Skip to main content
If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Rainbow Six Extraction tips and tricks: a beginner's guide to Rainbow Six Extraction

Tips and tricks for surviving the Archaean swarms in Rainbow Six Extraction

Looking for some Rainbow Six Extraction tips and tricks? If you've played previous Rainbow Six games, it'll come as no surprise that Rainbow Six Extraction can be difficult. If you want to beat back the Archaean swarms and survive this extraterrestrial invasion, you'll need to come prepared. In this Rainbow Six Extraction beginner's guide, we'll cover 10 tips and tricks that you need to know if you want to survive in Rainbow Six Extraction.

Watch on YouTube

Rainbow Six Extraction beginner's guide: top tips and tricks

Below, you'll find a list of our top 10 tips and tricks for Rainbow Six Extraction. These will help you survive on every difficulty and teach you some crucial lessons that you need to know to survive the alien attack.

Our tips and tricks for Rainbow Six Extraction:

  1. Choose your operators carefully
  2. Avoid spores and mines
  3. Spot enemies through walls
  4. You can stealth kill breachers and bloaters
  5. Use your map to find supply crates and objectives
  6. Clear Archaean sprawl
  7. Use reinforcements
  8. It's okay to extract
  9. Rescue operators to recover XP
  10. Use your abilities
A post-game screen from Rainbow Six Extraction which shows the status of various Operators.

Choose your operators carefully

Team composition is crucial in Rainbow Six Extraction. When selecting your operators, we highly recommend you discuss a strategy with your team. Operators tend to fill certain roles, so using a variety of roles in your team will ensure you're ready for anything. For example, Tachanka, Jager, and Ela are excellent defensive operators, with various turrets and mines that they can deploy to defend objectives as the Archaean swarms attack. Having one of these on your team is critical for certain objectives, but a team consisting of just these operators may quickly run into trouble.

Instead, you should build a team that has many strengths. Consider pairing a defensive operator with a support character, like Rook or Doc. For your third slot, you could use Hibana or Sledge - two of our picks for the best Operators in Rainbow Six Extraction - to create new paths and cut through the map to find objectives quicker. This is just one example of a well-balanced team that should be able to survive any encounter, but there are plenty of other ways to combine the best operators and find a winning squad. If you want to team up with your best pals and form a dream team, make sure you know everything about Rainbow Six Extraction crossplay and the Buddy Pass.

Rainbow Six Extraction player aiming at an operator covered in yellow Archaen spores

Avoid spores and mines

When exploring in Rainbow Six Extraction, always check the walls and ceiling for any alien traps. Spores, mines, and sludge will appear on various surfaces, ready to blind, stun, damage, and kill any operators that walk nearby. In Extraction, one bad decision to sprint through a room or down a corridor could be all it takes to set off some traps, stunning your team and alerting any Archaeans in the area. This is sure to cause chaos and lead to a few operators going MIA, which is a major setback to your progression.

If you see spores or mines on the floor, simply shoot and destroy them before continuing to move through the map. If one of your teammates is unlucky enough to run into some spores, you can shoot them or use your melee to knock the spores off and save your teammate from any alien effects. There's no friendly fire in Extraction, so you don't need to worry about harming your allies.

Rainbow Six Extraction operator scans an enemy grunt through a wall using a UV light

Spot enemies through walls

If you like the idea of X-ray vision, use the UV light attached to every gun in Rainbow Six Extraction. If you aim the UV light on a nearby breachable wall, you'll see straight through and spot any enemies that are on the other side. This is an easy way to know what's waiting in the next room and allows you to orchestrate a tactical breach-and-clear that consists of a few easy headshots and very little noise.

Certain abilities and pieces of equipment will also allow you to scan rooms and find hidden enemies. The Scan Mine, Recon Vapor Device, and Recon Drones allow you to scan Archaeans and nests, marking them for your team and allowing you to coordinate a plan of attack. If you want to use different equipment, like mines and ammo satchels, then consider using an operator like Lion, who can use his ability to scan any nearby Archaeans.

Rainbow Six Extraction operator aims at a bloater as other Archaens walk by in a courtyard

You can stealth kill breachers and bloaters

Stealth is key in Extraction, but breachers and bloaters will bring it to an explosive end. If you see one of these coming your way, don't panic! If you just spray and pray, you're going to shoot that big explosive bomb sac and cause a very loud (and painful) explosion. Instead, we've got a few different ways to take down Breachers and Bloaters without making any noise.

If you must shoot, aim for the limbs. Shots to the arms and legs won't detonate the explosive body of these baddies, allowing you to quickly get the kill and remain stealthy. However, takedowns are always the ideal way to get a stealth kill in Extraction. To take down an enemy, either stab them in the back or use a stun or smoke grenade to confuse them and then move in for a takedown. Finally, if you choose to play as Sledge, a melee attack with his hammer will finish Breachers and Bloaters without causing an explosion.

Rainbow Six Extraction map screen, showing the full map of a sub zone

Use your map to find supply crates and objectives

Often, I'll wipe out all enemies on the map and then wander around aimlessly looking for an objective while the timer ticks down ominously. If you find yourself going around in circles in Rainbow Six Extraction, open up your map using the TAB key. This will show you all rooms in the current sub-zone, while also highlighting how many supply crates are hidden around the nearby area. If you're desperate for an extra health boost or more ammo, using your map is an easy way to know whether you'll find the treasures you desire in the current sub-zone, or whether you'll need to delve further into the chaos and hope for a resupply.

A large room covered in the Sprawl in Rainbow Six Extraction.

Clear Archaean sprawl

Archaean nests and corpses will cause sprawl to spread throughout each map. Sprawl is a parasitic, gooey substance that expands across surfaces and carries deadly effects for your team. If you walk through sprawl, you'll move much slower and take more damage from attacking Archaeans. This can prove fatal, especially on higher difficulties when sprawl can gain mutations that make it even worse. One mutation might make sprawl acidic, harming any operators who touch it, while another makes sprawl trail out behind Archaeans as they move. If you want to stay on top and prevent the Archaeans from gaining an advantage, we recommend clearing sprawl as you move. To clear sprawl, simply shoot it or use a melee attack just ahead of your character. This will clear a small area of sprawl and allow you to continue on your journey unhindered.

Some objectives require you to defend an area from swarms of Archaean attackers. Before starting these objectives, we suggest clearing any sprawl from the ground. If you don't, you let the Archaeans deal far more damage and prevent your own ability to quickly escape when necessary. Never forget that you're entering into Archaean territory, so clearing their sprawl is a crucial attack on their ecosystem that makes them much weaker.

Rainbow Six Extraction operator looking at a reinforced wall

Use reinforcements

Remember, the DNA of Rainbow Six Extraction comes from Siege. When you're defending in Rainbow Six Siege, the first line of defense always consists of various barricades and metal reinforcements to prevent the attackers entering the objective room. While the enemies might look a little different in Extraction, your tactics should remain largely the same. When defending objectives, make sure you reinforce walls and barricade doors leading into the objective room. You can't barricade all doors, so make sure to also look around for an interaction panel that you can use to close them. If you find a large hole leading into the objective that you can't block, use the Field Wall gadget (unlocked in Tech Tier 3) to create a 6-meter wide field wall that blocks all Archaean projectiles.

Rainbow Six Extraction operator looking at the extract button on the side of the rescue pod while standing outside

It's okay to extract

If you find yourself suffering lots of damage or major casualties at the hands of the Archaeans, don't forget that extracting is always an option. It's literally the name of the game, even though extracting early may feel like a defeat. You don't need to have a perfect run every session and sometimes you'll need to leave before entering the last sub-zone. It's always better to leave early and bank some easy XP rather than pushing to the end and losing your operator to the Archaeans.

Rainbow Six Extraction player pulling another operator out of the Archaen tree. Operator is covered in yellow stasis foam

Rescue operators to recover XP

When an operator goes down in Extraction, they'll get covered in a foamy substance that protects them from death. If they get left behind (or if you go down while playing solo), the operator will become MIA. This will cause you to temporarily lose any XP they've earned, making you lose REACT progression milestones and blocking use of that operator until you rescue them.

You can run the mission again to rescue your operator and recover any lost XP. However, if you fail a rescue mission, you will lose 30% of the lost XP permanently, which could be a significant chunk if the operator was a high level. If you're trying to level up quickly or unlock new operators, you're going to miss that XP you worked so hard to earn.

Operators from Rainbow Six: Extraction enter a room filled with Archaen gunk and aim their guns at a mysterious singularity machine.

Use your abilities and gadgets

Rainbow Six Extraction suffers from the same problem as almost any video game. You get cool abilities and fancy tech, but you won't want to use any of it because you might need it later. So, rather than using all the tricks up your sleeve, you'll probably feel tempted to just use your standard guns and avoid anything flashy. Don't fall into this trap in Extraction. You'll find plenty of opportunities to resupply and restock your gadgets and abilities, so you can use them whenever it feels necessary. Don't worry about that next sub-zone or an upcoming boss encounter, as you'll find plenty of supply crates to recharge and refill before the next encounter.

That wraps up our list of tips and tricks for Rainbow Six Extraction. You should be ready to head into Extraction and beat back the Archaeans, but don't get cocky. With one mistake, you could alert hordes of Archaeans and make your whole team go MIA, losing lots of XP and some of your best operators. If you want to know more about Extraction, check out Ed's review to see what he thought about the latest in the Rainbow Six franchise. Make sure to also take a look at whether you can pause in Rainbow Six Extraction, so that you don't lose an operator while eating your lunch.

Rock Paper Shotgun is the home of PC gaming

Sign in and join us on our journey to discover strange and compelling PC games.

In this article
Related topics
About the Author
Hayden Hefford avatar

Hayden Hefford

Former Guides Writer

Hayden was a guides writer for RPS between 2021-2023. They're a big fan of survival games, especially those that focus on the undead. Zombies. Walkers. Shamblers. Whatever you call them, Hayden is definitely a fan.