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Rainbow Six Siege Year 5: operators, release date, and all the latest details

Ubisoft has plenty of changes in store for the FPS titan

Rainbow Six Siege Year 5

Rainbow Six Siege Year 5 is shaping up to be a transitional year for the tactical FPS, as the development team announced key changes to their standard content roadmap at the Six Invitational 2020. The usual annual additions, including Rainbow Six Siege new operators, fresh maps, weapons, and events will adjust to focus on existing content during the latter half of the year.

Each year has been pretty consistent, delivering eight Rainbow Six Siege operators, four map changes (usually consisting of at least one new map), and seasonal events. This year we’ll only be getting six new operators, which means the last two seasons of the year will only release one new operator each. Additionally, no new maps will be released in Year 5, only reworks of existing ones. But it’s not all cuts for Year 5, in place of new ops and map the team at Ubisoft has committed to reworking a number of core gameplay systems, operators, and will even add some new secondary gadgets.

Playlists will be getting refreshed more often, too. Ubisoft promises to add one event and a new arcade playlist with each new season of Year 5. Finally, every season will have its own battle pass, rewarding players who play consistently with heaps of new cosmetics.

Join us as we break down all of the announced changes and keep you up to date on the year’s progress.

Rainbow Six Siege Void Edge Oryx gameplay

Rainbow Six Siege Y5S1 – Operation Void Edge

Void Edge adds two new operators, the Dutch attacker Iana and the Jordanian defender Oryx. Iana’s special gadget allows her to create a hologram of herself and assume full control of it, using it to gain intel and deceive defenders. Oryx doesn’t have a gadget, but his athleticism acts as a special ability: he can run through soft walls, operators, ascend hatches.

Void Edge also introduced a rework to Oregon intended at making it more competitively viable. The rework kept the core of the map and its Waco-inspired theme, but expanded a number of key sites and linked up a number of corridors to make rotating around the map safer for defenders.

The season event for Void Edge is the Grand Larceny event, which takes place on the original Hereford map and features a safe-cracking mechanic. The most notable gameplay change is that every operator has a shotgun and the destruction has been amplified so you can completely destroy floors.

The start of the season also included an Arcade playlist called Golden Gun – this was effectively a casual game mode where every player had a one-shot Desert Eagle.

Other changes that arrived with Void Edge include more consistent barricade damage, drones spawning at your chosen spawn location, a seasonal battle pass, a new main menu hub, and a Lara Croft Elite skin for Ash.

Melusi loadout Rainbow Six Siege

Rainbow Six Siege Y5S2 – Operation Steel Wave

We’ll start with the Rainbow Six Siege Steel Wave operators. The first is Norwegian attacker Ace, a hard-breacher who can throw hard breaching devices, each one capable of creating a massive breach that’s only slightly smaller than a Thermite breach. Melusi – our South African defender – places Banshee devices, which slow enemy movement and emit a loud droning sound.

Steel Wave also adds a rework of the iconic House map. The map has been expanded and made much more competitive, but Ubisoft insists the map won’t find its way into ranked or competitive playlists. The most obvious tweaks are the shoring up of the garage site so there’s only one breachable external wall, and the addition of a large pink bedroom that links up to the master bedroom through a new connector.

The defenders also get a shiny new secondary gadget, the Proximity Alarm. This sticky, throwable gadget attaches to any surface and emits a beeping sound whenever an attacker wanders into its area of effect.

The Steel Wave also includes a few neat changes to the game, including a new Echo Elite skin, an increase to the minimum ranked level (from 30 to 50), a unified MMR system to dissuade region-hopping, and weapon attachment skins so you can finally make your grips tan.

Rainbow Six Siege Sam Fisher

Rainbow Six Siege Y5S3 – Operation Shadow Legacy

The Rainbow Six Siege Shadow Legacy release date isn’t too far away, and fortunately we’ve now seen everything the new season has to offer.

This is the first Rainbow Six Siege Operation that will only add a single operator, but what an operator to add. Sam Fisher – of Splinter Cell fame – arrives in Rainbow Six Siege as the new operator for Shadow Legacy, and brings a gadget that fires up to four cameras. These cameras can bore through any penetrable surface (and will stick to non-penetrable surfaces) allowing you to see on both sides of a wall. The cameras can also fire a single shock dart each, so you can destroy some gadgets like Goyo shields, Jammers, Shock Batteries, and ADS devices.

Sam also brings the first new weapon of Rainbow Six Siege Year 5: the SC3000K assault rifle. On paper, this assault rifle is one of the best in the game, and it can carry a good range of sights, too.

Despite Shadow Legacy only adding one new operator, it’s packed with other goodies and quality of life changes that make it one of the most exciting seasons yet. Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Reworked Chalet map
  • Three new magnification levels for sights (1.5x, 2.0x, and 3.0x)
  • Global Rainbow Six Siege sights redistribution
  • Map ban phase
  • Roof hatches reinforced by default
  • Defenders now share a pool of ten reinforcements, rather than two each
  • Thatchers EMP grenades now only temporarily disable
  • New hard breach device
  • Contextual ping system and ability to ping from drones
  • New accessibility options for colour blind players
  • Bomb chassis is now solid
  • Match replay system (alpha phase available on test server)
  • No delay for defenders being detected when outside
  • New Battle Pass

That’s more than enough to make up for only getting one new op this season. There is also a ‘Sugar Fright’ Halloween event coming according to new leaks, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

Rainbow Six Siege Y5S4

Officially, nothing is known about this season other than that we’ll be getting a new operator from Thailand. The Year 5 roadmap states that we’ll be getting a Chalet rework this season, but as that’s already happened our guess is that the Skyscraper rework is due for Y5S4 instead. The Year 5 panel also promised a Tachanka rework this year, so it’s most likely coming in Season 4.

However, thanks to the massive leak that happened halfway through 2020, we now know what the new Thai operator brings to the table.

[SPOILER] New y5s4 op? from Rainbow6

For starters her codename is Aruni, she’s a defender and she appears to be able to carry the Mk 14 EBR as a primary weapon. She has two abilities. The first is that she can place laser gates on doorways, hatches, and reinforced wall panels that will damage enemies who pass through them. The second is that she can punch out kill holes in soft walls with her prosthetic arm. Worryingly for players who struggle to react to run outs and aggressive defender play, she also seems to be able to one-punch doors and windows, leading to almost instantaneous outside access.