Rainbow Six games can be hard for newcomers and casual gamers, even if it’s the revamped and more accessible Siege. There’s a lot to be aware of and master, from the various operators with their unique abilities, to the destructible environments and extensive surveillance. Unlike past Rainbow games, Siege exchanges longer rounds and larger maps for more urgent and smaller ones, pinning you up close to the enemy, forcing you to visualize each other’s positions at every waking moment.
With players in such close proximity and being supplied with only one life per round, each scenario may be overwhelming for those who aren’t as quick to adapt to a different kind of shooter from most modern attractions. However, assuming you and your teammates have mics and prefer to play as a team, there’s a lot you can do to improve your game. All it takes is a little patience, critical thinking, and the gumption to act just at the right moment.
1. Drone responsibly
The key to infiltrating a stronghold requires reconnaissance first above all things. It’s hard to breach the right wall, let alone get there alive with your whole team, if you don’t know where the enemy team and objective are. The tried and true tactics of running and gunning from other shooters like Call of Duty or Battlefield just won’t do.
When using your drone on the initial phase of an attack, it’s important to first take into account where your teammates’ drones are headed either through chat or by checking visually. There’s no point in sending all five drones to investigate one floor when you can allocate one or two to each floor or section of the map. In this regard, it’s important not to be selfish, as it’ll be easy for everyone to converge on a found objective once it’s spotted anyway.
It’s crucial to take a relaxed approach once within range, so spot enemies initially, but be sure to calm down and find a corner, shelf, or box to hide in while your team moves in on foot. You can always check your drone again once the round has started, but be careful though, as the drone’s faint but distinct RC car gear noises will more easily alert enemies to your presence and result in your destruction. Just play it cool, don’t spot anyone further, and use the now stationary drone to observe a key position and report enemy movements verbally. Unless you’re Twitch with her shock drone, there’s no use in zipping around and jumping about when enemies can take you out so easily.
2. Create a perimeter not a vault
When it come to defense, contrary to what the trailers or your initial ventures into the various betas may imply, boarding up all five defenders into the same room with the objective may spell disaster more often than salvation for your team. Though your ability to hold up in a room or two will vary depending on the map and chosen defensive location, it’s better to reinforce walls and use Castle’s bulletproof barricades to board up areas outside the objective as opposed to staying directly within the same room. If the enemy team knows all five defenders are in one sealed box, it makes it much easier to pinpoint and eliminate threats.
It’s better to trap the enemy infiltrating team within a larger box in which you can maneuver, flank, and surprise them, rather than trap yourselves within one small room where you’ll be unable to adapt to unexpected breaches or attacks. Throw down some barbed wire in key doorways and deploy some shield walls and you can help funnel attacks into areas that you’ve deliberately left open, allowing you to execute a punishing choke point, which in turn will delay and frustrate the other team, making it easier for you to pick them off as they rush towards the end of the round to try and achieve victory.
For example, it’s easier to defend the kid’s bedroom in the “House” level by reinforcing the nearby master bedroom and workshop. You make the adjacent rooms impenetrable with one or two clear views into the kid’s bedroom and you can blow the hell out of the walls surrounding the objective, essentially making the room a firing range from multiple angles. Use Mute and Bandit to jam or electrify the most vulnerable breach areas, and you further give your team an extra layer of defense besides the initial steel reinforcements.
Remember, on defense they have to come to you, so sometimes it’s better to run down the clock to add pressure to the enemy team, where you can capitalize on their panic with an expertly placed defensive position in an area they won’t expect. Don’t think about just defending their attacks directly every time, but also how you can catch them in the act unexpectedly, making for easy kills and victories.
3. Choose your operator wisely
Whether you’re attacking or defending, a key element to success in a round is the balance and application of your chosen operators. For example, if you opt to use Thermite, Sledge, Ash, Fuze, and Thatcher, you’ll have a super versatile destructive force that can neutralize any defenses, as long as you work together. But if everyone just chooses their characters based on their favorite gun or the challenge they’re working on, you may put your team at a disadvantage.
If you have Montagne, Blitz, and Fuze all rocking riot shields and breaching through the front door, it doesn’t exactly help if Twitch and Glaz are over on some far off roof sniping through windows into vacant rooms. It’s not just about raw stat or ability-based balance, but how you use the squad as a cohesive unit. Alternatively, if Twitch and Glaz were to trail the riot shields as they breach and creep through the environment, the expert sharpshooters would prove much more useful in eliminating distracted or flashed enemies that are huddled behind cover and too hard for the riot shield wielders to chase down safely.
The same sort of horrible blunders or exhilarating moments of teamwork stem from the same effective or poor choices in defensive operators as well. Though it’s not recommended, if you chose to hold up everyone in one room, it would be better to have Rook for armor and Jager to block incoming grenades than to solely rely on your weapon accuracy in the middle of a blazing gun battle. If you want to spread out a little bit, it’s better then to utilize operators that can establish and hold a larger perimeter, like using Kapkan for laser trip mines and Tachanka to lie down a stream of fire via his deployable heavy machine gun. Whatever you choose to do, keep in mind the tendencies of how your team plays as well as the overall strategies you employ.
4. Beware, be aware
Now that the basics are out of the way in terms of the greater concepts presented to the player, it’s equally important to devote just as much thought and energy into the choices you make moment to moment based on your senses and clues in the environment. Of course, the first thing you want to acknowledge in any shooter are the physical options you and your enemy have for getting to each other. You obviously know once you are familiar with the maps that if they’re in a particular area that they can only get to you through certain hallways or doors by default. But with so much destruction in the game, the avenues for which your enemies may deliver your death vary completely with each round depending on the choices you and the enemy team make. This is the very reason this game is so challenging.
Every blown up window, wall, and ceiling changes the possibilities of engagement, so it’s important to always be taking into account the variables at hand that are ever changing. Something as minute as a small hole in the wall or a cracked wooden door barricade may lead to your death. Even a far off defensive surveillance camera can thwart an approach by the attacking team. So whether you’re rappelling in through a window, creeping in a basement, or roaming around on a rooftop, it’s always important to minimize the angles enemies may have on you and be aware of where you might be spotted.
There are clear attack and defense rounds but any round can become a game of cat and mouse with each team playing either role at any given moment. The sheer volume of possible angles and positions of enemies is why it’s important to be aware of the tactic known as “slicing the pie” when scanning room to room. As the saying goes, “slow is smooth, smooth is fast.” A purposeful and methodical leaning approach may be slower, but in turn it’s often safer and more effective through precision.
Sound is extremely useful as well, as every audio cue in game can be used to identify further information to your advantage. Though the sound can at times be deceiving when trying to decipher if someone is below or above you, once they’re in close range, the clunky movement of operators and the distinct sound effects designated to gadgets like breaches or drones will give you an extra edge in anticipating an attack or flank. It’s much easier to hide silently and wait to surprise an enemy as they crunch and shuffle over destroyed debris than to outright rush them. So get some surround sound speakers or a nice pair of headphones if you want to truly excel at this tactical shooter.
5. Time is of the essence
As being aware of the in game action is always a priority, paying attention to the objective information is just as important. It’s key to be patient when defending and methodical when attacking, but it’s essential to seize opportunities when the clock is running low and a loss is inevitable if you don’t act, even if that means jumping out of a window to run outside for a quick flank. The focus on the time limit of each round may seem unimportant at first, but when taken into account, it can make a world of difference.
Sometimes teams are too slow to breach or attack, simply timing themselves out of a round. Sometimes the defending team doesn’t reach the objective in time before the attackers disarm the bomb or escort a hostage to safety. Rounds can be won in the final seconds if you just take that extra courageous step to burst into a room when necessary or by staying disciplined enough to simply hide as time runs out. A win is a win. It’s all about being aware of the situation and whether you need to actively engage the enemy or sit back and bide your time.
6. Think outside, underneath, through, and around the box
Siege is a game that is all about adaptability. Your overall strategy may sound great to your team, but when things get crazy and walls get blown you didn’t expect and guys are firing from positions you didn’t know of, the time for innovative movement and tactics is key. With all the aforementioned tips in mind, you should navigate the game world with an open minded approach that can shift to the changing parameters of the situation. In that sense, you must react accordingly to what the game provides.
There’s also value in actively throwing your opponents off guard by being where they don’t expect you to be. If the attacking team spots most but not all of the defenders in the basement, then it’s probably a good idea to send out one or two operators to sneak and eliminate opponents outside the perimeter of defense. If you peak through vents meant for drones you may even find a foot or a leg just in view for you to shoot twenty times for a kill. It’s dirty, but effective.
In any given situation, the destructive choices you make establish and tear down rules of engagement moment to moment. For example, you can initiate a breach on a wall or two to get their attention and open some holes up, then a breach through the ceiling or floor can be used to really put the enemy team at unease. Once players know they’re in a tight spot and within view of multiple angles, they’re likely to squirm a bit in contemplation of moving to a better area, making for an easy shot for your team from any of the open areas. Always be thinking input and output. How is the enemy team forcing me to react? How can I make them react to me instead?
If after all this advice you still think you’re not quite cut out to compete in Rainbow Six Siege’s multiplayer, perhaps this brand new mode will give you something to do that’s not so demanding.