In this latest edition of Designer’s Notes, we’ll go into more detail about the balancing changes that’ll come with the Brutal Swarm Season Test Server and give you an insight into the reasons behind these changes.



Please note that we are using presence to gauge the popularity of an Operator. This notion had to be introduced to reflect the implementation of the pick & ban.

Presence definition: pick rate of an Operator when not banned. Win Delta: The Win Delta is aggregated from Operator’s Win Deltas per Bomb Site.


  • Weapon Recoil on Console will no longer follow changes made on PC and is unimpacted by the following changes.
  • Vertical recoil has been increased on all weapons and adjusted to their expected power level.
  • Increased overall recoil on:
    • All Assault Rifles
    • All SMGs
    • All LMGs
    • Machine Pistols

This is a universal change that we know is going to be contentious across the board as it hits nearly every single weapon in Siege. With that in mind, there are weapons in the game commonly described as "laser beams" due to a lack of recoil and recoil-controlling attachments at large being barely noticeable in some cases. We are confident that with the introduction of the Shooting Range as a place to get accustomed to the new recoil patterns, this change will help lay the ground for improved balancing potential for the future.

Adjustments have been made to the recoil not just on vertical intensity, but in some cases horizontal intensity as well. Weapons with high magazine capacity like LMGs will have the strongest vertical and lateral recoil after sustained fire.

Weapons with strong and weak recoil patterns, such as the R4C, 416-C, UMP45, C1, or M12 will keep very similar recoils. We have reviewed each weapon individually based on several different parameters such as Rate of Fire, Damage per second, and what operators use them.

  • Softened overall recoil on:
    • M762
    • R4C
    • MX4
    • EVO-3 Scorpion
    • Increased overall recoil on:
  • 6P41
    • LMG-E
    • G8A1
    • Spear .308
  • Population targeted by this change: All.

Overall, we wanted to improve the shooting experience on console. Thunderbird is currently one of the strongest defenders right now. Some of that strength comes from the fact that her main weapon is an ATK AR and we needed to reduce it’s killing potential.


This is obviously a huge slew of attachment option improvements – the main drive of this change is to enable more customization and choices around how you use these weapons, while also normalizing the overall distribution of the available attachments. Think of our recent change to open up scope styles but extrapolated to other categories of attachments. These changes can be easily read as buffs, as no options are being taken away and any combos you’ve previously liked can still be done (apart from the Flash Hider on DMRs). We’re hoping the greater selection, especially to help control recoil, will be used especially alongside other changes detailed in these notes.


Population targeted by this change: All

We added the compensator to also normalize distribution. The goal is to give more tools to customize the recoil of the weapons.

  • Added the Compensator to the following weapons:
    • 6P41 (Fuze, Finka)
    • M249 SAW (Gridlock)
    • FMG9 (Nokk, Smoke)
    • SPSMG9 (Kali, Clash)
    • MP5 (Doc, Rook, Melusi)
    • P90 (Doc, Rook)
    • C1 9mm (Frost)
    • M12 (Caveira)

Population targeted by this change: All

The Flash Hider just doesn’t make much sense for DMRs as the Muzzle Brake is consistently the better option. Newer DMRs have followed this logic so we are bring older ones in line.

  • The Flash Hider will be removed from the following DMRs:
    • 417 (Twitch, Lion, Sens)
    • Ots-03 (Glaz)
    • CAMRS (Buck)
    • SR-25 (Blackbeard, Flores)
    • MK14 (Dokakebi)
  • Added Flash Hider to the following weapons:
    • C1 9mm (Frost)

Population targeted by this change: All

To help normalize distribution we added the Muzzle Break to these weapons to provide more options to customize the weapon recoil.

  • Added the Muzzle Brake to the following weapons:
    • 6P41 (Fuze, Finka)
    • AUG A2 (IQ, Wamai)
    • G8A1 (IQ, Amaru)
    • M249 (Capitao)
    • Bearing-9 (Hibana, Echo, TB)
    • M249 SAW (Gridlock)
    • SMG-11 (Amaru, Smoke, Mute)
    • SPSMG9 (Kali, Clash)
    • C1 9mm (Frost)

Population targeted by this change: All
The addition of the Vertical Grip is to provide players with more control over the increased recoil patterns.

  • Added Vertical Grip to the following weapons:
    • OTs-03 (Glaz)
    • ARX (Nomad)
    • C1 9mm (Frost)
    • T-5 (Lesion, Oryx)

These changes are intended to give more options to players. Players now have to sacrifice recoil control to make use of some attachments, making these more meaningful choices:


Population targeted by this change: All.

  • Removed damage reduction.

With the wider changes to recoil detailed above in these notes, we’re hoping that the choice of barrel attachment will become more meaningful universally. To that end, we wanted to make the suppressor an impactful decision because of the lack of recoil mitigation, no longer because of a lack of damage mitigation.


Population targeted by this change: All

With the increase in recoil, it’s now a more meaningful choice to opt for less damage drop off vs more recoil control. More weapons will now have access to the Extended Barrel attachment, granting increased utility with your choice in sights.

  • Added the Extended Barrel to the following weapons:
    • 9x19VSN (Kapkan, Tachanka, Azami)
    • MP5K (Mute, Wamai)
    • FMG9 (Nokk, Smoke)
    • MPX (Valkyrie, Warden)
    • PDW9 (Jackal, Osa)
    • T-5 (Lesion, Oryx)
    • 552 Commando (IQ)
    • G36C (Ash, Iana)
    • Spear .308 (Finka, Thunderbird)
    • Bearing-9 (Hibana, Echo, Thunderbird)
    • K1A (Vigil)
    • MP7 (Zero, Bandit)
    • MP5 (Rook, Doc, Melusi)
    • F2 (Twitch)

Population targeted by this change: All

The addition of the Angled Grip is to provide players with more options now that the Vertical Grip will be more impactful.

  • Added the Angled Grip to the following weapons:
    • L85A1 (Sledge, Thatcher)
    • R4C (Ash)
    • 417 (Twitch, Lion)
    • OTs-03 (Glaz)
    • 6P (Fuze, Finka)
    • SR25 (BB. Flores)
    • M249 (Capitao)
    • LMG-E (Zofia)
    • Spear (Finka, TB)
    • ARX (Nomad, Iana)
    • F90 (Gridlock)
    • M249 SAW (Gridlock)
    • MP5 (Doc, Rook, Melusi)
    • 416 (Jager)
    • Vector (Mira, Goyo)
    • T-5 (Lesion, Oryx)
    • SMG-11 (Amaru, Smoke, Mute)

Population targeted by this change: All

We’ve normalized the distribution of Laser Sights, making them available to all weapons.

  • Added the Laser to the following weapons:
    • OTs-03 (Glaz)
    • G8A1 (IQ)
    • GSH-18 (Finka, Fuze, Glaz, Kapkan, Tachanka)
    • C75 AUTO (Dokkaebi, Vigil, Kali)

Population targeted by this change: All

There have been a lot of requests for specific sights on specific weapons, so now operators get access to all magnification options up until their maximums. For example, Thatcher’s L85a2 previously had access to all the universal 1x sights and only the 2.0x scope. Now he will also have access to the 1.5x Scope.

  • Added all sights up to the maximum allowed for the following operators:
    • Alibi ACS12: +1.5
    • Amaru G8A1: +1.5
    • Dokkaebi BOSG: +1.5 +2.0
    • Fuze AK-12: +1.5
    • Fuze 6P41: +2.0
    • Finka Spear: +1.5
    • Gridlock F90: +1.5
    • Goyo TCSG: +1.5
    • Hibana Type: +2.0
    • IQ AUG: +1.5 +2.0
    • Jackal C7E: +1.5
    • Kaid TCSG: +1.5
    • Lion V308: +1.5
    • Maestro ACS12: +1.5
    • Nomad AK74: +2.0
    • Osa 556: +1.5
    • Rook MP5: +1.5
    • Thermite 556: +1.5
    • Thatcher AR33: +2.0
    • Thatcher L85A2: +1.5
    • Vigil BOSG: +1.5 +2.0
    • Zofia M762: +1.5

A few operators will have their maximum magnification options reduced or increased to better level out their high killing potential.

  • Changed maximum sight available to the following operators:
    • Goyo Vector: +1.5
    • Ace AK-12: -2.0 +1.5
    • Iana ARX: -1.5
    • Mute MP5K: -1.5
    • Nomad ARX: -2.5 +1.5
    • Sledge L85A2: -2.5
    • Kaid AUG: -1.5
    • Finka 6P41: -2.5 +2.0
    • Zofia LMG-E: -2.5
    • Wamai MP5: -1.5
    • Capitao Para: +2.0
    • Blackbeard MK17: +2.0
    • Iana G36: +1.5
    • Frost C1: +1.5
    • Pulse UMP: +1.5



Population targeted by this change: All

The EMP Impact Grenade is meant to create new windows of opportunity for attackers as well as provide an alternative for Thatcher. The EMP Impact Grenade can disable electronics in an explosion range of 1.8 meters for 9 seconds, we’re hopeful this gadget will have a positive impact on the meta.

  • Added EMP Impact Grenade as 3rd Gadget to the following Operators:
    • Blackbeard
    • Montagne
    • Dokkaebi
    • Nokk
    • Gridlock
    • Sledge
    • Lion
    • Osa

Population targeted by this change: Pro

To reduce collateral destruction, we are reducing the non-lethal radius of the grenade. The lethal damage range remains nearly the same, the difference is mostly unnoticeable during a match. We are hoping to encourage precision use of grenades or for the player to change to a more precise gadget to deal with defenders’ utility if needed.

  • Reduce range to 3.6 meters
  • Change damage curve (new=orange)


Population targeted by this change: Casual

While this change won’t be a huge buff, the intention was to make the combo with the Impact EMP more comfortable to use. With the Impact EMP disabling electricity sources for 9 seconds and the charge taking 2 seconds to deploy plus 5 seconds to explode, the goal was to increase the window of opportunity.

  • Reduce activation time to 4s (from 5)
  • Reduce drilling time to 2s (from 3)
  • Increase pellets’ trail visibility
  • Add smoke grenade as 3rd gadget

Population targeted by this change: Top Ranked

Fuze has the highest destructibility potential in the game, so this season we are hoping to increase it. Reducing the drilling time will allow him to chain faster. This will increase his destruction potential and his ability to push defender out of position, as they will need to react faster to counter charges.

We added smoke grenades just to give him another option. He will have more flexibility with secondary gadgets to compensate for his primary.

  • Increase charges to 4 (from 3)
  • Reduced CSRX vertical and horizontal recoil.
  • Increased CSRX camera recovery time after recoil.

Population targeted by this change: Top ranked

We wanted to make Kali more appealing to deal with enemy utilities. This season she will not have more tries to open electrified or muted walls. She will also have more resources than anyone else to destroy enemies’ utilities precisely from far away.

She is limited to the sniper rifle, which will allow us to provide more charges to her.

  • Add Claymore as 3rd gadget

Population targeted by this change: Casual

By adding the Claymore we hope to increase Glaz’s utility by providing another option to compensate that his primary gadget is situational.


  • Add Gonne-6

Population targeted by this change: Top Ranked

Adding a new weapon will increase Capitao’s utility and versatility, making him useful in more situations. We are aware that he is not appealing to ranked players due to his utility being more oriented to executes. We are hoping he will be more appealing in competitive.

  • Remove Gonne-6

Population targeted by this change: Pro

We removed the Gonne-6 to bring Iana down to where she was before Y6S1, in terms of utility. We do not expect her to go as far down as before now that usefulness has been showcased. We are hoping that by reducing the population of Frag. Grenades will keep as a good operator to pick anytime.


  • Replace Frag. Grenade with Smoke Grenades

Population targeted by this change: Pro

We have moved Finka’s explosives from 3 to 1 with the biggest nerf being the Frag Grenades to reduce her utility. The smoke grenades will allow her to transition from an entry to support operator, focusing on site execution and keeping her allies alive. Stun grenades will remain for our more aggressive players.


  • Replace Frag. Grenades with Stun Grenades

Population targeted by this change: Pro

Our goal with replacing Mavericks Frag. Grenades was to reduce his utility and return to what he had at release. We also introduced the Impact EMP, we are hoping to provide a true alternative to Thatcher.


  • Add Gonne-6

Population targeted by this change: Pro

We’re hoping that by adding the Gonne-6 we will increase Buck’s utility and versatility as well as compensate for the reduction of Frag Grenades. Now that Buck has a solid presence, we’re going to keep a close eye on him.


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