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Rainbow Six Siege Year 5: Everything we know about the operators, map reworks, and battle passes

Rainbow Six Siege Year 5 pass
(Image credit: Ubisoft)
Dominate the meta with these Siege guides

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Rainbow Six Siege operators: the best around
Rainbow Six Siege editions: which to buy
Rainbow Six Siege Void Edge release date: everything we know

Excited about Rainbow Six Siege Year 5? It's been over four years since Ubisoft launched its tactical FPS, and it only continues to grow. With a increasing roster of over 50 operators, Year 5 is something of a transitional year in terms of new Siege content. In exchange for fewer operators and no new maps, Ubi is investing more time improving what Siege already has, Operation Health-style. Then in Year 6, the french developer is to build on this strategy with half the usual new operators.

Fewer operators might be a bummer for some, but there's a lot of exciting stuff on the horizon in 2020. Here's everything we know about Rainbow Six Siege Year 5 so far.

When is Year 5 of Rainbow Six Siege?

Rainbow Six Siege Year 5 officially launches alongside its first season, Void Edge. Ubisoft has announced that Void Edge is launching worldwide on March 10, 2020. If Ubi follows the same annual schedule, we should expect Season 2 to arrive in June, Season 3 in September, and Season 4 in December.

Who are the Rainbow Six Siege Year 5 operators?

As Ubisoft transitions away from the eight-operators-per-year model, Year 5 cuts new faces down to six. Seasons 1 and 2 each have two operators while seasons 3 and 4 will only have one.

We've already been introduced to Year 5's first two operators, Dutch attacker Iana and Jordanian defender Oryx. Here's a full rundown of their abilities and loadouts.

Oryx

  • 2 Speed 2 Armor
  • Ability: Remah Dash
  • Primary weapons: MP5 SMG, SPAS-12
  • Secondary weapons: Bailiff 410, USP40
  • Secondary gadgets: Barbed Wire, Bulletproof Camera

Oryx is a new kind of roamer that only gets more powerful the better you know the map. His Remah Dash lets him charge through soft walls (at the cost of ten health) and barricades like they're made of tissue paper. It's immensely satisfying to use, but even more useful is his ability to jump up and climb through hatches. As a defender, he can roam in the prep phase opening hatches that let him quietly rotate around the map later on.

Iana

  • 2 Speed 2 Armor
  • Gadget: Gemini Replicator
  • Primary weapons: ARX2000, G36C
  • Secondary weapon: MK1 9mm
  • Secondary gadgets: Smoke Grenades, Frag Grenades

Iana is an intel-gathering trickster. Her Gemini Replicator spawns an exact clone of herself that can be controlled by her like a normal operator for 15 seconds, like a drone that always recharges after being destroyed. 

But her real power comes from how Gemini tricks enemies. The hologram looks, sounds, and moves just like the real Iana. With some cleverness, you can fool enemies into thinking you're approaching north when you're actually heading east.

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Rainbow Six Siege Year 5 roadmap

As for the rest of 2020, we only know for sure what Ubisoft has revealed through its Year 5 roadmap. Season 2's pair of operators will come from South Africa and Norway while Season 4 brings a single operator from Thailand. 

As for Season 3, while Ubi claim that that operator will be surprising, there's a pretty clear hint at what to expect. The symbol next to the "classified" tag clearly belongs to Nighthaven, the fictional private military corporation that Kali and Wamai come from.

Will Season 2 be called Operation Hidden Eyes?

Ubisoft is always tight-lipped on new operators until they're officially unveiled, but reputable leaks do give us a good idea of what to expect for the rest of Year 5. A mysterious leak recently posted to the Siege subreddit claims that Season 2 will be called Operation Hidden Eyes. The post also claims that the operators are Odin (Norway) and Philisiwe (South Africa).

According to the post, Odin is a 2-speed, 2-armor attacker with a "spider drone" that can climb walls, dig through soft walls, and heal teammates within a certain range. Philisiwe, the poster claims,  is a 3-armor, 1-speed defender with barbed wire traps that slow enemies, damages them over time, and spots gadgets.

The leak was posted to the Siege subreddit with no sources or credibility. To help confirm or deny this info as best as possible, I reached out to ResetEra user Kormora, a Siege leaker that has shared accurate info about upcoming seasons for over a year. They said that, while the Reddit post's info is old, it's "not far off" from current plans. Apparently, the barbed wire gadget is now a "pyramid-shaped device that slows people."

Rainbow Six Siege Year 5 map reworks

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

As it did for Siege Year 4, Ubisoft announced all of the maps receiving a rework in Year 5 ahead of time. First up is an Oregon rework, which is coming soon in Operation Void Edge. The map is a lot to take in, but it's changing for the better. At the Six Invitational, Ubi also showed off the next map on the docket: House. Here's the full list of map reworks coming in 2020:

  • Season 1: Oregon
  • Season 2: House (Casual rework)
  • Season 3: Skyscraper
  • Season 4: Chalet

The Arcade playlist is coming, starting with Golden Gun

Ubi is also implementing an Arcade playlist in Year 5, where it can try out smaller, experimental modes vastly different from standard Siege. The first test for this is Golden Gun, a one-shot Deagle mode inspired by GoldenEye 64.

The mode looks super fun from the brief footage I've seen, but Ubi has a lot more in mind for Arcade. Eventually, the studio wants to build a library of entertaining side modes that rotate regularly. Golden Gun is coming sometime during Operation Void Edge.

A replay system is also in the works

This is a feature long-requested by fans. A proper replay system will allow players to review matches from any perspective. That's useful not only for saving clutch moments or helping to improve skill, but also for anti-cheating. It's hard to tell when someone is cheating in Siege, but being able to save the match and watch from their perspective is huge.

Replays will come to the test server sometime in the first half of Year 5, but it's still in the early stages.

Ping 2.0 gives normal pings more context

Another feature being tested in Year 5 is Ping 2.0, an upgrade to Siege's normal ping button that marks specific gadgets when aiming at them. As you can see in the gif above, you can ping traps or hazards for teammates without the need of voice callouts.

Rainbow Six Siege Year 5 battle passes

After the success of Siege's Road to S.I. battle pass, Ubisoft is diving head first into making more. In Year 5, every season will have a unique battle pass that unlocks premium cosmetics, currency packs, alpha packs, and new Siege lore.

Major operator reworks are coming, too

Ubisoft isn't pumping out fewer operators in 2020 for no reason: the developer wants to spend a lot more time and energy on improving existing ones. The prime example? The meme himself: lord Tachanka.

Tachanka has a storied history as the worst operator in the game. Light tweaks are out of the question: Ubi is taking drastic measures. New Tachanka can carry his LMG detached from its mount and also carries a flame grenade launcher that denies areas in a similar way to Smoke and Goyo.

Ubi believe this is what players should consider a 'rework' moving forward: a significant shift to an operator's identity and role in the game. For smaller refinements, they are more like 'tweaks'.

According to game director Leroy Athanassoff, Clash is a "top candidate" for a rework as well. We don't know if she'll get balancing attention she needs anytime during Year 5, but we live in hope.

Morgan is an FPS specialist who spends way too much time trying to get his friends into Rainbow Six Siege. He also loves weird stealth games, immersive sims, and having new memes explained to him by his partner.