Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege is soon on track to receive its next major expansion, with the release of Operation Grim Sky. Following June's Operation Para Bellum, the third season of the year brings two more Operators, an all-new map rework, and various welcome changes.
Following its reveal at the Six Major Paris, we now have a firm breakdown of what's planned for the next update. Here's everything we know about Rainbow Six Siege's Operation Grim Sky, set to release later this summer.
Rainbow Six Siege Operation Grim Sky release date and times
Operation Grim Sky will roll out over the course of Tuesday, September 4, with each platform seeing at least an hour of scheduled server downtime to deploy the update.
- PC: 9:00-10:00am EDT (2:00-3:00pm BST)
- PS4: 10:00-11:00am EDT (3:00-4:00pm BST)
- Xbox One: 11:00-12:00pm EDT (4:00-5:00pm BST)
Once the Operation Grim Sky update hits your platform, a mandatory game update will be required before connecting to Rainbow Six Siege's servers. While a majority of the expansion's content will be available from this point forward, you'll have to wait for the new operators if you don't own the Year 3 Pass.
New Operators: Clash and Maverick
Like previous Rainbow Six Siege expansions, Operation Grim Sky is on track to deliver two new playable Operators. The expansion is set to implement Operators from separate counterterrorism units (CTUs) simultaneously, in a similar way to Operation Chimera. One half of this duo will hail from Scotland Yard in the UK, while the second serves the U.S. Delta Force. Both these Operators represent Rainbow's "Urban Tactical Response Team" bearing the cryptic codename "Grim Sky."
Once the update releases, both Operators should be available at no additional cost to owners of Rainbow Six Siege's Year 3 Pass. Seven days later, these Operators will be available to the public using Renown or R6 Credits.
Morowa "Clash" Evans
First up is Clash, the game's only shield-wielding Operator among defenders, sporting three armor and level one speed. Following notable contribution to UK police forces, she joined Rainbow as a street-hardened expert in "mob behavior" and "snatch squad tactics."
Clash's primary weapon is her unique "CCE Shield" gadget, which offers a mobile bulletproof defense for holding back attackers. The sliding bulletproof glass automatically deploys when equipped, securing full protection from oncoming foes. This gadget is defined by its electrifying twist, emitting a short-range pulse to slow and damage nearby foes. This bolsters Clash's supporting role, being a strong asset among well-coordinated teams.
While Clash is limited to her secondary, she'll have the choice of a P-10C semi-automatic pistol or two-round burst SPSMG9. Choice of precision or a high fire rate makes for considerable flexibility depending on your playstyle.
Erik "Maverick" Thorn
After finding a love for Kabul while stationed in Afghanistan, Maverick is well experienced in the field. After a two-year disappearance, the attacking Operator has made his return though Rainbow, defined by a signature D.I.Y. blowtorch. He now joins Thermite and Hibana as the third hard breacher, packing three speed and one armor.
Maverick's Exothermic-S "Suri" Torch introduces a new approach to objectives, allowing players to free-draw holes into destructible surfaces. This torch offers flexibility for all sizes, ranging from inch-wide murder holes to full entry points. Other Operators are better equipped for breaching, but it's the flexibility and stealth that makes Maverick unique. Walls, hatches, and barricades are all affected by the blowtorch, as well as select defender gadgets.
The semi-automatic AR-15.50 headlines Maverick's loadout, featuring notable stopping power through torched holes. His new M4 is an automatic alternative, best suited for those traditional Operator face-offs. Maverick also has the 1911 TACOPS pistol and the choice of a claymore or stun grenade.
Map changes: Hereford Base and Consulate
Ubisoft also plans to debut a "rework" rather than a completely new map, overhauling an existing in-game location. Likely the first of several reworks, the publisher hopes to maintain the map's essence while delivering "considerable changes to level design and art direction."
Grim Sky's map rework is set to revitalize "Hereford Base," which was designed as an archetypal map during early development. One of the biggest changes is a vibrant red brick design, abandoning monotonous colors of concrete and plywood. This revision is set 30 years prior to the existing SAS revision, using more varied materials to make destructible surfaces easily identifiable.
The heart of Hereford Base is preserved, maintaining a similar atmosphere and gameplay flow. However, notable changes include the addition of rain, revamped exterior landmarks, and improved vertical mobility. The team has also better-balanced bomb sites, too, aiming to make all four viable for defenders. As seen with the new Villa map, bomb site access is being moved away from windows to encourage more internal firefights.
Existing multiplayer map, Consulate, is also undergoing a "buff" with various changes. It's minor, but by adding a fourth bomb site and tidying up the location, this should lead to more balanced gameplay.
Like previous content drops, access to the new map will be free to all players regardless of owning the Year 3 Pass.
Fixing weapon sights misalignment
Back in March 2018, Ubisoft formally addressed an issue affecting the game's primary weapon sights. Known as "weapon sight misalignment," the bug causes bullets to slightly diverge from the sight reticle, leading to unpredictable inaccuracies. It's not immediately noticeable, but for a highly competitive game like Rainbow Six Siege, this has become a major cause of player frustration.
The game's development team has been working on a solution for some time, before eventually settling on a solution this year. Recoil is now being overhauled entirely, requiring reworks on a per-weapon basis. Operation Grim Sky aims to correct these issues without affecting the feel of each weapon's recoil.
New cosmetics: Frost Elite, seasonal weapon skins
New cosmetic options are also expected with Operation Grim Sky, spanning weapon skins and charms. Inspired by the United Kingdom, Spitfire, Whitehall 1212, Majesty, and Sovereign are being added, with availability limited to the duration of the season. These are available for purchase with Renown or the game's premium R6 Credits currency. New weapon charms included themed designs like Bobby, Gilded, Bearskin, and Daring, alongside memes like "Doge" and "Banana for Scale."
This season also debuts the "Huntress" Elite skin for Frost, expanding on Ubisoft's range of paid premium skins. This skin set is available exclusively with real-world money, featuring a uniform, gadget skins, weapon skins, and other cosmetics.
The Frost Elite set is expected to cost 1,800 R6 Credits, while the shop-wide discount offered to Year 3 Pass holders grants a reduction to 1,620.
Dynamic render scaling for Xbox One X and PlayStation 4 Pro
With the release of Operation Para Bellum, Ubisoft implemented visual upgrades for Rainbow Six Siege on Xbox One X and PlayStation 4 Pro consoles. Taking advantage of their additional horsepower, the game's resolution was bumped to 1728p and 1440p respectively. However, the game still forced 50 percent render scaling, meaning under the hood, scenes were rendered at half the pixel count.
In the expansion's patch notes, Ubisoft touched on plans to introduce dynamic scaling at a later date, allowing consoles to surpass 50 percent in low-complexity scenes. While the true resolution and frame rate will remain unchanged, this will make for sharper images in select situations. This is currently on track for the release of Operation Grim Sky and should make for minor upgrades in clarity.
Further anti-toxicity measures
As outlined previously this year in response to player toxicity, Ubisoft plans to roll out further tools to combat negative player behavior. A new advanced muting function is the first of these features, to mute specific players over text chat. This can be combined with the existing voice-mute capabilities to finely tune match communication. This expands on the new automated chat filter system, which aims to censor toxic text chat.
Ubisoft has this feature on track for Season 3, though they may release after the main update drops.
Your hopes for Operation Grim Sky
What do you hope to see from Rainbow Six Siege's next season of content? Drop into the comments section below with your top picks.
Updated September 4, 2018: Updated with Operation Grim Sky release times.
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