Hollow Knight is a tremendous game. One that we thoroughly recommend that you play if you haven’t already. The chances are that if you’re reading this, you are playing it though. Maybe you just want to know more about this boss, and maybe you need some help beating it. In this Hollow Knight Broken Vessel guide, we’ll cover exactly how you can destroy this boss. We’ll also throw in some lore facts to help you better understand it.

What is the Broken Vessel?

hollow knight broken vessel
Image Source: YouTube

This isn’t like Dead Cells, it’s a much calmer game. However, it’s similar in the sense that an infection is slowly spreading through the world. The Broken Vessel, this boss, is a shattered corpse that’s become infected by parasites. The boss blocks the way to Monarch Wings, and Lost Kin is its dream variant. It’s one of the main bosses in the game, and you’ll be facing it sooner or later after starting it.

Attacks and Strategies

broken vessel boss fight
Image Source: YouTube

This boss has a plethora of attacks. We’ll go through them all here and provide some strategies for working against them as well.


The boss will dash forward and slash out at you with its nail. During this move, it’ll travel about 75% of the arena in terms of distance. During this move, the boss will slash out in the middle of the move. Dodging this is pretty easy, so you should try to avoid the attack before it strikes. Move forward or back when you can and you’ll get away unscathed.

Aerial Slash

This attack is the same as the above, except it’s in the air. Broken Vessel will float slightly above the ground and then perform this attack. It’s a bit tougher to avoid, but you can always jump and dash over the boss to dodge any harm coming your way.


This move isn’t an attack, but it can mess up yours. The boss will move backwards to prepare for another attack. It sees it move away from you, which might be unexpected when you’re going for an attack. Just be ready for it if you go for an attack.


Once again, this move isn’t an attack. The boss will leap up and try to land where you’re standing, or further around the arena. It’s a move that gains some space from you if that’s what the boss wants. Keep an eye out for this one because it can telegraph what the boss is about to do next.


This attack sees the Broken Vessel flail its nail in an arc over its head from left to right four times. It’s a move that will cause some serious damage if you’re caught too close. Watch this one because it can be the end of your time if you don’t counteract it with a good dodge pretty quick.


The boss leaps up into the air and positions itself so that it can aim and slam down directly on your position. The slam causes four blobs of infection to blast out of the ground. They’ll move away from the boss in an arc and cause damage if they hit you. These can be quite nasty, so dodge them. The whole attack is pretty grim, so you want to try to dodge before the slam hits, and then make sure you get out of the way of the blobs.


The boss leaps up and into the middle of the arena. Then, it shakes its head and spawns a huge number of blobs of infection that spread around the arena. As you can imagine, the attack covers almost the entire arena. It’s a bit of a mess. The blobs will wave out and down, but they’ll also rise up from the ground in groups of three. The whole thing only lasts for four seconds in all, but it’s a devastating move. The boss will use this attack three times during the fight, at 370HP, 220HP, and 110HP.


Hollow Knight Broken Vessel will spawn an infected balloon enemy. This is a big creature with health at 1HP. The enemy will then attack over several intervals, between four and five seconds. This attack is also completely independent of Broken Vessel. It means that you’ve got to attack both enemies at once now. Only three of these enemies can exist at once, and the boss can accidentally kill them if it jumps into them. Typically you’ll see this enemy spawn and then burst upwards to try and deal some damage.


There are a few good charms to use against this boss. The Quick Focus Charm is a good all-rounder to use, as well as the Mark of Pride and Longnail. This helps you match the boss’ nail length. Spore Shroom will help you get rid of the infected balloons, and Defender’s Crest is great for getting some space too.

Using Vengeful Spirit or Shade Soul Spell is great against the Hollow Knight Broken Vessel because it can take knock-back damage. Use these to deal some colossal amounts of damage against the boss.

Hollow Knight Broken Vessel Lore

infected boss fight
Image Source: Gamer Walkthroughs

This boss is one of the many vessels that escaped the Abyss. This is what your character, the Knight did, so they know what they’re looking at when they see the infection here. Sadly, the Broken Vessel was met with a tragic death in the Hallownest. Deep within the Ancient Basin, its corpse was forgotten in a windy cave. This location is before the Mmonarch Wings, which is where the infection has spread from.

Encountering the boss is your first real glance at the infection. It’s a sign of what the disease is that’s ruining this world. Players start to notice this as they learn their way through the world. If you’re into the game’s lore, this is one of the best bosses to check out. As you move forward, you’ll witness more of the infection and how it’s changing the world as well. As you move forward on your travels, you’ll learn that this boss is the least of the troubles in this world.