Rainbow Six Siege Year 5: Everything We Know

Rainbow Six Siege ADS
Rainbow Six Siege ADS (Image credit: Ubisoft)

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege has concluded its fourth rotation of annual updates, continuing to scale the thriving tactical shooter with free content. It's among Ubisoft's greatest success stories of the decade, recently surpassing 50 million lifetime players, continuing plans for 10-year support. Year 5 is expected to support that growth further, diversifying gameplay, and taking its competitive roots to new heights. Following a kick-off at the Six Invitational 2020, a ton lies ahead for Rainbow Six.

Here's everything we know about Ubisoft's Rainbow Six Siege Year 5 plans.

Rainbow Six Siege Year 5 reveal and release date

Rainbow Six Siege Void Edge Iana Hero Art

Source: Ubisoft (Image credit: Source: Ubisoft)

Ubisoft provided the first details on Rainbow Six Siege Year 5 at the Six Invitational, including an overview of plans spread across 2020. The Montreal-based event serves as the blockbuster homecoming for Ubisoft's shooter, host to its Rainbow Six Pro League final, and our first Year 5 overview.

While Operation Void Edge saw a dedicated reveal at the Six Invitational, Ubisoft rarely confirms concrete release dates until just one day before deployment. However, with Rainbow Six Siege seasons consistently spaced across three-month intervals, it provides a general arrival estimate for each update in 2020.

  • Rainbow Six Siege Year 5 Season 1 – March 2020
  • Rainbow Six Siege Year 5 Season 2 – June 2020
  • Rainbow Six Siege Year 5 Season 3 – September 2020
  • Rainbow Six Siege Year 5 Season 4 – December 2020

In the meantime, Operation Void Edge hits the Rainbow Six Siege Test Server (TS) on PC on February 17.

Rainbow Six Siege Year 5 roadmap and operators

Rainbow Six Siege Year 5 Roadmap

Source: Ubisoft (Image credit: Source: Ubisoft)

Ubisoft has outlined plans for the next two years for Rainbow Six Siege, providing our first glimpse at upcoming content for Year 5, including significant changes to content delivery. First unveiled at the Six Invitational, it alludes to a shifting strategy from the studio, following the departure of key leadership figures in late 2019.

While Rainbow Six Siege previously received annual roadmaps on plans, its recent internal reshuffle pairs with a 24-month vision for the future of the tactical shooter. Year 5 serves as a transitional period adopting this new template, while Year 6 will be the first to embrace the change fully. The reworked strategy shifts resources toward gameplay features, cutting back to just one new Operator per update.

Rainbow Six Siege Void Edge Oryx Hero Art

Source: Ubisoft (Image credit: Source: Ubisoft)

The first two seasons of Year 5 star the usual helping of content, kicking off with the previously-unveiled Operation Void Edge. Iana and Oryx join the playable Operator roster, accompanied by the Oregon map rework. The season also promises a mid-season event, as seen in Year 4, and smaller-scale "Arcade Playlists," featuring minor modifiers to the gameplay. The Battle Pass returns as a future mainstay, set for all upcoming seasons.

Year 5 Season 2 retains a familiar duo of Operators, introducing talent from South Africa and Denmark. The map rework brings changes to House, adapting the infamously close-quarters abode with a larger floorplan, improving map flow, and the visual palette.

Ubisoft will transition to its new seasonal template with its third season, dropping one cryptic "classified" Operator in favor of new core gameplay features and reworks. Skyscraper also goes under the knife for the seasonal map rework, promising to streamline its vertical gameplay. The year wraps with a closing season, highlighting a solo Thai Operator and Chalet rework.

Tachanka's rework brings a crazy grenade launcher

Rainbow Six Siege Tachanka Grenade Launcher

Source: Ubisoft (Image credit: Source: Ubisoft)

Year 5 also serves as host to the long-awaited Tachanka rework, adapting Rainbow Six Siege's lovable lord and savior to the current gameplay meta. While introduced among the original 20 Operators upon release, the stationary nature of the RP-46 LMG ultimately misaligned with how the game has evolved. Ubisoft has trialed various adjustments with time, but Year 5 changes Tachanka's fundamentals with a loadout overhaul.

The Tachanka rework ditches the mounted turret, instead repurposed as a mobile pan-fed light machinegun. While the same heavy-hitting impact that defines his absurd firepower, Ubisoft hopes his destructive capabilities will fortify his role as an "architect" of defense.

But the spotlight falls on his new primary utility, inheriting the spot his mounted turret once filled. The incendiary grenade launcher allows Tachanka to drop fire on unsuspecting attackers, with a bouncing round that explodes upon impact. It appears to take inspiration from an experimental Mosin-Nagant bolt-action rifle retrofitted with explosive enhancements. Tachanka is slated to hit Rainbow Six Siege in Year 5, although a firm season is yet to be confirmed.

Rainbow Six Siege Replay Mode and Map Bans

Rainbow Six Siege Map Bans

Source: Ubisoft (Image credit: Source: Ubisoft)

With Ubisoft committing additional resources to "core gameplay features" in 2020, Ubisoft also plans to release two long-awaited features on the Year 5 roadmap. The developer will explore several quality-of-life adjustments geared for competitive play, given the freed resources once committed to Operator development.

One flagship addition comes via a new Replay mode, allowing players to visit past matches, switch up perspectives, and obtain greater insight into gameplay. While far from unique among modern multiplayer titles, it brings additional flexibility for professionals, content creators, or even the tactic-conscious player.

Year 5 will also expand the Ranked offerings with map bans, expanding upon the current Pick and Ban feature dedicated to Operators. The feature provides players with broader choice over maps, improving upon the currently randomized selection from the rotation. When present, the system will suggest three randomized options, with teams eliminating two to select their arena.

Rainbow Six Siege Ping 2.0 System

Rainbow Six Siege Ping 20 System

Source: Ubisoft (Image credit: Source: Ubisoft)

With Apex Legends joining the battle royale scene in early 2019, the ping system settled among its most-praised components. Although this visual identifier for in-game communication is present in Rainbow Six Siege, the single yellow marker has fallen behind as rivals experiment with more in-depth solutions. Ubisoft plans to release the ping 2.0 system in Year 5, providing further context to player markers.

While Ubisoft has provided few details on the revised Ping system, it aims to adapt to the fundamentals of Rainbow Six, considering Operator gadgets. The first iteration of the update will allow players to mark devices across the map, and relay their positions to teammates.

Year 5 lies on the horizon

Rainbow Six Siege Year 5 remains in initial stages, with more expected going forward into 2020. However, with Operation Void Edge just weeks away, a ton lies ahead for Ubisoft's hit shooter.

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.