Rainbow Six Siege Operator Overview: Smoke
Wed 10th Apr 2019 - 6:31pm
Smoke was the first character I picked up in Rainbow Six Siege and I’m not ashamed to admit that it was purely based on the different masks I could get for him. But over time, I learned both through playing and watching others play as him, how helpful he can be to the team when the timer is almost up. With this in mind, I want to go over what Smoke has available to him and discuss a few pieces of advice that may help out any Smoke players.
Smoke is a character that does well when dug into the objective. The main reason behind this is how his gas canister ability applies a painful lingering smoke that will not only obscure view, but will deal damage over time. This pressures attackers into either rushing in or rethinking their approach, making for very tense situations towards the final seconds of the round. As you can place Smoke’s “nests” with a toss, you can either throw it like a grenade and detonate it immediately or have it lying in wait for an opponent to walk by. Do keep in mind though, they aren’t activated by proximity, so you will have to manually detonate them no matter what. While this trap-like ability can lend itself to a certain “camping” play style, he has a diverse loadout that can really change up the way Smoke is played.
Primary Guns: Smoke can choose between the M590A1 shotgun and the FMG-9 submachine gun for his primary. While the FMG-9 has fallen off slightly since its recoil got tweaked, there’s definitely still some merit in picking it. Automatic weapons are always a plus in this game as pre-firing a hail of bullets when turning a corner can easily snag you a kill. With enough practice, the recoil can be managed and used to spray down any incoming attackers. Instead, I personally take the easy route and use the M590A1.
The versatility it brings in acting as “soft breach” by blowing open fair sized holes in destructible surfaces can help get unsuspecting kills. Not only this, it also acts as a way of opening up spots to lob Smoke’s gas canisters or impact grenades through. In my eyes, the M590A1 gives the player more options, which is good in any game. If you’re worried though that you need some form of fully automatic goodness at your side, Smoke’s kit has you covered.
Secondary Guns: For Smoke’s secondary, you can choose the standard P226 Mk25 handgun or the SMG-11 submachine gun. Smoke, being one of the few operators that has the option of running two submachine guns, doesn’t need to worry about the “drawbacks” of choosing his shotgun as he can fulfill the need for an automatic gun with his secondary. That’s not to say that the P226 Mk25 is made irrelevant by this, as again, the submachine gun recoil is not for everybody, meaning sometimes it’s valid to choose accuracy over fire rate.
Utility Choice: Smoke can also bring either two impact grenades or two bundles of barbed wire with him, both of which come with their uses. Placing the barbed wire in bottlenecked areas compliments Smoke’s gas canisters as those caught in the gas will be forced to retreat or slowly trek through both the gas and the wire, nearly killing them along the way. Impact grenades help Smoke in similar ways to his shotgun, in that, it helps him reshape the map and hopefully take his enemies by surprise. While it doesn’t have a specific synergy with Smoke’s ability aside from opening places for him to throw the canisters, impacts can be helpful in a number of situations, be it when you need to escape through a breakable surface, break a gadget, or finish off a down opponent that just narrowly escaped your gas.
As previously mentioned, Smoke’s bread and butter is in holding down chokepoints near the objective (no pun intended). If this is the playstyle you choose to try out, something to keep in mind is the importance of conserving your gas canisters as you only have three for the whole round. The reason being is it can be tempting to lob them towards the enemy in hopes of picking up an easy kill in a closed space, but if you get used to this “grenade” type of use, you’ll find that you’ll be out of gas by the time the enemy team is amassing a group to push.
Shields have always been the bane of many players existence and while they are currently working on fixing the speed in which shields can aim down their pistols, Smoke has you covered in the meantime. Due to shields like Blitz and Montagne being covered in combat, Smoke’s gas can make them backpedal or force them to extend further than they initially planned. As their shields do nothing to circumvent the gas, they’re at a tremendous disadvantage and can normally be picked apart from there. Couple this with a Finka boosted shield, and you’ll find them dropping like flies as Finka’s metabolic boost actually dramatically increases the damage of Smoke’s gas!
If sitting on objective isn’t your playstyle, but you still want to use one of those sick masks that you got for Smoke, you can always try your hand becoming the trap yourself. Because Smoke has a filtered mask, he is unaffected by his own gas, so by placing a canister in a high traffic area and tucking yourself in a corner, you can pop it as soon as you see an enemy in your range and blast away. While I can’t advise the effectiveness of this strategy in ranked, in casuals it’s been a fun surprise as the yellow gas throws a little chaos into the mix. Not to mention, the benefit of doing this is that often the opponent will have to choose between taking a firefight within the gas, or more likely, escaping the poison, which will give you the time to get the kill.
Smoke has been one of my favorite operators since I picked up this game and it’s not hard to see why. With a loadout that can accomodate however I want to play him, I highly recommend logging on and seeing for yourself how intoxicating his gas traps can be.
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