[Top 10] Hollow Knight Best Abilities

Light shines down upon the Knight
Hallownests' Finest Treasures

Essence flies as the Knight defeats two enemies!

Its Dangerous to go Alone

In the realm of Hallownest, the kingdom is suited for the survival of bugs of all types. However, the Knight is just a simple creature not suited for traversing the ever changing terrain of Hallownest. Located throughout Hallownest are abilities that come in to aid the Knight. These abilities are made to help the knight either traverse the land or fend off enemies. 

10. World Sense

The World Sense Ability is granted to the Knight.

Self Awareness

In most games, the game completion is often displayed when selecting the load file. When you start Hollow Knight, some players have a hard time figuring out how to keep track of their progress without having to close the game. Strange thing is, the game completion can be viewed with an ability called World Sense. You obtain this ability in the Black Egg Temple after killing all the Dreamers.

  • Displays Game Completion in Inventory: With World Sense, you can access the games completion progress any time by just going to your inventory.

Ability Name Details: ”Vessel. Though bound, you shall know the state of the world.”


9. Dream Gate

The Knight uses the Dream Gate to leave the Howling Cliffs.

Retracing Steps

In the average playthrough of  Hollow Knight, you’ll be required to revisit places that hold secrets. The Stag Station and the Tram seem like an obvious choice for fast transportation. But there will be times where you find yourself a tad too far from either. The Dream Gate is an ability that makes travel less tedious. 

  • Allows the Knight to fast travel: As long as there is a Dream Gate placed, the player can teleport to that location.
  • Can place Dream Gates: The knight can place a Dream Gate in an area they want to revisit.

Ability Name Details: “Allows the wielder to travel instantly through dream. Some areas may lack a strong connection to any dream, disallowing use of the Dreamgate.”


8. Crystal Heart

The Knight propels themself off a platform using the Crystal Dash!

Time to take Flight

The player may come across a variety of places that are just a distance away, but so far out of reach. One may find that even the Mothwing Dash isn't enough to help cross the distance. Hidden within the Crystal Peak is an item that allows players to fly over huge gaps without worry, The Crystal Heart. 

  • Allows the player to temporarily fly forward: Useful for crossing gigantic gaps that can't be dashed across
  • Can be used to kill enemies: Enemies with health less than ten hit points can be killed in an instant

Ability Name Details: “The energy core of an old mining golem, fashioned around a potent crystal. The crystal's energy can be channelled to launch the bearer forward at dangerous speeds.”


7. Mantis Claw

The Knight clings to a wall as they face Uumuu.

No Mountain High

Imagine starting off the Hollow Knight and realizing that you are limited to one jump? In the beginning it seems doable until  there are things worth reaching in higher places. This ability may not be the double jump, but it’s the next best thing: The Mantis Claw! 

  • Allows the player to scale walls: Players can climb up walls to get to hidden areas. 

Ability Name Details: “Claw carved from bone. Allows the wearer to cling to walls and leap off of them”


6. Mothwing Cloak

A foe is dispatched as the Knight dashes to its next target.


Traveling through Hollow Knight can be a bit slow in the beginning. There is no “run” option as the Knight maintains a constant steady stride. After you face the Hornet, you realize that in order to stay alive, you need speed. You need, The Mothwing Cloak.

  • Increases Movement: Can be an alternative to sprinting in the game.
  • Can cross Gaps: Gaps that can’t be jumped over can be crossed with a simple dash.
  • Acts as an Evade: This ability can help players escape dangerous attacks.

Ability Name Details: “Cloak threaded with mothwing strands. Allows the wearer to dash forwards along the ground or through the air.”


5. Isma’s Tear

In Monomon’s study, the Knight goes for a swim!

Something in the Water

You stumble across the Greenpath and see what appears to be cool water below. You leap into it before one shell down later, you realize that it is in fact not water. In certain areas of the game, there are acid pools that act as a hazard to the player. While it may be easy to jump over it, what if you found out that there was a way to swim through it? Located in the Royal Waterways with the lost Knight it’s named after is Isma's Tear.

  • Helps the player swim through acid: The player can swim through acid without taking any damage.

Ability Name Details: “Fruit formed from a single hardened tear. Once ingested it provides protection from the searing, acidic pools found in certain parts of Hallownest.”


4. Awoken Dream Nail

White essence is scattered as a palace servant is killed.

To Be Awake within a Dream

Hidden within the game is an item called the Void Heart that unlocks a secret ending. In order to even begin going about obtaining it, players must obtain a charm piece from the White Palace. Strangely, upon using your Dream Nail, a shield appears over the Kings Mold and nothing happens. That is because the Dream Nail needs to be upgraded. Upgrading the Dream Nail to its full potential grants you the Awoken Dream Nail.

  • Access the White Palace: An area called the White Palace is only accessible with the Awoken Dream Nail. If you try to use the Dream Nail to access this area, it simply won't work.

Ability Name Details: “Allows the wielder to cut through the veil between dreams and waking. Can be used to reveal hidden dreams or open gateways. The power of the Dream Nail has fully awoken, allowing entry into certain protected memories.”




3. Monarch Wings

Enemies ready themselves as the Knight flies overhead.

Wind Beneath your Wings

Throughout most of the game, the Knight has only a single jump. There are other methods the Knight can use to get to the surface such as nail hopping, but even that can be tedious. Down in the Ancient Basin, is an ability called the Monarch Wings. With the Monarch Wings, the player doesn't have to worry about reaching places anymore. Combined with the Mantis Claw and the Mothwing Cloak, the player can reach even greater heights.

  • Allows jumping in mid-air: Technically allows the player to double jump in the game
  • Has a quick refresh time: Can be used again if the player: touches the ground, bounces off an enemy, bounces off a wall, etc.

Ability Name Details: “Wings of ethereal matter that shimmer in the darkness. Allows one to jump again in mid-air.”


2. Shade Cloak

The Hive Knight’s blade passes through the Knight as they dash through them.

Just a Shadow Passing Through

The Mothwing Cloak helps you get to places that you normally wouldn't reach. It also acts as an evade to most attacks and projectiles. But what if you faced an attack that covered a wide area that couldn't be dodged? That’s where, the Shade Cloak, protects the Knight.

  • Allows the player to pass through enemies: The player won’t take contact damage from enemies.
  • Allows passage through Shade Gates: The Shade Gates that blocked pathways can now be passed through with this ability.
  • Helps players evade attacks: Can help the player dash through most projectiles and enemy attacks without damage. Explosives are the exception.

Ability Name Details: ”Cloak formed from the substance of the Abyss. Allows the wearer to dash through enemies and their attacks without taking damage.”


1. Dream Nail

The Knight prepares to Dream Nail Grimm

Knights Into Dreams

As you get further in your journey, you are granted a Dream Nail, by an old moth hermit. They say that this item is the key to sealing away the light. This item is known as the illusive Dream Nail. It was a tough decision, but based on usage, the Dream Nail deserves to be above the Awoken Dream nail. When you first obtain the dream nail, it has a variety of abilities alone before it is fully upgraded. 

  • Accessing Dream Bosses: Dream Bosses can only be fought when dream nailing an already deceased boss if their corpse remains.
  • Activate Whispering Roots: Whispering Roots give off essence when struck with the Dream Nail. The essence is then used to upgrade the Dream Nail.
  • Use Dream Gate: You can place down a Dream Gate with the Dream Nail so you can revisit areas.
  • Insta-Kill Shades and Siblings: Sibling in the Abyss can be instantly killed using the Dream Nail. After death, you can kill your Shade in one hit with this ability to retrieve it.
  • Obtain Void Heart: A special “Charm” in this game only obtainable by use of the Dream Nail on a shell in a sub-area called, “Birthplace”. Although there are a few steps before one could access this area, the Dream Nail plays a part mostly here. 
  • Access Shrine of Believers: In this hidden area of the game, using the Dream Nail on one of the statues allows you to see all involved in the making of Hollow Knight.
  • Challenge the Radiance: *Spoiler* During the Hollow Knight Boss fight, a small opening will be made where the player can dream nail the boss. Once players do that, the Radiance can be fought.
  • Hear the thoughts of other bugs: Using it on bugs alive or dead allows the player to hear their thoughts.
  • Access Dreamers: The Dreamer when you first see them have a shield upon them. You can only strike them with the Dream Nail.
  • Summon Grimm Troupe: In a hidden area, the Dream Nail is used on a bug’s corpse. This is just a first step in summoning the Grimm Troupe. Without it, the other steps can’t be followed.
  • Access Godhome: With the Dream Nail, you can access Godhome by using it on the Godseeker in the Royal Waterways.
  • Access Warrior Dreams: Deceased warriors can be fought against if you have this item. 
  • Collect Soul from enemies: If you dream nail enemies while they are alive, you can collect Soul from them. 

Ability Name Details: “Allows the wielder to cut through the veil between dreams and waking. Can be used to reveal hidden dreams or open gateways.The Dream Nail can collect Essence, remnants of wishes and dreams.”


That’s the list of all the abilities within Hollow Knight. Which Ability deserves to be at the top? Which deserves to be at the bottom? Don't agree with the ability placement, please comment and let us know your thoughts below! 

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Gamer Since: 2000
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Hollow Knight
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