The best Rainbow Six Siege operators

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Rainbow Six Siege is a complex shooter – perhaps one of the most intricately designed multiplayer games being played right now. The depth comes from numerous places: the destructible environments, the design of the maps, but primarily from the unique gadgets, stats, and loadouts offered by each of its playable operators. But what are the best Rainbow Six Siege operators? We've been training with Tom Clancy’s elite troopers in order to find out.

Related: the best multiplayer games on PC.

Owing to the game’s asymmetric multiplayer gameplay, Rainbow Six Siege operators come in two flavours: attackers and defenders. Currently, there are 30 Rainbow Six Siege operators to unlock and use in the game, which breaks down neatly into 15 operators for each side. You’ll also have to unlock operators using in-game currency that you can earn through completing matches and ticking off daily challenges, so it’s good to know which ones to snap up first in order to make collecting the remaining operators even faster. Here are the best Rainbow Six Siege operators:


Rainbow Six Siege operators - Hibana

Rainbow Six Siege best operators attackers Hibana

  • Gadget: X-KAIROS Launcher
  • Armour: 1/3
  • Speed: 3/3

Versatility is key to what makes Hibana such an effective breacher. Her gadget, the X-KAIROS, fires six explosive pellets that can blow a small rectangular hole through reinforced surfaces. You get three shots, which means you get the choice of creating either one large entry point that your team-mates can walk through, a traversable hole that you can vault through, or a letterbox entrypoint that you can crawl through. If making an entry point isn’t necessary, the X-KAIROS can also be used to create sightlines in reinforced walls, which force defenders to reposition themselves or watch both the objective and the newly created window simultaneously.

The X-KAIROS can also destroy fortified windows and thin walls, much like Ash’s M120 CREM. The only drawback is that the X-KAIROS takes longer to trigger and can be rendered useless by Mute’s Signal Disruptor. Similarly, Hibana can’t open up a reinforced wall as quickly and effectively as Thermite, but she doesn’t have to risk her life by getting in close in order to place the charge.

Hibana has plenty to offer aside from her gadget. She’s a three-speed operator, which allows her to navigate the map at pace and attack multiple entry points – ideal for overwhelming and disorienting defenders. She also has one of the best assault rifles in the game, the Type 89F. It might have a very small magazine, but its excellent stopping power and nearly unrivalled accuracy make it a peerless attacking firearm – especially when coupled with Hibana’s ability to create lines of sight from range. Her Bearing 9 PDW also lends her a formidable alternative should you run out of ammo.

Rainbow Six Siege operators - Thatcher

Rainbow Six Siege best operators attackers Thatcher

  • Gadget: EMP grenades
  • Armour: 2/3
  • Speed: 2/3

Entry denial can be a huge problem for attacking teams, and Thatcher is the best counter to this type of defensive setup. Mute’s signal disruptors and Bandit’s CED-1 Shock Wire render breaching devices, drones, and Fuze’s cluster charges useless. Likewise, Jäger’s Active Defense System neutralises any projectiles that pass by it, which means bombarding the objective with explosives isn’t an option. Thatcher’s EMP grenades can counter all of these devices, even through walls.

Thatcher’s place is therefore on the frontline with the main squad, where he can employ his EMP grenades and allow Hibana, Fuze, and Twitch to get to work breaching and clearing. The fact that EMP grenades can work through walls are their saving grace, as they can easily be knocked out by Jäger’s ADS – instead, you can throw an EMP grenade at a reinforced wall and reliably knock out a vital enemy gadget.

The best way to play Thatcher is to support your team until you’ve used all of your EMP grenades, and then begin harassing the enemy either at close-range with the devastating M590A1 shotgun, or from afar with the AR33 assault rifle. Both weapons have exceptional stopping power, but the former is among the best shotguns in the game and can punch through walls and barricaded windows with ease, making it an excellent breaching tool. Thatcher also boasts medium armour and speed stats, so he’s adaptable to most playing styles. The most important thing to do when playing Thatcher is to stay alive until you’ve knocked out as much enemy equipment as possible – after that you’re just another soldier.

Rainbow Six Siege operators - Blackbeard

  • Gadget: Rifle Shield
  • Armour: 2/3
  • Speed: 2/3

Looking through windows and checking around corners are particularly deadly moments in Rainbow Six Siege as all it takes is a single headshot or rapid-fire spray to wind up dead. Blackbeard’s Rifle Shield gadget provides you with a two-shot buffer to either get a shot away or get back into cover, making him one of the best Rainbow Six Siege operators for pushing towards the objective.

Blackbeard’s Rifle Shield only takes two or three shots to destroy, but he carries a spare, giving you a valuable second opportunity to get the kill. Of course, equipping a Rifle Shield comes with plenty of downsides, such as a speed and recoil penalty, but it’s an essential bit of kit in a game where all it takes is a split-second exchange of fire to rack up a kill. It’s worth noting that the Rifle Shield only covers your head and shoulders when playing as Blackbeard, so be sure to either stay low or use cover to give yourself full-body protection when clearing rooms.

You can bring either the SR-25 marksman rifle or the MK17 CQB assault rifle with you, but we’d recommend the latter thanks to its penchant for racking up headshots and impressive penetration values that make it ideal for tearing up light cover. You only get the one choice where sidearms are concerned, but that’s not a problem – Blackbeard carries a D-50 hand cannon capable of two-shot kills provided you can manage the hefty recoil.

Rainbow Six Siege operators - Capitão

rainbow six siege operators capitao

  • Gadget: Tactical Crossbow
  • Armour: 1/3
  • Speed: 3/3

Speed is an increasingly important part of high-level Rainbow Six Siege play, so it pays to have an operators like Capitão on your squad who can rush objectives, harass lines of sight, and flank with ease. Capitão can do all this, but he’s also one of very few attacking operators who can control areas, thanks to his mix of asphyxiating and micro smoke bolts. The former burn the oxygen in the area of impact for ten seconds, dealing heaps of damage to anyone caught in its radius, which is large enough to make doorways and corridors impassable. The latter fill a slightly larger area with a thick plume of blue smoke - ideal for covering a bomb plant, distracting enemies, or concealing yourself during a breach.

Much like his BOPE counterpart, Caveira, Capitão is most effective when operating alone. This is because his speed allows him to occupy and attack multiple lines of sight in quick succession, which can be tricky when you have an ally to keep tabs on. Capitão can even cover himself from roaming defenders with a Claymore, although you might find this more helpful for keeping defenders away from the objective room. Likewise, those asphyxiating bolts are ideal for keeping defenders at bay, giving you over 20 seconds of area denial while the objective timer runs down.

Rounding it all of is Capitão’s PARA-308 assault rifle, easily one of the best assault rifles in Rainbow Six Siege. It’s a little tricky to handle thanks to some hefty initial recoil, but with the right attachments - vertical grip, ACOG sight, and flash hider - and plenty of practice it’s unbeatable at mid-range. That initial kick of recoil is also ideal for scoring headshots, making this a devastating weapon for quick window peeks.

Rainbow Six Siege operators - Glaz

Rainbow Six Siege best operators attackers Glaz

  • Gadget: Flip Sight
  • Armour: 2/3
  • Speed: 2/3

Snipers are undervalued as Rainbow Six Siege operators because all the action takes place indoors. However, Glaz’s OTs-03 marksman rifle comes with a flip sight, which allows him to switch from a scoped perspective to a red dot sight, meaning your peripheral vision isn’t harmed in close-quarters clashes. Not that you’ll ever want to zoom out from the scoped perspective, thanks to its Thermal Feedback System that highlights enemies in beaming yellow, making them impossible to miss.

The calibre, stopping power, and potential to zoom in over long distances and spot enemies with glaring ease make Glaz an essential asset when it comes to objectives with exterior walls and windows. In these situations, Glaz is best positioned far from the action where he can essentially observe an entire side of windows, both covering any attackers who might be breaching and antagonising the defenders by destroying barricades, and by forcing defenders to cover more angles. Additionally, as you don’t have to physically get in close to do any of this, Glaz is especially useful at the start of rounds. By shooting at windows he can often draw curious defenders into his line of sight, racking up easy kills within the first minute of the round beginning. The OTs-03 is also invaluable when attacking the objective from a rappelling stance as its zoom allows you to exploit the narrowest angles and lines of sight.

The Thermal Feedback System also gives Glaz an edge in close-quarters scenarios, where being able to see your opponent first is often enough to get you the kill. Couple it with smoke grenades and Glaz can storm rooms with unrivalled efficiency.


Rainbow Six Siege operators - Mute

Rainbow Six Siege best operators defenders Mute

  • Gadget: Signal Disruptor 
  • Armour: 2/3
  • Speed: 2/3

Mute is an essential pick for a defending team thanks to his powerful Signal Disruptor. These gadgets are placed on the floor and project a jamming field around them. Any signals within that circle are scrambled, meaning attackers won’t be able to trigger nearby breaching charges or pilot drones. The Signal Disruptor is incredibly useful throughout a match: by placing them at doorways during the preparation phase you should be able to effectively deactivate drones seeking out your position. When the main phase begins you can then reposition the disruptors to the bottom of key walls that you don't want destroyed by breach charges. 

Mute’s Signal Disruptors are also great at punishing teams without a Thatcher or Twitch, as the reach and number of his devices allow you to cover huge areas of reinforced walls, forcing the likes of Thermite to try less favourable routes. Mute works as an incredibly effective counter for any attacker using some form of electronic device. That means devastators like Fuze and his Cluster Charges can be rendered impotent, and you can defend your reinforced walls from Thermite and Hibana. Thatcher’s electronic disabling EMP grenades are your main threat so try to eliminate him as soon as possible. 

In terms of weaponry, Mute has the MP5K submachine gun or M590A1 shotgun. Both are perfectly viable mid-range guns, although the 30-round magazine and rapid-fire capability of the MP5K make it a touch more desirable for keeping an eye on long sightlines and spraying through walls.

Rainbow Six Siege operators - Rook

Rainbow Six Siege best operators defenders Rook

  • Gadget: Armour Pack
  • Armour: 3/3
  • Speed: 1/3

Rainbow Six Siege’s realistic tone means, in a great deal of cases, one shot kills. You can, however, dramatically increase your team’s chance of survival by playing Rook. Not only does he wear a huge amount of body armour himself (hence the peak armour value), but his gadget is a pack of five bulletproof vests that the entire team can wear. With these equipped, there’s a greater chance that getting shot will cause you to become Down But Not Out (DBNO) instead of dead. When you’re DBNO, other players can revive you and get you back in the fight. 

It’s important to drop the armour pack as soon as the preparation phase begins; the rest of the team can then immediately suit up and get on with their own tasks. If people refuse the armour it may be wise to destroy it, as attackers can also make use of it. 

Rook’s loadout consists of a punchy shotgun or one of two SMGs: the P90 or MP5. The P90 is an excellent spray-and-pray gun thanks to its sizable magazine, but the MP5 with an ACOG is far easier to handle – it’s even capable of long-range fire in the right hands. Both are probably preferable to the shotgun, although if you’re planning to roam it can be handy. He also has a choice of handgun: the LFP586 magnum revolver or P9 semi-auto. The P9 is a solid all-rounder, but if you’re taking an SMG into battle you may want to consider the heavy punch of the revolver as a nice handheld alternative to the shotgun.

Rainbow Six Siege operators - Valkyrie

Rainbow Six Siege best operators defenders Valkyrie

  • Gadget: Black Eye Camera
  • Armour: 2/3
  • Speed: 2/3

Arguably Siege’s most effective roamer, Valkyrie is a fairly mobile defender who can vastly increase the team’s vision. She carries three throwable cameras that can be attached to any surface. Knowing where best to deploy them requires intricate knowledge of the maps, but when you know what areas are in need of surveillance you can make very effective use of the three Black Eye cameras. When set up, all players can view the camera feeds using their tablet gadgets – they also differ from the map’s standard cameras as they have a much wider field of view, show everything in full colour, and can be rotated faster. 

With all that extra information about what’s going on in the map, Valkyrie is able to stalk enemies and eliminate them. Indeed, she’s been a driving force in making the meta so roamer-centric. And when she’s on the move she’s absolutely devastating: her MPX submachine gun is one of the fastest firing weapons in the game, and makes for a great close-quarters tool. Alternatively, there’s the infamous SPAS-12, a semi-automatic shotgun that can spit deadly buckshots without the need to manually cycle rounds. As if these didn’t make Valkyrie dangerous enough, her sidearm is the chunky D-50 pistol. Like the Norse character she takes her name from, Valkyrie can certainly choose who dies on the battlefield.

Rainbow Six Siege operators - Jäger

Rainbow Six Siege best operators defenders Jager

  • Gadget: Active Defense System
  • Armour: 1/3
  • Speed: 3/3

Grenades are particularly lethal in Siege thanks to the game being set at room scale. It’s hard to escape confined, shrapnel-friendly areas in a hurry. Wouldn’t it be great if grenades just didn’t work? That’s where Jäger comes in handy. His ‘Active Defense System gadget can detect, track, and disarm. And since the system is automated, Jäger can be off roaming and killing attackers – no need to babysit them.  

Jäger carries three Active Defense Systems that can be affixed to walls and floors. Each one can disarm two projectiles before shutting down, so it’s important to consider where they’re placed. For example, if you place all three in one room, they can almost completely neutralise the pellets fired by Fuze’s Cluster Charge – one will inevitably manage to slip through, so diving for cover is still advised. Alternatively, placing them by main attacker entry points should save you from any frags, flashbangs, and smoke grenades, giving attackers fewer tools to use when making the final push. 

For weaponry, Jäger can pack either the 416-C carbine or M870 shotgun. While the shotgun has its uses, the 416-C is the one you’ll want to take, especially with an ACOG equipped. Every defender aside from Jäger uses a submachine gun, which makes this compact assault rifle unique – perfect for peeking and locking down long corridors. Couple that with Jäger’s impressive speed rating and you’ve got an excellent roamer whose gadgets don’t require a watchful eye.

Rainbow Six Siege operators - Mira

Rainbow Six Siege best operators defenders Mira

  • Gadget: Black Mirror
  • Armour: 3/3
  • Speed: 1/3

As a defender you typically have to make do with very limited vision. After barricading the target area the only way to track the enemy is by either walking out into the danger zone or using the few CCTV cameras available, most of which get spotted and destroyed within moments of the attackers being set free. Mira helps to solve this problem by making her own windows in reinforced walls. Her bulletproof glass panels are one-way mirrors, meaning you can see through them but people on the other side can’t. Placing them in the walls of your fortified room means you’ll be able to see exactly when the enemy are making their approach.

You can eject the bulletproof mirror by shooting a small gas canister beneath, but this is never advised as it effectively gifts the opposite team a murder hole. However, there are a number of tactics you can employ to use Mira’s gadget more effectively. For instance, placed on an unreinforced wall, you can use Black Mirror to see enemies, line up a shot, and then simply move to the side of the mirror to get an easy kill by firing straight through the wall. Alternatively, you can place two Black Mirrors side-by-side, eject the glass from one, and use the vision and safety of the other one to strafe anyone who wanders into sight.

If you’re a shotgun fan then Mira is a strong choice, being able to equip them as both her primary and sidearm. It’s sensible to take the smaller ITA12S shotgun and opt for the Vector .45 ACP as your primary weapon – it’s the fastest firing submachine gun in the game and has incredibly low recoil. You’ll want to aim for the head, though, since it’s not the most lethal weapon in Rainbow Six Siege’s arsenal. 

Those are our picks, but are they the Rainbow Six Siege operators you’d take into battle? Let us know your preferred operators in the comments below.

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Ads123 Gamez avatarEdgy Dabs avatarThe DJ avatar55justin avatarLJK avatarBanshee12 avatar+3
Edgy Dabs Avatar
6 Months ago

"The final category of defenders are the guards, whose job is to, well, guard the objective." - ISN'T THAT THE OBJECTIVE OF THE DEFENDING TEAM

The DJ Avatar
The DJ(11 days 4 hours played)
6 Months ago

For Defender, I think Frost and Castle are pretty good. As long as they don't see the traps and don't have a Sledge for Castle.

LJK Avatar
LJK(19 days 15 hours played)
4 Months ago

Yeah if they don't have sledge, breaching charges, ash, fuze, glaz, a grenade, anything with some sort of breaching capability (excluding guns) or enough patience to destroy the barricade with punches he is a decent pick ;D

55justin Avatar
6 Months ago

I dont think mira is a good oparator because her sheild can be broken from the other side and you can be killed through the shield.

Banshee12 Avatar
Banshee12(2 days 19 hours played)
2 Months ago

I do not agree with some of these operators. I also feel as if some of the best operators are left out. Such as Thermite, IQ, Ash, Buck, and Jackal. With the defenders, you are missing Smoke, Kapkan, and Caviera.

Recruit_Main Avatar
3 Weeks ago

Valkyrie can't throw her camera's on "any surface"

Bigrobbie77 Avatar
3 Weeks ago

I think the best attacler and defender in the game are buck he has great mobility around the map his weapons are okay but he Makes it up for his underbarrel shotgun or skeleton key. The best defending operator in my opinion is ela lets say if ur playing bomb all u have to do is place a concussion mine where they dont see it and their phuced.

shrimbyboi Avatar
1 Week ago

who tf wrote this shit

capitao is trash, thatcher is garbage, blitz does a much better job at mute than mute does, and for the rest it's alright. but holy shit capitao is a tickle monster