Hollow Knight: How To Beat Broken Vessel


Randrew Mendrico

Writer and Storywriter

Drew is one of the game guide writers in PlayerAssist. He mixed his communications degree with his love for video games to help other gamers with different video game situations. Drew loves action-adventure, story or character driven role-playing games.


Prepare yourself for a harrowing encounter as we dive into the depths of Hollow Knight‘s treacherous world. Here, we will face off against the relentless Broken Vessel. Players must possess unwavering determination and a keen understanding of the Broken Vessel’s patterns and weaknesses to emerge victorious in this formidable battle.

Hollow Knight: How To Beat Broken Vessel

This guide will equip you with the knowledge and strategies to navigate this perilous encounter. From mastering the Knight’s Nail strikes to avoiding its devastating attacks, we will unravel the secrets to overcoming this foe. Join us as we venture into the abyss, and learn how to beat Broken Vessel in Hollow Knight!

Broken Vessel

The Broken Vessel is the main boss in the game. The Knight must encounter and defeat the Broken Vessel to acquire the Monarch Wings ability.

This main boss is discovered in a room filled with Infection bulbs. Once the Knight approaches the Broken Vessel, Lightseeds will quickly fill its cracked shell and create a big growth of Infection on its head. This Infection will then bring the husk to life and attack the Knight. The Broken Vessel lacks a voice similar to other Vessels. However, the Infection inside it shouts like the Radiance.

According to in-game lore, Broken Vessel is one of many Vessels who, similar to the Knight, survived the Abyss. However, unlike the Knight, the Broken Vessel met a horrible end while still in Hallownest.


The Knight can find the Broken Vessel near the westernmost part of the Ancient Basin area. As mentioned, the Knight must defeat the Broken Vessel to find and learn the Monarch Wings ability. This ability enables the Knight to jump again in mid-air.


Before the Knight can attempt to beat the Broken Vessel in the Ancient Basin, the Knight must have a few abilities. One of these is the Crystal Heart ability. This ability enables the Knight to continuously fly and dash forwards until the Knight hits a wall, hits an enemy that was not defeated by the hit, or if the player intentionally cancels the dash.

The next required ability is the Mantis Claw ability. This ability enables the Knight to cling to walls and jump off them. Although not required, the Mothwing Cloak ability will help the Knight traverse the area. The Mothwing Cloak ability enables the Knight to dash a short distance forwards. 

Also, Link must have the Lumafly Lantern to light up dark rooms. The Knight can buy this item from Sly up in Dirtmouth.


The Knight will encounter various enemies in the Ancient Basin area. However, the Knight will only run into Shadow Creepers on the way to beat the Broken Vessel.

Path to the Broken Vessel

To find the Broken Vessel, these are what the Knight must do:

  1. Use the Tram in Deepnest or Kingdom’s Edge. Interact with the glowing button in the rightmost (or in the leftmost if you start from Kingdom’s Edge) part of the Tram. Then, the Tram will start moving and go to the Ancient Basin.
  2. After that, exit the Tram, go to the left, and drop down to the next exit on the floor.
  3. Upon landing, drop from the small platform and go to the left. Jump across the gap to the platform below on the left and continue to the left. Head down the next shaft, where the Knight will run into a Shadow Creeper on the wall on the left.
  4. At the bottom, the Knight will find another Shadow Creeper. Go to the left, head down the next gap, and continue heading left. Head down the next shaft, where the Knight will find another Shadow Creeper on the wall on the left. Exit the room on the left at the bottom.
  5. Then, go to the left and head up the platform, and there the Knight will find a Bench. Let the Knight sit on the Bench to heal and save your progress.
  6. Next, go to the left, where there is a big opening with spikes on the floor and the ceiling. Hold the assigned SUPER DASH button to charge the Crystal Heart ability. Then, once fully charged, release the button to use the Crystal Heart ability to dash and fly to the right.
  7. Once the Knight has reached a long platform near the end of the path, quickly cancel the Crystal Heart ability by pressing the assigned JUMP button so that the Knight will not hit the spikes on the wall. Here, go to the left, head up the platform above the spikes, and exit the room on the left.
  8. Afterward, head to the left and drop down the next narrow shaft. At the bottom, the Knight will start using the Lumafly Lantern. Head to the left and drop down the next exit that leads downwards.
  9. Next, head down the platforms on the right and drop down the shaft. On the way down, the Knight will find a Shadow Creeper on the wall on the left. At the bottom, head to the right, where the Knight will run into a Mawlurk. Continue to the right and drop down another shaft while sliding down the wall on the left.
  10. Once the Knight reaches the end of the wall, move to the left to land on a platform instead of the spikes on the floor. Head to the left, drop down the gap, continue to the left, and up a slightly elevated platform with another Mawlurk on the ceiling. 
  11. Then, continue to the left, jump towards the platform below across the spikes, and the Knight will find another Mawlurk. Continue heading to the left and jump across the spikes where is another Mawlurk on the ceiling. Jump across another gap and jump up another slightly elevated platform where there is a Mawlurk on a platform above some spikes.
  12. After that, climb up the wall on the left using the Mantis Claw ability. On the way up, Shadow Creepers are on the wall on the left and above on the right. At the top, head to the right, up and down several platforms.
  13. Eventually, the Knight will find another Mawlurk. Continue to the right and head up the small platform where two Infected Balloons will appear. Jump up the ledge above on the left, jump up another ledge above on the right, then take the exit above.
  14. Next, head to the left, jump up a small platform towards the ledge on the right, and jump up the elevated platforms on the right. Continue to the right, head up the next short shaft, and, at the top, head to the right.
  15. At the end of the path, some wooden scaffolding is holding up a wall. Attack the wooden structure several times to destroy it and open up a shortcut. If the Knight is defeated in the battle against the Broken Vessel, the Knight can use this shortcut so that they would not have to go through the path with the Mawlurks.
  16. Finally, head to the left. The Knight will eventually reach an open area with the corpse of the Broken Vessel. The Knight will be trapped inside this area, and the battle against the Broken Vessel will begin!

How to Beat Broken Vessel

Now it is time actually to beat Broken Vessel! The player must familiarize the enemy’s moves to be effective in the battle against the Broken Vessel. The Broken Vessel looks like the Knight and has a few moves similar to the Knight.


These are the moves the Broken Vessel will perform:

  • Backstep – The Broken Vessel will swiftly dash backward in preparation for another attack.
  • Leap – This boss will jump to move around the battlefield or land on the Knight’s current position.
  • Slash – The Broken Vessel will dash forward while slashing its Nail. This move will cover the majority of the battlefield. 
  • Aerial Slash – This boss will fly a short distance above the ground before charging forward while slicing its Nail. The Broken Vessel, like the Slash attack, will slash his Nail in the middle of the dash, and the attack will encompass the majority of the battlefield.
  • Flail – The Broken Vessel will swing its Nail in an arc above the top of its head four times in quick succession.
  • Slam – This boss will leap into the air, reposition at the top, and slam down on the Knight’s location. The slam will trigger four Infection blobs to spew out and away from the Broken Vessel in an arc.
  • Cascade – The Broken Vessel will leap into the arena and take a position in the center of the room. Then, it will shake its head, summoning a swarm of Infection blobs that will blanket most of the battlefield. The Broken Vessel will release blobs descending beneath the ground before rising and emitting three blobs at a time in quick succession for around four seconds. The Broken Vessel will only employ this attack three times during the fight: when his HP is reduced to about 70%, 45%, and 25%.  
  • Balloon Every 4-5 seconds, the Broken Vessel will summon Infected Balloons that float and pursue the Knight. These Infected balloons will deal contact damage. The Infected Balloons will appear automatically in the arena. However, they will only appear once the Broken Vessel’s HP is depleted to around 60%.


The Backstep, Leap, Slash, Aerial Slash, and Flail attacks from the Broken Vessel can be evaded by moving or dashing away from the attack’s range. However, it is important to be conscious of each attack’s animations to predict which attack the Broken Vessel will use correctly. Between each of the Broken Vessel’s attacks, it is possible to deal one to two hits of damage.

As for the Broken Vessel’s Cascade attack, prioritize evading the blobs more than dealing damage. Fortunately, this only happens three times throughout the fight, so it won’t be too bothersome. Additionally, deal with the Infected Balloons as quickly as possible to prevent them from multiplying and becoming a nuisance.

The Broken Vessel will stagger once a certain amount of damage is dealt. The Broken Vessel will remain stationary, face up, and slightly tremble during this. This could be the ideal time to heal. Alternatively, if, by luck or skill, the Knight’s health is still full, the Knight can deal more damage by using a spell. Attacking it, however, will trigger it to get back up and continue the battle.

Spells can help in the battle against the Broken Vessel. The Desolate Dive or Descending Dark Spell can help during the Broken Vessel’s Cascade attack. This is because it can deal huge damage while the Knight doesn’t receive any damage.

These spells may also be utilized when the Broken Vessel is staggered to deliver damage to it while simultaneously killing any nearby Infected Balloons. The Knight can also damage the Broken Vessel using the Vengeful Spirit or Shade Soul Spell.

Equipping Charms can help the Knight beat the Broken Vessel:

Quick Focus CharmEnables the Knight to Focus and heal faster.
Longnail CharmBoosts the range of the Knight’s Nail by 15%.
Mark of Pride CharmBoosts the range of the Knight’s Nail by 25%.
Shaman Stone CharmRaises the damage output of Spells and the physical size of the Vengeful Spirit or Shade Soul spell.
Soul Eater Charm and Soul Catcher CharmRaises the amount of Soul the Knight Generates when hitting enemies with the Knight’s Nail.
Grubsong CharmEnables the Knight to gain Soul every time the Knight takes damage.
Spell Twister CharmReduces the amount of Soul needed to cast Spells.
Stalwart Shell CharmIncreases the invincibility time and reduces the recoil whenever the Knight takes damage.
Thorns of Agony CharmSprouts out thorny vines that inflict contact damage whenever the Knight takes damage.
Fragile Strength or Unbreakable CharmBoosts the damage output of the Knight’s Nail by 50%.
Defender’s Crest CharmSummons damaging clouds around the Knight that deal damage to enemies.
Spore Shroom CharmReleases a cloud of damaging spores around the Knight that deal damage to enemies.


With unwavering determination and the knowledge gained from this guide, you can face this haunting adversary head-on. Remember, patience and precise timing are your allies in this battle. By studying its patterns, exploiting its vulnerabilities, and honing your combat skills, victory will be within your grasp.

So steel yourself, delve into the depths of Hallownest, and show the Broken Vessel the strength of your resolve. With all these, the Knight can beat the Broken Vessel quickly!

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