Rainbow6 – The Definite Guide to Optimizing Rainbow Six
This guide is not the usual “get a 144 Hz monitor, i7-7700K and git gud”-guide, but more focused on things, no one or only a few have mentioned.
— Short disclaimer: I’m not responsible for any negative side effects and those things give me more fps / other advantages; However, I’m not almighty, so I can’t answer certain questions. Feel free to ask though! To guide you, I’ve added “safe” or “experimental” behind each bullet point. You should test the latter one by one before applying all. —
Crrently studying Media Computer Science (so I know my stuff) and I started programming when I was 12. I am part of Mapban.gg ‘s Developer Team.
I’ve also helped Aherys in his Competetive Guide on Steam: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=567777265
By default, Windows has mouse acceleration turned on. Why is acceleration bad? Unlike you’re a bot, you’re most likely not gonna do movements 1:1 the same (same acceleration, same stopping speed, same distance).
Many people don’t know this – and there is an easier way than MarkC (just turn off “Enhanced pointer precision” in the Windows Mouse settings). However, MarkC goes a little further and prevents old games/programs from overriding this again. I found this helpful at work or while playing games from 2012. There are endless guides out there how to do it, but please do it (A quick screenshot of which file you usually should use: http://prntscr.com/jx6vk9).
Thus, acceleration will work differently in EVERY MOVE you make. You can not learn it, your brain can not learn it. Prediction is key to build muscle-memory (You gotta learn how much “force” it takes to do a flick. If it’s different every time you do it, how are you supposed to learn it?)
When acceleration is turned off, your hand decides when the movement stops, how fast you accelerate and where the cursor lands.
“Reviews”: When I first gave it my team mates, they took some time (1 week or less) to adjust, however afterwards, their aim exponentially increased.
Other notes: Mouse sensitivity is important. This tweak also gets rid of acceleration on the desktop. I’ve used it on my work laptop too and whenever I touch a PC of a friend, this is the first thing I apply. Also, try using the same sense in every game you play, especially if it’s the same type as Rainbow (a shooter).
Guide on how to convert R6 sens to csgo/fortnite/…: https://www.reddit.com/r/Rainbow6/comments/8shy4r/the_definite_guide_to_optimizing_rainbow_six/e0zwz9f/
Guide on how to convert CSGO sens to R6: https://www.reddit.com/r/Rainbow6/comments/8shy4r/the_definite_guide_to_optimizing_rainbow_six/e0zsorj/
Mice & Sensitivity
Just grab a mouse from a reputable gaming brand and keep RocketJumpNinja’s page in mind.
You should at least get a mouse with a 3310 sensor, however, better would be 3330, 3360, 3366 (see here for why).
Also, don’t exceed 2000 DPI. You could also opt for a new mousepad.
In general, most Pros seem to play well on lower sensitivitys, see this Pro Player Settings spreadsheet from @Aljokiller (Alex).
If you come from a high DPI, you should get used to Arm-Aiming instead of Wrist-Aiming, which will ensure long-term health of your tendons. Here’s a how-to.
Stuff that might/or might not give you less input lag/more fps (it did for me)
Graphic Settings (safe)
Playing on at least Medium is recommended, as textures on players will look different on low.
While scanning rooms for players, it is important that the headgear / outfit stands out, so you can quickly identify the threat. Low is counterproductive, because it doesn’t only affect walls/floors/objects.
Note on 100% cpu bug: It might help turning Textures a little higher when you have it, however some people confuse “high CPU usage during rounds, low in menu” vs “100% CPU usage when you start the game”. Only the latter is the bug. If you’ve the first: Great, your CPU works to give you high fps. Make sure to cool it accordingly.
TL;DR: If your GPU has enough VRAM, stick to High. If not, Medium. Also: If you have the game on a HDD, please don’t set it higher than Medium as it increases load time.
Put it on anything you feel like, however, don’t put it on Medium or higher because some of the pros do. Medium enables dynamic shadows, while low turns those off.
The only few time I have found Medium+ useful is when someone is in garage on Oregon, you will see his shadow first, before he sees you. Also it is quite useful for hatches.
Trade-Off: When turning it on, you’ll lose a ton of fps. For me personally I don’t encounter the situations I’ve described too often, so for me it is not worth to have it on.
Downsides of having it on: Everything, literally everything is darker. So you trade a lot of fps + visibility (of enemies) for seeing enemies slightly earlier. Worth? Decide for yourself.
Level of Detail (LOD)
This setting is quite… weird/interesting. If you set it to low, you get legit wall hacks at a distance, because objects disappear (couches, shelves, …) and you can still see the player behind it when you’re not in ADS. (To test it: Get a mate, go to Bank and repel on the Skylight/CEO windows; Let your mate lay somewhere in the lobby behind a coach. You can clearly see him behind it, when you ADS you can no longer – this has given me kills in ranked / ESL)
However, when you have this set to low, the head (of a player), will become a triangle instead of a head. I couldn’t test if it affects hitreg, but it makes heads harder to see. The textures of the headgear etc also disappears after a certain (really close) distance.
Conclusion: Set it to medium or high; High is the best trade-of for “legit walls” and “No triangle heads” as the distance-to-triangle is a lot longer compared to low.
Reflection, AO, MotionBlur (only in *.ini)
Turn it off. There is no single reason to have them enabled.
This one is quite interesting. For best visibility and higher fps, you should have it off. However, as I call it the “Macie Jay” effect, your acog will “glow” a bit. That’s kinda cool and doesn’t really distract. Pluuus….
Valk Cams will stand out more. If your team doesn’t like IQ and you’re annoyed by valk cams, let someone with a good PC switch on Lens Effects. You’ll spot Valk cams easily (when they’re turned on) as they’ve a light blue glow effect around them.
Depth of Field
Decide for yourself. You trade 1-2 fps for a blurry scope. Some can concentrate better on what they’re shooting at because of it, some don’t.
This one’s also interesting. A few seasons back, this setting would make enemy players “glow”, but it got fixed since.
It makes some things glow and turns on light-based surface rendering (for example if there is a lamp nearby, the floor will be lighter, but may create hiding spots for enemies). Recently, Pengu turned it on together with Shadows.
TL;DR: Low or ask Pengu why he’s playing on Medium (together with Shadows on Medium)
Texture Filtering is known as ‘Anisotropic Filtering’ in other games. This practically means, it sharpens textures at a distance (and the in-game description is misleading/wrong?).
However in Siege, I found that this setting gives you slightly less aliased door frames at an angle when you have AA turned off. But that’s not the only thing I’ve seen:
When setting it too high, it might give you a disadvantage:
– https://images.nvidia.com/geforce-com/international/comparisons/tom-clancys-rainbow-six-siege/tom-clancys-rainbow-six-siege-texture-filtering-interactive-comparison-001-anisotropic-16x-vs-linear.html (Watch the fence, such fences can be seen on Club House and others)
– Blurry walls/floors help reducing the scan-time (= the time your brain/eye takes to spot important stuff in a situation), as sharp textures distract from players. Set LOD accordingly, so players are sharp at a distance while objects aren’t.
TL;DR: I have it on x2, because of the above mentioned reasons.
AA method & Sharpening & Render Scaling
I play it off. However, if your PC is not too great, use T-AA (Never use 2xT-AA!), play around with Render Scaling to gain some fps and set sharpness to 80-100%.
This gives you a lot of input lag for a non-tearing picture (tearing tl;dr: Upper half of the screen shows something different than the lower half; You might notice it when you move your scope around fast and your Hz are < 100).
Turn it off. There’s no excuse to play with it. Maybe the 100% CPU bug, but if you’re playing in the ESL there’s simply none.
FastSync is only an option if you cap on 144 Hz using in-game limiter, but your PC is capable of rendering 288 Hz, everything else will also give you input lag
This could be used to reduce the impact of Shadows/Shading, but the disadvantage is if you’re inside and you’re looking outside, things might get a little white (like when a flashbang hits ya face)
I go with Aherys and with the value I got out of MOSS files from Pro’s: 59+. When playing with it, I found something around 60 to be good, as dark corners are less dark. Anything higher will cause the ‘flashbang’ effect. But all comes down to your monitor / personal pref. Recently some comp players started playing with 50 again.
FPS limit (only in GameSettings.ini)
G-Sync/FreeSync monitors: Put the setting 2 numbers below your refresh-rate (Hz). If you don’t, you’ll get a lot of input lag (similar to V-Sync). Great guide for G-Sync: https://www.blurbusters.com/gsync/gsync101-input-lag-tests-and-settings/4/
Everyone else: Leave it uncapped or cap it to limit CPU usage. Best case: You notice your fps sometimes dip to 200, but overall it stays mostly on 150. This would be the best scenario to cap it to 160, so your fps doesn’t fluctuate as hard (which is noticeable if it does, especially if it dips below 100).
Also important for gameplay, but out of this guide: FOV, Aspect Ratio and Resolution. Take a look at Aherys Guide.
Game Bar / Mode (safe)
Turn off the Game Bar, but leave Game Mode enabled (can’t turn if off anyway on latest Win10 Update).
Why? Battle(Non)Sense benchmarked, and with Game Mode enabled he had less input lag than when disabled.
Fullscreen vs Borderless vs Windowed (safe)
Again Battle(Non)Sense benchmarked and true fullscreen gives more fps and less input lag: https://youtu.be/oc28SH2ESA4?t=296
(By now you should subscribe to him on YouTube, he’s one of the most reliable sources out there)
Fullscreen Optimization (safe)
On more recent Windows 10 versions, there is something called “Fullscreen optimizations”. It is a nice thought by Microsoft, as many fullscreen programs have an overlay (like Uplay, Geforce Experience Overlay etc), but it seems to cause stuttering.
Turn it off: Go to the installation folder of R6, right-click “RainbowSix.exe”, select sth like Attributes/Propertys. Then go to the “Compatibility” tab and check “Disable fullscreen optimizations” (Screenshot: https://prntscr.com/jxfveu). Click ok.
High Performance Plan (power plan) (safe)
Yes, even on desktop Windows has something called power/battery plan. See this Reddit post for benchmarks: https://www.reddit.com/r/Rainbow6/comments/8k26os/best_power_plan_for_fps_analysis/
Don’t forget to activate the High Performance plan. Balanced vs High Performance has fps and input lag differences! (e.g. as Balanced has CPU cores parked, passive instead of active cooling, …)
Windows caches everything you open (from start to shutdown). So either restart your PC before you play something important, or use this utility: https://wj32.org/wp/software/empty-standby-list/. Use execute it, and tada, your system might be more responsive
NVIDIA Experimental stuff I’ve learned from Guru3D and Overclock.net (I don’t have AMD, sorry)
Driver Install (experimental)
When installing a new driver, don’t just choose quick install, use the “longer” method. Also, you might want to clean your drivers first, see here: https://www.reddit.com/r/nvidia/comments/2ha3q9/howto_fresh_driver_install_for_new_gpu_or_any/. This sometimes gets rid of bugs, fps drops, etc.
Don’t install NVIDIA 3D Vision thingy. It increases your input lag for nothing* (* if you watch 3d vids or whatever, leave it installed, but be warned).
Advanced guide for real fps nerds (do this only if you don’t need ShadowPlay, as Nvidia made it work only if Telemetry is enabled):
Download the driver, let it unpack to a location (Remember the location!).
Don’t close the installer that opens afterwards and go to the location. Copy the folder International to your desktop.
Now close the installer.
Afterwards, create a file called remove.bat with the following content and place it in International:
rd /s /q Display.Optimus rd /s /q LEDVisualizer rd /s /q Miracast.VirtualAudio rd /s /q NV3DVision rd /s /q NV3DVisionUSB.Driver rd /s /q NvTelemetry
After executing, this will get rid of stuff you don’t need. Warning: If you play a game that uses PhysX, remove the last line; If you like your GPU’s LEDs, remove the second line. I don’t know any use for Miracast VirtualAudio, but if you do, remove it as well.
Warning for laptop users: Remove the first line. You need Optimus.
Finally, go to the International folder and run “setup.exe”.
Explanation: NVIDIAs installer contains a lot of crap, especially the Telemetry. Someone on Guru3D benchmarked with and without telemetry and got a 10 or 20% fps increase in a benchmark.
After Driver Install
Open regedit with admin rights, go to ComputerHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesNvContainerLocalSystem and double-click ImagePath Starting from the end, remove everything until you reach 30000. You should be seeing something like -r -p 30000 (and a lot of other paths before).
Explanation: We remove additional telemetry.
Task Scheduler (don’t confuse with Task Manager) (safe)
Open the Task Scheduler taskschd.msc. On the left, click the first folder and turn off like so: http://prntscr.com/jx4ymf
Explanation: We disable additional telemetry and stuff. Warning for laptop users: If you need/want Battery Boost, don’t turn off “Battery Boost”
Device Manager (safe)
Right click the Windows icon, open Device Manager.
Unfold “Audio, Video and Gamecontrollers”
Disable “NVIDIA High Definition Audio” if you don’t use your monitors’ speakers (4. Disable “NVIDIA Virtual Audio Device (Wave Extensible) (WDM)” if you don’t use ShadowPlay)
Explanation: NVIDIA Audio Devices cause input lag.
Update Drivers (Intel) (safe)
Updating “Intel Management Engine” probably doesn’t bring any speed benefit, but I’d do it anyway.
However, I’ll leave this link for the Intel Rapid Storage (“SATA AHCI”) controller: https://www.win-raid.com/t2f23-Intel-RST-RSTe-Drivers-newest-v-WHQL-v-WHQL.html / https://www.win-raid.com/t362f23-Performance-of-the-Intel-RST-RSTe-AHCI-RAID-Drivers.html If requested, I can give you a guide on how to stay on downgraded drivers (that give you the best performance), it’s a little complicated on Win 10+
However, updating to the latest available driver when you’ve never installed this driver is recommended, as Microsoft’s default driver is not as fast. To do so, google “Intel Rapid Storage Technology driver” and install.
NVIDIA system control panel
Desktop-size and position (safe)
Under Scaling, set to “No scaling”. Every other option gives you more input lag.
See this post by BKN (EG’s coach): http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1sqdln3?new_post=true
However, I ABSOLUTELY disagree with “Power management mode – Prefer maximum performance” AND with “Vertical Sync – Off”.
This will make your GPU run HOT already when starting the game. While this was useful in the past, as NVIDIAs driver used to set the wrong clock (= limit your GPU), it’s pretty good at it nowadays.
Set it to Optimal for the best performance. Adaptive is great too, but kind of deprecated and, according to Guru3d reports, buggy.
Short explanation why I disagree:
The hotter your GPU gets, the more likely it will throttle (= LESS performance; Starting at around 79°C if you don’t set other limits). When you use Optimal, the GPU will down clock on the Operator selection screen, in the lobby, etc. – this means it can cool down a bit, before it has to give everything again. This also means, it is less likely that you get fps drops mid-round.
I said earlier you should leave V-Sync off and I guess that’s the idea behind BKN’s tip, but this V-Sync setting is different. Don’t touch it! If you turn this off, you’ll get 800+ fps in the lobby, waiting screen etc. Which means, your GPU will run hot.
If you have V-Sync turned off in-game, the game won’t use it in-game. However, it will use V-Sync on the Op selection screen, lobby, etc. This is a really nice implementation by Ubisoft / R6 Devs and is used to prevent wasted GPU power & heat accumulation.
I’d also leave “Texture filtering – Anisotropic sample optimization” off as objects could start shimmering during fast movements (I haven’t observed it, but the fps gains by this setting are minimal to non-existent)
“Antialiasing – Gamma Correction – On” is ok, but I’d turn it off. I’m not sure about the effects, but in theory it should make enemies easier to spot when turned off, see: https://forums.guru3d.com/threads/nvidia-anti-aliasing-gamma-correction.412638/
NVIDIA Profile Inspector (experimental)
Now that’s a totally new one and I’ve A/B tested countless times. But whenever I set this, I get more fps while trading NOTHING. The tool we need is “NVIDIA Profile Inspector”.
Open it, click arrow next to the “Home” icon, select “Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege”. Next, press the icon with the cogwheel and the glass on it (it’s the second from the right).
Scroll down to “8 – Extra”, set it like this: http://prntscr.com/jxfziy
Why? I honestly don’t know why this is not the default. I’ve found it while looking at the Battlefield 4 profile, and it seems to turn on DirectX optimizations. I haven’t found any infos on the net about it. So I’ve asked myself “Why does it work for BF3 and BF4, but not for Rainbow?” and started testing.
Windows Tweaks (experimental)
Use your task-manager to disable CPU hogs. Discord and others are great candidates and you most likely don’t want them open when you play for a LAN spot.
Also check the Autostart tab of the Task-Manager. Intel and others sneak their stuff in there and they consume resources. You can disable all of the Intel stuff there and your PC will continue to work.
In addition, I’ve noticed something called “ctfmon.exe” always consumes 1% cpu when I type something. Which means in theory, if your CPU runs 100% and you press W, because you want to move, your performance drops slightly, because this Windows thing wants a slice from the CPU.
How to turn ctfmon.exe off: https://ccm.net/faq/1780-windows-disable-ctfmon-exe-at-startup
MSI vs IRQ mode (safe/experimental)
This has nothing to do with the brand MSI. It’s about how devices communicate (or rather send/receive signals) from your PC. IRQ is pretty old and nowadays MSI is the de-facto standard. However, for whatever reason, Nvidia only puts its audio devices into MSI mode, but not the GPU itself (an official representative once stated they would switch the GPU to MSI too, but that never happened – a bug?). It is supposed to reduce input lag. Here’s more.
Download this utility (it’s from the thread I’ve linked above): http://www.mediafire.com/file/2kkkvko7e75opce/MSI_util_v2.zip
You can put most other devices into MSI mode too. Only don’t do it with soundcards, they start producing weird noises after a certain time. Caution: Some USB drivers don’t like the MSI mode and prevent you from booting, so create a restore point before or only put the GPU into MSI mode (in addition to what’s currently there).
Like the driver install stuff & the device manager stuff, you have to repeat this after every driver update.
Process Priority (experimental)
There are things that are not important during gaming. For example: Uplay and its countless executable that are open. MOSS is also known to cause performance issues, same to ESL Wire. Which is why I’d recommend to set those processes to “Below Normal”. And RainbowSix.exe to “Above Normal”.
Here’s a handy file that will do that automatically for you every-time such process opens (save it as r6.reg and execute):
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionImage File Execution OptionsUplay.exePerfOptions] “CpuPriorityClass”=dword:00000005 [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionImage File Execution Optionsupc.exePerfOptions] “CpuPriorityClass”=dword:00000005 [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionImage File Execution OptionsUplayWebCore.exePerfOptions] “CpuPriorityClass”=dword:00000005 [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionImage File Execution OptionsUbisoftGameLauncher.exePerfOptions] “CpuPriorityClass”=dword:00000005 [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionImage File Execution Optionswire.exePerfOptions] “CpuPriorityClass”=dword:00000005 [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionImage File Execution OptionsWireHelperSvc.exePerfOptions] “CpuPriorityClass”=dword:00000005 [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionImage File Execution OptionsRainbowSix.exePerfOptions] “CpuPriorityClass”=dword:00000006
TCP Optimizer (experimental)
There’s a program called TCP Optimizer. I’ve played with it for a long time and it doesn’t really do too much in terms of optimizing internet latency (maybe while browsing, but not during gaming).
However, there are options that influence performance. See here: http://prntscr.com/jx5cwi
If you liked this guide, join the discussion here or on Twitter: https://twitter.com/kurtextrem/status/1009415240654708737
(Other tweaks might include: Overclocking CPU, GPU, cleaning your fans. But that’s out of this post and to be found all over the internet.)