Plenty of long-requested quality of life features are on their way for Year 5 of Rainbow 6, with an in-game replay system, map bans, seasonal battle passes, and more to be revealed throughout 2020.
Year 5 marks a drastic shift in pace for Rainbow 6. While initial news of less operators being released in 2020 took the community by surprise, it’s given Ubisoft time to develop and implement long-awaited features for the game.
If you missed the Year 5 announcement at the Six Invitational, we’ve got you covered with a full rundown of what to expect in the next 12 months for Rainbow 6.
The long-awaited replay system will be making its mark on Rainbow 6 in Year 5. Presenting a demo of the system at the Six Invitational, players will be able to load up their recent games to clip highlights or help them review their gameplay.
“The most exciting [Year 5 content] for me is the replay system,” said Leroy Athanassoff, Rainbow 6 game director. “We needed to have replays in Siege for players to devise strategies, and content creators having access to get some action shots.
“We never thought there’d be replays in Rainbow 6, but now that we’ve done it, we know that there are no limits to what we can put into the game.”
- Read more: How to watch Six Invitational 2020
The replay system will run with similar features to the in-game spectator mode, including top-down cameras and a new, more detailed user interface. There’s no release date set for replays, but players can expect them to come before the end of Y5S4.
Map bans will be introduced sometime in Year 5 as a new gameplay mechanic in Rainbow 6. The long-requested feature might not tick all concerns off regarding being able to choose what maps players can play, but will make for more enjoyable games.
Teams will be given a choice of three maps to ban, with each side choosing one. There is also the choice to "no ban" maps, which will leave multiple maps open for the game to randomly choose.
Bans will be available in unranked and ranked games, but will have no impact on quick match games. The release date for this is also unknown, but the prototype has players hopeful that it’ll be sooner rather than later.
After years of being considered a troll pick – despite his legendary status in the community – Tachanka is getting a rework to bring him up to standard. He will be the first operator reworked in Siege history, and it’s unlikely he will be the last either.
“For a long time, we felt that the whole concept of Tachanka was the turret, and the turret was by definition unplayable,” said Jean-Baptiste Hallé, lead gameplay designer for Rainbow 6. “We’ve played with him, and he’s so much more fun now.”
- Read more: Rainbow 6 Operation Void Edge reveal
His turret LMG is now his primary weapon, with the Russian defender getting an incendiary grenade launcher as his new gadget among other changes. His rework is still in early development, but it should go live before the end of the year.
Pings in Rainbow 6 are key in giving players information about operator locations and gadgets, however they can sometimes fall flat in giving detailed info. A rework to the ping system will change that though, giving players access to more information than ever before.
Players will now be able to ping specific gadgets with drones, marking them for the rest of the round. Gadget pings will show up in red, similar to how pinging operators works on drones and cameras.
The new ping system will help players of all ranks understand where enemy utility is placed without the need for voice comms. It’s expected to ship in the first half of Year 5, with no set release date as of now.
Seasonal events and battle passes
After the launch of battle passes during the Road To S.I. 2020, Ubisoft is listening to player feedback and looking to implement more rewards for players in Year 5. Every season of content will have a battle pass attached to it players can purchase, as well as seasonal arcade playlists.
“The Road to S.I. Battle Pass is resonating really well with people,” said Roy Del Valle, Rainbow 6 Product Director.
While not much is known about how exactly battle passes will operate in Rainbow 6’s Year 5, players should expect a similar experience to the Road To S.I. battle pass with a free track and a premium upgrade.
Battle passes will be rolled out from the release of Operation Void Edge in Year 5 Season 1.
Reputation level system
While players have been able to report toxic teammates in the past, there's been no way in Rainbow 6 to commend honorable ones. However, Year 5 will bring in a new reputation level system to reward players for good behavior.
Accounts will be split into Negative (Level 0 or 1), Neutral (Level 2), or Positive (Level 3 or 4) standing depending on how many reports and honors a player get in a recent period.
Players in positive standing will be rewarded with alpha packs, renown boosts and more, while players in negative standing will be punished with "tailored sanctions." The system is expected to roll out some time in 2020.
Year 6 plans
On top of everything listed out for Year 5, Ubisoft shared a look into 2021 and Year 6, showing Rainbow 6 is here to stay. They intend on keeping the game fresh with reworked maps and operators, while also giving players something new with event game modes and new content.
“We were already doing this kind of planning internally,” said Athanassoff. “We weren’t sure enough to commit publicly for two years. Now, we’ve got this vision, and we are able to commit to two years and deliver on every element promised.”
More details about the future of Rainbow 6 will be released over the coming months, including precise release dates of replays, map bans, and more Year 5 content.