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Destruction is a new game mechanic introduced in Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege. Destruction allows players to destroy the environment, creating new tactical opportunities.
All surfaces in the game (walls, trapdoors, floors, and barricades) come in three different types. Breachable, semi-breachable, and unbreachable. Walls can exist in all three forms, trapdoors and barricaded doorways only exist in breachable form, and floors can exist in semi-breachable and unbreachable forms.
All kinds of attacks on destructible surfaces will release smoke, which partially obscures the player's peripheral vision.
Breachable surfaces are indicated by a green light on Breach Charges. These surfaces are often made out of weak materials with wooden supports inside them.
Holes can be created on these surfaces via bullets and melee attacks, and they can be completely breached with Breach Charges and other explosives or gadgets such as Sledge's hammer, creating an opening which players can move through. In addition, shotgun blasts at close range can destroy the wooden supports inside some walls surfaces, allowing a clear opening to be created if enough damage is dealt. Some breachable surfaces do not have any supports inside them, allowing players to destroy and navigate through them with all types of gunfire, instead of just shotgun blasts.
Different surfaces react slightly differently to gunfire. Most surfaces break down into large holes that are largely circular. Some surfaces on Presidential Plane break into long wooden planks when shot sufficiently, creating long vertical holes. However, melee attacks always create a round hole.
One trick to quickly destroy trapdoors is to use a shotgun at an angle so the pellets spread across the entire trap door. If the pellets are clustered too closely, it will create a hole, but will not open up the hatch.
Some surfaces contain metal supports inside them. They are indicated by a yellow light on Breach Charges. All breachable floors in the game are of this type. Gadgets deployed on normal surfaces can still be deployed on these surfaces.
Holes can be created on these surfaces via bullets and melee attacks, but breaching charges only create a larger hole that players can look and shoot through but not move through. The metal supports also blocks all penetration, so extra accuracy is needed when shooting through these surfaces.
Some walls are technically semi-breachable in nature, usually due to an obstacle that cannot be removed by any means. These surfaces more or less are for line-of-sight than being surfaces Operators can go through. One such example is in the room "Kitchen" on the House map, where the kitchen counter cannot be broken, although the wall it covers can, creating the likes of a murder hole.
Unbreakable Surface are indicated by a red light on Breach Charges, and the phrase "Unbreakable Surface" will show up in the player's HUD in red if the player holds up a breaching charge in front of them. These surfaces are often concrete structures, invulnerable to all damages and are completely unbreakable.
Wall Reinforcements create an unbreakable surface on a breachable wall or a hatch. Thermal breaching gadgets used by Thermite, Maverick, and Hibana are the only things able to breach them. However, these gadgets won't be able to breach any other types of indestructible surfaces.
Barricades are designed to be destroyed in three melee hits in full. It is possible to partially destroy bits of the barricade through gunfire, as each plank on the barricade exists on their own and can be destroyed without affecting other planks. If the barricade as a whole is destroyed enough, however, it will collapse altogether.
The mechanics of destruction in-game is that if a piece is disconnected from its surroundings, it will fall off and disintegrate into small pieces which the player can move through. Some walls in the game are only connected at the tops, so by shooting out the top of the wall, the main body of the wall will be destroyed instantly.
Reinforced Walls are not treated as being connected to their sides, so destroying the top and the bottom of a Reinforced Wall will cause the middle part to be destroyed.
When the surface a static gadget is placed upon is destroyed (e.g. a Breach Charge on a Barricade), the gadget will be destroyed too. For non-static gadgets like Nitro Cells, the gadget will drop down and find a new position to rest on.
Environment items cannot have breach charges placed on them, but they also follow the same mechanics of breachable, semi-breachable, and unbreachable. Some objects, like wooden tables, can be completely destroyed with explosions.
Aside from explosives and shotguns, normal gunshots can also damage the environment. Gunshots create little bullet holes on destructible surfaces and can break entire chunks of the destructible surface if enough shots landed within a certain area, known as an impulse.