20 key tips for succeeding at Rainbow Six Siege

An arsenal of tips—some obvious, some not—for coming out on top in Rainbow Six Siege.

20 key tips for succeeding at Rainbow Six Siege
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UPDATE: If you're looking for more tips, head over to this feature here. Plus, pro tips gleaned from the Six Invitational can be found here.

Rainbow Six Siege is a fantastic game for those who love tactical, team-based shooters with high lethality and constant tension. I’ve sunk a lot of hours into it since launch, and while the training does a good job of teaching you the basics of the game, the best advice comes from a trial by fire and jumping into the game. I’ve gone through that trial, and come out on the other side with 20 tips to help improve your game in Rainbow Six Siege.

Lock and load!

Use a microphone
This may read like the most obvious advice ever, but you’d be surprised at how many people I play with in public servers who don’t have a microphone connected. Worse still, there are players who have mics, but use speakers for sound, which means the rest of us hear their in-game sound, and can’t pay attention to what they’re trying to communicate. Plans can fall apart in an instant in Siege, so it’s crucial you can communicate with your teammates. Beyond this, it’s handy to let friendly players know when they’ve stepped in front of your line of sight (friendly fire is most definitely always on), when they may have missed an armour pick-up, or any number of cues that you’ve noticed and they haven’t.

Upgrade your cans
Ideally, you want a headset that also has 7.1 surround sound, as audio cues play a huge part in Rainbow Six Siege. Siege is constantly throwing a variety of audio cues at you to help you get the drop on nearby enemies. For instance, whenever a charge is placed, the Operator will vocalise this: if you’re close enough to hear it, you can shoot through where they’re placing the charge to destroy the equipment or for an easy kill. It’s worth noting that crouching or crawling make the least noise, but if you step on broken glass, it will make noise regardless, so this can be used to the advantage of a lurking enemy.

Life after death
You’ll die a lot in Siege, but you can still be useful to your team. In casual, which you’ll have to play through until rank 20 to even access ranked matches, you can use the kill cam to determine where you were killed from, and then use VOIP to relay that critical information to your enemies. Better still, as a defender, you can cycle between cameras and tag enemy players, or leave them untagged in the hopes that they won’t shoot the camera, and then simply communicate their location to your team. As an attacker, you’re more reliant on a well-placed drone, but you can encourage teammates to position their drones so you can watch their backs or check under doors for them. Dying early can actually be incredibly helpful to your surviving teammates if you provide the right tactical information.

ADS always
Unless you have a shotgun or you’ve rounded the corner and are face-to-face with a foe, always aim down sights. Your gun’s accuracy is impacted significantly when shooting from the hip, so much so that it’s almost worth taking that extra half second to bring your scope up. You can add a laser to certain weapons to improve hip-fire accuracy, but that has the added disadvantage of creating a red dot that enemy players can see. Crouching or going prone will further boost your accuracy, but as a general rule, go around corners with your sights up, checking the usual positions for enemies. Sometimes it’s worth sprinting across a doorway to see if you can draw fire from an enemy position, too.

Master the maps
This is a tad tricky because the map rotation needs a bit of work (you’ll play the same few maps a lot), but spend some time in Terrorist Hunt to learn the intricacies of each map. Camera locations are fixed, so take these out as soon as possible if you’re attacking so you can’t be tagged or spotted. Knowing a map also makes it easier to find the defending locations when you’re attacking, as these are randomised between a handful of spots. Learning maps is so much more than this, though. In Siege, you need to know where enemies can bust through to your location, which walls are penetrable, and the best flanking routes if you find yourself one on one with a shield-toting goon.

Be unexpected
With the same maps and defence locations, it’s easy to slip into a routine that fast becomes predictable. This isn’t so bad when playing against different opponents, but if you’re defending the same location multiple times with the same foes, they may assume you’ll use the same tactics as before and provide an appropriate counter. Similarly, there are certain corners and spots that are prime shooting positions, that enemies will tend to check first. Punching a murder hole in a wall or laying wait in a room that’s not close to the objective are easy ways to get the drop on an enemy before they even know where you are. Making your drone jump is a great way to avoid incoming fire from enemies, and you can even press jump and snap your mouse backwards (inverted) or forward (non-inverted) to get extra height on the jump, which is essential for positioning your drone in unexpected places, or for using stair railings to jump past well-placed enemy disruptors.

Don’t be afraid to roam
For the most part, Siege is a team experience, but a confident solo player can help a team get an early edge, particularly if they’re on the defending team. It’s best if only one or two (max) players roam, but there are easy kills to be found early on if you punch holes in, say, a boarded-up window and shoot out at enemies that don’t know you’re there. Similarly, using the cameras to spot where they’ve come in and circling around behind them is a great way to score cheap kills or take down shield bearers for a team that’s taking its time breaching into the area of interest. You can get a lot of kills roaming, but if the tactic is consistently ineffective against a savvy opponent, fall back to the default of apply a full-team defensive perimeter.

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