Best Rainbow Six Siege Operators For Experts (Operation Chimera Update)
Rainbow Six Siege has evolved a lot over its two-and-a-bit-year life, and as it heads into its third year of DLC it's changed once more. For starters, lots of the game's Operators are now free for those who purchase the Standard Edition or above, so many players now have more fighters to choose from. Things are continuing to evolve, too, with Operation Chimera available now and plenty of tweaks on the way.
With that in mind, you might be wondering who to play as. For those still new to Siege or planning to pick it up soon, check out our guide on the best Rainbow Six Siege Operators for beginners. For the best Operators for advanced players, meanwhile, you're already in the right place. Of course, you'll likely have your own opinions and we'd love to hear them in the comments below.
Lion has become one of Siege's most-picked Operators since launching with Operation Chimera in March, and it's easy to see why. His EE-One-D drone allows you to see the outlines of any moving enemies, and as such it lets you pull off some great kills through walls and gather intel about enemies' locations.
In addition, activating your drone distracts enemies and forces them to stay still or expose their exact location to you. He's therefore useful in a push to force the opposition into a corner. He also throws up interesting combinations, for example with Fuze: trigger a Lion scan at the same time as Fuzing into an objective room and the other team will have a tough job staying alive.
Lion isn't as important to a push as Thermite or Thatcher or Hibana, but provided you have those bases ticked, he can be an excellent support Operator.
Thermite's ability--a special breaching charge that can penetrate reinforced walls--make him an excellent attacking Operator. His two explosives make holes big enough to walk through, so you can make your own entry points into objective rooms. And even if you don't intend to enter an objective this way, it's a great way of distracting a defensive team.
On top of that, he comes with a capable loadout. His M1014 shotgun is excellent at close-range, and is fast and great from the hip. His 556xi rifle on the other hand carries little recoil and excels at range.
Your other option for breaking through reinforced walls is Hibana. Her X-Kairos pellets can burn through metal walls and create openings for you to peek through. She has the advantage over Thermite of ranged breaching, and she gets three clusters of pellets to Thermite's two, so you can punch more holes in the enemy defense. Hibana's ability is also less vulnerable to being Bandit tricked (more on that later). However, each cluster doesn't create a big enough window to walk through, so you'll have to use more than one if you want to make another entry point.
Despite Hibana and Thermite having similar abilities, many pro league teams roll with both in their squad as they each have such a crucial role in any team, and one being killed could be the difference between a win and a loss if the other isn't there to take up the breaching mantle.
For most situations, one of Mute or Bandit is essential. Each can prevent Thermite or Hibana charges from activating, destroying their devices in the process. In terms of pure ability, Mute is often the best pick as his jammers can cover two reinforced walls (rather than Bandit's one per shock wire) and can jam vertically, too, meaning you can prevent enemies from breaching hatches above you. Finally, standing near a Mute jammer has the added bonus of protecting you from Lion's new drone ability and from Dokkaebi's ringing phones.
He has a respectable loadout with the MP5K sub-machine gun, along with a powerful but slow firing M590A1 shotgun. His nitro cell charge can also open up walls and kill attackers behind them, making Mute as versatile an anchor as any.
Bandit's shock wires can electrify Thermite and Hibana charges, and while you don't get as much coverage as with Mute's electric devices, you can perform the amazing (but annoying!) Bandit trick. This involves placing a shock wire device after hearing Thermite place one of his charges--doing so will destroy the charge while not leaving your device open to being deactivated by one of Thatcher's EMP grenades.
Bandit also arguably has a better loadout than Mute: his MP7 SMG is more powerful than Mute's MP5K with a rapid rate of fire--just don't let its recoil get the better of you.
Mira is one Operator who is great in conjunction with Bandit. Since her one-way mirrors allow you to see through a reinforced wall, Bandit can see when a Thermite charge is about to be placed, making Bandit tricking easier. Even without Bandit, she can be a hugely effective Operator: putting two black mirrors next to each other and popping the window of one allows you to see an enemy approaching, strafe to the side, and take them out quickly. Alternatively, you can place a mirror low on an unreinforced wall, spot an approaching enemy, and stand up to frag them through the penetrable board.
Mira has the potential to hugely weaken an attacking force, but she can do more harm than good in the hands of an inexperienced player--popping the mirror at the wrong time or allowing an enemy Twitch drone to do so for you can pierce a huge hole in your own defense.
Thatcher is just an old man who hates technology, so what better character to have wield EMPs? His grenades can deactivate any enemy electronic device in their vicinity, including Mute jammers and Bandit's shock wires. This means Thatcher is the perfect sidekick to any Thermite or Hibana and makes him a near-essential pick on Secure Area and Hostage.
The Bandit trick is a problem, but good communication between Thatcher and Hibana or Thermite can mean you can outsmart the dastardly opponent. He's also one of the few Operators that still carries standard breaching charges, so he can directly help punch holes in an enemy defense.
The alternative to Thatcher is Twitch. Her shock drones are similarly capable of taking out enemy devices, including Mute jammers, Bandit's shock wires, and defender cameras. A recent nerf means she now only has five shocks per drone so you'll have to pick your targets carefully, but she remains a potent weapon in any attacking force.
In addition, her F2 assault rifle is one of the most powerful in the game--if you have steady aim, you're in with a good shot of winning any 1v1 engagement.
What do you do if a Twitch drone takes out all your cameras? Just put more cameras down, of course!
Valkyrie's black eyes can give you crucial bonus vantage points over an enemy approach. Placed inside an objective room, above a common chokepoint, or outside a building to catch attackers off-guard at the start of a round, the extra cams provide Siege's most important currency: information.
Valkyrie has the potential to turn the tide in the defending team's favor, even after she dies, but she requires intricate map knowledge to be used effectively. You don't want a black eye put up right next to an existing camera or in a place no enemy will go.
One box that should probably be ticked is Ash. Her ability isn't the most powerful in the game--ranged breaching charges are nice, but don't really allow you to do much that, say, Zofia or Hibana couldn't also do--but her R4-C assault rifle is one of the best in the game. In addition, she's tough to inflict damage upon as her hitbox is tiny and her being one armor/three speed means she can move quickly. Nevermind her mediocre ability: in the hands of an advanced player, Ash can win a round by herself.
Similar to Ash, Ela's ability isn't actually that great. Her concussion mines can make the difference if the attackers are making a last-minute push, but often rounds don't even get to that stage, so it's rare you'll even be able to utilize their dizzying effects.
Nevertheless, she remains one of the most popular Operators because--again, similar to Ash--her hitbox is small, her speed is lightning, and her gun is remarkable. The Scorpion Evo has a rapid rate of fire and a large magazine size to compensate. Ela is getting nerfed, but she'll no doubt still be an excellent roamer.
Smoke is another Operator who excels when time is running out for an attacking squad. On Secure Area or Hostage in particular, his gas canisters can block an attacking route for the other team--they either charge through into the unknown and get hurt in the process, or they must find another way in. Save his smoke grenades for the final few seconds of a round and it can almost guarantee a win.
In addition, Smoke is one of the best Operators to counter Finka's powerful new ability. The adrenal surge the new Operation Chimera character comes equipped with speeds up allies' breathing, meaning they'll take more damage from Smoke's deadly fog of war.
With lots of highly mobile characters popular at present, shield Operators are a little out of favor in Siege's meta. While Montagne isn't always the best pick, situationally he can be near unstoppable. On Bomb in particular, he can simply sit on top of a planted defuser and protect it, whittling away time. When the other team finally manage to find a gap in his armor, they'll likely have run out of time.
Just don't ever let your shield down. Seriously, he's useless otherwise.