What Rainbow Six Siege's possible new breacher and anti-breacher could mean for the meta

New leaks emerging from the test server for Rainbow Six Siege’s new Operation Parra Bellum update might give us a hint as to what type of operators and gadgets we can expect for the rest of Year 3, including a new hard breaching tool and a gadget that might be its perfect counter.

The leaks come by way of redditor Artex3, who has reliably data-mined accurate info from the game’s client on several other occasions. The most interesting bits of info are code strings that refer to a few new gadgets. The first is a blow torch, which would presumably be able to penetrate metal wall reinforcements. The second is something called a “Hole Blocker.” Strings in the code suggest that the hole blocker is a projectile tool that might have utility as a trap, but it feels likely that it will shoot some sort of filament that can patch up walls that have been breached (maybe Ubi actually read my fan post from eight months ago!).

The third gadget is called the “audio alarm” in the code, and according to Artex has been around for a few seasons. This one has a lot of commands attached to it, including lines for “triggered,” stick and “unstickied,” and idle. Portions of the code seem to refer to points gained when killing a player “detected” by the audio alarm.

That’s a lot of exciting stuff to take in, so let’s go over what this could all mean for the future of the Siege meta. The blow torch seems to suggest that we’ll soon be getting a new hard breaching operator, which is consistent with what Ubisoft told us a few weeks ago. This blow torch-wielding operator (who we’ll call Torchy for now and forever) would be the first hard breaching addition to the game since Year 1 with Hibana. This brings the total to three, and while that doesn’t sound like a big deal, the effects could be immense.

On the defense side, more breaching might be a balancing nightmare.

Taking all three breachers, Thermite, Hibana, and Torchy, on one squad would drastically expand how much of an objective can be opened if the defenders aren’t on their toes. Hibana has historically had a higher pick rate than Thermite because of her versatility. She can open two reinforced hatches and still have the juice left over to open line-of-sight into an objective wall. Torchy, on the other hand, could have even fewer limitations to their ability. Perhaps their torch runs on fuel instead of a use limit, meaning you can cut up a wall into any desired shape assuming you don’t run out of gas. And in return, it might take a long time to cut through, leaving Torchy vulnerable in a way their fellow ops aren’t.

It’s cool to think about having more breaching capability on attack, but on the defense side, more breaching might be a balancing nightmare. The most reliable strategies for countering breaching at the moment are Mute and Bandit, and they both share an ultimate weakness: Thatcher. More walls to worry about means stretching their jammers and batteries thinner, and that’s assuming they’ll even be effective against Torchy.

But this could be where the Hole Blocker comes in, which has a wielder that we’ll call Blockley. Blockley could be the perfect addition to all of these breaching antics with their speculative ability to quickly patch up holes made by enemies. The big question is how durable this hypthetical handywork will be. Will Blockley’s patched walls have the durability of a normal soft wall, or a reinforced wall? Or even be somewhere between: a wall that can’t be shot through but can be blown through. On the trap end of things, perhaps the filament can be spread on the ground to slow down attackers like razor wire, and even provide extra protection from below.

And then there’s the new audio alarm, which sounds most likely to be an operator gadget, not a secondary gadget like the new bulletproof camera or nitro cell. This is because of the portion of the code that refers to it being a sticky device, possibly fired from a launcher. The alarm could take any number of forms, but I get the sense it’ll be a small device to make hiding it easier. The biggest question is which side will utilize it. It may seem like an obvious defender gadget, but it could also prove to be an interesting anti-roaming tool. Imagine entering a building and setting alarms at various doorways to catch a blood-thirsty Caveira in the act of sneaking up behind you. Either way, there’s probably more utility to this gadget than can be gleaned from what’s here.

What makes these leaks especially exciting is that they seem to be bringing things to the Siege meta that fans have been thirsty for. The breaching dynamics of Siege have been stagnant for a long time, so new breaching methods and new counter plays are refreshing compared recent operators that have focused mainly on intelligence and combat buffs. Hopefully we’ll see the fruition of this info soon, maybe even in the next seasonal drop.

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.