B1 Intermediate US 258 Folder Collection
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What's up guys, Rogue-9 here and yes, I
know that this one has been a long time coming.

You guys have been asking me to do a comprehensive
shotgun review for months and months now and

I admit that I've been putting it off.
It's such a challenging topic to tackle
because by their very nature, the shotguns

are pretty random in their effectiveness
and very problematic to test but I have given

it my best shot and I am happy to
finally be sharing these findings with you!

As always, if I drift off into rambling about
minute details; feel free to consult the pinned

comment below for timestamps to
the individual chapters of this video!

All the nitty-gritty data I have gathered
on the shotguns will also be shared in my

only stat-spreadsheet, so do feel free to
swing by there if you want a deeper insight.

And now, let's get this show on the road!
There are essentially four types of shotguns
in Rainbow Six Siege: Pump-action, semi-auto,

the BOSG slug gun and Buck's
Modular Accessory Shotgun System

(which I will refer to as MASS from now on).
I have already covered the BOSG in a previous
video and since it essentially functions more

like a two shot DMR, I will be excluding it
from this evaluation; Buck's MASS will be

evaluated alongside the semi-autos.
My effectiveness analysis and ranking of the
weapons will be based on the following criteria:

Damage per pellet & damage drop-off, hip-fire & ADS spread, the fire rate, ADS times, reload times and recoil.
So let's kick things off with the
damage per pellet and damage drop-off.

As you may already know, there are a
few rules that apply to all shotguns in the game.

Each of them fires 8 pellets of buck shot
at a time and one of those pellets will always

land perfectly in the middle of your point
of aim with the remaining 7 dispersed around this.

Another general rule to keep in mind is that
shotguns do not get a headshot damage multiplier.

Headshot damage per pellet is exactly
the same as for body shots, so my first piece

of advice would be to always aim for the
body, since you will have the greatest chance of

landing as many pellets as possible
and thereby doing the most damage.

Another important factor is that all
weapons in Rainbow Six Siege have a limited range.

Beyond that range, bullets will simply evaporate.
For most of the guns: pistols, rifles, DMRs,
LMGs and SMGs this range is so great that

you will never really be able to notice the
bullets disappearing but for shotguns the

maximum range is not that far.
As you can see in the test footage in the
background, the shotgun pellets will disappear

at ranges beyond 40m and sure that is still
a very long way by Rainbow Six Siege standards

but if you ever have the crazy idea of going
for a spawn peek with a shotgun, you might

just end up in a situation where your bullets
won't reach your target, so be aware!

When comparing the damage done by the individual
shotguns, we can see that, up until around
12m, the pump-action guns do more damage per

pellet on average than the semi-autos.
Between 12-18m the two types are pretty
similar but beyond that, the pump actions regain a

bit of an advantage.
Diving into the two groups, the general rule
we can see applied to most guns is that the

more powerful they are at close range, the
weaker they tend to be at longer ranges.

Great examples of this are the GEO ITA12S sidearm, the GSG 9's M870, the MASS and the Russian SASG-12.
Conversely, guns like the ITA12L and Caveira's
SPAS-15 are relatively weak up close but offer

more power at longer range.
And I say “relatively” weak because even
the SPAS-15, with its 30 damage per pellet,

can still deal a combined 240 points of
damage with every single shot; more than enough to

make any opponent regret taking you on at close range.
This rule of short vs. long range
capability doesn't apply to every gun though.

Frost's Super 90 for instance, is quite
weak at short range and even weaker at longer range.

Similarly, the SAS' M590A1 is one of the
weakest pump-actions up close as well as at distance.

In terms of ranking the guns based on this
first criterion alone, I would say that the

more powerful guns up close have an advantage
over those with a little more power at range,

since the spread of the pellets will make shooting
at ranges beyond 10m pretty ineffective anyway.

Hey, and that's the first aspect down already!
But of course if we really want to judge the
damage output of these weapons the next factor

to take into account is the fire rate.
My assumption going into these tests was that
each type of shotgun would have a fixed fire rate.

I.e. one fire rate for semi-autos and one
for pump-actions.

But of course, this is Rainbow Six we're talking about
and any kind of standardisation would just be too simple.
As it turned out, there are a
surprising range of calculated fire rates.

Amongst the pump-actions, I
discovered three different fire rates.

The Japanese operators' SuperNova is the
slowest firing shotgun of all, with a measly

fire rate of around 75 RPM, although it's
only marginally slower than most of the other

pump-actions, which manage around 85 RPM.
At the top of this group is the GSG9's
M870, with a fire rate of around 100 RPM.

So not only is the M870 pretty much the most
powerful shotgun up to 5m distance in terms

of damage per pellet, but it also shoots the fastest….
Here's a quick comparison of what the three
types of pump actions look and sound like

when shooting as fast as possible.
The semi-autos of course shoot significantly
faster and the slowest ones here clock in
at around 200 RPM.

Significantly above this group is Valkyries
SPAS-15 at 290 RPM, the SASG-12 at around

330 RMP and Ela's FO-12 at a massive 400 RPM.
And with this info, we can now calculate a
maximum theoretical damage per second for

each gun, at each range.
The low damage per pellet of the SPAS-15 means
that even with its elevated fire rate, its
damage per second output is not that huge.

The FO-12 and the SASG-12 on the other
hand end up with an overall damage output that

is much higher than all other shotguns.
And, as long as you are within 3m of your
target, Buck's MASS is also pretty powerful.

Keep in mind though, that the damage per
second output is a theoretical value that assumes

that you can fire the gun as fast as possible
and still hit every pellet of every shot.

For shotguns specifically, this measure is
even more problematic than for regular guns

because no matter how good your aim, you
will never be able to hit all of your pellets once

you reach a certain distance from your target.
But we'll get to spread in a second, before
that, I think it's worth noticing that even

the most powerful pump action shotgun (the
M870) still delivers less damage per second

than the weakest semi-auto shotguns (the M1014
and the Super 90).

Does that mean that the semi-autos
are better than the pump-actions?

I would actually say overall, yes.
With the pump-actions you really need to make
sure that you hit your first shot and that

you're close enough to get an instant down
or kill if you want to survive the engagement.

With the semi-autos, the ability to spam fire
in panic situations or after missing the first

shot, can allow you to survive
where the pump-actions might not.

While this DPS data allows us to
compare the shotguns on a theoretical level, the info

becomes very misleading once you're only
a few meters away from your target since in

reality, many of the pellets
of each shot will start to miss.

So now let's try to get a more realistic
view of the damage output by taking into account

the hip-fire and ADS spreads.
Let me again start off with a few general rules.
Unlike other gun classes in the game, the
hip fire spread for shotguns (and I assume

the same applies for the ADS spread)
is not affected by your character's stance.

Crouching or lying down will
not give you any spread advantage.

Moving on the other hand will open up the spread.
Furthermore, in the past, the amount of zoom
provided by your optic could improve your

ADS spread and the benefit of the laser would
stack while aiming down sights but neither

of those features are in the game anymore.
The laser will now only improve your hip-fire spread.
With those general rules out of the way, let's
now look into the specific spread for each

gun and more importantly, let's try
to use that data to adjust our DPS table.

I have measured the diameter of the hip fire
and ADS spread for each shotgun and here is

an overview with the raw spread sizes in pixels.
Of course, the actual pixel count for the
spread size will vary depending on your resolution,

so these numbers won't be
exactly the same for everyone.

But there is an important lesson to be learned

Some of the shotguns (like the MASS and M590)
benefit more from aiming down sights and others

benefit less (specifically the semi-auto defender
shotguns) but the bottom line is that aiming

down sights is always worth it.
Here is an image with examples to show you
just how much you can improve your gun's spread.

If you are going to breach with buck, hip-firing
gives you a much larger spread and bigger
hole but if you are going to use the MASS

to fight, aiming down sights will MASSively
improve your chances of landing multiple pellets.

The spread of the MASS in fact
reduces by more than half when aiming!

The next thing we can do with these spread
diameters, is to overlay the one for each

weapon (for hip fire, hip fire when moving
and ADS states) onto a piece of test footage

showing an operator at various distances and
then estimating how many pellets are likely

to land at each distance.
And this is where we finally come
to some the really juicy conclusions.

Once we have an estimate for how many pellets
will land when hip firing or aiming down sight,

for each shotgun at each range, we can estimate
the damage for a single shot as well as an

adjusted damage per second that only takes
into account how many pellets are likely to land.

Of course the estimated number pellets you
can land at each distance, is not set in stone.

Depending on the individual pattern you end
up with for any given shot, you may land 7

instead of 6 pellets… or maybe only 5…
Also, I purposefully picked a medium sized
operator to compare the spread sizes to but

that means that smaller operators will receive
less damage while larger ones may take more.

And a final caveat is that these damage tables
will be only applicable to level 1 armour body shots.

For level 2 or three armour, the figures need
to be multiplied by 0.9 and 0.8 respectively.

Despite these limitations, I think that the
adjusted damage per second stats we can derive here

will still give us a clearer picture of
the true damage output of each shotgun.

As you can see, the close range damage stats
are of course not affected since you will

still be landing every pellet but once you
push past 5-6m range, the damage output starts

dropping significantly across the board.
If you are hip firing or hip firing and moving
at the same time that drop off will start

between 3 and 4 meters
distance and will be even steeper.

Guns that are affected the worst by this are
the GEO's ITA12S, Buck's MASS, Ela's

FO-12, and the Russian SASG-12.
Having an adjusted DPS is a great start when
trying to rank the shotguns but with the estimated

pellet hit information, we can also calculate
estimated damage per shot stats at various ranges.

This is especially useful, since it allows
us to gauge at which distance you are likely

to get a one hit kill with each of the guns when you're aiming down sight, hip firing or hip firing and moving.
Let me mark the fields where you
are likely to get a one hit kill in green.

Yellow fields may get you a one hit down but
could also result in your opponent surviving

and orange fields will frequently not be enough
to down your opponent but could still work

out for you if you get a lucky pattern.
Unsurprisingly, the pump action shotguns,
with their much slower fire rate, have an

advantage of 1 or 2 meters critical hit range
over the semi-autos.

And as much as the damage, damage drop-off
and spread stats will vary from gun to gun,

these tables make it quite clear that they
are still balanced quite well in terms of

their effective range (with the exception
of maybe the ITA12L… that guns just seems bad).

The tables for level 2 and level 3 armour
are not too dissimilar and I will let you

peruse those at your own leisure; link to
my online sheet in the description.

And now, since aiming down sights is so important,
it is also worth taking the ADS times into account.

Most of the guns have the same, or at least very
similar ADS times but there are a few that stand out.

The difference between the first and second
groups here is only one frame (at 60 FPS)

and so I would say that they are practically identical.
The next group is around 85ms slower than
this and again, it is the semi-auto defender

guns that are being put at a slight disadvantage.
The weakest of all, with a significant disadvantage
in terms of ADS time is Ela's FO-12.

It's time is almost half a second but since
this shotgun is also capable of attaching

the angled grip you can take that time down
to around 268ms.

The choice is yours, vertical grip for more
stability, angled for a 40% better ADS time.

Ok, we're making good progress, there are
only a couple of factors left to consider

and one of those factors is the reload time.
I discussed the reload times for the detachable
magazine fed shotguns in a previous video

but as a reminder, those times are on screen now.
The SASG-12 stands out with
the slowest full and tactical reloads.

The Six12s have the best reload times from
empty but conversely they do not see an improvement

when going for a tactical reload and will
therefore be amongst the slowest there.

The three remaining detachable mag shotguns
will take just over three seconds for a full

reload and just over two for a tactical reload.
When it comes to the reload times of the fixed
mag shotguns things become a little bit more

complex but let me try to break it down for

The first thing is that from the third shell
onwards, the time it takes to load in a single

shot is consistently around 600ms for most guns.
The only exceptions here are the two ITA12s
available to Mira and Jackal, which have a

slower time of 800ms per round and Frost's
Super90 which clocks in at a slightly faster

time of around 580ms.
But the real differentiation with these guns
comes from the reload of the first two shots.

When you go for a tactical reload, your operator
first needs to tip the gun over onto the side

to start reloading and when reloading from
empty, this is even worse because the gun

is tipped first to one side and then the other.
The slowest initial reload times
from empty go to the ITA12 variants.

The GSG9's M870 reloads the quickest, followed
by Valkyrie's SPAS-12 which is also above average here.

The M870 and SPAS-12 also have the best tactical
reloads and again, the ITA12s are the slowest

but only by a small margin.
Ok, we've explored the damage, damage drop-off,
fire rate, spread, ADS times and reload times

and that leaves only one factor left to look at: the recoil.
For the pump action shotguns recoil is a non-factor,
since even the fastest firing example in this

group (the M870) still shoots so slowly that
it will reset to the point of aim before you

can fire the next shot.
For the semi-auto shotguns on the other hand,
recoil is very important and the overall trend

here is that the more powerful shotguns
are harder to control while the less powerful

ones are much easier.
If we compare the in-game recoil patterns
we can see that the Super90 and M1014 are

relatively easy to control, the two Six12
variants are a little harder, followed by

the SPAS-12 ad SPAS-15 and right at the end
of the pack are the SASG-12 and FO-12.

You may notice the recoil on the FO-12 is
actually a little weaker than on the SASG-12

but because of the outrageous fire rate of
the FO-12, the felt recoil at max fire rate

is still stronger and that's why I am listing it at the end.
And with that, our analysis is finally concluded.
The important question now is what does all
of this mean?

Let's start out with some general conclusion first.
If you are hip firing and moving, the semi-autos
will only be able to get you a one hit down

or kill at up to around 5 meters (and that's
with perfect aim against level 1 armour!).

Taking advantage of their superior fire rate
is a must and it makes sense to always fire

more than just one shot, no matter
how close you are to your opponent.

If you are aiming down sights, you can push
the effective range out to around 7m but beyond

that, securing a quick victory can become
a challenge.

Pump-actions can provide an effective range
up to 10m but only if you aim down sights

and stand still; hip firing on the go will
reduce this range down to 6-7m.

The key to winning gun fights with a shotgun
in Rainbow Six Siege is picking your battles carefully.

This is easier to do as a defender, since you can
position yourself in areas that give you the advantage.

On the attacker side, careful droning and planning
your route to the objective to avoid long angles is key.

But now, over to the all-important
question: “Which shotguns are the best and which

ones are underpowered?”
Clearly at the bottom of the pile is the ITA12S
but that's neither surprising nor interesting

to discuss, since it is the only shotgun sidearm
in the game and of course it needs to be underpowered

to balance out the fact that you can bring
it with you alongside a more viable primary.

Although having said that, as long as you
get into virtually touching distance, even

this gun can act as a decent backup.
Slightly more useful but not by an
awful amount is its big brother, the ITA12L.

This guns relatively low baseline damage,
aggressive damage drop-off and slower than

normal reload times make it a surprisingly
bad choice and there is pretty much no reason

for anyone to use this gun ever.
Yes, it does have the best damage per pellet
of all once you get past 13m but what's

the point when hardly any of
them hit at this distance anyway?

Hibana and Echo's SuperNova has low baseline
damage and a stupidly slow fire rate which

make it the next in line and although the
SAS' M590A1 has a slightly better fire rate,

its steeper damage drop-off
make it all in all pretty much just as bad.

And in terms of the pump actions that only
leaves the French SG-CQB and the German forces'

M870 and I think their stats make it clear
that they are definitely the best choices

when it comes to pump-action
shotguns in Rainbow Six: Siege.

The highest baseline damage per pellet, relatively
fast fire rates, the smallest possible spreads

and the best ADS times and these factors all
combine to make both of these guns quite usable.

The M870 is clearly the overall winner for
me, due to the better reload times and higher

baseline damage, despite the fact that the
SG has a slightly longer effective one shot kill range.

But as I mentioned earlier, I believe that
the semi-auto shotguns on the whole are a

more reliable choice over the pump-
actions due to their superior fire rates.

At the bottom of this group is the
gun formerly known as the Sniper90.

Nowadays Frost's Super90 has one of the
lowest baseline damage stats with the harshest

drop-off of all and the mediocre spread, ADS times and reload times are just not enough to make up for this.
Just above the Super90 is the FBI's M1014
and the only reason I list it slightly higher

are the better ADS time and damage drop-off.
In all fairness though, the differences are
probably minimal in practice.

Above this, I would list the Valkyrie's
SPAS-12 since it has more power at the closer

ranges and also a reload time that appears
to be just a little faster than all of the

other shotguns featuring fixed magazines.
Another step above that are the two Six12
variants which have similar power but better

spread and great reload from empty.
Among my top listings for the shotguns in
Rainbow Six are Caveira's SPAS-15 and surprisingly

also Buck's MASS and even though the stats
of these guns are very different, I would

say that their overall performance is quite

The SPAS-15 is the weakest shotgun in terms
of baseline damage but makes up for this with

a superior fire rate and the best possible
hip fire while moving spread.

The MASS is very powerful up close with harsh
damage drop-off and while the hip fire spread

is poor, the ADS spread is the best one possible,
so it's a good thing that the MASS gets

the best possible ADS time as well.
Both guns have great tactical reload times, so make
sure that you take advantage of that whenever possible.

And that only leaves two contenders for the
overall top spot: Ela's FO-12 and the Russian

SASG-12 and the winner is… drum roll please…..
the SASG!
Ela's FO-12 is definitely a force to be reckoned with.
Decent power at all ranges, combined with
the fastest fire rate out of all shotguns,

give this gun and insane DPS.
The tactical reload time is very good and
as long as you attach the angled grip, you

will have the best ADS time out of all shotguns.
Yes, the super high fire rate and challenging
recoil make the gun hard to control but as

long as you are close enough, you can still
absolutely shred your opponents.

But after all of this, my clear number one
out of all of the shotguns in Rainbow Six

Siege is the Russian SASG-12.
Yes, its high fire rate and challenging recoil
make it harder to control than most other

shotguns but it's still easier to handle
than its closest rival, the FO-12.

There are a couple of other downsides like
slow reload times, a relatively slow ADS time

and relatively large spread when aiming or
hip firing and moving but nothing can argue

with its baseline damage combined with its
great fire rate.

Whether you're playing as Kapkan, Tachanka
or Finka, the “Sausage-12” can definitely

help you get the job done!
And that's it.
My definitive shotgun review for Rainbow Six
Siege is complete….

Until the dev team decide to rebalance these

But for now, these stats will stand and I
really hope that all this effort was worth

it and that you managed to take away some useful info.
If so, likes are very much appreciated (hint hint!)
Over to you, what are your favourite shotguns?
And was there anything about the info I uncovered
that was surprising you?

Do let me know in the comments section below
and as always, if you have any suggestions

for topics I should cover in future, go ahead
and post those as well.

And with that… thank you all for watching,
I hope you enjoyed the video and I will see

you in the next episode!
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Best shotgun in Rainbow Six Siege?

258 Folder Collection
DarKnightOuO published on September 16, 2018
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