Rainbow Six Siege Operators looking for a boost to keep them in the fight will find a new source of healing when North Star, the second season of Year 6, launches on Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One. That healer’s name is Thunderbird, and she’s a new Defender hailing from the Nakoda Nation — a North American First Nation — who can deploy her Kóna Stations to deal out heals to any player in range, be they friend or foe. North Star will also include a free rework for the Favela map, as well as some impactful updates to Melusi, Smoke, Mira, and Maestro.
Thunderbird’s Kóna Stations are kind of like little turrets, only they’re the kind you won’t mind seeing swivel to point right at you. That’s because they shoot little balls that boost your health, replenishing some HP if you’ve taken damage and temporarily overhealing you if you’re already fit as a fiddle. Now, don’t expect to sidle up to one and just gobble up heals until you’re full; once a Kóna Station delivers a boost, it goes on cooldown and has to recharge before it is ready to boost again. Defenders can watch the cooldown icon to see when the Kóna Station is ready to heal again, while Attackers can look for a cone of blue light indicating that a heal is available. After all, a Kóna Station does not discriminate between ally and enemy, so Attackers might consider disabling them with Thatcher’s EMP grenades instead of shooting them outright. Because who couldn’t use a little extra health when pushing a well-defended site?
Fortunately, Thunderbird is well-equipped to deal with any Attacker caught bogarting her heals. Her primary weapon options are the SPAS-15 shotgun or the Spear .308 assault rifle (outfitted with NATO sights, for those attachment enthusiasts out there), while her secondary choices are the Q-929 pistol and the Bearing-9 machine pistol (which you attachment enthusiasts might want to take out for a spin, now that compensators and flash hiders have been tweaked). Round it out with your choice of a nitro cell or impact grenades, and you’ve got a formidable Operator with the power to offer strong support to the defending team.
North Star is also delivering a free rework to the Favela map in which night has fallen and fireworks light up the sky. A massive internal renovation has left most of the exterior wall unbreachable, meaning the Attackers will have to largely rely on windows, doors, and two rooftop stairwells to gain entry to the building (no more ground-floor stair entry, either). The two floors inside are much more interconnected, making for lots of close-quarters encounters that get closer still as the Defenders invest in destroying walls to create sightlines and rotation holes. As long as you don’t spend too much time playing soccer with your scouting drones outside the building, things should heat up quickly on the new Favela map.
Now, for those Melusi, Smoke, Mira, and Maestro updates:
- Melusi: Her Banshee devices will now be vulnerable to gunfire when active, giving Attackers another way to deal with their distracting influence.
- Mira and Maestro: The bulletproof glass on Mira’s Black Mirrors and Maestro’s Evil Eyes can now be fractured by melee attacks so it becomes impossible to see through. The bulletproof glass will remain in place; the canister on the Black Mirrors can still be punctured to drop the glass and the Evil Eye can still be opened to shoot lasers, but their intel utility will be severely compromised with a melee attack.
- Smoke: An update to gas propagation means that Smoke’s toxic gas is now easier to see through, and will propagate in a more predictable fashion (and not go through walls).
There are a few more quality-of-life improvements to watch out for in North Star; notably, that corpses will now disappear after a short interval and be replaced by a translucent icon indicating which Operator died on that spot. This is to alleviate any issues with bodies appearing in slightly different spots for different players in the same match. Furthermore, a single bullet shot into a destructible wall will no longer make a hole you can see through; you’ll have to make slightly bigger peek holes that will, perhaps, be more noticeable to the opposition. And finally, a new scoreboard update will have your stats looking nice and crispy and will convey more information about how a match is progressing.
All the updates mentioned in this article will be free, with the exception of Thunderbird; the new Operators will be available through the North Star Battle Pass, which you can pick up in the Microsoft Store when the new season launches.
North Star is coming soon to Xbox Siege players around the world, so start planning how the updates will affect your strategy today.
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