How to get Skulls!

Introduction
Hello and welcome to my first guide!

I have seen a number of people asking how to get a five skull rating on a level. This is a simple guide telling you how to do that and also a list of all the bonus Skulls you can get.

Please note that to get 5 skulls, you must be playing on at least War Mage difficulty. On Apprentice difficulty, you can only earn 2 skulls. The 2 skulls for Apprentice count for 2 skulls on War Mage difficulty. For example, if I got 2 skulls on an Apprentice level and then started the same level on War Mage, getting a five skull rating would only give me 3 additional skulls. The 5 skulls can all be earned again on Nightmare difficulty.

5 Skull Rating
Rift Points
The first four Skulls that you can get for a level are based on the number of rift points remaining when you complete the level. So it’s simple, if you can get through the level without losing any rift points, you’ll get at least four Skulls for the level.

Completion Time
The fifth Skull for the level is based on the Par Time of the level. If you complete the level faster than the Par Time, you’ll get the Skull. This is demonstrated below in the screenshot:

Near the top of the screenshot where it says “Completion Time” the time within the brackets is the Par Time. In the case of the map “Stairs of Doom”, the par time is 20:00, as in 20 minutes. I completed the level in 15:52, which is less than the Par Time, so I was awarded the 5th skull. As I also did not lose any Rift Points, I got a five Skull rating.

It should be noted that the timer for the level keeps going during “Go Break” sections. These sections are where you have unlimited time to reset your traps and cause the next wave to come by pressing “G” (by default), so be sure to not take too long!

If you’re concerned about the time you are taking, you can turn on the in game timer by going to Options > Gameplay > Turn on Timer. This will display the timer on your screen during a level.

Bonus Skulls
Other than the five Skulls that you get for completing a level, you can earn bonus skulls that do not count towards your ranking but are added to your total Skulls. These skulls in most cases can be earned every time you play the level and not just once like the Skulls for the rating.

Bonus Skulls
The following is a list of the Bonus Skulls:

  • Victory, 1 skull: Win a level. (2 skulls on Nightmare)
  • Perfect Victory, 1 skull: Don’t lose any Rift Points. (2 skulls on Nightmare)
  • Perfect Buddy Victory, 1 skull: Don’t lose any Rift Point in a co-op game. (2 skulls on Nightmare)
  • Untouchable, 2 skulls: Never be hit. Being damaged by Vampiric Gauntlets don’t count against this bonus. (5 skulls on Nightmare)
  • Trapless, 3 skulls: Don’t use any Traps or Guardians. (6 skulls on Nightmare)
  • Manaless. 3 skulls: Don’t use any Mana. (6 skulls on Nightmare)
  • New High Killstreak, 2 skulls: Make a killstreak higher than any precedent on that character. (5 skulls on Nightmare)
  • New High Score, 1 skull: Beat your preceding scores on an already played map. (2 skulls on Nightmare)
  • Skulls Picked up, 1 skull each: 1 for each skull picked up during the mission (dropped by enemies), it is not shared with the other player.
  • 100 Career Kills, 1 skull: Kill 100 enemies.
  • 200 Career Kills, 1 skull: Kill 200 enemies.
  • 300 Career Kills, 1 skull: Kill 300 enemies.
  • 400 Career Kills, 1 skull: Kill 400 enemies.
  • 500 Career Kills, 1 skull: Kill 500 enemies.
  • 1000 Career Kills, 1 skull: Kill 1000 enemies.
  • 5000 Career Kills, 5 skulls: Kill 5000 enemies.
  • 10000 Career Kills, 5 skulls: Kill 10000 enemies.
  • 20000 Career Kills, 5 skulls: Kill 20000 enemies.
  • 30000 Career Kills, 5 skulls: Kill 30000 enemies.
  • 40000 Career Kills, 5 skulls: Kill 40000 enemies.
  • 50000 Career Kills, 5 skulls: Kill 50000 enemies.
  • 100000 Career Kills, 10 skulls: Kill 100000 enemies.
  • 500 More Career Kills, 1 skull: Kill 500 more enemies. Earned only when the others Career Kills milestones aren’t met.
  • 1000 More Career Kills, 2 skulls: Kill 1000 more enemies. Earned only when the others – Career Kills milestones aren’t met.

Endless Mode Bonus Skulls
There are two additional bonus Skulls that can only be earned in Endless Mode:

  • Every 5 Waves Reached, 1 skull: For every 5 waves reached in an endless game you get one skull.
  • New High Score (Endless), 1 skull: Beat your preceding scores in an endless game – you can get that in addition to the general “New High Score” skull.
How to Quickly Get Skulls
There is a quick way to attain skulls which has been brought to my attention. I’ll add it here for anyone looking to quickly rack up skulls.

Firstly, unlock Nightmare by finishing the story mode. The first map, “The Edge” has only 4 quick waves that takes about 4 minutes total. To complete the waves, use guardians or traps, but be sure to not get hit and do not use any mana.

When you finish the level, you will have gotten about 15 skulls in 4 minutes. This is faster than doing things such as running Endless Mode repeatedly.

This method is courtesy of Saphdragn.

Conclusion
I hope this guide helped you and if there is any missing or incorrect information, do not hesitate to let me know!

As a last note, 1651 skulls must be earned on a character to purchase every possible upgrade. This is the same for Sorceress and War Mage.

Thanks for reading, if you enjoyed this guide please be sure to rate it and comment.

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