Skull Guide by sokkus

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    Skull Guide by sokkus

    Version: 2.0 | Updated: 10/25/15 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

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    Why hello there! Welcome to my Skull guide for Halo 3.This guide will (hopefully) provide you with a quick and easy guide for finding and unlocking all of the hidden Skulls in Halo 3's campaign and multiplayer maps.If you see any errors, have a question, a tip or an alternate strategy for a section of the guide please head to the contact section and flick me an email to let me know!

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    Introduction to Skulls

    Skulls are a form of hidden collectible placed in hard to reach locations throughout the Halo 3 campaign and in several multiplayer maps from the Mythic map pack. As with their first appearance in Halo 2, each of the campaign skulls that is found can be picked up to unlock a gameplay modifier to mix up the standard Halo 3 gameplay.

    Here's some general information about the skulls:

    • There are 20 Skulls in total with 14 hidden in the Campaign mode and a further 6 in the Mythic map pack multiplayer maps.
    • Skulls can only be found on Normal difficulty and above.
    • Campaign Skulls will only appear if you start a mission from the beginning. They will not appear if you start a mission from a rally point.
    • In some cases there may be more than 1 Skull hidden in a campaign level.
    • Campaign Skulls can be picked up in single or co-operative modes and when picked up, all players will receive the Achievement (if applicable).
    • There are two types of campaign Skulls. Gold Skulls will unlock Achievements when found and their modifiers often make the game slightly more difficult and as such add a Meta-game multiplier bonus. Silver Skulls feature more fun effects and do not add multipliers or unlock Achievements.
    • Each campaign Skull you pick up will alter the game experience in its own unique way. Some will make it more challenging, others will cause enemies to behave differently and some alter game play physics. It's up to you to try each one out and decide which ones you like to play with!
    • Unlike the skulls present in Halo 2, Halo 3's campaign Skulls will not activate on pickup. To activate the Skulls you need to go into the Skull section by pressing the "X" button whilst in the campaign menu.

    Skull Names and Effects

    Here you'll find a table of all of the Skulls' names, their effects and in which level you will find them. You can use that information to determine which level you need to play to unlock a specific effect. You'll find a guide below for finding each Skull broken down by levels.

    Anywho, here is a list of all the skull modifiers included in the game and their effects on gameplay:

    Skulls and Effects
    Black EyeAfter taking damage, your shields will not recharge. You can only recharge your shields by performing melee attacks on enemies.Crow's Nest
    BlindYour entire HUD, motion sensor, reticules, weapon and arms will be removed from the screen completely.Sierra 117
    CatchEnemies will throw and carry more grenades than usual.The Storm
    CowbellAcceleration of objects effected by explosions is increased. This is particularly useful for increasing the height of grenade jumps.The Ark
    FamineWeapons dropped by enemies or picked up from the environment will have half the ammo that they would usually have.The Ark
    FogYour motion sensor is disabled.Floodgate
    Grunt Birthday PartyPerforming a head shot on a Grunt will cause it to explode in a shower of confetti whilst cheers can be heard in the background.Crow's Nest

    Makes the game more difficult by messing with death and checkpoints. In single player, if you die at any time you will have to restart.

    In co-operative mode, the death of one player will cause all players to reset to the previously obtained checkpoint.

    Sierra 117
    IWHBYDEnemies and allies get additional humorous dialogue.The Covenant
    MythicEnemies have increased health.Halo
    ThunderstormAll enemies will be the next rank up from usual. Normal Brutes will be upgraded to Captain Brutes for example.The Covenant
    TiltEnemy resistances and weaknesses are increased.Cortana
    Tough LuckEnemies dodge/avoid weapon and grenade attacks much easier.Tsavo Highway

    Campaign Skull Locations

    Below I have listed the Campaign Skulls in order of appearance. As such, the guide is arranged by campaign levels and then specific sub-chapters within campaign levels. I have listed the location of the Skulls, how to find them and a brief rundown of their effects.

    Without further ado, let's begin.

    Sierra 117 (2 Skulls)

    There are two Skulls in ‘Sierra 117' and they appear in the sub chapters ‘Walk it Off' and ‘Quid Pro Quo'. Both are fairly easy to access and you should not require any special assistance, modifiers or item pickups to grab them.

    Skull 1: Blind

    Mission Subchapter: Walk it Off

    This Skull is actually quite close to the very start of the level. Proceed out of the starting location and follow the river downstream and mow your way through three Phantom-loads of Brutes and Grunts until you reach a waterfall.

    When you are at the waterfall, move up to the cliff and follow the ledge along to the right. You should be able to make out a lower platform to the left with the Skull on the ground in plain sight.

    Fight your way down the river (left) and you'll see the Skull on a ledge to the right at the end (right).

    At the start, fight down the river (left) and at the end look for a ledge to the right (right).

    Skull 2: Iron

    Mission Subchapter: Quid Pro Quo

    The second Skull can be found in the final part of the level at the dam where you need to rescue Sgt. Johnson and the other UNSC marines from an energy prison. Once you enter the area, you'll need to work your way up to and cross a bridge.

    Once you have crossed the bridge, continue ahead and instead of turning left to go to the prison, keep pressing forward and jump up on a platform to the right. From here you can again hop up to a narrow ledge running the length of the large building at the back of the area. Follow this narrow pathway to the left and continue to the very end. Here you will find the Skull in a cramped, dark corner.

    As you cross the bridge, climb up on the ledge on the right hand side (left). Jump up to the main building and follow the balcony all the way to the left (right).

    Crow's Nest (2 Skulls)

    There are two Skulls in ‘Crow's Nest' and they appear in the sub chapters ‘Know Your Role' and ‘Gift With Purchase'. Both are fairly easy to access and you should not require any special assistance, modifiers or item pickups to grab them.

    Skull 1: Black Eye

    Mission Subchapter: Know Your Role

    When you start the mission, instead of going down the stairs as you are supposed to, you'll want to jump past them and go up the stairs. Approach the red, locked door here.

    Next to the door you should see a red object up against the wall. Jump up on top of this and then turn to face the left hand wall and jump onto one of the pipes here. From this location, look back into the room and upwards. There is a fairly thick, long grey pipe above you.

    Jump onto the grey pipe and run along it the length of the room, until you reach the end, right above the start area, here you should find the Skull.

    Use the wall mounted equipment and red pipes (left) to climb to the grey pipe at the top of the room. The Skull is at the end of this (right).

    Skull 2: Grunt Birthday Party

    Mission Subchapter: Gift With Purchase

    On the way to the barracks you'll need to jump down a pipe. In the room at the bottom, you will see smaller pipes on either side of the room with the occasional Bugger flying across your path between them.

    At the end of this room you'll need to drop down into a large circular room below. To get the skull you need to jump, but hold back on the controller as you fall so that you land on a small ledge below. This ledge leads to a small, hidden room directly below the ledge we jumped from. The Skull is located in here.

    In the narrow corridor with the Buggers (left), drop down the ledge at the end but hold back and you'll land on a hidden platform with the Skull (right).

    Tsavo Highway (1 Skull)

    Skull 1: Tough Luck

    Mission Subchapter: Full Contact Safari

    Proceed through the level as per normal until you reach the first blue energy shield that blocks your entrance to the tunnel. Clear the area and disable the shield. Drive through the tunnel here until you are back outside.

    Once out of the tunnel, look to your left and you should see a large yellow pipeline running parallel to the road. When you see this, Jump over the left hand railing of the bridge and walk beneath the pipes until you come across the supports for the pipeline.

    In the area where the pipelines supports are positioned over the cliff, jump onto the support closest to the tunnel you came out of. From here you should see the skull on a platform behind the cliff to the left. Jump over and grab it.

    Proceed through the level until you see the pipeline on the left of the road (left). Hop the fence and jump down around it's support platforms to find the Skull (right).

    The Storm (1 Skull)

    Skull 1: Catch

    Mission Subchapter: Ghost Town

    In the first open area with the first AA Wraith that we need to eliminate there is a tall cylindrical shaped building close to the far wall from where we entered the area. The Skull is located on top of this structure.

    The structure itself is quite high and jumping alone won't get you up there. Instead, you'll need to either use a grenade jump or park a vehicle (Warthog/Ghost) up against the structure and then jump up to the roof from the top of said vehicle. Switching on the Cowbell Skull if you have it will help increase the height of your grenade jumps so can be quite handy in obtaining this Skull if you are having trouble.

    Park a vehicle next to the large cylindrical object (left) and climb up to grab the Skull (right).

    Note: After destroying the AA Wraith, a Covenant dropship will drop another Wraith on the platform outside the door that exits the area. DO NOT destroy it until after you have nabbed the Skull. Destroying the Wraith appears to de-spawn the Skull making it impossible to collect.

    Floodgate (1 Skull)

    Skull 1: Fog

    Mission Subchapter: It Followed Me Home

    At the very beginning of the level, climb down the hill with the anti-air battery that you destroyed in the previous mission into what looks like a small, flood-infested commercial area. As you are making your way down the hill you should see a fence on the left, another, smaller AA turret in front of you to the right and a building directly behind it.

    As we move into the area keep your eyes trained towards the roof of the building here. As you move towards it, you should see a single bipedal Flood form appear and jump from the roof of building all the way up and over the fence to your left. This enemy is actually carrying the Skull. Line it up and shoot it as it makes the leap and it will drop the Skull on the ground so that you can you can pick it up.

    If you aren't successful on your first try, simply restart the level and try again!

    At the very start of the level, proceed into the industrial area (left). Look for the Flood on the rooftop and shoot it (right) for the Skull.

    The Ark (2 Skulls)

    Skull 1: Famine

    Mission Subchapter: Installation 00

    After the sniping section is over and you head inland, you'll drive past a pair of Pelican crash sites and a Phantom crash site whilst fighting off various Covenant forces and vehicles before dropping down to continue.

    When you hit the fork in the road, take the right path. You'll come across a bridge-like Forerunner structure overlooking this small area. Destroy the 2 Ghosts buzzing around at ground level and then look towards the structure. Against the back wall to the left from where you entered you should find a stone ramp leading up to the bridge.

    Once you are on top of the bridge head as far as you can along the bridge back towards the way we came into the area. The skull is inside the large triangular support beam closest to where we entered the area. Use a grenade jump to get in there and the skull is yours!

    After the crashed Phantom, keep an eye out for the Forerunner bridge structure (left). The Skull is inside the open section on top of the closest support to the entrance (right).

    Note: that switching on the Cowbell Skull if you have it will help increase the height of your grenade jumps so can be quite handy in obtaining this Skull if you are having trouble.

    Skull 2: Cowbell

    Mission Subchapter: Real Men Don't Read Maps

    After destroying the Scarab, have a look inside the bunker on the beach next to where we fought it. Grab one of the Grav Lift pickups from inside. You'll need this in order to nab the Skull. Continue through the level as normal, fighting your way up the spire and into the door at the top. Make your way through the interior until you get to the second downwards-sloping ramp hallway.

    If you look up to the left above the door at the bottom of the room, you should see a series of platforms, the Skull is located on one of these. On the right side of the ramp you should see a series of small, green lights. Deploy the Grav Lift on or around the 5th light on the floor counting up from the foot of the ramp.

    Using the Grav Lift, jump towards the platforms above the door. You should land on the upper platform and see the Skull there for the taking.

    Grab the Grav Lift from the bunker on the beach with the scarab (left). Use the Grav Lift in the second ramp room to reach the Skull (right).

    The Covenant (2 Skulls)

    Skull 1: Thunderstorm

    Mission Subchapter: If You Want It Done Right

    After you have disabled the first tower and return to the beach, you'll be required to hop in a Hornet to continue. About halfway to the next location, you should see a large Forerunner structure built high up into the cliff on the right. Fly up to this structure and look inside for the skull.

    As soon as you get into the Hornet, fly it over to the nearby Forerunner structure built onto the cliff to the right (left). You'll find the Skull here (right).

    Skull 2: IWHBYD

    Mission Subchapter: Revelation

    Much like its equivalent in Halo 2, the IWHBYD Skull is by far the most difficult to obtain. To find it, once we have discovered the Prophet of Truth's fate we'll need to clear out the Forerunner Temple of Flood completely all the way from the elevator to the platform with the Prophet.

    Above the length of the temple room from the elevator, all the way to where you encountered Truth you should see a series of suspended, glowing blue rings. There are seven rings in total. Let's name the one closest to the elevator ring 1 and the one at the platform with the Prophet of Truth ring 7, the ones between will be 2-6 respectively.

    The key to finding this Skull is to jump through a number of these rings in a specific order to spawn it. Note that whilst jumping through the rings, you'll need to be facing the Prophet of Truth's platform as you jump.

    Here is the order required: 4, 6, 5, 4, 5, 3, 4.

    If done successfully, the rings should flash. Head back to the Platform with the Prophet of Truth and you should see the skull sitting by the end of the light bridge. If not, try it again and make sure you jump completely through the rings!

    After clearing out the room of enemies, jump through the glowing rings (left) in the order specified. If successful, the Skull will appear on the bridge leading to the platform with the Prophet (right).

    Cortana (1 Skull)

    Skull 1: Tilt

    Mission Subchapter: Rampant

    About a third of the way into the level you should reach a large circular room, which most resembles the interior of a Covenant ship… or what's left of one. In this room you need to look around for a lichen-like growth on the left hand wall beside the upper ‘deck' area.

    Using these lichen growths as platforms, you can jump and climb your way up to a support beam above the room and claim the Skull hidden there.

    In the section that looks like a Covenant ship, look for lichen-like platforms on the left wall (left). Climb these to the top to find the Skull (right).

    Skull 2: ???

    Mission Subchapter: Rampant

    Just before you reach Cortana, you should make your way into a huge, open circular room with some exposed power cores (Which we will blow up later in the level).

    In this area you should notice that around the edges of the room are slanted, diagonal supports. Jump on to one of these, and climb to the top of it, then perform a grenade jump to reach the ledge above. After you get up, walk around the circular area until you reach a large purple platform that juts out into the room. The Skull can be found on the right side of the platform here.

    Note: This Skull does not have any effects, does not unlock a modifier and does not unlock an Achievement.

    Note: This Skull is not present in the Halo: The Master Chief version of Halo 3.

    Halo (1 Skull)

    Skull 1: Mythic

    Mission sub-chapter: Full Circle

    From the start of the level head from the pelican crash site and through the first tunnel. As you move through it, keep an eye on the right hand wall. Shortly after you enter there should be a path leading to the right. Follow this to the end to find the Skull on the ground here.

    Enter the cave at the very beginning (left) and look for another tunnel along the right hand wall (right). The Skull is at the end of this.

    Multiplayer Skull Locations

    Thanks to the recent release of the Mythic map-pack and the freshly released Halo 3: ODST, Bungie has given players some additional motivation to play around in the new multiplayer maps in Forge mode by hiding additional Skulls in them.

    The maps with skulls included are the formerly released Sandbox, Assembly and Orbital. A further three maps have been just added to Halo 3 with the release of Halo 3: ODST with another three skulls to find. These maps are entitled Longshore, Heretic and Citadel.

    These skulls are a little different from the campaign skulls as they do not unlock cheats for use in the main game. They each will unlock an achievement once found and once all 6 skulls have been found, payers will unlock one of the Vidmaster Challenges, which is required to unlock a set of the fabled Recon armor.


    Assembly is a fairly small map centered around what looks to be some kind of power core. It is this central structure that is hiding the elusive Assembly skull.

    From the central building, look for a large diagonal support branching off from the main building, there are two of these. These structures will have an accompanying black and purple cable dangling below them. The Skull is hidden on top of the cable, inside the one of the diagonal supports. You'll need to fly up into the opening beside the cable as a Monitor to reach it.

    Look for the supports in the centre (left). The Skull is inside one of these resting on the cable (right).


    The Citadel Skull is probably the most well-hidden of those present in the Halo3: ODST included maps and can be quite difficult to locate.

    First you need to head for the small corridor that has the Overshield pickup and follow the corridor to the end. You should see a pair of large blue triangles on the wall. At this point switch to controlling a Monitor and fly up towards the ceiling. You should see a gap in the roof here and the Skull is sitting on top of a small ledge inside just behind the light.

    To grab it, we'll need to use the monitor to build a stack of crates, then whilst standing on top as a Spartan/Elite jump up and hold down the interact button to grab it when you get in range.

    Build a stack of crates so that you can reach the roof (left) and use the MP character to stand on top to reach up for the Skull (right).


    This skull is a fairly easy one to find. At the top, on either side of the room are what look to be sets of air vents. You want to get up to the platform with the Energy Sword and look towards the side of the map with the window looking out onto a Covenant ship.

    From here look at the right-hand air vent and using the monitor, place a Grav Lift on the platform below. Switch to your main multiplayer character and hold down the right button as you go up the Grav Lift to grab the Skull as you jump close to it.

    The Skull is on one of the vents in the centre area (left). Fly up as the Monitor (right) or use a Grav Lift to nab it.

    Note: An alternate way to pick up the skull, much easier than the above method is to use the monitor to fly up above the skull. Switch to the multiplayer character and hold down the use button, you will grab it as you drop to the floor.


    Make your way to the side of the map with the large watery area and keep an eye out for a large billboard with a picture of a fish on it. Beside this you will see what looks to be an air conditioning duct.

    The Longshore Skull is hidden on a small platform between this and the wall. To obtain the Skull, we need to use the Monitor to build a tower out of various crates from the water below up to its position. When you have a tall enough platform, switch back to your multiplayer character and jump across to nab it.

    Note: An alternate way to pick up the skull, much easier than the above method is to use the monitor to fly up above the skull. Switch to the multiplayer character and hold down the use button, you will grab it as you drop to the floor.

    The Skull is next to the Fish sign (left) behind the ventilation shaft (right). Build a stack of crates and switch to the MP character to grab it.


    The Orbital Skull is found in the only real open part of the level. It is sitting on a high up ledge above the only cliff in the level. To get to it, use the monitor to fly up to the top of the room and place a exit teleporter on the platform next to it. Head back down to the floor and place a sender teleporter node. Head through the teleporter and crouch to move forward and claim the Orbital skull.

    In the area by the cliff, place a teleporter at ground level (left) and another near the top of the room (right) by the Skull.


    This skull can be a little difficult. It is outside the safe area of play, well beyond the beacons highlighting the boundary of the level. The skull itself is at the bottom of the wall in the distance between the two towers closest to the setting sun. To get it you will need to use the monitor to construct a safe passage all the way out to the wall using any hollow objects you can. If you have too much trouble, look on for a downloadable map capable of getting you there in 2 seconds flat!

    The Skull is between a pair of Death Towers (left) against the wall (right).

    Note: In the Halo: The Master Chief Collection, the towers around the outside of the room do not seem to care if you leave the designated area. as such, you can simply walz out to grab it.

    Skull Related Unlocks

    As well as unlocking some cool effects in game and giving us a good time hunting for them, collecting the skulls will also unlock a special amour class called Hayabusa for use in multiplayer modes. Hayabusa is of course a reference to the ninja character of the same name from the Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden series and said armor reflects his getup to some degree.

    Here's the order of the Skull-related unlocks:

    • Hayabusa Chest - collect 5 different skulls.
    • Hayabusa Shoulders - collect 9 different skulls.
    • Hayabusa Helmet - collect 13 different skulls.
    • Katana - to unlock this you must finish the game on Legendary, collect all the hidden Skulls and complete all the achievements.

    Multiplayer skulls will each unlock an achievement when found. Once all six have been acquired, players will be rewarded with the Vidmaster achievement: Brainpan. Along with the other six Vidmaster achievements, players will be able to unlock a new armor set for use in multiplayer - Recon.


    Contact Me

    Did you enjoy or dislike the guide? Is there something missing? Do you have an alternate strategy? If so and you feel the need to contact me, there are a couple of ways you can go about doing this. You can reach me at:


    sokkus [at] hotmail [dot] com

    Please use the subject 'Halo 3 skulls'.


    Alternatively, you can check out my facebook page and ask a question and I'll
    try to get back to you as soon as I can:

    About Me

    Im 30, Australian and live with my lovely wife. I have been thrice named as the world sexiest hugging machine. I work full time and study at University full time as well. I write game guides as a hobby in what little spare time I have and have thouroughly enjoyed writing each and every one. Please head over to the website I write for - to check out some of my guides, previews and reviews.

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    Special Thanks

    I would like to thank the following people/entities:

    • GameFAQs for always being there when I needed help and for accepting my FAQ.
    • Bungiey for yet another awesome Halo game.
    • My lovely wife Kumiko, who is always incredibly patient and understanding.
    • And everybody who has taken the time to read my FAQs so far.


    This guide has been written by Paul Williams aka Sokkus.

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