The second season of Rainbow Six Siege Year 6 will be releasing soon, so here’s everything we know about Operation North Star, including its release date, the new Operator, their gadgets, and changes to the Favela map.
Rainbow Six Siege has been going strong for over six years now, and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down. With the latest Season comes the game’s 60th unique Operator, and the Apocalypse event has only just concluded.
The first season of Year Six will soon be wrapping up, so fans are looking forward to Season 2, Operation North Star. Not only does it bring a new Operator for the Defending side, but there’s also a plethora of quality of life improvements.
Here’s everything we know about the new season, including its release date, new Operator, patch notes, and how you can try out all of the new content early.
Rainbow Six Siege North Star release date
The first season of Rainbow Six Siege Year 6, Crimson Heist, has almost concluded. This will make way for Y6S2 with the new Operation North Star.
North Star officially launches on Monday, June 14, but PC players can give the new content a try early through the test servers on May 25.
If you own Rainbow Six Siege for PC, you can download the test servers for free and try out and test the majority of the new features that will be coming with North Star. But bear in mind that while most of the features will be polished and ready to go for the new season, some may be experimental and not work as intended.
New Thunderbird Operator & gadget
Along with Operation North Star comes new Defending Operator, Thunderbird.
A Canadian Operator, Thunderbird is “a speedy Defender who offers strong support to her teammates with her Kóna Stations.” These are deployable devices that shoot out a boost of healing to nearby Operators, either topping up allies’ health or “overhealing full-health players.”
Also if you’re down but not out, making your way to a Kóna Station will also be able to revive you. But beware, attackers can easily shoot out the Kóna Stations but can also steal heals from them if they can get close enough.
Thunderbird’s choice of weapon and equipment are as follows:
- SPAS-15 Shotgun
- Spear .308 Assault Rifle (NATO sights)
- Q-292 Pistol
- Bearing-9 Machine Pistol
- Nitro Cell
- Impact Grenades
She’ll be available straight away for owners of the Battle Pass, and can be purchased three weeks later, on July 5, with Renown or R6 Credits.
Favela map changes
Ubisoft has confirmed that they will be overhauling Favela as part of North Star. This map’s thin walls and convoluted floor plan typically gave the Attackers the advantage but with these updates, Favela should be a more balanced experience.
The map will be shifting to nighttime and fireworks will fill the sky, but developers have also reworked the central buildings. The outer walls are now indestructible, stopping Defenders from getting frustratingly wall-banged at the start of the round.
They’ve removed the ground-floor stairwell entry, meaning that Attackers will need to now enter “through the two rooftop stairwell entries or the various windows and doors,” for more close-quarters fights. Plus, the interior is also now “much more navigable and interconnected,” allowing for more clever destruction-based plays.
The overhauled Favela will be free to all players when North Star launches.
North Star patch notes
Ubisoft also revealed the upcoming changes to gameplay and Operators as part of North Star. For the list of bug fixes, you can check out Ubisoft’s full list.
- Reduced number of Breach Rounds from 3 to 2.
- Increased R4-C vertical recoil. Horizontal spread will be more constant and stronger to the right, and long burst recoil will start on the 8th bullet instead of the 12th.
- HP is now permanently granted, similar to HP granted by Doc’s Stim Pistol.
- When Melusi’s Banshee Sonic Defense is active, the core becomes vulnerable to bullets and melee attacks.
- The device now detects enemies’ feet.
- The deploy and equip interactions for Rook have been merged, so he now drops the Armor Pack and applies his own armor in the same movement.
- Valkyrie now has primary control over her Black Eye cameras, so she will take control over the cameras if another player is trying to use them at the same time (similar to Zero and Echo).
- Increased vertical recoil. Horizontal spread will be more constant and stronger to the the right. Long burst recoil will start on the 6th bullet instead of the 12th.
- The ARGUS Camera now uses the same resource management system as the Shock Drone. A shot is recharged every 15 seconds. The device has infinite ammunition and only 1 shot can be stacked.
- BEARING 9
- Horizontal spread is now more constant instead of randomly moving to the left or right, and the next shot is closer to the center.
- First shot kick has been reduced and vertical recoil has been reduced. Horizontal spread will be more predictable and constant to the left, and long burst recoil will start on the 12th bullet instead of the 6th.
Tweaks and improvements
- The propagation system in Smoke’s Remote Gas Grenade has been reworked to prevent the toxic gas from traveling through walls, floors, and ceilings.
- A new sound plays when the canister is detonated.
- Operators hit by the cloud will receive 15 HP of damage every 0.66 seconds until they leave the area of effect.
Shattered Glass Interactions
- Players are now able to use a melee hit to shatter the glass of Mira’s Black Mirror, Maestro’s Evil Eye, and the Bulletproof Camera. Shattered glass is opaque and prevents the devices from being used to spot opponents.
- When Mira’s Black Mirror is shattered, vision is denied on both sides. When the canister is destroyed, the device now shatters and explodes instead of falling to the floor.
- When Maestro’s Evil Eye is shattered, he has to open the device to see through it.
- The Bulletproof Camera is now melee-proof from the front, but a single melee hit will shatter the glass. Area of Effect Rationalization
- Area of effect feedback for Kaid’s Rtila Electroclaws and Nomad’s Airjabs has been updated to better represent their behavior.
- Area of effect feedback has been added to Ela’s GRZMOT Mines and Jäger’s Active Defenses to help players better understand their range.
- Auto pick up for the defuser has been removed.
- The pickup action is now manual like it is for other devices, but there is no animation and the prompt appears when the player is in range (they don’t need to look at the defuser).
- Added key binding for drop interaction. Font Updates
- Updated Arabic and Korean fonts to distinguish between title and body text.
- Added a distinction between titles and other text for the Thai localization.
Interface Preferences Update
- Options to hide the names of teammates and opponents have been added to the Interface preferences in the Options menu. This allows players to have a cleaner interface, especially for the purpose of recording content.
- The Details & Statistics page in the Operators section has been removed. Players can now view stats through Ubisoft Connect (in the in-game overlay and on the website)
- The new scoreboard aims to provide more information to newcomers about match format and evolution.
- Round history has been added to the scoreboard. New icons represent the status of each round as well as the position of match points and Attacker/Defender role swaps. Banned Operators are also displayed for Ranked and Unranked matches.
- Round history will be shown in the scoreboard for all PVP playlists and game modes. It supports matches of any length, including the infinite overtime used in some competitive tournaments.
Match Replay Improvements
- Reduced file size of replays.
- Changed the way matches are recorded and removed playback snapshots for rewind.
- Modified the method used to record the UI during a match to improve the stability of Match Replay.
- Added motion interpolation to make the animation smoother and more fluid.
- When using F10 on the screen, shortcut keys used for match replays are shown.
- Enabled Match Replay for tournaments.
- UX improvements for the control bar.
- The Match ID and REPLAY BETA label are now visible on the screen that presents the game mode and on the screen that shows the round number.
- Support for Observation Tools (Caster HUD).
- Support for Scoreboard 2.0.
Player Cards – Observation Tools
- Added feedback in player cards to show when an Operator is using Observation Tools. This info will be shown in the Caster HUD. It will also be displayed for eliminated Operators when they spectate one of their teammates. It aims to help players understand their team’s synergy and how they can help one another.
Abandon Penalties Update
- Penalties are now 60 minutes, 2 hours, 24 hours, or 48 hours depending on the level of escalation.
- Cooldown for Abandon Penalties has increased to 7 days (was previously 48 hours).
- Renown Penalties now have the same duration as matchmaking restrictions.
- This update only affects Ranked and Unranked.
Bullet Holes Exploit
- Line of sight through bullet holes in soft surfaces has been blocked.
Eliminated Operator Icons
- The bodies of eliminated Operators have been replaced with transparent icons.
Flash Hider and Compensator Rework
- Changed how the compensator works. It will now be more efficient at mitigating left and right recoil.
- Flash hider now only affects the ‘up’ speed, making the gun climb slower.
Squad MMR Restriction for Placement Matches
- From now on, the Squad MMR restriction will apply to placement matches, even if Squad members have never been ranked.
- The Squad MMR restriction is currently 700 MMR.
- This season’s reworked map is Favela.
- Ranked/Unranked Playlists: Favela is not featured in the map pools for Ranked or Unranked, so those playlists will remain unchanged.
- Newcomer Playlist: Favela replaces Coastline in the Newcomer map pool. The bomb sites are Coin Farm/Storage and Coin Farm/Bunks.
And that’s everything we know about Season 2 of Rainbow Six Siege’s sixth year! Make sure to try out the test server if you’re keen to experiment with the new features.
Also, be sure to check out everything we know about Battlefield 2021, as the reveal is set for June.
Image Credit: Ubisoft