New Rainbow Six Siege patch nerfs and buffs nine operators

Para Bellum’s big mid-season patch is on its way to Rainbow Six Siege, and with it a big balancing pass on nine operators. Many of these changes were previewed on last week’s test sever, but there’s plenty of new changes on the way.

The largest changes are coming to Finka and IQ. In response to new statistics showing the win rate and pick rates of all operators, Finka specifically is in an awkward spot. She has an extremely high win ratio, but is also underplayed. “We want her to be more popular, but also make her weaker. This is somewhat counter intuitive, and thus presents us with a unique opportunity to make some tweaks and adjustments,” Ubisoft noted in the post.

They’re happy with how Maestro is performing, but think he might be too strong in the Pro League.

In hopes of remedying this, Finka’s Adrenal Surge ability is being nerfed. Each use will now last only 10 seconds (down from 20), aiming down sights will only be 25 percent faster (down from 50 percent), and Smoke’s gas canister won’t do as much extra damage to those using the surge. She is also stealing IQ’s frag grenades, to the disappointment of many IQ mains.

In addition to losing her frags in favor of a claymore, IQ’s electronics scanner is also getting a slight nerf. Its maximum range will now be 15 meters instead of 20. These changes are targeted at IQ’s high pick rate in Pro League. Ubi wants IQ to primarily play a  supportive role and limit her fragging utility. “In the past, we gave her a Frag Grenade in a time when her gadget was less useful. The increase in detectable gadgets has buffed IQ each time, so we need to balance her a bit.” With the increased number of cameras introduced in Para Bellum, Ubi believes she’s never been stronger. Interestingly, the post also mentions plans for more “drastic” changes to IQ in the future, but gave no other details.

Blackbeard is also seeing some significant shakeup that will affect his play style. His two bullet shields will now have 50 health (down from 60), meaning in most circumstances they’ll be able to withstand one or two fewer hits. To compensate, his movement speed penalty when a shield is attached has been reduced to only 30 percent. His MK17 assault rifle is also getting a slight damage buff from 42 to 49, and his SR-25 DMR is seeing a big damage nerf of 72 to 61. The MK17 has historically been one of the weakest weapons in the game, so these changes will make his kit choices more attractive.

To round out a few other nerfs, Glaz’s rifle damage is going down to 71 from 85 while Twitch’s FAMAS is going down to 37 from 40. This makes a lot of sense for Glaz, who has become extremely strong since a surprise buff to his rifle fire rate in Para Bellum. A damage of 71 brings the weapon to the stronger side of other DMR’s with the added benefit of a smoke-vision scope, of course. With Twitch’s nerf, Ubi is hoping to encourage more operator diversity by making her gun less of a powerhouse.

A few more buffs were also touched on. The range at which Jackal can track footprints is going up from 5 meters to 8. With this change, Ubi wants to “improve player comfort while playing Jackal, and reduce a bit of the risk involved with scanning enemy footsteps.” Both of Frost’s primary weapons are also seeing a buff. Her 9mm C1 SMG damage is going up from 43 to 45, and her Super 90 shotgun damage is up from 32 to 35. These are small tweaks, but Ubi admits that they “probably need more extensive work done to make her as viable as some other Operators, but that is something that we will have to look at doing in the distant future.”

To make room for IQ’s new claymore, Dokkaebi will be losing hers in favor of flash grenades. This likely won’t change the play style of most who main her, as smoke grenades are often seen as the more useful piece of kit to bring along. Barbed wire is also seeing a change in speed reduction. It will now slow down attackers by 50 percent instead of 45, but still require two hits to destroy.

Ubisoft closed with some thoughts on several operators that they’re currently working on. They’re happy with how Maestro is performing, but think he might be too strong in the Pro League. Alibi is performing a little too strong in Ranked, but is underused in the Pro League. They’ll be keeping a close eye on how to improve her. Win rates for both Kapkan and Frost have also suspiciously dropped, so that is also being examined closely.

A rework of Castle is also in the works, but has been put on the backburner for the time being. “We are looking to make more drastic changes to Castle, but do not have an ETA. We have an idea for what we would like to do, but it is currently in the back log, with no time frame for when work on it will begin,” Ubi said.

Morgan Park
Staff Writer

Morgan has been writing for PC Gamer since 2018, first as a freelancer and currently as a staff writer. He has also appeared on Polygon, Kotaku, Fanbyte, and PCGamesN. Before freelancing, he spent most of high school and all of college writing at small gaming sites that didn't pay him. He's very happy to have a real job now. Morgan is a beat writer following the latest and greatest shooters and the communities that play them. He also writes general news, reviews, features, the occasional guide, and bad jokes in Slack. Twist his arm, and he'll even write about a boring strategy game. Please don't, though.