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Game Mechanics

Rainbow Six Siege’s gameplay is based completely around short missions. Skilled operators from various counter terrorism units (FBI SWAT, SAS, SPETSNAZ, etc) battle against each other to attack or defend an objective inside a single building. Teams will switch sides and the objective might move to a new room after each round.

Remember, Rainbow Six Siege is first and foremost a tactical, team-based shooter. If you think you can run around the map and kill every opposing player on your own, you’re gonna have a bad time! Let’s break down the basic mechanics of the game.

Health and Downs

Each player starts off with 100 health. The health will not regenerate, and there are no health packs available around the map. The only way to get more health is through the Operators Doc, Finka, or after being revived from a downed state. Doc, Finka, Zofia, and Ela can also self revive, but will not receive as much health as being revived by a teammate or Doc’s stim gun.

A downed player is when an Operator loses all of their health and drops to the floor before bleeding out. The downed Operator can either crawl around or hold their wound to slow the bleeding. The more movement that’s made, the faster they’ll bleed out and die. Don’t move and hold the wound to survive for a max of 60 seconds. The best option is to hide behind a hard surface, hold your wound, and wait for your teammates to come and revive you. Make note, a player will not go down if they are killed with a headshot. Revive a player to get them back into the fight with 20 health.


Basic movement in Rainbow Six Siege is inline with most shooters these days. You can run, crouch, go prone, vault over lower obstacles, and climb up ladders. However, you will not be able to jump randomly like Call of Duty or Halo.

One unique thing attackers can do to get around the map is rappel up the side of building. Simply walk up to a solid, flat surface and hold the button that appears on the bottom of the screen. It should be X for PS4, A for XB1, and F for PC.

Sometimes an enemy will be sneaking around the map. If you want to get the jump on them, one option is to peak and lean around corners. The less of your body that’s exposed, the harder it will be to shoot you. While aiming down the sights of your weapon, press the appropriate buttons to lean either left or right. This is the joystick buttons on controllers or Q and E on PC. The only downsides to leaning is that your weapon will kick diagonally instead of straight up, and you’re more likely to get shot in the head for an instant kill.

Speed vs Armor

One of the most important aspects of Rainbow Six Siege’s meta is speed vs armor. Movement, health, and protection have been constantly tweaked over the past several years. These mechanics are meant to pit quick and weak people against slow and well protected players. The developers have stated that they want offense to take more chances with their speed, while defense needs to be able to take some hits with armor. Put accuracy into the equation, and a simple headshot will take down anyone standing in the way. Of course, an Operator can be on the offensive team while playing defensively. It all depends on the loadout of the character.


Every Operator comes equipped with one primary weapon, one secondary weapon (usually a sidearm), one gadget, one grenade (stun, frag, smoke, etc), and their special ability. A knife melee attack can also be done by pressing the appropriate button. A loadout is always tied to an Operator. Weapons cannot be picked up or switched out on the battlefield, but ammo can often be refilled by interacting with an ammo crate.

Firing your weapon while it’s at your side is known as firing from the hip. It’s not very effective unless the enemy is incredibly close. The best way to increase your accuracy is to aim down the weapon sights. Crouching will increase your aim more than standing, and going prone will give you the best accuracy.

Another way to increase accuracy is to switch a weapon’s fire mode. Not all weapons have different fire modes. To find out, simply press the button with the bullet icon that appears at the bottom of the screen. If there is no button or icon, the weapon only has one fire mode that cannot be switched. Most assault rifles and submachine guns can switch between fully automatic, semi automatic, and sometimes even burst fire.

Destruction and Penetration

Rainbow Six Siege excels in destruction, and you’ll need to master it if you want to succeed in this game. Each map has three different types of surfaces: fully breakable, partially breakable, and unbreakable. They each respond differently to the equipment Operators have accessible to them.

Breakable surfaces can be destroyed easily with explosives and breach charges. Shotguns can also be used to create openings, but it’ll take several shots to make a hole big enough for a person to fit through. Other firearms will also destroy walls, but it’ll take a lot more ammo compared to shotguns. Create a new door to get the jump on your opponents and secure any objective.

Partially destructible surfaces are slightly uncommon in the game. They can be shot through and destroyed like the fully breakable surfaces, but they are also reinforced with steel beams. Destroy these surfaces to create new lines of sight for firearms, but you won’t be able to make new doors or paths that people can fit through.

Unbreakable surfaces mean they cannot be destroyed or even shot through. Nothing can penetrate them, so don’t waste any ammo or explosives on them. Certain gadgets, such as breach charges, will notify you if a surface is unbreakable so you don’t waste equipment.

The first two destructible surfaces can be shot through with any sort of weapon, but bullet damage will be reduced. The best weapons for penetration are shotguns and light machine guns, followed by assault rifles, submachine guns, and pistols.

Of course, walls and floors don’t have to be breached to reach a goal. A simple door or hatch in a floor will also suffice. However, doors can be barricaded with wood, and hatches can be reinforced with steel. See more about barricades and reinforced walls in the next basic sections on playing offense and defense.