The Sandbox Skull is an achievement in Halo 3 and Halo: The Master Chief Collection. It is obtained by finding the hidden skull on the map, Sandbox. Without the correct strategy, this skull is impossible to retrieve.
The skull is actually far out of the boundaries of Sandbox. One must go to Forge mode, and build tube pieces, shield doors and deploy Bubble Shields to reach out for the skull. The direction to build the "Sandbox Skull Tunnel" is between the two Guardian towers to the right of the sun, or alternatively you could get an Assault Rifle and aim it around until it points south-west (down-left, in Layman's terms). The skull is in a small but somewhat noticeable valley of sorts, right up against the far wall. When you think you've got the area right, get a Sniper Rifle or Beam Rifle and aim to look at the skull and where it is precisely. Another strategy is to forge a tube corner and hide in the middle while pulling it along in monitor mode
First find the skull by going into theater and look around. The skull should be between the two towers right to the sun. Getting to the Skull may be difficult because the watchtower will destroy the player if he or she goes outside the playing area. An easy way to get it is to set up a teleporter and fly the receiver to the right side of the tower then immediately activate a bubble shield, this will keep you alive to grab the skull, or if need be go to edit mode and get another bubble shield throw it closer to the skull and then grab it and you get the achievement.
Another way is to collect a Bubble Shield, fly to the skull in Monitor Mode, then quickly drop the Bubble Shield over the skull. It's possible to Overload the map to disable the watchtowers in order to safely get there without a hassle, though the skull may also disappear.
The longest, most confusing, and most time consuming method is to combine bubble shields, walls, tunnels and teleporters.
- Make a sender node where you spawn.
- Place a tunnel piece as far away as possible towards the skull.
- Get a receiver node, and without moving, place it inside the tunnel with the same channel as the sender node.
- Place a wall as far away, to block up the entrance to the tunnel so there is one exit, facing the skull. Go out and die, then go through the teleporter.
- Go through the teleporter, repeat steps 2-4 but don't place a new receiver node, just drag the old one you made to your new position.
- Repeat step 5 until your very close to the skull, and two bubble shields could cover the gap.
- Get a Bubble Shield, and go into player mode. Pick it up. Then, throw it and just before the bubble shield appears, press Up on the D-Pad. This freezes the bubble shield, so when you go back into player mode you will finish throwing and it will appear in a fraction of a second.
- In monitor mode, go through the teleporter and immediately press up on the D-Pad to go into player mode.
- Sprint to the skull while sticking to the bubble shield(s) if you can, and immediately pick it up when you can. The guardians will probably shoot you at this point, but you should get the skull and associated achievement.
Of course, there are other ways to obtain this otherwise unobtainable skull. One way is to stay inside of a corner tube while you move toward the skull. Another method is to try and dodge the guardians by going into monitor mode and randomly moving up and down, with shield and damage settings set to invulnerable, 4X overshields, and 200% recharge rate. This will cover you until you can reach the skull, switch to player mode, and grab it.
One new take on obtaining this skull is to block the towers. Discovered by forgehub, the map called Sand-Blasted has everything set up for you, just download it here.
There are multiple maps that can help you get this skull. If you have a Bungie.net profile you can search for such maps via the website.
Some people find most methods quite difficult, so if you cannot do the others, there is another solution.
- Find the skull in theatre to the right tower of the sun.
- Go into forge and into "Edit Mode."
- Go as close to the barrier as you are allowed before you would get blown up.
- Then buy a corner piece, drop it and get inside it (make sure you can see where you are going)
- Instead of the tower shooting at you for it to move, pick up (not delete) the corner and move towards the skull.
- The corner will act like a shield from the towers lasers.
- When you are a meter away from the skull, drop the corner.
- Go into "Play Mode" and walk over a pick up the skull.
Map overload method
This is the easiest way to retrieve the skull, and doesn't require a map.
- Locate the skull
- In forge, delete some objects to give yourself enough money for this method.
- In forge, overload the map using trip mines. To do this, spawn all four trip mines (on top of each other) and set the Run Time Minimum to the Run Time Maximum (Which should be four). Now, stand on the trip mines and throw them repeatedly. Eventually, the items on the map will vanish, and the towers will be offline.
- Travel to the skull's location
- Build a fortress around this location. Make sure you do not place anything directly on the spawn point, but make sure there are no gaps in the fortress. I find it easiest to use double blocks and a tube corner (for entry - see below). Make sure you close off the top, and the entrance to the tube corner.
- When you are finished, place a Two Way or receiver node inside the walled area. If you used a tube corner, place your teleporter inside the tube, directly in front of the piece blocking the entrance.
- Travel back to the main part of the map and place a Sender node or Two Way node.
- Set both channels to the same number to link them.
- Start a new round.
- Take your teleporter to the skull. If your fortress is built well enough, you should be able to retrieve the skull without any trouble.
- A common misconception is that The Guardians only attack one of you at a time; if you have a teammate assisting, either two towers will attack both you and your friend, or one tower will shoot two beams either separately or simultaneously.
- Another effective means of obtaining the skull is to have two partners hold up shield doors against the guardian lasers while you go and retrieve the skull.
- The Sandbox skull is the only skull to appear even after a map has been overloaded.
- The icon of the Sandbox Skull achievement has what appears to be the monitor on the skull's forehead. This is a sign that Sandbox was made to be forged.
- There is a glitch in Sandbox where if you stand on the top of one of the bases and have trip mines continually respawn under you, throw them down on the ground below about 55-60 times creating a huge explosion that "distracts" the towers and preventing you from being killed. You can run out and get the skull by foot, vehicle or in monitor mode safely. This is the easiest proven method of retrieving the Sandbox skull without downloads or other complicated methods.