Halo 3 How-to: Campaign Scoring 101
Posted by runningturtle at 9/25/2007 11:00 AM PDT
Sketch writes:

Welcome to Sketch's handy dandy guide for achieving awesomeness with campaign scoring. Read on to learn all about this new feature, how the best possible scores can be achieved and some devious tactics for beating your friends in those competitive 4-player matchups.


What is Campaign Scoring?

Halo 3 introduces a new social, competitive aspect to the campaign experience with a nifty feature we call “Campaign Scoring.” This creatively named option is exactly what it sounds like – a way to keep score while playing the campaign. This score is a combination of many things – every enemy you kill will give you points, finishing missions will give you points, enabling skulls will give you more points and so on…  In addition to simply being a badge of honor and a platform for bragging rights versus your friends, these scores are also tied to earning achievements on each mission in the game.

There are many techniques to utilize on your quest to achieve the highest possible campaign scores - some of which we will explain throughout this guide and some of which you will have to figure out for yourself.  

Starting Out

By default, Campaign Scoring is disabled when you start a game. Before you dabble in this feature, it is highly recommended that you first complete the game as it was intended – by yourself, in a dark room, on a nice TV with a nice 5.1 audio system. Campaign Scoring is a great additional way to experience Halo 3 but putting so much emphasis on arcade-like scoring inevitably detracts from the story and mood we are trying to set over the course of the game. You are of course free to do whatever you want but just know that somewhere, Marty is crying because you aren’t playing it the way he wants you to.

Individual vs. Cooperative Play

Campaign Scoring can be enjoyed by one to four players. It works the same whether you’re playing alone or with friends but it really gets fun when a group of players compete against one another to Finish the Fight and try for the highest score. However, there are trade-offs to be considered – the amount of enemies in the game does not automatically scale with the introduction of more players. So, four people will basically have ¼ as many kills as they would if they played the same settings by themselves. Of course you are also a lot more likely to die, which also will hurt your point total. On the other hand, being a particularly devious player might mean that you can leech a lot of free points and steal kills from your allies while they do all the work.  Campaign scoring is fun in all instances but for me there’s not much better than fighting side by side with three buddies and having it all come down to whoever gets the final headshot on the Chieftain to decide the victor.

Free-for-All & Team Scoring

To enable campaign scoring, the party leader simply has to press the X button from the Campaign Lobby to bring up the “Campaign Options” menu. At this screen you can choose between “Free for All Scoring”, “Team Scoring” or “None.”

Free-for-all scoring will keep an individual score tally for everyone in the game. You will have your own score bar displayed throughout the entire mission and then individual totals at the end of the level via the campaign carnage report. Team Scoring, on the other hand, lets players group into a team and work together for a combined score.  Note that the score-based achievements are only able to be earned by individuals, based on their final individual score. 

To skull or not to skull?

Before you dive into the match, there is one more decision that the party leader must make. Skulls are another way to modify and tweak the Halo 3 game experience while also adding valuable point multipliers to your final score. We’ll go into more detail about some of the specific skulls and the effect they have on the game down below. For now, you just need to decide if you want to activate any or not.

From the Campaign Options menu, the party leader can toggle any skulls they’d like to use for the mission ahead. The first two rows of nine skulls can all be used to increase the overall score you will earn for a mission. This usually comes at a price though – many of these skulls can dramatically change the difficulty of the game. Nobody said that getting those high scores would be easy!

One cool thing to note is that it’s not necessary for the party leader to personally have all the skulls unlocked on their profile. If everyone in your group has different skulls unlocked, you can pass the party leader to each person, let them activate whatever skulls they want, and then pass it to the next person who can do the same. When you start the game, it will count all of the skulls that have been activated by everyone in the party.

Game On!

Ok, you have all of your campaign options configured, you and your buddies are all set and it’s finally time to dive into some action! When the game starts it will be just like any other campaign play through with one major exception – in the lower right corner of your screen you will notice a scoreboard. Each player will be designated by their emblem and player color. Over the course of the mission, player scores will be reflected in real time, changing with each kill (or death).  You will even earn medals, just like you do in the standard multiplayer matches like Team Slayer, some of which will also improve your overall score.

How do these scores get tallied? How do you earn maximum pointage? Let’s take a closer look…

Settling the Score

Your campaign score is determined by a combination of many different factors. At the basic level, you will earn points for every enemy you kill. However, the amount of points earned will vary greatly depending on things like the type of enemy, how the enemy is killed or what difficulty setting you are playing.  Most of the point multipliers are factored into the score for each enemy you kill, in real time, as you progress through a mission. The only real exception is the overall mission completion time, which provides one final multiplier to your final score once you have finished the level.

Enemy Overview

In general, the higher the rank of the enemy (the bigger/more difficult it is) the more points it’s worth. Infantry and Vehicles are broken up into different categories based on their rankings. For example, a Ghost is considered a “Light Vehicle” class and is worth less points than a Wraith, which is considered a “Heavy Vehicle.” 

Here’s a quick breakdown of the various categories along with some example units and their Normal default point values: 


 Base Points  


 Light Vehicle

 50 or 100   

Most light vehicles, like Ghosts and Brute Choppers, are worth 100 pts. A Shade Turret is only worth 50 pts. 

 Standard Vehicle   


Banshee, Prowler 

 Heavy Vehicle



 Giant Vehicle

250 / 500 

 A Phantom is worth 250 pts, Scarab is worth 500.

Enemy infantry units will vary from 5 points on the low end and go as high as 200 depending on the type of enemy you’re fighting. Here are a few examples:


 Base Points  



 5, 10, 15, 20  

Sentinel, Flood Carrier, Jackal, Brute


10, 20, 30, 50, 150

  Spec Ops Grunt, Jackal Sniper, Brute Stalker, Flood Pureform Tank, Hunter 



Brute Captain



 Brute Chieftain

As you play the game, be sure to check out your service record on Bungie.net for some further insights into the various enemy unit classifications and point values.

Score Multipliers

Your overall point total will be greatly increased (or decreased) depending on the following multipliers. Some, like difficulty setting, are fairly obvious. Others, like the “style” multipliers and Skulls are a little more complicated. Unfortunately we’re not all blessed with super-human mathematic skills like Bungie’s Roger Wolfson so we’ll break it down nice and slow…

Risk vs. Reward

Playing the game on Easy will net you far less points than playing it on Legendary. As you crank up the difficulty, you will get rewarded with base multipliers that increase your score potential:

  • Easy : 0.25x
  • Normal : 1.0x
  • Heroic : 2.0x
  • Legendary : 4.0x

Let’s look at an example - a standard Brute kill would net you 20 points on Normal difficulty. That same Brute would only be worth 5 points on Easy (20 x .25), 40 points on Heroic and a whopping 80 points on Legendary.  This can also work against you though – dying on Legendary will cost you 4x as many points as dying on Normal.

Scoring with Style

It’s not just enough to shoot the bad guys. You have to do it with style to earn the highest possible score. All style-based multipliers will result in a 1.25x increased in the amount of points you get for a kill. Here are a few examples of different killing styles that will earn bonus points during your battle:

  • Grenade Stick – Stick an enemy with a plasma or spike grenade to get a 1.25x bonus. So, that Brute we were talking about earlier, who is worth 20 points for killing on Normal difficulty, would actually get you 25 points if you stuck him with a plasma grenade in the same game.
  •  HeadshotAim well and you will be rewarded for it. All enemies will give you a higher point value if you kill them with a well placed headshot instead of just unloading a clip into their torso. Headshots will provide a 1.25x base multiplier to the point value for any applicable enemy.
  •  Stealth Kill – Melee attack an enemy behind to earn a Stealth medal as well as a 1.25x point multiplier for the enemy.
  •  Road Kill If you run down an enemy in a vehicle, you will get 1.25x the points you’d normally get for just shooting them.
  •  Multi-Kill – Killing a few enemies in a row will also create a bonus point multiplier. A multi-kill is defined as killing at least 3 enemies within 1.5 seconds. Successfully doing this will earn you 1.25x the normal baseline points for each enemy unit.
  •  Needler-Superdetonation- The Needler finally becomes the awesome weapon we always wanted it to be in Halo 3. There’s not much more satisfying than annihilating an opponent with pink needles of death. If you manage to get eight needles into an opponent, you will trigger the “superdetonation” which explodes and sends their corpse flying. Doing so will also get you a 1.25x point multiplier.
  •  "EMP" – Remember the “noob combo” from Halo 2? This was the term coined to refer to using a plasma pistol overcharge blast to drop someone’s shield and then immediately following up with a BR headshot for instant win. Use can use this technique against the Covenant throughout the campaign and it’s particularly useful against Brute adversaries. If you hit an enemy with a charged plasma bolt and then get the finishing shot off within 3 seconds, you’ll earn a 1.25x point bonus.

Skulls FTW

The most dramatic way to quickly increase your Campaign Scoring potential is to find and activate the golden skulls. As we mentioned above, these skulls are hidden throughout the campaign and once obtained, they can be toggled on and off in the Campaign Options menu.

The first two rows of nine skulls, the golden ones, can all be used to earn valuable point multipliers to further increase your overall score. These multipliers are applied immediately to everything you kill – just like the style or difficulty bonuses.

Finding these skulls is a fun adventure that we don’t want to spoil for you so we’re not going to get into how/where to find each of these. You’re on your own in that department. What we will do for you is cover how many points you can earn with each golden skull and how it will affect your game experience. The point multiplier received for each skull will vary depending on how “hardcore” the skull is.


Point Multiplier




 There's a reason this skull is worth a whopping 300% score multiplier. It's a real -blam!-. In co-op games, if one player dies, you all restart at the last checkpoint. In individual games, if you die, the entire mission restarts. Ouch.

 Black Eye


 The only way you can recharge your shields is by landing melee attacks on your opponents.

 Tough Luck


 All of your enemies will dive with incredible success away from your grenades, plasma pistol bolts, needles and vehicle splatter attempts.



 Enemy units will throw grenades at an alarming rate - Roger Clemens-style.



 Your motion tracker is disabled.



 When enemies drop their weapons, they will have considerably less ammo in them.



Each enemy receives a field promotion and is upgraded to their next available level.



Enemy resistances are greatly increased. For example, the Brute power armor is normally pretty resistant to human weapons to begin with and fairly fragile against plasma shots. With Tilt turned on, the Brute armor is practically 100% resistant to any human projectiles and can only be taken down by plasma bursts.



Every enemy on the field now has double their normal amount of health.

Penalty Points

If you happen to die while playing (which could happen quite a lot depending on your difficulty level and skull settings) you will LOSE points.

The base penalty for dying is -25 points. This value will get multiplied based on your difficulty setting though. So, every time you die while playing Legendary will actually cost you 100 points.  If you betray one of your teammates you will also incur a point penalty. The baseline value on Normal difficulty for a betrayal is -50 points


The last major factor that will impact your final campaign score is the amount of time you take to finish the mission. At the start of each mission (from the very beginning, not an insertion point), you will notice a timer above the scoreboard along with a multiplier value. Initially, this will read as “3x.”  However, as time goes by, this will eventually decay to 2.5x, 2x, 1.5x and then finally 1x (which is zero bonus).  Unlike the multipliers listed above, the time bonus is not added until the very end – when the mission is finished.  This is huge because it can drastically alter your score and it’s added on top of what you already earned through style and skulls.  It will be challenging to survive, earn points with stylish kills AND complete the level fast enough to earn a 3x bonus but it can be done. As noted at the beginning of this guide, this is not the recommended way to play through the game your first time since “speed running” will certainly detract from the story we’re trying to tell.

Finish the Score

As you can tell, there’s a lot more that goes into your final score than just being a pretty good player. The highest possible scores will only be possible when someone beats a mission on Legendary difficulty, quickly, killing enemies with style AND having as many skulls enabled as possible. To get the true maximum score, you’d have to activate all nine golden skulls – if you can even find them all. And then actually finish a mission. Good luck with that!


Bonus Campaign Scoring Tips & Tricks

Over the course of testing the game, a few of us around the office have developed some ingenious and devious techniques to improve our own skulls and sabotage our teammates.

  • Oops!  Nothing makes your friends score decrease faster than a bunch of unplanned betrayals. The easiest way to do this is to charge into the fray, preferably right after your teammate chucks a plasma grenade. Sit on top of it for instant griefing and knock your partner down a few notches.


  • Kill Steal! Another tried and true tactic is to hang back with a BR or Carbine and let your teammates soften up the enemies while you steal all the kills. Remember, the points only go to the person who lands the final killing blow.


  • The Waiting Game!  If a teammate dies during co-op play, they won’t be able to respawn until the surviving players are out of combat. You could use this to your advantage by continuing to fight, and boosting your score, while your dead buddies are watching helplessly thought the death-cam.


  • Achievements!  All of the scoring Achievements are set just high enough where you will almost certainly not earn the achievement unless you have at least one skull turned on (and are playing on the Bungie recommended difficulty of Heroic). The easiest way to hit these score totals is to turn on one or two skulls and play the game on Heroic. In most cases, as long as you don’t die too much and you throw in some headshots and style kills, you should be well on your way to glory.


  • Smack! Lukems has a particularly devious tactic that involves delivering a quick melee attack to your teammate right as they head into a fray, which immediately drops their shields, making them incredibly vulnerable to death… which means you get to clean up all the kills and nab all the points for yourself.

Got your own tips and tactics to share? Sound off in our forums!

Maption Sack Double EXP Weekend Live! 

Posted by urk at 9/10/2010 9:09 AM PDT

Oh, we're not done yet!

A 4v4 mix of Double EXP Slayer and Objective gametypes on a whole mess of your own community created maps.

Category: Double EXP Weekend
Max Party: 8
Max Team Size: 4
Heroic/Mythic Map Packs Required
Updated 12/03/2009


  • Team Slayer (33.3%) - First team to 50 kills wins. 12 minute match time limit.
  • Team BRs (21.6%) - First team to 50 kills wins. Players spawn with Battle Rifles and Assault Rifle secondary weapons. 12 minute match time limit.
  • One Flag CTF (11.8%) - Round based Capture the Flag, one team has a flag while the other attempt to capture it. Most captures after four rounds wins. Four minute round time limit.
  • Multi-Flag CTF (21.6%) - Both teams are attempting to capture the other team's flag. First to three captures wins. 20 minute match time limit.
  • Multi-Flag CTF BRs (11.8%) - Both teams are attempting to capture the other team's flag. Battle Rifle starts. First to three captures wins. 20 minute match time limit.


  • Actuality-Break (Foundry)
  • Apex (Sandbox)
  • Backdraft (Sandbox)
  • Battle Dome (Sandbox)
  • Ber Ber Creek (Sandbox)
  • Borderline (Sandbox)
  • Breakdown (Sandbox)
  • Bridgeo's (Sandbox)
  • Chimera (Sandbox)
  • Colonnade (Foundry)
  • Conduction (Sandbox)
  • Coup d'Etat (Sandbox)
  • Cryptic (Sandbox)
  • Cryptic Fate (Sandbox)
  • Deity (Sandbox)
  • Eighty Grit (Sandbox)
  • Elysium (Sandbox)
  • Emperor (Sandbox)
  • Exhibition (Sandbox)
  • Fortress (Sandbox)
  • Fracture (Sandbox)
  • Gauntlet (Sandbox)
  • Haven (Sandbox)
  • IZ9 Courtyard (Sandbox)
  • The Kingdom (Sandbox)
  • Lotus (Sandbox)
  • Neosho (Sandbox)
  • Nocticulent (Sandbox)
  • Onyx (Sandbox)
  • Pantheon (Sandbox)
  • Paranoia (Sandbox)
  • Pilaster (Sandbox)
  • Pivotal (Sandbox)
  • Rat Trap (Sandbox)
  • Ravinia (Sandbox)
  • Reflux (Sandbox)
  • Regicide (Foundry)
  • Reminiscent (Sandbox)
  • Renovation (Sandbox)
  • Requiem (Sandbox)
  • Salvation (Sandbox)
  • Sand Towers (Sandbox)
  • Sentiment (Sandbox)
  • Skystation (Sandbox)
  • Solarium (Sandbox)
  • Static (Sandbox)
  • Stonehenge (Sandbox)
  • Subversive (Sandbox)
  • Synapse (Sandbox)
  • Tartarus (Sandbox)
  • Topple (Sandbox)
  • Transgression (Foundry)
  • Tribal War (Sandbox)
  • Undulation (Sandbox)
  • Vengeance (Sandbox)
  • Workplace Bravo (Sandbox)

Tags: Halo 3


Where's Mah Dooble EXP?! 

Posted by urk at 9/2/2010 5:52 PM PDT

Fix your -blam!-, Bungle!

So, yeah, This week's Double EXP Weekend is running a little behind. I blame Ninja 0n Fire. (He tells me that some fairly large updates are being deployed and as a result, we'll likely not see the Double EXP Weekend go live until tomorrow, or, *gulp* "later").

When it is ready to go, we'll let you know.

'Under Fire' - ubald Render 

Posted by urk at 9/2/2010 9:00 AM PDT

Feet first into awesome.

Looks like ubald unleashed another render over at HBO. This one's a WIP and part of a much larger collection that will ultimately serve as a webcomic. But you should check it out now.

ubald: Halo Rendered Comic

Tags: Halo 3: ODST


Chronicles of ODS Steve #81 

Posted by urk at 9/1/2010 9:30 AM PDT

Faux Chief.

This week's Steve's getting all Batman on some Scarab carapace.

Chronicles of ODS Steve: Faux Chief (#81)

Tags: Halo 3: ODST


Top 10 Halo 3 Kills on The Pit: Episode 59 

Posted by urk at 8/30/2010 9:00 AM PDT

You know the deal.

Anoj didn't submit his latest entry to Comm Chatter, but they gang at HBO picked up the slack. Besides, even without Anoj's familiar wordplay, we all know what this video's about anyway. There's like ten kills. You can submit your own for next week if you're astute enough to figure out how to make it happen.

Top 10 Halo 3 Kills on The Pit: Episode 59

Tags: Halo 3



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