Do you want to help? Just register and log in to edit our pages. You can also join our #rainbowsix contributor community on our Discord.

Operation Steel Wave

From Liquipedia Rainbow Six Wiki
[e][h]Operation Steel Wave
Patch Information
Release Date:
  • New operation
  • Balance changes
  • Bug fixes
  • Misc changes


Prepare for the unexpected, because Operation Steel Wave is full of novelties! New Operators arrive, with gadgets that are sure to change the flow of every match they participate in. A new NIGHTHAVEN recruit, Ace, swoops in to join the Attackers, while the Defenders gain a new teammate in Melusi, an Inkaba Task Force ranger.

As you’ll find in the Patch Notes below, with this season you can also expect our House rework as well as the new secondary gadget, the Proximity Alarm. Keep an eye out for changes to our Matchmaking Rating system and Amaru’s gadget function, plus brand new seasonal weapon skins and Echo’s Elite skin!

2 New Operators[edit]

Ace Ace[edit]

“Ace is a potent mix of the unpredictable and the bombastic, part showman, all professional…” - Dr. Harishva "Harry" Pandey

The natural resting point for the center of attention, Specialist Håvard “Ace” Haugland is never more than a smile away from a perfect on-camera appearance. Nevertheless, his dedication to search-and-rescue operations worldwide, and his long and well-publicized list of personal accomplishments, are a source of inspiration for many…

Unique Ability[edit]

GADGET: S.E.L.M.A. Aqua Breacher

“S.E.L.M.A. combines the demolitionist’s explosive force with the humanitarian’s care for saving lives…” - Elena « Mira » Álvarez Rainbow Director of R&D

We wouldn’t blame you if the term breaching makes you think of fiery explosions. If not with a hammer or a spark, walls have mostly been compromised by fire so far. With Ace, that’s about to change.

With the S.E.L.M.A. Aqua Breacher, water is the name of the game. It makes use of hydraulic pressure to burst through breakable and reinforced surfaces. The cylinder is thrown on whatever Ace is trying to breach, and then it opens to fully deploy. It explodes one time on floors, ceilings and hatches, but on walls the cylinder rolls down to deploy up to three times, if space allows. Each of these deployments leaves a clean rectangle breach, combining to create a hole big enough for an Operator to go through easily.

The S.E.L.M.A. is quite versatile in nature and with multiple units available to Ace, its ability to be thrown at any height makes him an incredibly reliable hard breacher.

Melusi Melusi[edit]

“Ndlovu doesn’t shy away from responsibility, embracing it as both her duty and her birthright…” - Dr. Harishva "Harry" Pandey

There is no shortage of wars to be fought in this world, but Specialist Thandiwe “Melusi” Ndlovu has picked one of the most vital. Conservation is an underappreciated art form, combining tireless vigilance and hair-trigger reflexes. It asks much of its proponents and, in turn, Ndlovu delivers…

Unique Ability[edit]

GADGET: Banshee Sonic Defense

“The Banshee bypasses our defenses precisely because it attacks an element of our physiology that we daily take for granted…” - Elena « Mira » Álvarez Rainbow Director of R&D

Don’t be too alarmed if you find yourself slowed when there’s no barbed wire underfoot. You can trust your ears on this one, the Banshee has caught you in a moment of weakness. While its sound blares and alerts Melusi of your presence, you might not have much time to retreat to a safe distance.

The Banshee Sonic Defence is deployable on surfaces, much like Maestro’s Evil Eyes, but they don’t require any manual control. As soon as an opponent walks close enough to it, it will release its scream and slow them. It can be destroyed, but since it’s bulletproof, Attackers will have to dispense some utility or strike it up close.

One of the best assets of the Banshee is that once Melusi has placed it, her teammates can make use of it just as well as she does.

Map Rework: House[edit]

At last, House has undergone some major renovations and is ready for more mayhem. While we strived to keep this map as casual as possible, we still felt there were some things we needed to change in order for it to be well balanced.

The first item we need to discuss is the size of the house itself. With this rework, not only have some of the existing areas been made bigger, we also added an entirely new section on the South side, with two rooms on each floor and a staircase to connect them. With this new space, everyone will have more space to move and breathe, but we were also able to add a new Bomb site in TV Room and Music Room.

Many other areas have changed, but three required special attention. Firstly, Garage has been revamped, with only one of its doors being destructible and a new barricade being added to give a different access option, while still making a Defuser plant harder. Secondly, what was once Workshop is now a finished Girls’ Room with an attached walk-in closet. Thirdly, lines of sight have been reduced on the North side of the building, with the main door being blocked off and the shuttered window replaced with a hallway.

As you play this new version of a classic map, you’ll notice some other things. The Living & Training Bomb site has been removed in favor of Master Bedroom & Boys’ Room. Most floors are now breakable, so vertical play will be a lot more viable. Some hatches have been added or moved. Overall, we applied our vision of competitive maps while keeping it fun and making it safer.

AmaruAmaru Changes[edit]

While Amaru has always been acrobatic and dynamic, she hasn’t always been as unpredictable as we wanted her to be. This season, we hope to give her the tools she needs to fulfill her role with a few tweaks.

While her hook animations and timings will be smoother, what’s really important to point out is that from now on, she will only break barricades when she goes through them (although her hook will still break the glass on a window), and she will no longer need to break a hatch before going up, as she will breach it in the action itself.

Secondary Gadget: Proximity Alarm[edit]

Our brand new secondary gadget is finally fine-tuned and ready to be used on the field. This thrown sticky gadget is an essential intel-gathering tool, and it works just as well for anchors as it does for roamers.

The Proximity Alarm’s small size makes it easy to place in a spot where Attackers might not see them as they navigate their way to the objective, making it all the more easy for Defenders to capitalize on the chaos that ensues when the alarm goes off.

  • Castle Castle: Impact Grenades replaced with Proximity Alarm.
  • Caveira Caveira: Bulletproof Camera replaced with Proximity Alarm.
  • Goyo Goyo: Impact Grenades replaced with Proximity Alarm.
  • Rook Rook: Barbed Wire replaced with Proximity Alarm.
  • Wamai Wamai: Barbed Wire replaced with Proximity Alarm.
  • Tachanka Tachanka: Deployable shield replaced with Proximity Alarm.
  • Mira Mira: Barbed Wire replaced with Proximity Alarm.
  • Oryx Oryx: Replaced Bulletproof Camera with Proximity Alarm.
  • Recruit Recruit/Defense: Primary Gadget

Unified MMR & Champions Rank[edit]

A big change is coming to our Matchmaking Rating system. In order to prevent matchmaking abuses while switching regions, we will be changing to unified MMRs for each playlist. This means that you will not have different MMRs depending on the region you play in. However, your matchmaking ranking will remain separate in different playlists.

For those of you who are or aspire to be in the Champions rank, this change will in fact cause the Champions’ leaderboard to be worldwide, making it all the more challenging to reach that top spot. Additionally, we want to reinforce that the notion that Champions is not just about skills but also about dedication, so a minimum of 100 matches is now required to get the rank, on top of the 5000 MMR threshold.

EchoElite Echo[edit]

Have you ever wondered what each Operator might be like, in an alternate universe? In the future? Would they still be with Rainbow, and would they even still be good people?

Echo’s Elite Set is one such glance into another world, where he is the hero of his own city, and no criminal can hope to match him in combat. This set contains Echo’s Tenkamusou uniform, victory animation, gadget skin for his Yokai Drones and weapon skins for the SUPERNOVA, MP5SD, P229, and BEARING 9, as well as the Elite Echo Chibi charm.

Operators Price Decrease[edit]

Four Operators are getting a price decrease with this season.

  • Alibi Alibi and Maestro Maestro’s are going down to 15,000 Renown or 350 R6 Credits.
  • Nøkk Nøkk and Warden Warden’s prices will be 20,000 Renown or 480 R6 Credits.

Steel Wave Weapon Skins[edit]

This time, two new seasonal weapon skins are coming your way to spice up your loadouts in two different ways.

Let the Wooden Carvings skin lead you into battle, with its aged wood and chiseled symbols.

Take a chill pill, the Beach Trip skin is here to make things a little more lighthearted and fun.

Seasonal weapon skins are released upon season launch and can be purchased during that season. Once unlocked, the seasonal weapon skins can be applied to all available weapons

Operator Balancing[edit]

Clash Clash[edit]

  • Clash's SMG will switch from having a red dot to using the reflex's green triangle.

Echo Echo[edit]

  • Removed the camera shake effect from from Yokai's concussion effects.
  • Length of concussion effect is no longer affected by movement. Now has a fixed duration of 10s and the intensity of the vision disruption stays fixed throughout the effect.
  • Replaced the Deployable Shield with Impact Grenades.

Finka Finka[edit]

  • Increased base hp to 30 (from 5) for teammates revived by Finka's Nanoboost. DBNO Players will stand up with 50 hp (30 from own base hp + 20 from Finka boost).

Kaid Kaid[edit]

  • Added LFP586 secondary to loadout.

Kali Kali[edit]

  • Reduced LV Explosive Lance's fuse time to 1.5s (down from 2.5s).
  • Improved CSRX 300 recoil through reduced weapon climb after each shot.
  • Replaced P22 Mk5 with SPSMG9 in loadout.

Nomad Nomad[edit]

  • Added PRB92 secondary weapon to loadout.

Oryx Oryx[edit]

  • Reduced damage taken when dashing through walls to 5 (down from 10).
  • Bulletproof Camera replaced with new Proximity Alarm secondary gadget.
  • Added angled grip option to Oryx's MP5.

Ela Ela Zofia Zofia[edit]

  • Eliminated the mouse sensibility modifier from concussion effect of the Bosak sisters' gadgets.

Ying Ying[edit]

  • Removed a Candela to bring it down to 3 (from 4 Candelas). - Changed for PC on 04-30-2020.

Tweaks & Improvements[edit]

Game Balancing[edit]

ACS12 New Slug Bullet Type There was previously an ongoing bug that allowed the ACS12 to do too much destruction too quickly We've given the ACS12 a new slug bullet type that should make damage more controlled and in line with our design intentions. We'll test it on the PC Test Server first, so please leave us your feedback!

Player Comfort[edit]

Updates to Playlist Guides

We’ve made some upgrades to the Playlist Guides. The Ranked Guide will now reflect the current season and you will still be able to see all the ranked charm rewards, as well as your previous highest rank for the past 3 seasons.

Map rotations for Quickmatch will rotate automatically three times per season, and the current map pool information will be displayed in the Playlist guides.

Audio Localizations

Localization recordings for the new Operators Ace + Melusi will not be available in French and Russian for the season release. Even when the audio settings are set to French/Russian, players will hear the English voiceovers. Until this is updated, players can turn on the subtitles for Ace + Melusi until the game is updated with localized voices at a later date.

The Japanese localized voiceovers for Frost and Capitao have been updated to be more in line with the current Operators.

Game Health[edit]

Match Cancellation

Match Cancellation is a new feature that will allow players to cancel their current Ranked match under the condition that team sizes are unbalanced at the beginning of the match (eg: if players disconnect before the first round, or if a lobby is formed with less than 10 players). The Match Cancellation vote option will become available for the incomplete team during the prep phase and a majority vote will cancel the match. A canceled match will show as canceled and have no impact on MMR.

Abandon penalties are still in place and players who abandon an ongoing Ranked Match are still subject to escalating abandon sanctions.

If a match cancellation vote is triggered, leaving before the validation of the Match Cancellation vote will also result in an abandon penalty. Players should remain in the game until the Match Cancellation vote is validated and the game has been canceled.

The Match Cancellation feature will first deploy to the seasonal TS for testing and will go live later in the season.

Changes to Ranked Clearance Level and Champion Rank Requirements

  • Ranked clearance level changed from 30 to 50.
  • To reach Champion Rank, players must have 5000 MMR and additionally, they now must have played at least 100 ranked matches in the current season.

As discussed in our Top Issues blog, the aim of these changes is to make Ranked less accessible to cheaters. By combo-ing increased clearance level requirements for Ranked together with the PvE XP level cap, we can do more to better gate-keep and protect the Ranked environment from cheaters. The additional Champion Rank requirements will also help us in that regard as it will prevent cheaters from trying to fast-hack their way into the leaderboards.

Benchmarking Update

Improved Benchmarking Tool to deliver detailed performance reports about player’s hardware specifications and graphics settings. Please note that the values may differ from before as benchmarking is now performed on the map Oregon instead of House.

Patch Notes Addendum[edit]


Y5S2.1 Update During the Steel Wave test server period we received a number of feedback requests for balancing tweaks to the new Operators. After evaluating feedback from players, and data from the TS, we plan to make a few balancing changes to the new operators with the 2.1 patch. The changes will not go into effect until the Y5S2.1 update.

Melusi Melusi[edit]

  • Lowering the penalty zone by approximately 33%.
  • Lowering the sound of Banshee effect in first person POV.

Ace Ace & Hibana Hibana[edit]

  • Remove the possibility of destroying Bandit's Batteries through reinforcements, by placing the charges on the floor.

Melusi Melusi[edit]

  • Replace her deployable shield with C4.

After re–evaluating a number of current game–meta and gameplay factors, we made the decision to swap out Melusi's deployable shields for C4 to prevent putting extra pressure on attackers and specific attacker utility.


  • Increased the damage from 41 to 59. Increased ADS Speed.
  • Increase the ACS12 RPM to 300 RPM.

Buff to the ACS12's damage to make it a bit more viable than it is currently. ADS speed should also now match other weapons of the same category. Furthermore, on release, the ACS12 had 300RPM, and it was lowered by a later balancing change. With this change alongside the change to slugs, the 300 RPM should not have issues with destruction.


Audio Localizations Update[edit]

French localized audio for Ace and Melusi will be available in FR at launch. RU localizations are still unavailable.

Weapons Attachments[edit]

Attachment system updates allow for attachment skins and simpler loadout balancing.

Metal Detectors[edit]

Adjustment to metal detector SFX and activation on Bank, Kanal + Border.

  • Now plays a short 3–sec alarm before stopping.
  • Only one alarm can be played at a time.
  • No cooldown on the alarm trigger.

This fixes an issue where alarm cooldowns meant that players could cross metal detector barriers multiple times without an alarm sounding (if it was already triggered previously and on cooldown).


Added a top window blocker and bars to the wall facing treehouse to allow players to shoot through, but players will not be able to rappel in through that window.

Bug Fixes[edit]


  • Fixed - CS12's slugs deal no damage from distances greater than 40m.
  • Fixed - M4 reload animation and audio are slightly out of sync.
  • Fixed - AK12 reload animation and audio are out of sync.
  • Fixed - FPS drops when debris flies next to players.
  • Fixed - Bulletproof Camera casing still deploys after canceling when crouching.
  • Fixed - Deployable shields (and Goyo’s Vulcan) have pick–up priority over other throwable gadgets. Gadgets should be able to be picked up in the order of most recently deployed.
  • Fixed - Players can sometimes vault into another operator under specific circumstances.
  • Fixed - Secure Area’s Biohazard container hitbox is too large.
  • Fixed - Shield operators hugging a reinforced wall can prevent the deployment of hard–breach gadgets on the reinforced wall’s inner layer (such as Thermite’s breach charge and Mira’s Black Mirror).
  • Fixed - Impact grenades and Zofia's grenades explode on attacker instead of on the attacker's ballistic shield if they are sprinting/walking at time of impact.
  • Fixed - Objective discovery is not triggered when looking at it indirectly from the edge of the screen and FOV settings are above 60.
  • Fixed - ADS appears zoomed out for some sights on the P10 Roni.
  • Fixed - Hostage will go into DBNO instead of dying as intended, if an explosive gadget is detonated near the hostage.


  • Fixed - Abnormal gunshot SFX with T–95 LSW.
  • Fixed - Missing VFX when using specific weapons and attachments. (e.g.: Using the M12 + Muzzle Brake only yields giant sparkles instead of muzzle flash + smoke).
  • Fixed - Various minor animation issues when performing certain movements for various operators.
  • Fixed - Various minor visual fixes and updates for support mode and death replays.
  • Fixed - Various visual fixes for operators and their gadgets.

Ace Ace[edit]

  • Fixed - Ace's SELMA does not destroy Barbed Wire on the first explosion.
  • Fixed - Ace's SELMA can stick onto a Black Mirror red canister, causing the animation to be improperly orientated.
  • Fixed - Ace does not receiving points after destroying a deployable defender gadget with SELMA.

Melusi Melusi[edit]

  • Fixed - Melusi's Banshees should have the same explosion resistance as Maestro's Evil Eyes. Currently have very low explosion resistance.

Amaru Amaru[edit]

  • Fixed - Amaru sometimes cannot reel to a hatch even when the gadget activation icon is available.
  • Fixed - Amaru’s Garra Hook is not attaching properly with the expected frame points on skylights.
  • Fixed - Amaru can use her Garra Launcher on the blocked window at EXT Tree House of House.
  • Fixed - Small smoke VFX at the corners where Amaru's Garra Hook attaches to the corners of the window frame.
  • Fixed - Amaru's reeling SFX is distorted/missing in replays.

Bandit Bandit[edit]

  • Fixed - Floor debris and partially damaged reinforced hatches can prevent Bandit from deploying his gadget.

Capitão Capitao[edit]

  • Fixed - Fire does not propagate properly when darts are shot under some furniture assets.

Echo Echo[edit]

  • Fixed - Shock Drones and Yokai can shoot operators through normal barricades and Castle barricades. They will no longer be able to do so.
  • Fixed - Yokai’s camera POV will gray out and lose color if Thatcher uses his EMP anywhere on the map.
  • Fixed - Echo's Yokai can sometimes clip through thin ceilings on maps and see onto the rooftops in support mode.

Finka Finka[edit]

  • Fixed - Missing VFX timer on Finka's thumb gadget gauge when using the last adrenal surge charge.

Fuze Fuze[edit]

  • Fixed - Operators can take damage or even die when standing next to a detonating cluster charge even if they are not in the cluster charge AOE.

Glaz Glaz[edit]

  • Fixed - Glaz's thermal scope provides no visibility through smoke even when fully charged. The yellow highlight is still visible, but weaker than intended.
  • Fixed - Glaz’s OTs-03 can be used with full functionality while escorting the Hostage.

Iana Iana[edit]

  • Fixed - Iana’s hologram will trigger the shrapnel system.

Lesion Lesion[edit]

  • Fixed - Lesion can see through smoke when looking through a deployed GU Mine.

Lion Lion[edit]

  • Fixed - Lion’s EE–ONE–D can be hit and destroyed by weapon fire.

Nøkk Nokk[edit]

  • Fixed - When Nokk has her HEL Presence active and is damaged by Ace's SELMA, the Glitching VFX will not be displayed for anyone operating an Evil Eye or Bulletproof Camera.

Maestro Maestro[edit]

  • Fixed - If Maestro leaves the game, his Evil Eye windows are not opening to 50% in their disabled state.

Ying Ying[edit]

  • Fixed - Ying’s candelas do not activate properly after being thrown through an electrified, damaged wall.

Zofia Zofia[edit]

  • Fixed - Impact and concussion grenades from Zofia's gadget at very close range do not affect enemy operators.

Level Design[edit]

  • Fixed - Doorways, reinforceable walls, and hatches on several maps are blocked if a player is AFK at spawn.
  • Fixed - Various spawn kill/spawn peek opportunities on maps.
  • Fixed - Glass resistance to gadgets for some map assets is broken.
  • Fixed - Various collision issues on maps.
  • Fixed - Various clipping/dynamic clipping issues on maps.
  • Fixed - Various LOD issues on maps.
  • Fixed - Various LOS issues on maps.
  • Fixed - Various map asset destruction issues.
  • Fixed - Unnecessary/missing vault prompts on maps.
  • Fixed - Various map asset issues.
  • Fixed - Various lighting/texture issues on maps.


  • Fixed - Spawning in 1F TV Room and 1F Music Room as spawn points for defenders on House results in 1 defender spawning at B Gym instead.
  • Fixed - Players are unable to pick up Mozzie's Pests if they are deployed on the rug covering the stairs in House.
  • Fixed - Gadgets can be placed in unreachable areas of reworked House
  • Fixed - Operators can climb inside the bookcase in 2F Reading Room of House.
  • Fixed - A wall in 2F Pink Room of House cannot be reinforced in Hostage mode if player who spawns next to it does not move.
  • Fixed - Attackers rappelling into the window of 2F back stairs of House remain in the air for a brief moment due to a missing floor asset.
  • Fixed - Defenders can block a reinforceable wall in 2F Car Room of House if they are AFK at spawn
  • Fixed - Drones do not spawn close to the selected spawn location on House.
  • Fixed - Small deployable gadgets cannot be picked up again when placed on the armchair pillow in 2F Master Bedroom of House.
  • Fixed - Drones can get stuck between the pile of pipes in front of construction on House.


  • Fixed - One of the hatches in the 2F Server Room of Border is not being completely destroyed and can leave collision that blocks players.


  • Fixed - Pixel peek from B Wine Cellar of Chalet.


  • Fixed - Alibi’s Prisma will not deploy when thrown into interior garden at 1F Main Stairs of Consulate.
  • Fixed - Breaching charges can be placed on indestructible floor sections in 2F Hallway of Consulate.
  • Fixed - Collision missing for Hibana’s X–Kairos pellets and the wooden desk at 1F Lobby of Consulate.
  • Fixed - Rappel point is incorrectly placed for the skylight above 1F Main Stairs in Consulate.
  • Fixed - Operators' gadgets can get stuck in the flags on Consulate.


  • Fixed - Planting the defuser in specific areas on the metal shelf of B Arsenal Room in Clubhouse can glitch the plant and cause attackers to lose the round.
  • Fixed - Players can destroy the cardboard boxes in Snowmobile Garage on Chalet and hide in the shadows.
  • Fixed - Spinning in a specific spot on Chalet can cause FPS drops for other players in the game.


  • Fixed - Attackers can hide the defuser inside the closet at 2F Penthouse of Coastline.


  • Fixed - Gridlock’s Trax Stingers are deploying inside the washing machines of 1F Laundry Room on Favela.


  • Fixed - Gadgets and grenades can get stuck under the football table in 2F Games Room in Fortress when thrown from certain angles.
  • Fixed - In Fortress, when players shoot a Capitao dart in specific places on the hood–extractor, the incendiary bolt will ignite, but the fire will not propagate.
  • Fixed - Issues with reinforcing a wall in 2F Games Room of Fortress when one of the defenders is AFK.
  • Fixed - Players can still get shocked through an indestructible wall in 2F Shisha Hallway on Fortress.

Hereford Base[edit]

  • Fixed - Players can hide behind a target dummy inside a wood rack in 1F Garage of Hereford.


  • Fixed - Missing glass panels for some windows on Oregon.


  • Fixed - Players can get stuck inside the vents of EXT Forklift Alley of Kanal after exiting rappel between the gap in the vents.
  • Fixed - Echo's Yokai drone can lose signal and stop responding if deployed on top of the vents of 2F Printer Room in Kanal.

User Experience[edit]

  • Fixed - Various Menu UI improvements.
  • Fixed - Various minor cosmetic and shop UI fixes.
  • Fixed - Various minor menu fixes and improvements.
  • Fixed - Various cosmetic fixes to charms, uniforms, headgears.
  • Fixed - Empty player cards visible in spectator mode if all observation tools are destroyed and player joins–in–progress.
  • Fixed - Floating drones in support and caster mode.
  • Fixed - Outlines of objectives and some gadgets are sometimes highlighted while in support mode after dying.
  • Fixed - Various caster/spectator HUD improvements and updates. Increased legibility of the player states on player cards.
  • Fixed - Visual replication issues from 3rd person POV for operators exiting rappel from a rooftop.
  • Fixed - Missing flash FX for players who are in support mode.
  • Fixed - Weapons clip through Defenders hands at spawn if a grip is equipped.
  • Fixed - (PvE) Missing exterior barricades at the beginning of Situation 02.
  • Fixed - (PvE) One bot can get stuck in front of the bar at 1F restaurant after the defuser is planted.
  • Fixed - Attachments are invisible on bots in PvE.
  • Fixed - Players cannot complete the "Kill one blinded enemy" objective in the 2nd Situation.
  • Fixed - CPU Load displays 0% in the new advanced benchmark results report.
  • Fixed - 'None'/'Default' options for attachments, charms, headgear, and uniforms is missing.
  • Fixed - The Discovery playlist is missing a name on some UI elements in the main menu.
  • Fixed - Infinite loading in the custom online game mode only
  • Fixed - Quitting a match during prep/ban phase will display a VISUAL ONLY deranking to Copper V for players who are already ranked.
  • Fixed - Texture for black weapon attachment skin is darker on holographic/laser sights.

External Links[edit]