The Drone is a standard piece of equipment featured in Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege. Its use as an Intel gathering device is unparalleled, allowing the attackers to identify the location they need to strike, identify enemy combatants, and giving up-to-date information on the whereabouts of the Defenders. They can be destroyed with one well-placed shot either by the Attackers or Defenders.
Drones are small twin wheeled robots that are controlled by an Attacker. Each Attacker has two drones, the first of which is automatically used during the Preparation Phase. During the phase, Attackers have 45 seconds to find the objective(s), identify Defenders, and find a suitable spot to leave their drones for further use as cameras by either the player or other Attackers. Afterwards, players must manually open the control screen again in order to take control of the drone if it has not already been destroyed.
When viewing drone footage while not in active control mode, the drone view is monochrome with limited rotation. When controlling a drone, the view is desaturated.
Drones are capable of entering buildings either under barricaded or open doorways or through small vents scattered around each map. They also have the ability to jump via a spring, with a three second cooldown in-between jumps.
When not in use, drones remain where they were last left. They may also be picked up if found by the Attacker who owns it and can be redeployed. The Operator throws a drone when deploying a drone outside of the initial Preparation Phase spawn, which can allow it to reach higher places than normal. Drones can also be used after an Operator has been eliminated, but only by the Operator that owns it.
Similar to Surveillance Cameras, they will emit a bright yellow light when in use. If drones move near Vigil while his ERC-7 is active, they will instead emit a white light. Drones hacked by Mozzie emite a blue light. Drones also make a noticeable sound when moving, further revealing their location. This noise is increased whenever a drone is jumping and landing.
Drones are extremely fragile, and can be destroyed in one hit by any damage source except fall damage.
Drones are able to "Scan" enemies, marking their positions to teammates. Scanning can be performed on any drone either when actively controlling them or when passively viewing drone footage.
To scan, the player must hold down the scan button for around one full second. After completing the scan, any enemy that can be visibly identified by the drone will have a red ping placed at the position of their feet for all teammates to see, which persists through walls. Upon spotting an enemy player, they will be alerted of being spotted with the line SPOTTED BY SCAN appearing on their HUD. Defenders can only be scanned if they are within view of the drone's camera crosshairs.
If an enemy Operator that is not identified before (and thus appears as a question mark on the top of the HUD) is scanned, they will be identified.
Defenders' CCTVs and other cameras also use the same spotting mechanic.
Drones can utilize use the Ping 2.0 system introduced in Operation Shadow Legacy. When operating a drone, players can click the Ping button to place a yellow marker at the center of their view. If a gadget is pinged, a corresponding icon will be displayed on a blue(friendly) or red(enemy) marker. Pinging an enemy Operator gadget will automatically reveal the enemy Operator for the entire team.
Manually pinging an enemy player's location will not alert them.
- Mute's Signal Disruptor causes disruption and disables Drones that stray too close. It should also be noted that the disruptor can indirectly reveal the location of the Defenders to the Attackers if they are too close to an objective.
- Bandit's Shock Wire is also effective in destroying drones by activating it on Barbed Wire that is placed in doorways. Drones will also be destroyed if they come too close to Reinforced Walls that have been affected by Shock Wire.
- Vigil is invisible to drones when using his Electronic Rendering Cloak, and Drones emit a white light when under its effects. The Drone feed will display white interference around the borders when within 12 metres of a cloaked Vigil.
- Mozzie's Pest Launcher "steals" the targeted attacking Drone and converts it into a CCTV camera, for use only by the Defenders. He can drive and operate his stolen drones like an Attacking Operator, and even shoot with it if it was one of Twitch's Shock Drones.
- The Drones use a type of wheel called a mecanum wheel. It allows them to strafe in any direction. However, at least 4 mecanum wheels would be required for it to work in practice.
- Drones originally granted points for scanning enemies, +25 for unidentified enemies and +10 for each additional scan of an enemy. However, this was removed in the Operation Para Bellum update to prevent scan-spamming for points. Instead, a universal +10 is given to all players when a new enemy is identified.
- The Drones are likely based off of the ThrowBot 2 Robots from ReconRobotics.
- During Operation Burnt Horizon, with the introduction of Mozzie, the color of the lights on the drone had meaning to avoid confusion and attackers destroying their own drones (as defenders could see a white outline around a captured Mozzie drone). Yellow means it is an attacker's drone, and blue means it is one of Mozzie's captured drones.
- There are rare instances where the drone will not detect the attacker's objective, whether it's a bomb, the biohazard container or a hostage. This can be fixed by simply switching to another drone, if available, then changing back to the player's drone.
- A similar bug can also occur when scanning for enemy players; their current location will be pinned, but their operators will not be revealed on the friendly's HUD.
- Drone control and rework was introduced in Y5 S1 patchnotes, giving Drones easier ways to gather intel and locate traps.