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Published: May 14, 2024

Written by: Barney

When it comes to modern-day competitive FPS titles, one can quickly think of Rainbow Six Siege. The award-winning title developed by Ubisoft Montreal and released in 2015, has been a mainstay of the gaming sphere and has created its own vibrant esports ecosystem. The game is available on a wide range of platforms, such as PlayStation, Xbox, and PC, and has recorded hundreds of thousands of concurrent players at any given time across the world.

With its emphasis on teamwork, good communication, tactical gameplay, and a rich roster of operators to choose from, the game has a very competitive-ranked experience. Progressing up the Rainbow Six ranks is no easy feat as it requires a good balance of individual skills, map knowledge, knowing what both the enemy and your team are doing, and a bit of luck.

Like many other competitive games, Rainbow Six Siege features an extensive system of ranks that not only shows the point on the ladder the player is at but also ensures they get matched with properly skilled opponents. For the better part of the eight almost eight years since the game was released, it has featured a set ranked system that has not changed too much. However, in late 2022 as part of Operation Solar Raid, which was released on December 6, the game altered the existing ranking system into a new one aptly named Ranked 2.0. This new mechanism provides a more competitive environment, and it isn’t as easy to reach the top rank of Champion as it was before.

In this article, we will try to make a short overview of how the system works, as well as give some basic tips and tricks on how to progress further in it.

How Does Competitive Play in Rainbow Six Siege Work?

Somewhat counterintuitively, the visible rank of a player does not affect against whom they go up against. Instead, this is determined by a separate Matchmaking Rating (MMR) stat. This is a value assigned to each player based on an estimate of their relative skill compared to other players, which is determined by a series of factors such as their win/loss ratio, their kill/death/ration, and others. 

However, Ranked Points (RP) will be the main source of progression instead of MMR. If there’s a big gap between your visible rank and Skill (which is determined by your MMR), you will get more Rank Points when winning. Contrarily, when your MMR and your visible rank are almost equal, you’ll gain less RP upon winning and lose more after a defeat. 

There can be a big gap between Rainbow 6 ranks, meaning that there’s the possibility to gain or lose many RP from just one game. The bigger the difference in ranks, the bigger the amount of points gained or lost. For example, if Platinum players lose against Copper players, the formers’ Skill will be reduced substantially. Conversely, that of the Copper players will increase by a lot. However, if the Platinum players lose to Diamond, Emerald, or Champion players, their Skill rating wouldn’t take much of a hit.

Having this in mind, what all of it means is that your team will mainly be matched against a squad having the same Skill rating, but not necessarily the same rank. For example, if you’re in Bronze, you can be matched against a Gold team if both of you have similar Skill.

Let’s See an Example

So far, we’ve explained how gaining MMR points and going through the ranks works but let’s give an example. It should be noted that ranks reset with the start of each competitive season, meaning that even if you were a Champion with +5000 Skill yesterday, you will have to start back from Copper Five today.

However, the MMR of the player remains the same, meaning they will be matched against other highly-skilled players, even though they are all still a low rank. To quickly progress these players back to their original tank, the game will give them almost the maximum number of Rank Points (80) upon winning. On the other hand, if they lose a game, only 9 RP will be deducted.

This will continue until the player reaches the Diamond rank, the last rank before Champion. When this level is reached, the player will now lose or gain around 35 RP, depending on the game result. As they progress further, the RP deduction will be a bit more and the gain will be less.

What Rainbow Six Ranks Are There?

We’ve talked about how ranks are being determined for players and how it’s determined who will play against whom, but we haven’t explained what levels of ranks there actually are. Rainbow 6 Siege ranks are divided into eight different tiers, each one subdivided into five more parts. These parts go from the lowest level of five to the highest level of one. For example, a Gold V player will have a lower rank than a Gold III player, who in turn will be lower than a Gold I. Here are the full ranks, starting from the lowest of Copper V:

  • Copper: V, IV, III, II, I
  • Bronze: V, IV, III, II, I
  • Silver: V, IV, III, II, I
  • Gold: V, IV, III, II, I
  • Platinum:  V, IV, III, II, I
  • Emerald: V, IV, III, II, I
  • Diamond: V, IV, III, II, I
  • Champion

You have probably noticed that Champion, the highest rank, is not divided into five levels like all the other ranks. It’s also interesting to note that before the overhaul of the Rainbow Six ranks with Operation Solar Raid in late 2022, there were seven ranks instead of eight, as Emerald did not exist. It was added into the game as part of the Ranked 2.0 attempts to make going up to Champion a bit more difficult.

Rank Points are what determine the rank and there is quite a large margin between the lower levels and the highest. For example, Copper V players are at the very bottom of the ladder and have 1-100 points. Meanwhile, to achieve the Champion rank, you will need more than 5000 points. 

What Level Do You Need to Play Ranked?

Rainbow 6 ranks are obviously gained through playing the ranked mode of the game (as opposed to Casual or Custom games). However, you cannot download the game and jump straight into competitive play. Instead, you need a high enough “Clearance Level”. This is a progression system that’s implemented to both give new players some time to learn the game and prevent smurfs from easily making new accounts and playing with low MMR players. 

Your level rises by experience points which are earned through participation in multiplayer matches (of which you can play only in the custom mode initially). The amount of experience required will steadily increase with each level. Players need a clearance level of 50 in order to be able to play competitive matches. In addition, players will unlock a few more options on their way to getting level 50, which are as follows:

  • Level 10 – Unlocks access to the Quick Play playlist.
  • Level 25 – Eligible for selection to access the Marketplace beta
  • Level 50 – Unlocked access to the Ranked playlist. It also unlocks the “To The Top” achievement/trophy

Earning Rewards in Rainbow Six Ranks

Although ranking up’s most important reward is arguably the skill gained through matches, the game also rewards players with cosmetic skins, charms, and reward packs called Alpha packs. Like many other modern FPS titles, R6 Siege also has cosmetic items as a central part of the game. These can be bought, but are most often gained through the previously mentioned Alpha packs, which function the same as any other loot box system in other games. 

Alpha packs are obtained through Renown (the game’s in-game currency used to unlock all Operators and customization items) or by a lottery spin that occurs after winning a match. To obtain a pack, the spin must land on the percentage bar. If it does not land on the bar, 2% will be added to the players’ percentage bar, which means there is a higher chance of obtaining a pack in the next spin. This is further increased to 3% while playing Ranked. 

However, if a player loses a match, a spin will not occur. Instead, 1.5% will be added to the percentage bar or 2.5% in Ranked. Leaving a match before it is over will not award any percentages.

Lastly, at the start of each new season, players will obtain rewards based on what their rank was in the previous season. These rewards can be Charms, Card Backgrounds (which indicate your progression to other players during the operator selection phase), or Alpha packs.

How Do I Rank Up Faster in Rainbow Six Siege?

Rainbow Six Siege is a complicated game and we do not have the time and space here to give you all the details on how to perform well in it. However, we can make a quick overview of what are the main skills needed to have a successful climb up the Rainbow 6 ranks.

Map Knowledge

Rainbow Six Siege features numerous maps, all of which have complex and confusing layouts and multiple levels. These have many different rooms, angles, obstacles, and breakable and unbreakable surfaces, that can be used to move through the map or block enemies from doing so. 

Understanding where you are on the map, compared to where the objective is, is essential. Also, knowing which routes to take, if you’re an attacker, or which to guard/block/trap, if you’re a defender, is essential for having the greatest chance of winning a game. Knowing the map by heart also helps you with calling out where enemies are located and where they might move next. This means you will be able to respond to your teammates’ calls for help or flanking maneuvers or tell them important information on the enemies’ actions, which drives us to the next important point.

Communication with Teammates

Many team-based titles require good communication, but for being good in this game and progressing more efficiently through the Rainbow Six ranks, this is paramount. Don’t try to solo everything and be mindful when facing multiple opponents. Often times it’s better to ask a teammate to help flank enemies, instead of charging alone into a room, where you have a high chance of getting killed by multiple foes. 

Rainbow Six Siege features a ping feature, which allows you to spot enemies, traps, and gadgets, which means your teammates will be able to see them on their screens. Additionally, the game has a built-in voice chat feature, which can be toggled between Open Mic and Push-to-Talk modes. Make use of it when needing to explain something quickly and more thoroughly. Just be respectful and don’t spam the use of the feature too much.

Play with Friends

A great way to communicate with your team is to just play with friends and talk over Discord or another chat application. Not only will this make communication simpler, but it will also give the benefit of having better team synergy as the players already know each other. Furthermore, it’s always good to play with people that you know you can rely on since you can always end up with trolls, griefers, or teammates who are simply subpar if you’re solo-queueing.

Playing with your friends also means that you will have someone to talk to in the time between the matches and rounds. Also, having friends around will make losses (and there will be many of them when you climb up the Rainbow 6 ranks ladder) more bearable. You can joke around with your friends or analyze what went wrong and think of more strategies for the next matches.

Learn the Operators

Last but not least, you have to know the operators of the game in order to have a higher chance of winning. Currently, there are 71 playable operators (excluding Recruit) categorized into 2 positions: Attackers (ATK) and Defenders (DEF). usually, each major patch brings two new operators, one from each class, meaning this roster constantly grows.

Each character has their own unique gadgets, meaning that there is a multitude of abilities and gameplay styles available to players, it is important to know these abilities in order to know how to defeat the enemy, but also to know what the enemy operators can do. Operators also have secondary gadgets (such as grenades, flashbangs, breaching charges, etc.) but not all of them are available for all characters. This also applies to weapons, as each operator can be equipped with a limited choice from the cast array of guns, each 0of which is best suited to particular situations.

In conclusion, Rainbow Six Siege is a complicated and multi-faceted game, but if you’re into tactical shooters and have the patience to learn the particularities of the title, you will be able to go through the tough slog that is the Rainbow Six ranks.

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