Rainbow Six Siege Operator tier ranks – the best and worst Attackers and Defenders

By Mitch Lineham
23 July 2018 15:57 GMT

Who are the best Operators in Rainbow Six Siege? We’re going to break them down, both Attackers and Defenders, and rank them from best to worst.

When it comes to new Rainbow Six Siege Operators, it’s hard to know who’s worth buying, isn’t it?

This list is based on their ability to work well with other Operators, their unique skill, and their loadout. Is Tachanka worthy of the nickname “Lord Tachanka”? We’re about to find out.

Rainbow Six Siege Attackers from best to worst


Sledge is a vital member of any good attacking team. While other Operators can bash down walls and pop through blow holes in floors, Sledge’s trusty sledgehammer doesn’t require ammunition. Being one of the fortunate Operators who’s able to carry frag grenades also makes Sledge perfect for a rush or surprise attack, and his unique ability can create new doors and opportune openings that anyone on the team can use. Sledge has a field day on Bartlett University which, unfortunately for the opposing team, consists of mostly wooden structures. He has medium speed and armour, so his sledgehammer isn’t slowing him down.


Sledge may be fantastic, but he’s unable to hammer his way through metallic walls. As long as there’s not a Mute on the opposing team to mess with your equipment, Thermite can place one of his Exothermic Charges and blast through a metal surface in seconds. Garage doors, reinforced walls, and Castle walls are no match for Thermite, and his presence on a team can make for a far easier time in breaching a secure room. He wears a pair of ridiculous goggles, but they don’t stop him from having both medium speed and armour. He’s a big lad, but he can get a move on when needed.


Thatcher goes hand in hand with Thermite as his EMP Grenade can interrupt any electronic equipment such as Mute’s Signal Disruptors and render them useless for the rest of the round. Defenders tend to have plenty of electronic equipment so having Thatcher around makes it easier for the entire team to breach a room and to use their own abilities. Thatcher is a team player, and his presence benefits the entire team greatly. There’s a trend here in that many of the best Attacking Operators have medium speed and armour.


Twitch’s two Shock Drones can take enemy electronics, such as Mute’s Signal Disruptors and Valkyrie’s Black Eye cameras, and she’s still useful despite a nerf taking away many of her Shock Drone’s opportunities to fire. Twitch can help her allies to use their abilities if they’re being blocked by electronics, and her Shock Drones double up as a camera which other players can see through. With a modest medium speed and armour, Twitch may be a pretty average Operator but her ability is among the best.


No one would say no to a good team-wide health boost, but Finka’s Adrenal Surge does so much more than that – the buff also allows allies to reload, recover from blinding and concussive gadgets and aim down their sights faster. Amazingly, it will even revive a downed teammate. Finka’s ability is so helpful to the entire team and can be triggered almost instantaneously, and she can use it three times per round for 20 seconds at a time. Finka’s medium speed and armour is nothing to sniff at either, and Finka is one of the best new Operators so far.


Dokkaebi is one of the newer Operators to Siege, but she has the handy ability to hack enemy cameras and phones. She can make their phones vibrate twice per match, forcing them to stay still to stop them from vibrating and revealing their position, and if an enemy falls she can hack their phone to gain access to all of their cameras. Dokkaebi’s medium speed and armour are decent, but it’s worth getting into a safe position before doing any hacking as she’s completely vulnerable whilst doing it.


Hibana is the perfect mix of Thermite and Ash in that she launches explosive rounds, known as X-KAIROS pellets, which can burn through metal surfaces. Their radius isn’t as large as Thermite’s, and they can be shot and interfered with, but Hibana is an excellent Operator who is handy in many situations. She has low armour but she’s super fast and, between her and Thermite, the two can breach a vast amount of walls and really put the opposing team on their toes.


Ash is an oldie but goldie, and she’s the favourite Operator of many players. Fast on her feet, Ash uses her M120 CREM to shoot Breaching Rounds through various surfaces. Something she has that Hibana and Thermite do not is a longer range with her Breaching Rounds which can be used to reach higher or further surfaces. They can even be used offensively against enemies, although this is a waste of a good Breaching Round. Ash has low armour, so she plays best from afar.


Ying’s Candelas are the best flashbang items in the game, and she’s able to anchor them to a surface or roll them along the floor. Once finished, they erupt into a series of devastating flashbangs which provide optimal time to lay siege to your enemies. Her speed and armour may be average, but that doesn’t matter when her enemies can’t see her coming. They’re immune to Mute’s Signal Disruptors too, meaning you can still stun your enemies even when normal flashbangs fail.


Capitão’s Tactical Crossbow comes with Micro Smoke Grenades and Asphyxiating Bolts, and the latter can wipe out multiple enemies. The Asphyxiating Bolts burn oxygen and create a massive flame which engulfs enemies, whilst the Micro Smoke Grenades provide a giant smoke screen. In a game where friendly fire is always on, enemies will have to think twice about whether they want to blindly shoot through it. Capitão is fast but has low armour, and his bolts are best used in small areas.


Wish you knew where your enemies were? Well, with Lion, you can! That is if your enemies move whilst Lion’s EE-ONE-D is active. This drone is floating high in the sky all match and it can be used twice, but it does give a brief warning to the opposing team before it takes effect. If they move during the time it’s active, it’ll make their position known to everyone. It’s easy to dodge but, if you’re laying down the pressure, many Defenders will feel as if they must move. The EE-ONE-D can be used strategically and knowing where the enemy team are is always helpful. Lion has medium speed and armour.


Similar to Lion, Jackal is all about revealing the position of enemies. Armed with his Eyenox Model III, Jackal can track footprints – it’s safe to use, too, as the footprints are colour coded, with red being that they’ve been in your immediate vicinity very recently. The tracking isn’t constant, but it does come in waves, and your entire team can see where they are whilst it’s active. The footprints are erased when a Defender falls, so you won’t accidentally track the fruitless footprints. Jackal has medium speed and armour.


Fuze is a tricky one because whilst his Cluster Charges are explosive and have the potential to wipe out the entire enemy team, he’s rendered painfully purposeless when the Defenders have a decent team makeup. He’s a bulky boy who can take a lot of damage, but Fuze’s true potential relies on him being able to successfully use his three Cluster Charges – without them, he’s a wasted spot on the team.


Blitz was a laughable choice just a few months ago but since his buff he’s become faster and can run with his shield up, and this makes him deadly. He can stun enemies and he has a pressure game like no other, being able to quickly storm any distance with the least risk. His weakness is in his only weapon, a handgun, which isn’t all that strong. He’s also left vulnerable when reloading. Blitz has medium speed and armour, and he’s personally my most played Attacker Operator – it hurts to put him so far down on this list!


Zofia’s special ability doubles as two – her KS79 LIFELINE grenade launcher can launch Impact Grenades and Concussion Grenades. She doesn’t need to reload either as all of the grenades are superposed, and can be launched in rapid succession. Zofia ranks low because it’s easy to miss or be shot whilst using the KS79 LIFELINE, and they don’t do much damage or have a wide impact radius. She’s decent, but not among the best. Zofia has medium speed and armour and, like her sister Ela, she recovers from concussive effects twice as fast as other Operators.


IQ has a cool ability but it’s not as useful as it sounds. IQ uses her Electronics Detector to – you guessed it – detect electronics such as Kapkan’s traps and Valkyrie’s cameras. She has to switch to her sidearm when using her Electronics Detector and whilst this can be a life-saver, it’s too situational and can often be useless depending on who the opposing team has chosen. She runs very fast but has one of the lowest armour levels in the game, but she also has wonderful purple shoes.


Montagne has a giant, impenetrable shield, but he has to lower it to shoot with a weak handgun or high recoil revolver. His best options are to act as a moving shield for his allies to stand behind, but on his own he struggles to be useful – and nobody likes seeing a Montagne standing in the corner and dragging a game out indefinitely. As you’d expect of someone with a giant shield, Montagne has one of the lowest speeds but also one of the highest armour levels.


Buck’s unique ability is to switch to his weapon’s underbarrel shotgun to either blast away enemies or blow open holes in vulnerable structures. Whilst useful, he’s not quite as good as the likes of Sledge, Ash, and Hibana, and his medium speed and armour doesn’t make him excel as someone who can go on ahead alone. Worst of all, Buck’s special ability comes across as the least special considering that shotguns and explosives are a dime a dozen.


Blackbeard has one of the more selfish abilities and, due to a series of nerfs, the shields he can place on his gun are both easy to penetrate and they don’t benefit the team. A very good Blackbeard player may be able to make a winning play with him and his shields, but his ability fails to shine when compared with other Attackers. He was once a force to be reckoned with, but now he only takes a couple more shots to go down like any other Operator. Blackbeard only has medium speed and armour, and he’d be a lot more viable if he had full armour and his shields.


Glaz isn’t a bad Operator but his ability doesn’t benefit the team as well as those before him, and he’s far from the best Operator to have as the last man standing. A heavy reliance on smoke bombs to make the best use of his thermal scope, a lack of a powerful or automatic sidearm and a playstyle that encourages staying outside rather than storming the building means that he’s generally separated from the team – rarely a good thing in Siege. He does excel on the Presidential Plane map though as he’s able to shoot through the windows where no other Operators can.

Rainbow Six Siege Defenders from best to worst


Rook places armour kits for every member of the team, and these give you the ability to go down on a shot that otherwise would’ve killed. The only issue is relying on your teammates to actually pick up his armour kits, and this is amplified when you’re not on mic to communicate.


The doctor’s in, and he’s one of Siege’s best Defenders. He can shoot one of his three healing darts to either heal himself or his teammates, and he’s able to revive those who are down. This gets allies up faster and can be done from a distance, and this incredibly helpful skill can turn the tables and bring forth victory. He’s also armed with a P90 which shoots quick and takes out enemies quicker.


Those pesky tools being used against you are no match for Mute as he can place his Signal Disruptors down to block any incoming electronics. They can be destroyed by gunfire but, a lot of the time, these are invaluable items which can prevent your location from being revealed as well as stopping many Operators’ offensive abilities. His ability is one of the best at defending a room and its people, but it’s absolutely gutting when a Twitch takes out your Signal Disruptors before you even get going.


The Attacking team has plenty of devastating skills to use, and Jäger is the first line of defence in preventing any casualties. Jäger’s Active Defense System will intercept grenades, flashbangs and more as they’re thrown into the room. They won’t catch everything and a highly coordinated attack team can throw through enough explosives to get through the ADS, but it’s a whole lot better than nothing. He has high speed but low armour.


Caveira is a must have for any team. Stealth is Caveira’s game and she uses her Silent Step skill to run around soundlessly, and this works in conjunction with her handgun which downs rather than kills. When she’s over a downed enemy, she can interrogate them to find out the position of their allies. Matched with her high speed, Caveira is one of the scariest Operators to go against. She has low armour though, and isn’t too hard to win against in a gunfight.


Valkyrie has three Black Eyes – cameras – which she can throw anywhere. Walls, pipes and even outside, Valkyrie’s cameras are hard to spot but they can give you a peek at enemies where normal cameras are easily spotted and destroyed. She would benefit from higher than medium speed to better place and move her cameras outside the prepping stage of the round, but her medium armour will hopefully protect her from being downed when placing her cameras.


Lesion has 8 Gu mines – which is a lot – and they become available during the round. They cloak themselves once deployed and, once stepped on, enemy Operator’s will take continuous damage and be unable to run until they’ve stopped to remove the Gu. Although these will usually only affect one Operator, if one steps on it in close proximity of another then they’ll both become affected. Lesion has medium speed and armour, and he is vital in stopping a rush attack or in catching Operators by surprise. Lesion’s presence allows IQ to truly shine.


Ela became a quick favourite at reveal thanks to her green hair, and her Grzmot Mines can stick to anything – anything at all. Once an opponent walks close enough to one, it’ll explode and greatly disorientate them. She keeps a spare one for when she’s downed, providing a chance for her allies to lay down fire and save her. She’s one of the fastest Operators in the game and, despite her low armour, she’s able to hold her own with her just-as-fast Scorpion EVO 3 A1 Submachine gun. Another handy tip to know about Ela is that she recovers from concussion effects twice as fast, just like her sister Zofia does, thanks to her training with her own concussive mines.


Mira’s name gives the game away as she’s able to place her two Black Mirrors on walls to allow her team to observe enemies where they couldn’t before. They’re bulletproof and cannot be seen through, but if the gas tank on the back of it is blown up then the glass shatters. Mira can place this at crouching and standing level, and a good trick is to place it on a reinforced wall but next to a non-reinforced wall, so you can shoot through it at your enemies once they arrive. Mira has heavy armour but low speed.


Smoke’s Gas Grenades or, as he calls them, toxic bags, can be thrown and later detonated when he sees fit. They will damage and potentially kill anyone who steps into the deadly gas clouds whether they’re friend or foe. Communication is key with Smoke but his Gas Grenades are too useful to go without, and they can stop an enemy team from storming the room during pivotal moments of the game. Smoke has medium speed and armour, and another cool thing about him is that opponents under the effects of Finka’s Adrenal Surge will take double damage if they come into contact with the gas as they breathe rapidly during its effect.


Frost’s Welcome Mats may be easy to spot and avoid, but they are able to prevent enemy Operators from storming a room without thinking. Once someone jumps on one, they’re instantly downed and left to the prey of the Defending team. These can only be placed on solid flooring such as under windows or by doorways, and they can be deactivated with gunfire or various Attacker abilities. The Welcome Mats can be the team’s ace in the hole if they’re left undetected though. Frost has medium speed and armour.


Bandit’s Shock Wires can be placed on all metallic gadgets including reinforced walls, barbed wire and deployable shields, and coming into contact with them will damage friend and foe alike. It will stop enemies from interacting with the walls though, so Operators like Thermite will be out of luck unless the Shock Wire is deactivated, and they will even destroy many tools including drones and breach charges. Bandit’s fast but his armour is low.


Kapkan used to be better than he is now, but a series of nerfs has done him dirty. His Entry Denial Devices used to be more obvious thanks to a red laser and whilst that has been removed so they’re harder to spot, they also don’t instantly kill anymore – they don’t always down, either. With so many Defenders to pick from, many of who have offensive gear, Kapkan is better replaced with the likes of Lesion or Frost. There are several counters to rendering his skill useless, and his medium armour and speed doesn’t quite make up for it. I may be harsh on one of the game’s earlier revered Operators, but sadly he’s not what he once was.


Pulse can spot where other players are by using his Heartbeat Sensor to, well, sense heartbeats. He’s vulnerable whilst he has this out and they have to be quite close for it to pick anything up, so he’s an easy target. It can be useful though, especially with the game’s mark system, and a good Pulse can be devastating. He’s not quite as popular as he used to be though, with his Heartbeat Sensor being outdone by newer Operators. He’s fast so he can get the drop on incoming enemies, but if he’s caught out then his low armour isn’t going to help him.


Echo has 2 Yokai – hovering drones which can stick to ceilings and other flat vertical services (such as the underside of a table) and become invisible. They can be freely moved about unless they’re attached to a flat surface, and they shoot ultrasonic bursts to greatly disorientate enemies. They can still be spotted by their translucent forms and all it takes is one bullet to put it out of commission, and they’re not quite as useful as Valkyrie’s Black Eyes. Echo has low speed and high armour, and he leave himself vulnerable when he’s operating the Yokai.


Maestro is similar to Valkyrie in that he has cameras he can place, but his Compact Laser Emplacements can only fit to a solid surface. They’re bulletproof and melee-proof but they become vulnerable when they shoot their laser, and the laser doesn’t do quite enough damage to justify the risk. They can be destroyed with explosives and other abilities such as Sledge’s hammer and Ash’s Breaching Rounds. The “Evil Eyes” can see through smoke, but Maestro has become painfully redundant since the inclusion of Bulletproof Cameras as part of many Operator’s loadouts. Maestro has low speed but high armour, so hopefully his cameras won’t outlive him.


Castle’s ability shone brighter when there were fewer Operators, but now there are so many who can destroy his walls that they’ve dwindled into almost an unwanted ability. Castle can cause more harm than good by laying his Armour Panels in doorways and preventing allies from making a quick escape. Allies can remove them but a poorly placed one can get you killed, and you can’t shoot through one if you hear a rappelling enemy – it’s a field day for Fuze! Like many other Operators, Castle has medium speed and armour.


Alibi uses her Prisma to create decoys of herself, but these very rarely work due to how static they are. They may trick you at first glance, but you’re unlikely to be caught out by one for more than a couple of seconds, and you don’t need to get nearby to one to get rid of it and so it’s difficult to coax an enemy out with one. Alibi has high speed and low armour, and sadly one of the least interesting abilities in the game.


Vigil can be interchanged with Tachanka as his ability is a far cry from how great Caveira’s is. Vigil uses his ERC-7 Video Disruptor to hide himself on cameras, but his position is somewhat given away due to visual interference which shows that he’s nearby – he can also be heard. Vigil is fast but has low armour, and several Operators including IQ, Jackal, Thatcher and Twitch can interfere with his ERC-7. He’s a tad more useful with the introduction of bulletproof cameras, but he’s not a worthy pick over many other Operators.


Oh, Tachanka. You may be known as Lord Tachanka, but no one is picking you to play a serious game. He can take more damage thanks to his high level of armour, but his low speed makes it hard to run away when he comes under fire behind his mounted machine gun. He can place a Deployable Shield in front of himself to cover himself from direct attacks, but the mounted machine gun’s recoil and lack of high damage deliver a far from impressive Operator. He may be well-loved and good fun to play in a casual or private match, but you’ll very rarely see Tachanka in ranked play.

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