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Halo Wars 2: How to Unlock All Skulls and What They Do

Skulls – Halo Wars 2

Skulls make their return in Halo Wars 2, letting you add a variety of modifiers to your campaign or custom multiplayer matches. These effects vary from simple visual things like Grunts exploding into confetti, to difficulty changers like units starting with lower health. There are 15 Skulls in total, and each one is unlocked by playing the campaign. You’ll usually have to complete Optional Objectives in certain missions, but none of the Skulls are horribly hard to get. We’ll walk you through what each Skull does in Halo Wars 2, which mission you get it from, and how to unlock it.

After Party – Anytime a Firebase is destroyed, the player who owned it gets a tank and infantry unit. Final score decreases.


  • Mission: Halo – For this Skull, all you need to do is complete the optional objective of rescuing Bravo Base, the yellow base.

Bountiful Harvest – Supply from Supply Pads arrives 25 percent faster. Final score decreases.

  • Mission: One Three Zero – This one can be difficult as you have to not let any of the four prison squads die. One option is to crank the difficulty down to Easy, and just keep these units out of harm’s way.

Emperor – All player Powers recharge in half the time. Final score decreases.

  • Mission: The Cartographer – This one is a simple optional objective. Just destroy both Minibases in the Central Chamber, you’ll see these even with fog of war.

Firestarter – Grunts and Marines explode upon death, inflicting damage on enemy units. Final score decreases.

  • Mission: Hold the Line – The Particle Cannon must stay above 50 percent health. This can realistically be done on any difficulty as long as you do a good job of building defenses. Crank it down to Easy if you’re having trouble.

Grunt Birthday Party – Killed Grunts explode into a shower of confetti, bringing joy to the battlefield–if you’re not a grunt, that is.

  • Mission: A New Enemy – Capture four of Decimus’ Power Nodes. This one’s pretty easy, just build up your army, take your time, and capture the nodes.

Nightmare – No checkpoints or saves on any difficulty. Campaign only. Final score increases.

  • Mission: Last Stand – Control Room Shield has to take less than 25 percent damage. Again, an easy one to get if you coordinate your defenses correctly. Tone things down to Easy if you need to.

Paintball –  Marine grenades and Grunt mines splatter the environment with color (as well as deadly shrapnel).

  • Mission: Ascension – Destroy the Hidden Facility’s four structures. Just follow the directions of the optional objective that pops up for this one.

Pain Train – All player units train 50 percent faster. Final score decreases.

  • Mission: Ascension – Destroy the Banished Base. This one can be difficult to get, especially as you have a timer. Putting the difficulty on Easy is really the best way to get it.

Pestilence – All player units slowly lose health from the moment they’re built. Final score increases.

  • Mission: Lights Out – Rescue all 10 squads of UNSC prisoners. This can be tricky as the squads are pretty spread out. Luckily, you have all the time in the world as you’ll need to hit just about every corner of the map and explore.

Sickness – All player units have 50 percent fewer hit points. Final score increases.

  • Mission: Hold the Line – No barricades destroyed. Make sure you focus on getting turrets immediately constructed and post units in front of each barricade for this one as fast as you can. Playing on Easy will help things along.

Shadow – All infantry units start cloaked. Final score decreases.

  • Mission: Last Stand – Both Brute Warlords and their reinforcements eliminated. You’ll want to separate a contingent of your forces out to deal with these Brutes. Again, playing on Easy makes this pretty simple.

Sugar Cookies – All player units have 50 percent more hit points. Final score decreases.

  •  Mission: The Foundry – Scarab health doesn’t drop below 25 percent. Simple enough, just focus on using your other units for combat and healing the Scarab.

Things That Make You Go Boom – Hero units unleash a nuclear explosion upon death. Final score increases.

  • Mission: Under the Dark: All three Brute Warlords eliminated. Just make sure to explore each area of the map and you’ll find these enemies.

Total Annihilation – Spartan special-ability Slams create even more powerful explosion upon landing. Final score decreases.

  • Mission: From the Deep – Mission completed without Spartan downed. The Spartans are pretty tough characters so this isn’t too hard to get, just make sure to pull them out of danger if need be.

Wuv Woo – Scarab and Locust beam weapons shoot rainbows made of pure love and hearts. Maybe Atriox isn’t such a bad guy after all.

  • Mission: The Foundry – Scarab survives the mission. This Skull is incredibly easy to get as the Scarab will most likely survive anyway. Just pull it out of battle if you need to.

Now that you know how to find all the Skulls in Halo Wars 2, you can set some pretty crazy modifiers during your matches. For more help, tips and, tricks on Halo Wars 2, makes sure to check back with Twinfinite.

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