Rainbow Six Extraction operator tier list: the best operators to use

The Arcaeans aren't here to play and neither are you - here's our full Rainbow Six Extraction tier list so you know who to take into the fight

Rainbow Six Extraction Lion, Doc, and Finka: Three Operators readied to attack

If there’s one thing you need to know about Rainbow Six Extraction, it’s this: there are a lot of Archaeans to take down. Thankfully, Extraction’s roster of REACT operators are all well-equipped to take down a lot of Archaeans. It’s almost as if they have all been specially selected for this and our Rainbow Six Extraction tier list reflects that.

In a similar fashion to Rainbow Six Siege, the operators available at launch in Rainbow Six Extraction are all equipped with unique gadgets and different loadout options. The REACT gadgets are universal, but how you use them is going to depend a lot on the operator you choose and what role they play in Extraction and taking on the Archaeans. 

If you’re wondering which operators are best, we’re here to try and answer that question for you with our Rainbow Six Extraction tier list. Of course, there are going to be some players who find themselves at home with one operator and their loadout and that’s what they’ll stick with – however, Extraction encourages you to experiment with more than one character and this means it’s important to make sure you’re familiar with the best. 

This tier list is going to take our playtime and personal experiences with each operator into account, but we’re going to keep things as objective as possible. These Archaeans are no joke and we want to make sure that you’re going into the fight as well-equipped as possible.

You never quite know what objectives you’re going to be tasked with when you jump into a game of Extraction with your squad – so, some operators are going to be better equipped to deal with some objectives than others. However, there are a few out there that are well-rounded enough to be capable of dealing with anything the Archaeans throw at you – even those pesky Proteans! 

Rainbow Six Extraction tier list

At the moment, here’s our definitive tier list of the best operators in Rainbow Six Extraction. We’ve scored each operator to keep things clear, but read on to find out how we decided on who’s in the top tier and who you should avoid.

Tier Operators
S-Tier Lion, Alibi, Finka
A-Tier Doc, Vigil, Fuze, Smoke, Tachanka, Gridlock
B-Tier Ela, Jӓger, Rook, Hibana
C-Tier Pulse, Capitão, Nomad
D-Tier IQ, Sledge

S-Tier

If you’re looking for the best of the best, you’re going to need to make sure you’re playing as the following operators in Rainbow Six Extraction. Fighting Archaeans isn’t going to be easy, but dropping in as one of the following operators will give you the best chance.

LION

Rainbow Six Extraction Lion: Default character model for Lion

Visibility and keeping tabs on Archaeans is vital in Rainbow Six Extraction – no one is better equipped to track the enemy’s movements than Lion. His EE-ONE-D drone is an invaluable asset in keeping everyone alive when you’re in the thick of the fight. This gadget paints moving Archaeans red when active and can help ensure that you and your squad are facing the right way when a Spiker crashes through a wall. Being caught unaware in Extraction can be lethal, so having Lion’s additional visibility is an important part of avoiding this.

In addition to this, Lion’s base weapon is easily one of the best in the game. The V308 is a fast-firing assault rifle with an extended magazine – this means you can hit hard and keep hitting when you start to get overwhelmed. As a three-speed two-armour operator, he’s perfectly balanced – you can stand and fight, or run and relocate, with ease.

ALIBI

Rainbow Six Extraction Alibi: Default character model for Alibi

If you’re looking to keep your team alive while you complete an objective, Alibi is the perfect choice for you. Her PRISMA decoys are the perfect distraction when you need to keep the Archaeans off your back and they’re invaluable when it comes to reviving incapacitated teammates or setting up defensive traps. Alibi’s decoys are seemingly indestructible and don’t expire – this means you can keep using them to draw out enemy Archaeans without the worry that you might run out. She might not be able to heal her teammates, but she does something even better – she stops you from getting hit in the first place.

Her base weapon, the Mx4 Storm SMG, is perfect for taking out clustered Archaeans with deadly accuracy – it’s a semi-automatic carbine that should allow you to dispose of Grunts and Bloaters with ease. If you’re looking for something with a little more bang for your buck, you can unlock additional weapons by leveling her up. This will turn Alibi into one of the most lethal operators on REACT’s payroll, without question.

FINKA

Rainbow Six Extraction Finka: Default character model for Finka

If you’re a Siege player, you’ll know how important Finka is to any team. In Extraction, she’s just as important – if not, more-so – and easily one of the best operators to jump into with right now. Her Adrenal Surge is invaluable when it comes to fighting through the tough spots and coming out of a scrap with Archaeans in one piece. If you’re concerned about losing teammates, Finka is the operator you’re going to want to make sure is in your squad. 

If you’re looking at Finka and wondering why she’s a better choice than Doc, it’s simple – Finka’s Adrenal Surge can actually revive teammates in Down But Not Out (DBNO) instantly.

Finka also starts off with one of the heavier assault rifles available in Extraction – so, she’s a great choice for players looking to push through the Archaean hordes and an important driving force for an aggressive squad. The SPEAR .308 does only have 30 rounds in a mag, though. If you’re looking for something with a bit more oomph, then you can level her up a little and head into the fight with a 6P41 LMG. 

A-Tier

If you’re looking for someone a little more specialised, an operator that does the job when one of the S tier choices is MIA, then these should be your second port of call.

DOC

Rainbow Six Extraction Doc: Default character model for Doc

We know we said Finka is the best healer in Rainbow Six Extraction, but that doesn’t mean you should count Doc out. Like Finka, Doc can heal his team and revive allies from DBNO – however, there’s one drawback that is keeping him from the top tier: his Stim Pistol has ammo. 

You only get a finite amount of Health Shots, so you need to make sure you don’t miss any if you want to make the most out of them. You can find Ability Recharge crates in-game, but these are few and far between. Doc is an operator that needs a clear shot – with all the Archaeans you’ll have to face, this might be a struggle.

Thankfully, he’s well-equipped to tackle them. Doc is a one-speed three-armour operator that comes equipped with an SG-CQB pump-action shotgun. If you’re worried about Archaeans getting up in your face, Doc offers you more than enough chances to clear a path. If you prefer to keep the enemy a little further away, you can unlock the MP5 and P90 – these are both perfect for mid-range encounters.

VIGIL

Rainbow Six Extraction Vigil: Default character model for Vigil

If you’re an Extraction player who finds themselves always cornered – someone who’s not the best at keeping quiet when there are Archaeans about – then Vigil is the perfect operator for you. His Electronic Rendering Cloak (ERC) can be used to disrupt and disappear. If you’re in a tight spot – or if you need to just dip into a busy room to get to the objective – the ERC is invaluable. As you might imagine, staying alive in Extraction is extremely important. Vigil might not have a healing ability, but he can keep you alive.

If you’re more concerned about the firepower at Vigil’s disposal, you don’t need to fret – he comes equipped with a K1A1 Assault Rifle. This is a bit of an all-rounder and, when combined with the adaptable ERC, makes Vigil a fantastic variable in any Extraction squad. If you’re looking for someone who can get things done, he’s your man.

FUZE

Rainbow Six Extraction Fuze: Default character model for Fuze

Rainbow Six Extraction’s stealth mechanics are a core pillar of the gameplay experience, but they’re not everything. If you’re looking for someone to kick off the fight, an operator that can go in loud and come out on top, then Fuze is your man. 

Fuze is the perfect choice for an aggressor who isn’t fussed about keeping quiet – his APM-6 Cluster Charges are the best way to deal with a room full of unaware Archaeans. One thing that’s worth keeping in mind – and a factor that keeps him from being a top-tier choice – is that you can only mount his APM-6 Cluster Charges on destructible walls. This might seem like it limits his use somewhat, but Extraction’s environments are built for this – they’re full of thinner walls and you should find that Fuze makes an impact on every available map.

Fuze is more than just one gadget, though. He initially comes equipped with the 6P41 light machine gun. This weapon has a bit of a kick to it – so recoil control is going to be something you’ll need to keep your eyes on – but the raw firepower and extended magazine should make disposing of any Archaeans in your way a breeze.

SMOKE

Rainbow Six Extraction Smoke: Default character model for Smoke

The Archaean threat comes in all shapes and sizes and Smoke is perfectly equipped to deal with all of them. As the name suggests, Smoke comes with remotely detonated Smoke Gas grenades that can be used to block an Archaean’s line of sight and deal damage to anyone unlucky enough to stumble into the cloud before it disperses. Although this isn’t as effective as Fuze’s APM-6 Cluster Charges at taking out a room of Archaeans, it’s much more adaptable and can be used alongside ARC Mines and Claymores to create an effective kill box for Elite Archaeans that may pose more of a threat.

In an effort to keep Smoke adaptable, he comes equipped with an L85A2 assault rifle at first. This is a little heavier than the K1A1, so it should pack more of a punch, but it still allows you to make the most of Smoke’s average two-speed two-armour build. 

If you’re looking for something that hits a little harder, though, Smoke’s loadout is built perfectly for close-quarters combat. You can take an M590A1 shotgun into the fight as a Primary and an SMG-11 as a secondary. He’s one of the few operators to have a fully-automatic secondary weapon, so it’s worth exploring this with your loadout builds.

TACHANKA

Rainbow Six Extraction Tachanka: Default character model for Tachanka

We know it feels like a crime keeping Lord Tachanka out of the top tier, but there’s a good reason for that. Much like his appearance in Rainbow Six Siege, Tachanka comes equipped with a mounted DP-28 LMG in Extraction. It’s great at area defence and starts off with an amicable magazine of 200 rounds – however, this is the only situation where his ability is useful. 

Extraction’s environments are sprawling mazes spread across multiple floors; Tachanka can only really defend one room or one corridor at a time with his mounted LMG. As you level him, though, you can unlock more than one mounted LMG and they can technically be used by anyone in your squad – so, there are some perks to having him around.

If you find yourself out of mounted LMG ammo, fear not – Tachanka initially comes equipped with the SASG-12 semi-automatic shotgun. This will make light work of any Archaeans you come across and should keep Tachanka in the fight while he hunts for an Ability Recharge crate. As a one-speed three-armour operator, Tachanka is tougher than most and is always a vital part of staying alive in an Archaean onslaught.

GRIDLOCK

Rainbow Six Extraction Gridlock: Default character model for Gridlock

If you’re playing Extraction and finding yourself always caught out by flanking Archaeans and cloaked enemies, then Gridlock should be the operator you’re looking at for your next deployment. Her Trax Stinger anti-personnel traps are perfect in both defensive and offensive situations. You can use them to protect an objective, slowing enemies as they come through choke points, or to keep Archaeans off your back while you gun for an Elite. If you couple these with React’s Claymores or Arc Mines, you’ll find a loadout that’s ready to control the flow of the fight and an operator that’s fantastic at keeping your squad alive when the objective is the main focus.

Much like Tachanka, Gridlock is one of the tougher operators. Her lower mobility might feel like it would be an issue at first, but her loadout is designed to balance this out. Initially, she comes equipped with the F90 assault rifle. This is a lighter option, but its faster fire rate help to keep it a competitive option when looking for a primary weapon. Gridlock is the perfect objective operator and when coupled with someone who’s a bit more offensive, she can be a real asset to any Extraction squad.

B-Tier 

If you’re looking for an operator that’s adaptable – but doesn’t quite excel in anything – then these are some great options. These choices can be perfect for players looking to get to grips with how Extraction works, but they can still be used to help out the squad in a tight spot.

ELA 

Rainbow Six Extraction Ela: Default character model for Ela

Stealth is invaluable in Extraction, especially at higher difficulty levels. If you get caught out and unprepared, it can mean a quick demise for you and your squad. Ela might not feel like the best option for a squad looking to keep things quiet, but she’s the perfect asset for a squad that’s looking for someone who can fight when things start to get loud. Her GRZMOT mines are perfect for disrupting attacking Archaeans – she can’t throw them very far, which does limit their use a little, but they can be useful in a pinch and – when coupled with other throwables – can make Ela a great candidate for anyone looking to play a supporting role in their squad.

If you’re looking for more reasons to pick Ela, there aren’t as many as you might hope. She’s a three-speed one-armour operator with the opportunity to increase her speed level to four at level four. She does start off with the Scorpion Evo 3 A1 assault rifle, though. This is an all-rounder that comes with a 40-round magazine and select-fire options. Ela is adaptable, but far from the best choice for someone looking to dominate the fight against the Archaeans.

JÄGER

Rainbow Six Extraction Jager: Default character model for Jager

On the surface, Jäger might seem like the perfect option for someone looking for an Extraction operator that can control an area and deal a lot of damage – however, it’s not quite as simple as that when you look at how viable his Magpie Automated Defense System (ADS) actually is. These automated turrets can be placed on walls to intercept projectiles and attack enemy Archaeans – which is fantastic – however, they only start off with three rounds. This can eventually be increased to eight rounds when you hit level ten, but that’s something that could take quite a bit of time. When there are other operators with more effective abilities on offer, it’s hard to justify making Jäger your first choice. 

If you’re a fan of Jäger and still looking for a reason to choose him, you can find a reason in the rest of his loadout. He’s another three-speed one-armour operator, making him one of the more mobile options on offer. In addition to this, he is initially equipped with the M870 pump-action shotgun – this shotgun has the best range in class and should help him to deal a solid amount of damage to Archaeans at a distance. When it comes to picking Jäger, it’s all about weighing up if you can afford his weaker ability while you earn XP to level him up.

ROOK

Rainbow Six Extraction Rook: Default character model for Rook

In Rainbow Six Siege, Rook is something of a staple for lower-level teams that are looking for more protection. In Rainbow Six Extraction, he fills a similar role. If you choose Rook, you will be able to drop a pack of armour plates for your team – just like in Siege – and these will offer a boost in damage resistance and stop anyone from being KO’d while wearing them. You can level up Rook and increase the level of protection these armour plates offer, but Extraction also offers Body Armour as a React Tech option for your loadout. It does the same thing as Rook’s ability and leaves him redundant. 

To make things worse, Rook’s loadout options are some of the weakest out there. He starts off with a P90, which is solid at closer ranges but doesn’t really offer anything to match the range his peers offer until you hit level six – here you can get your hands on the more adaptable HK417 assault rifle. 

This will take some time, though, so it’s important to take this factor into consideration when choosing who you want to fight the Archaeans with on a long-term basis. Rook is a fantastic operator to choose if you’re just starting out, as he can keep you armoured up, but there are operators who fill that support role in a more efficient way.

HIBANA

Rainbow Six Extraction Hibana: Default character model for Hibana

Hibana isn’t the worst option when it comes to picking an operator in Rainbow Six Extraction, but she’s far from the best choice. Her X-Kairos grenade launcher does deal a fair amount of damage and can be remotely detonated, but when you compare this to Fuze’s APM-6 Cluster Charges or Gridlock’s Trax Stinger anti-personnel mines, they’re simply less effective. 

As painful as it might be to admit, she’s just a little middle of the road when it comes to the options laid out in front of you. There is one saving grace when it comes to Hibana’s X-Kairos grenade launcher, though – at level ten, you can unlock the Ammo Refill Ability Upgrade which means you can regenerate ammo for the grenade launcher over time, rather than finding the Ability Recharge crates scattered around the map. This will take a bit of grinding, though, so it’s something to consider if you’re looking to make Hibana one of your main operators going forwards.

When it comes to Hibana’s loadout options, there is some variety on offer. She starts off with a slower-firing assault rifle, the Type-89, but can unlock the Supernova shotgun or the MP5SD as you level up. None of these are best in class when it comes to damage output or control, but it does offer her some variety for players who are looking to change things up regularly. 

C-Tier

These operators can kill Archaeans, but they’re not the best options when it comes to making sure you’re dropping into your next Hot-Zone with the best equipment and abilities.

PULSE

Rainbow Six Extraction Pulse: Default character model for Pulse

We know we said visibility is important in Extraction – and it is – but Pulse just misses the mark, despite the fact that he has a visibility-based ability. Pulse’s HB-7 Cardiac Sensor can detect VIPs, MIAs, and Archaean Nests through obstacles – but these are all stationary non-threatening markers that you can just as easily find by searching the map. 

When you think about how important these operator abilities are, Pulse’s Cardiac Sensor just fails to make itself important enough to choose him over Lion. At level ten, the Cardio Enhancement Ability Upgrade is unlocked – which automatically detects enemies within ten metres of Pulse – but this will take a while to unlock and doesn’t really make him worthwhile when you consider the alternative options.

Pulse does start off with the M1014 shotgun, though – which is something of a saving grace – but it’s not the best close-range weapon available in Extraction and doesn’t really justify the second-rate operator ability. If you stick with him and level him up, you can unlock the UMP45 SMG and 556XI assault rifle – two better weapons. However, we don’t think these justify choosing Pulse when there are so many other fantastic options available.

CAPITÃO

Rainbow Six Extraction Capitao: Default character model for Capitao

Capitão is another Extraction operator that looks like a solid option on paper but doesn’t quite hit the mark in practice. Much like his appearance in Siege, Capitão comes equipped with a handheld crossbow that offers a silent way of attacking your enemies. In Extraction, he can utilise two types of TAC Mk0 bolts – smokescreen bolts and venom bolts. Both of these options might sound useful, but they prove less effective than the alternatives when you’re actually fighting off Archaeans. If you miss with one of these bolts, too, you’re not getting it back without searching for an Ability Recharge crate.

When you’re selecting your loadout, you can drop into the next Hot-Zone with a Smoke Grenade, Stun Grenade, Gas Grenade, Paralysis Grenade, and more than your fair share of different types of explosives… All of these options make choosing Capitão for his unique operator ability redundant. He does start off with the Para-308 though, which is a fantastic option for anyone looking for a balanced assault rifle – however, we don’t think this makes it worthwhile. His handheld crossbow is one of the weakest offensive abilities available and it’s hard to justify choosing this option over Gridlock’s anti-personnel traps, Hibana’s grenade launcher, or Smoke’s gas grenades.

NOMAD

Rainbow Six Extraction Nomad: Default character model for Nomad

Nomad is another operator that seems to fall short when it comes to offering a more complete Archaean killing experience. Everything that Nomad does well can be replicated by a React Tech Impact Grenade and, unfortunately, this lands her at the tail-end of this tier list for the time being. 

She comes equipped with Airjab repulsion grenades that can be used as proximity mines that knock-back Archaeans caught in the blast radius, which is useful, but it’s far from enough to warrant choosing her. Her loadout isn’t anything exceptional either – Nomad starts off with the AK-74M, an assault rifle that offers decent damage output but quite the kick when it comes to recoil during sustained fire.

It’s also worth noting that Nomad is one of the last operators you unlock in Extraction’s levelling system – you need to be Development Milestone 17 to unlock “The Architects”, of which she is a member. Jumping into a Hot-Zone with her feels like taking a step backward at this stage of the game – she won’t be able to compete at the higher difficulty levels straight away and, by the time you reach Development Milestone 17, you should have several other leveled-up operators to choose from.

D-Tier

The following operators are, in their current slate, far from the best options when it comes to taking on the Archaeans in Rainbow Six Extraction. They aren’t completely useless, thankfully, but there are far better options available when it comes to their unique operator abilities and utility in-game.

IQ 

Rainbow Six Extraction IQ: Default character model for IQ

When you look at what IQ has to offer players in Extraction, you might be wondering why she sits at the bottom of this tier list. Her R.E.D Spectre Electronics Detector can be used to highlight React Equipment through walls and – when you level up through to level ten – it can detect cloaked enemies and environmental hazards, like Sower Mines, when in use. This is far from a bad thing, but the range is limited and it can only be used with your secondary weapon equipped. IQ’s ability is just too similar to Pulse’s Cardiac Sensor – when you consider the fact that this is the better option of the two, it’s hard to justify having her in a higher tier. 

Another shortcoming when it comes to IQ is her loadout options. She starts off with the AUG A2 – a fairly capable assault rifle that doesn’t come with any options to toggle the firing mode – and a selection of second-rate alternatives. The MP7 and 552 Commando are far from the best options available in Extraction and we can’t see any reason why you would choose IQ over another recon-based operator if you’re looking for the best.

SLEDGE

Rainbow Six Extraction Sledge: Default character model for Sledge

We know rocking up to an Archaean with a big hammer and bonking them in the face with it might sound like the best way to deal with an Archaean, but it’s really not. As a result,  Sledge is sadly one of the worst options when it comes to picking an operator in Extraction. 

Sledge, as you might imagine from his name – and his appearance in Rainbow Six Siege – comes with a sledgehammer that he can use to destroy thinner walls and stun enemies with. When you reach level 10, this sledgehammer attack can be charged to deal more damage and stun the stronger types of Archaeans. However, the risk almost never outweighs the reward when it comes to it.

So, there you have it – a complete Rainbow Six Extraction tier list detailing the best operators to take into the fight against the Archaeans. We know Ubisoft has quite a few more operators under its belt and we can’t wait to see how it tweaks the available operators post-launch. 

Either way, we know one thing for sure… The Archaeans are in for a tough time of it. For more information on what you’ll be working towards in Rainbow Six Extraction, check out our guide on the Maelstrom Protocol endgame content here.