Hollow Knight: Hardest Achievements?

Here’s everything about the hardest achievements in Hollow Knight:

The hardest achievement in Hollow Knight is Embrace the Void where players have to beat every boss in the game in a gauntlet-style arrangement without dying.

Some other notable achievements include Speedrun 3, Fool, Steel Soul, and Pure completion.

Each provides unique challenges for players.

So if you want to learn all about which achievements were the hardest in Hollow Knight, then this article is for you.

Let’s get started!

Hollow Knight: Hardest Achievements? (Everything to Know)

What Is Hollow Knight?

Before we can really get into achievements and some of the hardest stuff you’re likely to try doing in a video game, we should probably get everyone on the same page.

What is Hollow Knight?

No doubt, you’re already aware that Hollow Knight is a video game, but allow me to go through the rundown.

It’s a 2D platforming game that was developed by Metroidvania.

It was originally released in 2017 with some additional content added later that same year and more in 2018.

The game is available on PC, Macs, Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

As a 2D platformer, Hollow Knight allows players to control the knight, a silent character with a skull mask.

Players adventure through the world of Hallownest.

The game has a unique aesthetic and many eye-catching, pretty properties and scenes throughout.

The gameplay focuses largely on exploration.

Players will have to find their own way through the intricate world, fighting enemies and outmaneuvering obstacles along the way.

The game was very well received, selling more than 1 million copies in the first year after release, and fans of the game have kept it alive.

There is still an active player base to this day.

One of the reasons that the player base is able to remain active is that Hollow Knight offers gamers a lot of replayability.

That is, the game has features that make replaying the game interesting and rewarding for a number of reasons.

Chief among those reasons is the achievement system.

It gives players something to pursue after they beat the game, and as you’ll see, some of these achievements could keep a player busy for a very long time.

What Are Hollow Knight Achievements? (2 Types)

When you play a video game, there is usually a lot of content packed under the hood of the game.

With Hollow Knight, there’s more going on than navigating the areas and killing the bosses.

You have to think about the game and interact with various functions, and as you do, the game takes note of how you play.

These days, it’s pretty common for games to have lists of achievements.

These are like small rewards for carrying out specific accomplishments within the game.

As an example, you get an achievement when you beat the game.

For the most part, achievements are designed to build up in-game rewards and to increase replayability.

As you play through the game for the first time, you will inevitably unlock some achievements along the way.

But by the time you finish your first playthrough, it will be perfectly clear that you didn’t get all of the achievements yet.

They’re a great excuse to go back through the game and take on increasing challenges.

They keep track of your accomplishments as you play.

Finding them can feel good, and collecting them is a common goal for many players.

The thing is, achievements are not unique to Hollow Knight.

In fact, Hollow Knight achievements are not unique to Hollow Knight.

More specifically, the game is designed with a lot of achievements baked into the content.

But, the game is also on Steam, and Steam adds some achievements of their own.

Not to worry, I’ll fully break this down as we go.

#1 In-Game Achievements

In-game achievements are achievements that are put in place by the developer.

Such achievements usually require you to unlock special bits of content within the game and complete specialized tasks.

These achievements may or may not impact gameplay as you move forward by opening up more content or even giving you rewards when they are completed.

For the most part, Hollow Knight has in-game achievements.

When you complete them, you are rewarded, and completing achievements can help you progress your character.

There are tons of achievements in total, ranging from simple to insanely hard.

Hollow Knight is known for challenging players, and as we look at the very most difficult achievements in the game (all of which will be in-game achievements), you’ll see that some of them are outright ridiculously challenging.

This is a game for gamers, and the challenges of these achievements push even the most talented players.

In fact, if you can complete every single achievement in the game, you can consider yourself elite among Hollow Knight players.

#2 Steam Achievements

As Hollow Knight is also available via Steam, there are achievements put in place specifically by Steam.

Before I get into those achievements, let’s talk more about game distribution and why Steam matters.

Steam is a platform for computers that allows game developers to put their games in this centralized library.

You can purchase and download the vast majority of computer games from Steam.

Steam handles processing payments, distributing the games, and in many cases, launching the games too.

You can have friends on Steam, and through Steam, you can easily hop into various different games with those friends.

It’s a centralized tool for organizing computer games.

Why does this matter?

Well, Hollow Knight is also available on Xbox, and on Xbox, it doesn’t run through Steam.

What that means is that the in-game achievements are available for Xbox players, but the Steam achievements are not.

On the other hand, Steam achievements do not impact the game at all.

They are just little titles and banners that you get for doing random things in the game, like killing 100 enemies.

Steam achievements have become something of an expectation in a lot of games, and they are attached to Hollow Knight too.

Fortunately, we get to keep this discussion pretty simple.

None of the hardest achievements for Hollow Knight are Steam achievements.

Which Hollow Knight Achievements Are the Hardest? (5 Challenges)

Now that you know more about achievements and how they work, we can get into the hard stuff.

I want to start by reiterating that all of the hardest achievements are in-game achievements.

Steam is not a part of this list.

With that out of the way, Hollow Knight provides a wide range of achievements.

Some of them aren’t so hard, like beating the game in 20 hours.

Others are quite a bit more challenging.

In fact, the hardest Hollow Knight achievement is known as one of the hardest things to do in video games.

It might not literally be the very hardest thing, but it definitely pushes players, and a rather small minority of Hollow Knight players ever complete this goal.

Hardest achievements aside, there are plenty more that will challenge you and keep you thinking.

With that in mind, let’s look at the very toughest achievements in Hollow Knight.

#1 Embrace the Void

We’re going to start with what most players consider to be the hardest achievement in the game.

In fact, this is arguably one of the hardest achievements in any game.

It’s intense and frustrating.

It is typically referred to as “Embrace the Void,” but the official name of the title is actually “Pantheon of Hallownest.”

Full disclosure: I have not completed this achievement, and I probably never will.

In order to complete Embrace the Void, you have to defeat every single boss in the game.

That’s not too hard, right?

It basically just means beating the game.

Well, there’s more to it.

You have to beat every boss in the game, in a row, on the hardest difficulty.

Does that sound a little tougher?

Well, we’re still not done.

You have to accomplish this feat without dying a single time.

If you die, you will be sent right back to the beginning.

A perfect run will take somewhere between 30 minutes and an hour.

So, if you make it toward the end and then die, you just killed a 30-minute (or longer) run.

It’s very difficult, and you will likely experience a lot of frustration before you are done.

#2 Speedrun

The rest of the achievements are a step down from Embrace the Void.

That’s a challenge on steroids, but the rest of these achievements will still make you earn them.

One of the better challenges is the Speedrun challenge.

For this one, you have to complete the whole game in under 20 hours.

That’s 100% completion, mind you.

If that doesn’t sound too terribly challenging for an elite gamer such as yourself, fear not.

There are upgraded versions of this challenge.

In Speedrun 2, you have to complete the entire game in 10 hours or less.

That cuts your time in half from the first version of the achievement, and we’re not done yet.

For Speedrun 3, you have to beat the whole game in under 5 hours.

It’s not impossible, but it will force you to think about playing optimally in order to get through everything fast enough.

It’s not something you’re going to accidentally achieve on your first playthrough.

That much is for sure.

#3 Fool

Fool is another notorious achievement in the game.

For those who have played Hollow Knight, you might remember the Colosseum of Fools.

It has a number of challenges, and they get harder as you work your way through them.

Many people do not complete all of the challenges in the Colosseum on their first playthrough, and that’s because Fool is quite challenging.

Fool is actually the final trial available, so you have to beat everything else in the Colosseum just to get a crack at it.

In this trial, you have to defeat 17 waves of fools, each more challenging than the wave before it. 

This trial definitely isn’t the very hardest in the game, but it definitely separates the hardcore players from the casuals.

When you complete Fool, you definitely get some bragging rights.

You won’t impress everyone, but the majority of people who play Hollow Knight will never complete this achievement. 

#4 Steel Soul

After you beat Hollow Knight, you unlock the Steel Soul Mode.

This mode makes the game a lot harder, most notably by making it a hard-core game.

That’s an expression that means that if you die, you die permanently.

Without any revival mechanics, getting through the game on Steel Soul Mode is a lot harder, and when you pull it off, you get the Steel Soul achievement.

Wait a minute.

Wouldn’t this achievement require you to get through the same content as Embrace the Void?

Isn’t this actually harder?

Well, no.

Embrace the Void requires you to fight bosses that you can skip for Steel Soul.

Now, there’s an upgrade to Steel Soul called Steel Heart.

For this achievement, you have to get 100% completion on Steel Soul Mode.

That’s a big upgrade.

Why, then, isn’t this the hardest achievement?

Still, no.

To get Embrace the Void, you fight in the Hollownest Pantheon.

That takes you from one boss fight straight to the next (more or less).

It’s a gauntlet of boss fights.

Steel Soul ultimately has you fight all of the bosses, but there is content between them that allows you to refill health and such.

Steel Soul is arguably the second-hardest achievement, and it’s not for everybody.

Getting through 100% completion without dying is certainly an achievement, but it’s still easier than Embrace the Void.

#5 Pure Completion

This isn’t the very hardest achievement, but it might require the most patience.

You see, to get Pure Completion, you have to do every single thing in the game.

You might think such an effort amounts to 100% completion, but you would be wrong.

The fact is that content was added to the game after its initial release in 2017.

You can get 100% completion by doing only the original content.

To get Pure Completion, you have to do all of the extra stuff too.

In fact, you have to get up to 112% completion.

This doesn’t require you to do it all on Steel Mode or anything like that, but it can still prove challenging to find and complete every single possible task in the game.