If you’ve been around the indie gaming scene, you’ve heard of Hollow Knight before. The game is a massively popular Metroidvania, featuring many bosses, platforming, and collectibles. One of those collectibles is the Grubs, little worms you find the father of around the start of the game; all stuck hidden around the massive cave system.
These worms are stuck in jars, hidden behind walls, past platforming challenges, and locked behind enemy encounters. The pots are sometimes in plain sight but with a difficult challenge. Other times, you’ll hear the worm crying but can’t find the jar anywhere. This Hollow Knight Grub guide will show you the location of every grub, tell you how to reach them, and warn you of any challenges involved, so let’s dive in.
Bottom Line Up Front
Grubs are best to go after later in Hollow Knight, as some require upgrades you can only get later in the game, and you can get a grub pin to show every grub on the map from fighting the Collector.
When to Hunt for Grubs
Grub hunting should be done whenever you’ve gotten all the accessories and items you need to traverse every part of Hollow Knights’ map. Namely, the Mothwing Cloak, Mantis Claw, Desolate Dive, Crystal Heart, Monarch wings, Isma’s Tear, and Shade Cloak are all required if you want to traverse every part that contains a grub.
While many grubs can be reached with little to no upgrades, there will be plenty of times that you’ll have to come back later to get one since it demands a specific upgrade. Therefore, I’ll write this guide assuming you already have every upgrade listed above but specify when a specific one is required for the grub.
Once you have Isma’s tear, you should head southeast in the Queen’s Gardens, where you’ll dive into a pool of acid, face two enemies and find a “Love Key.” You can use this key to fight an optional miniboss in the City of Tears. Finally, heading up right before the entrance to the Kingdom’s Edge will take you to the Collector.
Heading up here and fighting the boss after unlocking the door rewards you with a new pin on your map, automatically showing the location of every captive grub. This is an excellent idea before you go hunting because while I provide maps with grub locations, nothing is as good as having that information readily available in-game.
So now it’s time to go map by map and comb through them for all 46 grubs you may have missed while you were going and grabbing all those lovely movement accessories and items. You can look at the maps on this guide and your in-game map to see which worms you’re missing whenever you want.
Forgotten Crossroads Grubs
The Forgotten Crossroads are the first area in the game and only contains five grubs, none too challenging. Instead, these grubs mainly serve as a tutorial to show you how you’ll find most grubs through the game, such as a combat grub, a platforming grub, and one just out in the open.
This first grub is found in the top-right of the map and is obtained by defeating the enemy and walking to the gate to get your grub. You can get this one by walking right at the very start of the game if you’re good enough at combat.
Heading down to the left of that first grub, we’ll have to go through a wall and grab this one in the large vertical hallway quite handily.
Heading to the right and down from the previous grub, you’ll come across a little hole in the ground leading to a platforming challenge. This challenge is easy if you know how to pogo off spikes with your nail, and it gets easier using Mark of Pride or Longnail.
These next two are a little out of the way. Up and to the left of grub 2, head down the super long hallway until you’re in the room that leads into the massive vertical part. At the top right of this connecting hallway, you’ll find a grub that can only be reached using a pogo off an enemy, wings, or the cloak and claw.
In the bottom-left of the map, just above the entrance to Fog Canyon, there’s a room dedicated entirely to a grub. This can be reached by doing some careful platforming above acid. This was actually the first grub I ever got.
And that’s every single grub in Forgotten Crossroads. You should have no trouble getting any of these at a later stage in the game, but they’re all (more or less) accessible from the very beginning.
While it is an early-game location, around half of Greenpath is pretty much locked until you come back here later, so our second area is better left for when you’ve acquired every single upgrade and can quickly grab all four grubs.
This one’s on the right side of the big square area above the Stag Station. It’s pretty simple; all you need to do is defeat a moss blanket enemy, then grab your grub.
Every other grub is just about as out of the way as possible, I choose to walk from the stag to the area right above the beast’s den, but you may decide to go from the Queen’s Garden’s stag or the Queen’s Station stag, or enter from the crossroads. Either way, this one is simple, only requiring the Mothwing Cloak.
A little to the left and right below the grub we just found is the room that connects to the beast’s den, with the acid at the bottom. A grub can be grabbed at the bottom right of this room with no strings attached.
In the bottommost part of Greenpath, a hallway leads to the Queen’s Gardens. In the middle of this hallway, you’ll find a grub at the very top (which also coincides with the end of the shortcut on the way back from the gardens), which can be reached by pogoing off the enemies, but is easier with the Monarch Wings.
Honestly, it’s a little strange that only one of these required the Mothwing Cloak, despite the fact you get it in this area. Regardless, still not too hard so far; just a bit of tricky platforming.
Fungal Wastes Grubs
Only two grubs in the Fungal Wastes, making it one of the more accessible areas to run through if you’re missing one. The two here are a bit tricky, but nothing you can’t handle if you got the Greenpath ones.
This one is down and to the right from the Queen’s Station stag, just past the gate. You must come in from the right side if you don’t open the gate. Either way, you need the mantis claw to open the gate, but the grub requires no additional accessories, just pogoing on mushrooms.
This one is directly below the Queen’s Station stag on the map and is only accessible with the Mantis Claw (unless you somehow manage to enter through the Queen’s Gardens). This is another challenge with pogoing off of mushrooms, just dodging spikes this time.
After getting both of those simple grubs, we head on to the City of Tears, which has the most grubs of any location.
City of Tears Grubs
Containing a whopping eight grubs, the City of Tears might seem daunting at first, but most of the grubs are relatively simple to obtain, just spread out across an extensive area and sometimes stuck behind the requirement of an item.
This one comes in the Soul Sanctum, which means going down and to the right and then back up from the City of Tears stag. (which is right next to where we need to be, I hate that there isn’t a door there!) Just to the left of the boss arena, heading all the way left and using desolate Dive on the rubble in the floor grants us a grub.
Right below the entrance to the Soul Sanctum is another grub. Again, this can be easily obtained by just taking the elevator down, the perk of coming at it from above rather than below.
This one is much easier if you have the hallway between the Watchers Spire and the building we were in just a second ago. If you do, take it. If not, you’ll need to use the Monarch Wings (or the Mantis Claw and a pogo off a background object) and go up into the tower to the right, fight some enemies, then claim your prize.
To the left of the King’s Station is a bunch of rooms that feel like royal apartments. In the middle row on the right side of these doors is one containing a grub.
You can head to the bottom right of the King’s Station and wade into the water through a secret passage. On the left side of this tunnel is one grub that can easily be acquired by just falling into the water and swimming to it.
Grubs 6, 7 and 8
As mentioned in this guide, if you got the love key from the Queen’s Gardens, you can go up into the Tower of Love from that passage we were just in. Here you’ll find three grubs waiting to be rescued, an item that shows all grubs you haven’t freed on the map, and finally, learn why these grubs got put in jars in the first place.
After getting about a sixth of the entire grub count in a single area, you should probably feel great about your completion progress. It only gets a bit tougher from here, though, so let’s push forward into deeper parts of Hallownest.
Crystal Peak Grubs
The Crystal Peak is meant to be played a little while after the City of Tears, so all seven grubs are generally more complicated than those city slickers. Most of these require platforming, timing, and dodging difficult (and mildly annoying) enemies. You should also grab the Lumafly Lantern before entering, just in case.
We’re entering Crystal Peak from its shortcut in Dirtmouth since that makes it easier to route out all the grubs in this stag-less location. The first one is right after the entrance leading to Dirtmouth; head down on the second platform, which is pretty hard to miss. It does contain an impostor grub before the real one, though, and requires the Crystal Heart.
To the right, underneath the bench in the middle of the map, there’s a room chock-full of surprisingly tough timing challenges; you’ll need to dash through these and walk back to get through it without too much health lost. At the end is your reward, a little silly worm.
This one is directly to the right of Grub 2 and is in that room with the weird, hanging monster. There are multiple ways to acquire this, either through Mantis Claw and the Crystal Heart or the Mantis Claw and Monarch Wings.
Take a massive detour up and to the right (which requires Monarch Wings), but before that huge vertical hallway, there’s a small room with a ton of enemies, crystals, spikes, lasers, and enemies that shoot crystal spike lasers.
Down and to the left of where Grub 2 was, you’ll find a grub you likely already have. Unfortunately, it’s obtained at the end of a platforming challenge that requires excessive use of the Mantis claw and the dash, but like the idiot I am, I managed to get through this entire gauntlet while playing the randomizer; no claw needed.
Heading to the right of 5, there’s a grub right in the vertical connector between two big rooms, accessible by jumping up with the mantis claw or falling from above.
Heading all the way to the right from here, to the Crystalized Mound, which absolutely requires the lantern and crystal heart. The room itself should also be done when you have Monarch Wings. The grub is found at the very top-right of this intense crystal platforming gauntlet.
With that, every Crystal Peak grub has been collected. While the area itself might be Crystal Mid, it contains a ton of Grubs, most of which are pretty easy to pass up on by complete accident.
Resting Grounds Grubs
There’s only one grub in the resting grounds, so let’s get this little guy out of the way and outta here.
The Only Grub
At the bottom right of the big vertical room to the left of the stag, use your Desolate Dive to break the stone and head inside. Then, head to the right, fight one of the more annoying enemies in Hollow Knight, and head up the small corridor for your grub.
You can now promptly leave the resting grounds knowing you got the singular grub they felt obligated to put in this area because it’s a separate area on the map.
Royal Waterways Grubs
The area directly beneath the old City of Tears contains three grubs, all of which are in the sewers, and most of them are decently hidden away due to the gross, dark, and damp nature of this entire area.
Head to the left from the entrance to the waterways in the City of Tears, which requires a key. After you pass the bench, you’ll enter a more extensive open area where you can drop down, and to the right, you’ll find a grub.
Head to Isma’s grove, which is on the complete opposite side of the map and a pain to get to since you need the crystal dash. On the upper part of it, you should climb up with the Mantis Claw and get to the top right wall, then slide down until you see a grub to grab.
Heading to the long hallway above Isma’s Grove, you’ll have to wade through the acid using Isma’s tear, using the monarch wings and mantis claw to climb up the first wall you’ll see above you.
With that, you can leave the smelly, filthy, gross sewer system and head up to much nicer, cleaner areas that aren’t so dark.
Howling Cliffs Grubs
Another location that only contains a single grub, which is also quite simple. There should’ve been some more grubs here, I honestly thought I was missing some.
The Only Grub
At one of the lowest parts of the map, just above the room that leads to Greenpath, there’s a grub that can be earned by simply dashing to the right. Unfortunately, Howling Cliffs generally require the Mantis Claw to enter.
After that slight diversion, it’s time to clear out all the grubs from the opposite edge of Hallownest.
Kingdom’s Edge Grubs
Both of the grubs in Kingdom’s Edge are on the lower-right side of the map, making them quite a bit easier to get in quick succession. This is another one that I was surprised by the lack of grubs when I first played; I just expected way more from this massive area.
Below the bench in the tent that gives us just the most pitiful glimpse of the outside world, you’ll find a small area that is far easier with Isma’s Tear and Mothwing Cloak but can be done without. A grub is at the end of this challenge.
Heading to the right of Nailmaster Oro’s house, there’s a secret hole in the ground that is only accessible using the Desolate Dive and is hiding a maze that assaults you with an onslaught of enemies. At the bottom, there will be a small hole on the right to dash through, Mantis Claw up, and then grab your grub.
Overall, you only really need to mess around the bottom right of this part of the kingdom for a little while to find both grubs. After that, the rest is mainly for the colosseum or other minor secrets.
Fog Canyon Grubs
The final location that only contains one grub, Fog Canyon, is a pretty easy run-through, even if the grub it contains is pretty tricky.
For this one, you need to get to the room where you’d enter the Teacher’s Archives, which practically requires Isma’s Tear and a ton of health since the jellyfish suck. Once you’re there, get on the top-right ledge, and use the Crystal Dash to the left.
I’m glad this area only has one grub since I hate dealing with giant jellyfish. We’re almost done, but all the remaining regions have at least two fares.
Queen’s Garden Grubs
Queen’s Gardens is one of the later areas you can encounter in Hollow Knight, and it’s one of the trickiest to get all the grubs in. Most are hidden away, and one is probably the one that most players heard but never found because it’s pretty tricky.
Right below the stag station, you can get to this grub by walking straight from the station, dropping down, then walking into the wall on your left. Simple and straightforward.
To get this grub the correct way, head to the left of the stag station, then up. Then, instead of heading right again, go up. You can then head all the way up for the grub. I just went outside the Queen’s house and then dash-slashed the wall, but you do you, friend.
Keep going up at the entrance to Greenpath near the top of Queen’s Gardens. You must do a series of Mantis Claws, pogoing off spikes, using the Crystal Heart and Monarch Wings, and hitting enemies away. This one is tough, and I’d recommend using Mark of Pride.
This area only contains three grubs, but they’re tricky and pretty difficult. Cool grubs all around, though.
Containing a whopping five grubs, Deepnest and its dark corridors, creepy crawlies, and overwhelmingly bad vibes is the last major obstacle in Grub Hunting.
This one is located in the topmost egg house in the village. Climb up the left wall if you have already had enough of being kidnapped and knocked out. It’s in the upper right of this (weirdly non-threatening, at this point) maze and is obtained with little more than the items you need to reach the egg in the first place.
Down and to the right of the stag is the vast open area with a maze-like interior. At the very middle of this is a grub that can only be reached using the Monarch wings or by falling from the Queen’s Gardens entrance and heading right.
To the left of the hot springs is the Nosk den, where a grub resides. It’s actually right below the entrance of the wall you just broke open to get in here, but you’ll have to go through the entire maze to get to it.
Headed up from the room to the left of the hot springs, there’s a small corridor with a grub on the left. This one is easiest to reach using the Crystal Heart, but you can get it by just pogoing the spikes on the wall.
In the very top right of the map, just below the drop from the Fungal Wastes, there’s a breakable wall on the right that will lead into a small room containing the final grub trapped away in the depths of Deepnest.
After that, you should have every grub in the scariest and darkest area in the game. I’m glad to be out of here since the last few areas only contain a few grubs, making my job easy.
Ancient Basin Grubs
Both the grubs in the Ancient basin are on the left side where the Monarch Wings are first acquired, and only about three crystal dashes away from the Palace Grounds hidden station stag.
After buying a bench and then Crystal Dashing to the other side, go ahead and head upwards for a grub in the top right of the map. This one requires the Monarch Wings, which is to be expected from the area that contains them.
Headed straight down from the previous grub, this one is in the maze you had to travel to get the wings in the bottom right. It’s funny because you can just sit here and be invisible.
After that, we only have one more area to clear through, so get ready for some buzzy bees.
The Hive Grubs
The final two grubs on our journey are in the optional, hidden area. I kinda hate the Hive, but honestly, I’m just glad we’re almost to the finish line.
This one is only accessible by taking the lower left route in the Kingdom’s Edge and coming in from the top using Isma’s Tear. This one should be counted as a Kingdom’s Edge grub, but it isn’t since it’s technically inside the top-right of the hive.
This one is one of the harder ones, so it’s saved for last. At the top left of the room preceding the Hive Knight fight, use the crystal heart to the right until you see a hole in the ceiling. You must cancel the crystal dash at the right time, then use Monarch Wings to get up. Alternatively, you could pogo on a giant bee up there if you’re insane.
With that, you’ve collected both grubs in my least favorite area in Hollow Knight, and if you’ve been following the guide up to this point, every single one in the game.
Questions and Answers
Question: Do I have to collect every grub in Hollow Knight?
Answer: The grubs are optional and only give money and collectibles.
Question: How many grubs are in Hollow Knight?
Answer: There are 46 grubs, with the City of Tears containing most of them.
Question: How much money do you earn from grubs in Hollow Knight?
Answer: After giving every grub, the grub father provides a grand total of 6,630 geo.
Despite the hefty task of exploring Hallownest again, I had fun writing this guide, finding the location of every grub again, making the maps, and taking screenshots. Hollow Knight is a fun game to dive in and explore again, even if I’ve seen everything it offers.
The grubs are a great reward in and of themselves; just be sure not to return to the grub room again after getting your final reward if you don’t want to be very upset. I’d recommend any Hollow Knight player to go after the grubs for the fun of the hunt.