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Destruction is a game mechanic introduced in Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege. Destruction allows players to destroy the environment, creating new tactical opportunities. The mechanic is also featured in Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Extraction.
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.
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 support beams inside some walls surfaces, allowing a clear opening to vault through 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.
Destruction on Breachable Surfaces have changed overtime, with it now being possible to make tranversible holes with enough gunfire. While bullets from non-beam-destroying guns and melee cannot directly destroy wooden beams, it is now possible for guns to make a hole if enough of the wood is destroyed. For walls, this means that if enough of the wall is broken down, both the wood and the beams will collapse; if the wall is small, or is part of a larger wall with reinforcements on the other parts of the wall, breaking the beams may not be possible. For hatches, it is possible to break the support beams by destroying enough of the hatch itself. However, while making a hole in a wall could be practical, breaking a hatch through this method takes a lot of time, making it impractical.
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. Walls made of older looking wood, such as those in Hereford Base, will break away into odd shapes. However, melee attacks always create a round hole.
One trick to quickly destroy a wall with a shotgun or highly destructive gun is to hipfire from about four to five meters away from the wall. This maximizes how much area is covered with each pellet (for shotguns) or with a burst of bullets (for non-shotguns) with jeopardizing the breaching power of each grouping, for if the pellets/bullets are not close enough, the hole made will not be uniform or properly clustered. For hatches, shooting at an angle at the same range can help cover more of the hatch on top of assuring that the pellets/bullets take out as many beams as possible. If clustered too closely, it will create a hole but will not open up the hatch; this is the case with the Super Shorty at times, as it has a relatively small hipfire spread, requiring a more specific angle of approach in order to destroy a hatch in one shot.
Some surfaces contain metal supports inside them, making it impossible to pass through them even when breached with a Breach Charge. 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 create a larger hole that players can look and shoot through. The metal supports also blocks all penetration, so when shooting out a floor, it is best to shoot parallel to the supports.
Some walls are technically semi-breachable in nature, usually due to an obstacle that cannot be removed by any means. These surfaces are for line-of-sight than being surfaces Operators can go through. Some examples is the wall that supports the ladder in Press Section B on the Presidential Plane map, and the walls lining Small Office in Customs on the Border map.
As maps have been reworked, semi-breachable walls have been removed progressively. For example, the House map prior to its rework had multiple semi-breachable walls, with two on its first floor (one lining between the room "Kitchen" and "Back Stairs," and another existing between the Lobby and Office) and one that was in the basement in the Understairs. Walls like these have either been made into an unbreakable surface (the one between Kitchen and Backstairs) or into a fully breachable surface (the one between Lobby and Office, and the Understairs one).
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, Hibana, and Ace, or a Hard Breach Charge are the only things able to breach them. However, these gadgets won't be able to breach any other type 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. However, as long as the piece of the wall or floor is connected to the greater wall structure, it will remain there until isolated.
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. Other objects, such as sofas, can be shot through but cannot be destroyed itself to provide line-of-sight.
Aside from explosives and shotguns, normal gunshots can also damage the environment. Gunshots create little bullet indent holes on destructible surfaces and can break entire chunks of the destructible surface if enough shots land within a certain area.