Warhammer: Vermintide 2 – Warhammer Skulls Event Guide (Skulls Explained)

A fancy lil guide to tell you neat things about skulls and the woes of taking them from people. If you consider skaven and northlanders to be people.

Guide to Warhammer Skulls Event

All credit goes to Emilia Tempest!

To keep it simple, “Khorne Level” (or “KL” for short).

What’s a “Khorne Level”?

Just a shortcut for “skull amount collected” to make formatting a little easier on me. Its not an actual in-game name, I made it up!

You wouldnt want to read “When 1 skull collected XYZ” over and over right?

Now, lets get into the data shall we?

Skulls give you the “Khorne Level” KL for short. One skull = one level.

You can have a KL up to 5.

If anyone reached KL 5 the mission will have “Send the next wave!” enabled permanently.

Levels completed while the challenge is active does not count for deed progression (sadly).

The Skulls only appear in normal campaign missions. So no Chaos Wastes, Weaves, Weekly Challenge or Deeds will have skulls in them.

Skull Buffs

You will not find pictures of buff skulls in here.

Each KL gives one buff and you keep the buffs from the previous levels.

The buffs per level are the following:

  • KL 1 = 15% Power Level
  • KL 2 = 12% Attack Speed
  • KL 3 = 20% Crit Chance
  • KL 4 = 20% Movement Speed
  • KL 5 = 25% Cooldown Regeneration (this works on OE ult!)

Buff Duration

The higher your KL the lower the buff duration will be. Making it more difficult to keep the buffs.

All buffs share the same duration.

  • KL 1 stays active for 60 seconds before decaying.
  • KL 2 for 50 seconds.
  • KL 3 for 40 seconds.
  • KL 4 for 30 seconds.
  • KL 5 for 20 seconds.

Buff Decayed? Oh No…

What happens when your buff runs out? Well you start bleedin’ you lucky bleeder!

And here is how much damage you take!

  • KL 1, you take 1% of your max HP in damage each tick (19 ticks total).
  • KL 2, you take 2% max HP per tick.
  • KL 3, 3% max HP per tick.
  • KL 4, 4% max HP per tick.
  • KL 5, 5% max HP per tick.
  • Damage below 1 is not rounded up. (if you have 150 HP, you take 1,5 damage a tick at KL 1!)
  • Damage taken by this triggers things like “Ablative Armor” (so you lose stacks!), be aware of playing Unchained!
  • Damage can be reduced by invulnerbility or damage reduction. (the property on necklaces “Damage reduction vs Area Damage” works on this too).
  • Effects like the grim curse reducing your max HP will not reduce the damage taken by the decay bleed!
  • You can cancel this effect by collecting another skull. Even if you have the KL 5 decay going on, picking up a skull will result you going back to the KL 1 buff. Which means you will take less damage if that runs out!

How2stop Decay Now!

Lets explain it in some simple terms. You need 5 tokens (which you gain by, you guessed it, killing enemies) to refresh the duration of your buffs.

Easy enough, now lets get into the details!

  • Each KL needs the same amount and no changes to the amount of tokens enemies give.
  • Elites and specials only include enemies of that type if not mentioned by name in any other section!
  • “Refresh” simply means you will always refresh your buffs if you kill the enemies in that section.
  • No token = critters (rat+pig)/loot rat (lol)
  • 1 token = slaverat/clanrat/fanatic/ungor/archer
  • 2 tokens = clanrat+shield/marauder/gor
  • 3 tokens = marauder+shield
  • 1 refresh = Blightstormer/Elites
  • 1 refresh + 2 tokens = Bosses/Chaos Warrior
  • 1 refresh + 3 tokens = Specials/Stormvermin+Shield/Bestigor

Btw. for anyone who isnt aware. The Beastmen Standard Bearer is considered a special despite acting more like an elite.

You can also collect skulls to refresh the timer.

But this part is not useful if you try to keep yourself at a lower KL than 5 since that will automatically put you up 1 KL after all.

A Lil Fun Fact

Since you made it through this skully guide, have a fun fact!

The fun fact!

Getting downed will remove all buffs/debuffs of the KL. Meaning you have to recollect skulls to get the buffs back and no worries about your downed health being sapped very quickly.

Now that you have all this knowledge, go out there and collect some skulls! Just like Khor- erm, SIGMAR wanted!

Egor Opleuha
About Egor Opleuha 7697 Articles
Egor Opleuha, also known as Juzzzie, is the Editor-in-Chief of Gameplay Tips. He is a writer with more than 12 years of experience in writing and editing online content. His favorite game was and still is the third part of the legendary Heroes of Might and Magic saga. He prefers to spend all his free time playing retro games and new indie games.


  1. Found out that Weekly Challenges have Skulls also enabled. I assumed they work like deeds (overriding the skull event) but after testing it I found it wasnt the case.

  2. Found out that if you get downed with active buffs you regain the same buffs once you collect a skull. A very sublte but neat thing to know!

  3. Picking up 5 skulls total causes “Send in the next wave!”. Not specifically reaching KL 5.
    Added “Damage cannot down the player.” to the “Buff Decayed? Oh no…” section.

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