About halfway through Hollow Knight, you’re introduced to a new set of collectibles known as Essence. There are multiple sources of this new collectible in the game. Here’s how and where you can get Essence in Hollow Knight.
What Is Essence?
Essence is an energy you can begin harnessing right after you collect the Dream Nail. The Seer, an NPC you’ll immediately meet when you get the Dream Nail, will give you various rewards when you collect certain amounts of Essence. Here are the rewards you’ll get from the Seer and the amount of Essence needed to collect them:
- 100 Essence – A Hallownest Seal
- 200 Essence – Entry to the Spirits’ Glade subsection
- 300 Essence – One Pale Ore
- 500 Essence – The Dream Wielder Charm
- 600 Essence – The Attunement Achievement/Trophy
- 700 Essence – One Vessel Fragment
- 900 Essence – Unlock the Dreamgate Ability (A spell that opens a portal you can teleport back to for one Essence)
- 1200 Essence – An Arcane Egg
- 1500 Essence – One Mask Shard
- 1800 Essence – The Awoken Dream Nail
- 2400 Essence – The Ascension Achievement/Trophy
How To Get Essence in Hollow Knight
If you want to earn every single reward from the Seer, you’ll need to collect a total of 2,400 Essence. However, you can actually collect over 3,200 Essence if you seek out every single source. Here are ways for you to get Essence.
Defeating Warrior Dreams
Warrior Dreams are mini-bosses you can approach and challenge after you’ve collected the Dream Nail. Once defeated, a Warrior Dream boss will drop a certain amount of Essence. Here are every Warrior Dream bosses in the game, where to find them, and how much Essence you can get for defeating them:
- Elder Hu – Elder Hu is located in the Fungal Wastes, in the room just below the entrance to the Fungal Waste from the massive lift in the City of Tears. He’ll drop 100 Essence once defeated.
- Gorb – Gorb is in the northern part of the Howling Cliffs, just right from the birthplace of the Stags. Gorb drops 100 Essence upon defeat.
- Xero – This Warrior Dream boss is in the western part of the Resting Grounds, at the bottom of the chasm you can fall in from the Crystallised Mound. You’ll receive 100 Essence for defeating Xero.
- Marmu – Marmu is located in the Queen’s Garden, just west of the Stag Station. You’ll receive 150 Essence for defeating her.
- Galien – Galien is in Deepnest, beyond the room just below the Failed Tramway area. Defeating him will net you 200 Essence.
- No Eyes – No Eyes is located at the edge of the Stone Sanctuary, a subsection located in the southeastern part of the Fog Canyon. You’ll receive 200 Essence for defeating No Eyes.
- Markoth – Markoth is located in a room in the middle of the Kingdom’s Edge. To get to Markoth’s boss room, the player will need to have the Shade Cloak ability to bypass a Shade Gate. Markoth drops 250 Essence upon defeat.
Defeating Dream Bosses
Dream Bosses are more powerful variations of standard bosses in the game. Save for one, they can be fought by simply using the Dream Nail on their corpses after they’re defeated. Here are their locations:
- Failed Champion – The Dream variation of the False Knight. His body is located beyond a breakable wall above the boss’s original boss room. Defeating him will grant you 300 Essence.
- White Defender – The Dream variation of the Dung Defender. His body is located in a hidden room that can be accessed by performing a Desolate Dive or Descending Dark spell on a breakable floor east of the Dung Defender’s boss room. He drops 300 Essence when defeated.
- Soul Tyrant – The Dream variation of the Soul Master. His body remains in the same location in the Soul Sanctum. You’ll receive 300 Essence for defeating him.
- The Lost Kin – The Lost Kin is the Dream variation of the Broken Vessel. His body is in the same place where you originally fought him. He drops 400 Essence when defeated.
- Grey Prince Zote – Grey Prince Zote is the Dream variation of Zote the Mighty. More accurately, this Dream Boss is the manifestation of Bretta’s perception of Zote. This boss can be accessed by using the Dream Nail on Zote’s statue, located in Bretta’s basement. Before this, though, you’ll first need to rescue Bretta and Zote, then defeat the latter in the Colosseum of Fools. Grey Prince Zote drops 300 Essence when defeated.
You can collect Essence from Whispering Roots by using the Dream Nail on them and collecting the various Essence Orbs it spawns around the room. There are 15 Whispering Roots in the game, each with varying Essence rewards. Here are their locations and how much Essence you can earn from them.
- Fungal Wastes – There are two Whispering Roots in the Fungal Wastes. One is located just above the Mantis Village, which grants 18 Essence. Another is located in a room in between a bench and the northeastern entrance to the Fog Canyon, which grants 20 Essence.
- The Hive – At the far southeastern part of The Hive. Grants 20 Essence.
- Resting Grounds – Located just outside the room of the Seer. Grants 20 Essence.
- Crystal Peak – Located in the wide pathway you have to go through before reaching the Hallownest’s Crown. Grants 21 Essence.
- City of Tears – Located below the City of Tears Stag Station. This Root rewards 28 Essence.
- Forgotten Crossroads – This Whispering Root can be accessed by breaking a breakable roof in the room just before the Grubfather. This grants 29 Essence.
- Queen’s Gardens – Located in the room beneath the Queen’s Gardens’ eastern bench, left to where the Love Key is. Grants 29 Essence.
- Spirits’ Glade – Located at the far end of the Spirits’ Glade. Grants 34 Essence.
- Royal Waterways – Located at the bottom-most area of the Royal Waterways, beside the broken lift. Grants 35 Essence.
- Ancestral Mound – Located left of the False Knight’s boss room. Grants 42 Essence.
- Greenpath – Located in the room just before the entrance to the Queen’s Garden. Grants 44 Essence.
- Deepnest – Located in the lower-left section of the massive room before getting to the Distant Village. Grants 45 Essence.
- Howling Cliffs – Located near the bottom of the chasm. Grants 46 Essence.
- Kingdom’s Edge – Located across the chasm, on a platform just across the entrance from the Tower of Love. This Whispering Root rewards 51 Essence.
Other Sources of Essence
Aside from the ones listed above, you’ll also occasionally receive Essence from regular enemies. The chance is relatively slim, and you’ll only receive one Essence from these enemies, but it happens from time to time as you progress through the game.