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Rainbow Six Siege
News > FPS > Rainbow Six Siege

Rainbow Six Siege Y6S3 Crystal Guard Operator balance changes: All buffs and nerfs

The first details about Rainbow Six Siege: Year 6 Season 3 Crystal Guard are here. The season is packed with new content, but several older operators will receive some important balance changes as well. Let's check them out.
Rainbow Six Siege’s third season of Year 6 is called "Crystal Guard" and it comes with a new operator, map reworks, armour changes, and much more.

Of course, as with all big seasonal updates, the Rainbow Six Siege Y6S3 patch will come with some important operator balance changes as well.

The current, preliminary details for the Year 6 Season 3 update show that Ubisoft is planning balance changes for nine operators, but this is still in the testing stage and prone to changes by the time the patch releases.

Rainbow Six Siege Y6S3 Crystal Guard Operator balance changes
Crystal Guard comes with a few significant operator reworks. (Picture: Ubisoft)

Several operators have received some major changes, enough to classify them as reworks, rather than just balance changes, Twitch and Fuze in particular, while some others, like Sledge, Iana, and Glaz, were hit with some minor balance changes targeting specific issues in regard to those operators.

Let's check out all operator balance changes slated to come with the Rainbow Six Siege: Year 6 Season 3 Crystal Guard update.

Rainbow Six Siege Y6S3 Crystal Guard Operator reworks and updates


Rainbow Six Siege Y6S3 Crystal Guard Operator balance changes: All buffs and nerfs
Finka (Picture: Ubisoft)
  • Added Frag Grenades (removed Hard Breach Charge)

The devs explain that Finka is particularly hard to balance, as she can be very potent in a coordinated team, while virtually useless otherwise.

"By replacing her Hard Breach Charge with Frags, the intention is to approach her in a way that's similar to Iana," Ubisoft explains. "Whereas Iana is an intel gatherer with Frags and the GONNE-6, we wanted to extend this to an operator in the healer/support role, making Finka the clear choice."


Rainbow Six Siege Y6S3 Crystal Guard Operator balance changes: All buffs and nerfs
Fuze (Picture: Ubisoft)
  • Cluster Charges
    • Can be deployed on reinforced surfaces and Mira's Black Mirror
    • Charges take longer (3s) to pass through reinforcements
    • Reduced charge bounce after triggering
    • The extension tube is now vulnerable to damage
    • Added gadget light to signify a phase of activation
    • Added VFX for Cluster Charge triggering on soft walls and reinforced surfaces
    • Added SFX for Cluster Charge triggering on reinforced surfaces
  • Increased recoil on AK-12

Fuze's Cluster Charges are receiving a significant rework in order to make them more understandable in terms of what they do and how they function, and the devs hope that this will make Fuze more popular in the meta. 

"Now that they're no longer restricted to soft walls, Fuze's Cluster Charges will be useful in a much wider range of scenarios. This is expected to make Fuze a strong counter for heavy utility strategies thanks to his increased effectiveness against the bulletproof utility," Ubisoft explains the rework.


Rainbow Six Siege Y6S3 Crystal Guard Operator balance changes: All buffs and nerfs
Glaz (Picture: Ubisoft)
  • Increased OTS-03 magazine size to 15 bullets (from 10)

Glaz is one of the weakest operators based on the Balancing Matrix which Ubisoft uses for balancing, and devs think that increasing his DMR's mag size would be a step in the right direction to help him become stronger.

"This should encourage more active play in the field, especially when he previously had less ammo when compared to other DMRs."


Rainbow Six Siege Y6S3 Crystal Guard Operator balance changes: All buffs and nerfs
Iana (Picture: Ubisoft)
  • Removed 2.0x scope from G36C
  • Removed 2.5x scope from ARX200

Iana has the second-highest presence amongst Attackers, and Ubisoft says that "similar to Ace and Sledge who are receiving nerfs to bring their presence, versatility and fragging potential in line with other Attackers, Iana is also receiving some tweaks to her kit."

The idea behind these nerfs is to lower her overall versatility, which will force players to make more strategic use of her Gemini Replicator. The general balancing philosophy here is that any operator that has a really strong utility role should not be as good in the fragging department, or otherwise, they will become too good in all fields.


Rainbow Six Siege Y6S3 Crystal Guard Operator balance changes: All buffs and nerfs
IQ (Picture: Ubisoft)
  • Electronics Detector
    • Can use Ping 2.0 through walls
    • Can ping operators with wearable electronic devices (Vigil, Counter-Defuser, etc.)

This quality of life improvement should help IQ to share info with teammates in a more meaningful and easy-to-read way.

"We've updated IQ's Electronics Detector to now use the Ping 2.0 system when scanning for electronics. This means IQ no longer needs to use comms to contextualize pings. Once pinged with the Electronics Detector, the rest of the team has the most important intel at the ready on-screen," Ubisoft sheds light on her changes.


Rainbow Six Siege Y6S3 Crystal Guard Operator balance changes: All buffs and nerfs
Mute (Picture: Ubisoft)
  • Signal Disruptor
    • Disruption zone shape changed to a sphere with the same radius of 2.25m (from the cylinder)
    • Warning zone shape changed to sphere and radius reduced to 4.75m (from cylinder, 6m radius)
    • Added AoE VFX (red area removed)
    • Added new LEDs
    • Improved accuracy of bullet collision

Asides from Fuze, Mute is one of the operators with the biggest changes in this update. But unlike Fuze, who needs any help he can get, Mute has been dominating the utility meta for quite some time.

"He has become a popular pick for his Signal Disruptor, which acts as an extremely powerful denial tool thanks to its large area of effect - particularly vertically. From denying intel to denying entire reinforced walls, the Signal Disruptor has been in need of a tweak for a while now," Ubisoft explains.


Rainbow Six Siege Y6S3 Crystal Guard Operator balance changes: All buffs and nerfs
Sledge (Picture: Ubisoft)
  • Removed SMG-11

A single but strong nerf which specifically targets top-ranked and pro players.

"By removing his SMG, this will bring his overall versatility down and encourage a slightly more focused approach to his moment-to-moment play, given his strong soft breaching capabilities and vertical control."


Rainbow Six Siege Y6S3 Crystal Guard Operator balance changes: All buffs and nerfs
Twitch (Picture: Ubisoft)
  • Equipped with a regular drone during Preparation Phase - only 1 regular drone is available
  • Shock Drone can jump
  • Shock Drone's projectile changed to laser (from taser)
    • Deals 5hp damage (from 1)
    • Has infinite range
    • Does not disable electronic devices
  • Shock Drone has a larger bullet collision (double the size)

Finally, Ubisoft has a nice and welcoming present for Twitch players, a new and improved Shock Drone - It can jump, deal more damage, and now it destroys electronic devices, rather than disabling them!

"While we expect many of Twitch's existing strategies to stay the same following this rework, normalizing the drone's damage type to match other lasers should help make its effect more clear at a glance. Since this is quite a large change, however, we want to hear what you think about it."

And there you have it, these are all currently planned operator buffs, nerfs, and reworks in Rainbow Six Siege: Year 6 Season 3 Crystal Guard. All these changes are available on test servers starting 17th August, so you can try them yourself and share your feedback with the developers!

Keep in mind that nothing here is final, as there's is still a lot of time until the Y6S3 patch officially releases. We will update the article with new changes as soon as they appear. Crystal Guard launches on 7th September 2021.

Don't forget to check out our dedicated Rainbow Six Siege section for esports news, patch notes, tournament guides and much more.