Anyone who follows me on social media knows I’ve been anxious for the release of Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege and while I’m far from “pro” status when it comes to the game, I am definitely passionate. But, you know what they say: those who can’t do, teach.

Let’s get down to it. Here are 6 tips for players new to Siege:

1: Communication

Trust me, I know the idea of communicating with randoms can be scary… but in Siege it can quite literally mean the difference between life and death (and usually is.) Whether you’re at the mercy of matchmaking or partying up with 4 friends, an unmuted mic is key in Siege.

Simple things like learning basic callouts for each map, keeping your team updated on yours and enemy movements and discussing fortification  mean you’ll all be alive a lot longer and your objective will be completed a lot quicker.

TIP: During hostage extraction, try placing breaches ahead of time as you enter the structure. When it’s go time, your nontraditional exit routes will be wired and ready to go without stopping. Meanwhile, players using Fuze can plant a cluster charge to detonate and wreak havoc AFTER the hostage and all teammates have been safely removed from the immediate area.

2: Tactical Basics

Rainbow Six Siege

As far as games go, Siege can be unnervingly realistic. That means that applying real-life tactical ideologies in-game are usually pretty effective. Here’s some to get you started:

– Make the best of your rappel ropes and get to higher ground quickly when on the offensive. Clearing maps top to bottom means you’ll be flushing enemies out of the structure and not fighting against the current.

– Stay. Low. The crouch and “hit the deck” stances are your friend. With friendly fire a very real threat, taking initiative and staying low when clearing a room with a fellow operator narrows your margin for accidents.

– Controlled bursts. Spraying and praying will get you nowhere except for up shit creek with only a pistol and minimal ammo to help you.

3: Gadgets

Rainbow Six Siege

Sure, those breach charges will get you in the building but they also have a more creative calling. A properly placed charge during the bomb defusal phase can mean taking out multiple enemies as they file through a chokepoint. Satisfying? Just a bit.

Same goes for Ash’s long distance breach charge: use it to bust in walls or use it as a makeshift mortar to take out deployable shields or anything (or anybody) else that gets in your way.

TIP: In the observation phase of hostage rescue, try to maneuver a drone beneath the NPC’s legs. If you’re lucky, the enemy’s determination to take out your drone will mean them popping their own hostage. An unfortunate casualty, but it’ll put your team ahead in the points before the games even really begin.

4: Teamwork & Balance

Rainbow Six Siege

Unless you’re playing with your regular group of friends, the Operator selection screen can be a little chaotic. Everyone is going to have their preference when it comes to who they want to play but sometimes sticking to your (familiar) guns isn’t always the best way to go. Be aware of your squad’s decisions and pick an operator that compliments the dynamic.

Sure, you may need to step outside of your comfort zone but you’ll be happy you did it when you can drop Rook’s R1N armor plates and spare your light armoured teammates an untimely death.

5: Audio

On top of it’s destruction engine, one of Siege’s key features is its sound design and propagation. There’s no in-match music tracks for a reason, so slow down and listen to your surroundings.

With a good quality surround sound headset (which will make a very real difference), things like rappel ropes, barbed wire, nitro cells and the regulator on a bomber’s mask are almost deafening when you’re listening for them.

6: uPlay, The Ubisoft Club & Official Siege Site

Regardless of your opinions of Ubisoft’s game portal, uPlay, signing in when playing Siege is worth it. Completing in-game objectives (across all applicable titles) will get you units which can then be traded in in the Ubisoft Club for weapon skins, Boosters, etc… Everyone loves free stuff.

The official Siege site has something called the Tactical Board (currently in BETA). It’s a treasure trove of the game’s maps and game mode options paired with all the tools you’ll need to visually plan strategies and share them with friends. Available on browsers on both desktop and smart devices, the Tactical Board is an asset to those who take ranked play seriously.  

And that’s just to get you started. There is a lot more subtlety to Siege than it’s exploding, imploding, bullet riddled, bloodsoaked exterior would make you believe. Get in there, kick ass and figure it out.