Like many of the games in the Halo franchise, Halo Wars 2 includes several Skulls which are hidden around the various levels of the game. These Skulls unlock special effects when found and equipped, which can help give players an edge in battles against The Banished. In this article we’ll break down the locations of each Skull in Halo Wars 2 and go over the effects that they offer to players when they are equipped. Finding all of the Skulls in Halo Wars 2 will reward players with the Alas, Poor Yorick!, Morbid Curiosities, and Collecting a Dream achievements.

How to Get Every Skull

There is a total of 15 Skulls hidden throughout the various levels that make up Halo Wars 2’s main campaign. We’ve broken down each Skull below based on the level that players can find them, and even provided information on what requirements must be met to obtain the Skull.

Skulls offer different types of effects that players can use to add positive or negative traits to each battle. Each Skull also has a cost, though, so players should make sure they know what costs each Skull brings with it.

Grunt Birthday Party

The first Skull can be earned in the mission, A New Enemy. To obtain this Skull you must capture all of the Power Nodes in the level.

  • Effect: Killed Grunts explode into a shower of confetti.

Paintball

The second Skull in the game can be earned by destroying the main Banished base in the mission, Ascension.

  • Effect: Marine grenades and Grunt mines splatter paint around them when they explode.

Pain Train

This Skull can only be earned by destroying the hidden Banished base in the mission, Ascension. The hidden base can be found on the island in this level.

  • Effect: All player units train 50% faster but the player’s final score decreases as a result.

Bountiful Harvest

Players can earn this Skull by keeping all of the rescued prisoners alive in One Three Zero.

  • Effect: Supplies from Supply Pads arrive 25% faster, but the player’s final score will decrease as a result.

Emperor

This Skull is earned after the Banished base’s northern expansion is destroyed in The Cartographer.

  • Effect: All player Powers recharge twice as fast (in half the time), but the player’s final score will decrease when this Skull is equipped.

Pestilence

Release all of the prisoners in the mission, Lights Out to earn this Skull.

  • Effect: All play units slowly lose health from the moment that they are created, but the player’s final score will increase.

Total Annihilation

Complete the mission, From the Deep without the Spartan being downed.

  • Effect: Spartan Slams create an even more devastating explosion upon landing, but the player’s final score will decrease.

Sickness

Players can earn this Skull by keeping all of their barricades alive in Hold the Line.

  • Effect: All play units have 50% fewer health points, but the final score increases.

Firestarter

This next Skull can also be earned on the mission, Hold the Line by keeping the Particle Cannon’s health above 50% through the entire mission.

  • Effect: Grunts and Marines will explode upon death, inflicting damage to nearby units. Player’s final score will decrease.

Things That Make You Go Boom

Eliminate all three of the Brute Warlords in Under the Dark.

  • Effect: Hero units unleash a nuclear explosion when killed. Player’s final score decreases.

Wuv Woo

To earn this Skull players will need to make sure the Scarab survives the entire mission in The Foundry.

  • Effect: Scarab and Locust beam weapons shoot rainbows instead of regular beams.

Sugar Cookies

If players keep the Scarab’s health from dropping below 25% during The Foundry they can unlock this special Skull.

  • Effect: All player units have 50% more health, but final score decreases.

After Party

Rescue Bravo Base in The Halo to earn this Skull.

  • Effect: Anytime a Firebase is destroyed the player who owned it will earn a tank and infantry unit. Player’s final score will decrease.

Nightmare

Players can earn this Skull by making sure that the Control Room Shield in Last Stand takes less than 25% damage the entire mission.

  • Effect: No checkpoints or saves on any difficulty. Only affects the campaign. Players final score will increase.

Shadow

Eliminate both of the Brute Warlords and their reinforcements in Last Stand to earn the final Skull in Halo Wars 2.

  • Effect: All infantry units are cloaked at the start. Player’s final score decreases.

If you follow the information above you should be able to earn every Skull in the game. This will unlock the Alas, Poor Yorick!, Morbid Curiosities, and Collecting a Dream achievements, and will allow you to equip all of the Skulls to make your battles easier or more challenging. Players looking to experience the ultimate challenge can apply all of the Skulls and then launch a mission and complete it with a Gold Medal on Legendary to unlock the Lone Wolf achievement.

You can find out more about the newest entry of the Halo franchise with our Halo Wars 2 guide. We also have guides that will help you understand how to play Blitz, as well as a primer on how to build the best Blitz deck for your playstyle.