Unlock every mutator for Halo 5’s cooperative campaign with these secret skull locations. From disabled revives to buffing enemies, skulls make life more difficult and change the way you’ll play.
Since the original Halo: Combat Evolved, collectible skulls have been a constant for the hardcore fanbase. Each skull comes with a toggle, either making the base game more difficult or changing it in strange ways. Some skulls limit the amount of ammo you receive, or disable shield recharging until after you’ve struck an opponent with a melee attack. Others, like the Grunt Birthday Party, are just a weird Easter egg. We’ve got a full list of effects beneath the locations guide, so don’t miss out if you’re looking or a whole new Halo experience.
Discover even more Halo 5 secrets with our overview of every early Guardians Easter egg the community managed to discover.
Skull Locations Guide
There are a total of 13 skulls to collect.
Mission 01: Osiris
- Skull #1 (IWHBYD): Following a second battle with Prometheans, you’ll head toward a large door leading into a structure. Before going inside, look left of the door for a high ledge. Jump up and move along the cliff to spot a skull precariously placed near the drop.
Mission 02: Blue Team
- Skull #2 (Black Eye): From the computer at the back of the Reactor Room, head up the left ramp to find a platform with ‘H 8-93’ printed on the side. Jump up, then onto the pipe with ‘Keep Clear’ and use this pipe to reach another platform to the right. There’s a narrow dark alcove here you can reach with a drop into a vent. Fall in, break the vent, and look in the left corner of the red room.
Mission 03: Glassed
- Skull #3 (Iron): Legendary Difficulty Required – Late in the mission, you’ll need to use a Scorpion Tank to save the Cargo Ship and destroy a Phaeton. As you drive the tank, the Cargo Ship (and Phaeton) appear above and to the left as you move up the hill. After saving the Cargo Ship, the skull will spawn in the area. It always spawn in one of three locations; on the roof of the Scorpion garage, next to the fence on the left before you reached the hill that triggers the Cargo Ship/Phaeton, and under a natural archway beneath the garage. The skull always spawns under grey metal boxes or yellow barrels.
Mission 05: Unconfirmed
- Skull #4 (Blind): After dealing with snipers up the hill, you’ll enter a large door inside the mine with a forklift. Jump onto the platform next to the forklift and use the boxes to reach the pipes above. When you’re on the pipes, go right and enter a short cave / vent where the skull is easily visible.
Mission 06: Excavation
- Skull #5 (Thunderstorm): In the area where you gain access to a Gungoose and a Warthog, jump into a vehicle and use it to destroy 5 traffic cones in less than 2 minutes. The first cone appears on the left past the stairs near a covered yellow crate. Drive off the ramp and you’ll see the second cone near more steps to the right of the tunnel door that leads to the bridge. Past the ruined center of the bridge, there’s a charred car. The third cone is behind that car. Past the bridge there’s a natural arch. Turn right and look behind the huge truck. To the right of the truck there’s a yellow mining pylon with the fourth cone sitting on a corner. Continue up the hill, sticking to the left wall to find a crashed ship. The last cone is near the ship. Shoot it and the skull will spawn at the very end of the mission before you escape the area.
Mission 07: Reunion
- Skull #6 (Grunt Birthday Party): Early in the mission, you’ll enter an area with a crashed Phantom surrounded by Covenant enemies. Clear the soldiers and then climb on the cliffside to the right of the combat area. Look behind the Phantom to spot a tunnel — jump to it. At the end of the path you’ll find a Grunt talking to a skull. Melee him and the skull will spawn where he was sitting.
- Skull #7 (Fog): At the very end of the level, you’ll encounter a familiar face in an alien installation. Before approaching her, turn right and move up the hill. Move onto the small Forerunner landing to spot the skull.
Mission 08: Sword of Sanghelios
- Skull #8 (Mythic): Leaving the ruins, Vale will talk about pre-Covenant history as you get a view of ships flying in the distance through a door with a fallen cross-beam. Use the cross-beam wedged in the door to jump to a high raised platform. Jump into the cracks of the beam using the exterior cliffs. At the top of the beam, make a sprint jump and air-dash to reach the far platform.
Mission 10: Alliance
- Skull #9 (Catch): Landing on the massive Kraken, go down the ramps to find Banshees parked inside. Go to the Banshee hangar with the green light ahead and to your right. Enter a Banshee and fly into a high alcove above the green light. Jump out to find the skull on this hidden ledge.
Mission 12: Battle of Sunaion
- Skull #10 (Cowbell): Go to the combat area deep in the level where you have a good view of the massive Guardian in the distance. This is where a Warden fight ensues, but if you’re quick you can grab the skull before he spawns. At the edge of the cliff over-looking the Guardian, there’s a metal beam jutting out and pointing down. Drop onto this beam to discover a hidden alcove with your next skull.
Mission 13: Genesis
- Skull #11 (Tilt): Crossing a light-bridge you should see a glowing blue ring structure to the right. There’s a rock formation between the bridge you just crossing and that ring. Climb up the tallest formation to find a skull at the top.
Mission 14: The Breaking
- Skull #12 (Famine): Halfway through the mission you’ll encounter a Warden in the distance that teleports into the sky. Look under that spawn area — there’s hallway entrances to the left and right. In the center you’ll find a skull.
Mission 15: Guardians
- Skull #13 (Tough Luck): Move past the Gamma Core to a buried Forerunner pyramid with the massive glowing black ball floating above. Use it to scale the cliff platforms to the right of the pyramid, leading up and around to a crashed Pelican. In the rocks next to the Pelican you’ll find the final skull.
IWHBYD: Makes certain rare enemy combat dialogue more common.
Black Eye: Shields don’t recharge until you land a melee attack on an enemy.
Iron: Disables reviving. Player cannot be revived or revive downed allies.
Blind: Removes HUD elements and weapon models from first-person view.
Thunderstorm: Enemy abilities are upgraded.
Grunt Birthday Party: Grunt head shots have a special effect.
Fog: Mini-map motion sensors are disabled.
Mythic: Enemies have more health.
Catch: Enemies throw grenades more often.
Cowbell: Explosions cause even more knockback / acceleration.
Tilt: Enemies are more resistant and susceptible to weaknesses.
Famine: Weapon pick-ups provide less ammo.
Tough Luck: Enemies are always berserks, never retreat and always dive.
- Gravelord (40 points):
Found and claimed all skulls.
Kevin Thielenhaus is a freelance writer for The Escapist. Find him on Twitter here.