In Hollow Knight, you need to do everything in your power to make your journey easier, and other than the spells you acquire and the charms you find, upgrading your Nail with the few and far between Pale Ore found on the map is more important than you might presume. This Pale Ore Hollow Knight guide will help you find all of them in Hallownest.
Pale Ore in Hollow Knight is a pale metal shard found throughout Hallownest, and you can give it to the Nailsmith along with a certain amount of Geo to get your Nail upgraded.
You first need to find your way to the Nailsmith. He is in the City of Tears on the lower left side of the city. He will sharpen your Nail for 250 Geo only, without the need for Pale Ore. This first upgrade will give you 4 additional Nail damage, getting you to 9 damage with each hit when using your Nail.
There is Pale Ore at six locations in Hallownest:
- Resting Grounds: Seer
- Forgotten Crossroads: Grubfather
- Ancient Basin
- Crystal Peak at the Hallownest’s Crown
- Deepnest: After defeating Nosk
- Kingdom’s Edge: Given as a reward after completing the Trial of the Conqueror
The easiest way to get your first Pale Ore is by acquiring 300 Essence with the Dream Nail and visiting Seer in Resting Grounds. You need two for your second Nail upgrade and three for your third Nail upgrade, so this is only the beginning.
You can get your second Nail upgrade from the Nailsmith with this Pale Ore and 800 Geo. I highly recommend taking the time to travel back and doing so as it will help you greatly. You will get the Channelled Nail that deals 13 damage; for reference, the Nail that you started with does 5 damage.
Second Pale Ore, a relatively difficult one to acquire, is gifted by the Grubfather in the Forgotten Crossroads. He is located in the Grubhome, one of the first places you’ll come across, on the upper left side of the Forgotten Crossroads; just straight left from the well.
You need to visit him after rescuing thirty-one Grubs. Grubs are small worms trapped in jars all over the map, and there are forty-six of them in Hallownest. Some are Grub Mimics, so be careful as they transform and become hostile. You can check if a Grub is a true Grub by Dream Nailing the Jar. Grubs will always say “…Home…”, but Mimic Grubs will say “…Kill…” and similar things.
You might already have thirty-one Grubs, but I hope the map helps if you don’t!
The Grubfather, in most cases, gives you only Geo. If you rescue thirty-one grubs, he will give you one Pale Ore instead.
Third Pale Ore is in Ancient Basin, west of the tram station. With this third Pale Ore, you can upgrade your Nail again, but you have to defeat the two Lesser Mawleks guarding it. You can stay close to them to prevent them from spitting the orange blobs and just dodge their melee attack. Play defensively as they can deal a lot of damage when there are two of them.
You can now get your third Nail upgrade for 2000 Geo giving you the Coiled Nail that deals 17 damage.
This Pale Ore is in Crystal Peak at the top at the Hallownest’s Crown at the statue of Radiance. I recommend that you go after this one after acquiring the Mantis Claw, Monarch Wings, and Crystal Heart.
The Mantis Claw allows you to climb up the walls by jumping and grants you the ability to slide down the walls. You can find it in the Mantis Village.
Monarch wings are the double jump, and you need Crystal Heart to reach it after the Broken Vessel boss fight in the Ancient Basin.
Crystal Heart allows you to fly horizontally away from the wall and requires the Mantis Claw and dash to acquire in Crystal Peak.
Monarch Wings and Crystal Heart will make this journey a lot easier, but the Mantis Claw is the only one that you actually can’t get this Pale Ore without. Having all three will make the platforming part a lot easier.
The next Pale Ore requires defeating a boss before you can enter the room in which this Pale Ore is located. The boss fight is in an arena in a lair, closed off from the rest of the map, hidden behind a secret passage.
You can access Nosk’s lair in Deepnest by breaking a wall into the hidden part of the map west of the Hot Spring. You will see your reflection drawing you deeper into the cave until you eventually realize that Nosk was luring you into a trap.
Nosk has several attacks and isn’t an effortless boss to defeat. He has a charge attack, a Leap attack, and two infected blob attacks. He is fast and takes up almost a third of the entire arena, so it’s challenging to dodge his attacks.
During one of his attacks, though, where he stands on the platform in the middle of the arena (Eruption), you can snuggle up to the wall on either side of the platform and dodge all of the infected blobs he throws at you – just a small tip. You can also heal during this attack, making it easier to defeat him.
During the blob rain attack, he is still in the arena, just out of sight, so having the Grimmchild charm and/or Glowing Womb charm can help immensely as they can track and deal damage to him. Longnail and Mark of Pride are charmed good for most boss fights, and Nosk is one you don’t want to be close to. A charge attack always follows the Eruption attack, so be careful and select your charms wisely as he is, as already mentioned, quick. I would fight him defensively, as he is very fast and has 680 health.
The Pale Ore is just right of Nosk, and then you just need the last one to get your final Nail upgrade.
For the sixth and last Pale Ore, you need to complete the Trial of the Conqueror in the Colosseum of Fools. To get to the Colosseum of Fools, you need to climb up to the top of Kindom’s Edge to find a cave that leads to the Colosseum. The Colosseum is in a shell of a massive bug held by chains. There are three trails that you can select once inside where the Little Fool manages payments.
As mentioned, there are three trials, and to get to the Trial of the Conqueror, you first must complete the Trial of the Warrior. The Trial of the Warrior is the easiest of the three and requires 100 Geo to unlock. After completing it, you get a Charm Notch, 1000-1024 Geo, and the Warrior achievement.
The second and the important one in this situation is the Trial of the Conqueror, which requires 450 Geo to unlock, and as a reward, you get Pale Ore, 2000-2020 Geo, and the Conqueror achievement.
The third one, the Trial of the Fool, is brutal and requires 800 Geo to open. Upon finishing, you get 3000-3020 Geo and the Fool achievement.
I have some suggestions. Other than using the Abyss Shriek to one-shot almost all of the flying enemies, below is a list of charms that I think are the most beneficial in the Colosseum of Fools:
- Shaman Stone (Notch cost: 3): Can be bought from Salubra for 220 Geo. Increases the damage and hitbox of all of your spells.
- Quick Slash (Notch cost: 3): Can be found in Kingdom’s Edge. Decreases attack duration and cooldown.
- Longnail (Notch cost: 2): Can be bought from Salubra for 300 Geo. Increases your Nail range by 15%.
- Nailmaster’s Glory (Notch cost: 1): Given by Sly after learning all three Nail Arts. Reduces the charge time of Nail Arts.
- Mark of Pride (Notch cost: 3): Can be found in a chest room in the Mantis Village. Increases Nail range by 25%.
- Sharp Shadow (Notch cost: 2): Can be found in Deepnest behind a Shade Gate and requires you to have Shade Cloak pass through the Shade Gate. Damages enemies for the same amount of damage that your Nail deals and increases Shade Cloak by 39%.
- Quick Focus (Notch cost: 3): Can be bought from Salubra for 800 Geo. Increases your focus speed by 33%.
- Hiveblood (Notch cost: 4): Can be found in the Hive after defeating the Hive Knight. Passively restores the last mask you lost.
- Steady Body (Notch cost: 1): Can be bought from Salubra for 120 Geo. Removes all knockback and recoil when being hit or using the Nail.
- Fragile/Unbreakable Strength (Notch cost: 3): Can be purchased from Leg Eater for 480 Geo and given to Divine to make it unbreakable for 15000 Geo. Increases Nail damage by 50%.
- Thorns of Agony (Notch cost: 1): Can be found in Greenpath, Requires dash to reach. Damages nearby enemies fir the base Nail damage when hit.
- Grubsong (Notch cost: 1): Given by the Grubfather after saving ten Grubs. Enables you to gain Soul when taking damage.
The Trial of the Conqueror at points has no floor, and you have to engage in mid-air combat while wall jumping without healing, so grab every chance to heal that you can get. I recommend not going into this one without the Shade Cloak, and you can always leave one enemy alive at the end of waves to kite them around and heal them.
There is one wave where you only have one Grub Mimic in a jar so remember to save your Soul as this is the best chance to heal during this whole battle.
The wave with the Grub Mimic is the tenth wave in the thirteenth wave is when the floor gets covered in spikes, so that is where you have no chance to heal, and three Armoured Squits and one Winged Fool will spawn, not in that order. I recommend using the Great Slash here and having it ready to clear this wave up as fast as possible; this is where the Nailmaster’s Glory comes into play. The second thing you can do is just attack the enemies from above (down hitting them) and double jumping; this gives you unlimited double jumps.
Knocking enemies into the spikes kills them instantly, and you can do that either by knocking them off the platform or knocking them down by attacking them from above. There are seventeen waves on the Trial of the Conqueror alone, and this last Pale Ore is undoubtedly the hardest to acquire.
After getting this Pale Ore, you can go to the Nailsmith with three Pale Ore and 4000 Geo to upgrade your Coiled Nail to a Pure Nail. The Pure Nail deals 21 damage.
The Nailsmith will then ask you to cut him down and leave as he has served his purpose, and he is left without one.
Cutting him down will get you the Purity achievement. You will get the Happy Couple achievement if you just leave as he will find a new passion for making wooden figurines with Sheo in his hut.
The Nailsmith won’t move to Sheo’s hut if you have not previously acquired the Great Slash though, he will still end up at Sheo’s if you’ve gained the ability afterward and rested on a bench.
Question: What does Pale Ore do in Hollow Knight?
Answer: Pale Ore in Hollow Knight is a pale metal shard found throughout Hallownest, and you can give it to the Nailsmith along with a certain amount of Geo to get your Nail upgraded.
Question: How many Pale Ores are in Hollow Knight?
Answer: There is Pale Ore at six locations in Hallownest.
Question: Where is a Pale Ore in Hollow Knight?
- Resting Grounds – Seer
- Forgotten Crossroads – Grubfather
- Ancient Basin
- Crystal Peak at the Hallownest’s Crown
- Deepnest – after defeating Nosk
- Kingdom’s Edge – given as a reward after completing the Trial of the Conqueror
Question: What is the easiest Pale Ore to get in Hollow Knight?
Answer: The easiest way to get your first Pale Ore is by acquiring 300 Essence with the Dream Nail and visiting Seer in Resting Grounds.
Question: How many times can you upgrade your Nail in Hollow Knight?
Answer: From your starting Nail, you can upgrade your Nail four times. You first need to find your way to the Nailsmith. He is in the City of Tears on the lower left side of the city. He will sharpen your Nail for 250 Geo only, without the need for Pale Ore.
Question: Where is the Seer in Hollow Knight?
Answer: Seer is in Resting Grounds. After you inspect the Statue of the Dreamers, where you need to go through a platforming section and get the Dream Nail, you will wake up in Seer’s little cave.
Question: Where is the Nailsmith in Hollow Knight?
Answer: He is in the City of Tears on the lower left side of the city.
Question: Is Nosk a hard boss in Hollow Knight?
Answer: Nosk has several attacks and isn’t an effortless boss to defeat. He has a charge attack, a Leap attack, and two infected blob attacks. He is fast and takes up almost a third of the entire arena, so it’s challenging to dodge his attacks. During one of his attacks, though, where he stands on the platform in the middle of the arena (Eruption), you can snuggle up to the wall on either side of the platform and dodge all of the infected blobs he throws at you – just a small tip. You can also heal during this attack, making it a bit easier to defeat him.
Pale Ore is a vital part of Hollow Knight, and unless you’re a speedrunner, it is more or less essential for progressing through the game. You have other abilities and charms, but having your primary and reliable source of damage as strong as possible will make Hollow Knight easier and less frustrating to finish. Getting all six Pale Ore is a bit demanding but highly rewarding.