Mindset

Start with your approach to improvement in Rainbow Six Siege

“A goal without a plan is just a dream"

- Brian Tracy

Introduction

Some might question the necessity of focusing on mindset to improve in Rainbow Six Siege.
The usual main focus point of improvement in FPS games is mechanical skills, especially aim.
I believe that mental training and preparation is just as necessary as physical.
Let me ask you a question: 
Are you more likely to improve by first defining goals and deciding how you will reach them, or not?
 
Setting goals and working on our attitude is crucial. Those two aspects define our approach to any challenge, which in turn determines the outcome of our actions and level of success we reach.
 
Generally, to accomplish my goals and enjoy the process, I try first to define:
  • What type of person/player am I?
  • What’s my goal, and why?
  • What systems can help me achieve goals?
 
Of course, this guide focuses on the mindset for self-improvement, specifically in Rainbow Six Siege. 
However, if you find it useful in improving your approach in Siege, then nothing stops you from applying similar principles to other areas of your life.
 
Below points are my techniques on how I handle areas of life where I strive towards improvement. Application of this approach helped me with lowering frustration, creating and reaching my own goals and (maybe most importantly) enjoying the process.
If you have the ways that work well for you – fantastic, keep doing what works best for you!

Definition

The central aspect of getting the right mindset for improvement begins by looking at ourselves and defining who we are.
If you do not know who and where you currently are, how can you know where you want to go and how to reach it?
So ask yourself first following questions and see how much you know yourself as a Siege player.
  1. What type of player are you?
    • Skill level
      What is your general skill level as an FPS player?
       
    • Take pleasure in?
      What brings you the most joy when playing team-based games and FPS shooters.
      Some of us may enjoy having flashy plays, others like the feeling of winning close matches.
       
      Example: I enjoy most supporting my teammates and feeling of playing as a cohesive unit.
       
    • Annoyed most by?
      Which aspect that needs improvement impacts your mood the most.
      Example: The feeling of teammates playing for themselves and not improving in any area during my playtime.
       
    • How can I get more goodies and fewer baddies?
      Define actions you can take to increase the odds of having more what you indicated in the pleasure section and minimize the impact of annoying factors.
       

      Example: Playing with similar people who have the same mindset to me.

  2. Strengths
    • What are my strengths?
      Think which attributes of capable Siege player you already possess.
      Such traits can be either mechanical or mental.

      Example: Remaining calm in clutch situations, patience, and giving callouts.

    • How can I play to my strengths?
      Decide how can you increase the value of your strengths.
       
      Example: Anchoring/Intel gathering on defense and playing support roles on the attack.
       
  3. Areas for improvement
    • What are my weaknesses?
      Similarly to strengths can be either mechanical or mental.
       
      Example: My aim can be potato, lack of consistency & not too good at rushing.
       
    • Which weakness causes the most trouble?
      The one that hinders your progress the most and causes poor performance.
       
      Example: Consistency.
       
    • Which weakness is easiest to eliminate?
      Some weaknesses can depend on multiple factors, but usually, there is at least one con that you should be able to avoid or improve relatively quickly.
       
      Example: Rushing.
       
    • How can I lower the impact of weaknesses?
      Think of actions that you can take to minimize the negative influence of your weaknesses.
       
      Example: Not playing operators who require good aim to be useful at all, like Glaz, or avoiding being rusher.
       
  4. Engagement level
    • How significant is the improvement in Siege to me?
      All of us treat Siege differently. Some people will enjoy it by only playing the game, others may care a bit more and want to improve, while some of us want to become pros.
       
      Example: Sufficiently to improve steadily over time, but not planning to become pro.
       
    • How much effort am I willing to put?
      Ask yourself how much time and energy you are willing to invest in Rainbow Six Siege and developing yourself as a player.
       

      Example: Currently not dedicating a significant portion of free time for this game.

      The answer to both engagement questions is essential for being able to define realistic goals.
      We should not expect significant improvements without major investment!

Goals

This step is a natural progression from the first point as thinking about answers to the mentioned questions is a prerequisite on the road to defining your own, personal, and independent goals.

First, let’s focus on why setting the right goals is essential even in online computer games.
Having inadequate goals to reality is a recipe for frustration, anger, and lack of joy.
On the other hand, goals will help you improve and make your life easier.
 
How do goals help?
Goals help us thanks to two excellent perks they bring, which are:
  1. Goals increase your effort
    People who are goal-oriented simply put more effort into achieving their goals than people who do not have a goal. It is quite logical if you think about it. It is hard to put a lot of effort into something undefined.
  2. Goals simplify your decisions
    Rainbow Six Siege, just like any other area of life, is constant forks on the road. Every match, every action or conversation with your team, you will face decisions (those small and those bigger ones). Goals simplify the decision-making process.
    With goals, you do not have to weight all the facts, pros and cons versus your current mood to make the decision of how to respond to certain situations.
 
What are quite common priorities that are toxic for a regular player?
  •  You may want to be a diamond
  •  You may want to flick like your favorite YouTuber or streamer
  •  Perhaps you want to be a top fragger on your team
 
On the other hand:
  • Is it possible to enjoy Siege while in Bronze rank?
  • Can we be frustrated even when winning more than losing?
  • Can we feel accomplished while being on the bottom of the team ladder with the least kills?
I believe the answer to all the above is: yes.
 
 
So ask yourself:
  • What do I want to achieve when playing Siege?
  • How long will it take for me?
  • Which aspect, if improved consistently, will net me the best results?
  • Am I willing to put the necessary work to achieve those goals?
Think of goals that align with who you are and what you care about.
Consider the goals that you want to achieve. Create goals that are realistic and will give you a sense of joy while playing Rainbow Six Siege.
 
At the same time, make sure that the goals you’ve set are challenging. Having goals that are too easy will not feel rewarding once accomplished. Additionally, you won’t improve while striving towards completion.
 
Of course, every player will have different objectives while playing Rainbow Six Siege.
After all, computer games are fundamentally a source of entertainment, and this term has a broad sense of meaning.

Expectations

Now that we thought about what type of player we are and what are our goals in Rainbow Six Siege, it is time to make peace with few inevitable aspects of learning and playing the game.

They may seem obvious, but somehow, we tend to get caught by them by surprise.
  • Learning is a steep and non-linear process
    Many people expect to see the right proportion of time and energy invested versus progress.
    However, the reality is different. It is quite likely for a new player to see little to none improvement over a significant amount of time.
    Only to notice accelerated progress at the late stage of the learning curve.

    Why? That’s because the learning process has a compound effect. Every new learning may not be significant by itself, but when a sufficient amount of small improvements is made, you will see notable changes!

  • Map knowledge takes time
    Learning maps is an essential area in all FPS shooters. Rainbow Six Siege takes the significance of map knowledge to a whole new level due to the destructibility of environments and abilities of various operators to utilize terrain.
    Siege maps are complex, and players learned by now tons of dirty angles and tricks.
    The process of learning even some maps will take time.

  • You will get destroyed
    All of us feel good when we dominate our opponent. It is a natural feeling of satisfaction to win and be better than others. The opposite is also true – we do not like it when others beat us.
    When you are just starting with Rainbow Six Siege, you will get destroyed by your opponents, on a quite regular basis.

    Bear in mind that those players have probably put much more time into the game than you did and it is a natural aspect of Player VS Player games. Instead, try to focus on your improvements.

  • Mistakes will happen
    Sounds like a no-brainer, but how often do you see people being frustrated because somebody made a mistake?
    Hell, how often do you make mistakes? I know I make a lot of those – sometimes silly ones, sometimes not.
    In Rainbow Six Siege even best pros make bad judgment calls or potato in a gunfight.

    Mistakes are an inevitable aspect of humanity. By that, I do not mean to ignore errors. Repeating the same mistakes is an enemy of progress – but instead not letting mistakes take over your mind, impact your mood, and deter from reaching goals.

  • You will lose
    Just like trading on the stock market: the goal is not to win every single time, but to win more often than not!
    Even the best players lose matches. Don’t believe me? Check W/L of your favorite content creator or pro: It is not 100%, is it?

  • Improvement takes time
    We all have to realize that we won’t get better overnight. I am a big believer that our rewards are proportional to our efforts spread over time.
    Expecting instant improvements in Siege is like hoping to lose weight in a day. Not only is such expectation unrealistic, but it is also detrimental to retaining motivation over time.
    The anticipation of instant gratification impacts negatively your long term goals due to delay in results when it comes to acquiring new skills and developing the right behaviors.

    Learning is a process that shows the most significant results after a while when good actions are performed repeatedly.
 

Systems

What if I told you that it is better to focus on becoming a player who can learn rather than focusing on reaching a higher rank in Rainbow Six Siege?
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Instead of becoming Silver, focus on changing to a player who communicates with teammates.
Instead of becoming Gold, try to become a player who notices and eliminates repeated mistakes.
Instead of becoming Platinum, intend on being a player who makes right judgment calls.
Instead of becoming Diamond, concentrate on developing into a creative player who masters aim over time.
 
I see way too many people focusing on ranks while neglecting the actual reason they stay in the same rank – not improving skills. 
I propose to focus on improving a skill that is lacking the most and makes the most significant difference between where you are and where you want to be.
To do so, you have to become open to learning.
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Learning from your mistakes
To avoid repeating a mistake, we need to:
  • Realize you made a mistake First of all, mistake identification is essential. You cannot improve or prevent something if you do not realize it is there in the first place.
    Think, “What have I done wrong?”
  • Avoid repeating mistake
    Ask yourself, “What could have I done better?”
Implementing such a simple way of thinking about your deaths will lead to significant improvements over time.
 
As Einstein said, “Problems cannot be solved with the same mindset that created them.”
Rainbow Six Siege may not be relativity theory, but similar principles apply to get better at it. Winning rounds in FPS shooter is just a “problem” to be solved. 
The biggest enemy of your improvement is repeating the same mistakes over and over again.
 
Learning from others in-game
  • Enemies
    You can learn so much from your enemies! The easiest way to learn from them is by watching kill cams.
    Killcams are a great tool in the learning process; don’t neglect them. You may learn new angles from your enemies.
  • Teammates
    Pay attention to what teammates do. How do they set up the objective, where do they place utility and how do they react in different situations
from-experts
Studying the game
  • Watching pro league 
    I wish the pro league had an option to spectate a specific player, depending on your preferences. Such a feature would allow players to learn so much more from Pros by spectating their favorite player or focusing on a particular role.
    Despite the lack of such a feature, watching the pro league is an incredible way of improving in Rainbow Six Siege.
    Commentators will often analyze round and share insights into why players do specific actions.
    Watching how professional players act in a specific situation is also valuable to your improvement.
  • Watching streamers
    I am not recommending Youtube highlights so much.
    Those usually show good and risky plays in high density, instead of actual round flow and deaths.
    Watching stream can help you improve better by showing so much more than highlights do. One of the essential aspects that you can learn is communication style and creative thinking.
  • Reading guides
    I believe you’ve got that covered 🙂 

Stay Motivated

If you ever tried to get better at any aspect of your life but managed to do so only for a brief period, then you know just as well as I do that keeping motivation necessary for self-improvement can be hard to achieve.
Key to keep the initial burst of motivation high is to:
  • Set challenges that are hard to reach, but not impossible
    Make sure that you set your goals and expectations in a way that will keep you engaged in the process while providing small victories and rewards over time.
    As an example: if you were Silver III last season, do not set Silver II as a goal. Instead, aim for reaching Gold II by improving on a particular aspect of your game. Note every increase of sub ranks between and its correlation to your improvements!

  • Update your goals over time
    To ensure increasing progress, we all should review our goals and systems surrounding them. They are in place to support us, not for us to help them!
    Once we reached the goal, we should take it to another level or create a new objective that is in line with our expectations and follows the goldilock rule.

    Remember that improvement should not be one and done approach. Once you reach your goal, you should set a new one as joy coming from realization will be only temporary.

Summary

  • Define what type of player are you, what do you enjoy in team-based games and what are your strengths/weaknesses
  • Set goals based on answers to above, not because of what other people want to achieve
  • Do not set objectives that are inadequate to the amount of effort you are willing to put, example: I want to become diamond, but play 5h a week
  • Have realistic expectations towards process: you will make mistakes, getting better takes time, and you will lose matches
  • Learn from your own mistakes: notice your errors & think about how to avoid the same situation in the future
  • Learn from teammates and your enemies: watch kill cams, watch how your teammates react in specific scenarios
  • Watch high-level players: pro league & streamers
  • Read guides *wink wink*
  • Set hard objectives, but not unrealistic
  • Review your progress, goals and your methods

Continue your journey to
Siege Mastery

Learn how to make callouts & communicate effectively in your team

Check our suggestions on hot to setup your Rainbow Six Siege temple

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