Rainbow Six Siege Test Server update increases ADS time, makes major balance changes

Echo can now be hacked by Dokkaebi and Jäger’s 416-C received a nerf.

Image via Ubisoft

Rainbow Six Siege’s first Test Server update of 2020 is a big one.

The new patch increased ADS time across all weapons today, effectively reversing some of the changes made by the last operation. The update also introduced a series of balance changes across operators, including buffs and nerfs.

The previous season, Operation Ember Rise, overhauled the animations for aiming down sights, making them quicker. “This change will make ADS speeds similar to what they were pre-Ember Rise, as well as align ADS times for all weapons in each of their respective classes,” the patch notes read.

Here are the changes to each weapon category.

  • Assault rifles: from 0.30s to 0.40s
  • DMRs: from 0.30s up to 0.40s
  • SMGs: from 0.20s up to 0.30s
  • LMGs: from 0.40s up to 0.45s
  • Pistol: 0.10s up to 0.20s
  • SMG in secondary slots: 0.10s up to 0.35s
  • Shotguns: 0.20s up to 0.25s

The update also introduced major changes to a handful of operators and their weapons. Though most tweaks refer to weapon damage, Echo suffered the brunt of the impact through alterations of his game mechanics, which reflect in a soft buff to another attack operator.

Both Echo and his Yokai drone can now be hacked by Dokkaebi and Echo is now vulnerable to her Logic Bomb. Yokai cameras can also be accessed by the hacker if she gains entry to the defenders’ observation tools and the drones will get a set of lights that display when not cloaked and change colors when hacked. Ubisoft said it wants to use the changes to create “more counter-play and counter-intel options against him.”

Echo wasn’t the only defender to get hit with a nerf. Jäger’s 416-C assault rifle had its damage reduced from 43 to 38. Ubisoft admitted that it’s “still tinkering” with the operator, but the patch notes say that “[with] Wamai now in the game we feel it’s an appropriate time to make some moves and try to reduce the power of his 416-C.” The AR is widely regarded as one of the best defender weapons in the game and the move may mean that Ubisoft wants to tone down Jäger so he can share a space with Wamai. Both operators have a similar unique gadget that interferes with grenades but functions somewhat differently.

Ubisoft also balanced the guns for other less-picked operators. The recoil on Ela’s Scorpion was reduced for the first 16 shots. The patch notes define the submachine as “one of the most difficult and frustrating weapons to handle among our arsenal” and the rationale behind the tweaks is to “make the Scorpion less of a learning barrier while still maintaining Ela’s balance.”

The update also increased the damage of Nokk’s FMG9. The change should “give her a bit more confidence to make full use of her identity to sneak around and take 1v1 situations and gunfights,” which is beneficial to her stealth-oriented gadget. The damage increase will also affect Smoke collaterally since the pair share a weapon, but the tweak is aimed primarily at Nokk.

Ying’s Candela became more reliable following the update and gained an extra projectile. Each Candela will toss seven pellets: one at floor level, three around the waist, and three close to the head level. They’ll also detonate considerably sooner, after only 0.3 seconds. Based on the new fuse time, the pellets will explode in mid-air, which will make her mechanics “more readable,” “clearer,” and “more reliable and consistent as a whole.”

Other adjustments include Finka’s Spear .308, which saw its damage raised from 38 to 42, and the removal of the ACOG scope on Maestro’s ALDA. The changes to ADS could affect Blackbeard more deeply due to his unique gadget, but the patch also tweaked some of his mechanics. The ADS penalization “will only apply when Blackbeard’s Gun Shield is equipped” and by letting the angled grip affect his SCAR with and without the shield equipped.

The update also fixed a small assortment of bugs, including Jackal’s incapacity to scan footsteps within the warning area of a Mute jammer and the behavior on Ying’s candela that could cause it to roll downstairs before detonating.

The changes to the test server can have an impact on operator choice on certain matchups. Dokkaebi gained more value against Echo and Ubisoft aimed to push Wamai and Jäger into a more level playing field. The changes are still under testing, however, and it’s not guaranteed that they’ll all make their way to the live servers.

Rainbow Six kicked off its Road to Six Invitational event yesterday ahead of the 2020 Six Invitational. The limited-time event will feature a plethora of country-themed cosmetics, a battle pass, and a new map. Entering a match in The Stadium will allow players to choose every operator in the game, even if they haven’t been unlocked. The event is available for play until mid-February.