How to Defeat the Soul Master in Hollow Knight


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.


Learn how to defeat the Soul Master in Hollow Knight!

How to Defeat the Soul Master in Hollow Knight

One of the main bosses the Knight will encounter in Team Cherry’s Hollow Knight is the Soul Master. Located at the top of Soul Sanctum, Soul Master, the leader of the sanctum, looked for ways to expand bugs’ minds and achieve pure focus. In this guide, you’ll learn the Soul Master’s attacks and behavior necessary to defeat him.


A screenshot showing the Soul Master's location in Hollow Knight

Soul Master can be found at the top of Soul Sanctum in the City of Tears.


The battle between the Knight and Soul Master in Hollow Knight can be divided into two phases:

Phase One

A screenshot showing the Soul Master in Hollow Knight

For the first phase, Soul Master will perform these attacks:


Soul Master will dash across the battle arena that deals damage when the Knight gets in contact. This can be avoided by jumping and running.


Soul Master will shoot an orb of Soul conjured from his head that will home in on the Knight and will only stop if it hits the Knight himself, the wall, or the floor. The initial attack animation of Orb and Dash may look similar, so be careful not to get fooled. This attack won’t hit the Knight if he is right next to the Soul Master. If the Knight is at a distance from Soul Master, on the other hand, this attack can be evaded by jumping or dashing away.


Soul Master will levitate across the arena with four orbs around him. The orbs will rotate clockwise if Soul Master is levitating towards the left side of the arena and counterclockwise if Soul Master is levitating towards the right side of the arena. After levitating across, Soul Master will disappear, but the orbs will stay and levitate across the arena again. Soul Master can be easily attacked when he performs this, so be careful of the orbs around him.


Soul Master will target the Knight and slam straight down onto the ground, creating a shockwave ripple on both sides of the battle arena. 

Fake Out Slam

This attack starts the same way as the Slam attack, but halfway down the drop, Soul Master will reset and do the Slam attack on the Knight’s new and current position and create a shockwave on impact. Watch out for the reset during the Slam attack, as this is the sign that Soul Master will perform the Fake Out Slam.

Soul Master will teleport to move around the arena or teleport at least once before making an attack.

To inflict damage on Soul Master, attack him from below while he creates orbs for the Orb Attack or during the Clock attack by trying to move on his pace and attacking below him. On the other hand, there will be many opportunities to heal, especially when he is staggered and deflated, which will happen after inflicting a certain amount of damage on him. Another opportunity to heal is after the Clock attack. Stay in the center; this will be a safe spot, and no orb will hit you.

Phase Two

A screenshot showing the Soul Master in Hollow Knight's second phase

After the Knight inflicts a certain amount of damage on Soul Master, he will appear to be killed and will leave behind the Desolate Dive spell for the taking. But, as soon as the Knight tries to absorb the spell, Soul Master will return, slam on the ground, and change the battle arena.

For the second phase, Soul Master will perform these attacks:

Altered Slam

Soul Master will follow the Knight and slam onto the ground, but the impact will cause a large blast instead of a shockwave. Soul Master may perform this attack in quick succession. This attack can be evaded by dashing away from the blast zone,

Fake Out Altered Slam

It is the same as the original Fake Out Slam attack but with the effect of the Altered Slam attack. Like the original Fake Out Slam, watch out for the reset in the middle of the Altered Slam attack, as this is the sign that Soul Master will perform the Fake Out Altered Slam. This can also be evaded by dashing out of the blast’s range.

Altered Orb

Soul Master will hover in an area briefly and summon orbs every second on different areas of the arena that will still home in on the Knight. This can be a window to attack as Soul Master will remain stationary. Just be careful of the homing orbs.

Anticipating and dodging attacks is key in this phase, as there will be fewer windows for the Knight to heal. Despite the alterations in Soul Master’s attacks, this phase will be easier than the first phase as it is easy to anticipate his attacks, and there are more windows to attack when Soul Master performs the Altered Orb attack. Don’t get greedy on attacking during this window, as you should still be able to manage the orbs that are homing in on the Knight.

Final Thoughts

Equipping Charms will help in fighting Soul Master. We recommend Charms like Spell Twister to reduce the Soul required to cast spells, Soul Catcher to increase the Soul gained from hitting enemies, Longnail or Mark of Pride to increase the range of the Knight’s Nail (by 15% for Longnail Charm and by 25% for Mark of Pride Charm), and Fragile Strength to increase attack damage. The Knight won’t be able to equip a lot of Charms this early in the game, so pick according to your preference.

Soul Master may seem overwhelming, but you’ll better understand his behavior with every try. With that, you can anticipate his attacks and attack or dodge accordingly. Just remember to attack as much as you can while still being able to dodge his attacks. After that, you’ll obtain the Desolate Dive spell. For real, this time.

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