It’s been an exciting past two months since my discovery of this game. I have calculated how many hours spent on this game to physical days of gameplay and, since the 28th of September 2017, I have invested 7 whole days of my life playing this CQB simulator. And I say, time well spent.
But what makes me play is more than the game content itself, it is the desire to be, at the very least, above average. To, as it is often expressed within the gaming community, ‘git gud’. Of course, this is no easy feat. There are so many elements to this game to consider and, in some cases, the game prevents you from being successful due to the client side bias which effects hit registration and your line of sight. Also, I will add that I have by no means ‘got gud’. I am just above average at best but I would mostly define myself as inconsistent. However, practice makes perfect and I want to share with you some of the knowledge I have acquired that has helped me progress from bronze rank to Platinum.
#1 | Relax
This is the most important step to improving your overall performance in Siege, at least in my case. In every game there’s a lot on the line: your overall statistics, your valuable elo (for those who do not know what elo is, essentially it is the points you get for winning or losing that determine your overall rank), your virtual life, your team mates virtual lives, your emotional investment and your sanity. All the while the clock is ticking and you hear footsteps all around you, you feel the pressure build then suddenly BOOM, it’s action time. You have so little time to react and respond to the immediate threat that, if you are not calm and collected, nerves will get the better of you. It is hard to not let this get on top of you, especially if you play regularly with friends as you want to prove yourself to them. It is vital to remember that, at the end of the day, it is just a game. It is not helped that the game’s meta is idealised to a certain degree so the community, as a whole, is rather toxic. Just don’t get baited by the text chat, stay calm and reserved and let them be the ones who tilt. Often silence if your most effective tool.
#2 | Communication
If you want to really improve and get steady wins then it is absolutely essential that you communicate. Preferably with friends who you play with regularly. This is important because so much of the game relies on team work, people need to be giving clear concise call outs as to the enemies location. If you die, your job is by no means over, in fact your role is now dedicated to being the intelligence for your team who are still alive. You need to be checking cameras and drones (if they haven’t been destroyed), telling them where and how you died, watching them as they play so you can peer review the sounds they hear and then offer suggestions as to their next move. All of this is essential and it ultimately works as this is the tactic used in the pro-league. Of course, this is of no use to you if you don’t have any Uplay/Steam friends to play with. My suggestion to you is to try and find people whilst solo queuing who you trust and make friends, then interact with them slowly over time so you can become an organised unit. If that fails then you can still use these communication techniques you just have to accept that other solo queuer’s or pre-made groups are less likely to return your calls. Having said all this, don’t go too far the other way. You don’t want to be that person who is constantly on the chat, micromanaging your team, you should only communicate when it is necessary. For example, if you see someone pushing on a camera or you get killed right next to one of your team mates you need to warn them of their impending doom. Other than that, stay quiet. There are two reasons for doing this. The first being, your teammates need to hear the actual game. If you talk constantly then they might miss important auditory information such as footsteps or gunshots close bye. The second being that it can get really annoying when people use the push-to-talk to often as it should be seen as an emergency line not something to be used for general chit-chat. If you use it for these reasons I advise you stop as no one is going to want you on their squad. Save the chat for the text chat.
#3 | Learn the Maps
This point is closely tied in with the previous. A knowledge of your surroundings is essential, especially if you want your call outs to be useful for your team. Moreover, people are going to be giving you call outs at some point so you need to be sure you know what they are on about. Otherwise, the information is useless and you’ll probably die oblivious to what your teammate was telling you – this will lead to frustration and you will probably get an earful, trust me, I know from experience. The quickest way to learn all of these is by doing ‘Terrorist Hunts’ (T Hunt) and ‘Situations’. Be sure to look at your compass in every room as it tells you the name. This will mean when someone shouts to you in a ranked game “tellers” you will know what that means. If you’re reading this and don’t know what room this is and on what map then you still need to expand your map knowledge as seasoned players will know what this is instantly!
#4 |Offline Practice
This is necessary just so that you can get a sense of the game’s mechanics and how your equipment works without the stress of other players. Moreover, no one gun in the game is the same. They differ greatly in recoil, DPS (damage per second) and aesthetic. You need to view T Hunt as an opportunity to hone your accuracy and situational awareness i.e. what footsteps sound like in different rooms, how the destructible environment can work to your advantage and so on.
#5 |Intuitive Strategies
After some time you will become very familiar with your own weaknesses. In my case, my team and I are very strong on the defensive rounds and then very weak on the attack. We get hesitant to even enter the building and at times ‘over drone’ (this is when you and your team all scout the area on your drone unnecessarily as nobody is entering the building to gain valuable information from droning – in a nutshell you are wasting precious time). Also Siege is a very bizarre game in that it has an attacker vs defender theme but, just sitting and holding one angle will often lead to you being killed. As a defender, you need to think of intuitive ways to flank the opposing team. This can come in many forms, one I am fond of is holding a hatch on a higher level but, during the preparation phase, blowing out the hatch so that you can jump down to the level below and get any attackers who are on stairs from behind. It won’t always pay off but is a great technique to try out. However, this is harder to do if you are new to the game so before running all over the map be sure to familiarise yourself with the other tips in this post.
#6 | Research
There is a pro-league for Rainbow Six Siege and this is a great way to get ideas for strategies to try out in your own games. However, the nature of esport gaming is very different from what you should typically expect from an every day ranked game. This is because the pro-league is filled with pros who train daily trying to master the craft whereas your regular matchmaking is a mixed bag of individuals. You have really experienced players and hackers on the one side that will adopt some of these strategies and probably out beat you at every turn and then on the other you have new players who aimlessly run through the map. It is these new players, or noobs, who actually change the dynamic of regular matchmaking significantly. This is because they are unpredictable. You think they will take their time, drone the map, cautiously advance whilst regularly communicating with their team, then suddenly out of nowhere someone has head shot you by running through the front door. I am not saying the casual and ranked leagues are harder than pro-league, I am just saying that they are different so it is important that you look at other sources such as YouTubers who play in regular leagues like you and me.
#7 | Learning From Others
Unless you are naturally gifted at FPS (first person shooter) games and competitive gameplay at some point you are going to have to take advice. Further more, when you get killed by a player in a spectacular fashion try and remember how they got you and see if you can try to recreate it in a future round/game.
#8 | Hardware
A lot of gaming is personal preference. I by no means think you need a really expensive machine to be good at gaming. However, after updating my mouse I have realised how important comfort is to improve your gaming experience. I was using a £5 mouse made by a company known as technet. It broke so, following my friends reccommendation, I bought a logitech G402 gaming mouse. It revolutionised my gameplay for several reasons. The first was comfort. The second was being able to tinker with the mouse’s DPI (a measurement of how sensitive a mouse is) with ease. I realised the importance of a lower sensitivity for competitive gaming. At first it felt weird. I was accustomed to doing a 360 degree spin simply by moving my hand an inch. Now I have a reasonably low DPI and then even lower ingame sensitivity. Why is this important? Well, in a game where reactions are key people tend to over exaggerate their responses so having a lower sensitivity counters this instinctive tendency and keeps you more on target. Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself and then get back to me. Though, please note that it takes a while to adjust. You really need to get used to the lower sensitivity before you notice a drastic difference. I will say this, before I got this mouse the highest amount of kills I got in a single game was 7 with 5 deaths. Now it is 14 with 1 death… Also, my overall K/D was 0.5 before purchasing my mouse, now it has climbed to 0.8. Bare in mind that before I got this mouse I was on 550 kills to 1101 deaths, it then raised to 1090 kills to 1363 deaths. I surprised myself. In fairness this could be because me and my friends had a losing streak so entered into the silver 1 – gold 4 ranks and our elo is very low so climbing back up took some time. Meaning I could almost ‘smurf’ and farm better stats so this might be an extreme example of how the mouse improves gameplay but none the less the correlation is there.
#9 | Operator Picks
Just like Overwatch team composition is important, especially on certain maps. If you are, for example, playing Oregon you are pretty much guaranteed to have the defending team play the laundry room first which is in the basement. If you are attacking and don’t have at least a Thatcher and a Hibanna then you are not getting the main hatch open to provide cover from above when pushing the objective. Equally, if you are defending and don’t have a Jäger and a Mute then you are not blocking Hib’s pellets on the hatch and preventing grenades from being dropped on top of your heads. Again, this will only come with practice. So, follow all my other steps and then this one will come naturally.
Remember these are just my recommendations and some may not apply if you already do them. The most essential thing is practice. I hope you enjoyed this feature, if you did be sure to check out some of my previous posts and stay tuned for my next feature! Feel free to comment below.