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Get Ready for Rainbow Six Siege's All-New Operation North Star Expansion

by Brittany Vincent 08 Jun 2021

If you’re looking to jump into Rainbow Six Siege's Operation North Star, the game’s latest expansion, it's a great time to take a look at your loadout and all the options you have to customize your gear in-game. That means examining your cosmetics and making sure your Operators are looking ready to head into battle. New year of content, new look, right? Time to start looking fresh.

With that in mind, you might like to pick up one of the rarest (and coolest) skins in the game: Black Ice. It originally made its debut as part of Rainbow Six Siege's first expansion -- conveniently named Operation Black Ice. It originally added two new Operators from the Joint Task Force 2 CTU as well as new weapons, abilities, and other upgrades. The skin is named for its distinctive aesthetic qualities, as it features a black, frosty effect that looks like ice etched across a black surface.

Many consider the Black Ice skin to be one of Rainbow Six Siege's best, and not just because of its functionality -- because of how difficult it is to get. That makes it all the more unique on its own. But if you think the newest content rollout would be all the sweeter with that classy skin on your favorite weapons, here’s how you can go about getting it.

How To Get the Black Ice Skin in Rainbow Six Siege

The Black Ice skin in Rainbow Six Siege is certainly a looker. It’s extremely difficult to get, though, as you can only obtain it by way of an Alpha Pack in-game.

Alpha Packs are a type of loot crate that you can purchase in Rainbow Six Siege with Renown or a lottery spin after winning a match. They contain cosmetic items with which you can customize your Operator: uniforms, weapon skins, headgear, and charms. Occasionally, you'll be treated to some particularly rare gear, as well as items that can only be obtained through Alpha Packs -- like Black Ice.

This particular skin is estimated to have a probability of 1:100 to show up in an Alpha Pack. It's also classed as an Epic (purple) rarity. If you do happen to get one now, it'll be for a specific gun, as you can't just apply Black Ice skins to all of your weapons. That alone makes it even more rare and difficult to obtain.

You're going to have to do a lot of grinding if you want to potentially get the skin. If that doesn't bother you, then your work is cut out for you. Here's how you can earn Alpha Packs:

Winning matches: If you win a match, you can head to the Loot screen after doing so. Here, you can potentially earn an Alpha Pack as determined by your Chance rating. It will increase a bit more for a win, and slightly less for a loss. Other  deciding factors come into play as well, such as whether you were the MVP of a game. You'll roll after your match to win an Alpha Pack. If it lands within your Chance rating, you'll get an Alpha Pack and your Chance will go back down to zero. If not, you'll have that amount of Chance added to your total for the next match.

Buying from the Shop: You can buy an Alpha Pack for 5,000 Renown from the Shop. Renown is a special type of currency that you earn by playing the game. You can earn it by playing multiplayer matches, Situations single-player missions, Terrorist Hunt matches, watching tutorials, and completing daily and weekly challenges.

In the end, all you can really do is continue playing and earning Renown and Alpha Packs to earn the Black Ice skin, as well as plenty of other goodies throughout the game. If you want it badly, that means you’re going to be playing a ton of Rainbow Six Siege in the future, but you were likely going to do that anyway, right? With the latest content drop, you’ll have plenty of reasons to keep playing.

What's New in Rainbow Six Siege Year 6 Season 2?

Rainbow Six Siege Year 6 Season 2 is about to debut on June 14, with the game's test servers already live as of May 25. Operation North Star is the game's next big update, and there are plenty of different reasons to jump back in and play if you haven’t already.

Everyone will be able to get their hands on the update very soon, however, and it will come with a wealth of new content, such as the introduction of Mina "Thunderbird" Sky, an Indigenous defender from Saskatchewan's Nakoda Territories. Thunderbird comes equipped with Kona Station turrets, which fire healing darts at teammates to boost their HP by 30 -- these will be especially useful for teammates nearby. Since the turrets can overheal, they can even bring other Operators back to life.

Thunderbird can also use the Spas-15 shotgun or .308 assault rifle as her primary weapon to get in and harm the enemy quickly, then get out. She can choose from the Q-929 pistol or Bearing 9 machine pistol as a secondary weapon. What's more, she comes packing C4s and impact grenades, which makes her an extremely dangerous Operator to have on your side.

In addition to introducing Thunderbird, Ubisoft is releasing a reworked Favela map, with a brand new layout. The Meth Lab has been replaced with a Coin Room, where cryptocurrency miners will be working to earn additional capital. Much of the map's destructive capabilities have been removed, and if you'll see a slew of fireworks in the sky while moving through the map.

Operator Melusi will also receive a rework on her own in terms of balancing, with her Banshee being nerfed significantly. Smoke's gas canisters have received slight alterations to how they deploy, and they will no longer travel through solid floors or walls. Mira and Maestro's bulletproof glass and cameras will also be vulnerable to melee attacks now, which means good news for players frustrated by those abilities, but potential bad news for those who use those Operators often.

If you’re a regular Rainbow Six Siege player, you’ve got plenty to look forward to, from a new Operator to significant alterations to the meta. You also don’t have long to wait to get your hands on the new content.

Stay tuned until June 14, when Operation North Star (and Operator Thunderbird) officially launches.


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