Not so long ago, I got to watch the Rainbow Six Siege APAC Pro-League Finals in Sydney. I went in on the second day for the actual finals, and while it was disappointing to watch the two Australian teams comprehensively wiped out of the tournament, there were a lot of lessons to be gleaned from watching the best of the region duke it out. Here’s a breakdown of 22 tips for improving your game in Rainbow Six Siege, as taught by the APAC finalists.
As a defender, it can be tempting to ditch all of your passive defences and get to the task of roaming, peeking, or spawn killing. Certain operators like the newly introduced Lesion, though, gain greater utility later in the game. Lesion’s poison needles can be held on to and deployed reactively when attackers are pushing you as the clock ticks down. As soon as you see the points pop for the mine being activated, push for a frag. Remember, the most important role of a defender is to buy time, which creates pressure for the attacking team.
Abandon certain levels
Depending on the map and the objective placement, sometimes it’s better to give up a level entirely rather than being spread thin across two or three levels of defence. Be wary that Buck is a priority target for defending teams that employ this tactic, as his ability to make fast holes in destructible surfaces means he can get lines of sight on you from an undefended floor. That said, the more you force attackers to breach through restrictive paths, the better chance you have of picking them off. This is a particularly effective tactic for Skyscraper.
Know your numbers
If you’re in a 2v1 situation, especially when that ‘1’ is a particularly apt shooter, rally to your teammate. It doesn’t matter if you’re attacking or defending, you increase your chances of getting that final kill if you’re closer together. Obviously, don’t get in each other’s lines of sight, but if one of you has to take fire (or die) to give the other a shot at that final player, you have a better shot at trading kills, which means a win for your team.
Versatility isn’t always key
In Siege, it’s ideal to have a working understanding of the strengths, weaknesses, equipment, movement speed, and abilities of every operator. But if you drop a round, particularly if it’s a near loss, it doesn’t mean you need to switch everything up. The Australian teams were willing to change tactics and operators to score victory, but their opponents stuck to their guns and aggressive tactics to score successive victories.
Double the Valk
Valkyrie is still a strong defensive operator choice because of her cameras. The pros seemed accustomed to the sneaky spots that her cameras tend to be placed, but sometimes sacrificing a camera is worth it to protect another. If you pop a camera in a sneaky but well-known spot, then another one near it (but not so close it’ll be immediately seen), you might fool the savvy attacker into think they’ve destroyed the only Valk cam in that area, giving your team eyes on an unsuspecting target.
C4 after breach
This was put to deadly effect against Mindfreak. As an attacker, if you’re standing too close to a hatch that you’ve just breached, you run the risk of getting smashed by a defender’s C4. There was an immediate post-breach (with Hibana) C4 lob that took out two attackers, which immediately put the attackers on the back foot. That said, Mindfreak returned the favour in the next round, even though the attackers were farther away from the hatch. Sometimes it’s better to pull right back and send in a drone.
Glaz makes defenders wary
Depending on the map and the bomb site, Glaz can have a massive impact on the heads of defenders. On one hand, Glaz’s sniper rifle can be used to punch holes in defences, or smash Castle barricades, making defenders wary about moving across his buffed scope. On the other hand, he can pop heads if defenders aren’t careful. If you try this as Glaz, it’s best to get in a spot that doesn’t offer easy retaliation from defenders willing to jump outside.
You can expect to see a lot of pre-fire on the competitive stage. What it usually does, though, is deter the enemy from pushing through. This wasn’t the case with the Asian teams, who aggressively pushed immediately after pre-fire to take a shot at an enemy whose position had been given away by pre-firing. Peeker’s advantage is part of any shooter, and it offers a competitive edge to the moving player, versus the one who’s stationary and holding an angle. Yes, you have to back yourself to land headshots, but the reward can greatly outweigh the risk if your aim is true.
Gunfights beat tactics
I never thought I’d find myself saying this in a Siege article, but the Asian teams showed the Aussies that while tactics are an essential foundation, the ability to win gunfights is key. Played at a slower pace, tactics can easily trump run-and-gun tactics. But if you want to play aggressively and put the enemy team on the backfoot, you can force them into gunfights and disrupt the best laid plans.
Win your trades
Despite the odd numbers, you really want to be working with at least one other player in Siege. This way, if your buddy goes down, you can step in to take the trade kill, either while the player is reloading, or before they even know you’re there. Again, playing tactically and gathering intel is crucial to Siege’s gameplay, especially in public matches, but the ability to keep your cool in a gunfight and pop heads is equally important.
Corner attackers, then block with Smoke
Smoke is a fantastic go-to operator for defenders and, arguably, should be picked every round (especially if there’s no hostage to worry about gassing). While he’s a great choice to use super defensively on the objective, he’s also handy at cornering attackers and gassing them out. This trick is best used if the attackers are on the back foot, but attackers are wary of pushing through Smoke’s gas so, worst case, it’s a great way to buy time.