Rainbow Six: Siege – 11 essential tactics for attackers and defenders

By Matt Martin, Thursday, 3 December 2015 12:37 GMT


Rainbow Six: Siege – 11 essential tactics for attackers and defenders

This ain’t your everyday first-person shooter. Rainbow Six: Siege requires tactical thinking, careful planning and on-the-spot improvisation as much as a quick trigger finger. This is a game where you create you own lines of sight by destroying the environment, reinforce rooms to stand against attack, and set traps in the hope that enemies will blunder into them.

Here then are 11 tips to ensure you have the upper hand in a firefight that can be over in minutes if you’re unprepared.

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Ditch your FPS bad habits

First up, this isn’t your normal first-person shooter. It’s about tactics. Don’t run and gun. Ditch all those bad habits you bring with you. Doors and stairs are not the way to move around these maps. Rappelling takes you to the roof quicker than any other method of movement. Swing through windows to reach any floor. Hang upside down from a skylight. Blow through boards and ceilings to move between levels. You can and should enter and exit locations every way possible. Unlearn what you think you know.


Unlock Operatives by completing Situations and tutorials

Just watching the three tutorials will award you Renown, which you spend on unlocking specialist Operators. This is your early goal as different Operators have some great special gear that can give you massive tactical advantages.

Now play through the Situations. These are single-player missions that introduce you to different modes; eliminate terrorists, disarm bombs, rescue the hostages. You’ll get hands-on with alternative Operators so you’ll know which to unlock for your style of play. You’ll also get a good handle on each map, which is essential. And for all this you’ll earn loads of Renown. Complete all 10 Situations and you’ll have unlocked a healthy amount of Operatives to take into the main game.


Drones: fail to prepare, prepare to fail

In the main multiplayer game you have one minute to prepare for the action. As an attacker your drone is an essential tool. You can spot your objectives (where the hostages or bombs are) and tag enemies. They may move around, but you’ll have a better handle on who’s protecting what. This cuts down on searching for targets and you can better plan your approach with your teammates. Send drones in different directions for maximum coverage. And you can always leave it strategically deployed and switch to it later when the action phase begins.

As a defender you need to keep an eye out for drones just as much as reinforcing your position. If you see one, destroy it, otherwise all your preparations could be blown wide open.


Barricades and reinforcements: it’s make or break time

If one well placed shot can kill, then one well placed barricade can save your life. Reinforce structures and use barricades in that first minute, because you likely won’t get another chance. Whether that’s to slow down an approach, close an open route or defend a goal. Barricades aren’t just about defense – consider using them to funnel attackers into a killzone. This is where you knowledge of the maps really comes into its own. You can also booby trap doors with explosives – when someone begins to knock through it, push the trigger.

And if you hear a barricade or wall coming down, the attacker has given away their position. Thinking like this – using every sense and tool at your disposal – will give you the upper hand. Don’t sit there hiding behind a gun barrel.


Lone wolves die alone

The only time you should be playing lone wolf is when all your buddies are dead. It shouldn’t be a choice. Rainbow Six: Siege is built around teamwork and you need to work as a collective. A disorganised team that doesn’t communicate won’t last five minutes against an organised group of buddies working as one unit. Open communication channels and for god’s sake have a mic.

You don’t have to be in a group of five friends who have studied maps and drawn up detailed plans. Just make it known you’re willing to take an alternative route, to guard a hostage, spot from the roof or set traps to push enemies in a direction. It’s not essential to have a team leader if everyone willingly takes on a role they know will do some good.

Never roll around in a group of five. Stick to 2-2-1 or 2-3 where possible.


Little touches will earn you extra XP

You can be a little bit selfish – there’s plenty of little things you can do that will increase your XP and Renown. Using a flip-up scope grants an extra 10 XP to a kill. The same goes for firing while rappelling or hanging from a building, scanning enemies with your drone, headshots, penetrating windows and other cover. It’s these little flourishes that will get you levelling quicker than the other players.


Pros go prone

The caveat here is be prepared to spring up and run if the shit goes down. But for defenders lying prone gives you a whole different view of things. You’ll be able to see under doors and improvised furniture cover. You can also see under that conveniently small drone-sized gap under reinforced doorways and blast enemies who try to blow a hole through when you see their boots.

A lot of attackers will only see the immediate obstacle in front of them, which is usually at waist or head height. Go prone next to one or two dead bodies and you’ll be hiding in plain sight


Breach rooms from multiple angles

This is where your drone reconnaissance really comes in handy. If you know there’s something or someone holed up in a room, the best way to approach is to attack from at least two different angles. Communicate to go through the window, floor, door or ceiling at the same time and split the defender’s concentration and fire. Use breaching charges on a wall or door to create a diversion while you smash through a window. And I can’t emphasise this enough: shoot through ceilings to the floor below while your enemy is targeting a more conventional approach. It gets them (almost) every time. Distract and conquer.


Create your own lines of sight

The maps in Rainbow Six: Siege are small but offer plenty of opportunities. Once you know the regular layouts, it’s time to think about creating you own lines of sight. You can not only blast through regular walls, but shoot through multiple surfaces. Try shooting through the windows of one room, through the far wall and out the other side. It’s these shots that will win you the game.

Think of the majority of the map as a shell. Doorways and open routes are nothing. Breaching charges are great, but you can also smash through some surfaces with the butt of your gun, and shoot through others with your weapon of choice. Open that playing field up.

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Change tactics between rounds

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Have a plan B, C, D and E for each round you play. Yes, the maps are small, but they’re really well crafted to offer plenty of alternative ways to play. Maybe it’s time the defenders went after the attackers instead of waiting around? Or is it time to set multiple booby traps rather than relying on your shooting skills? Remote kills can be just as satisfying.


Know your Operators

The Operators looks similar to begin with, and the armour and speed attributes are negligible: if you’re caught in a killzone there’s little you can do about it.

But each Operative’s special is something to consider. You get to play with a bunch of them during the Situations mode, but otherwise decide how you want to play. Ash’s Breach Launcher is great for blasting through walls and doors without having to get close. Doc is the only person who can revive downed teammates. Bandit’s CED can electrify barbed wire to knock out drones, or set traps on reinforced walls.

These specials are limited in use, but can be used to surprise and outsmart an enemy who’s just relying on heavy firepower.

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