A Comprehensive Introduction to Rainbow Six Siege

Gamers, disciples of the internet, and those individuals that want to feel the pain of introducing themselves to the game that expanded the Tom Clancy universe on December 1, 2015; I have the perfect chunk of text for you consume. In this extensive article, I will be diving into the online tactical shooter Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege. This guide is designed to assist newer players in breaching through the heavily fortified gameplay R6. I hope everyone can learn a thing or two from this guide, even those that consider themselves seasoned veterans upon the battlefield set forth by the ranked multiplayer.

Straight to the comprehensive guide to Rainbow Six Siege in 2020. (button)

A little bit about the author

According to the official Rainbow Six Siege club on Xbox Live, I have spent 111 days 5 hours and 3 minutes of my life attempting to conquer the ever-evolving chess match that is R6’s competitive multiplayer. I was blessed to be a gamer that spent that fateful December night in 2015 downloading Rainbow Six Siege. At the time I had no idea what was truly downloading onto my console. For those interested in a more detailed exposé of my introduction to the game, my previous R6 guide delved deeper into that story.

Throughout the years I have invested a few hundred games into each season of Rainbow. Those that have been following the game for some time understand the drastic changes the multiplayer has faced as more operators were added to the game. I hope that my experience with the game will provide additional insight into the intricate formula that is the framework of every round. Will you substitute the correct operators? Will you adjust your methods to your opposition?

Reinforced wall, breachable wall ceiling – show video of melee and sledge

The Comprehensive Guide to Rainbow Six Siege.

Below you will find the variety of topics that I believe are important for a new player to understand when approaching Rainbow Six Siege for the first time. Just know that R6 is not a kind game to those just starting. Give yourself time to adjust to the game and the players that you will come across while playing the game.

  1. Soft Walls vs. Reinforced Walls
  2. Default Cameras
  3. Using your drone
  4. Breaching reinforced walls
  5. Learning the maps
  6. Choosing the right operator
  7. Reloading

1. Soft Walls vs. Reinforced Walls

The maps of Rainbow Six are equipped with a variety of materials. Some materials can be destroyed completely, others cannot be damaged at all, while some can be completely destroyed with the right equipment. To minimize confusion, I will split the materials into two groups: soft walls – reinforced walls

Soft Walls

If you are having trouble determining whether a wall is soft or reinforced, merely melee the wall. One of two things will happen. Either you will be met with a metal wall that you cannot see through or there will be a small hole created by your melee.

Soft walls have several varying levels of destruction. You can shoot the wall with your weapon to destroy the wall slightly (depending heavily on the weapon you are using), utilize the available utility that soft destruction operators such as Sledge provide to the team (creating holes of different sizes depending on the operator in question), and finally, you can use the hard-breaching Operators such as Thermite to completely destroy a soft wall.

Reinforced Walls

You will find reinforced walls separating you from the opposition every round. You cannot shoot through reinforced walls and soft breachers cannot affect them. There are only a select number of operators that can assist the attackers with destroying reinforced walls.

2. Default Cameras

Default cameras are used to gather as much intel as possible for defenders before the attackers destroy them. The default cameras will be stationed in the same spot every single time you play a map. Eventually you will memorize where every default camera is on the map which will aid you on both attack and defense. It will be important to destroy the default cameras quickly when attacking. While defending, you should be able to identify where a default camera is located to be able to utilize the intel you gathered from looking at it. Did the attackers send a drone by the default camera? Did you actually see an attacker? Understanding the direction of the camera and the many pathways around it will be imperative to truly using the default cameras to your advantage. Of course, most attackers will destroy these cameras very quickly.

How do default cameras affect the round?

Default cameras will help you identify the operators you will be facing off against that round. By knowing the operator’s on the field, you will have a better understanding of how an attacking team may approach your defense.

Similarly, knowing what operators the defenders are using will assist you in estimating how many players will be on the objective, roaming, and general position around the map. Identifying a Mira on the defensive side will inform you that she will most likely be set up in a position that is used by many defenders as Mira. Your drone will also inform you of this information.

I will be analyzing the teams listed below to demonstrate the concept:

As a defender

If I were to achieve the ultimate beginning of the round scan to find these five operators on the attacking team, I would consider what utility our team was equipped with. This group of 5 would have a difficult time breaching any wall without a Thatcher or Maverick, especially in defensive situations such as Chalet’s Snowmobile Defense. This team seems to desire the option to breach a reinforced wall yet they will have a difficult time destroying any anti-breach utility my team may have. This means that the attackers will most likely have to use the normal pathways to the objective instead of creating their own pathway by breaching a wall. I know that my roamers will most likely be ruthlessly hunted down by this attacking squad due to the presence of Jackal and Dokkeibi. I would try and use the default cameras on the map to try and assist the roamers since the attackers will have a difficult time approaching the objective without being contested. Do we have a Jager? Finka could use her frag grenades to destroy antibreach utility. This group of 5 will most likely have to take gunfights at face value and are banking on their ability to out slay the defensive side. The largest threat to the defense may be the hatches to objectives if the defense did not bring a Kaid. Utilize the operator’s that can notify your team of an attacker being close by. Your best option is stop the attackers at the doorways to the objective.

As an attacker

When approaching this situation as an attacker my initial thought would be that my team should avoid splitting up due to the fact that Caveira is in play. She will most likely be roaming off site so that is one less attacker we have to worry about after opening an outer wall. How can we destroy the Bandit charges / kill Bandit if he is trying to trick the wall? What utility can we use to destroy Jager’s ADS? Ying would be an excellent operator to use in this situation. Castle will restrict the defenders ability to rotate or escape the flash, Echo may be a pain but Ying may be able to catch him off guard on his drone. Echo will prevent my team from planting last minute due to his Yokai drones. Consider pushing earlier in the round to counteract this or destroy the drones. This group of defenders has only one Nitro Cell which means entry denial may be difficult besides purely winning in a gunfight. This means that you may be more successful with a smoke, plant but Echo’s drone may prevent that from succeeding. If you do attack the objective, killing those anchoring, then you should be watching your flank for roamers since you know that Cav will be roaming. If you haven’t breached any walls, there is only a select number of directs that Cav can flank you from.

3. Using your drone

The drone phase is an influential part of success on attack. Refusing to utilize your drone will minimize the intel your team will have gathered before the round started which can assist you in identifying weak spots in the defense. If nothing else, driving your drone in the building and parking it in a corner may assist your team in the long run. Using your drone in the prep phase and during the round properly can help your team:

  • call out defenders that may be spawn peeking
  • identify weak spots in the defenders setup
  • watch the flank (while dead)
  • clear out parts of the map for your teammates
  • cover the diffuse after it has been planted

4. Breaching reinforced walls

As of the day I am writing this article, there are four operators that can destroy reinforced walls. The size and shape of the destruction varies from operator to operator, different operators will be better for particular situations and can assist the attackers in different ways.

What can Ace achieve?

Ace can destroy hatches by using two SELMA devices on a single hatch. Meaning, if your main focus is to destroy hatches, use Hibana instead.

The placement of your SELMA charge on a wall will determine how effective the hole will be. Take into account what you want to see on the other side of the wall before throwing. Ace thrives at destroying larger parts of the wall but keep in mind that the defenders may be able to easily destroy the Selma charges by Bandit/Kaid tricking or merely shooting the SELMA.

The sheer fact that you can throw the SELMA charge sets Ace apart from his counterpart, Thermite. Use this to your advantage by safely breaching walls from a distance

Lastly, Ace’s SELMA charges are underutilized for destroying the defenders gadgets. Help your team by destroying shields and Maestro cameras if your team composition isn’t heavily reliant on your hard-breaching.

You will find success with Ace if you are thoughtful with your SELMA placement, taking into consideration the opportunity the hole will create. Failing to do so will force your team to either vault into the room through the hole created by the Selma instead of simply running through it.

Hibana excels at destroying multiple hatches. Her kit will provide you with the tools necessary to clear out the hatch locations although it is best to team up when doing so.

Breaching with Hibana can be done from a significantly longer distance than Ace which can allow you to destroy reinforced walls from a safe distance. One example of using this to my advantage is when attacking Border. As Hibana, I will rush to the admin window and destroy a piece of the reinforced wall that can be seen from the window. (the wall near the bathroom) Once this is destroyed, I leave the area to see if a roamer is rotating to investigate the hole.

If you are having a hard time with someone Bandit tricking the wall, shoot your X-Kairos into the middle of the wall. This will plant pellets on each side of the wall and will create a small hole for you to shoot Bandit even if he destroys a portion of your pellets. Make sure to set off your charges quickly when doing so.

Hibana’s X-Kairos can be used in a clever fashion depending on what you are hoping to accomplish. Create new sight lines to flush out anchors by creating multiple holes in a wall about head height. If you are attempting to run through the hole that was created, you may want to stick with Thermite/Ace. You can still of course run through the hole that was created but you need to remember that it will be easier for defenders to cover the hole since it is smaller.

When activating, X-Kairos provide defenders on the other side of the wall with an audio and visual queue which will increase the chances that it can be Bandit tricked.

Using the pellets to distract the defenders, because they may attempt to shoot them, may create a window of opportunity to eliminate the enemy. This is especially effective against players using the SMG-11 with low magazine capacity. Shoot your X-Kairos and then wait for the defender to shoot the pellets before rushing them while they reload.

Maverick provides breaching opportunity for those that would like to be a little quieter in their approach. Defenders that lack awareness can be caught off guard by Maverick’s ability to puncture of a reinforced wall with his gadget, providing him with an opportunity to peer into rooms that are reinforced.

Your only constraint as Maverick is the number of cannisters that you are equipped with. You can use the blowtorch to cut holes in whichever direction your heart desires. What does this mean? This provides you with the opportunity to master your craft as a blowtorch fanatic, cutting tiny holes to shoot through, holes large enough to vault through, and holes few and far between.

There are a number of ways you can utilize Maverick’s unique skillset to counter the defending team. Maverick’s blowtorch can be used to counter an enemy Bandit by either shooting the Bandit charge or by simply shooting Bandit. Just be careful, the holes work both ways.

Maverick’s blowtorch can also be used to destroy defender’s gadgets such as Maestro cameras, shields, bulletproof cameras, and more.

Be sure to coordinate with your teammates to maximize your output. One popular strategy is to pair Maverick with Zofia to completely breach a single reinforced wall. You can accomplish this by making a complete cut across the upper and lower part of a reinforced wall. You will know that you’ve been successful when the reinforced metal portion of the wall falls. You will also no longer be able to see the small notches that can be found on the opposite of a reinforced wall. Once this is complete, you will use Zofia’s launcher to destroy the wall as you would with any soft wall.

Another effective strategy is to cut a hole towards the top of the reinforced wall to throw a frag grenade through. This will either kill Bandit and/or destroy his gadget.

Thermite is the infamous hard-breacher that coined the phrase, “big fucking hole incoming.” That is precisely what Thermite is poised to do for the attacking team, blow an enormous hole in a reinforced wall. Thermite is best utilized to open line of sights that force the defense into a disadvantage. The size of the hole makes it more difficult for defenders to pinpoint where you will be pushing from while also making it easier to utilize utility through the breached space.

If you are looking to use Thermite’s charges in more of an unorthodox way, you can destroy hatches and open up the ceiling above defenders with his Thermite charge.

Thermite is also susceptible to Bandit and Kaid tricking. Ensure that you are Thatcher are on the same page when attempting to breach a wall that is guarded by a Bandit and/or Kaid. You can begin the Thermite charge animation while the electricity remains activated to improve your chances of destroying the wall. You will incur a bit of damage but this strategy makes it very difficult for the defenders to counteract your Thermite. Trying timing your charge to be placed while Thatcher’s emp is still waiting to activate. Thermite will reach out and begin to place the Thermite charge but it will not be destroyed if done properly.

With the addition of the Hard Breach Charge, access to hard breaching utility has been drastically increased. The hole that is created is much smaller than most holes that can be created by other personnel dedicated to hard breaching but you can vault through the hole that is created. There is nothing more dangerous than a hard breaching Ying.

5. Learning the maps

Your map knowledge will have a direct impact on your ability to thrive in Rainbow Six Siege. By having an in-depth understanding of the maps will provide you with the ability to attack and defend in a variety of ways with a number of operators. Having an understanding of what can be breached, reinforced, and destroyed will allow you to utilize the wide range of operators in R6. Knowing when you have the opportunity to Buck from below, destroy an integral hatch, or access the building quickly will give you an edge over your opponent.

How can you learn the maps? That is the difficult part. Playing the game will be the most effective way to learn each map. The new unranked playlist is an excellent resource for devising strategies or simply learning the new maps. You should see Training Grounds as your friend if you are finding it difficult to have a positive experience in casual / unranked. The action in the training grounds will not do an incredible job of preparing you for what lies ahead in R6 ranked but it does provide a somewhat enjoyable experience for learning the game and maps. I recommend switching your game preference to Hostage when you feel that you’ve mastered Bomb. By changing the gametype, the game will force you to attack a different portion of the map which will provide you with a better understanding of the layout.

6. Choosing the “right” Operator.

I have coined the phrase among my squad that “you either want to have fun playing Rainbow Six Siege or you want to win in Rainbow Six Siege.” Often times those ideas do not coexist. Although, this is based on the thought that winning is your main source of enjoyment. With the ever-growing selection of Operators in R6 players will find new playstyles and unique gameplay that may seem like an appealing option in a ranked match yet it will not actually have a positive impact on the game. Many strategies may seem like a good idea in theory yet it does not synergize with the rest of the team. Like it or not, there are required Operators that are necessary to win the game and one must pick such Operators every single round if they would like to have the best chance of winning. Everything that I include in this article is for the everyday player, not for professional players. These rules do not apply to them since they are a cohesive unit, all working towards the same goal with hours of practice under their belt. Do not attempt to impose an intricate strategy on a group of randoms.

When approaching the choice of an Operator, consider how the opposing team has been playing. Should your team increase the potential for hard-breaching by increasing the amount of hard-breaching utility? Is your opposition throwing an unending assault of throwables at the defenders? Pick Wamai or Jager. Try to imagine how you will utilize your operator when attacking certain objectives. You can do this by having a basic understanding of where most teams will defend. For example, say you are on Clubhouse. The very first round on attack will most likely be a cash room attack. How does your team want to deal with such a situation? Do you want to focus on breaching the main wall and what will be necessary to accomplish that? Perhaps a Thermite, Thatcher, and some sort of utility to defend from the runout such as Nomad? You can take a complete 180 and decide to bring Maverick and Zofia, focus on a main wall and garage attack. Consider the utility and how you can effectively use it.

What are you bringing to the team? Are you carrying your share of the burden that is setting up on defense? (reinforcements, rotation holes, hatches)

Consider on defense:

Is there an anti-breach?

  • Do you need to try and trick the wall?

Do we have a Jager, Wamai, or Aruni for throwables?

Do the attackers face any defenses when approaching the main doors of the objective? Should you bring some razor wire, traps, or maybe a Castle?

Does your team have a balance of roamers and anchors?

Who will make the rotation holes?

Consider on attack:

Will you need to hard-breach? How can you ensure that you will be able to hard-breach your designated target, do you need a Thatcher?

Does the opposition rely heavily on utility and how will you destroy it?

Once you’ve reached the objective, how will you kill the anchors, and how will you watch the flank? Will you utilize vision impairment utility such as Ying, rely on frag grenades, or just hope that you will outgun the defenders? Will drones watching the flank be enough or will you need a Nomad?

7. Reloading

On the surface, reloading may not seem like an aspect of R6 that is pivotal to your success. You’ve played plenty of other shooting games in which you are forced to reload. Perhaps you have experience with Gears of War’ active reload system where you are encouraged to utilize the precise reload mechanic for certain benefits. Rainbow does not feature such a system but the reloading mechanic in R6 is often overlooked by most players. There are two reload animations with any weapon in Rainbow Six.

  1. Reloading with bullets left in your magazine
  2. Reloading after using your entire magazine

Exhausting your entire magazine will force your Operator to perform the longer reload animation which may provide the enemy the perfect opportunity to jump you. Consider these smaller mechanics when attempting to improve your game. There are times where you will fire every bullet from your magazine, of course. What you need to focus on is primarily using the faster reload animation. Pay close attention to your opponent, have they fired every round in their magazine? Is there a window of opportunity available?

At the end of the day…

Rainbow Six Siege requires players to be tenacious in their approach to every single round. Maintaining the bomb sites, rotation holes, and reinforcements on defense will demand a level of concentration that may be lacking in some players. You provide the greatest opportunity for victory when you focus on the fundamentals of R6, removing opportunity for careless mistakes that may cause you to lose a round.

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