The next season of Rainbow Six: Siege is upon us. Named Operation Crystal Guard, the major update introduces a new attacker named Osa, reworks to some of the game’s most popular maps, and key balance changes for Twitch, Fuze, IQ, and more.
There’s not one but three map reworks, a new operator, and plenty of quality of life changes. Here’s what you need to know about the new season, including when Operation Crystal Guard launches.
Operation Crystal Guard operator: Osa
Osa is a Croatian attacker, dropping into Siege as a two-speed, two-armor “shield” operator. We say shield in quotation marks because she’s not like Montagne or Blitz, but more like a defender with transparent deployable shields.
Her Talon-8 shield can be attached to almost every surface, from doors and the floor, to windows while on rappel. You can see through the shield but can’t shoot, and it covers the same range as a deployable shield. You can open it by hitting the canister at the bottom like a Mira window too.
She’s also equipped with a hard-hitting loadout featuring Thermite’s 556XI and Jackal’s PDW9. She only has one sidearm — the PMM — and her secondary gadgets are Stun Grenades and Claymores, making her an all-round threat to get onto site, plant, and get out safely.
Operation Crystal Guard map reworks: Bank, Clubhouse, Coastline
Three of Siege’s most popular maps are being reworked in Operation Crystal Guard. Bank, Clubhouse, and Coastline are getting a facelift, but not in such a major fashion akin to the recent Border or Favela reworks.
Bank is changing the most, mostly down in the vault. The bars on the windows have been removed, and the same goes for most of the railings upstairs. The skylights have been blocked in to stop attackers playing from the roof, and the spawn peeks to Jewelry and Back Alley have been cut off.
Coastline is getting a similar facelift, with the roof being mostly blocked in to stop attackers from sitting up there. Courtyard is also changing so defenders can barricade the windows, and the Service bombsite now forces attackers to enter — not just plant at the door.
Clubhouse is getting a small touch-up at the Bar, with a new rotate to Rear Stage. There’s also more visibility outside with less trees and cars, making it easier to fight back spawn peeks.
Big balance changes for Twitch, Fuze, IQ
A handful of major operator balance changes are launching in Operation Crystal Guard too.
Twitch is getting the lion’s share of them, making her drones a bit more potent. She no longer spawns in with one during prep phase, instead keeping them both in pocket for the round. Her drones can now also jump, and the damage nerf has been reverted, with the electric pulses destroying defender utility.
Fuze and IQ’s changes are much smaller. The Russian attacker can now use his cluster charges through reinforced surfaces, with a slight delay. IQ can now also “smart ping” gadgets she sees with her Electronics Detector so her allies can see them too.
Some of these changes were foreshadowed before Crystal Guard. Kali is also still set to get buffs, but they aren’t in this update.
New Operator Rimlighting stops skins from blending in
It’s more of a quality-of-life change than anything else, but camouflaged skins will no longer blend into the Rainbow Six environment so well.
The Rimlighting rework adds a more distinct outline to operators lurking in the dark, so you can easily identify and take down your foes.
Flash rework changes how Stun Grenades work
Stun Grenades have been messy things in Siege for quite some time. As defenders, it’s been very easy to just turn around and not get blinded.
Now though, even if the flash lands behind you, if you’re in its radius, you’ll be flashed at full effect. Instead, the duration of the flash will change — the further away you are, the less you’ll be flashed.
Rainbow Six Operation Crystal Guard release date
Operation Crystal Guard will hit the Rainbow Six test servers on August 17. All the new content will be available except for Osa, with the new Operator launching one day later on August 18.
It will then hit the live servers in approximately two to three weeks, so expect to get your hands on all the new stuff early in September.