Rainbow Six Siege is about to enter its 7th year. Year 7 kicks off with Operation Demon Veil (read our coverage about Operation Demon Veil here). In the Year 7 Season 1 preview event, we were given an opportunity to check out what else is in store for Year 7. You may just be looking away from the Six Invitational and the Year 7 roadmap panel. Or, you could be just learning that Year 7 was announced today. Either way, welcome! Let’s discuss what’s in store for Rainbow Six this next year.
One of the biggest barriers for new and returning players may be the sheer amount of toxicity in just about every game mode. While the amount of toxicity has gotten better with features like reverse friendly fire, this year may be the year that it gets conquered. The overall big feature of this year is improving the Reputation System. Starting in Season 1, the game will start to detect patterns in griefing (like friendly fire), and disconnects. In season 2, the focus is to tackle those who may misuse friendly fire or the reverse friendly fire feature. For example, a player who is being toxic blocks a person with reverse friendly fire shots, and makes that player accidentally eliminate themselves. In season 3, reporting will become available in match replays as well as being able to report players in text chat AND IN VOICE CHAT. Finally, Season 4 will come with a full rollout of Reputation System 2.0 and will include a visualization of your Reputation Score.
I’ve played Rainbow Six Siege for years, and I’ve never seen the team try to tackle toxicity this hard before. Particularly with the Reputation Score, giving a full visualization of what you’re being rewarded or punished for and how you’re being punished or rewarded will help immensely! Giving players more tools to also report toxic people is key. Adding the report function to match replay was definitely the key way to address that. There have been countless times that I just didn’t report someone because they were being toxic in voice chat, and that was just unmoderated as far as I was concerned. Or, a player showed their true colors right at the end of the match when there was clearly not enough time before the match ended. My only concern is that these features are made clear to everyone how they can do these things. The only way for players to be encouraged to report people is to have a clear and easy way to report people (and maybe sprinkle in some thank you packs too Ubisoft Montreal wink wink).
As discussed in the Year 7 Season 1 preview, we are finally getting new maps! What I liked most though is that new maps also include Deathmatch-specific maps. Similar to Overwatch, the team is making maps that are made with Deathmatch in mind. While they didn’t elaborate on what that means during the preview, just knowing that Deathmatch will be supported at least in the near future with more content feels good. Especially with how much I liked Deathmatch. The first Deathmatch-specific map launches in Year 7 Season 2 with a new map set in Greece. We are still getting new competitive maps though, like in Year 7 Season 3, but with an ever-growing map pool, it’s still good to see that the team can focus on making interesting maps but for other modes.
Beyond the toxicity, another daunting issue for new and returning players is the skill ceiling. Any player who took a break is always met with a massive wall that they need to throw themselves at over and over again until they can compete again. The introduction of the Firing Range in Year 7 Season 2, along with Team Deathmatch, is meant to be a new way for people to get comfortable with the controls again. It’s genuinely nice to see Rainbow Six add a feature that feels almost mandatory now for shooter games. Like in Overwatch or Valorant, having a shooting range where you can practice your accuracy, fight moving enemies, and try quick flick movements will definitely help make those first steps back into the game much easier to swallow. Not much was shown for this new training mode which, in my opinion, is a much better way to get people back into the game instead of dumb NPC Terrorist Hunt. Specifically letting people have a visualization of how guns spread their shots as you’re unloading instead of trying to decipher a spread chart when equipping guns will help immensely with learning the ins and outs of how gunplay works differently for each operator and the many different types of weapons available.
In addition to a new on-boarding mode, the operator tips will finally be getting an update too. There are currently 62 operators in the game (excluding Recruit). That’s a LOT of different abilities to keep in mind. If you’re trying to get used to a new operator, the vague hints will no longer be there. Instead, there will be detailed instructions on how an operator’s gadget works as well as helpful tips on how to optimally use an operator’s gadget. Some tips may even include ways gadgets can be used that newer people may not even think about at first. I really dig this, specifically with how versatile gadgets can be. The game helping me out and coaching me on ways to be more creative with operator gadgets will help not only my ability but my team as well! And if it could help out a veteran player, then it will be extremely useful for new players too.
Not only are we getting a new permanent mode, but a rotating arcade mode is being introduced as well! There have been some stellar arcade modes that have come and gone, like Showdown, or Rainbow is Magic. I genuinely cannot wait to replay these modes when they’re in rotation with this new feature. Seriously, why take away these modes for good? Most were a lot of dumb fun and quick, and were great for ending a night of Siege.
Additionally, ranked will finally be getting reworked. Ranked currently works as a guessing game about skill, with the computer trying to determine how well you play. Well, in Year 7 Season 3, ranked will finally be all about merit. Similar to Knockout City’s ranked system, everyone starts off at the lowest rank and works their way up the ladder. But, you earn points for how well you play and win matches. Not too many other details were revealed about this update, but being seen as the “be all end all” mode for Siege, it’s great to see it get more TLC and become more focused on one’s own ability rather than being a rollercoaster of emotions depending on how the rest of your team does as well.
With Rainbow Six Siege kicking off with possibly the best season yet, Year 7 overall is shaping up to be the best year of content. From new modes to improving player quality of life, to even fighting toxicity head-on, Ubisoft Montreal is showing they truly care about the player’s experiences and are in it for the long haul. I don’t expect every pitched feature to launch this year, like Crossplay and Cross progression, but the fact that they have put so much detailed thought into this year’s roadmap has renewed my confidence in the game that I love.
Rainbow Six Siege is available now on Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC, Ubisoft +, and Stadia.