New Game Plus is a game mode in Shovel Knight unlocked after completing the game on a savefile. At that point, when the player selects that save file, the game will be prompted to restart in the form of a New Game Plus. While this entirely resets level and story progress, the player retains all unlocked Upgrades and other collectibles. In New Game Plus, gameplay is similar to the regular one, but with a few key differences:
- Enemies do twice as much damage to players.
- There are fewer healing items found in stages. Most notably, all turkeys in the game (except during Battle Royale) are replaced with bombs. During the Battle Royale, every 2nd platter contains a turkey, while the others contain bombs.
- Stages contain fewer Checkpoints.
- In Specter of Torment, the player's Will and Darkness meters are combined into a single meter that is constantly draining on its own. Because of this, the Will Skull cannot be used.
- This resource can only decrease to a minimal value, where Specter Knight cannot take any hit, but will not eliminate him directly. The Hover Plume, Chronos Coin, and Judgement Rush curios cannot be used either. All other curios usable in New Game Plus can be used without costing any "Darkness + Will", and will not eliminate Specter Knight.
- At full Wisp Upgrades, the player will have 260 "Darkness + Will" value in total. Be careful, however, that Frost Wizzems can deal 60 damage in a single hit, and there are more.
- This combined resource does not affect the flashback stages, and the save file still shows split meters.
- Activating a checkpoint will restore "Darkness + Will" to full.