Halo 5: Guardians has been out for a whole two days now, so that means you’ve beaten it at least three times since picking it up at your local game store’s midnight release party, right? Bet you haven’t found all 13 skulls hidden throughout the campaign though, and that’s where we come in – to help you nab the Gravedigger, Gravelord and My Rules achievements.
It wouldn’t be a Halo game without a bunch of hidden collectibles, and this entry is no different. Why you’d want to collect the skulls of fallen warriors (or just where exactly your Spartan warrior is keeping them…) is another question, but we’ll leave that one for the arm chair philosophers. Despite the achievement names, there’s no digging required – just grab each skull as you go along during the mission. Each skull offers the ability to alter the game slightly, with most of them actually making Halo 5 much harder for those who like a real challenge.
With the exception of the skull found in the Glassed mission, keep in mind all of these skulls can be acquired while running through the game on easy mode if you run into trouble. Here’s how to quickly grab all 13 of them, broken down by which mission each skull is found in.
Finding the IWHBYD skull
What does the IWHBYD skull do? With this skull activated you’ll get different dialog during combat.
Where is the IWHBDY skull located? Following this debut mission’s second major engagement, you’ll head into a large building with two gray blockades on either side. Rather than going straight in, turn to the left and jump up the ledge. Run forward slightly and you’ll see the IWHBYD skull waiting on an outcropping looking out over the valley below.
Mission: Blue Team
Finding the Black Eye skull
What does The Black Eye skull do? Black Eye turns off your shield’s automatic regeneration – those shields won’t come back up until you melee an enemy to death!
Where is the Black Eye skull located? In the game’s second mission, the Black Eye skull is a little more out of the way and requires some extra searching to locate. While in the large green reactor room you’ll have to either jump up the pipes on the left side of the room or get onto the main central platform and jump up the crates to reach the upper level. Run past the sign that says “Keep Clear” and then break the red grating found on the floor with a melee strike. Check the corner of the room to find the skull resting on a small red pedestal across from the rack of guns.
Finding the Iron skull
What does the Iron skull do? You can no longer revive other teammates or be revived yourself, so if you’re down, you’re out!
Where is the Iron skull located? This one’s a toughie, as you’ll have to play the level on Legendary difficulty! When you come across the garage, jump inside the Scorpion tank and blow up the turrets to prevent them from interfering with you. Head up the ramp on the right and look into the sky to see a cargo ship being chased by a smaller Phaeton (pictured below). Use the Scorpion to shoot down the Phaeton (and don’t forget to give a little lead time, as your ordinance takes time to fly through the air and reach its target). If you mess up and miss it, just restart the last checkpoint and try again.
Jump out of the Scorpion and get ready for a hike, as the Iron skull doesn’t land where you’d think it would. Instead, just to make life more difficult, it randomly spawns in one of three locations that will all have to be checked:
Back down the ramp between two yellow canisters along the edge of the fence
On top of the garage where you found the Scorpion, look under the yellow canister after knocking it over
To the left of the ramp heading upwards is a rock overpass, look behind the gray containers
Finding the Blind skull
What does the Blind skull do? Blind removes all the HUD elements. If you don’t like the large HUD that might be nice, but if you want to know anything about what’s happening or what weapon you’ve got equipped…not so much.
Where is the Blind skull located? There’s no skull in the fourth mission, but one is found in the fifth level, Unconfirmed, inside the mine. When you first enter the mine after a large battle, turn to the left and jump on the ledge. Turn around so you are facing the opposite direction and jump up to the pipes. Crouch down and move forward and then turn into the passageway on the left to find the Blind skull laying in the rocks.
Finding the Thunderstorm skull
What does the Thunderstorm skull do? This skull makes the game much more difficult by upgrading all enemies to tougher versions!
Where is the Thunderstorm skull located? Much like with the Glassed mission, collecting this skull requires some odd leg work beforehand, as you have to blow up five orange traffic cones within the first two minutes of the level’s start. Ignore all the enemies and simply speed through the areas to find the cones.
At the beginning of the level, get on the yellow Gungoose and head down the left path and then destroy the cone to the right of the large object hidden under a tarp. Proceed forward down the main road and keep to the left. Go over the jump and then look to your right before entering the main tunnel to find the second cone near the stairs. Head into the tunnel and look for a destroyed vehicle just before the exit. The third cone is hiding directly behind the vehicle. Exit the tunnel and head forward slightly to find the fourth cone on the right on the platform with the large yellow cylinder. Keep to the left path again to find the final cone next to the crashed aircraft.
After destroying the fifth cone, play through the remainder of the mission until you see the massive guardian in the sky sending out shockwaves. To the left of the walkway you’ll find the top of the Thunderstorm skull popping out of the metal floor.
Finding the Grunt Birthday Party skull
What does the Grunt Birthday Party skull do? Like several Halo titles in the past, this skull gives you a fun surprise when you headshot those adorable little grunts!
Where is the Grunt Birthday Party skull located? Two skulls are found in this mission and both are quite simple to acquire. When you first see some Covenant milling about below you, turn around and run down the side path until you find an area with a bunch of weaponry and containers on a cliff. Walk up and punt the grunt holding the Grunt Birthday Party skull!
The Grunt Birthday Party Skull
Finding the Cloud skull
What does the Cloud skull do? This skull disables the motion sensor on your HUD so you won’t be able to track the movements of allies and enemies.
Where is the Cloud skull located? The second skull is found at the end of the level after piloting a Phaeton, when you can see the guardian up in the sky in a large open area. Rather than crossing the bridge, turn to the right and head left up the hill to find the Cloud skull at the edge of the gray and blue platform.
Mission: Swords of Sanghelios
Finding the Mythic skull
What does the Mythic skull do? This skull significantly increases enemy health to make every battle a longer slug fest.
Where is the Mythic skull located? Inside the ruins, head into the Hornet’s Nest hallway by jumping over the crashed columns and walk outside where you see several ships battling in the sky. Instead of turning right and heading into the temple, turn around and jump up the outcropping of protruding rocks and climb all the way up the broken stone column. Jump from the tip of the column to the flat ledge and find the Mythic skull resting next to a rock.
Mission: Enemy Lines
Finding the Catch skull
What does the Catch skull do? This skull makes enemies throw grenades far more often. Good luck dodging all of ’em!
Where is the Catch skull located? After getting onboard the Kraken near the end of the level, head down to find an area with two Banshees sitting side-by-side and green doors positioned to your left. Get in one of the banshees and fly above the green door to a ledge that can’t be reached just by jumping. The Catch skull is on the ground at the end of the corridor.
Mission: Battle of Sunaion
Finding the Cowbell skull
What does the Cowbell skull do? This skull makes explosions more potent and sends anything caught in the blast radius flying faster.
Where is the Cowbell skull located? Again found at the end of the mission, this one is cleverly hidden in an area that doesn’t appear like it’s meant to be walked on. Run up to the jagged ledge, look towards the guardian, and peek down. Look for an area with a twisted steel girder that’s popping out and carefully jump down on the broken concrete to find the Cowbell skull.
Finding the Tilt skull
What does the Tilt skull do? If an enemy has a specific resistance or weakness, this skull further amplifies them.
Where is the Tilt skull located? After wrapping up a battle with a warden and crossing a short bridge, turn to the right, but don’t go up the path. Instead jump up the tiered rock outcropping and climb all the way to the top and then turn left to find the Tilt skull sitting at the end of the ledge.
Mission: The Breaking
Finding the Famine skull
What does the Famine skull do? Making you improve your aim and ensure every shot counts, this skull causes enemies to drop less ammo!
Where is the Famine skull located? At the mission’s mid-point when a warden spawns in the air of a circular area, run down the tunnel to the left to find the Famine skull resting comfortably on a small platform.
Finding the Tough Luck skull
What does the Tough Luck skull do? This skull sends all the Covenant into a berserk rage so they always swarm you and never flee a battle!
Where is the Tough Luck skull located? In the game’s final mission near the gamma core, look for the crashed Pelican high up in the rocks on the right side. Jump up the ledge located near a blue forcefield just a bit before the Pelican. Head over to the vehicle and jump up and over it to find the Tough Luck skull nestled in some rocks below.
Now that you’ve got them all, activate at least three skulls and pop into any mission on Heroic difficulty. If you manage to slog through to the end, the My Rules achievement will pop. Or, if you’re having a hard time of it and want to be really cheap about it, just go to the Alliance or Before The Storm missions and get it without any danger, as there’s no combat in those segments.
That’s all the skulls you’ll find in Halo 5. Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more guides.