Health Capacity, or Maximum Hit Points (HP), is the amount of damage a character can take before they die. Health is displayed at the top left of the HUD as spheres filled with red. One full bubble of health represents 2 hit points, and a bubble partially filled in represents a single hit point. Bosses' health is also displayed empty in the HUD on the right side at all times, and it fills up only when the boss fight begin, in the form of blue bubbles. During Co-Op, bosses will have additional Health in the form pink bubbles dispayed over of the regular blue ones, the number of which varies depending on the boss fight. All other Enemies also have health, but it is never displayed on screen.
During New Game Plus, any damage suffered will result in a loss of hit points doubled compared to the one experienced during a normal playthrough, with various cheat codes also altering said value in some way.
Various methods exist to regain Health after it has been partially depleated, like eating food, use curative items (Ichor of Renewal ,Health Tonics, Leech Liquid, Will Skull), entering a new stage, or by collecting a permanent health upgrade, in which case any missing health will be healed before increasing in quantity.
Shovel Knight starts with 8 Health at the start of Shovel of Hope. Health Capacity can be increased by 2 points by buying meals from the Gastronomer in exchange for Meal Tickets. 3 Meal Tickets can be purchased from the Goatician (for the prices of 1000, 4000, and 6000 respectively) with 3 more being found in the chest at Shovel Knight's camp each time he clears a quadrant of The Valley, for a maximum of 20 Hit points after redeeming all of the Meal Tickets in the game.
Like Shovel Knight, Plague Knight starts with 8 Health points as well. Unlike Shovel Knight, there are no Meal Tickets for Plague Knight to redeem. Instead, after completing each quadrant of The Valley, Mona (Or Percy) will give Plague Knight a Health Potion, increasing his health capacity by 2 points each time, for a maximum of 14 permanent Hit Points. His health can be further upgraded (albeit temporarily) through the use of Health Tonics, which increase his health capacity by 2 green bubbles for each tonic consumed, for then disappear if he dies. These can be used to give Plague Knight a temporary maximum Health Capacity of 20, but no more.
In Specter of Torment, Specter Knight is not alive and therefore does not have Health, but instead has yellow Will, which contributes to his Will Capacity, or Maximum Will Points. Specter Knight once again starts with 8 Will points, and this is increased by 2 points by finding Willful Wisps, 6 of which are hidden in various stages across The Valley, meaning Specter Knight has a maximum Will Capacity of 20, like Shovel Knight.
Specter Knight also has a cloak that directly deals with Will Capacity, the Raiment of Risk. When a Checkpoint is broken, and Specter Knight is not already boosted by the Raiment, there will be a special gem in the middle of the Checkpoint. When Specter Knight grabs this gem, his Will Capacity is reduced back to the starting 8 Will points (regardless of his current maximum Will Capacity) in exchange for continually regenerating Darkness, and additional reach and strenght for his Scythe in the form of small fireballs shot after any standard Slash. These changes are not permanent and will only last until the end of the stage or until Specter Knight dies.
In New Game Plus of Specter of Torment, there are no Will Points, instead Will and Darkness are combined into one giant Darkness Bar, which continually decreases as time goes. This also results in the Will Skull becoming unusable.
- During his memories of the time he was alive, Specter Knight will have a regular Heath Capacity instead of his undead Will Capacity.
- Plague Knight's apparent lack of physical strenght may be referenced by the fact that he has less permanent maximum Health Capacity (14 hit points) compared to the other protagonists (20 hit points).
- Sometimes, should a character die and yet still manage to deal the finishing blow to a boss, his Health will then be refillled with one single hit point.
- A similar instance happens both times Plague Knight clash with Shovel Knight in Plague of Shadows, with the latter always rising up again on his feet after his defeat before dealing to Plague Knight a Charge Handle attack from behind.