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.