How to win at Rainbow Six Siege: 10 Multiplayer tips and tricks

Rainbow Six Siege is becoming an increasingly popular title – recently moving into its second season of post-launch content. Offering strategic close-quarters multiplayer combat across a range of scenarios, it places a unique spin on the first-person shooter formula. With similarities easily drawn to games such as Counter Strike and Overwatch, Rainbow Six Siege's simplicity and accessibility have made it a strong addition to the competitive FPS lineup.

Splitting each multiplayer match into two teams of five, Rainbow Six Siege's core gameplay is built on the concept of attacking and defending teams. With defenders spawning inside a building and attackers starting outside, the defending team must build fortifications and protect an objective. Using a range of breaching gadgets, attackers must overcome these defenses, while being wary of players holding out within.

To add variety to this relatively simple premise, Rainbow Six Siege has a character-based class system known as Operators. Packed with 22 unique operators at launch and more popping up via DLC, this adds personality and diversity to every multiplayer match.

With frequent free content drops and a growing competitive scene, now is the time to get started with the tactical shooter. Whether you're a veteran of the game or just getting started, here are our top tips for multiplayer.

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1. Slow and steady wins the race

Having Rainbow Six Siege's multiplayer matches divided up into short rounds, there's often a pressure to rush towards the objective as an attacker. Even though the time restriction prevents a stalemate between teams, the three-minute period is more than enough to take your time and consider the strategy behind your approach.

Some of the game's greatest moments thrive off playing mind games with players, letting the tension of the moment throw off the enemy's instincts. Holding back and executing your strategy from afar can often contribute hugely towards this; making sure to pick off any lone wolves who venture away from the objective.

When breaching the objective room, keeping your distance from an entry point is often a great tactic. Keep picking off enemies for as long as possible, until a final rush towards the objective once time begins to run out.

2. Lean into combat

Peeking is one of Rainbow Six Siege's main differentiators from other first-person shooters and contributes hugely to its unique gameplay. It provides the ability to ease around corners and be wary of potential threats. Leaning is an indispensable tool for all operators.

Triggered by clicking in the left or right stick while aiming down sights, leaning can be quickly used on the fly when navigating around dangerous corners. This can be a great way to aim your barrel into hostile territory, without the risk of fully exposing your whole body. However, by doing so, you'll be exposing your head as a prime target to any skilled marksman.

By using the lean ability in Rainbow Six Siege, you'll also be able to take advantage of a commonly used exploit referred to as the 'Peeker's Advantage'. Used by a majority of high-skilled players, this abuses the game's net code to give peeking players a small advantage when moving in and out of cover. To utilize this tactic, simply strafe in and out of cover while leaning, making you almost untouchable from an onlooker's perspective.

3. Don't get attached

In many of today's popular first-person shooters, there's often a reward for finding a loadout that suits your playstyle and rolling with it. In Rainbow Six Siege there's often little drive to stay with a single operator, aside from improving your personal skills with their unique equipment and weaponry.

When getting started with Siege, it's best to experiment with a small selection of operators as soon as possible. Try to choose a varied range of operators when doing so, considering how they perform at different ranges and how they pair with other operators in use by your teammates. This also diversifies your in-game skill set, making yourself more adaptable on the field.

4. The environment breaks for a reason

Environmental destruction is in no way unique to Rainbow Six Siege, with recent Battlefield games taking the crown for large-scale demolition. However, it's rare to see this reflected so clearly in gameplay – carving out the fundamental flow of multiplayer action.

Each of Siege's maps offers wide-scale destruction, featuring fully destructible walls, floors, and ceilings. With operators available to counter any fortification, it's key to take advantage of these abilities and push through their defensive efforts. Taking advantage of destructible hatches and walls, breaching charges should be used as frequently as possible when entering fortified rooms. Reinforced walls can also be countered in a similar manner, using Thermite's exothermic charges.

In a majority of multiplayer encounters, walking straight through the door is the most dangerous route. Make sure to consider your options before breaching, while considering the enemy team's placement. If you're not destroying the map, you're doing it wrong.

5. Give your drone a second chance

During the pre-planning phase, drones are a vital tool for gathering enemy intelligence. Providing information on the objective's location, enemy operators and fortifications in place, this can give attackers a huge advantage when it comes to infiltrating the building. However, once the action phase commences, all players are forced out of their drone's point of view and encouraged to pursue the objective.

By tapping up on the directional pad and a single press of the A button, you can easily jump back into your existing drone and continue where you left off. This can be used to continue scouting the objective room while the action is underway, without the need to use up your second drone. For some extra help with surveillance, remember to use the inbuilt security cameras for an extra angle of the battlefield.

6. Defense from a distance

Tightly locking down the objective room is a common mistake made by new players, in an attempt to offer the best protection. You might be protecting the objective by barricading yourself inside the room with your teammates, but this leaves a single major choke point for the enemy team to exploit. When piling into a room like sardines in a can, a single grenade can instantaneously finish the round.

To avoid this rookie error, try establishing a perimeter around the objective, potentially stretching to additional rooms to cover a wider area. Creating a more complex maze of barricades will give the attackers more angles to consider, making it easier to catch them by surprise. Barricades and reinforcements in certain locations can also be used as bait to lure attackers into an ambush.

7. Slap a scope on your weapon

Each of the operators on offer in Rainbow Six Siege come with their own unique equipment and weaponry, bearing varied performance on the field. While your choice of weapon has a huge effect on combat performance, weapon customization adds a whole new level of fine tuning to your personal playstyle.

Finding your perfect setup for each operator can definitely take some time, with each attachment requiring a repurchase between different firearms. From my personal experience, I've found the ACOG and Holo sights are among the most used attachments, alongside a grip for increased stability.

Also make sure to add your own personal flair while you're at it, with a range of skins and charms available to purchase.

8. Watch your corners

Situational awareness is also a key skill to adopt in Rainbow Six Siege, with gameplay requiring more precision and addition to detail than your traditional FPS. While fast-paced twitch gameplay is still present, the varied pacing means you can easily let your guard down.

From the moment the Action Phase commences, make sure to be on the lookout for the smallest movement on your screen. Between the game's quick time to kill and required precision, the slightest movements can expose your position, resulting in an instant death. Make sure to check every angle before pushing forward, while also looking into the distance for any potential threats.

9. Teamwork is key

Like any competitive multiplayer title, teamwork helps hugely in Rainbow Six Siege's multiplayer mode. Strategy and forward thinking have the potential to overthrow the strongest of players if executed correctly.

Assembling a team of five helps hugely with coordination, with the ability to choose an effective combination of operators and the best angles to attack from. While true in any shooter, Rainbow Six Siege's reliance on tactical gameplay makes this much more beneficial than your average twitch FPS.

10. Brighter is better

By default, Rainbow Six Siege's brightness settings make some of the game's darker levels almost impossible to play. While this makes for a more atmospheric experience, this is far from ideal in a competitive scenario.

It might seem cheesy, but cranking up the game's brightness slider not only helps with navigating dark hallways – you'll also get a clearer view of enemies potentially hiding away in the shadows.

Do you have any tips you've discovered for Rainbow Six Siege? Make sure to share them with us in the comments.

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Matt Brown

Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.