The best Rainbow Six Siege operators for beginners

If you're new to Siege, these ops can bring great value to your team on attack or defense.

Image via Ubisoft

Rainbow Six Siege isn’t like your run-of-the-mill FPS. Its flagship tactical approach is a significant part of its allure, but it’s also the reason behind the game’s steep learning curve. In Siege, everything can kill you, down you, maim you, or cause significant damage, and a short burst of bullets is enough to take down most operators.

Siege‘s focus on realism and tactics makes the game considerably daunting for new players, even if they’re familiar with FPS titles. With so many operators, weapons, and gadgets to choose from, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Some characters have a steep learning curve (looking at you, Vigil), and some are more forgiving.

Here are the most beginner-friendly operators to try if you’re new to Siege.

Attackers

Thermite

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Reinforced walls are almost impenetrable in Siege, but Thermite is one of the reasons behind the “almost.” He’s one of two hard breachers in the game, alongside Hibana, and having at least one of them on your team is highly recommended.

Thermite has two exothermic charges that can be placed on reinforced walls. His weapon, the 556XI, is also forgiving and fairly easy to use. He’s a two-speed, two-armor operator, which gives him all-around usage. Thermite’s weaknesses are Bandit’s shock wires, Kaid’s Rtila electroclaws, and Mute’s signal jammers, which stop his exothermic charges from going off. For that reason, the operator is usually better accompanied by the next name on the list.

Thatcher

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Gadgets can turn the flow of a match in Siege and Thatcher’s EMP grenades specialize in deactivating enemy artifacts. He can make short work of Mute signal jammers, Kaid’s electroclaws, and Bandit’s shock wires—virtually anything that would stop a hard breach. His grenades have a large range and should be tossed near reinforced walls to fry any electronics on the other side. It’ll also mess with electronic sights, such as the Holo, Reflex, and Red Dot.

Jäger’s Automatic Defense System (ADS) is the biggest threat to Thatcher. It’ll keep the EMP from going off if the grenade is tossed within its range, so be on the lookout if you know the enemy team has a Jäger.

Thatcher’s loadout is also beginner-friendly. Players can opt between the AR33 and the L85A2 and the choice between them usually comes from personal preference due to their similar functionality. The L85A2 trades fire rate for damage and both guns have some forgiving recoil. Like most attackers, however, Thatcher needs to stay alive to provide value. He’s usually paired close to the hard breacher and plays a more supportive role.

Sledge

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Breaking barricades can take a few shots or a couple of melee attacks. Sledge’s gadget is a good soft-breaching tool. It can break through barricades and create holes in the walls faster than you can say “it’s hammer time.”

Swinging his sledgehammer into a non-reinforced wall will make a hole big enough to vault through, and two swings can create enough room for your shielded teammate. It can also destroy defender gadgets like Castle’s reinforced barricades, bulletproof cameras, Maestro’s Evil Eye, and barbed wire in one swift blow. Keep in mind that Sledge’s hammer has a durability gauge that will deplete every time you use it. You’re not likely to expend your hammer (unless you’re taking part in a Property Brothers episode), but it’s still something to keep in mind as you carve your way to the objective.

Ash

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Ash is a soft breacher like Sledge, but she can use her unique gadget from a much more comfortable range. She’s a three-speed, one-armor operator and is considerably faster (and squishier) than Sledge. Her breaching capabilities and speed make her suited to the role of an entry fragger, being the first one through the door or manipulating the map from afar to create angles.

She has the choice between the R4-C and the G36C. They’re both viable, but the R4-C packs more damage and a higher fire rate at the expense of recoil. It’s also not compatible with an ACOG scope. As for her gadgets, she’s an entry fragger, and exercising that function is considerably easier if you bring her Stun Grenades along. The extra breaching charges usually aren’t necessary.

When playing the role of an entry fragger, be sure to keep an eye out for traps. Rushing straight into Frost’s Welcome Mat, Kapkan’s EDD, or Lesion’s Gu Mine can easily cost you a match.

Buck

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The middle ground between Sledge and Ash, Buck is another soft-breacher who has a somewhat balanced role. His unique gadget is the Skeleton Key, a barrel-mounted shotgun that allows players to quickly breach walls and barricades. It also functions as a quick panic button for taking down enemies at close range.

Most Siege operators can’t carry a shotgun and a primary firearm (Jackal, Mira, and Amaru are exceptions). Buck’s Skeleton Key gives him an extra layer of versatility and another tool to break down walls and floorboards, and create new lines of sight.

Buck has two primaries in his loadout: the C8-SF assault rifle and the CAMRS marksman rifle. The AR is generally the better choice, but the CAMRS is good if you like semi-automatic, heavy-hitting weapons like the M14. He’s a bit harder to play than Sledge, but the added versatility is enough to warrant his spot on the list.

Defenders

Mute

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Siege is about breaching and information, and Mute can deny both. Attackers have access to a true arsenal of trinkets and gadgets to complete their objectives. Thermite’s Exo-Thermic Charges and Hibana’s X-Kairos make short work of reinforced walls and drones can scout the way and locate the objective. Mute’s signal jammers negate those artifacts and a good Mute player will frustrate at least one attacker every round.

The signal jammers can be placed near doorways to deprive enemies of information and keep enemy drones from spotting the objectives. They can also be set near reinforced walls to negate hard breaches. Mute’s unique gadgets don’t rely on him being alive to serve their purpose, and even if he dies a minute into the match, the jammers will continue to disrupt the enemy team. Just be on the lookout for an enemy Thatcher since his EMP grenades can neutralize your gadget.

Rook

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Armor in Siege gives survivability in exchange for move speed and stealth. One-speed, three-armor operators have slower, louder movement than their light-armored counterparts, but can withstand more hits. Rook’s gadget places R1N “Rhino” armor vests on the ground, which effectively increase his team’s armor rating without any tradeoffs.

The Rhino vests give damage reduction to all players who pick one up. It also sends its users into DBNO (down but not out) instead of killing them outright. It’s especially useful for roamers—high-speed, low-armor operators who prowl the map instead of being anchored in the point. Like Mute, Rook’s gadget doesn’t require him being alive to use it. Just placing the vests already gives your team an edge, provided they pick the armor up. Lastly, Rook also has a native three armor, which makes him especially sturdy.

Kapkan

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Newcomers don’t expect to find death when walking into an empty room, and that’s why Kapkan is a solid pick. His gadgets, the Entry Denial Devices (EDDs), can be attached to windows and doorframes, and will detonate if an enemy passes within range of it. The explosion deals 60 base damage and can deplete more than half of a player’s health.

Placing traps in the areas that attackers are likely to pass through—for instance, in common pathways to the objective—can mean that many enemies will trigger the EDDs. This forces Kapkan’s victims to begin an engagement at a severe disadvantage. Like the previous ops on this list, Kapkan also gets value just by placing the explosives. An alternative to Kapkan would be playing Frost, but the Spetsnaz operator carved his way onto the list by being easier to unlock.

Jäger

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The attacking team can follow a hard breach by throwing grenades through a recently-opened hole and a well-placed stun grenade can make the defenders a vulnerable target. That’s where Jäger comes into play.

His gadget is the ADS-MKIV “Magpie,” which negates grenades within a 3m range of the device. Each ADS can negate two grenades per round. They can destroy Thatcher’s EMPs, assuming they explode in range. Be sure not to place the ADS in plain sight because it only takes one bullet to destroy it.

Unlike most of the operators on this list, Jäger is a three-speed, one-armor character. He’s faster than the rest, but also a lot squishier, and that difference should be taken into account when engaging. He has access to the 416-C, which is a great defender weapon.

Lesion

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Like Kapkan and Frost, Lesion is a trapper. His gadgets, the Gu Mines, are placed on the ground. Attackers who step on them are slowed and must stop what they’re doing to remove the trap from their body, or else they’ll take continuous damage.

Unlike Frost’s welcome mat, Gu Mines are considerably difficult to spot. They’re cloaked after being placed on the floor and will stick to unsuspecting enemies who step on them. The mines can slow down a push and make shield operators vulnerable. Place them on heavily-traversed areas, such as important hallways and stairs, and you’re likely to make a victim.