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Rainbow Six Extraction: 9 tips and tricks for beginners

Rainbow Six Extraction is an unforgiving game. Not only does it throw a bunch of concepts and strange terminology at you in rapid succession, but its gameplay is incredibly tense and heavily dependent on teamwork. Players who have spent any time with Siege will have a bit of an advantage (many of the operators from the game make a return for this co-op shooter), but there’s still a large learning curve to overcome.

Whether you’re a Siege veteran or a complete newcomer to the Rainbow Six franchise, here are nine Rainbow Six Extraction tips to help you survive the Archaean threat.

Further reading

Less Back 4 Blood, more Rainbow Six Siege

A squad attacks an alien in Rainbow Six Extraction.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

While Extraction is no doubt a “zombie game,” it’s radically different from most others in the genre. Instead of overwhelming you with hundreds of enemies and forcing you to quickly move through its maps, you’ll need to play strategically — and keep a slow pace. In fact, the game often shares more with its inspiration (Rainbow Six Siege) than it does Left 4 Dead or Back 4 Blood.

Because of this, you’ll want to be cautious about your engagements, use your environment to your advantage (shooting through walls is still important), and always have a backup plan.

Communicate with your team

Everything about Rainbow Six Extraction revolves around teamwork. And since it doesn’t take much to knock you out of the battle, you’ll need to make sure your allies always have your back. To this end, make sure you’re always communicating your moves to the rest of your squad. The game is best played with a mic and a few close friends, although teaming up with random players isn’t a death sentence if you can figure out how to properly communicate.

Check your group’s loadout

Teamwork is key to survival in Extraction. But while communicating with your team during each mission is important, it’s imperative that you chat with your group before you ever pick up a gun. When selecting your operator and equipment ahead of each mission, you can toggle advanced details about your team’s loadout. This will help you determine if you have the right combination of skills, weapons, and other items to tackle the challenge ahead. The last thing you need is a team with a bunch of shotguns and no silencers — instead, make sure everyone is bringing unique skills to the table so you’ll be ready for anything that gets in your way.

Avoid Sprawl

Soldiers shooting aliens in Rainbow Six Extraction.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Sprawl is the sticky dark stuff scattered across the floor of every map in Extraction. Not only does it slow you down but it also boosts the skills of Archaeans. Your best bet is to simply stay away from the stuff — although you can always attack it to clear a path when needed.

Level up your roster

Like Rainbow Six Siege before it, there are a variety of ways to level up and gain experience in Extraction. Each operator has a variety of cosmetics and abilities that can be unlocked as you play, and it’s to your benefit to gain experience as quickly as you can. Stealth kills almost always provide the most experience, although you’ll also want to pay attention to Studies (a unique set of challenges) and knock them out whenever you can.

Try different gear

Speaking of leveling up, make sure you take a few moments to check out all the gear that comes with hitting a new milestone. Learning how to properly use a new weapon or gadget can be intimidating, but you’ll often find that the gear is a better fit for your playstyle. It’s also important to understand as many of the items in the game as possible — that way you know what your teammates are bringing into battle.

Watch for Nests

Nests can ruin even the most well-laid plan. These function as enemy spawners and will spew out Archaeans after being alerted to your presence. This makes stealth one of the best playstyles in the game, although all is not lost if you activate a Nest — simply take aim with your gun and start unloading your clip. With any luck, it’ll explode and disappear after a few well-placed shots.

You can also take them down with stealth attacks, which is far and away the best method for their removal. Not only will you get a decent chunk of experience but you’ll also ensure no additional Archaeans find their way into your mission.

Don’t press your luck

A squad shoots an alien in Rainbow Six Extraction.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Rainbow Six Extraction is not a forgiving game. It only takes a few missteps to find yourself with little health and no hope for rescue. Thankfully, each mission gives you multiple chances to extract and successfully complete a portion of your objectives. If your team is woefully unprepared for the next stage of a mission, don’t feel bad about calling it quits and signaling for extraction. You’ll still get plenty of bonus experience for making it out alive — and that’s always a better option than going down in the field.

Sharing is caring

During your time in the field, you’ll discover a variety of useful items scattered across the hostile environment. This includes ammo caches, health packs, and kits that refresh your operator’s unique abilities. It’s tempting to always scoop these up for yourself, but keep in mind that your teammates might need the resources more desperately than you. Be sure to ping every resource you come across and give your squad a chance to reply before dipping into the supplies.

Consumables like these are often best saved for the weakest member of your team — even if they’re having trouble keeping pace, they’re still more helpful to the mission when they’re alive and can carry a gun. And if no one needs them, feel free to leave them alone and circle back before the next airlock.

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Jon Bitner
Jon Bitner is a writer covering consumer electronics, technology, and gaming. His work has been published on various websites…
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