The Worst Hollow Knight Charms Ranked

Hollow Knight is a punishing game; there’s no getting around that. But, if you’re clever with your build, you can equip a cocktail of Charms that might just help you push through the Path of Pain, or one of the soul crushing Pantheons that this game has to offer. 

That being said, not all Hollow Knight Charms are created equal, and this can lead to some confusion as to what Charms are worth spending Charm Notches on, and which Charms simply aren’t worth equipping at all. 

Well, we aim to help you out by revealing which are the Worst Hollow Knight Charms, which will allow you to determine which Charms in your collection are as Mighty as Zote, and which deserve to be forgotten about forevermore. Without further delay, let’s rank ’em. This is Indie Game Culture’s Worst Hollow Knight Charms Ranked Guide! 

Selection Criteria

Before we get into things and start using those precious Charm Notches, we need to establish some rules to help rank all of these Charms. So here are the criteria that we will be using on this occasion: 

  • We will be considering the effectiveness of charms throughout the entire game
  • We will be taking the amount of notches needed into account
  • We will be considering the availability of each Charm

Okay, enough babbling, let’s get down to business! 

The Worst Hollow Knight Charms Ranked

#12 – Sprintmaster

hollow knight Sprintmaster charm

The ‘best of the worst’ in terms of Hollow Knight Charms, in my eyes, has to be Sprintmaster. This is a pretty inoffensive and cheap Charm that allows you to move faster through the world, and if you’re a Speedrunner, you’ll probably really appreciate this one. However, for the general player, this one is a bit pointless, and doesn’t have any functionality outside of exploring. 

If you have access to the Mothwing Cloak, and the Crystal Heart, this added speed really isn’t worthwhile unless you have a speedrunning timer counting the seconds as they pass, so while it isn’t a bad charm to have, it’s nowhere near as outstanding as some of the others that I wouldn’t dare mention on this list. 

#11 – Lifeblood Heart/Lifeblood Core

Lifeblood Heart/Lifeblood Core hollow knight charm

Next up on the unwanted Charm list, we have a Charm that honestly isn’t that bad in the form of Lifeblood Heart or Lifeblood Core. This charm will give the player some Lifeblood Masks every time they rest at a bench, and this effectively gives you either two or four extra masks depending on the Charm in question. But here’s the thing. 

As soon as you lose those Lifeblood Masks, you suddenly have a dead Charm that isn’t helping you for the rest of a battle, or until you find your next bench.

I can’t dispute that the extra health is appreciated, but as soon as it’s gone, you’ll be weaker than you would have been with a Charm with a constant effect. So even though Lifeblood Heart and Core will undoubtedly have their defenders, I think this is in fact one of the worst Hollow Knight Charms to choose from. 

#10 – Longnail

Longnail hollow knight charm

This is perhaps a little controversial, as Longnail is a good early-game charm, and allows you to strike foes from a farther range.

However, the reason why I include it in this Worst Hollow Knigth Charms list is because it becomes obsolete so quickly, as the player will get their hands on the far superior Mark of Pride charm after defeating the Mantis Lords. 

If you’re someone that leaves the Mantis Lords fight until later in the game, you may dispute this, but as soon as you get Mark of Pride, this one will only useful if you want to combine the two for mega-range, and let’s face it, there’s better options than that. 

#9 – Glowing Womb

hollow knight Glowing Womb charm

I don’t know about you, but I like being able to count on gaining SOUL, and then it still being there when it comes time to use it. This is something that won’t happen if you equip Glowing Womb. 

This charm will passively drain your Soul, and the trade-off is that little hatchlings will spawn to help you in battle.

There are somewhat helpful, but due to the fact that you might not have SOUL to heal when you need it most makes it a Charm I just can’t trust, and sees it rank low in terms of Hollow Knight Charm options. 

#8 – Spore Shroom

Spore Shroom hollow knight charm

This one pops up on this list for the same reason Defender’s Crest will pop up in a moment. This Charm allows you to emit Spores when you heal, and this can be a good way to deal damage while gaining some health at the same time. It sounds great in theory, put in action there are so few places in the game where this can be put to good use. 

To make this an effective Charm, you would probably need to combine it with Baldur Shell, and by that point, you’re wasting too many Charms to make this one viable.

The one upside here is that it allows you to talk to Mr. Mushroom and complete the Passing of Age achievement, so it has its place, but in terms of gameplay, it’s not one I would use outside of completing this questline. 

#7 – Fury Of The Fallen

Fury Of The Fallen hollow knight charm

Unless you are very early in the game, and Nail Jumped over to get this one in King’s Pass, I don’t see why you would waste Charm Notches on this one.

I suppose it has value as, in a very sticky situation, it might be the difference between killing an enemy or being killed, but if you’re counting on a Charm that only comes into effect when you’re on one Mask of health, then you need to ask yourself, is that a good tactic?

In my book, absolutely not, but considering you can get it very early in the game, it’s a little higher than it would be otherwise. 

#6 – Defender’s Crest

Defender's Crest hollow knight charm

As promised, we now move on to the Charm that makes you as smelly as the Dung Defender himself. The problem with this one is that it’s just far too situational to be regularly useful.

It allows the player to deal damage to anyone in close proximity to your Knight. But combat is so fast-paced, and everything on screen tends to be darting around, so there isn’t much call for poisonous smog around your person. 

It has to be noted that, if you can pen an enemy into a corner and keep them there, like, say, Lost Kin, for example, this Charm can be a decent option, but as I said, unless there is a very particular situation that calls for Defender’s Crest, it’s otherwise rather pointless. 

#5 – Kingsoul/Voidheart

Kingsoul hollow knight charm

We have a few back-to-back Charms that allow players to gain SOUL, mainly because as you get better at the game, this becomes far less important unless you really lean into Spells.

First up, we have Kingsoul, which to its credit, is easily the best of the bunch in this category, as it allows you to gain SOUL back passively without needing to do anything. This could have been a great charm for exploring tough areas, and taking on platforming challenges, but for the cost alone, it’s too rich for our blood. 

Then when it gets replaced by Voidheart, it becomes a free charm that unites the Void, but unless you regularly get pummelled by your own shade, or frequent the Abyss often, this is a pretty weak replacement. But hey, at least it’s free. And let’s face it, you probably weren’t going to use Kingsoul anyway. 

#4 – SOUL Catcher

SOUL Catcher charm hollow knight

SOUL Catcher finds itself below Kingsoul on this list due to the fact that with this one, you still need to go and get the SOUL through standard means.

This Charm gives the player more SOUL every time they gain some SOUL, but what makes this one a rather poor investment of Charm Notches is that the amount of SOUL that you get in addition to the normal amount is pretty negligible, and for the cost of this Charm, you could equip something that will help you land more hits and avoid attacks, so really, it’s quite wasteful. 

#3 – Dream Wielder

hollow knight charms ranked

The two above are pretty bad, but Dream Weilder takes it to another level. In what world would I try to gain SOUL by using my Dream Nail?

Yes, it is the most efficient way to gain SOUL, technically speaking, but even with this Charm equipped, the wind-up to each Dream Nail hit still takes forever, and there are far easier ways to keep the SOUL meter filled. 

It does come in handy when clearing out Spirit’s Glade, but other than that, it’s a Charm that you can pretty much avoid entirely. 

#2 – Fragile/Unbreakable Greed

Unbreakable Greed hollow knight charm

If you’ve played through the entirety of Hollow Knight, you’ll know that there often isn’t enough places to actually spend your Geo, and you end up hoarding loads of Geo, unless you use Mirabelle’s bank or just buy things for the sake of it. 

Well, This charm allows you to obtain more Geo per kill. Which can be somewhat helpful if you need an item like the Lumafly Lantern for example, and lost all your Geo by mistake, but if you just play naturally and equip Gathering Swarm, I assure you, you’ll see how useless this Charm is. 

#40 – Heavy Blow

Heavy Blow hollow knight charm

Then, taking up the unwanted top spot as the Worst Charm in Hollow Knight, we have Heavy Blow. This is easily the most pointless Charm in the game. It’s essentially the direct opposite of Steady Body, but at least that one serves a purpose, as it allows you to stay on the front foot.

This one just launches enemies away with each attack, meaning you can’t get attacks in with any sort of regularity, and depending on the enemy, this can actually make them tougher to kill.

It can be somewhat useful if you want to knock a boss into a corner and keep them there, especially if you double it up with Steady Body, but generally speaking, it’s a pretty lame Charm, and our least favorite overall. 

The Worst of The Bunch

So there you have it, The Worst Hollow Knight Charms ranked. Some of these Charms are just plain pointless, but in their defense, even these silly, and often unuseful charms can be played around with to make strange and fun builds to play around with.

Which is why so many players are still fighting through Hallownest today. We hope you enjoyed this list, and as always, thanks for reading Indie Game Culture! 

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