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How to use vertical play in Rainbow Six Siege

Vertical play is one of the fundamentals of Siege. Here's how to utilize it.

How to use vertical play in Rainbow Six Siege

Vertical play is a key component of competitive Rainbow Six Siege, one that you’ll need to understand to be an informed viewer or top-tier player. 

What “vertical play” refers to is simple: It’s defined as utilizing destructible floors or ceilings to create alternate angles of attack onto strong defensive positions. Defender utility can be oppressive when stacked in competitive Siege and sometimes you just don’t have enough tools in your team’s arsenal to get through it all, or are simply looking to use your attacker gadgets and secondary gadgets on something else. 

Enter vertical play. 

Is there a pesky Mira window blocking your safe entrance into a key room? If you have a Buck, Ash, or Zofia on your lineup, you can go below the window and shotgun/breach out the ceiling, forcingthe enemy to have to think about multiple angles of attack at once, or pushing them out of the now unsafe area entirely. If you can’t go below, you can go above with Sledge, Buck, Zofia, Ash, or any other operator with the breaching charge as their secondary gadget. 

There’s one thing you need more than anything to pull off vertical play in your games: Map knowledge. 

The players at the professional level know the maps like the back of their hands, their biggest barrier is communication and having a teammate to watch their flanks. You’ll need this too, eventually, but the first step is to learn the maps so that you can actually pull off the destruction needed to push those pesky roamers or stalwart anchors out of their powerful positions. 

Once you’ve established your map knowledge, like many advanced movements in Siege, you’ll need teamwork to pull vertical play off safely. At times, vertical play can feel like you’re on an island, and it’s important to communicate with your team what you’re doing, so you don’t go in alone, die, and put everyone else at a disadvantage. Your random teammates aren’t mind readers— you need to let them know what you’re doing. At a high enough ranked level, your team can intuit what you’re doing by picking Sledge or Buck, but if you’re planning on pulling off vertical play with more traditionally entry-intensive operators like Ash or Zofia you’ll need to let people know what’s happening. 

All of these factors blend together to utilize vertical play effectively. It can be hard to master, but once you do, it opens up part of the uniqueness that makes Siege, well, Siege! Without elements of the game like vertical play and the destruction mechanics, this game might as well be another Call of Duty clone. 

What operators are the best for vertical play?

Any operator with breaching charges could technically work, but they aren’t often the best choices. The best choices for vertical play are operators with primary gadgets that have to do with soft breaching: Sledge, Buck, Ash, and Zofia. Operators with shotgun secondaries like Jackal and Gridlock could also work, and Fuze can work as well, his cluster charges can clear tons of utility from a floor above the defenders’ setups.

What operators are the worst for vertical play?

The worst operators for vertical play are those without soft breaching capabilities or hard breachers. Your hard breachers’ utility is better utilized elsewhere, if you’re taking a hard breacher to perform the function of vertical play specifically, just pick another operator. After the floors and ceilings are opened, any operator can shoot through them, but only a specific few are the best for this crucial element of play. 

What are some examples of vertical play?

Professionally, TSM’s Matthew “Achieved” Solomon is one of the best vertical players in the game. On attack, he nearly exclusively gravitates towards Sledge and Buck as operator selections, and has a wealth of knowledge about vertical play that’s on display every time he touches the server. TSM specifically is a great team with throwable secondary gadgets. 


Can I use vertical play on defense?

Yes. One of the most common elements of vertical play is using C4s on the ceiling to deny the other team map control. Additionally, vertical play can be used to deny plant attempts. Nathaniel “Rampy” Duvall’s legendary 1v3 clutch during SI 2020’s grand finals is a perfect example of this style of play. 


Vertical play can take your Siege game to the next level. Make sure to upgrade your tactics by learning the maps, learning the angles, and adding this powerful strategy to your arsenal.