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Rainbow Six Siege Crystal Guard - everything we know about Y6S3

The Crystal Guard Y6S3 update for Rainbow Six Siege is packed with changes, here's the complete breakdown

Rainbow Six Siege's next operator, Osa. deploys her shield gadget

Wondering what changes are coming in the Rainbow Six Siege Crystal Guard update? We’re now fast approaching Year 6 Season 3 in the long-running FPS game and much like previous seasons, there is a brand new attacking operator, some tweaks to certain maps, and a whole bunch of balance changes to get your head around.

With so many playable characters now in the game, it’s probably a good idea to brush up on who the best Rainbow Six Siege operators in 2021 are. Year 6 has also seen the introduction of Flores in Crimson Heist, and Thunderbird in North Star, with one new operator to be revealed after the Crystal Guard update.

You may have already seen that the new operator is Osa, and she has a deployable shield gadget, but there’s so much more in the Y6S3 update to uncover. We’ll be going through everything we know about the new operator from their stats, loadouts, and gadgets, as well as all of the upcoming map changes, reworks, and balance patches.

Rainbow Six Siege Crystal Guard release date

The Rainbow Six Siege Year 6 Season 3 release date is not known at this time, however the Crystal Guard update is going live on the test servers on August 17 with the new operator joining the roster on August 18. You can try out all of the new changes coming to the game head of time by playing on these servers. Normally there is a three week test server run before the full release date of an update, but because the reveals have been different this time around, we can’t safely confirm the full release date.

Speaking of test servers, they’re changing the way the game handles playlists to instead just have one public playlist – hopefully a larger player pool will reduce queues. However, you can still play custom games on the test server.

The new Rainbow Six Siege operator is Osa, a blonde lady wearing cool shades.

Crystal Guard new operator – Osa

Osa is the new attacker operator coming to the Crystal Guard update. She’s from Croatia and appears to be part of the Nighthaven CTU. Their primary weapon choices are between a powerful if somewhat slow assault rifle, and a rapid firing SMG that doesn’t do much damage per bullet. Here are all of Osa’s stats and loadout options:

  • Armour rating – 2
  • Speed rating – 2
  • Primary weapons – 556XI assault rifle or PDW9 submachine gun
  • Secondary weapon – PMM
  • Secondary gadgets – smoke grenades or claymore mines

Talon shield

Osa’s gadget is the Talon Shield, of which she gets two charges per round. It’s a transparent version of the deployable shield, though it’s slightly larger, enabling it to cover a single doorway or half a double doorway. You can even place the shield on windows at an angle. Holding the shield protects Osa from head-on enemy fire, though she can’t sprint, hold a weapon, or go prone, and she can’t be hit while deploying the shield.

It’s also far more fragile than the regular deployable shield, as it’s bulletproof glass rather than made of metal, so it can be penetrated with enough bullets. It also has a canister that faces towards the attackers, which can be shot to shatter the entire shield. It’s also vulnerable to explosives such as impact grenades and C4, so defending teams should have some in their loadout.

New Elite skin

In Y6S3, you can get a new skin for Lion, based on Leon S Kennedy from the Resident Evil series. This continues the trend from earlier this year when Zofia got a Jill Valentine skin.

The minor rework to the Bank map in Rainbow Six Siege has wooden banisters.

Map changes

Instead of one map getting a massive overhaul, three maps are getting more minor tweaks in the Crystal Guard update. Here are all of the upcoming map changes in Rainbow Six Siege Y6S3:


  • The concrete bars on the courtyard windows are being removed, though defenders can now barricade them
  • VIP balcony now has a soft wall, and you can now rappel from the balcony up to the roof


  • Metal bars have been removed from the map. This means that the banisters on staircases are now made from destructible wood
  • The vault hatch is now deeper into Vault
  • Elevators have also been reworked to make them more viable for both attackers and defenders
  • The top windows that lead from the parking garage to the area called out by players as ‘banana’ have now been blocked off
  • Some banisters around the Square Lobby (or ‘square’ to players) have been covered
  • Square Lobby skylight is also now covered up to ensure defenders can’t be shot all the way up
  • A second door has been added between Lobby and ATMs
  • Navigating around the outside of the map, particularly between tunnel and side alley, is now easier


  • Bomb site locations have been reworked to Stage and Bar, rather than Stock and Bar
  • Double soft wall that was between Construction and Cash has now been sealed up completely
  • Navigating around the outside, particularly between Kennels and Main Gate, is now easier

Twitch is getting a rework for her drones in Rainbow Six Siege Crystal Guard that buffs her shock drones she controls with her arm controller.

Operator reworks

Some operators are getting a few changes to how their gadgets work, with some changing their interactions. Here are all of the Rainbow Six Siege Y6S3 operator reworks:

  • Twitch – her shock drones can now jump, and shoot lasers rather than tasers. This means they now have infinite range to destroy gadgets. She’s also getting a standard drone in addition to her two shock drones in the preparation phase; she can use the standard drone to scout the enemy position, reducing the risk of losing a shock drone.
  • Fuze – his cluster charges can now burst through reinforced walls, but the activation time has been made longer to compensate for this, increasing the chance that the defending team can find it and shoot the tube that deploys the explosives.
  • IQ – her scanning tool now highlights gadgets it detects, allowing IQ to contextually ping the gadget for the rest of the team.

Gameplay updates

It’s not just the operators that are changing, as there are other tweaks being made to the general gameplay and game mechanics:

  • Flash is now being reworked so that the effect is more consistent. Instead of affecting anyone who looks at the flash when it goes off, the flash now affects anyone within a certain range. The duration of the flash effect has been reduced to compensate for the higher chance to be caught in the blast range.
  • You can now pick and mix between headgear and uniforms from different skins for greater character customisation.
  • A light shader effect is now around every character model in the game, meaning that no matter what skin they’re wearing, the outline should still be visible at all times.
  • The armour and health changes tested in Y6S2 are being implemented in the full game now.

Sledge using a mallet to take out a security camera. He's one of the Rainbow Six Siege operators getting nerfed in Crystal Guard.

Balance changes

The Crystal Guard update also brings with it some significant balance changes, including major buffs and nerfs to a variety of operators. Here are all of the Rainbow Six Siege Y6S3 balance changes:

  • Sledge – he is losing his SMG-11 machine pistol as a secondary weapon choice
  • Fuze – his AK-12 gets a significant recoil nerf as it now veers off up and to the right
  • Ace – his AK-12 gets a significant recoil nerf as it now veers off up and to the right
  • Iana – the G36C only has 1x optics now, as the 2x scope has been removed

That’s everything we know about the Rainbow Six Siege Crystal Guard update. If it’s been a while since you jumped into Siege, we also have more details on the rest of Rainbow Six Siege Year 6, including a roadmap and details on the battle pass, reputation, and replay systems.