A guide created through observation of season 7 competitive games detailing the operator choices and equipment choices.
Other RSS Guides:
- Beginners Guide (Tips and Tricks).
- How to Properly Kill a Smasher (Outbreak).
- How to Survive the Apex (Outbreak).
- How to Play as Jager.
Season 7's meta saw a massive shift due to the release of this amazing operator. He is useful for pushing any objective and can stop roamers from flanking during a push due to their locations being revealed if they do so. He can also be comboed extremely effectively with a variety of other operators such as Blitz, Ying, and Jackal, in ways that will be described in each of their respective descriptions.
Hibana is considered a hard breaching operator due to her ability to breach reinforced walls. Hibana's ability to do this at range and her ability to decide whether she wants to breach fully or to simply peek through one is extremely powerful. Coupled with her ability to break Mira's mirrors, she can be considered almost as crucial to a team's success as Lion, but not quite.
IQ has been seeing a surprising surge of electronic gadgets for defenders to use, including Lesion traps, Echo's drone, Pulse's heartbeat scanner, and the like. Due to the rise in popularity of operators she counters, she can be useful for clearing out a room before moving in.
Zofia is a soft breacher, or someone able to breach unreinforced walls, with something else up her sleeve. This alone puts her above operators like Buck and Sledge as she can do their role, and something more.
Thermite is a classic operator who has seen consistent play for many seasons, however, with the introduction of Hibana, his play has gone down. He is picked specifically in maps where the defenders have many walls to reinforce, and Hibana just isn't enough... The more hard breachers, the better sometimes.
Jackal can be comboed quite well with Lion in order to catch flankers. If someone is tracked by Jackal and Lion uses his scan at the same time, then they have a decision to make... do they stay still and let Jackal track their seemingly live location, or do they let Lion track them and give them a completely live location. On one hand, they are a sitting duck, on the other hand, they are completely outlined for the enemy team but might have a chance to make it to cover. This combo can completely decimate roamers and help to approach the objective without worries.
Blitz is another operator that can combo well with Lion. When Lion uses his ability, the entire enemy team is essentially forced to stay still. What's scarier than being forced to stay still while being rushed by a Blitz? Nothing, and this is why Blitz is strong. After being rushed by Blitz during a Lion scan, the defense operator will become flashed and helpless. Especially with the recent buffs to Blitz, his movement speed being a massive buff, he has become a strong enough operator to become one of the only operators to use a shield and be effective.
Ying also works will with Lion, seeing a trend yet? When Lion uses his ability alongside Ying's flashes, a defender has an option of staying and getting completely flashed, or moving and potentially getting killed. This combo works especially effective when initially breaching and engaging the objective room directly and can take care of anchors easily.
Blackbeard is a fragger, his ability allows him to peek without taking much risk, however, with the long past nerfs to Blackbeard, he is a ghost of what he used to be, and revealing your peek with the width of his shield before even being able to see the defender is almost entirely giving up the advantage his gadget gives in the engagement. However, because he does not entirely give up the advantage, he is a simple operator that works well for what he does, peeking and aim dueling his opponents.
Thatcher can, believe it or not, also combo well with Lion. Mute has been seeing a lot more play due to his ability to allow defenders some breathing room during a Lion scan, however, Thatcher can destroy Mute's jammers, no more jammers means no more breathing room. He can also help Hibana and Thermite get through walls in the case of a Mute jammer, or occasionally a Bandit.
Buck is a ranged softbreacher with a range that is somewhere between Ash and Sledge. Due to his ability to breach doors and windows quickly as well as open lines of sight in walls, he is a good pick in situations when there are many potentially usable lines of sight that can only be opened by soft breachers or breaching charges.
Sledge is Buck but worse, the only good situation to use him is when there is a ton of wood around the objective and your team wants to break absolutely everything and wreak havoc on defenders, making them spin around in circles trying to check all the openings.
Finka is surprisingly not that great, despite the community's thoughts that she would be overpowered. For once, a game developer took the community's opinions seriously and nerfed her before release... if only they did that for Lion... She can give operators that little edge to take an extra shot to the chest in an aim duel, and can allow for faster reloading and easier recoil control. This is especially nice when one attacker has to deal with multiple defenders, however it is just a nice ability overall for the entire team. I suppose it should be mentioned she can also pick people up and help Blitz rush, which are both extremely situational.
This is a fragger, he is especially useful as his gun can penetrate bulletproof plane windows, however, he ability really shines when he uses his smokes. Glaz's ability to locate enemies and get frags through smokes makes him somewhat usable, however his counter is simply being sprayed down through the smoke. A consistent volly of bullets can counter this operator whose gun isn't that amazing, however, if a Blitz is used to be a shield for Glaz, he can be quite effective, otherwise he is just a simple fragger that is usable sometimes.
So I wanted to include this operator because he's fun. That's about it. He was used once in one game. He is basically Blitz but worse in most situations. The only good situation for this operator is bomb defusal operations where he can completely shield someone who is planting or block the attackers from easily getting to the defuser.
Smoke is especially effective at stalling pushes during Lion scans, and anything to stop Lion is worth using in the current meta. He is also just good overall for protecting and annoying attackers trying to push onto the objective in most situations.
Mira is also effective at allowing defense operators to stay in one place without losing an advantage. By allowing defenders to stand still while gaining information by looking through her mirror, they can effectively counter pushes without moving an inch.
Lesion is annoying and can completely halt a push due to the ability for his gadget to be lethal if not dealt with in a timely fashion. It also makes a loud audible crack when exploded that can alert defenders to an attacker's position, allowing for an easy prefire kill.
Mute effectively counters Lion's ability, allowing for defenders to have some breathing room, especially behind Mira mirrors and other key reinforced walls around the objective room. It can also stop Hibana from breaking Mira mirrors and stop other gadgets that might otherwise compromise defenders.
Valkyrie has always been effective for gaining information about the attacking team's positions and operator picks. She is still effective, although slightly less so due to the rising popularity of IQ who can easily spot her cameras.
Jäger counters many of the popular attackers at the moment, however not Lion unfortunately. Jäger's ability to stop projectiles such as throwables, Ying's gadget, or Fuze's cluster charges.
Pulse is also good, like Valkyrie, at getting information, and also like Valkyrie, due to the rising popularity of IQ, he has fallen slightly out of favor as IQ can easily take out a Pulse as her gadget has a longer range than Pulse's gadget.
Echo's ability to concuss attackers can stop a push, however, like Pulse and Valkyrie, his ability is completely countered by IQ. His gadget can also be used to gleam information like Pulse and Valkyrie... until IQ spots everything.
Castle is a decent operator for stalling attackers, especially with the rising popularity of Mute who can jam Castle reinforcements. He can also be used to protect defenders from the harsh reality of being shot through barricaded windows due to Lion and/or Jackal tracking.
Vigil is the newest roamer, due to his ability to hide from drones, attackers will not be able to prefire him as easily due to his ability to be anywhere within a large vicinity around drones without being pinned. He is also a three speed operator, which is extremely important for any operators planning to roam effectively.
Due to Mute's ability to also counter Lion, Bandit has fallen somewhat out of favor. However, he is still usable as people can do the "Bandit trick" in which they use their ability after Thermite or Hibana has attached their gadget which can destroy it and get rid of attackers' resources.
Ela can be used to stop or slow attackers' pushes. She makes it extremely difficult to launch full scale attacks onto objectives and as such can be effective in certain situations when attackers are pushing.
Doc has become outclassed due to the meta surrounding Lion. Other defender operators have ways to deal with Lion, however he is still viable due to the fact that he can give extra health to challenge Finka's extra health... especially because he can give more health to one person than Finka can.
These are dependant on a player's playstyle and the map, for example, on Pulse, it is seen as viable to use either the shotgun or the UMP depending on what the player is feeling like using. The only weapons that are absolutely not viable are the LMGs as the assault rifles are just better rounded weapons.
These are the most well rounded weapons and the best to bring into situations when you can take them except on defense operators that have a choice between an assault rifle and a shotgun. If that is the scenario, however, it becomes a choice that belongs to the player.
The shotguns are viable on defense only. DO NOT take a shotgun on attack because honestly, you can't do anything with a shotgun on attack. You can't peek into a room, you can't take enemies out as you push, and if you get peeked at the beginning of the round, you're practically dead.
Sub Machine Guns:
These are replacements for assault rifles for those who don't have them. SMGs just generally aren't as well rounded and all-purpose as rifles are and for that reason should be dropped if an assault rifle is available. However, if an operator has the option of an SMG-11 sidearm, it should be used as it is more effective than a handgun sidearm.
Just don't... they're awful and very situational.
This attachment has the most effect on players who can at least moderately control their recoil as it provides more damage.
The flash hider reduces recoil, especially when bursting, and helps hide the operator using it slightly. If the option of an extended barrel isn't there, this can be a great second option.
This can practically remove the inside-outside light difference that can make it very hard to see. This is very useful and also, in a game where spots are quite predictable at higher levels, one doesn't need a very large FOV to get a headshot and making their head literally bigger on the screen can help a lot.
This is the substitute for the ACOG because the red dot is simply unusable in most situations that this game throws at you. It has a very nice reticule and is very easy to aim with.
After S2, ever since the release of the angled grip, the vertical grip has been phased out. The ability to ADS quickly is much better than a smaller spray. Learn to control your spray if you need to spray a lot, I'd highly suggest using the angled grip over the vertical grip when given the choice.
Gadgets / Throwables
This thing can take out enemies around corners and through walls if cooked and thrown properly in a practically instantaneous fashion where the enemy can barely react to it. This is the best throwable in the game and if given the choice to use it, do so.
The claymore can be effective at stopping roamers from sneaking up on your team as easily as they would be able to otherwise. By forcing them to shoot it, it will alert your team before they move in behind them... or you will get a kill every once in a while. It can also discourage defenders from jumping out of windows without checking for claymores first, stalling their movements.
This one is good for blocking off enemy line of sight for a synchronized push, however, it is dangerous because if someone is smoked off, they can always just spray and hope for a lucky headshot but that's rare because it gives away their own position. Especially with Glaz's old buff allowing him to see through smokes, this can be especially effective for attacking with one on your team.
By throwing it into an objective room, you can blind a team however for experienced players who know exactly where their crosshair is and where you can breach from, it can be effective but not that much because they'll just start spraying where you intend to push in from.
The nitro cell is a very important piece of equipment, this has the ability to take out enemies before they peek around corners and when combo'd with the audio cue of an enemy moving through barbed wire is very powerful. If possible on your operator of choice, take this gadget. These are also very strong against ballistic shields, however, these are very rare in the higher tiers and nonexistant in the pro scene.
This is very strong as it gives an audio cue when enemies are moving through it as well as slowing them down. This, as mentioned above, is very strong with combo'd with the nitro cell as the ability to hear exactly where an enemy is and throw the nitro cell around the corner can nearly completely counter any operator in the game.