Anchoring

Become a reliable ​anchor on defense

Introduction

What anchoring is

First, let us answer the fundamental question: What anchoring is?
 
Anchors are defenders’ last line of defense. Their main priority in Rainbow Six Siege is holding down the objective site (regardless of objective mode) for as long as possible.
Anchoring does not necessarily mean being physically in the room with an objective. An anchor can be located at an objective site or in a location with a line of sight on the site (most commonly adjacent room or room above objective).

Why defenders need anchors

To answer this question, let’s focus for a minute on the main objective of a defensive team.
The task of the defenders is to prevent attackers from either:
  • killing defending team
    OR
  • completing an objective within a given time frame
Therefore, your main goal is to waste the attackers’ time!
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Both anchors and roamers play a significant role in delaying offensive progress during the round.
Without anchors on the site, attackers can simply walk in and complete the objective or force roamers to retreat on attackers’ conditions.
At the beginning of the Siege’s life, almost everybody was anchoring as players did not know maps and tendencies. Hence people felt uncomfortable outside of the objective room.
Fast forward to 2019, and the prevailing trend is that people lean towards roaming too much – fewer people want to play anchor.
 
It is understandable as we tend to play FPS games for exciting action and flashy plays like getting aces and flanks. Anchors will often spend half or most of the round without seeing much of the action, so I understand why many people prefer roaming.
 
Bear in mind though that anchoring is just as crucial as roaming and the feeling of clutching the round when all hope seems lost, is second to none.

Anchoring operators

In most cases, best anchors are 1-speed operators who are the most durable and often can complement the anchoring role.
 
Rainbow Six Siege used to allow ACOG (2.5x magnification scopes) on 3-speed defensive operators. Then Ubisoft decided to give access to ACOG only to 3 armor & 1 speed defenders.
However, this changed with the Y5S3 patch which introduced new magnification scopes and removed ACOG from guns that are not DMR types of weapons. As a result, only TCSG12 has access to ACOG (Kaid & Goyo).
Now, many operators who tend to anchor have access to 1.5x scope.
 
Besides resistance to damage and access to magnifying scope, anchoring operators are often chosen due to the utility that supports anchoring on the site or is necessary during the final objective push.
Situational anchors
Non-anchors
  • Vigil
    I was on the edge while adding Vigil to this tier. His unique ability can be used on the site, as well. However, due to the nature of his utility and ability to confuse enemies while constantly changing location, I decided to classify him as a non-anchor operator.
 
Beside Caveira, every operator can be theoretically used as an anchor. 
2-speed & 2-armor operators not mentioned in the most effective list do not benefit from being on the site but are absolutely viable choices.
3-speed & 1-armor operators are best suited as roamers (besides situational benefits from the unique utility of Pulse and Bandit), but they can get the job done on the site if needed.

How to anchor

Basic anchoring (on-site) requires a minimal amount of map knowledge to get the job done.
What you need to know is:
  • where the attackers are likely to come from
  • which entrances & angles your teammates have covered
  • how to hold an angle
Therefore, anchoring is a recommended role on defense for new players without extensive experience and advanced map knowledge. Both of which are rather necessary for successful roaming.
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One of the main tips for this defensive role is: Anchors should not be overly aggressive. 
There are, of course, exceptions to this rule, but generally, you want to stay alive for as long as possible. When anchors die, roamers are put in a difficult situation where defenders have to retake the site unwillingly.
 
Additionally, remember that when playing defense time is your ally! Attackers have to push the site eventually. The less time they have, the more predictable the attack’s timing and its direction will be.
 
Unless spawn peeking, anchors should go on the cameras at the start of the round to help roamers. 
As the last line of defense, you are unlikely to be the first defender encountering attackers – that’s usually roamers’ job.
Tell your roamers which default cameras have been taken down. This may sound like useless intel feed, but in reality, it tells your team where attackers are and are not coming from.
You can also watch a camera close to the roamer. Just make sure to let teammates know which camera you watch and also when you stop watching it!
 
As in almost every guide, I recommend that you use your microphone to give call outs. Roamers’ job will be so much easier and more effective if they know when anchors are pushed, from where and by how many attackers.
Communication is key to success in Rainbow Six Siege!
 
Now, let’s go into details of two crucial aspects of anchoring, such as Holding angles and Peeking.

Holding angles

Holding angles means that you are keeping a line of sight, which enemy has to get into to shoot you.
 
Besides the below list of aspects to bear in mind, crosshair placement will be probably the most crucial factor when it comes to winning engagements while holding an angle.
Try to anticipate the vertical level on which the enemy’s head will appear in your sight. Eliminating the need for vertical crosshair adjustment increases your odds of winning a gunfight.
Predicting head level well is a difficult task. It requires a lot of practice. Just don’t get discouraged and keep this tip in mind when anchoring. With the right mindset, you will see improvements over time!
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Main rules for holding angles
  1. Angle held is uncommon and inconspicuous
    At the beginning of your journey with Siege, your biggest weakness may actually be one of the assets.
    What am I talking about? Lack of experience and tendencies.
    Over time players learn usual spots and hold angles that are used by others. On the one hand, this is beneficial as standard angles can be great spots. However, there is also a downside to using common angles – you may get pre-fired and become predictable.
    Just like basically in every other aspect of Rainbow Six Siege creativity and surprising an enemy are both great tools increasing your odds of winning the round.
    As you gain experience, try to think outside of the box and mix up angles.
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  1. The body is concealed as much as possible
    Make sure the body of your operator is as hidden behind obstacles as feasible. Least body parts exposed results in higher protection and an increased chance of surviving a gunfight.
  1. Not exposed to angles that you are not controlling
    Knowing which angle to hold safely and where enemies can hit you from comes with experience and map knowledge.
    If you are a new player to Rainbow Six Siege, do not be harsh on yourself and try to watch where the enemy killed you from. This way, you can learn and prevent recurrence of the same situation in the future.
  1. The enemy has to turn the corner
    This tip applies mainly to holding an angle on the door or window. The advantage arises thanks to the enemy having to identify your location and to take time to adjust his aim. Meanwhile, you know exactly where an enemy is and have little need for crosshair adjustment.

    Example: instead of holding angle standing in front of the window, stand on the side. This way, the enemy has to turn to the side after vaulting. Increases difficulty of hitting you and time needed to do so, giving you an advantage.

  1. Angle held is “tight.”
    Ideally, you want to hold an angle where the enemy has to put his head into your pre-placed crosshair to see you at all.
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  1. The farther from cover, the better
    This applies to both holding an angle and peeking. If you stay close to the cover and your enemy is farther, then in most cases they will see you first when peeking you. There are two reasons for such an advantage on their side: peeker’s advantage and perspective.

    As we discuss here holding an angle and the distance from cover, let me post two videos here that describe perspective and its impact on holding an angle.

First, is an excellent tutorial posted for CS: GO.
 
Rainbow Six Siege differs slightly in the perspective department as per my understanding due to leaning. However, leaning does not change all that much versus the above tutorial. This change adjusts your avatar’s model slightly to either direction and gives potential advantage in who sees who first, but rest should be relevant.
Second, is a tutorial made by Serenity17 a while back, which discusses the same concepts about Siege.
 
Please note that how leaning works has slightly changed since then, but general points remain correct.
Additionally, this video touches the topic of peeker’s advantage.
Peeking
Peeking is a vital aspect of FPS games, and Rainbow Six Siege is not an exception. Regardless of the role you play (well maybe beside shield operators), you will be peeking a lot as both attacker and defender.
Peeking is a technique of movement in Rainbow Six Siege thanks to which you attempt getting a quick view of a corner or an angle with the least possible exposure of your body or avoiding overly committing to the engagement.
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There are multiple techniques of peeking, but the main categorization I would like to mention is fast peeking and slow peeking.
In Rainbow Six Siege, you want almost always fast peek enemies. Peeking an enemy slowly should be used only if you wish to conceal your presence and sneak on enemies from behind.
Peeking fast means basically attempting to have a glance at the angle from behind the cover as quickly as possible. Less time spent exposing yourself to enemies results in less time given to your enemy to shoot you.
 
Additionally, peeking fast utilizes peeker’s advantage, which is basically your reaction time being reduced by other person’s latency, with the addition of impact from camera perspective in FPS games. Thorough Rainbow Six Siege lifecycle game has gone through changes in peeker’s advantage and its level of impact on the game. However, at its core Siege still favors the aggressive player who peeks, rather than the player who is being peeked.
Here’s a short and well-done video describing and showcasing peeker’s advantage:
Peeking in Rainbow Six Siege serves two main purposes: gathering intel and/or getting a kill.
You can peek exceptionally quickly with a focus on getting info about the enemy’s presence behind a particular corner and his position. The main objective of such a peek will not be getting a kill. This will come afterward when you peek the second time with a pre-placed crosshair on where you saw the enemy previously.
I recommend adapting below suggestions to increase your odds of winning gunfights while peeking:
  1. Pick as quickly and narrow as possible
    As mentioned above, try to give your enemy as little time possible to shot you while exposing the least of your hitboxes.
  2. Don’t re-peek when an enemy is pre-firing the peek
    Players regularly commit this mistake to peek an angle when an enemy is continuously shooting at your previous peek position. Instead of immediately re-peeking the same spot, either adjust your peek or peek once they stop shooting.
  1. Change head level for re-peeks
    This way, you increase uncertainty and need for adjustment (thus time) of the enemy’s crosshair placement, giving yourself an advantage, as well as the element of surprise.
  1. Re-peek at random time intervals
    The enemy will have a harder time guessing when will you peek again if you are not re-peeking at the same time intervals.
  1. Farther from cover = better
    Peeking while “hugging” the wall results in exposing your body to the enemy more and earlier than otherwise. This is due to camera placement in the middle of the body discussed earlier.

Anchors' gadgets

BEST UNIVERSAL GADGETS
  • Barbed wire
    A well-placed wire gives defenders advantage due to slowing down enemies by either impairing their movement speed or forcing them to spend utility/time to destroy wires, which also results in sound cues for defenders.
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  • Impact grenades
    It allows opening of new angles or rotation holes (almost always useful when playing bomb).
    From the two explosives available to defenders as a universal gadget, Impact grenade is superior for a quick hole opening.
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  • Nitro Cell
    Just like Impact grenades, C4 can be used to create rotational holes and new angles.
    Nitro is primarily used for killing attackers, especially useful against defuser plants and shield attackers. 
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Situational gadgets
  • Deployable Shield
    Aids anchors with providing additional cover, as well as allowing a safe view on the opposite side of the shield.
    Used to be the weakest gadget on the defensive side, but got buffed by the developer
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  • Bulletproof camera
    The bulletproof camera can be handy, but its effectiveness depends on many variables, such as teammates’ communication level or general defensive plan.

    You should know where you plan to place a camera to give your team an advantage beforehand. If you don’t, then you are probably better off picking either Barbed wires or explosives.

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  • Proximity Alarm
    The bulletproof camera can be handy, but
    A deployable device that emits a sound when enemies are within its line of sight and range.
    Great tool for intel-gathering and covering your flanks.

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Anchoring Community Videos

Instructional videos

Gameplay showcases

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