I recently wrote about how the last two months of my life have largely been spent playing Rainbow Six Siege – getting a grip on key tactics, learning hard lessons and steadily improving. I’m in no way an expert, but I definitely feel like I have a few tips that will greatly help other newcomers to the game, so if you’re just getting started in Rainbow Six Siege – or are considering diving in – here are six tips that should help.
Take it slow and steady
Though Rainbow Six Siege moves at a wicked pace and time is always of the essence, running and gunning can get you into trouble. Death comes quickly in Siege, so it pays to think carefully about your every move, especially when on the attacking team and even more so if you haven’t identified all opposing operators during the prep phase.It’s not just enemy bullets you need to be wary of either, as buildings are littered with traps and gadgets strategically placed by the opposition to take you unawares. Take your time and check for traps and explosives before rushing in headfirst – plenty of players are caught out by Frost’s ‘welcome mat’ (a gigantic mouse trap) or Kapkan’s explosives by being too gung-ho about attacking the objective. A good rule of thumb: the closer you get to the site, the more cautious you should be.
And even when defending, while some operators like Caveira are excellent for running the halls and taking out unsuspecting attackers, there are many situations where it’s worth just sitting tight. Waiting for your foes to make their move can let you to catch them off guard, while running down the clock can see attackers get desperate in their attempts to win the objective.
Don’t forget about the objective
So often do Siege rounds end before the attacking team has even had a sniff at completing the objective, that it’s easy to accidently approach matches with a team deathmatch mentality. You should never discount the objective, though.
This is especially true for attackers on Bomb, where the mode’s two sites make it easier to stretch defending attentions for a chance to plant the diffuser, which can prove to be the difference. Hell, I’ve seen more than a few matches where the last two opposing players have downed but not killed each other and, after a nervous few moments, the already-planted diffuser won the race and match before the attacker bled out.
It’s worth a punt in the other modes too. A mad dash to grab the hostage can take defenders unaware and, if you’re lucky in the panic, cause them to kill those whom they’re sworn to protect. And while ‘Secure the Area’ is the hardest of the three objectives to achieve, if a few of you can get a foothold in the defending site, a win is always possible.
Choose your operators and loadouts to fit the game mode or map
Don’t pick Fuze on Hostage. Just don’t! Okay, he looks cool and his trademark explosive cluster charge is great for bagging surprise kills, getting defenders out of cover and clearing rooms of traps and gadgets, but it’s not great when there’s a supple human you’re meant to rescue in the same room. Pick someone less destructive instead. Likewise, Castle’s bulletproof blockades seem like a practical idea for all occasions, but when placed badly they can lock roaming operators out of the objective site, leaving them vulnerable or unable to act in pivotal moments.
With that, remember the adage ‘horses for courses’. Learn about each operator so you can understand how their abilities can help your team in the given game mode.
Scan and ping all the time, even when you’re dead
Whether attacking and using your drones during the prep phase or defending and trying to figure out where attacks might come from with the building’s security network, using cameras can make a huge difference to your team’s fortunes.
But, by using the scan function when you spot someone, you’ll not only highlight where foes are slinking around on your team’s HUDs, but it’ll also identify the operator they’re using, so your surviving teammates can know what they’re up against. Should you perish early, don’t reach for your phone either – you can still be useful to others by surveying all remaining cameras from the grave, alerting them in the exact same way.
And with a feature borrowed from Respawn’s Apex Legends, you can also ‘ping’ enemy locations during a firefight, allowing you to highlight enemies for others and rally support from friends in a pinch, even in combat.
Watch and learn
Rainbow Six Siege can feel an unfair and unforgiving beast in those early hours and learning keenly is the only remedy. There are plenty of ways to not only learn from your own mistakes but watch how better players work too.
The ‘kill cam’, for example, is a wonderfully sobering tool to see how that unfair death was actually your own fault, plus it’s a great way to learn the sorts of crazy tactics and angles good players use to their advantage. So often in early matches did I think myself covered by a planted shield or wall, only to be obviously in plain sight and an easy target to my enemy.
When you are downed and all cameras are out, it’s worth flicking through the feeds of your team’s survivors and noting how they move, approach threats, and what they do in a firefight. You can learn heaps of great tips and tactics just from watching others.
With that, don’t discount watching Rainbow Six Siege as an eSport, either. While it can be confusing to track as a spectator sport, there’s just so much to learn from watching the professionals at work.
Rainbow Six Siege’s excellent sound design not only makes for an immersive multiplayer experience but it’s also stunningly good at relaying important information about the match.
Wearing decent headphones elevates that massively and can tell you so much more about your surroundings, from the area of breaching explosions and shots fired, to the footsteps of nearby enemies.
Listen carefully and you can also hear enemy gadgets at work, such as Maverick’s burner putting holes in your fortifications or the yelps of enemy attackers that have wandered into traps, waiting to be revived or put out of their misery.
Andy Corrigan is a freelance games journalist based in Australia. Check out his thoughts on being a newcomer to Rainbow Six Siege in 2019 and be sure to follow him on Twitter.