How To Improve The Knight’s Nail 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 improve the Knight’s Nail in Hollow Knight!

How To Improve The Knight's Nail in Hollow Knight

Step right up, adventurers of Hallownest! Have you ever found yourself hacking and slashing your way through the treacherous depths of Hallownest, only to be let down because the Knight is dealing little damage?

Fear not, for we are about to embark on a whimsical journey to improve the most essential tool in all of Hollow Knight: the Knight’s Nail! Prepare for a wild ride as we delve into item farming and adventuring. So, ready your skills and abilities, equip your charms, and let’s transform that old Nail into a fearsome force to be reckoned with! This guide discusses improving the Knight’s Nail in Hollow Knight!

The Knight’s Nail

As the Knight’s primary weapon, the Nail begins as a simple tool but can be turned into a powerful weapon. These improvements boost its effectiveness versus enemies and bosses. The Knight receives a substantial advantage in battle by putting effort into Nail improvements.

As a result, the Knight is more confident in overcoming more difficult bosses and navigating perilous parts of Hallownest.

The following are the Nails that the Knight will have and their base damage:

NailBase Damage
Old Nail
(the Knight’s default Nail)
Sharpened Nail9
Channelled Nail13
Coiled Nail17
Pure Nail21

It’s worth noting that these are only the Nail’s base damage. The Knight’s Nail can be further improved in Hollow Knight using numerous Charms. Because of these Charms, the Knight’s Nail will have a greater impact on foes, such as raising its damage output or range. The Charms that affect the Knight’s Nail are as follows:

Fragile Strength Charm or Unbreakable Strength CharmRaises the damage output of the Nail by 50%.
Heavy Blow CharmRaises the force of the Nail, which pushes enemies back further whenever they are hit.
Quick Slash CharmRaises the speed at which the Knight attacks using the Nail.
Longnail CharmRaises the range of the Nail by 15%.
Mark of Pride CharmRaises the range of the Nail by 25%.
Fury of the Fallen CharmRaises the damage output of the Nail by 75% if the Knight only has one Health Mask remaining.

How to Improve the Nail in Hollow Knight

The Knight must go to the Nailsmith and offer him the necessary items to improve the Nail.


A screenshot showing where to find the Nailsmith in Hollow Knight

The Nailsmith can be found inside an isolated hut in the southwesternmost part of the City of Tears

At first, he will offer the Knight his services to refine the Old Nail into the Sharpened Nail in exchange for a little Geo. The Nailsmith’s requirements for each improvement will increase. Each next improvement demands both Pale Ore and a greater quantity of Geo.

The Nailsmith can improve the Knight’s Nail a total of four times. The following are the Nail improvements available to the Knight, as well as the quantity of Geos and Pale Ores needed for the Nailsmith to start the job:

NailGeo NeededPale Ores Needed
Sharpened Nail250 Geon/a
Channelled Nail800 Geos1 Pale Ore
Coiled Nail2000 Geo2 Pale Ores
Pure Nail4000 Geo3 Pale Ores

Geos are easier to find because foes drop them when eliminated. Pale Ores are the only requirement left.

Pale Ore

The other requirement, Pale Ores, is an extremely uncommon and valuable mineral that plays only one important role in the game’s mechanic: improving the Knight’s Nail!

There are a total of six Pale Ores scattered throughout Hallownest. Without delving into excessive details, these are the Pale Ores’ locations in Hollow Knight:

Pale Ore #1

A screenshot showing where to find a Pale Ore in Hollow Knight

The Knight can find a Pale Ore west of the Tram Station in the upper left part of Ancient Basin.


The Knight will encounter Lesser Mawleks, Shadow Creepers, Belflies, and Aspid Hunters in this area.


There are no spells needed to locate this Pale Ore. However, the Knight must first have the Mantis Claw ability to access Pale Ore. This ability enables the Knight to hold on to walls and leap off them.

Pale Ore #2

A screenshot showing where to find a Pale Ore in Hollow Knight

The Knight can discover another Pale Ore at the very peak of Crystal Peak. This area is called the Hallownest’s Crown. The Pale Ore is on the base of the Radiance statue, ready for the Knight to find it.


This Pale Ore does not require the Knight to battle any bosses. Conversely, the Knight will face a Husk Miner, Crystallized Husks, Crystal Hunters, Shardmites, and Glimback.


To get to this rare item, the Knight must employ different abilities. One example is the Monarch Wings ability. This ability enables the Knight to perform a second jump in mid-air. Another is the Mantis Claw ability that allows the Knight to cling to walls and leap off them.

Lastly, the Knight must also possess the Crystal Heart ability. This ability makes it possible for Knight to dash continually unless the Knight hits a surface, takes damage, or intentionally cancels the ability.

Apart from those, the Knight must have bought the Lumafly Lantern, which helps to illuminate dark rooms. This item can be bought from Sly in Dirtmouth.

Pale Ore #3

A screenshot showing where to find a Pale Ore in Hollow Knight

After a series of underground passageways in Deepnest’s southern area, behind a breakable wall before a hot spring, the Knight can uncover another Pale Ore. However, before obtaining this Pale Ore, the Knight must remove the Nosk in the area.

Requirements and Recommendations

Before the Knight can head to Nosk to get Pale Ore, the Knight needs to acquire a few abilities. First up is the Mothwing Cloak ability, which enables the Knight to dash ahead horizontally. The next required ability is the Mantis Claw ability.

Again, this allows the Knight to hang and jump off walls. Lastly, the Knight needs to have the Monarch Wings ability. This allows the Knight to jump again while in mid-air. The location also requires the Lumafly Lantern.

While not required, the Knight should have the Shade Cloak ability, which is the upgrade to the Mothwing Cloak ability. This is advantageous because this ability enables the Knight to dash through enemies.

This ability allows the Knight to dodge Nosk’s attacks. This would be a wonderful pairing with the Sharp Shadow Charm. The Sharp Shadow charm grants the Knight the capacity to do damage while using the Shade Cloak ability to dash through enemies.

Pale Ore #4

A screenshot showing where to find a Pale Ore in Hollow Knight

After finishing the second Trial, the Trial of the Conqueror, in the Colosseum of Fools, Little Fool will reward the Knight with a Pale Ore. The Knight can enter the Colosseum of Fools in the topmost part of Kingdom’s Edge.

During the Trails, Challengers can put their combat abilities to the test against waves of enemies. The Colosseum has three trials: the Trial of the Warrior, the Trial of the Conqueror, and the Trial of the Fool.

The Knight must first obtain Isma’s Tear ability to find the Colosseum of Fools. This ability enables the Knight to swim safely in acid pools. It is additionally advised the Knight has the Monarch Wings ability. This ability enables the Knight to jump again while in mid-air. The Knight will come across Booflies, Primal Aspids, Belflies, and Hoppers on their way to the Colosseum.

Trial of the Conqueror

The Trial of the Conqueror is the second Trial in the Colosseum of Fools, which is more challenging than the earlier One. To take on this Trial, the Knight must first beat the Trial of the Warrior. The Knight can then speak with Little Fool and pay him 450 Geo to take part in the Trial of the Conqueror.

Completing the Trial of the Warrior for the first time earns the Knight 2000 to 2020 Geo, unlocking the Conqueror accomplishment and the item we’re looking for, a Pale Ore. In subsequent victories of the Trial of the Conqueror, the Knight will only be rewarded between 2000 and 2020 Geo.

There will be times during this Trial when the Knight cannot stand on the floor. As a result, the Knight must first acquire the Mantis Claw ability before undertaking this Trial. Furthermore, while not essential, the Shade Cloak ability might help the Knight avoid foes. The Knight can dash through enemies and attacks with this ability.

When taking on the Trial, try to heal no less than one mask between possible waves. The Quick Focus Charm is beneficial for this. 

Nail Arts are also helpful in the Colosseum of Fools Trials. They can defeat enemies in the floorless waves of the Trial.

Pale Ore #5

A screenshot showing where to find a Pale Ore in Hollow Knight

After successfully freeing 31 Grubs from glass jars around Hallownest, the Grubfather is going to reward the Knight with a Pale Ore. This NPC can be found at the Grubhome, which is located on the far northwestern edge of the Forgotten Crossroads.

The Knight will come upon little green creatures confined within glass jars known as Grubs throughout Hallownest. When a Grub is nearby, even if it is not seen on the screen, the Knight can hear high-pitched sobbing. This noise can be a good auditory clue when a Grub is nearby. When the Knight finds the Grub, the Knight can use the Nail to break the glass container to release it. 

The Knight is going to come across 46 Grubs dispersed around Hallownest. The Grubfather will reward the Knight for liberating a certain amount of Grubs.

Among the rewards are Geos, a Mask Shard, the Grubsong Charm, a Rancid Egg, a Hallownest Seal, a Pale Ore, a King’s Idol, and the Grubberfly’s Elegy Charm. Again, the Knight must rescue 31 Grubs to get a Pale Ore from the Grubfather.

To access the Grubhome, no abilities or spells are necessary. The Knight will encounter enemies such as Crawlids, a Tiktiik, and Gruzzers along the route.

Pale Ore #6

A screenshot showing where to find a Pale Ore in Hollow Knight

Once the Knight has acquired 300 Essence with the Dream Nail, the Seer will reward the Knight with a Pale Ore. The Seer can be found inside a room in the highest part of the Resting Grounds area.

Essence is the energy acquired from many sources using the Dream Nail ability. The Knight can receive Essence from Spirits, Whispering Roots, Warrior Dreams, and Dream Bosses. Regular enemies may also drop Essence. 

Among the sources mentioned, Warrior Dreams and Dream Bosses are the quickest ways to obtain many Essence at once, not in the way that they are easy, but in a way that the Knight can get a lot of Essence for defeating one.

The Knight will get at least 300 Essence after defeating a Dream Boss (except for Lost Kin, which grants 400 Essence). As for Warrior Dreams, the Knight will get at least 100 Essence for defeating one (depending on the exact Warrior Dream, as some grant 150, 200, or 250 Essence).

As previously stated, the Knight needs to gather 300 Essence from all across Hallownest to get Pale Ore from Seer.

Aside from Pale Ore, the Seer will reward the Knight if the Knight collects a particular amount of Essence. A Hallownest Seal, the Spirits’ Glade is opened, the Dream Wielder Charm, a Vessel Fragment, the Dreamgate, an Arcane Egg, a Mask Shard, the awoken Dream Nail, the Awakening achievement, and the Ascension Achievement are among these rewards.

You now know how to improve your Nail in Hollow Knight to conquer any foes you encounter easily!

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