses, unlocks a secret ending and allows you to get the “Embrace the Void” achievement. Godhome may be an optional area to access, but for trophy hunters who want to test their skills against the gods, this is a challenge worth accepting.

Hopefully players old and new can enjoy this article. Do you agree or disagree with the placement of these areas? Or do you think there is an area that deserves a spot on the list? Let me know what you think with your comments below!

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Hailing from a long line of gamers in the farmlands of Georgia, Destinee ventures out in search of newer, tougher stories to decipher. However, lets hope her love for desserts doesn't distract her.
Gamer Since: 2000
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Hollow Knight
Top 3 Favorite Games:BioShock 2, Brothers - A Tale of Two Sons, Trine 2

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