Rainbow Six Siege is an intimidating game to get into, especially now that many players have a few years of experience under their belts. If you're starting out now, it's likely that a lot of the matches you get into are going to be full of players that have hundreds, if not thousands of hours of playtime. You can look at this one of two ways: it could intimidate you and scare you off of learning the game, or you could take every match where you're being outplayed as a learning experience.
That being said, that doesn't mean there aren't some things you can learn here and now. Getting a head start never hurt anybody... probably. So, let's discuss 10 things that we wish we would've known before starting Rainbow Six Siege.
One of the things to focus on that is probably going to have the most immediate positive impact on your play is improving how you use your drones. Drones are the holy givers of invaluable intel in Siege, and intel is the most valuable currency in the game. On Attack, you have two drones at your disposal you can drive around, and they give you an incredible amount of information about the enemy team.
Use drones to check the building entry point you're going to use. Use drones to check for traps on the way forward so you don't have to later. Use drones to figure out the enemy lineup. Use drones. All. The. Time.
9 Destructible Environments
One of the things that make Siege stand out in the FPS market is the close-quarters, heavily destructible environments. Most of the walls in Siege can be entirely destroyed, and most of the ceilings and floors can be opened enough to be shot through, at the very least. This means you need to not only be aware of who is in the room that you're currently in, but who's above, below, or adjacent to you, as well. Make use of the destruction, and use it to catch enemies off-guard.
8 Your Favorite Operator Has A Counter (Probably)
Just about every single operator in Siege has a rival that is going to be more difficult to take down because their gadget is going to make it tough for you to use your gadget. This kind of counter-play is pivotal in Siege, and getting to know your opponent and figuring out which operators they're likely to pick, is crucial to success.
Just for a couple of examples, Montagne has a counter in both Lesion and Smoke, with their ability to cause damage regardless of his shield. However, both IQ and Thatcher are counters to Lesion because they can both take care of his poison without much hassle.
7 Operator Speeds Hint At Your Role
Different operators are obviously going to accel at different things, and, if you're new to the game and unsure what exactly the job is of your operator, a good indicator is usually their speed vs. armor rating. 3-speed operators are generally intended to move around the map throughout the match, trying to gain or keep control of crucial areas that are outside objective.
On Defense, these players are usually called roamers. Most of the time, 3-speed Defenders are meant to be anchors, which means they typically stay close to the objective and hold crucial sightlines. It gets a little more difficult to use the speed metric to parse the strength of an Attacker; that's where it's usually better to take a look at their gadget and go from there.
6 Play The Whole Map
Newer players in Siege tend to get tunnel vision for the objective. And, hey, there are worse things you could be doing! Playing the objective is crucially important to Siege, but the most effective path towards accomplishing that usually means gaining map control incrementally on Attack or keeping a decent portion of the map covered on Defense.
As an Attacker, it's important to either get rid of enemy roamers or at least cut off their rotations lanes with claymores or Nomad's Airjabs so you have some warning of their presence. As a Defender, placing all five players in the objective room is a recipe for a disaster of the highest order. Get a nice mix of roamers and anchors on the team and try to keep crucial sightlines and rooms locked down.
5 Map Knowledge Is Everything
Related to playing the whole map, in Siege, knowing the map is 90% of the battle. You can't effectively play the whole map if you don't know that map very well, so getting a working understanding of the maps is crucial.
Not only is simply knowing where each room is and where each hallway leads essential, but knowing which walls can be opened and where that new hole leads to, as well as always being aware of the floors above and below you, are all absolutely integral information. This is what's probably going to take longer than anything else in Siege to learn, considering there's quite the wealth of maps now. But, it's also what's going to make one of the biggest differences.
4 Vertical Play
As mentioned above, vertical play is incredibly important, and it's something that can make the difference between being a good player in Siege and being a great player. Knowing what room/hallway is above or below you in Siege can give you an immense edge, considering most of the ceilings/floors can be shot through or completely opened up. Sometimes, defending an objective site from above can be as effective as defending it from inside the room itself. Sometimes the quickest way to get rid of a good anchor is by shooting straight up from the floor below.
Operators that excel at vertical play are Sledge, Buck, Pulse, or anybody with a shotgun. In a pinch, breach charges can also open up some nice sightlines.
3 Headshots Are Always Lethal
This is likely something you don't need to have explained to you, but it still is vitally important to keep in mind. It doesn't matter what kind of gun it is, if you hit someone in the head in Siege, they will die. This is why, in general, weapons with a higher rate of fire are highly regarded in this game, but that doesn't mean they're always the better choice. If you have trouble with the recoil on a high rate of fire weapon, it's probably better to pick a gun with which you're going to land your shots as opposed to a gun that's a bullet-hose but hits nothing but the wall behind your enemy.
2 Develop Your Game Sense
Game sense is this somewhat ethereal, nearly undefinable term, but what it really comes down to is having a lot of knowledge about Siege. Have you ever wondered why an older, less athletic athlete might still outperform a younger, more accomplished athlete? Well, the more you play, the more tactics you're going to see, and the experience you're going to have.
This is true in any competitive arena, including Siege. After a while, you'll begin to recognize tactics, you'll get a feel for what opponents are going to do, and you'll start making decisions based on instinct instead of conscious thought. And, typically, once you hit that stage, the decisions you're making are pretty good ones.
1 You Probably Aren't Going To Be Good For A While (And That's Okay)
Bottom line is this: Rainbow Six Siege is an incredibly challenging game. It's not a place that you'll probably have a lot of success in for quite a while, but that's alright! It's no reason to be discouraged. All of us took our lumps in Siege in the early going, but, if you can power through, and if you're willing to learn and be humbled, it's going to be an incredibly rewarding experience unlike many others. Not much worth having was earned overnight. Good luck.