The best Rainbow Six Siege operators

We run through the very best Rainbow Six Siege operators so you know who to pick for both attack and defence, plus how to use them

So, you want to know who the best Rainbow Six Siege operators are? This is a very complex shooter – perhaps one of the most intricately designed multiplayer games being played right now. The depth comes from numerous places: the destructible environments, the design of the maps, but primarily from the unique gadgets, stats, and loadouts offered by each of its playable operators. We have been training with the elite troopers in order to find out which operator is the strongest.

Owing to the game’s asymmetric multiplayer gameplay, Rainbow Six Siege operators come in two flavours: attackers and defenders. Currently, there are 60+ Rainbow Six Siege operators to unlock and use in the game. New Rainbow Six Siege operators drop with every season, and you can unlock them early buy buying into that season’s battle pass, or wait until they’re available for general release and use your hard-earned in-game currency. This is earned through completing matches and ticking off daily challenges, so it is good to know which ones to snap up first in order to make collecting the remaining operators even faster.

We update this list of Rainbow Six Siege operators regularly to best reflect the game’s live meta, so rest assured these really are Tom Clancy’s finest operators and we’ll update this guide when the new season rolls around.

Here are the best Rainbow Six Siege operators:

attackers

These are our top picks of attacking operators in Rainbow Six Siege.

Maverick

These days Thatcher is almost permanently banned, so finding another effective way of clearing those Bandit batteries or Kaid claws is essential. While Kali can also be useful for this, Maverick is the superior choice, but he requires a lot of practice if you want to safely and efficiently open up reinforced surfaces.

Once you have mastered his gadget he becomes one of the strongest attackers in the game. Not only can he create lines of sight without needing to clear out defender denial, like Mute jammers and Kaid claws, but he can also replace an Ace or a Thermite if you have a soft breacher working with you. Maverick uses a method of removing the reinforcement by destroying its anchor points. On key maps like Clubhouse and Consulate he makes bringing wall denial virtually pointless.

This versatility extends to the rest of his kit. The AR-15.50 isn’t favoured often as it’s a semi-automatic rifle, but it’s strong for longer lines of sight, such as holding the server wall on Clubhouse or the garage wall on Chalet. It drops with two or three rounds and fires as fast as you can spam the left mouse button, so give it a shot. The best option is probably the M4 thanks to its high rate of fire, relatively low recoil, and the fact that it can be equipped with an angled grip for faster ADS speeds. Maverick can even bring frag grenades, which is without a doubt the most powerful secondary gadget on attack.

Sledge

We like Sledge; not only does he have high utility, he’s also a great fragger and his loadout capabilities tend to not change often. His gadget is increasingly important as vertical play begins to permeate even mid-level ranked games, and he can open up entire floors by himself thanks to his hammer.

The addition of frag grenades, a superb assault rifle that can equip almost every scope, and the best secondary SMG, it’s clear that Sledge is a top tier operator. Quite often if you play Siege for a long period of time you end up trying out different operators who specialise in varied roles, but there is something to be said about the ‘OG’ operators like Sledge. They will always be strong and useful, and you’re more likely than not going to keep coming back to them time and again.

Ace

Hard breach is a crucial role in Siege, and Ace’s throwable breaching devices can quickly open a large area from a safe distance. You don’t always want to have a Maverick carving up reinforced walls in an area where roamers can get an easy pick, so Ace is your best bet in those situations.

He’s also one of the best fraggers in the game thanks to his assault rifle, the AK-12. Statistically, the AK-12 is one of the most efficient guns in the game and it doesn’t hurt that it can carry a 2x scope. Thanks to the recoil changes in 2021, you’ll probably want to equip it with a vertical grip now.

To round out his kit, he can bring smoke grenades, making him a great objective-focused operator who can breach, smoke, and plant solo. He’s not great on hatches though – you’ll need to use two of his charges to pop open a hatch – so bring a Hibana for sites like Church, and arsenal for Clubhouse.

Zofia

She’s almost interchangeable with Ash, but we prefer Zofia for her solo play potential. With her breaching charges she can open crucial vertical spots on maps like Kafe and Coastline, and as she has four projectiles in her launcher she can also solo-clear a Jäger stack to get rid of a shield.

Her primary assault rifle isn’t viable anymore thanks to the recoil changes, but her LMG-E is fast becoming one of the most popular guns in the game. With decent scope options, a huge mag, and manageable recoil, you can shred everything from soft walls, to enemy operators. She doesn’t have Ash’s speed, but Zofia can be a mean fragger when pushed.

Void Edge's Iana

IANA

One of Siege’s new operators, relative to those who feature on the rest of this list, Iana has proven surprisingly potent because of her gadget’s versatile nature, and the fact that her weapon is one of the best in the game.

Iana’s Gemini Replicator creates a holographic copy of herself that can be piloted and looks exactly like her to enemy operators. It even makes a sound as if Iana is moving about. This copy can’t jump, fire, or use gadgets, but it’s great for gathering intel and for burning out utility like Aruni gates without wasting something more valuable like a smoke or frag grenade.

In terms of loadout, the ARX is a hard-hitting assault rifle and one of Siege’s top weapons. She also has frag grenades, which is objectively the best secondary gadget, but she can also take the new Gonne-6 which makes her a good choice for solo players. You won’t need to rely on someone else to clear out a shield or soft hatch.

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.

TWITCH

Twitch’s appeal is pretty simple: she’s got the best weapon in the game (probably). The F2 assault rifle marries high damage, controllable recoil (even after the infamous nerf last year), and a terrifyingly fast rate of fire – plus it’s got a 1.5x scope.

In addition to this, Twitch’s Shock Drone is handy for taking out Mira’s Black Mirrors and other nasty defender gadgets like Bandit’s batteries, Mute Jammers, and Jager’s Magpies. After a recent buff, Twitch dronescan use tasers instead which /technically/ have infinite range, letting you clear utility with some insane sniping angles. On top of that, Twitch starts with a standard drone, which means she doesn’t need to endanger one of her shock drones while gathering intel.

rainbow six siege operators buck

BUCK

Buck used to compete with Sledge but fell off the top of tier lists thanks to a loadout nerf, but now he’s back again in his own right. Buck is an all-round competent operator that can apply himself to many roles, but who doesn’t necessarily specialise in anything. This is compensated for with some really solid weapons, which makes him a great choice for fraggers too.

Buck’s flexibility mainly comes from his gadget, an underslung shotgun attached to whichever primary weapon you choose to take. It’s useful for soft hatches and soft walls, whether you want to open a rotation or just a kill hole. Like all shotguns, it’s lethal to enemy operators at close range as well.

While we all poured one out for Buck’s lost frag grenades, his flash grenades can still be useful for clearing the growing amounts of utility that’s coming to Siege and he now has the hard breach gadget, making him a great backup when you’re faced with reinforced hatches or walls.

rainbow six siege operators smoke

defenders

These are our top picks for defenders in Rainbow Six Siege.

Smoke

No defensive operator has managed to beat Smoke when it comes to denying plants and entry. Smoke’s three gas grenades can halt an enemy push for a total of 30 seconds, dealing enough damage to kill any operator who tries to cautiously push through the toxic cloud or plant the defuser. These gas grenades are remotely activated, so you can keep one near an entry point until the attackers try to push, activating it just in time to ruin their play.

In addition to his powerful gadget, Smoke also has a very powerful kit. His SMG-11 is a headshot machine, his M590A1 shotgun is not only the best shotgun in the game, it’s also crucial for opening up the site. Oh, and Smoke can bring a deployable shield, which is a very powerful secondary gadget and pairs with Smoke’s gadget perfectly.

rainbow six siege operators jager

Jäger

It doesn’t seem to matter how much you nerf Jäger, he’s still one of the strongest defenders in the game. There are a few reasons for this, although the main one is that he’s the most effective way of soaking up utility and protecting defenders from frag grenades. Unlike Wamai, Jäger is free to place and leave his gadgets, which is handy given his assault rifle is one of the best defender primary weapons in the game.

If you place his gadgets correctly then they’re incredibly difficult to deal with. Furthermore, they now possess infinite charges with a cooldown period between uses, so a poorly coordinated attacking team can easily exhaust all of their throwables just trying to get a foothold onto site.

rainbow six siege new operators maestro 2

Maestro

Maestro isn’t an essential operator, but his LMG makes him useful when it comes to holding down sites. Playing around tight angles with the LMG is lethal, and if you miss with your first burst you should have a spare 90 rounds to make something happen before you need to reload. His two Evil Eye cameras don’t offer much in terms of fragging or dissuading attackers, but as they can see through smoke and are bulletproof, they’re great for getting information on when the attackers are pushing and planting.

His secondary pistol is essentially a mini-shotgun which is useful for making quick kill holes or a (not-so-quick) rotation, but he also has access to impact grenades as well. Newer operators like Osa can be vulnerable to Maestro’s capabilities, so if the other essential roles are covered you can’t go wrong with this guy.

Lesion

Lesion’s one of those operators who’s never essential, but always useful and now that he’s not getting banned all the time, he’s actually a viable choice. His invisible needle mines charge-up over time, meaning Lesion is an operator who gets stronger as the round draws on, and helps out the defending team by slowing attacking pushes, providing intel, and occasionally denying the plant.

While Gu Mines don’t inflict much damage initially,they do penalise your movement speed and stop enemies from planting,completely altering the course of a round. Lesion doesn’t even need to be around to capitalise on an enemy who’s pulling the needle out. His T-5 SMG is very strong and easy to use, and he can bring impact grenades to help open up the site or create escape routes if you’re roaming.

Mute

This spot could go to either Bandit or Kaid, but we believe that Mute is the best pick when it comes to keeping reinforced walls intact for as long as possible. The main reason for this is that his jammers not only stop breaching gadgets, they stop drones from gaining intel on the objective, too. Placed in tandem with Jäger’s ADS gadgets around drone holes and it can be really tricky for attackers to get a wall open unless they have a good Maverick, Kali, or – if by some miracle he’s not banned – Thatcher.

Like Smoke, Mute also benefits from the imperious combination of the SMG-11 and the M590A1 shotgun. The MP5K is also dependable if you’re not great with shotguns. He can stop drones, stop breaches, open up the site, and shred heads – Mute can do it all. Like Smoke and Sledge, he’s one of those early operators who will never not be useful.

Aruni

One of our favourite new operators introduced in the last year or so, Aruni is proving a very effective trap operator for defenders. Her Suyra Gates are indestructible, and can only be brought down if you throw something solid at it like a grenade or drone. It will also come down if an enemy operator walks through it but that will cause them damage, potentially downing them if they’ve already been in some firefights that round.

Once down, there’s a 30 second cooldown after which you can shoot the laser emitter to reset the gate, bringing it back up. It’s great for slowing down a push at any point of the match – from early rush or last-minute plant. They can also give you intel when they go down, and provide yet another obstacle attackers will need to spend utility on.

Her secondary gadgets are nothing to write home about, but she has access to Mozzie’s P10 Roni, and Dokkaebi Mk 14 DMR. The Roni isn’t as strong as it used to be and Aruni doesn’t have access to the 1.5x scope, but it can still be lethal in the right hands. The DMR is a solid mid-to-long range rifle if you can handle it, but it has its drawbacks at close quarters.
Did we mention she has a mean left hook? Aruni has a bionic arm which replaces her default melee action with a powerful punch that can take out hatches and doors with one hit, and open up bigger kill holes in soft walls.

Related: the best FPS games on PC

And there you have it, our pick of the best Rainbow Six Siege operators. No, we will not be taking any questions at this time. For more Rainbow Six goodness, how about checking out the Rainbow Six Extraction operators? Or even our Rainbow Six Extraction review?