Hollow Knight – Speedrunning Achievements Tips

Basic tips and tricks for the Speedrun 1, Speedrun 2, and Speed Completion achievements! Note: this is not a walkthrough or a route, just ideas that you can apply to whichever path you choose.

Tips for the Speedrunning Achievements

Study Your Path

Load up your main save and familiarize yourself with the game. Make sure you know how to find False Knight and Vengeful Spirit, take a stroll through the ‘path, make sure you know exactly how to get to each of the three dreamers. Plan how you’re going to get any geo needed, and practice optimizing your movements.

This can all be done on an old file, or a new one. Just, make sure you know where to go and what’s optional and what is mandatory. Please.

Practice the First 3 Areas

Up to Mantis Claw, you’re essentially just gathering the tools and abilities needed to actually kill the dreamers and beat the game. It is ridiculously important to learn how to optimize your movements.

If you understand exactly what to do up to this point, you can afford to slack off and still get a low time. For context, I got a sub 20m mantis claw and died 5 times to Watcher Knights, went back and gathered 4 mask shards + fragile heart and strength, got another charm notch, and upgraded my nail twice and still got a sub 4 hour time. I would have gotten an even lower time if I practiced Deepnest, too.

So uh, yeah. Practice getting to Claw a few times before actually starting. This may get tedious after a while, so feel free to listen to some music or a podcast or Skurry saying “egg”. If you can get Claw in under thirty minutes, you’re doing just fine.

Don’t Do Any Freaky Skips

Hate to break it to ya, but you are not Fireb0rn. And that’s ok! Not everyone can beat the game hitless in under an hour (which is honestly a good thing; that kind of speedrun is exhausting).

There’s absolutely no shame in taking the intended route. Here’s a list of Do’s and Don’ts for skips:


  • Squit pogo to skip a portion of Greenpath (again, practice!).
  • Benchwarp to the Ancestral Mound after getting cloak, if you’re confident. If not, benchwarp to any old bench to skip the cutscene with the Dreamers.
  • Statue pogo to get to the Watcher’s Spire to skip wings (this may take a couple of tries. just leave the room and re-enter to try again).
  • Skip any unnecessary spells and upgrades like dive (although I don’t recommend it, getting DD is extremely helpful and you’ll get a lot of geo from Soul Master).


  • Fireball skips. These are really hard, and nail pogoing words just as well, even if it takes a few seconds longer. You can afford it.
  • Explosion pogo to get to claw. Please don’t do this, you will most likely die and have to reset. This skip is ridiculously hard and requires a lot of practice. It’s also completely unnecessary for these achievements. We’re not going for the world record, we’re going for sub 5/10/20 hours.
  • QGA (Queen’s Gardens Acid) skip. Seriously, don’t do this. This is a ridiculously difficult skip that requires extreme accuracy. This is sub 5 hours, not sub 45 minutes. You can afford to get Isma’s Tear.
  • Shade skip to Dreamnail. This is useful if you can land it, but if not you’ll just lose a lot of time and risk losing your shade.
  • Dark Deepnest. If you save Herrah til the end, you should have gathered plenty of geo if you skipped out on some extra charms and such. You can afford to get lantern, I promise.

Defense Before Offense

There’s no shame in grabbing a couple extra masks or some Pale Ore. If you’re gonna get charms, Shaman Stone, Fragile Strength/Heart, Soul Catcher, Dashmaster, and Gathering Swarm are really helpful. Sprintmaster is nice, too, if you can route in an extra 400 geo and Sly’s key (actually, maybe don’t do this unless you’re going for Speed Completion.).

I promise, if you can just get that sweet, sweet sub 30 claw, you can afford to get extra masks, even if we’re going for 5 hours.

Hall Of Gods

Oh my god. Use the hall of gods. Ascended Hornet 1, False Knight, Watcher Knights, Uumuu, and any other bosses will save you loads of time. Dying counts towards the clock!

Speed Completion – Do’s and Don’ts

There is a maximum of 112% completion spread across the base game and the 3 DLCs. Please, utilize this. Some pointers:


  • Charms! These will include your quality of life.
  • Upgrades, people, upgrades. Descending Dark and Abyss Shriek are.. ridiculously OP, especially with Shaman Stone. Please use them.
  • Colosseum 1. This collo is really easy, especially if you save it for later.
  • Colosseum 2 – with practice on another save file, you can get this one as well.
  • Wings – You have 20 hours to work with here. You can get Broken Vessel, as well as Lost Kin.
  • Awoken DN – this is a percent! so is hearing the Seer’s last words (or so I’m told.) Again, 20 hours, plus warrior dreams and dream bosses are also percents, so you’re really hitting multiple birds with one stone.
  • Masks and soul vessels
  • Mawlek, Crystal Guardian, Gruz Mother, Mantis Lords, and maybe Traitor Lord. The Lords also give you access to a charm, which is another percent.
  • The Troupe – Grimmchild is a percent, beating Troupe Master Grimm is a percent, and banishing the troupe is a percent. Please, banish the troupe. Don’t fight NKG.
  • Nail arts.
  • Nail uprades, up to coiled.


  • Kingsoul – I think this speaks for itself.
  • Shade soul – Probably the most lackluster upgrade, it still does the least damage out of the three shade spells. You also have to buy the Elegant Key to get it.
  • Pure nail – takes too much time.
  • Flower quest.
  • The Pantheons.
  • Colosseum 3.
  • Nightmare King Grimm.

You have a lot of wiggle room here; choose your battles.

Choosing Your Ending

Don’t do Dream No More, Embrace the Void or Sealed Siblings. These endings require Void Heart, which is difficult to get under a certain amount of time. For Godhome ending, you have to beat pantheon 5, which is… yeah.

Just do the normal ending.

Jan Bonkoski
About Jan Bonkoski 962 Articles
Jan Bakowski aka Lazy Dice, was always interested in gaming and writing. His love of gaming began with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (Nintendo 64) back in 1998. He’s been making game guides since 2012. Sharing his gaming experience with other players has become not only his hobby but also his job. In his free time, he plays on Steam Deck.

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