It is said that Rainbow 6 Siege is a game of information. Tactically, it is.
But strategically, R6 is fundamentally a game of delicate economics. Given the limited resources of five players, how do teams allocate their numbers and pressure their opponents at the right points?
Nowhere is this balance more apparent than where you decide to focus on as a defender. Have too many roamers and your team loses the objective. Too many anchors, and you cede map control to the attackers.
Both these roles play off each other. Anchors need roamers to help secure points. Roamers need anchors so that the attackers don’t sneak into objective rooms or outflank them. Balancing both these roles is key as you maneuver teams to victory.
Best of the Roamers
Roaming is the fine art of area denial and attrition. Roamers aim to slow down attackers from reaching objectives. Optimally, kills result from roaming. But roamers, if untrained and undisciplined, tend to die early and not help the team.
Roamers must act as a persistent threat to attackers. Dying early helps no one except the enemy. A good roamer stays alive as attackers breach barriers toward the objective.
There are several keys to being a strong roamer.
Possess in-depth map knowledge. If you know the map well, you know where chokepoints exist. You can predict what paths enemies will take. You know where major sightlines and peek holes exist.
Pay attention to the sound around you. R6 is tactically a game about information. This information is hidden from you unless you pay attention –– and nowhere is this more apparent than the footstep sound meta in R6. Wear headphones when playing. With directional audio you can roughly judge how far an enemy is from you, but also which direction they are in relation to you.
Keep tabs on cameras. With the addition of Maestro, Valkyrie, and the bulletproof camera gadget, defenders now have many more options to keep visual tabs on the enemy. If you’re playing with a microphone, callouts are critical to your teammates. Even when dead, keeping an eye on cameras and giving you teammates critical intel can be the difference maker in a closer match.
Give your enemy as little information as possible. Having the initiative in an engagement greatly increases the chances of winning firefights. The more sound you make, the more information you provide to an enemy, and the more likely an operator will prefire or anticipate your engagement. Crouch-walking eliminates loud footsteps. Shoot enemy drones quickly and on sight.
Even without his ACOG, Jager remains one of the most difficult roamers to play against. His HK-416 assault rifle hits like a truck. As a three-speed, Jager can quickly move across maps, popping in and out of firefights. In more experienced players hands, Jäger is the penultimate spawn peeker and can pick off attackers before a round has barely begun. With advanced map knowledge, these players can guess attacker spawn areas and pull off a few bursts on the advancing team.
Lesion’s T-5 SMG is extremely accurate. His strong loadout, coupled with his near-invisible poison traps, make him a very good roamer. In addition to inflicting damage, triggered traps also provide a Lesion with useful information on player movement. Deployed traps will show up as icons in a player HUD, and will disappear upon activation. Enemies will also grunt in pain when they walk over them, providing you with valuable intel on approaches.
Bandit requires a high level of skill to use properly. His “Bandit trick” involves rapidly moving his electric wire device to destroy hard breacher explosives like Thermite’s charge and Hibana’s X-KAIROS pellets. While this tactic is suited to protecting objective rooms and important chokepoints, his three-speed and low-recoil MP7 still make him a powerful roamer.
Smoke’s gas grenades are excellent at area denial and objective defense. In addition, his weapon loadout remains strong, and his SMG-11 was recently buffed with higher damage in the Wind Bastion patch.
Best of the Anchors
Reinforce often and early. Locking down ceiling panels and walls is key. Even with hard breachers, reinforcements ensure the attackers can’t open all lanes to break into objective rooms. Reinforcements reduce options for attackers.
Deploy gadgets often and early. Many defending operators have defensive buffs (Rook) and gadgets (Mute, Bandit, Kaid) that increase team efficiency or make reinforcements even more difficult to breach. Make sure you’re placing your gadgets in the prep phase and in coordination with teammates.
Get better at aiming. As an anchor, the meta is less about mobility and playing psychological warfare with the enemy. An anchor needs to get key kills and headshots to whittle down attacker numbers. Hold corners tightly, and reduce visibility as much as is possible.
Be mindful of the objective. This is more of a factor when playing Bomb mode when there are two locations. But even in Secure Area, be aware of when there are no players present in the capture area. Many matches are lost when anchors are caught out of position.
Rook is the ultimate anchor. This has been true since day one of R6 as the operator has barely changed since the game’s release.
Rook’s three-armour rating and ability to equip ACOG scopes on his weapons makes him one of the best anchor characters. His armoured plate drop is effectively free extra health for the defenders –– a critical buff that allows teammates to be able to take extra shots from attackers.
Doc has the same stats and weapon choices as Rook. But his special ability to heal and revive teammates at a distance as well as himself even in a DBNO state can be a major game-changer. He reaps the benefits of an ACOG-equippable MP5 or P90, as well as the added bonus of the new bulletproof camera gadget introduced in Year Three.
When Mira was released in Year Two, her arrival marked a huge shift in the game meta. Her Black Mirrors can create extremely hard to pass hardpoints for the attackers. Attackers are forced to either attempt a hard breach to destroy them, or find an alternate point of ingress.
If placed on or near unreinforced walls, Mira can use the Black Mirrors to peek into rooms and squeeze off shots on unsuspecting attackers. Ideally, you will want to use the leaning ability or crouch up to connect shots quickly from behind cover.
Maestro burst onto the scene as the only defender with access to an ACOG-equippable light machine gun. In addition to his powerful primary, his Evil Eye gadget is another way defenders can have access to visual intel. The Evil Eye laser is a powerful asset to keep objective rooms locked down, as it can see through smoke and is indestructible to firearms.