I know you‘re eager to jump into Rainbow Six Siege after hearing how popular it still is, even 8 years after launch. But you‘re wondering – is Siege now permanently free to play?
The short answer is: Siege is not permanently free, however there are limited time free events. From March 9-16, 2023, Tom Clancy‘s Rainbow Six Siege is completely free to play on PC. But it goes back to being a paid title after the event ends.
Now let me explain in more detail, so you can get the full picture.
Free Play Periods
Ubisoft will occasionally run free play periods, like the current one from March 9-16th, to give new players a chance to try out Siege.
During these events, the full game is free on certain platforms for a limited time. You get access to all of Siege‘s content – every map, every mode, every operator. No restrictions.
The catch is that these free events are time limited. Once the end date passes, the game goes back to being a paid title.
So while you can play Rainbow Six Siege entirely for free right now if you act fast, it won‘t be permanently free after March 16th. You‘d have to purchase the game to keep playing after the event ends.
I know, I know – you wish Siege was just free forever. Unfortunately publishers need to earn revenue to support development costs. But the periodic free events are the next best thing, so be sure to take advantage when they pop up!
Now, there are a couple avenues to keep enjoying Siege at no or reduced cost after the free event ends:
PlayStation/Xbox – If you have an active PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold subscription, Siege is included as a free title. This gets you access to all the maps and modes, the only caveat is you need an ongoing subscription.
Starter Edition – This is a lower cost version of Rainbow Six Siege you can permanently own. You get access to the same content update as the standard edition, however additional operators require more in-game currency to unlock.
So with those options, you don‘t necessarily have to pay full price to get into Siege. Between free play weekends and the starter edition, you‘ve got alternatives.
I know connecting online for multiplayer isn‘t always possible. The good news is Rainbow Six Siege can actually be played offline!
Siege has two single player modes available without an internet connection:
Situations – This mode has short tutorial scenarios with AI enemies. You play solo and get scored based on your performance completing objectives.
Training Grounds – Formerly called Terrorist Hunt. Fight against AI enemies on the multiplayer maps either solo or in a squad. Great for target practice!
The offline components are limited compared to the full online experience. But they are a good way to experience the core feel of Rainbow Six when you can‘t go online.
Is Rainbow Six Siege Worth Playing in 2023?
Even 8 years after launch, Rainbow Six Siege remains one of the most popular competitive shooters out there. Let‘s look at why Siege is absolutely still worth diving into today:
Huge Active Playerbase
One of the most impressive things is Siege‘s large active player base even after nearly a decade. The game still sees over 100,000 daily players across platforms.
To give you an idea, it hit a peak of 199,000 concurrent players on Steam alone back in March 2021. For a game that came out in 2015, those are ridiculous player numbers that rival brand new titles.
Siege‘s longevity comes down to Ubisoft‘s live service approach. By constantly expanding and improving the game over time, old and new players alike have reasons to keep coming back.
Frequent Content Updates
Speaking of updates, Ubisoft has kept Siege fresh with new content and improvements delivered in seasons. Every 3 months brings:
- New operatives with unique abilities
- Map reworks and additions
- New weapons, gadgets and cosmetics
- Limited time events and game modes
- Improvements to gameplay balance and systems
This regular cadence of expansions keeps the meta evolving and gives players something exciting to look forward to.
Near Limitless Strategy
With over 60 operators and 20+ maps, the combinations and viable tactics are practically endless. The complexity leads to immense replayability.
Mastering map destruction, operator synergies, gadget placement, and team coordination offers tremendous strategic depth. Creative players can outsmart opponents in so many ways.
And with Ubisoft adding 2 new operators per year, there‘s always new dynamics to learn. The high skill ceiling and endless strategies make Siege perpetually challenging.
In 2023, Ubisoft introduced a major overhaul to the Ranked mode competitive experience. Ranked received seasons, leaderboards, competitive progression similar to other esports titles.
For new players, this improved ranked mode offers better matchmaking and milestones to work towards. The seasonal resets also mean veterans can‘t sit indefinitely at the top ranks.
The rework helped modernize Siege‘s competitive ecosystem to today‘s standards. And it came alongside an improved cheating detection system too!
Thriving Esports Scene
From Majors with $3 million prize pools to collegiate leagues, Rainbow Six Siege has one of the most developed esports scenes among first person shooters.
The growth to around 30 pro and semi-pro Siege teams worldwide is impressive. It means Ubisoft is highly invested in supporting the pro league for the long term.
Watching high-level competitive play is incredibly entertaining and a great way to learn new strategies. The esports scene brings in and retains many of Siege‘s loyal fans.
So in summary – a huge playerbase, ongoing updates, strategic depth, ranked improvements, and a thriving pro scene. Those key ingredients make Siege undoubtedly worth playing even today.
Is Rainbow Six Siege Difficult for New Players?
With so much appeal for veterans, you may be wondering if Rainbow Six Siege is difficult for newcomers. The truthful answer is: yes, Siege has a notoriously high learning curve.
The initial learning phase is challenging. Here are some of the key factors that contribute to the steep difficulty:
Sheer Volume of Content
The sheer breadth of content is overwhelming. There are over 60 operators to learn, each with gadgets and abilities that interact in complex ways.
On top of that, there are over 20 multiplayer maps with destructible walls, floors, and ceilings. Learning the map layouts, angles and callouts takes significant time.
Memorizing all these operators, gadgets, maps and interactions is extremely daunting for newbies. It feels endless.
Siege has a heavy focus on teamwork. Communication, callouts, and coordinating tactics with your squad is mandatory, especially against seasoned teams.
Solo queueing as a new player makes things exponentially harder. Without experienced teammates guiding you, it can feel hopeless.
Engagements are often decided in an instant. Headshots are lethal no matter what weapon or operator is involved.
As a new player, you‘ll frequently die the moment you encounter an enemy, leading to a lot of frustrating, short lives. The time to kill is unforgiving.
Like many competitive titles, Siege has a reputation for toxicity. Experienced players often flame, harass, or kick newer teammates for struggling.
The frequent harassment makes it tough to learn without losing morale. Thick skin is required.
The meta is perpetually evolving as Ubisoft adds new operators and tweaks gadgets. What‘s strong one season may be weak the next.
Figuring out what loadouts, combinations and strategies are optimal takes lots of experimentation and game knowledge.
The factors above combine to make Rainbow Six Siege one of the most impenetrable competitive titles. But while incredibly difficult at first, overcoming these hurdles is massively rewarding.
There‘s nothing quite like the rush of your first clutch, ace, or ranked victory. If you stick with it, Siege offers an incredibly fulfilling, high-skill journey.
The Decline of Supersport Motorcycles
Now, I want to shift gears and talk about an important trend happening in motorsports – the decline of supersport motorcycles like the legendary Yamaha R6.
Supersports used to dominate track days and racing grids, but consumer preferences have been shifting away from these agile, high-revving machines:
Focus on Safety
Supersport motorcycles encourage riding at dangerously high speeds. With their peaky powerbands and track focus, they aren‘t beginner friendly.
In contrast, today‘s riders prioritize safety and ease of use. Consumer preference has moved strongly towards bikes with more flexible power delivery.
Rise of Naked Bikes
"Naked bikes" like the Yamaha MT-07 have surged in popularity in recent years. Their upright posture, minimal bodywork and flexible engines make them accessible.
Add to that a lower cost of entry compared to supersports. It‘s easy to see why young riders opt for naked bikes as affordable starter motorcycles.
Improved Electronics on Literbikes
Electronics like traction control, wheelie control, and ABS have trickled down from the premium liter bike class to mid-range models.
These rider aids narrow the performance gap between litre bikes and supersports. With comparable technology, many riders don‘t see the value in the compromised ergonomics of supersports.
The market trends above have led to sharply declining supersport sales. Yamaha R6 sales dropped by 45% in 2017 alone. Kawasaki‘s ZX-636 disappeared from their lineup entirely in 2021.
Manufacturers have taken note, shifting R&D investment towards more profitable naked bikes and adventure models. Unfortunately for enthusiasts, this has left supersport motorcycle models out in the cold.
For fans of the R6 and bikes like it, the loss of these legendary machines is a sad reality. But consumer tastes continue to evolve, so only time will tell if preferences eventually shift back towards supersports. Fingers crossed we see a resurgence – the thrill of high-revving engines and razor sharp handling is irreplaceable!
The Future of Rainbow Six Siege
Rainbow Six Siege enters its 8th year in a healthier state than ever. The reworked ranked system, anti-cheat improvements, and continued new content have given the game renewed vigor.
But what does the future hold? How long can Siege continue evolving before Ubisoft releases a sequel? Based on the development roadmap, Siege seems poised to continue growing for at least 3-5 more years.
Far Beyond 100 Operators
Siege currently sits at over 60 operators. But Ubisoft has stated they plan to keep adding new operatives for at least 100 total operators. At 2 per season, we could see 40+ new characters over the next 5 years.
The possibilities for new nationalities, gadgets, and gameplay dynamics are endless. 100 operators would make the roster immense – it shows Ubisoft is planning Siege‘s content updates for the long haul.
More Map Reworks
Alongside new maps, we‘ll continue seeing reworks of older maps to improve balance and visuals. Ubisoft reworks 2-3 maps per year, slowly improving the overall quality.
This gradual map evolution helps keep gameplay fresh even on existing stages.
Events and Limited Modes
Limited time events like Rainbow is Magic and Showdown will carry on bringing unique twists. These whacky side modes provide lighthearted fun when you need a break from ranked.
Events also allow Ubisoft to experiment with new mechanics outside of core competitive modes.
As console generations advance, Ubisoft will release upgraded versions of Siege, porting the game to new engines. This happened with the PS5 and Xbox Series X release.
Engine upgrades support improving graphics and performance to take advantage of new hardware.
Based on the 4 points above, it‘s clear Ubisoft plans to keep evolving Siege for the foreseeable future. I‘d expect at minimum 3 more years of life, if not longer.
So while Siege won‘t be permanently free, its long term future looks bright. There‘s never been a better time to join the millions of players in this legendary competitive shooter!
I hope this guide gave you a comprehensive overview of what makes Rainbow Six Siege so special and worth playing even 8 years later. Let me know if you have any other questions! I‘m always happy to chat Siege or gaming.