So you think you can Siege? Well, if you’re new, then you can’t. That’s the bad news. The good news is with a few key tips, you’ll be in a much better position to have a fighting chance. Below is a breakdown of 10 tips to improve your skills in Rainbow Six Siege.
Regardless of the version of Siege you own, you should earn your stripes by playing through the Situations first.
You can rush through them if you want, but taking your time reaps benefits. Aiming to net three stars per Situation secures plenty of Renown in-game currency. Renown is used to buy cosmetic stuff, but more importantly, it unlocks Operators and weapon attachments.
Look to unlock the essential Operators first. For the Attackers, you want Thermite or Hibana (both destroy reinforced walls), Twitch or Thatcher (both can take out electronic defences), then your choice of IQ (spots electronic equipment), Buck (great for opening up lines of sight), Blackbeard (his rifle shield defends him from front-on headshots) and Capitão (kills or forces enemies to relocate).
For the Defenders, you want Rook (armour), Mute (blocks drones and Thermite/Hibana charges), Smoke (gases enemies and buys time), Valkyrie (additional cameras), Jäger (blocks grenades and Fuze’s gadget) and Caveria (interrogates downed enemies for locational info) if you fancy roaming.
Alternatively, if you want to start with the Operators that the pros love best, take a look this chart:
Guns. Lots of guns.
While there’s a bit of personal preference at play with guns in Siege, there are some universal truths to abide by.
Defenders generally have weapons suited to close-quarters combat (shotguns) or mid-range engagements (sub-machine guns).
Attackers, on the other hand, have weapons that work well up close (shotguns) or at longer rangers (assault rifles or rifles). Shotgun damage drops off beyond the first few metres, so you want to force enemies through chokepoints to use them best.
Assault rifles and rifles are best for long-range engagements against Defenders. And if you pick a full-auto weapon, it’s usually the case that the higher the fire rate, the better the gun.
Whatever you choose, the more you aim for headshots, the more successful you’ll be.
Weapon attachments are a big deal in Siege, and they change in use at certain points (keep an eye on patch notes).
Under-barrel lasers, for instance, used to be scoffed at but are now more widely used. In particular, lasers are great for shotguns and shielded, attacking Operators who roll with pistols. Just be aware that enemies can see the laser’s red dot. For everything else, it depends on your play style.
Horizontal grips are best if you like to move and clear, quickly switching between hip-fire (for a better view) and aiming down sights. Though this tactic is generally higher on risk than it is on reward in Siege.
The vertical grips decrease recoil, so they’re the safer choice. Red dot, holographic and reflex sights might feel better than iron sights, but that’s about it. ACOG sights sacrifice field of view for range, but if you can get used to them, they make headshots easier (especially at range).
As for barrel attachments, suppressors dampen sound but reduce damage, so if you favour stealth, they’re great, but preserving weapon damage is usually preferred. The other barrels are best matched to how you shoot: if you fire in small bursts, use a flash hider; if you tap off single shots, use the compensator; if you stay full-auto, use the muzzle break. Extended barrel is best for players who aim to get kills at longer ranges, as it eliminates the damage drop-off.
Master the maps
The best way to learn the maps is by playing them, obviously, but that doesn’t have to be online.
You’ll get a taste for them in Situations, but it’s also worth chasing after the Daily Challenges for Terrorist Hunt to properly familiarise yourself with maps (you’ll also score Renown), and play with new Operators (bump the difficulty up to Realistic for a better taste of online play).
It’s worth chasing the relevant Ubisoft Club challenges, too. As you work through the maps, glance at the compass that’s at the bottom of the UI (slightly off centre to the right). Every time you change locations, the name next to the compass changes.
Learn these names, but understand they’re usually communicated in abbreviated forms. The more you know these names, the better information you’ll have when other players are talking to you about enemy locations.
Use your ears
Sound is very important in Siege. It’s also very different to other shooters. Other shooters cheat with sound and make it travel through solid objects. In Siege, sound primarily travels through gaps, be they corridors, open windows and doors, or holes in destructible walls.
At this stage, there’s no way of telling if an enemy is above or below you, except with great map knowledge (according to an audio guy at Ubisoft Montreal, the headphone technology doesn’t yet exist). Everyone makes noise if they’re not walking or crouching, and if they step on glass, broken wood, or barbed wire, you’ll hear it.
These audio cues can give you the drop on an enemy player. You should only ever play Siege with headphones, and have a microphone to provide intel to your teammates. Don’t be afraid to ask your team what they’d like reinforced (as a Defender) or where they’d like you to investigate or attack (as an Attacker).
Intel first, shooting second
Sure, Siege is a shooter, and great aim certainly helps, but it’s primarily a game of intelligence, counter-intelligence and good ol’ fashioned misinformation.
One of the worst things you can do in Siege is get into a head-to-head firefight with an enemy. As an Attacker, take time to use your drone to check the rooms ahead before you move into them, or drone ahead of a friendly player and call out enemy locations to them. If you drone into a room and the enemy doesn’t see your drone, you’re in a great position to get the drop on them (avoid tagging that enemy, though, as they’ll start searching for your drone or may just relocate).
As a Defender, you don’t want to be that player in a room with a drone that you don’t know about. Attackers that communicate will make short work of you by flanking you, shooting you through walls (they know your position, remember), or attacking from above or below (where relevant).
Dying early might feel disadvantageous, but you should immediately jump on cameras or drones and provide intel to your surviving teammates. You can also learn a lot about the better offensive and defensive positions from kill cams. Valkyrie’s cameras and/or Echo’s drone can provide crucial intel for Defenders. It’s also worth experimenting with making a distracting noise in one area, and then attacking from another.
All the modes in Siege are really about time management. It’s an asymmetrical game, so if both teams do nothing, the Defenders win. With this in mind, Defenders should be actively trying to waste time for the Attackers whenever possible.
In some instances, this is more important than scoring kills! In Casual, you have four minutes to complete your objective as an Attacker. That can fly by, but it’s actually a lot of time if you use it wisely. Get your Operator in a safe spot outside (beware of Defenders trying to shoot out from windows and doors), and spend a minute droning. Look out for roamers and call out positions to your teammates.
As a Defender, roaming is an incredibly viable tactic. It buys time for your side, but be aware that you may have to rotate (shift) back to or near the defensive position/s if the Attackers move in or if Defenders on site start dying.
The job of a roamer is to provide intel, buy time for the team, and score kills (preferably in that order). If Attackers have to dedicate minutes to weeding you out before they can focus on the real point of interest, you’ve done your job as a roamer. If you can kill a Hibana or Thermite player before they destroy reinforced walls, you’ve removed incursion options for the Attackers, and that’s a bonus.
The peeker’s advantage
This is a hot topic in Siege, but it’s certainly not limited to just this game. The peeker’s advantage refers to the reality that someone shifting around a corner at speed will generally see another player that’s in a fixed position. It’s in every shooter and it’s mainly down to the reality of how online networking works, though Ubisoft Montreal has pledged to reduce its impact in Siege over the course of this year.
With this knowledge, though, you can score easy kills on stationary players — even in head-to-head fights — if you know exactly where they are.
You want to get to a corner, aim down sights in the approximate direction of a stationary enemy, then strafe towards a gap (doorway, window, hole, etc.) and then lean just as you hit the corner.
Time it right and you’ll have a fraction of a second before the stationary player sees you to pop them in the head. Staying in the same spot is inadvisable in Siege, even when defending, so unless you’re sure the enemy doesn’t know where you are, don’t stay still for too long. You should also use this peeking trick for checking spaces for threats, except dodge in and out of cover to try and force enemies to reveal their positions by firing (though droning for intel is always preferred as an Attacker).
Vertical lines of sight
It’s good practice early on to defend the room of interest or linger in the rooms adjacent to it. The problem with this is if your entire team is doing that, Attackers can get the drop on you from above or below in certain rooms.
Destructible floors and ceilings mean that Attackers can create new lines of sight to attack from above or below, when you’re fixated on covering angles on a horizontal plane. If holes start appearing above or below you, it’s worth relocating to somewhere else.
The best way to defend against this is by using intel (cameras or Pulse’s gadget) to know where enemies are above or below you. If they’re above, C4 the ceiling if they stay still, or you can shoot them through it (also works if they’re below you). A couple of roamers should make Attackers think twice about this tactic, or creating cheeky holes in certain places where you can cover the usual way that Attackers will enter or leave a room. This can help you score easy kills from the defensive room.
Hold tight angles
If you try to play Siege like it’s Call of Duty, you won’t find much success. Running and gunning in Siege rarely works. The trick is to dominate tight angles.
Whether defending or attacking, don’t be somewhere that’s in full view of a door, window or breached wall. Instead, angle yourself so that you can only see the tiniest sliver of an entry: enough to spot an enemy passing through, but not enough to expose yourself. When you’re clearing rooms as an Attacker, especially if you don’t have any drones left, you want to work from tight to larger angles. If you’re rappelling, always try to shoot from the tightest angle possible.
And that’s just the beginning. It’s worth watching replays of pro tournaments or following high-ranked players such as Serenity17 on YouTube to learn different tips and pro map/Operator exploits you hadn’t considered.
There’s always more to learn in Rainbow Six Siege, especially considering how each new set of Operators that released change how the game is played, but master this list of tips, and you should fast become a contender online.