The white skull is a feature that appears when a player:
- (or familiar) attacks another player or their familiar in the Wilderness (even if they only attempted to attack while having a Ranged or Magic weapon equipped with no ammo or runes)
- loots from a Wilderness Warbands camp
- enters the Abyss without having a Forinthry brace equipped
- asks Mr Ex in Edgeville to skull the player.
- is wielding an augmented item with the committed perk added
Dwarf multicannon will skull the player if it hits another player's familiar.
As soon as one of the following methods above occurs, the skull will appear above their character. If a player dies with a skull in the Wilderness (and dungeons linked to the Wilderness, excluding the King Black Dragon's lair), they will drop all of their items upon death, unless a Protect Item mechanic is used (the prayer itself, or consuming a Fury shark), in which they keep their most valuable item with them. If a skulled player dies outside the Wilderness, gravestones will appear instead if they are allowed.
If you are attacked by another player, you can retaliate without getting skulled.
Upon leaving the area where the skulled status appeared, a timer of 10 (or 20 if you attacked another player/familiar) minutes (of in-game time) will count down; once this timer expires, the skull is removed from the player. Players can remove skulls immediately by dying to monsters, in safe minigames or the Flame pit in a player's player-owned house.
The Red skull is a status effect which players will gain after winning a round of the TzHaar Fight Pits, or if players participate in supply runs on Mazcab. The red skull disappears if the player with it leaves the Fight Pits, finishes a supply run, or switches worlds. It will also disappear if another player wins the next round of the Fight Pits. Players with a red skull will not lose their items if they die, as the Fight Pits and supply runs are "safe" minigames.
- In RuneScape Classic, getting marked with a skull was officially known as setting one's alignment to Evil.
- The skull is said to be the mark of Zamorak during the Abyss miniquest.
- Sir Renitee used to ask for the player to be skulled for switching to the "Skull" family crest.
- Prior to the legacy update the skull signified whether a player was in multi or single way combat, this has since been reverted to the pre-eoc mechanics which bases combat type based on location
- There was a glitch with the discontinued ability Single-Way Wilderness; if a player still had it on their action bar after it was removed from the list of abilities, they would be able to toggle their Wilderness Skull on and off. This has been fixed.
- There are several bugs involving familiars and specific abilities that can make innocent players get skulled, even if they did not attack other players while unskulled.