The second season of Rainbow Six Siege Year 6 will be releasing soon, so here’s everything we know about Operation North Star, including its release date, the new Operator, their gadgets, and changes to the Favela map.
Rainbow Six Siege has been going strong for over six years now, and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down. With the latest Season comes the game’s 60th unique Operator, and the Apocalypse event has only just concluded.
The first season of Year Six will soon be wrapping up, so fans are looking forward to Season 2, Operation North Star. Not only does it bring a new Operator for the Defending side, but there’s also a plethora of quality of life improvements.
Here’s everything we know about the new season, including its release date, new Operator, patch notes, and how you can try out all of the new content early.
Rainbow Six Siege North Star release date
The first season of Rainbow Six Siege Year 6, Crimson Heist, has almost concluded. This will make way for Y6S2 with the new Operation North Star.
North Star officially launches on Monday, June 14, but PC players can give the new content a try early through the test servers on May 25.
If you own Rainbow Six Siege for PC, you can download the test servers for free and try out and test the majority of the new features that will be coming with North Star. But bear in mind that while most of the features will be polished and ready to go for the new season, some may be experimental and not work as intended.
An update for the test servers went line on June 4, 2021, and they applied some fixes for various issues affecting the test servers. You can find the patch notes for the June 4 update below:
- FIXED – Bulletproof camera’s view is obscured when deployed on a server in 1F Server Room on Border map.
- FIXED – Floors covered by fallen doors on Favela map are difficult to destroy with melee attacks and Maverick’s Breaching Torch.
- FIXED – When a player selects another player in the scoreboard, the reporting function doesn’t appear.
New Thunderbird Operator & gadget
Along with Operation North Star comes new Defending Operator, Thunderbird.
A Canadian Operator, Thunderbird is “a speedy Defender who offers strong support to her teammates with her Kóna Stations.” These are deployable devices that shoot out a boost of healing to nearby Operators, either topping up allies’ health or “overhealing full-health players.”
Also if you’re down but not out, making your way to a Kóna Station will also be able to revive you. But beware, attackers can easily shoot out the Kóna Stations but can also steal heals from them if they can get close enough.
Thunderbird’s choice of weapon and equipment are as follows:
- SPAS-15 Shotgun
- Spear .308 Assault Rifle (NATO sights)
- Q-292 Pistol
- Bearing-9 Machine Pistol
- Nitro Cell
- Impact Grenades
She’ll be available straight away for owners of the Battle Pass, and can be purchased three weeks later, on July 5, with Renown or R6 Credits.
The official story trailer for the new Rainbow Six Siege: North Star Operator was revealed to the community in the E3 2021 Ubisoft Forward event which you can find below:
Favela map changes
Ubisoft has confirmed that they will be overhauling Favela as part of North Star. This map’s thin walls and convoluted floor plan typically gave the Attackers the advantage but with these updates, Favela should be a more balanced experience.
The map will be shifting to nighttime and fireworks will fill the sky, but developers have also reworked the central buildings. The outer walls are now indestructible, stopping Defenders from getting frustratingly wall-banged at the start of the round.
They’ve removed the ground-floor stairwell entry, meaning that Attackers will need to now enter “through the two rooftop stairwell entries or the various windows and doors,” for more close-quarters fights. Plus, the interior is also now “much more navigable and interconnected,” allowing for more clever destruction-based plays.
The overhauled Favela will be free to all players when North Star launches.
North Star patch notes
Ubisoft also revealed the upcoming changes to gameplay and Operators as part of North Star. For the list of bug fixes, you can check out Ubisoft’s full list.
- Reduced number of Breach Rounds from 3 to 2.
- Increased R4-C vertical recoil. Horizontal spread will be more constant and stronger to the right, and long burst recoil will start on the 8th bullet instead of the 12th.
- HP is now permanently granted, similar to HP granted by Doc’s Stim Pistol.
- When Melusi’s Banshee Sonic Defense is active, the core becomes vulnerable to bullets and melee attacks.
- The device now detects enemies’ feet.
- The deploy and equip interactions for Rook have been merged, so he now drops the Armor Pack and applies his own armor in the same movement.
- Valkyrie now has primary control over her Black Eye cameras, so she will take control over the cameras if another player is trying to use them at the same time (similar to Zero and Echo).
- Increased vertical recoil. Horizontal spread will be more constant and stronger to the the right. Long burst recoil will start on the 6th bullet instead of the 12th.
- The ARGUS Camera now uses the same resource management system as the Shock Drone. A shot is recharged every 15 seconds. The device has infinite ammunition and only 1 shot can be stacked.
- BEARING 9
- Horizontal spread is now more constant instead of randomly moving to the left or right, and the next shot is closer to the center.
- First shot kick has been reduced and vertical recoil has been reduced. Horizontal spread will be more predictable and constant to the left, and long burst recoil will start on the 12th bullet instead of the 6th.
Tweaks and improvements
- The propagation system in Smoke’s Remote Gas Grenade has been reworked to prevent the toxic gas from traveling through walls, floors, and ceilings.
- A new sound plays when the canister is detonated.
- Operators hit by the cloud will receive 15 HP of damage every 0.66 seconds until they leave the area of effect.
Shattered Glass Interactions
- Players are now able to use a melee hit to shatter the glass of Mira’s Black Mirror, Maestro’s Evil Eye, and the Bulletproof Camera. Shattered glass is opaque and prevents the devices from being used to spot opponents.
- When Mira’s Black Mirror is shattered, vision is denied on both sides. When the canister is destroyed, the device now shatters and explodes instead of falling to the floor.
- When Maestro’s Evil Eye is shattered, he has to open the device to see through it.
- The Bulletproof Camera is now melee-proof from the front, but a single melee hit will shatter the glass. Area of Effect Rationalization
- Area of effect feedback for Kaid’s Rtila Electroclaws and Nomad’s Airjabs has been updated to better represent their behavior.
- Area of effect feedback has been added to Ela’s GRZMOT Mines and Jäger’s Active Defenses to help players better understand their range.
- Auto pick up for the defuser has been removed.
- The pickup action is now manual like it is for other devices, but there is no animation and the prompt appears when the player is in range (they don’t need to look at the defuser).
- Added key binding for drop interaction. Font Updates
- Updated Arabic and Korean fonts to distinguish between title and body text.
- Added a distinction between titles and other text for the Thai localization.
Interface Preferences Update
- Options to hide the names of teammates and opponents have been added to the Interface preferences in the Options menu. This allows players to have a cleaner interface, especially for the purpose of recording content.
- The Details & Statistics page in the Operators section has been removed. Players can now view stats through Ubisoft Connect (in the in-game overlay and on the website)
- The new scoreboard aims to provide more information to newcomers about match format and evolution.
- Round history has been added to the scoreboard. New icons represent the status of each round as well as the position of match points and Attacker/Defender role swaps. Banned Operators are also displayed for Ranked and Unranked matches.
- Round history will be shown in the scoreboard for all PVP playlists and game modes. It supports matches of any length, including the infinite overtime used in some competitive tournaments.
Match Replay Improvements
- Reduced file size of replays.
- Changed the way matches are recorded and removed playback snapshots for rewind.
- Modified the method used to record the UI during a match to improve the stability of Match Replay.
- Added motion interpolation to make the animation smoother and more fluid.
- When using F10 on the screen, shortcut keys used for match replays are shown.
- Enabled Match Replay for tournaments.
- UX improvements for the control bar.
- The Match ID and REPLAY BETA label are now visible on the screen that presents the game mode and on the screen that shows the round number.
- Support for Observation Tools (Caster HUD).
- Support for Scoreboard 2.0.
Player Cards – Observation Tools
- Added feedback in player cards to show when an Operator is using Observation Tools. This info will be shown in the Caster HUD. It will also be displayed for eliminated Operators when they spectate one of their teammates. It aims to help players understand their team’s synergy and how they can help one another.
Abandon Penalties Update
- Penalties are now 60 minutes, 2 hours, 24 hours, or 48 hours depending on the level of escalation.
- Cooldown for Abandon Penalties has increased to 7 days (was previously 48 hours).
- Renown Penalties now have the same duration as matchmaking restrictions.
- This update only affects Ranked and Unranked.
Bullet Holes Exploit
- Line of sight through bullet holes in soft surfaces has been blocked.
Eliminated Operator Icons
- The bodies of eliminated Operators have been replaced with transparent icons.
Flash Hider and Compensator Rework
- Changed how the compensator works. It will now be more efficient at mitigating left and right recoil.
- Flash hider now only affects the ‘up’ speed, making the gun climb slower.
Squad MMR Restriction for Placement Matches
- From now on, the Squad MMR restriction will apply to placement matches, even if Squad members have never been ranked.
- The Squad MMR restriction is currently 700 MMR.
- This season’s reworked map is Favela.
- Ranked/Unranked Playlists: Favela is not featured in the map pools for Ranked or Unranked, so those playlists will remain unchanged.
- Newcomer Playlist: Favela replaces Coastline in the Newcomer map pool. The bomb sites are Coin Farm/Storage and Coin Farm/Bunks.
And that’s everything we know about Season 2 of Rainbow Six Siege’s sixth year! Make sure to try out the test server if you’re keen to experiment with the new features.
Also, be sure to check out everything we know about Battlefield 2021, as the reveal is set for June.
Image Credit: Ubisoft
How to play FIFA 22 early: EA Play trial release date
This is how you can jump into FIFA 22 ahead of its October 1 release by subscribing to EA Play, or picking up a different edition of the game.
There are a number of ways to take to the pitch early in FIFA 22, including through EA Play. Here’s how you can get a headstart.
FIFA 22 is edging ever closer, and fans are eager to dive into another year of Ultimate Team and Career Mode on October 1. But as they have in previous years, EA have offered a couple of ways of diving into the game early.
How exactly can players lace up their boots before the rest this year? Here’s our quick and easy guide.
How to get FIFA 22 before October 1st
As has been the case in previous years, EA is offering two editions of this year’s installment – the Standard Edition and the Ultimate Edition. The latter, which is priced at around £90 depending on the retailer, has a release date of September 27th, four days ahead of the Standard Edition.
- Read more: FIFA 22 Ones to Watch cards: Release date, confirmed players, predictions & preorder bonus
But it doesn’t stop there. Fans who are particularly eager can jump in a full week early by signing up for EA Play (formerly EA Access). Anyone with an EA Play account will have the option to download the game over a week before the rest of the world and play a trial.
When does the FIFA 22 EA Play trial go live?
The EA Play trial is available on September 22, 2021, and goes live at 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET / 6 PM BST.
It does, however, come with a small caveat. The EA Play membership only grants access to 10 hours of play across the week. Once you hit the 10-hour mark, the game will remain locked until September 27th.
- Read more: Best FIFA 22 Ultimate Team starter squad
EA Play is available across all platforms, including PC, for $4.99 per month. As well as FIFA, it grants early access to all of EA’s releases, exclusive in-game rewards, and discounts on the publisher’s products.
How to sign up for EA Play
Signing up to EA Play is quick and easy if you follow our simple step-by-step guide:
- Head over to the EA Play website
- Select “Join Now” in the top right-hand corner
- Choose which platform you will be playing on (NOTE: Your membership will only apply to a single platform)
- Select your payment method – monthly or annually
- You will then be taken to your platforms store to complete the purchase
It’s also worth noting that anyone who already owns a copy of FIFA 21 can quickly sign up from the in-game main menu. Simply select the EA Play tile in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen, and you will be directed straight to the store to make the purchase.
Ultimately, there is no pressure to get FIFA 22 early if it isn’t possible for you. But for those more serious players looking to get a head start on their Ultimate Team or adapt to the new gameplay tweaks, it can be a great way to gain that competitive edge over your rivals.
Image credits: EA
How to play Battlefield 2042 Open Beta: Release date & early access
Battlefield 2042 is just around the corner, so here’s how you can play the massive-scale multiplayer experience’s Open Beta.
Battlefield 2042 is confirmed to have an Open Beta, allowing players to get a taste of the massive battles ahead of its official launch. Here’s how you can play the Open Beta and access it early.
Now that Battlefield 2042 has officially been revealed, players are eager to get a first-hand look at what DICE has been cooking up for the past few years.
After being delayed, the game is now on the slate for a November 19, 2021 launch, but DICE also has plans for an Open Beta ahead of its release. This will give you a taste of the game’s content such as maps, weapons, and Specialists early.
Here’s everything we know about Battlefield 2042’s Open Beta.
Battlefield 2042 Open Beta dates
With the showcase at EA Play Live, the developers announced a September release date for the Battlefield 2042 Beta. This would give players the chance to check out the new Specialists, massive maps, and new game modes.
However, the game’s delay has affected the Open Beta’s release. Now, it seems likely that the Open Beta will actually become available to players in early October.
Adam ‘PartWelsh’ Freeman, EA’s Lead Community Manager, tweeted on September 16 that “New dates for the Open Beta will be shared later this month.”
New dates for the Open Beta will be shared later this month.— Freeman 🇸🇪 (@PartWelsh) September 16, 2021
We likely won’t share those dates today, or tomorrow – and I’ll give you further heads up next week.
He clarified that “We likely won’t share those dates today, or tomorrow – and I’ll give you further heads up next week [week beginning September 20].”
This in itself doesn’t outright guarantee a delay, but according to industry insider Tom Henderson, the Open Beta will occur on October 8, with Early Access happening on October 6.
Henderson said that “The dates found are in an internal system that I cannot share. So it’s another ‘trust me bro’ for now.”
We’ll update you when DICE gives an official release for the Beta.
How to play Battlefield 2042 Open Beta early
Battlefield V’s Beta allowed those who preordered the game to get two days of early access. Battlefield 2042 will follow the same model, with the developers confirming that those who preorder the game will be able to play the Beta first.
If you’ve preordered the game, you’ll get early access to a Closed Beta. As of 22 September, a few players have reported receiving emails with promo codes for the Battlefield 2042 Early Access Beta.
The product description now states: “Pre-Order Battlefield 2042 for PC by September 23rd, 2021 to unlock early access to the Battlefield 2042 Open Beta. Must be shipped and sold by Amazon. Codes will be sent within 24 hours of early access start date.”
Since the Open Beta was originally rumored to go live on 23 September, it’s possible that the team forgot to change the date when sending the codes out. Hopefully, that means that there won’t be any further delays.
If you haven’t preordered Battlefield 2042, don’t worry, as you won’t have to spend a penny to play the Open Beta. It will likely appear on your platform of choice’s store as a free download.
Image Credit: DICE / EA
Fortnite Donation Board locations: How to vote to unvault items
Here’s everything you need to know about Donation Boards in Fortnite, including the locations where you can find them to vote on returning items.
Donation Boards have appeared across Fortnite island during Season 8, so we’ll go over what they’re for and where you can find them on the map.
With Fortnite Season 8 well underway, you can check out all of the new content in the game, including new Cosmic Chests, cosmetics, bounties, and weapons. There’s also a brand-new Battle Pass to progress through.
One of the new additions to the battle royale is the Fortnite Donation Boards. These have been popping up around the Island, and this guide will cover everything you need to know about them, including their locations.
What Are Donation Boards in Fortnite?
The Donation Boards on Fortnite Island look like any regular boards with flyers on them. Once you interact with them, you’ll get a chance to decide which item should be brought to the map.
You can donate 50 Gold Bars towards whichever item you want to see as future loot, with the first item to hit 100% Funded becoming immediately unlocked and ready for use.
By donating to these boards, you have the rare opportunity to decide which of these fantastic weapons can become easily accessible to you the next time you hop into a match of Fortnite.
Fortnite Donation Board locations
Donation Boards are mainly located next to POIs on the map. You can currently find a total of 12 scattered around Fortnite Island, and you can often find Turret Boards right next to them.
- Read more: How to get Armored Walls in Fortnite
Once you get to one of these, you’ll have the chance to decide which weapon makes its way to Fortnite Island. This gives you more control over the Battle Royale than before.
Be sure to cast your vote when you come across one of these. For more Fortnite, stay tuned to Charlie INTEL and check out the Gold Cube location and travel path in Fortnite Season 8.
Image credits: Epic Games / Fortnite GG
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