UPDATE: For pro tips gleaned from the world's best players at the Six Invitational, head over to this tips article here.
Rainbow Six Siege has been out in the wild for a few months now, which has given Ubisoft Montreal time to fix some of the launch woes and release the first batch of DLC. It’s still a game I regularly find myself falling back on, and while not a lot has changed in terms of the key mechanics, there’s a veteran player base that will give you a run for your money, even during casual match-ups.
With various gameplay tweaks, two new operatives, a new map, and the changes to the meta that these have created, here’s a list of 10 things to take into account to help improve your chances of success in Siege. If you’re new to Siege, you should take a look at the collection of entry-level tactics and a few advanced tips in my article here.
New Operator Buck, from the Black Ice DLC, sounds great on paper. He’s got a choice of mid-to-long-range primary weapons and an underslung shotgun for creating murder holes or close-quarters mastery. But he’s also not a strong Operator as his special ability isn’t overly special. He’s decent for aggressive lone-wolf players, but he should absolutely be treated as a supplementary addition to any team, especially for an attacking side that doesn’t have the essential inclusions of reinforced-wall-destroyer Thermite and EMP-loving Thatcher (in that order).
The other new Black Ice Operator, Frost, on the other hand, is a fantastic addition to the defending team. Considering armour-dispensing Rook is the only real essential inclusion to a defending side, Frost should be the next on the list. Unless you back yourself to consistently pull off headshots, choose her shotgun over the SMG. You’ll have to work the corners and force attackers into close quarters, but it’s probably the best shotty in the game. If you have a communicative team, pick the C4 (always handy against shields) and get teammates to prop deployable shields in doorways or in narrow corridors, with Frost’s traps placed behind them. When they vault, they’ll be instantly incapacitated. If you have an uncommunicative team, grab the deployable shield, instead.
Dealing with traps
While your average defensive measure in Siege can be countered by paying close attention to audio cues, Frost’s welcome mats are a smidge trickier. They don’t make noise, they can be hard to spot in shadows or buried in barbed wire, and they’re often lethal when placed correctly on the other side of a deployable shield, or a short distance in from a breachable window. Treat every shield like it’s got a mat on the other side, and either avoid it, or shoot the trap from the sides before vaulting. Bear in mind that you can glance down and destroy a mat while vaulting or breaching through a window and destroy the mat with a quick burst, but this should be treated as a last resort.
Save the drone
A lot of attacking players treat the first compulsory drone phase as an opportunity to earn some quick spotting points and let their drones be destroyed. Wherever possible, save that drone. You never know when it will come in handy, and against a competent team, you should be using your drone for reconnaissance beyond the initial phase. By leaving your first drone near the objective but out of sight, you can quickly provide live information to your teammates on enemy movements. If you have a chatty team, there’s no need to use the spot key as this will notify enemies. If your team isn’t chatty, you can frustrate defenders by spotting them from a sneaky vantage point that will generally make them prioritise searching for your drone over paying attention to your team that’s about to make its move. Drones are also great for getting the drop on dug-in defenders and spotting those dastardly welcome mats.
Defensive Operator Bandit works well as a passive defender, who plants his high-tension charges on reinforced walls, inside barbed wire, or behind deployable shields. You’ll need a decent pair of headphones and great timing to use Bandit at an advanced level, but the practice is well worth the pay-off. It works best if you know where Thermite is looking to breach (or you have someone on cameras relaying information). You’ll have to have the gadget ready, but listen for the audio cue when Thermite has placed his charge, then plant the high-tension charge on the corresponding reinforced wall. Even if Thermite has started to detonate the charge, a perfectly timed Bandit counter will destroy his charge. That’s one less Thermite charge for the enemy, and you can recollect the high-tension charge for passive placement elsewhere.
When using Mute early on in your Siege career, the best way to play him is to use his disruptor ability to block popular drone entries during the preparation phase, such as stairwells, doorways, or drone holes. If you’ve got a communicative team, ask a couple of them to hunt drones, destroying them at the same chokepoints mentioned above, which frees Mute up to place his disruptors at popular breach points, so the attacking team can’t detonate their charges. There are only ever five drones per preparation phase (assuming the other side has a full team), so count them out with your team. Speedy players can try both, placing a couple of disruptors in the usual spots for drones, then moving them back to breach points during the attack phase. Bear in mind that Thatcher can counter this through walls with his EMP grenade, so it’s worth not setting all of your disruptors against a single wall.
For daring defenders, making a tiny (or large) murder hole that’s facing outwards is a viable risk/reward strategy for scoring early kills on attackers. It works best if you figure out where the attacking side is spawning from, but there are usual spots to check once you understand the maps. If you get the drop on the attacking team and they’re unaware you’re lining them up, prioritise killing Thermite over other attackers. Without Thermite, the attacking team’s breaching options are limited. If you get a chance to kill a second attacker, take out Thatcher to cause complete disarray. Bear in mind that skilled attackers look out for obvious shooting vantage points, so it’s a trick that should only be attempted once against the same enemy team. If you fancy this tactic, pick a gun that supports an ACOG scope for a better chance of landing all-important headshots (which you should be aiming for as often as possible in Siege).
Advanced shield tactics
Shields are a pain in the arse to come up against, but there are ways to ensure you have an edge as a defender. You can hear them coming from quite a distance, so keep your cool and let them pass in front of you wherever possible before firing into their back. If possible, get either above or below them to shoot at their head or feet. If you round a corner and end up face to face with a shield-wielding foe, use melee to stun them, then follow up with a second melee strike for an easy kill. Note: this won’t work against Montagne when his shield is fully deployed. So if you’re playing as Montagne, understand that you can block doorways with a fully deployed shield, where flanking or C4 are your only threats, which makes for some advanced support play to deny the enemy access to an area. Similarly, practice fast-scope-type tactics for the pistol, as it has 100% accuracy if you press ADS then fire a heartbeat later, which acts as a great counter to defenders that wait for you to show your head.
Peek wherever possible
While the netcode has come a long way since launch, there’s still a “peek advantage” at play that will most certainly be used against you by competent players, so it’s best to employ the strategy yourself. Basically, you will see an enemy player sooner if you aggressively peek around a corner, particularly if that foe is stationary. This means you can alternate between strafe keys while leaning to lock off a hallway, and it also means that defenders should employ similar tactics if they know an enemy is nearby. Yes, it will make some noise if you’re moving/peeking at full speed, but remember that audio can be used to bait enemies, and it’s better to see them first, even if they’re heard you first. If you want to take it to the next level, practice activating peek just as you get to the corner for an even greater edge.
Bait and crossfire
This is another trick that requires a chatty team, but it’s incredibly satisfying and devastating, particularly if attackers are using frontline shield tactics. Depending on how well the enemy team has been pulling off headshots will determine which Operators should be used for bait. If they’re great at headshots, pick an Operator with lighter armour and faster movement speed to increase chances of dodging headshots. If the attackers don’t have the best aim, use Rook or another heavily armoured defender who can take some hits but can get around a corner to safety. It’s actually better if they wound (but not incapacitate) you, because they’ll likely chase for the kill, which means they’re less likely to check a corner or prone position for an attacker who hasn’t given away their position. It makes for easy kills, it’s a great way to take down aggressive shield bearers, and it makes for satisfying teamwork tactics.
And that’s the 10! If you’re still playing Siege and have tips to share, add them in the comments section below.