In Hollow Knight, the way to upgrade your nail or weapon is using Pale Ore. Pale Ore is a rare upgrade material that the Nailsmith uses to upgrade your nail. There are only 6 Pale Ore locations in the entire game of Hollow Knight.
Why would you want to find pale ore locations?
Pale ore is a very rare mineral in Hollow Knight. Giving the Nailsmith Pale Ore along with a payment of Geo allows him to upgrade The Knight’s Nail. The first upgrade requires no Pale Ore, the second requires one, the third requires two, and the final upgrade requires three Pale Ore, for a total of six.
Each upgrade will allow the knight to do extra damage and is very useful throughout the game.
Hollow Knight how to upgrade your nail?
To upgrade your nail you need to first head to the city of tears. Once on the ground floor, far left of the city is the Nailmaster. This NPC will upgrade your weapon for Geo and Pale ore.
Cost to upgrade:
1. Old Nail: 5 Damage – starting weapon
2. Sharpened Nail: 9 damage – 250 Geo (no pale ore required)
3. Channeled Nail: 13 damage – 800 Geo and 1 Pale Ore
4. Coiled Nail: 17 damage- 2,000 Geo and 2 Pale Ore
5. Pure Nail: 21 damage- 4,000 Geo and 3 Pale Ore
Pale ore locations:
1. Ancient Basin- Find the Pale Ore location
2. Crystal Peak – Find the Pale Ore location
In order to get into Crystal Peak, you need Desolate Dive or the buy the Lumafly Lantern from Sly in Dirtmouth for 1,800 geo. Once you can get into Crystal Peak, follow the map
3. Deep Nest- Defeat Nosk
Nosk is a boss located in Deepnest and can be tough. You will need Double Jump or Crystal Heart to reach This boss.
4. Grub Father- Collect 31 Grubs
The best way to find all the grubs is to get the Collector’s Map. This will require that you get the Love Tower Key and then defeat the boss known as The Collector. The map will Highlight all Grubs on the map except for a couple of grubs that are inside rooms. For example, there is one grub inside the room where you find the Desolate Dive ability, but the grub will not show on the map.
The maps below show you where all the grubs can be found:
5. The Seer- Collect 300 essence
After you have received the Dream Nail, you can talk to the seer who will ask you to collect essence. 1,800 essence is required to get the good ending in Hollow Knight and only 300 to get a Pale Ore.
Essence can be collected in several different ways:
- Defeat Dream Warriors – 100 – 250 essence per boss for 1,100 total
- Xero – 100 Essence
- Gorb – 100 Essence
- Marmu – 150 Essence
- Markoth – 250 Essence
- Elder Hu – 100 Essence
- No Eyes – 200 Essence
- Galien – 200 Essence
- Defeat Dream Bosses – 300 – 400 essence per boss for 1,600 total
- Failed Champion- 300 Essence
- Lost Kin- 400 Essence
- Soul Tyrant- 300 Essence
- White Defender- 300 Essence (Requires defeating all 3 Dreamers)
- Nightmare King Grim (NKG)- No Essence (Requires a level 3 Grimmchild with three Flames)
- Grey Prince Zote- 300 Essence- (Requires rescuing Bretta, Rescuing Zote in Green Path as well as Deep Nest AND defeating Zote in the Colosseum of Fools- Trial of the Warrior) Collected from Whispering Roots throughout the Hallownest
6. Coliseum of Fools- Beat second trial, trial of the conqueror
Note that if you are going to the Coliseum of Fools for the first time, you will need to go up through Kingdom’s Edge and climb your way to the very top.
Note that some health values for a few of the bosses will increase as you upgrade your nail. If you want exact values for all of the enemies, I suggest checking out the Hollow Knight Wiki. There is some really good information there https://hollowknight.fandom.com/wiki/Damage_Values_and_Enemy_Health_(Hollow_Knight)