Designers Notes Header 4.3



In this latest edition of Designer’s Notes, we'll go into more detail about the upcoming balancing changes that’ll come with the 4.3 patch and give you an insight into the reasons behind these changes.


Y4S4 Matrix Attackers

Y4S4 Matrix DefendersWinDelta

Please note that we are using presence to gauge the popularity of an operator. This notion had to be introduced to reflect the implementation of the pick & ban.
Presence definition: “pick rate of an Operator when not banned.”
Win Delta: The Win Delta is aggregated from Operator’s Win Deltas per map. We usually compute it per map and per bomb site for more precision. However, we have faced some data gathering issues related to bomb site statistics.
A definitive fix is in progress, in the mean time keep in mind that these graphs are computed only through Win Delta per map. There could be minor variations for Operators being particularly impacted by the bomb site selection.






  • ADS time increased for all weapons classes.
  • Assault rifles: from 0.30s to 0.40s
  • DMRs: from 0.30s up to 0.40s (OTs-03 Incl.)
  • SMGs: from 0.20s up to 0.30s
  • LMGs: from 0.40s up to 0.45s
  • Pistol: 0.10s up to 0.20s
  • SMG in secondary slots: 0.10s up to 0.275s*
  • Shotguns: 0.20s up to 0.25s

In Ember Rise there was an overhaul of the animations which caused ADS time to decrease across the board for all weapons. This change will make ADS speeds similar to what they were pre-Ember Rise, as well as align ADS times for all weapons in each of their respective classes.

*Following your feedback received after the Test Server phase, we have decided to tweak the secondary SMGs ADS time from 0.35s to 0.275s. As usual we will keep on monitoring Operator and weapon performance following these changes and adapt if we deem it necessary.


  • ADS penalization will only apply when Blackbeard’s Gun Shield is equipped.

Weapons without the Gun Shield will maintain the same timings as any other Assault Rifle, weapons with the Gun Shield will have the same timings as they have now in Shifting Tides, and the Angled Grip will affect the SCAR with and without the Gun Shield equipped.

We want Blackbeard players to make a conscious decision when equipping the shield. The idea is to either have extra reactivity in firefights when switching to ADS or to have extra protection from the gun shield.

  • Case 1 (Angle grip equipped): ADS time will be 60% of the base time.
  • Case 2 (Shield equipped): ADS time will be 200% of the base time.
  • Case 3 (Angle grip + Shield equipped): ADS time will a combination of the 2 previous buffs, 160% of the base time.


  • The Yokai Drone can now be hacked by Dokkaebi’s phone hacking ability.
  • Echo will now drop a cell phone, if Dokkaebi is present during the round.
  • The Yokai is now equipped with drone lights that show only when uncloaked. These lights will provide the same visual feedback as any other drone.


Echo is currently an exception, as he is unaffected by Dokkaebi’s ability. This a way for us to offer more counters to this very powerful and frustrating defender, more particularly in situations when attackers are planting the defuser. He is the second most banned defender and these changes are implemented with that in mind.
It is also a way to rationalize how Operators interact between each other. More than balancing this is also an opportunity to make the game easier to understand to newcomers.


  • Reduced recoil on Scorpion Evo3 for the first 16 shots, any proceeding shots will have recoil similar to what it is currently on live.

Ela is a very popular Operator who suffers from a previous SMG recoil increase. Even if she remains decent in terms of Presence and Win Delta, we would like to bring her closer to her prime by improving the handling of the Scorpion EVO 3.


  • Increased Finka’s Spear .308 damage to 42 (up from 38)

We’ve seen that Finka’s spear underperforms all other Assault Rifles on attack, and we are looking to make it a more viable option.


  • Reduced Jäger’s 416-C damage to 38 (down from 43)

We’re still tinkering with Jäger, but with Wamai now in the game we feel it’s an appropriate time to make some moves and try to reduce the power of his 416-C which outperforms all other guns on defence. This is a first step towards trying to bring the most popular defender a bit closer to his peers.


  • ACOG removed from Maestro’s ALDA

We think the ALDA is powerful even without the ACOG and want to see if it’s removal will highlight its other great qualities.


  • Increased Nøkk’s and Smoke’s FMG9 damage to 34 (up from 30)

We want to give her a bit more confidence to make full use of her identity to sneak around and take 1v1 situations and gunfights. This change should also impact Smoke to a lesser degree.


  • Candela’s now have a new outline that is visible only to Ying.
  • Improved distribution of Cluster Flashes
  • Number of pellets per Candela increased to 7 (up from 6) - (1 at floor level, 3 at around hip level and 3 at head level).
  • Pellets detonation time reduced to 0.3s (from 1s on throw and 2.5s on deploy).
  • Pellets that bounce on environmental props maintain their velocity instead of falling and detonating on the floor.
  • Candela explosion minor VFX improvements.


Ying’s Candelas let ample room for creative gameplay and we are confident about the opportunities offered by the gadget. We have noticed that Candelas needed more consistency and reliability for Ying to reach her full potential.
We aim at providing more visual feedback, to make her ability easier to understand and we are also tweaking the cluster flashes to ensure the gadget effectiveness.



Lesion is currently over-picked and performs really well as you can see in the Defender’s graphic. He can often be quite frustrating to play against, which is why he is also target by Operator bans. He takes gun fights, deals damage and slows down the enemy. On top of that, his Gu Mines are also used for information gathering. We are looking into fine tuning him to reduce both his effectiveness and frustration.

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