Major changes are coming to map rotations in Rainbow Six Siege, and fans aren’t happy about it. We’re just over a week away from Year Two: Season 3 - Blood Orchid arriving and Ubisoft has just dropped one final bombshell - the competitive Ranked map playlist will now be trimmed down to just nine rotating maps, while Ubisoft has warned that some maps may eventually be removed from Rainbow Six Siege entirely.

Rainbow Six Siege Season 3 Ranked Map Rotation

We’ll start with the Ranked map rotation, which has been trimmed down to just nine in order to allow players to better memorise map layouts in a competitive environment. For Season 3 the rotation will be Bank, Clubhouse, Oregon, Kafe, Consulate, Chalet, Border, Coastline and Skyscraper. Glaring omissions include originals such as House, Hereford and Plane, along with the new Theme Park map. The same nine maps will be rotated throughout the entire season.

Rainbow Six Siege Season 3 Casual Map Rotation 

Meanwhile, the Casual map playlist will be trimmed down to a selection of 15. To the best of my knowledge, the only two omissions are Favela and Yacht. This has been done in order to prevent “the steep learning curve that new players face in terms of map knowledge.”

The casual map playlist for Season 3 will be Bank, Clubhouse, Oregon, Kafe, Consulate, Chalet, Border, Coastline and Skyscraper again, plus Kanal, Hereford, University, House, Plane and Theme Park. So to clarify - the only place you’ll be able to play the new Theme Park map this season is in Casual matches.

Some maps that aren’t in the Casual rotation will be reworked during the downtime, hopefully resulting in some better balancing. Favela and Yacht are set to miss out this season, the former one of the more infamous examples of an Attacker advantage.

Some Maps Will Be Removed Permanently

A second reason given for the limited pool of maps is that Ubisoft is “quickly approaching the limit of [its] data sizes,” which  will eventually require “removing maps from the game entirely down the road (not in Season 3).”

I’m on board with a lot of these changes, even if they don’t necessarily work in favour of long-time players. Permanently removing maps seems like a real shame though, as while they can be hit and miss, there are bits to like about each and every one of them. It’s a bit like Valve rocking up and removing de_dust; there would be uproar. It’s not as if other games struggle will having plenty of maps, even if the destructive element adds an additional layer.

I would guess part of the real reasoning behind this is that maintaining and balancing maps to work with a growing roster of Operators gets trickier and more time-consuming with every update, and capping out at a certain number eases the load on Ubisoft somewhat. It also allows Ubisoft to perhaps add new map elements that can be capitalised on by new Operators, making the old maps redundant for those picks.

What are your thoughts on these sweeping map rotation changes from Ubisoft? Are you a fan or is this just restricting content for the sake of it?