The Hollow Knight Crystal Guardian is an optional boss in the game. You can actually face this enemy twice, though you might not know it when you come to it. This boss is relatively easy, but its second form will definitely take you a few tries. In this guide, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about this boss. We’ll also include some details that you may not have known until reading this article today.

What is the Hollow Knight Crystal Guardian?

Hollow Knight Crystal Guardian
Image Source: Steam

This boss is a miner from Crystal Peak. You’ll actually find it first on a bench outside in the area. It looks like it’s dead, but you’ll be unable to rest on the bench because of it, so you have some hint that it’s alive. You’ll only face it if you strike it, that starts up the fight. It’ll sit back on the bench if it kills you and you come back to face it again. When you kill it, it’ll simply lose the crystal extensions it has.

Then, it’ll jump up and run away, leading you to understand that a second encounter is somewhere later down the line. If you follow it up to the room above, the Monarch Wings, you’ll see that it’s regrown its crystal extensions. However, after defeating it once, it’s angry and wants revenge. This is the Enraged Guardian boss fight, and it’s got a lot more crystal to protect it this time around. In this guide though, we’re purely focused on the first form, the Cyrstal Guardian.

Attacks and Strategies

cyrstal guardian
Image Source: Gamer Walkthroughs

The Hollow Knight Crystal Guardian has a few major attacks that you’ll need to watch out for. These are the same throughout the fight, though it does get more difficult as time goes on. Here, we’ll explore every single move, and offer some insight into how to avoid taking damage with each one.

Laser Beam

This move sees the boss fire out a laser beam from one of its crystal hands. It’ll target the Knight with this move, and the laser will be fired at the position you were in when the attack started. It’s dangerous for about half a second, but then it’s gone. You can game this attack by waiting for it to almost fire, then jumping and dashing. You can stay in the air this way long enough to avoid taking damage because the beam will be gone by the time you land. All you have to do is get the timing on it right.

Sky Beams

This move is telegraphed by a big scream. The boss is summoning the attack during this scream. Up to four beams of crystal energy will simultaneously shoot down from the ceiling after that scream. Every beam will last for around half a second, but they all fire at different times. You need to make sure that you’re moving between them to avoid taking damage. Unfortunately, the boss can also use the Laser Beam move at the same time. This means that you’ll need to dodge the beams from above, cutting you from moving forwards or back, and a beam aimed directly at you. Try to jump so that the Laser Beam move is aimed at a higher point and you can avoid taking damage. It’ll be aimed at your position, so make that position high and you should avoid the damage.

Note that these beams can all be at different angles. It makes things very tricky for dodging, but you can still do it. Look at the way the beams are angled and adjust your approach to match them. This will help you avoid taking any unnecessary damage.


This is actually a move that the boss uses to get around the arena. It’ll leap from one position to another across a set distance. Sometimes it’ll do this multiple times. Don’t worry too much about it. However, if the boss leaps far away, it may be about to summon a massive attack.

Best Strategy

crystal guardian in hollow knight
Image Source: The Gamer

Interestingly, you can win this fight before you even fight the boss. If you have the Defender’s Crest, Grimmchild, Weaversong, Sharp Shadow, or the Dreamshield Charms equipped. Alternatively, you can continuously damage the enemy with spells. This will weaken it from afar whilst you avoid all incoming attacks.

Each and every beam attack is telegraphed by thin beams of light that precede them. If you see these, get out of that position as soon as possible, because a damaging beam is about to come through there. For spells, look to use the Abyss Shriek or Hollowing Wraiths spells.

If you want to do things with just your Nail, slash at the boss between its beam attacks. This way, you can deal damage but also get out of the way of any attacks. It can be tricky since it relies heavily on movement control, but if you’re confident you should be able to do it.

If you’re feeling very cheeky, wait until the boss is about to use a Laser Beam. Then, jump and dash over it. The attack will be shot harmlessly behind you. In the meantime, you’ll have landed behind the boss, and can get some much-needed damage in against its back.

Hollow Knight Crystal Guardian Lore

The miners of Crystal Peak were all killed by the Infection, but now they’ve been reanimated. That’s what the Crystal Guardian is. While it’s like the Crystalised Husks you’ll see around you, it’s far stronger and has more mastery over the power of beams. The boss shrieks in a similar way to the Radiance, something that many fans reference as a core similarity and cause for concern. It’s obsessed with light and crystal, like the other miners, but it’s too old and tired to mine it now. Instead, it just rests, until you fight it that is. That’s why this is an optional boss because otherwise, this enemy is just sitting on its own. Minding its own business. Attacking it does award you a decent reward, but it may not be worth it if you want an easy run.