Rainbow Six Siege:
Skills

Develop abilities necessary to Mastery in Rainbow Six Siege

"The bridge between knowledge and skill is practice. The bridge between skill and Mastery is time"

- Jim Bouchard

Introduction

Skill is the ability to act competently.
Skills are an integral part of development in virtually any area of life, and Rainbow Six Siege is not an exception. 
Siege is a very complex shooter that requires players to acquire various skills, both functional (aim) and knowledge-based (map knowledge).
 
This guide aims to highlight essential skills and their components that you will need to develop to step up your game in R6 Siege.
Be wary of articles or guides that promise extreme improvement instantaneously. Such content intends to capitalize on our tendency to search for shortcuts and instant gratifications.
 
The only way to improve skills is to practice them. There’s no substitution to time and effort put into practicing a skill over and over again.

Map knowledge

The most crucial aspect of success in Rainbow Six Siege is getting map knowledge.
R6 Siege puts map knowledge importance on a whole new level thanks to destructibility of the map and breaching possibilities in the game.

I believe that map knowledge is the biggest challenge new players will encounter in this game.
Rainbow Six Siege has been out for few years and most of DLC seasons brought new maps to the pool, which only broadens the gap between new players who try to jump into game and old-timers who know every corner of older maps.

Know that feeling lost is entirely understandable, and it will take time for you to learn maps!
 
 

WHAT MAP KNOWLEDGE MEANS?

On a basic level, knowing map means being familiar with:
  • map’s layout
  • objective sites locations
  • routes to certain areas.
 
For advanced level of map knowledge, we would name such aspects as knowing:
  • call-outs without a need to check compass
  • walls and hatches that have to be reinforced/destroyed
  • commonly used routes and angles
  • spawn peek locations
 
Mastery of a map means being able to:
  • create your angles and ambushes
  • wall bang without a mark
  • pre-fire common spots
 

HOW TO LEARN MAPS?

Becoming familiar with maps is very simple but time-consuming process.
All it requires is for you to play the map repeatedly. That’s basically it. Play the game, pay attention, and you will eventually learn.
You could get the best theory, but at the end of the day, you need to gain real experience.
 
Unfortunately, besides Newcomers playlist Rainbow Six Siege does not offer an option to choose maps you want to play in PvP. Therefore, you cannot decide which map you want to focus on while playing casual or ranked modes.
 
The only modes where players can select maps are:
  • Terrorist Hunt
    Players can choose maps for TH in options->matchmaking preferences.
    T-hunt is a good option for general practice and warm-up in Rainbow Six Siege.
    From maps perspective, it can help you with understanding basic map layout.
    On the other hand, TH is not a useful mode for learning objectives and commonly used routes.
  • Custom game
    Fully customizable mode, usable by both new players who want to learn maps basics. A useful tool for advanced map knowledge gain, as well.
    Great for learning basic map layout as you can traverse the map without any drawbacks. 
    Useful for playing around with maps and utility to figure new tactics and angles.

STRATEGIES

On top of knowledge about map layout, objective locations, and destruction opportunities, it is crucial to learn strategies for each objective site.
 
Thanks to advanced destructibility and a broad choice of operators, strategies available in Rainbow Six Siege are virtually limitless.
There are, however, basic strategies and priorities for most objective sites that we all should learn. Such basic knowledge helps players on how to attack, as well as defend.
 

Aim

Aiming is an essential functional skill required in Rainbow Six Siege to be a successful player. 
Being able to shoot the enemy accurately is key. You can have all the knowledge, but if you cannot point your gun where your enemy is, you won’t be able to master the game.
 
The below list contains main components to proper aiming in Siege.

CROSSHAIR PLACEMENT

What does crosshair placement mean?

Placement of your crosshair means height at which player keeps crosshair while traversing the map, turning the corner or simply holding an angle.
 

Why is crosshair placement prominent?

It is one of (if not the most) important aspect of consistently winning gunfights due to your aim accuracy never being 100% consistent. 
Placing your crosshair on the head level eliminates the need to adjust your aim vertically when engaging the enemy. As a result, you gain an advantage of reduced reaction time and increase odds of hitting the enemy’s head, thus drastically reducing time to kill.
 

Where should you place crosshair?

At the expected head level of enemy player, whether you anticipate opponent to be standing or crouching.
 

What is a common mistake?

Many beginners tend to aim at the ground or crotch level (pervs!). Such technique hinders your odds greatly, so next time you play Siege or any other shooter, pay more attention to where you place crosshair!
 

How to get better at crosshair placement?

As with all aim related points, you should practice, practice and…practice. The best practice is going to Terrorist Hunt classic mode and working on headshotting AI as fast as possible.
 
 

RECOIL CONTROL

What does recoil control mean?

Firing a gun in Rainbow Six Siege results in a climb of crosshair in both vertical and horizontal way.
Siege got a fixed recoil system with the Grim Sky update, which means that every time you shoot a gun, it will follow a particular recoil pattern. 
 

Why is recoil control important?

You will not always kill enemies with your first shot. Being able to keep your aim at an enemy while continuously firing a gun is often a difference between winning or losing a gunfight.
 

What is a common mistake?

Using wrong vertical sensitivity settings and not practicing recoil patterns.
 

How can you improve recoil control?

A fixed recoil pattern system allows players to learn how to control every gun. We highly recommend going to either Terrorist hunt or custom game. There you should aim at a certain point – make it object on wall, sign or whatever- and try to spray with a gun while keeping your crosshair at the selected target.
 
General rule: If you continue to overcompensate or not counter-recoil enough vertically, then you should adjust your sensitivity settings.
 
 

TRACKING

What does tracking mean?

Tracking means moving crosshair properly to remain with target when either one of you (or both) are moving.
Also, it means being able to turn the corner while aiming at the edge of the wall, where you expect an enemy to show up first in your line of sight.
 

Why is tracking important?

When fighting human opponents, most of the time, both of you will be on the move. Being able to track a moving target is, therefore, an essential skill in improving aim skill.
 

What is a common mistake?

Using wrong horizontal sensitivity settings and not using tracking when turning a corner.
 

How can you improve tracking?

Playing against AI is not as reliable as playing against human opponents as players will move significantly different than terrorists in T-hunt. It is, however, still an excellent way to improve tracking skills when you focus on aggressively moving while keeping your aim properly on enemies.
 
General rule: If you continue to overcompensate or not counter-recoil enough horizontally, then adjust your horizontal sensitivity settings.
 
 

KEEP CALM BUT REMAIN CONFIDENT

It sounds like simple advice. In reality, it might be the hardest part to achieve consistently. Especially if you are a new player or tend to get nervous in action-packed situations. 
Being stressed harms many elements, including the precision of aim.
Getting nervous in high tense situations is a natural body reaction and occurs less with time and experience gained. When such conditions become more common for a player, it is significantly easier to handle them calmly. 
 
In the meantime, keep breathing and remember that Rainbow Six Siege is just a game. Dying will not have any detrimental effects.
In the worst-case scenario, you lose rank points, and how important that really is?
 
Being confident can also be a difficult task, especially in scenarios where you are having your ass handed to you. 
The natural human instinct is to become more defensive and passive, which is sometimes the right choice of action. However, unless your overly aggressive attitude is THE issue, we recommend that you should do the opposite and become more aggressive!
If you think the enemy has the upper hand and is better at aiming than you are, then your chances are already lowered. Enemy won the mental battle against you.
 

Please do not mistake the above with being reckless.

There is no such thing as a perfect ratio of cautiousness and confidence, which would bring great results in every match. If we had to give a default ratio that works for us most of the time, it would be 30% cautious and 70% confidence.

Game sense

If you ever played pick up games in basketball or any other team sport, then you probably had this one guy (or was one) who was gifted physically, but did not understand when to go, where and why.
 
Just like in sports, you can be good mechanically in computer games but may lack understanding of the reasoning behind “why” things happen the way they do.
In Rainbow Six Siege game sense occurs when the ability to comprehend visual and audio information meets an understanding of tactics, mechanics, and dynamics. 

HOW DO YOU LEARN GAME SENSE?

Mainly by playing the game and gaining experience, while focusing on learning what happened, why and what could have been done differently.
 
Now, lets split mentioned components of game sense to two major parts:
  1. Comprehending inputs

    Throughout the round, you will get different environmental signals which need to be first noticed, then understood and finally acted upon.

    In Rainbow Six Siege, those signals can be visual (bullet trail, environmental holes, pings), audio (footsteps, gunshots, explosions, operator’s actions), or communication-related (callouts).

    At the beginning of a relationship with any game, you will find it difficult to process all of those inputs at the same time. It is natural, so don’t be too harsh on yourself.

    Over time you will learn to recognize individual cues and predict the effect. To accelerate this process, focus from the beginning on:
    – Data at your disposal
    – What did this data mean
    – What could have been done differently

  1. Understanding mechanics, dynamics and tactics

    Allow me to describe my understanding of each component.

    Mechanics are a set of rules designed by game creators. It is a list of what you can and cannot do due to technical restrictions put on players in the game. Such limits can be knowing which surfaces can be destroyed or how to “cook” frag grenade.

    Dynamics are behaviors that emerge from mechanics put into use. Examples here could be shooting the enemy through the penetrable wall or using cooking grenade and trajectory to kill the opponent without giving them a chance to run away.

    Tactics are standard sets of behaviors performed by players when mechanics combine with dynamics.

    As you start your experience with Rainbow Six Siege, all of the components can be confusing. This is especially true if you bring habits formed in other FPS games where mechanics and dynamics of the game are different.
    I would advise new players to focus on learning the first mechanics and dynamics present in Siege. They will be the base for gaining a more profound understanding of tactics, as well as players tendencies.

    Your growth in mechanics and dynamics at the beginning will be rapid. As time passes, the amount of mechanics and dynamics you learn will probably slow down. That’s the time I would suggest to shift focus on analyzing common tactics and tendencies for specific situations.

 

What happens when you understand all of the above aspects?

They turn into an instinct!
Have you ever seen a nut play where it felt like a player predicted all enemies’ moves? Yep, that happens when the game sense is on point. It almost feels like a sixth sense.
 
As your game sense increases, you will notice improvements in multiple areas of your game, such as:
  • aggressive vs. passive playstyle balance
  • playing objective vs. going for kills
  • predicting the enemy’s moves
  • creativity
  • clutch capability
  • utility effectiveness
  • consistency

Peeking

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.
peek1_compressed

COMMON MISTAKES?

Peeking slowly and wide instead of doing it fast and narrow.

 

HOW TO PEEK

There are multiple techniques of peeking, but the main categorization we would like to mention is fast peeking and slow peeking.
In Rainbow Six Siege, you want to almost always fast peek enemies.
Peeking slowly should be used only if you want to conceal your presence and sneak on enemies.

Peeking fast means 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 your reaction time reduced by other person’s latency. Thorough Rainbow Six Siege lifecycle game has gone through changes in the peeker’s advantage and its level of impact on the game. At its core Siege still favors the aggressive player who peeks, rather than the player who is peeked.
 
 

PURPOSE OF PEEKING

Peeking in Rainbow Six Siege serves two primary purposes: gathering intel and getting a kill.

You can peek exceptionally quickly with a focus on getting info about the enemy’s presence behind a specific corner and his position. The main objective of such a peek will not be getting a kill. Kill will come afterward when you peek the second time with a pre-placed crosshair on where you saw the enemy previously.
 
We recommend adapting below suggestions to increase your odds of winning gunfights while peeking:
  • 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.

  • Don’t re-peek pre-fired spots

    Players frequently 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.

  • 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.

  • Re-peek at random time intervals

    The enemy will have a harder time guessing when will you peek again if you do not continue to peek at the same time intervals.

  • Farther from cover = better

    Peeking while “hugging” the wall results in exposing your body to the enemy more than otherwise. This is due to camera placement in the middle of the body. Whenever possible try to peek farther from the corner

Holding angles

Holding angles means that you are keeping the line of sight which enemy has to get into to shoot you.

COMMON MISTAKES?

Players tend to hold the same common angles, even when droned out by enemy or previously peeked.
 

HOW TO HOLD ANGLES

Besides the below list of aspects to bear in mind, crosshair placement will be probably an essential 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 firefight.
Predicting head level well is a difficult task, which 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 improvement over time!
 

Main rules for holding good angles:

  • Angle held is uncommon and inconspicuous

    Just like in every other aspect of Rainbow Six Siege creativity and the surprising enemy are both great tools increasing your odds of winning around.
    Try not to hold commonly used angles to avoid being pre-fired.​​

  • Concealing body as much as possible

    Make sure the body of the operator is as hidden behind obstacles as feasible.
    Least body parts exposed results in higher protection and an increased chance of surviving a gunfight.

  • Not exposed to multiple other 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.
    You generally do not want to expose your back to external windows/doors, nor objective entrances that are not covered by any teammate.

  • The enemy has to turn the corner
    Applies mainly to holding an angle on door, hallway, or window.
    The advantage arises due to the enemy having to identify your location and to take time to adjust the aim. Meanwhile, you know exactly where the enemy is and have little need for crosshair adjustment.

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

  • Angle held is “tight.”
    Ideally, you want to hold an angle where the enemy has to put the head into your pre-placed crosshair to see you at all.

Movement

Movement in Rainbow Six Siege plays a considerable part when it comes to winning gunfights, as well as surprising your enemy.

COMMON MISTAKES?

I notice that players tend to make judgment mistakes when it comes to using correct movement type for the situation they are in.

Such mistakes can be running with an enemy nearby or crouch slow walking when the action takes place on the opposite side of the map.

No movement technique will suit all scenarios, its rather about mindset and making the right decisions.

HOW TO MOVE

  • Different surfaces differ in sound level
    Fast walking on a carpet will make significantly less sound than the same action on a metal floor.

  • Utilize sound distractions
    You can use gunfights or explosions, such as grenades or charges to mask sound made by your movement. This gives you the possibility to run faster without revealing your position to nearby enemies.
  • Limit sprinting
    You are vulnerable when sprinting as it takes time to aim down sight. You put yourself at a disadvantage if an enemy is already in ADS.
    Additionally, sprinting can reveal your position.

    In summary: sprinting is only useful if you know an enemy is either not nearby or is distracted by action and sound.

  • crouch and slow walking
    Both movement methods are great for surprising an enemy.
    Slow walking can be achieved by either tilting minimally movement stick (consoles) or pressing/holding a walk button (PC).
    Crouch+walk speed is the most silent way of moving in Rainbow Six Siege.
    Best used when you attempt flank on unsuspecting enemies. In such a scenario, speed is a significantly less important factor than the element of surprise.

  • crawling sucks
    Lying down is great for surprising your opponent and messing with their crosshair placement.
    But what about crawling? Well, for some reason, crawling makes more noise than crouch walking. Do not crawl unless you want to avoid leaving footprints or its the best way to avoid getting shot.

Adaptability

In my opinion, adaptability has two meanings in Rainbow Six Siege and refers to the player’s ability to:
  • adjust to new conditions
  • reshape and modify the environment to an unexpected situation and team’s needs

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

Your team’s tactic can be perfect on paper, but when shit hits the fan and opponents surprise you with their approach, you will have to improvise and adapt to the situation on the fly.
Not being able to adjust to either enemy or your team will result in your dependency on others, which in return will limit your skill ceiling and make you predictable. 
 

HOW TO BE ADAPTABLE

Just like map knowledge, adaptability comes mainly with time and experience.
The best advice I can give you is to be brave and think outside the box.
 
Questions I keep asking myself when round unfolds differently from my expectations are:
What would I do next if I was them?” – and then I think of how to counter that action.
What would I expect myself to do if I was my enemy?” – and then do the opposite.
The first question is, in my opinion, the key to adapt, while the second one is the main component to remain unpredictable.
 

What are the common mistakes?

  1. Sticking to original plan too much
    Do not get overly attached to your strategies. The best way to describe it is to have reliable and well thought out tactics but held loosely.
  2. Lack of empathy
    Now, I do not mean that you should cry every time an enemy dies, thinking about how bad it hurt them.
    Empathy in the sense of adaptability for Siege is to put yourself into your enemy’s position. By doing so, you can anticipate the enemy’s moves.
  3. Acting in a predictable way
    Do not go for the most obvious choice. Unless of course, it is your only option.
  4. Rushing actions
    It can be hard in the heat of the battle, but try to pause for a moment to consider all your options before deciding on your next move.

INTEL

Information gains value by improving the quality of our decisions.
Therefore, intel in Rainbow Six Siege affects the tactical & strategic decisions of individuals and teams.
Usually, the team that has more and better information will win the match, especially if both sides are equally matched in mechanical skills.
 
I recommend visiting our guides dedicated to Communication and Droning, which provide more detailed information on how to perform those two actions.
Below information will be an overview of key points I would advise to pay attention to in regards to information gathering and utilizing in Siege.
 
Where the intel comes from is not different in R6 Siege when compared with other shooters on the market:
  • Sound cues
  • Visual information
  • Verbal communication between teammates
 
However, how intel can be gathered are unique to Rainbow Six Siege:
  • Droning
  • Default cameras
  • Intel gathering tools on both defense and offense
  • Unique abilities designed for this purpose
 
As a result, we have a unique situation where gathering and utilizing intel efficiently becomes a complex action.
 
 

INTEL GATHERING

First let’s focus on the intel gathering aspect, which dictates the amount of information we have and the quality of it.
Techniques available to attackers and defenders are different but follow similar main principles, such as:
 

Don’t let the enemy know that you know

This is such a crucial aspect of gathering intel, which seems to be repeatedly overlooked.
How do we let the enemy know that we are aware of their position or actions?
  • Pinging
    Pinging means spotting opponents with your intel-gathering tool, which provides them with visual information that they have been detected.
    As a result, the enemy is notified about his location being known to opponents, which will likely result in: searching for intel tool, relocating & cautiousness.
    All of which will render intel gathered either useless or less valuable.
     
    How to avoid it?
    Simple – don’t ping. Use voice chat and call the enemy’s position out, instead.

  • Plain droning
    If you see an enemy located in a specific area, you do not have to go farther from that point. Way too often players feel a need to get closer with a drone or check the further situation. Sometimes it is an excellent course of action. It lets you inspect the entire objective site or see if the located defender is backed up by other teammates or by any utility.
    However, most of the time, you will let opponents see your drone, shoot it, and relocate.
     
    How to improve it?
    Try to be as sneaky as possible and prioritize remaining undiscovered over clear visuals or the possibility to ping.

Conceal your intel-gathering tools

Camouflaging intel tools is mainly applicable to Valkyrie, Echo and all drones (including Mozzie on defense and Twitch on attack).
Try to place your tools in hard to spot and unusual locations.
The drone placed in the middle of the room on the floor is straightforward to spot. The same drone located under bed exposed by a sliver line of sight will be significantly harder to find by enemies.

Knowing where enemies aren’t can be just as valuable

Such knowledge can apply to many situations:
  • early round
    If you are an anchor on defense, you can hop on external cameras to see where enemies are coming from.
    Do not rely only on those default cams that remain available. Destroyed cameras are an excellent indication of where attackers are coming from.
  • late-round
    Let’s assume a scenario where you have intel on one of the bomb sites during the last few seconds of the round.
    Knowing that enemies are not pushing that site gives you clear information that they are pushing the other one.
    Let your alive teammates know about it.
 

Use sound

Do not rely only on visual information or lack of it. Sound is a vital aspect of Rainbow Six Siege. By sound alone, you can judge the enemy’s location, actions they are performing and operators they are using.
    1.  

UTILIZING INTEL

Now that we got gathering information covered, let’s move on to utilizing intel.
How you utilize intel will depend on many factors, such as:
  • what is the intel
  • what are your position and role
  • what is the current round situation
Despite my best intentions, I am unable to tell you how you should use information in every case. However, I would like to highlight a couple of common scenarios and suggest how to act.
I hope that such representative cases will help you implement the right mindset in this aspect of becoming a better Siege player!
 

Case 1.

Horizontal wall bangs
The enemy was identified in a room next to yours, with a destructible wall between the two of you.
a) Ask teammate to spot (ping) defender and be ready to instantly wall bang (shoot defender through a penetrable wall).
The quick reaction time between ping and shot is essential as a spotted defender will likely try to relocate.
b) Try to wall bang without a mark.
Requires more advanced map knowledge to be able to estimate the opponents’ location.
 

Case 2.

C4 from below
You have visual confirmation of attacker above you, with a destructible ceiling above your location.
a) ask teammate to spot (ping) attacker once the opponent remains still and place C4 at the mark.
Fast and accurate option, which requires cooperation within the team.  Otherwise, it may lead to attacker relocating due to ping notifying them.
b) Ping above yourself (yellow ping) and then hop on camera to see where an attacker is relatively located to you and estimate C4.
It takes a longer time to establish C4 spot. Less risk of attacker predicting C4, though.
 
More advanced players won’t need either option to C4 from below as with extensive map knowledge comes the ability to estimate C4 placement based on the opponent’s location.

Continue your journey to
Siege Mastery

Learn how to make callouts & communicate effectively in your team

Check our suggestions on hot to set up your Rainbow Six Siege temple

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