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Rainbow Six Siege Operation Shadow Legacy update explained

Rainbow Six Siege Operation Shadow Legacy introduces new operator Zero, a replay editor, a map rework, and much more.

Rainbow Six Siege Operation Shadow Legacy brought one of the most comprehensive updates to Siege yet, from full map teardowns, to new operators, to smaller quality of life tweaks. A few highly-anticipated features had been previously been delayed in Rainbow Six Siege, but Operation Shadow Legacy brings a lot of them to the party.

For example, the replay editor, stats system, and new ping system were all supposed to arrive in early 2020 with Operation Steel Wave, but all three were pushed back due to the pandemic. Thankfully for fans of the game, Operation Shadow Legacy was able to deliver them, along with a lot of new features all of its own.

The big headline grabber is without a doubt the arrival of Splinter Cell’s Sam Fisher, or as he’s known here, Zero. It isn’t a new Splinter Cell game like many fans hoped, but it still feels good to see Fisher hasn’t been entirely forgotten about just yet.

Rainbow Six Siege Operation Shadow Legacy release date

Operation Shadow Legacy dropped in Rainbow Six Siege on September 10, 2020 for Season Pass holders. A week later, it arrived for all players.

Rainbow Six Siege Operation Shadow Legacy new operator

The big news for Operation Shadow Legacy was the arrival of Sam Fisher of Splinter Cell fame – albeit under the code name Zero. While fans of remain thrilled that he’s in Siege, his arrival came at a time where there was high demand for a new Splinter Cell game.

In any case, Zero joined as a medium speed, medium armour attacker in Rainbow Six Siege, bringing with him a new loadout and a new unique gadget.

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Rainbow Six Siege Operation Shadow Legacy new gadgets

The new gadget Zero brought to Rainbow Six Siege is the Argus Launcher, which allows him to fire a camera into walls. If this is a penetrable surface, Zero will be able to view two camera feeds, one for each room, but will only be able to look at one feed at a time. The whole team has access to these feeds. On impenetrable walls, the camera merely sticks.

Zero’s cameras can be used to ping, and can fire a single laser beam, either to destroy an enemy gadget or to deal minor damage to a rival operator. While stealthy, these cameras do make a distinctive noise as they’re being set up and can be easily destroyed with a bullet.

Away from Zero’s kit, Operation Shadow Legacy also introduced a new secondary gadget, the hard breach charge. It’s used to blow a hole through a wall, and is powerful enough to take out medium surfaces, but comes with greater blowback. The charge is automatically detonated.

In a gadget rework, Thatcher’s EMP grenades received a nerf, losing the ability to destroy enemy tech and instead only being able to disable tech for short periods.

Chalet rework

The Chalet map received an extensive remodel in Operation Shadow Legacy, with perhaps the biggest change being the new ability to rappel up to the chalet hut rooftops.

Several internal changes to this map were made too, with Ubisoft trying to add in more rotation points. The list of changes can be found below:

  • One hallway was added to improve rotation between the sites in Basement
  • Trophy site switched out for a new one in Dining
  • The biggest changes are with Bedroom and Office. The stairs that led up from the first floor have been moved to connect Trophy
  • A brand-new room replaces the balcony next to Master Bedroom: the Solarium
  • The Bathroom no longer connects directly into Bedroom, but rather serves as a rotation point
  • A few other noticeable changes include the extension of the Mezzanine to connect to Office Balcony (where most windows have been blocked), and Wine Cellar no longer being separated into two rooms
  • There is also a window above garage to put pressure on attackers on that site

It wasn’t the all-new map many hoped for, but it was the next best thing thanks to the significantly different layout.

Replay editor

One of the game’s most anticipated incoming features was the match replay feature, which lets you watch any of your last ten matches back for analysis. The replays can be watched from multiple angles to allow you the best vantage point of every single decisive moment in the match. You can watch from the POV of any player, as well as from the overhead camera.

The replay editor arrived in alpha status alongside a stats page, which provides players even deeper analysis on their performances. The replay editor can also be used to generate highlight reels, either of your best kills or most embarrassing deaths.

New scopes

Operation Shadow Legacy’s updates to sights and scopes were quietly the most important as they aimed to improve accessibility in Rainbow Six Siege. Thanks to Shadow Legacy, sights now come in a variety of colours, so that color blind or visually impaired players can choose the best sights for them.

Scopes were also changed, and now come in four zoom sizes; 1.5, 2.0, 2.5, and 3.0.

Rainbow Six Siege Legion

Reinforcement pool

The reinforcement pool system in Rainbow Six Siege Operation Shadow Legacy changed the way teams prepare for combat. Rather than operators having two reinforcements each in their inventories, teams were given access to a reinforcement pool of ten to share amongst themselves.

This means there’s the same number of reinforcements, but the way you use them will be different. It lets players with more knowledge of the map delegate where reinforcements can best be used and offers a greater chance for communication and collaboration.

Map bans

Rainbow Six Siege Operation Shadow Legacy introduced the option for teams to opt out of maps they absolutely hate. At the start of a round, teams were presented with a selection of three maps and each got to choose one map to ban. If they both choose a different map, the third remaining map will automatically be selected.

If teams chose the same map, one of the two remaining maps were selected randomly by the game, and if teams actually quite like all three maps, they could elect not to ban any of the maps and just roll the dice.

New ping system

Rainbow Six Siege Operation Shadow Legacy also introduced a new ping system, which Ubisoft dubbed Ping 2.0. It basically added a lot more depth to the ping system, while keeping the deliberately simplistic charm.

Pings can now be colour coded for greater context, will be numbered with a code so your teammates know who sent the ping, and pings now work from drones or cameras, as well as from operators. These upgrades mesh well with Zero’s arrival, so there’s plenty of ways to use them.


Like the stats page, the SquadFinder wasn’t an addition to the game itself, but is instead a service on the Rainbow Six Siege website which has in-game benefits.

SquadFinder allows players to create profiles based on their stats and habits, setting up requests for specific game sessions, languages, playstyle and game modes to find similar players with good compatibility. You’ll also be able to send friend requests to help gain new teammates.

And that’s a run down of all the major changes in Operation Shadow Legacy. Sam Fisher joining the game is the headline change, but all of the other new features and improvements made Shadow Legacy one of the most pivotal updates in Siege history.