hollow knight best charm combos

Hollow Knight Best Charm Combos

Depending on what Charms you equip, you can make Hollow Knight much easier or much harder. Some combinations are better when you’re going up against bosses but are nightmarish when you’re trying to explore Hallownest and platform (seriously, don’t take Grimmchild into the White Palace or Fog Canyon).

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Other combinations are great when exploring Hallownest, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the map but are awful in boss fights (taking the Wayward Compass into a boss fight is a wasted charm notch). However you play, you should expect to regularly bench to swap out charms, especially if you’re struggling with a boss.

Of course, doing some intense Charm Combos isn’t viable in the early stages of the game, where you only have a handful of charms, but you can still equip two or three different charms (that don’t include Wayward Compass) to make boss fights or exploring a bit easier.

If you’re in the later parts of the game, it’s more than likely that you’re looking for boss-fight-oriented charms, especially if you’re looking to take on the pantheons. In that case, you probably won’t change your charms as often, and at this point, you shouldn’t be using Wayward Compass or something like Baldur’s Shell.

Regardless of your point in the game, what follows are some of the best charm combinations to aim for in this Hollow Knight Best Charm Combos guide.

A Quick Slash

There are a lot of different ways you can combine charms. If you combine the right Charms, you might even discover something called Charm Synergy, which gives some Charms a slightly different effect than usual (for example, Defender’s Crest and Flukenest will make one giant Fluke that explodes, rather than a brief swarm of Flukes).

In general, you should expect most of the best charm combinations to be oriented towards dealing a lot of damage, generally in quick succession, rather than focusing on defense and tanking as much damage as possible.

Hollow Knight Best Charm Combos

Selection Criteria

There are a few reasons why certain charms have been carefully picked to work together. Generally, the charm builds below have been picked because of one or more of the following reasons:

  • The charms complement each other.
  • The charms have Charm Synergy.
  • The build is fun to mess around Hallownest with.
  • The build is good for new players.
  • The charm build is good for veteran players.
  • The charms are good for specific in-game situations.

Charms and Notches

As you explore the game, you’ll naturally gain charms from chests or from defeating bosses. They can also be bought for a decent amount of Geo from Sly, Salubra, or Iselda (though mainly from Salubra).

Charm Notches are required if you want to equip more than one or two charms; these are picked up from various locations.

  • Salubra (4 Notches for sale)
  • Colosseum of Fools, Trial of the Warrior
  • Fog Canyon (Isma’s Tear required)
  • Fungal Wastes (Shrumal Ogre Mini-boss room)
  • Defeating Troupemaster Grimm (part of the free Grimm Troupe DLC)

Melee Fighter Supreme

Melee Fighter Supreme Hollow Knight Best Charm Combos

  • Total Notches: 12
  • Best For: Exploring, Boss Fights
  • Criteria Fit: These charms complement each other and are great for new and veteran players.

This build requires you to have every Charm Notch in the game, making it a definitively late-game combo. However, it’s great for exploring what remains of Hallownest to be found and for fighting the last remaining bosses.

By using Fragile Strength or Unbreakable Strength, you can increase your overall damage output, which is great if you’ve upgraded your Nail with pale ore or you’ve found and begun to use the Nail Arts. I highly encourage you to go to Divine from the Grimm Troupe DLC to make it unbreakable, however, or else you’ll visit Leg Eater a lot if you accidentally die and break it.

You have a significantly extended range thanks to Longnail and Mark of Pride, and Quick Slash ensures that you can pretty much spam your attacks and get multiple hits where you’d normally only get one or two.

This is a great build if, like me, you often forget that spells exist and don’t use them as much as you should. If you also prefer melee fighting and throw yourself into the fight far more often than you should (also like me), then you should consider trying this Charm combo.


Spellmeister Hollow Knight Charm Combos

  • Total Notches: 12
  • Best For: Exploring, Boss Fights
  • Criteria Fit: Great for veteran players, and the charms complement each other.

The Spellmeister Charm combo build is another one that you will need every charm notch for. You can cut it down and mix and match the charms with others how you want, but if you want a very good spell-based build in Hollow Knight, then this is the route you need to go.

For this charm combo, you’ll need all of your notches again, making it a late-game build. However, this will make exploring the Infected Crossroads significantly easier. You’ll need the Shaman Stone, Soul Catcher, Soul Eater, and Spell Twister charms.

Although I might not have been as spell-oriented in my playthrough when I did want to use spells to deal damage and fight my way through the crowds of various infected bugs, I wanted the spells to be strong and, preferably, take as few tries as possible to clean house. With this build, you will be looking at something like that.

You might have to dart in and occasionally take a few swipes with your nail to build your Soul back up, but you should regain it fairly quickly to return to being a spell-based warrior.

Minion Master

Minion Master Hollow Knight Charm Combos

  • Total Notches: 6
  • Best For: Exploring
  • Criteria Fit: It’s just fun and great for all players because of that.

So this Charm combo isn’t necessarily the strongest, but it’s certainly one of the most fun. You get to run around Hallownest with a bunch of little buddies, and who doesn’t like that? For this build, you’ll need six notches, which you can get when you’re about halfway through your game, which means you can have your minions for most of the game.

You’ll need the Weaversong Charm, Grimmchild, and Glowing Womb. Because you need Grimmchild to complete this build, head back through Forgotten Crossroads and up through King’s Pass to activate the brazier that summons the Grimme Troupe to Hallownest.

To be fair, you really shouldn’t take them into Fog Canyon (unless you like exploding every time they hit one of the Jellyfish) or into the White Palace (unless you like constantly failing your platforming). But when you’re anywhere else, it’s kind of fun to watch your little friends suddenly shift into attack mode and fight for your honor.

It’s either you or the enemy, and your little buddies would rather watch the world burn before you die.

Everybody Goes Down

Everybody Goes Down Hollow Knight Charm Combos

  • Total Notches: 4
  • Best For: Boss Fights
  • Criteria Fit: It’s fun and is great for veteran players to try out if they want to experience boss fights in a new way.

Honestly, this is a surprisingly good combination for Boss Fights, especially the ones where they move so quickly that contact damage is inevitable (like the Mantis Lords, for instance). You’ll need Spore Shroom, Shape of Unn, and Defender’s Crest to make this build.

If you have every Charm Notch, you can add others on to aid in your fight, but you can return the Contact damage of the bosses in kind. Contact damage can be one of the most annoying mechanics in games, especially in Hollow Knight, and yet, I wouldn’t get rid of it so long as this combo continues to exist.

I’ll make the fight just as annoying for them as it was for me the first time I participated. It’s worth noting, though, that even if you have this AoE combo, you still shouldn’t charge into your fight headfirst because that will still get you killed.

Self-Healing Lifeblood Hearts

Self-Healing Lifeblood Hearts Hollow Knight Charm Combos

  • Total Notches: 8
  • Best For: Path of Pain, Exploring, Boss Fights
  • Criteria Fit: It’s just fun and will save both veteran and new players a lot of heartache in the White Palace.

The Hiveblood and Joni’s Mask charms make an interesting combo because Hiveblood specifically turns all of your hearts into a honeyed chrysalis form that can slowly regenerate over time. Combined with Joni’s Blessing, however, they gain an extra shell that will make it harder to take damage, but that shell will slowly regenerate thanks to Hiveblood.

You won’t be able to heal with your Soul thanks to technically having “blue” hearts now, but that just means that you can focus your attention on casting spells instead of trying to heal constantly. So long as you can avoid getting hit, you’ll always regain your health.

Maybe you could throw on Shaman Stone to go with this combo or throw on something like Glowing Womb, which uses Soul to create the little Knight flies to help deal damage.

One Healthy Bug

One Healthy Bug Hollow Knight Charm Combos

  • Total Notches: 12
  • Best For: Exploring, Boss Fights
  • Criteria Fit: Great for newer players and some endgame content. These charms also complement each other well.

This build with Fragile Heart or Unbreakable Heart, Deep Focus, Quick Focus, and Hiveblood is probably the closest you’re going to come to be able to tank Hollow Knight. Team Cherry probably didn’t intend for anybody to try to tank Hollow Knight, but who is going to stop you?

I certainly can’t; in fact, I’m here encouraging you to try being a tank. Losing masks, especially in the White Palace, is a terrifying experience, but at least with this build, you can bring back your masks by focusing soul quickly and having a lot of hearts. It won’t increase your nail damage, but they’re certainly the best charms for being a tank.

Lifeblood For Days

Lifeblood For Days Hollow Knight Charm Combos

  • Total Notches: 12
  • Best For: The Ancient Basin Lifeblood Door
  • Criteria Fit: Very specific scenario or good for veteran players.

Admittedly, these charms shouldn’t be used when you’re just exploring the game or when you’re going into boss fights. The only serious use for this build, unless you’re trying to challenge yourself as a veteran player, is when you’re trying to unlock a Lifeblood Door.

There are two Lifeblood Doors you’ll run across, one in the Ancient Basin and the Other in Godhome. The only one you can use this build on is the Ancient Basin’s Lifeblood Door, which requires 14 Lifeblood Hearts or 15 if you choose to equip Joni’s Blessing.

For this build, you’ll equip Lifeblood Heart, Lifeblood Core, Joni’s Blessing, and Unbreakable Heart or Fragile Heart.

This will put you way over the limit with 23 Hearts, which means you have some cushion room while you’re trying to get in. There’s no focusing soul to restore masks when you only have Lifeblood Hearts, so be incredibly careful on your way down.

Soulful Weaverlings

Soulful Weaverlings Hollow Knight Charm Combos

  • Total Notches: 2
  • Best For: Exploring, Boss Fights
  • Criteria Fit: Charm Synergy, and it’s easy for new players to use.

With this simple combo, you can rely on your Weaverlings to do a bit of work for you. Every time they hit an enemy, they’ll regenerate 3 Soul for you, thanks to Grubsong. This might seem odd, considering that Grubsong is supposed to regenerate Soul when you take damage.

However, thanks to something called Charm Synergy, the effect is slightly changed to offer something slightly more favorable that doesn’t rely on you taking damage in order for the effect to work. This is a slightly more passive combination that works well to support you during your fights.

However, you might want to make sure you take off the Weaverlings if you’re wandering through Fog Canyon or the White Palace, considering that they are minions who will run around and make your life much more difficult if you’re trying to platform or sneak by without a fight.

Fluke Bomb

Fluke Bomb Hollow Knight Charm Combos

  • Total Notches: 3
  • Best For: Exploring, Boss Fights
  • Criteria Fit: It’s fun and lets you see Charm Synergy.

The Fluke Bomb combo takes advantage of Charm Synergy in the same way that the Soulful Weaverlings combo does. Where Flukenest would normally turn your Vengeful spirit spell into a flurry of flukes flying out in front of you, the Defender’s Crest will turn it into one massive Fluke.

This big Fluke deals three damage when it hits your enemy and then promptly explodes into a cloud of the Defender’s Crest dung fog that will deal more damage the longer your enemy stays in its reach. This is a fun combination to use, whether you’re in a boss fight or you’re exploring Hallownest, though Defender’s Crest can make some areas a bit more dangerous thanks to the AoE damage.

The Fluke Bomb combo is also a fairly low-cost combination, so you’re free to use other charms while you have these two equipped.

The Godhome Combo

The Godhome Combo Hollow Knight Charm Combos

  • Total Notches: 12
  • Best For: Boss Fights
  • Criteria Fit: Great for late-game content, the charms work well together, and it’s good for veterans.

If you’ve finally gotten to the point where you can access Godhome and are trying to make your way through the DLC, this is a very good Charm combo to try out when testing out each Pantheon. This isn’t a guaranteed win for each boss battle (a fair bit of skill is still required), but it’ll make things slightly more manageable.

Like the Melee Fighter Supreme Charm combo, this one uses 3 of the same Charms: Unbreakable Strength or Fragile Strength, Quick Slash, and Mark of Pride. However, the Godhome Combo takes advantage of Sharp Shadow and makes your last-minute dodges more dangerous for your enemy than you.

Even if you’re not going into Godhome, this is a good combination for the final fight against the Broken Vessel in the Black Egg Temple. I wish this had been the first Charm combo I tried before the final fight because it would have made my life easier.

Explorer’s Build

Explorer's Build Hollow Knight Charm Combos

  • Total Notches: 12
  • Best For: Exploring, Boss Fights
  • Criteria Fit: It’s fun and is a great way to have an all-around experience in Hollow Knight.

For the most part, aside from Nailmaster’s Glory and Soul Eater, this build can be made early on. After you get Desolate Dive and gain access to the Resting Grounds, you can get Soul Eater. Well… aside from the 12 charm requirement.

That will take you a bit of time unless you know where every charm is (though having a complete map on hand helps).

The Nailmaster’s Glory, on the other hand, requires that you have visited every Nailmaster in the game and learned the various nail arts. For the most part, though, this is a great build for exploring the last half of Hallownest and whatever nooks and alcoves were left untouched in previous excursions.

The Explorer’s Build combo, with Quick Focus, Shaman Stone, Soul Eater, and Nailmaster’s Glory, boosts both your melee attacks and your spells and will help you heal slightly faster than you would otherwise (which will be really nice if you end up stuck in a tenuous position where one wrong move could mean death).


Question: What is the most useful Charm in Hollow Knight?

Answer: The most useful Charm in Hollow Knight would likely be Quick Slash or Quick Focus. Quick Slash allows you to attack faster (which means getting more hits in during a boss fight), and Quick Focus allows you to heal faster, which can be life-saving in most boss fights.

Question: What is the overall best Charm combination in Hollow Knight?

Answer: The most versatile and useless Charm combination would be the Explorer’s Build, which uses Quick Focus, Shaman Stone, Soul Eater, and Nailmaster’s Glory. If you really wanted to, you could always replace Nailmaster’s Glory with any other 1-notch Charm, like Grubsong, Sprintmaster, Defender’s Crest, et..c. Whatever works best for you during your game.

Question: What happens if you are overcharmed?

Answer: If you forcefully overcharm in Hollow Knight, you will take double damage whenever you are hit. Suppose you’re really careful about getting hit and confident in your ability to avoid damage. In that case, you should absolutely overcharm – after all, there’s not much of a reason not to if you can avoid getting hit. However, if you tend to tank a lot of damage, you should avoid overcharming.

The Final Fight

Experimenting with different combinations of Charms in Hollow Knight can be an incredibly fun or incredibly frustrating experience.

Forgetting to take off minion charms, like Weaversong or Grimmchild, ended up being the bane of my existence in certain areas of Hallownest. While I love them dearly, it’s pushed me away from using them regularly.

Having a versatile build, like the Explorer’s Build, is a great way to ensure you can dip your toes into a little bit of everything that Hollow Knight offers, but you can certainly lean into specific aspects, like the melee or spell combat if it suits you.

It can be difficult to make Metroidvania’s play the way that you want them to, as they often force you to learn their gameplay and enemy’s patterns.

However, the Charms in Hollow Knight help to bend the gameplay and customize it to how you want to play instead. It doesn’t break the game or completely revolutionize fighting, but it can make things much easier, depending on the combination.

Discover the Enigmatic World of Hollow Knight | GOG

Immerse yourself in the hauntingly beautiful world of "Hollow Knight," where every step unveils secrets and challenges waiting to be conquered. With its captivating art style and intricate gameplay, embark on an epic journey filled with mystery, danger, and discovery unlike any other.

Check Price
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
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