Rainbow Six Siege: new Crimson Heist season update times UK, Xbox and PS4 release date – and Year 6 explained

The Crimson Heist update is just the first of a number of new seasons that will bring ‘significant core gameplay changes’ to Rainbow Six Siege

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 3:18 pm
Updated Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 3:24 pm

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege remains a popular game nearly six months after its initial release, and today (16 March) it’s kicking off its Year 6 content roadmap with a big new update.

‘Crimson Heist’ is the name of the new season, and one that “gears players up for the ultimate heist” according to the developers over at Ubisoft.

A new Operator joins the game's roster of playable characters and brings with him a brand new remote-controlled explosive gadget, and there are plenty of tweaks and changes in just about every other aspect of the game.

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Who is the new Operator?

Operators are the game’s playable characters, each with defining characteristics, abilities and stats, making each particularly well suited to differing scenarios.

Crimson Heist introduces us to Flores, a 'sly and tactical' Argentinian Attacked who 'knows how to mix precision and passion' (Image: Ubisoft)

The new Operator coming with the Crimson Heist update is Flores, a “sly and tactical” Argentinian Attacked who “knows how to mix precision and passion”.

"If I didn’t know any better,” say the game’s developers, “I’d assume a person as appealing and calculating as Santiago “Flores” Lucero is a manipulative egomaniac.

"However, session after session, it became clearer that he’s just an oddball prodigy with good intentions who cares about people deeply but is never sure how to trust others.”

He comes with a new gadget, the RCE-Ratero Charge, an explosive remote-controlled device that races forward while Flores scouts a location for its blast.

Once triggered, the Ratero clutches onto the nearest surface, armors itself with a bulletproof shell, and explodes, destroying nearby gadgets and soft surfaces.

What new features are there?

Aside from the big new addition of Flores, a number of changes and new features are being introduced to keep the game fresh and exciting, even after more than half a decade on the market.

Map Border has been reworked to improve gameplay and quality of life for players, with rooms expanded to provide more tactical options to players, and interior balconies and staircases added to introduce new routes through the playspace.

A new secondary weapon has been added in the form of the GONNE-6, a “modern-day hand cannon” that shoots an explosive projectile that detonates on impact with surfaces and destroys bulletproof gadgets.

A new Watch section of the menu (accessible via the Home section) allows players to re-watch matches and explore gameplay from all angles and perspectives, meaning they'll be able to hone their tactics and see just which areas of their game need improving.

The Newcomer playlist has also been reworked, giving players new to the game who may otherwise be daunted at the prospect of encountering players with 5+ years of Rainbow Six Siege experience a chance to familiarise themselves with the game’s most-played maps.

For the full Crimson Heist patch notes, head to the Rainbow Six Siege website

What else will be new this year?

The Crimson Heist update is just the first of a number of new seasons that will bring “significant core gameplay changes” to the game over the course of 2021.

Three more seasons are planned before the year is finished, and the next is set to introduce yet another new Operator from the Nakoda Nations, and a rework of the map, Favela.

Season 3 will add in-game Operators from Croatia, and slightly adjust the designs of three of the game’s maps, while the final update of the year will bring us an Irish Operator, and a reworking of Outback.

Ubisoft are also putting a renewed focus on the player experience, making changes which are hoped to crack down on toxic behaviours online.

The reputation system tool, which rewards positive players with in-game content, is being made transparent so players can see how their scores could be increased by better behaviour, and a streamer mode has been designed for streamers to control their anonymity while playing.

When can I play it?

Rainbow Six Siege’s ‘Crimson Heist’ update is available from Tuesday 16 March 2021.

The patch rolls out at different times, with PC going first, followed by Xbox consoles and then PlayStation.

For gamers in the UK, the Rainbow Six Siege update for the new season will go live for download between 1pm GMT and 3pm GMT, depending on what platform you use.

How big will the download be?

Ubisoft say that “due to data consolidation”, the patch size will be larger than usual.

Below you will find the download sizes for each platform.

On PC, Ubisoft Connect players face a download of 59 GB if the game was installed with the HD PACK (33 GB if it was installed without it), while Steam players get a much more palatable 10 GB.

Xbox players get a patch size of 18 GB regardless of which iteration of the console they’re playing on, while PS4 players’ patch comes in 4 GB shy of the PlayStation 5’s 28 GB download.