When Siege first came out, I wrote some basic tips for getting into the game. That was followed up by some advanced tips which, after spending a weekend watching pros play across PC and Xbox One, feel decidedly basic in comparison. With that in mind, here’s a list of 18 tips I picked up by watching the pro teams go at it in the recent Six Invitational world finals.
Focused verticality is crucial
So you’re defending a point on the middle floor of a three-storey map in Siege. Logic says you should hold that floor. And while that’s true, to a point, you also have to be aware that you may be completely wiped out from above or below. Destructible floors and ceilings mean that C4, grenades, and/or Buck (with Skeleton Key shotgun) can score easy kills against players focused on covering horizontal lines of sight. Control above and/or below with roamers and, as an attacker, punish defenders for ignoring these attack vectors.
Pulse and Echo for defender info
It used to be that defenders were reliant on lax attackers missing fixed camera locations so they could collect meaningful data. Nowadays, improvements to Pulse and the roster inclusions of Valkyrie and Echo offer the potential for crucial action-phase intel for defenders. Players are getting better at sniffing out and destroying the best Valkyrie locations, but Pulse’s heartbeat tracker and Echo’s drone are both useful for feeding info back to your team. Better still, aggressive Pulse players can pop outside for easy kills on rappelling/stationary players, or can kill enemies through the floor/ceiling/walls with his C4. If you’re Echo and the last one alive on a bomb map, you can use his Yokai drone to stop the attackers from planting the defuser in the dying seconds of around.
C4 and grenade skill shots
It takes practice, but C4 and grenades make for easy kills if timed correctly. I saw players getting amazing C4 kills while completely immune to return fire. In one instance, an defender removed an upstairs window barricade, then made a small hole in the floor below it. When the defender heard the attackers outside, he lobbed the C4 up through the hole, out the window, and scored easy kills. This trick worked more than once, too. Similarly, for attackers with grenades, if you cook them long enough, you can throw them at destructible floors beneath defenders to score easy C4-like kills.
Mind games are king
Because of the importance of intelligence-gathering in Siege, misinformation can be a viable tactic, particularly if you’re a defender. As a defender, if the clock hits zero and the attackers haven’t completed their objective, you win. This means it’s in your best interest to buy as much time as possible. Create fake murder holes in windows or walls to make attackers paranoid. You can also fake revive, defuse, interrogate, or plant, knowing your enemy is nearby looking for an easy kill, then stop what you’re doing and surprise them with the first shot.
Trading kills is all the rage
The North American teams dominated the Six Invitational and did so by showing a clear willingness to trade kills. Early on, as a defender, performing a cheeky peek kill on a Thermite or Hibana is worth doing, even if you die. Similarly, trading two kills for your life is usually always worthwhile, particularly early on in the round or when pressure is mounting. When attacking, operate in groups of two where possible, so that if the first player goes down, the second one can pre-fire the direction of the shots and trade kills that way.
Roaming is about time-wasting
It sure is fun to score kills as a roamer but, once again, the primary job of the defender is to ensure that the attackers don’t achieve their objective. Creating a sense of paranoia with the attackers and making them spend precious time on droning/hunting you is time well spent. Alternatively, if you are patient and can remain undetected, you can time your return to the objective perfectly so that you’re behind the attackers to score late, crucial kills.
The best counter-tactic for roamers is to drone them out. During the Six Invitational, drones were treated as premium equipment, which meant that defensive positions were rarely scouted during the preparation phase. Instead, attackers were shifting their drones to their respective incursion points and collecting them on the way in during the attacking phase. After all, having two drones offers a greater likelihood of collecting intel in the middle and towards the end of rounds. Drones were also crucial for knowing that a floor was completely clear of roamers so attackers could focus on what was happening on and around the objective, instead of what might be coming up behind them. Alternatively, use Jackal to follow the footprints (but be aware that clever Caveira players can hide their footprints with Silent Step).
Dying early isn’t necessarily bad
If you lose a Hibana or Thermite early on, you might be in trouble on the attacking team. But outside of that, an early death may feel rage-inducing, but it’s actually one of the best things that can happen for your team, particularly for defenders with a savvy Valkyrie. The dead player shifts exclusively to cameras, providing live updates to defenders about the movements and actions of the attackers. With fantastic Valkyrie camera placements, this dead defender can guide teammates to easy C4 or wall-bang (kills through destructible surfaces) kills. It goes without saying that you need a mic to be the most effective at this role.
Two strikes, you’re out
I had to have this explained to me, because I didn’t understand what was going on. Defenders can (and should) strike barricaded windows two times at their lowest point (on certain windows where doing so won’t create line of sight). Not only does this mean a single strike will remove the barricade, it also activates the vault functionality, meaning you can get outside immediately, revealing yourself in the moment that you make the noise of destroying the barricade. It also means that if an attacker isn’t paying attention and hits the barricade once, they’ll destroy it completely, potentially exposing themselves to return fire.
The tighter the angle, the better
Pro players spent a lot of time holding impossibly tight angles, both as attackers and defenders. While the pro players are also aware of these angles, the chances are good that your average player online is looking more for a full or partial silhouette of your character, rather than a sliver at a window, in a doorway, or in a cleverly placed near-invisible murder hole. Even if your reflexes aren’t fast enough to kill as a player moves across the tight angle, you can always peek out to take the shot before they react. In its most basic form at the other extreme, try to avoid defending or attacking from open spaces.
Laser sights are in
I’m assuming they’ve been buffed or the competitive community wants that additional accuracy on hip-fire, but laser sights were surprisingly common at the Six Invitational. This was across PC and Xbox One, and they weren’t wasn’t just slapped on shotguns or pistols, either. I’d always strayed away from them because enemies can see the laser dot, which either gives your position away, or means you deliberately aim wide when clearing rooms to not have your laser sight give away your position. If you have the intel on your side, though, and know where the enemies are, any edge in a head-to-head firefight is appealing.
Pre-firing and wall-banging are essential
Related to the above, whenever I play Siege online, I try not to give away my position until the latest possible moment. The reality is, I might have already been spotted heading in, and an enemy is waiting on a tight angle or in a corner to take me out. Pre-firing was prevalent at the Six Invitational, with attackers and defenders unashamedly taking pot-shots that gave away their positions in the hope of scoring easy kills. On top of this, wall-banging (shooting through destructible surfaces) is an incredibly effective tactic, whether it’s pre-firing on an unknown enemy position or if you have an idea of where the enemy might be. I saw one situation where an attacker perfectly timed a speculative shot after a Hibana charge went off and scored a completely bullshit headshot. The more you pre-fire and wall-bang, the more you increase the odds of scoring kills. Remember to aim high for the headshot (unless, of course, you know they’re crouched or prone).
Drop-shots are in
The vast majority of kills by ballistics at the Six Invitational were by headshot. That’s expected at this higher level of competitive play, but it also means there’s a high-risk/high-reward way of avoiding players that are particularly adept at popping noggins. It may have been popularised in Call of Duty, but the drop-shot was used quite a bit at the Siege world cup. Simply hit prone and fire on your way to the floor, tracking the head of the enemy aggressor as you do so. It didn’t always work, mind you, but when it did, it was a spectacular upset.
Thermite and/or Hibana tend to be treated as essential choices because of their exclusive abilities to break through reinforced walls and hatches. There are ways to counter this. Aggressive peeking from defenders can sometimes work, and if you have a breath to pick a target, try to prioritise these attackers. There are ways to counter them from the relative safety of the other side of a reinforced wall, too. ‘Bandit juggling’ refers to listening for the Thermite/Hibana gadget-placement cues, then using Bandit’s Shock Wire to electrify a reinforced wall and destroy what’s slapped on the other side. Roamers can also shoot at them or use C4 to annihilate entry charges. This can put the attackers on the backfoot or completely deny entry to a well-guarded defensive position.
Expert map knowledge
It may sound basic, but it’s often overlooked. Use the compass to identify the room you’re in—or enemy players are in while you’re monitoring cameras—and use that info to feed crucial intel to your team. Aussie team Mindfreak commented that their voice communications were too longwinded and specific, whereas the North American teams abbreviate everything to the simplest identifying phrase. It’s also worth noting there are strat-heavy maps (for attackers), free-form maps (more dynamic with attack tactics), counter-strat maps (that favour defenders), and those that are a little more lenient when it comes to individual flair. The best way to identify these map types is by watching the replays from tournaments like the Six Invitational. Mastering the usual murder hole locations and unexpected lines of sight on every map will go a long way to improving your game.
Block aggressive site-exiting roamers
Claymores are a great way to catch aggressive roamers off guard when inside a building. They’re also great for stopping roamers from exiting buildings. Most of the time when claymores were used during the Six Invitational, they were placed outside of common breakable windows that aggressive roamers sometimes use to get the drop on attackers. The other trick was to have an attacker in a low-profile spot behind the main push, with great line of sight on common exit points, to increase the odds that the roaming defender’s high-risk/high-reward exit strategy was more ‘risk’ than ‘reward’. Remember that if you block aggressive roaming tactics once, it tends to make the other team re-evaluate such tactics next time they’re on defence.
Rotate, rotate, rotate
Attackers have drones that can sniff out attackers who are away from the room/s of interest. When spotted, roamers should rotate to somewhere else to keep the attackers guessing and force them to waste more time hunting down their new spot. To achieve smoother rotation, Six Invitational players tended to roam with three-speed defenders, and used pre-made holes (often made with impact grenades during the preparation phase) to quickly shift between spaces, or drop down through pre-destroyed hatches to keep the attackers guessing.
Make holes for sound
Creating murder holes is a common tactic, but creating ankle-high holes also allows for sound to travel in Siege. Unlike your average shooter where sound travels through solid objects, Siege’s sound propagation behaves more realistically, which means it doesn’t pass through solid objects. For one thing, this means you can C4 through untouched destructible walls/floors/ceilings without the enemy hearing the telltale beep. Creating holes in, say, a wall, though, makes sound travel into that room that might have been previously sealed off. Combine this sound information with map and trap knowledge (e.g. barbed wire placement), and you can get a whole lot of intel from the sounds that attackers/defenders make.