R6 Siege
Beginner Guides: Defensive Basics

Learn the basics of setting up a defense in Rainbow Six Siege!

Introduction

Rainbow Six Siege is a game with an extremely high number of variables. Therefore, the below article is not meant to be used as a set stone guide for every map and objective.
 
Instead, consider this guide as an overview for mainly new players on how to set up basics defensively as a squad.
If you wish to learn more about specific aspects of defending in Rainbow Six Siege, then I recommend visiting other defense-related guides on our website.

Operators setup

  • roamers – 1-2
  • anchors – 3-4
Teams of new players tend to neglect roamers, which is natural behavior given a lack of map knowledge.
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We recommend that you try to have at least 1 roamer every round in Rainbow Six Siege even when you do not feel that comfortable roaming deeply around the map.
Having all defenders on-site allows attackers to surround objective and push defenders decisively, with full focus on completing an objective.
Even 1 roamer can have a positive impact on the round.
 
Conversely, do not ignore a need to have anchors present on the site.
Anchors are, just like roamers, a vital component necessary to consistently winning on defense!

Goals on Defense

The defensive team’s task in R6 Siege is to prevent attackers from either killing the 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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How you waste enemy’s time depends on your role:
 
Roamers tend to harass attackers from the beginning of the round and be the aggressive force of defense.

Anchors, on the other hand, usually play more passively on objective, waiting for attackers push on the site.

Often, when prioritizing kills, we can get a little bit too greedy and die early in the round.
Early deaths can be detrimental to the team’s success and are definitely not ideal from our goal perspective.

Should you be passive instead? No, that’s not what I am recommending here. What I advocate for is a paradigm shift of mindset and priorities as a defender in Rainbow Six Siege.

Mindset: Instead of flashy late-round flank, force attackers to come for you before going for the objective.

Priorities: Instead of going for a risky peek as an anchor, focus on delaying the final objective push by holding an advantageous angle.

I still recommend to go for aggressive plays and to harass attackers from the early stages of the round. Just try to do so with the end goal of delaying push first in mind, getting kills second. Rather than getting kills first and foremost.
Finding the right balance between being aggressive and passive in Rainbow Six Siege won’t be an easy task and will require some time!

Reinforcements

Reinforcements can be placed on soft walls (can be breached) and hatches.
Once reinforced, the surface can be breached only by:
  • Hard Breachers
    or
  • Hard Breach charge – a new universal gadget

Thus, reinforcements significantly limit offensive options for opening new angles and traversable holes.

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Since the Y5S3 patch, the number of reinforcements that can be deployed by an operator is no longer limited to 2.
Instead, the limit is imposed on the team reinforcements – 10.
What it means is that one defender could potentially deploy 10 reinforcements.
 
As a total of reinforcements is limited on R6 Siege defensive team, I recommend focusing on:
  1. Wall(s) leading to exteriors
    In most cases, such walls are the most essential part of reinforcements.

    External walls are the primary focus of attackers for breaching as they give the most significant advantage over defenders.

  1. Hatches above objective
    If your team is going to anchor from the objective room, then reinforcing the hatch above it is a crucial aspect. Vertical control is an essential aspect of winning in Rainbow Six Siege.
    An exception to reinforcing such hatch is when your team intends to hold objective from above – a more advanced way of setting up a defense, not a recommended tactic for inexperienced teams.
  1. Remaining objective walls
    Some sites, especially when playing bomb mode, have more soft walls (can be reinforced) than defenders can reinforce. Once the first 2 priorities are secured, use available reinforcements on remaining objective walls. Focus on locations close to building entrances or areas you are not intending to cover!
  1. If playing bomb, do not reinforce between objectives
    This is rather a not-to-do tip, but extremely important as reinforcing between bombs is the most common mistake new players do.
    It is counter-intuitive, I get it, but you will lose rounds because of that.

    Such reinforcement placement will result in limiting defenders’ ability to retake bombsite once attackers have any sort of control over it. Attackers can simply watch 1-2 entrances and wait for defenders to get into their line of sight.

Positioning

Positioning is an act of placement. In Rainbow Six Siege this can refer to both operator or utility. In this section, I will focus on describing where you should position yourself during the round.
 
Positioning will depend on role defender has so lets split this section into two categories: anchors and roamers.
Roamer's positioning
As a roaming defender in R6 Siege, you have flexibility in choosing your position. Unlike anchors, your position is going to change frequently during the round, so don’t get attached to it.
 
The excellent starting position for a roamer is a location where attackers may enter the building. Such a place is especially beneficial if you intend to disrupt their entrance and get potentially a pick or two on careless entry fraggers.
 
Another tactic can be trying to conceal your location by hiding in an uncommon spot far from objective and closing on attackers as the round progresses.
 
Remember to try to close the gap between you and objective as round timer gets closer to the end.
Roamer positioned the entire round on the other side of the map does not support the defensive team. Unless of course entire attacking squad is focused on you and not the objective, then you’ve done your job well!
Anchor's positioning
Your position in Rainbow Six Siege will revolve around an objective site.
As an anchor, you want to be at the objective or have a line of sight on it.
 
When choosing your favored position, consider the following aspects:
  • To how many angles am I exposed?
    The lower the number of angles you have to watch, the better.
  • Can I change the position if pushed?
    Getting stuck in a location with a single exit that can be easily cut off by attackers is not the best position for an anchor in Rainbow Six Siege.
  • Do you have access to the remaining entry points of the objective?
    Most objectives have 2+ entry points, from which attackers can push it. Consider your potential to react quickly if attackers push direction not covered by you
  • Which spot is covered by my teammates?
    In most cases, covering different angles by defenders is a better idea than having multiple defenders watching the same entry point.
    An exception, of course, being situations when you know where the remaining attackers are pushing from.
Carrier denial exception
If you are playing defuse bomb game mode in R6 Siege, and you or your teammate happens to kill the defuser carrier, you should shift strategy towards defending the defuser.
 
Without picking up the defuser, attackers are unable to complete the objective unless they kill your entire squad.
 
Therefore, if you are a defender who killed the carrier, do the following:
  • Call it out!
    Let your teammates know that you’ve got a defuser so that they can adjust accordingly. Such should be done with verbal info, as well as ping or location info on defuser

  • Set yourself up with a line of sight on the defuser
    Do not stand on the defuser, but put yourself in a spot where attackers will not see you easily, while you can keep an eye on the defuser
  • set up traps on the defuser
    Operators like Lesion and Ela can set up their utility on the defuser. As a result, it will provide the defensive team with heads up about defuser status and set an ambush on attacker attempting to retrieve defuser

Just try to bear in mind that some locations of defuser being dropped are not worth shifting the entire strategy towards it!

Universal Utility

Primary defensive utility
Primary gadgets are versatile tools that are widely considered as the best defensive universal utility in Rainbow Six Siege. Those devices should be picked unless the defensive team requires secondary universal gadgets for specific reasons or tactics.
  • Nitro Cell  – 1-2
    The best counter to shield attackers or to prevent the defuser plant.
    Hold on to C4s until you can throw them at attackers. 
    Not beneficial to be pre-placed, unless vertically for C4 from below.
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  • Barbed wire – 2-3
    Wires should be placed in locations where they can impact attackers mostly and reliably, such as:
    • objective entrances
    • choke points, such as narrow corridors or stairways
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  • Impact grenades – 1-2
    Impacts are mainly useful for:
      • creating rotation holes on the objective for bomb mode
      • roamers who can utilize them to create new avenues or escape routes.

    Additionally, impact grenades can be used to:
      • finish downed enemies when a clear line of sight is unavailable
      • kill damaged shield operators
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Secondary defensive utility
Gadgets in this list should be picked if necessary for a specific tactic or if primary gadgets are unavailable for the desired operator.
  • Deployable Shield – 0-1
    A hip-high shield that is deployable on flat surfaces. It can be used to protect from gunfire & explosives, as well as an obstacle for attackers to cross locations.
    Best to use the shield for:
      • create hard to deal with angle – when placed close to the doors or other obstacle, shields can provide with a lot of cover and a possibility to quick peek attackers
      • the obstacle at the entrance – shields can be used to force the attacker into vaulting over a doorway.
    Such placement combines very well with Frost as she can place a trap right behind a shield.
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  • Proximity Alarm – 0-1
    A deployable alarm device that emits a sound when attackers are within its line of sight and range.
    Great tool for covering your back to prevent a sneaky flank from attackers.

    Additionally, Proximity alarm frees up resources and mental space to focus on specific angles and locations
Rainbow Six Siege gadget - Proximity Alarm
  • Bulletproof camera – 0-1
    Best placed on walls that allow the camera to give either:

      • a long line of sight
      • important information, such as objective entrances
    However, try to place them in locations that are not easily accessible to attackers.
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Unique Utility

This list intends to give you a default priority list that you can use when deciding on placing unique utility.
 
In case you want to learn more about specific operators and how to use their utility optimally, we recommend visiting our guides section dedicated to operators.
TRAPS
  1. Objective entrances.
    This is the most common place where defenders set their utility, and it is for a reason.

Why?

    • The highest chance for attackers to trigger a trap
    • Chokepoints
    • Even when spotted, gives an advantage
    • Effective versus early rushes and late pushes
The downside of such placement?
  • Predictable
    More careful and experienced opponents will try to ensure the objective entrance is cleared from any defensive utility before pushing it (by i.e., shooting Ash breaching round).
  • Exposure of the trap to be spotted
    In many cases, attackers will spend a significant amount of time starring at the objective entrance before crossing it. As a result, traps are more likely to be spotted.
  1. The area you intend to play.
    Such placement can give you an advantage as your own traps will provide you with:
  • intel
  • advantage in gunfight
  • flank prevention
Breach Denial
Breach denial utility is designed to prevent attackers from creating an opening in reinforced walls or hatches.
Therefore, the priority of this utility category follows the preferences we set for reinforcements:

  1. Walls leading to an exterior area
  2. Hatches above objective (Kaid)
  3. Other reinforced objective walls.

Usually, walls close to building entrances are strong positions for attackers, as well as areas left unattended by the defensive team.

ANTI-INTEL
Anti-Intel means preventing attackers from gathering information, which is usually obtained by utilizing drones.
Therefore, the best locations to plant drone denial devices are:
  1. Objective entrances.
  2. Stairways.
  3. Other doorways & drone holes.
INTEL GATHERING
Placing intel-gathering tools such as Yokai drones or Valk cameras is not as straight forward as some other utility placement.
 
Instead of giving you exact location types, I would rather focus on the thought process.
Rainbow Six Siege Echo drone showcase
When deciding on where to put your utility, ask yourself the following questions:
  • What intel will I gain?
    Think about the type of intel you can get from such placement. Black Eye placed in objective will give you information about attackers’ push and defuser plant.

    On the other hand, the camera placed farther from objective, but in the commonly utilized area can give you information about the direction of attack and possibilities for flanks and aggressive runouts.
  • How hard is it to counter?
    Placing Yokai drone in a location where attackers will spend a significant portion of time during the round can give the most intel, but can be the easiest one to counter. 
  • How much area will it cover?
    Consider the number of angles and size of the area that your utility will cover.

    Valkyrie’s camera placed outside of the building, covering multiple approach directions from attackers can be extremely beneficial.
  • How hard will my utility be to spot?
    You want to conceal your intel-gathering tools as much as possible. Black Eye camera placed in an area with tons of environmental elements will be significantly harder to spot than one set in the middle of an empty bright room.
ADS
Active Defense Systems available to Jäger are used to prevent throwables, such as stun grenades, frag grenades, etc. from harming a defensive squad.
Therefore, this utility is best placed at:
  1. Anchoring position.
  2. Objective entrances.
Important to note: place them behind obstacles to separate ADS from angle accessible easily to attackers. By doing so, you will prevent attackers from shooting your ADS easily.

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