How to Defeat the Broken Vessel in Hollow Knight


Randrew Mendrico

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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.


Learn how to defeat the Broken Vessel in Hollow Knight!

How to Defeat the Broken Vessel in Hollow Knight

One of the main bosses the Knight will face in Team Cherry’s Hollow Knight is the Broken Vessel. Aside from its appearance, the Broken Vessel has another similarity with the Knight: it is one of the Vessels to leave the Abyss. However, unlike the Knight, the Broken Vessel died while still in Hallownest. 

Deep within the Ancient Basin in Hollow Knight, the Broken Vessel is blocking the way to the Monarch Wings, where the infection spreads.


A screenshot showing the Broken Vessel's location in Hollow Knight

As mentioned above, the Broken Vessel is located and can be encountered in the western part of the Ancient Basin, which you can go to by taking the Tram in Deepnest.


Not only does the Broken Vessel have a similar look to the Knight, but it also has a similar move set. Here are the Broken Vessel’s attacks:

  • Backstep

The Broken Vessel will quickly dash backward to get ready for another attack.

  • Leap

The Broken Vessel will leap to either move around the arena or towards the Knight’s current location.

  • Slash

The Broken Vessel will dash forward, covering most of the arena, while slashing its Nail in the middle of the dash.

  • Aerial Slash

The Broken Vessel will fly briefly from the ground and dash forward while slashing its Nail. Like the Slash attack, the Broken Vessel will also slash his Nail in the Middle of the dash, covering most of the arena.

  • Flail

The Broken Vessel will swing its Nail from side to side in an arc above its head four times in rapid succession.

  • Slam

The Broken Vessel will jump high into the air, reposition at the peak of the jump, and slam down on the Knight’s position. The slam will cause four Infection blobs to spit out and away in an arc from the Broken Vessel.

  • Cascade

The Broken Vessel will jump and position itself in the middle of the arena. Then, it will shake its head back and forth and summon a bunch of Infection blobs covering most of the arena. The Broken Vessel will emit blobs that will first go down beneath the ground and then rise, emitting three blobs at a time quickly for about four seconds. The Broken Vessel will only use this attack three times the whole fight: when his HP is depleted to around 70%, around 45%, and around 25%,  

  • Balloon

The Broken Vessel will summon Infected Balloons every 4-5 seconds that float and follows the Knight to deal contact damage. This attack will happen automatically and will spawn randomly in the air. The summoning of the Infected Balloons will only start once the Broken Vessel’s HP is depleted to around 60%.


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The Broken Vessel’s Backstep, Leap, Slash, Aerial Slash, and Flail attacks can be simply dodged by moving or dashing away from the attack’s range. But you should be aware of each attack’s animations to anticipate which attack the Broken Vessel will use properly. You can inflict about one to two hits between each of the Broken Vessel’s attacks.

As for the Cascade attack, focus less on inflicting damage and prioritize dodging the blobs. Luckily, this only happens three times throughout the fight, so it will not be much of a nuisance. Additionally, deal with the Infected Balloons as soon as possible to stop them from getting too many and being a nuisance.

After dealing a certain amount of damage to it, the Broken Vessel will stagger by being stationary, facing upwards, and lightly shaking. This can be the perfect time to heal. Or, if you are an absolute god at the game and your health is still full, deal more damage by casting a spell. Attacking it will cause it to get back on its feet and continue the fight.

Spells like the Desolate Dive or Descending Dark Spell can help during the Broken Vessel’s Cascade attack as it can deal a hefty amount of damage while the Knight doesn’t take any damage. These spells can also be used while the Broken Vessel is staggered as it can damage the Broken Vessel while killing any Infected Balloons nearby. The Vengeful Spirit or Shade Soul Spell can also help deal damage to the Broken Vessel.

Charms are also very beneficial in fighting the Broken Vessel: The Mark of Pride and Longnail Charm can help by increasing the length of the Knight’s Nail; the Quick Focus Charm can help by increasing the speed of focusing Soul which results in faster healing, the Shaman Stone Charm can help by increasing the size and damage of Spells, The Defender’s Crest Charm can help by summoning damaging clouds around the Knight to kill the Infected Balloons, and the Spore Shroom Charm can help by, similar to the Defender’s Crest Charm, releasing a cloud of damaging spores around the Knight.

You mustn’t get greedy in attacking the Broken Vessel, as there are plenty of opportunities to attack. Learn when to attack, dodge, and heal, and you’ll defeat the Broken Vessel in no time.

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