Rainbow Six Siege is tinkering with ADS times on all weapons and other big changes

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

In preparation for Rainbow Six Siege Year 5, Ubisoft is testing dramatic nerfs and buffs that could shake up the meta, if implemented. Most significant among the tests is a sweeping increase to all aim-down-sight (ADS) times for every weapon in the game.

Blackbeard, Ying, Finka, and Ela are getting experimental buffs that could elevate them from the middle of the pack. Receiving nerfs are three of the most popular defenders around: Echo, Maestro, and Jäger. These changes are all happening on the Technical Test Server, so there’s no guarantee they will ever make it to the live game. But at the very least, Ubisoft is seriously exploring these ideas.

ADS time increased for all weapons

  • Assault rifles: from 0.30s to 0.40s
  • DMRs: from 0.30s up to 0.40s
  • SMGs: from 0.20s up to 0.30s
  • LMGs: from 0.40s up to 0.45s
  • Pistol: 0.10s up to 0.20s
  • SMGs in secondary slots: 0.10s up to 0.35s
  • Shotguns: 0.20s up to 0.25s

This is part reversion, and part new nerf. Ubi said the new ADS times are “similar” to what they were before first-person animations were reworked in Operation Ember Rise. Though, there are some noticeable exceptions. ADS times for secondary SMGs (SMG-11, SMG-12, Bearing 9, and C75 Auto) are over twice as long in this patch. That’s a big deal for ops whose loadouts tend to rely on these weapons—Smoke, Mute, and Dokkaebi would be most affected.

This is also a small buff for LMGs, which are now only 0.05 (down from 0.1s) seconds slower to aim than assault rifles. With the exception of the listed SMGs, the longer aim times won’t change much for players. We’re talking about fractions of a fraction of a second, after all.

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Echo purchases a cellphone

  • Echo and Yokai can now be hacked by Dokkaebi
  • Echo is no longer immune to Dokkaebi's Logic Bomb. Additionally, if Dokkaebi is present in the round, Echo drops a phone that can be hacked when he is killed. When Dokkaebi hacks the Defender's Observation Tools system, access to the Yokai cameras is also granted for Attackers.
  • With this change, Yokai now has lights that show only when NOT cloaked, and Yokai drone lights will change to reflect it is hacked.

Against his better judgment, Echo finally caved and bought a smartphone. Unfortunately, that means he can now be called by Dokkaebi like every other defender. His Yokai drones are now also susceptible to Dokkaebi’s camera hacks.

The proposed tweaks are a huge nerf to Echo’s main job in the meta: denying defuser plants with the Yokai’s sonic bursts. Since getting called by Dokkaebi’s Logic Bomb kicks defenders off cameras until they turn off the phone, a well-timed call can buy enough time for attackers to plant the defuser without fear. The light emitted by the Yokai when uncloaked might be the biggest nerf of all. If that light is bright enough, spotting and destroying the drone after it fires a burst could become trivial.

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Maestro misplaces his ACOG

  • ACOG removed from Maestro’s ALDA LMG

“We think the ALDA is powerful even without the ACOG and want to see if it’s removal will highlight its other great qualities,” reads the post. Maestro’s ALDA LMG is, hands down, one of the best weapons on defense. Players have long-suggested that an increase to its recoil would balance the qualities that make it a great anchoring weapon, but Ubi is instead opting for optics. Losing the sight does limit its dominance on some objectives, but it won’t change its stats.

Jäger loses oomph

  • Reduced Jäger’s 416-C damage to 38 (down from 43)

Speaking of nerfs to powerful defender weapons, that’s a lot of damage lost from Jäger’s 416-C assault rifle. Ubi said the change is due to the 416 outperforming every other defender weapon. The knock down to 38 still places it higher than most, but it will take at least one more shot to kill in most situations. Jäger’s ADS devices still make him indispensable competitively, so his pick rate likely won’t budge.

Ying’s Candelas get smarter

  • Candela’s now have a new outline that is visible only to Ying
  • Improved distribution of Cluster Flashes to make the flash more reliable.
  • Number of pellets per Candela increased to 7 (up from 6) - (1 at floor level, 3 at around hip level and 3 at head level).
  • Pellets detonation time reduced to 0.3s (from 1s on throw and 2.5s on deploy).
  • Pellets that bounce on environmental props maintain their velocity instead of falling and detonating on the floor.
  • Candela explosion minor VFX improvements.

This is a borderline rework for Ying. Trying to precisely throw or roll Ying’s Candelas has always felt like a game of chance, so I love that these changes focus on usability and clarity. Now you’ll be able to see through a wall if the Candela reached its intended target, which informs whether its safe to push enemies. The faster detonation time is downright scary. The whole thing is done detonating 0.3 seconds, bringing it closer to the instantaneous pop of a flash grenade than the methodical “thunk thunk thunk” of a Fuze charge.

Ela catches a break

  • Reduced recoil on Scorpion Evo3 for the first 16 shots, any proceeding shots will have recoil similar to what it is currently on live.

Remember when Ela was the most overpowered thing in Siege? Her Scorpion hasn’t seen much attention since its big 2018 nerfs, but Ubi is taking a stab at its higher-than-average recoil. Lower recoil on a high fire rate weapon makes me a bit nervous, but time will tell how balanced it feels.

Blackbeard aims faster

  • ADS penalization will only apply when Blackbeard’s Gun Shield is equipped.
  • Weapons without the Gun Shield will maintain the same timings as any other Assault Rifle, weapons with the Gun Shield will have the same timings as they have now, and the Angled Grip will affect the SCAR with and without the Gun Shield equipped.

Small quality-of-life changes for Blackbeard that make a lot of sense. I still don’t think a headshot-blocking rifle shield belongs in Siege in the first place, but a faster ADS time could inspire players to forego the shield in particularly tense situations.

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Finka sharpens her Spear

  • Increased Finka’s Spear .308 damage to 42 (up from 38)

For almost two years, Finka’s Spear rifle has been among the weakest in the game. Four extra damage will help a bit, but most players will likely still favor the 6P41 LMG. Timed alongside her Adrenal Boost, the LMG becomes a laser that easily outclasses the Spear.

Nøkk & Smoke hit a little harder

  • Increased Nokk’s FMG9 damage to 34 (up from 30)

As noted by Ubi, the damage boost is mostly targeted at Nøkk. The FMG’s particularly weak stats make it a tough primary weapon. This boost brings it more-or-less in line with a typical defender SMG.

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.