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 Y5S1 – Operation Void Edge
Year 5 Season 1 is still underway as we wait for the Operation Steel Wave release date.
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.
Rainbow Six Siege Y5S2 – Operation Steel Wave
The Rainbow Six Siege Steel Wave release date is set for mid-June, but we know about all of the major changes coming with the new season.
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. 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 patch notes also detail 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 Y5S3
Year 5 Season 3 is still a long way out, but we do know that we’ll be getting a new operator from a classified CTU and nation, as well as a rework to Skyscraper. As this is the first season where we’ll just be getting one new operator, the roadmap also lists core gameplay reworks for this season.
Rainbow Six Siege Y5S4
The only difference between our knowledge of this season and Y5S3 is that we know the new operator will come from Thailand and the map to be reworked is Chalet.
What other changes are coming in Year 5?
The other changes set to launch in Year 5 are the Ping 2.0 update, the long-awaited Tachanka rework, map bans, a new hard-breaching secondary gadget for attackers, a replay system, and a reputation level to help reduce toxicity.