Rainbow Six Siege is revamping riot shields and overhauling the new player experience in 2023

As part of its 2023 Rainbow Six Siege Invitational livestream, Ubisoft outlined its plans for the tactical shooter's eighth year, including the new operators, tools, and balance changes coming down the pike.

Rainbow Six Siege Year Eight timeline outlining balance changes, new operators, new map, and new onboarding experience

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

We know the most about Year Eight's first season and its upcoming operator, Brava. Commanding Force launches on March 7, and Brava is an attacker who can hack enemy electronics to either disable or co-opt them. Commanding Force will also see the launch of Siege's new Mousetrap anti-mouse and keyboard measures on console, and the beginning of Siege's reworked onboarding experience for new players. 

Later seasons will see new operators from Sweden, South Korea, and Portugal (in that order), as well as an all-new map in Season Four at the end of the year. Ubisoft is also reworking the Consulate map and the operator, Frost, in Season Two, followed by a revamp of riot shields in Season Four. 

To discourage turtling and make the tool more tactical and aggressive, players will no longer be able to hip fire while holding the shield up, and instead have to consciously switch between aiming their pistol and defending. In exchange, players now have the ability to look independently of where their shield is pointing.

Ubisoft is clearly showing Siege a lot of love, even as it approaches a decade of running as a live service. The team reiterated its commitment to the game's long-term future, both verbally, and with the introduction of a fresh onboarding experience for new players. 

Season One will see beginner challenges to help players learn the game and unlock operators, while Season Three will introduce comprehensive tutorials, followed by a new humans vs. bots playlist in Season Four with lower-stakes play. You can check out a condensed version of the reveal livestream on YouTube, as well as Rainbow Six Siege's Year Eight cinematic trailer.

Associate Editor

Ted has been thinking about PC games and bothering anyone who would listen with his thoughts on them ever since he booted up his sister's copy of Neverwinter Nights on the family computer. He is obsessed with all things CRPG and CRPG-adjacent, but has also covered esports, modding, and rare game collecting. When he's not playing or writing about games, you can find Ted lifting weights on his back porch.