The Push Square PlayStation 5 review of Rainbow Six: Siege went through quite a few changes. Originally a monstrously large article, the word count was trimmed by scaling back the amount of time I spent focusing on the game’s problems with cheating and toxicity. But I still have more to say on the subject. And what better way than to expand upon things in a Soapbox!
Full disclosure, I love Rainbow Six: Siege. There are month-long stretches where I play the game every single day with friends, those poor souls that play as much as I do. When installing the PS5 version of the title I went into my Trophy list to see just how much time I put into the PS4 version of the title. I was rather embarrassed to see that I had put 1,310 hours into the title. I don’t need to check any further to see if I’ve put more time than that into a different game because I haven’t. Not even close. So clearly there’s something that keeps drawing me in. I think the game has the most compelling gameplay loop I’ve ever encountered in an online experience, so long as you go in with friends. Playing this game as a party of one is an absolute nightmare — and that’s where the problems begin.
The sheer volume of vitriol and hatred that spews out of this game’s community is horrifying. You get the standard hate speech and just generally cruel teammates who would rather curse you out than work together. After all, they know better than you. You’re garbage at the game!
But Rainbow Six: Siege takes it a step further. Several steps in fact. Friendly fire is an element of the title, and it’s an extremely important one. Having to take care to not shoot or damage allies with gadgets elevates the tacticality of the title. But you can probably see where this is going. Toxic players weaponized friendly fire pretty much from day one. Even now, five years and multiple attempts to fix things, it’s still rampant. I’ve never seen a community work so hard so consistently to ruin the experience for everyone at every opportunity.
Even the “vote kick” system was abused to the point where Ubisoft eventually had to remove the feature. A system designed to keep toxicity to a minimum, and it was almost exclusively used to create more toxicity. All your teammates dead, but you’re alive? Well, if you so much as do one thing wrong, get ready to get voted out of the match. Your dead teammate that clearly knew better than you was dissatisfied. Shame on you.
It is worth taking a quick step and applauding Ubisoft Montréal for the incredible title its made. It's provided a half-decade of support, constantly expanding both the scope of the title as well as its content. It’s one of the biggest — arguably only — successful games-as-a-service models to date and I don’t even want to think about the amount of extra money I’ve pumped into this game after the initial buy-in. So yes, I have a fair number of critiques for the title, but they all come from a place of love.
Even team-killing has been addressed by the team. At launch the punishment was the game saying “hey, don’t do that”, and that was it. Now, after one team-kill, you get a warning and if you try again in that match, you die instead, followed by eventual removal. This has drastically reduced the rate that I encounter team-kills, especially in ranked. And, should you insist on continuing to team-kill in subsequent games, you will get banned for increasing periods of time. Much of this wasn’t in place at launch. Is it perfect? No. Does more need to be done still? Absolutely.
Something with less encouraging progress, however, is cheating. This doesn’t apply to all versions of the game, as the PC version’s anti-cheat systems are fairly robust. There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing posts on r/Rainbow6 about cheaters being caught and banned. But it sure doesn’t feel like there’s been much progress on console. The original report system was synced to BattleEye, a fairly standard piece of PC anti-cheat software. The report system on console used to mention a player was reported to BattleEye, but here’s the thing: BattleEye wasn’t integrated on the console version. So the cheating button for the PlayStation was just there to make wronged players feel better. It didn’t do anything. And that’s the issue with console cheating. A lot of it on the surface doesn’t necessarily look like cheating but it is. Which means it’s time to hop into the quagmire that is console mouse and keyboard.
We aren’t going to detail exactly how to be a mouse and keyboard cheater for obvious reasons, though it is depressingly simple. But you need look no further than Ubisoft themselves to see that this is cheating. Mouse and keyboard is not an allowed input option for Rainbow Six on console. There it is. It’s cheating. To enable it, you have to use a third-party peripheral to circumvent this restriction. And it seems that an awful lot of people do.
Where things get messy is watching the kill-cam, only to see a player “reset their mouse”. Many of the mouse and keyboard players use ludicrously high sensitivities, and watching the kill-cam is often a nauseating experience, but nothing gives them away more than being in the process of aiming and you see them pick their mouse off the pad to re-centre it. There are many subtle tells like that.
If it were a rare occurrence, sure I could shrug it off. What am I going to do, not play the game? I don’t think so. But it’s not rare. It’s every game, sometimes the entire lobby outside of myself and my three friends. We notice it less in ranked and folks seem to cheat less there, at least in my experience. But the casual playlists are, there’s no other way to describe it, pathetic. Combine the mouse and keyboard cheaters with the sheer volume of smurfs, and it becomes hard to recommend playing casual at all. The only way to enjoy the game is to play ranked, and to play with friends, ideally a full team worth of them. The solo Rainbow Six experience isn’t something I’d wish on anyone.
But what to do about the cheating? Toxicity has been addressed plenty, but the approach to mouse and keyboard cheating seems to be a noncommittal shrug. Ubisoft doesn’t have mouse and keyboard enabled as an option, and seem to think that’s good enough. But the fact that I’m lucky to have a fun game maybe every third match says otherwise. Especially when compared to other huge games like Fortnite which at least try and prevent it.
The solution is not to throw your hands up in the air and say “well, we tried”, shrug, and move on. If the goal is to continue growing the game’s fanbase, the cheating and toxicity are huge issues, especially considering the game’s insane learning curve. What you end up with is a miserable experience, where every night I sign off not when I’ve had my fill of fun, but rather I get too disgusted with the experience to possibly continue for the night. There is a perfect quote from the latest season of the show Curb Your Enthusiasm. Larry David is angrily departing the home of his best friend, Richard Lewis, with the pair mid-row. Before slamming the door shut, David shouts, “F**k you, and I’ll see you tomorrow”. If that doesn’t describe my relationship with Rainbow Six: Siege, then nothing does.
What’s your relationship with Rainbow Six: Siege look like? Are you as frustrated as Graham with the state of the Ubisoft first-person shooter? Blast us in the back in the comments section below.
I haven’t played it but I wonder if publicly addressing and embracing mouse and keyboard users by simply putting them in their own matches/servers would help curb the issue. Everybody wins. Not sure if this would be viable considering player counts and the design of the game as I’m not familiar.
I wholeheartedly agree with this entire article. Nothing is as depressing as really enjoying a game’s systems but the actual playing experience is marred by a dreadful community filled with toxicity. It’s just frustrating, you can be playing really well and then get shot from a million miles away by a cheater, at which point you’re team killed next round and then kicked. There’s a reason I haven’t been back to R6 in a good long while.
I have never played it but it does look cool!
Actually the answer to M&K "cheating" is probably as simple as it gets.
Support M&K officially.
That way, you can divide M&K players from Pad players. Toggle if you want to exclude either.
Sure, there'll be people that still use third party adapters and "cheat", but most people would probably not bother.
And about the voice chat... yeah I don't do voice chat with strangers. It's not a R6S thing, it's a "people online" thing.
I have a hard time differentiating this from other FPS experiences. A few months in I opted to return to RS Vegas 2.
Sounds like Rocket League.
@PcTV The thing is, Rainbow 6 Siege seriously needs coordination from teammates just due to the gameplay mechanics. Without voice chat, you’re at a serious tactical disadvantage. While most games with voice chat have these issues, some require voice chat more than others.
I have been playing Siege for as long as I can remember. I have according to Steam almost 6K hours and my biggest frustration is how slow Ubisoft is at dealing with the issues at hand. I understand not everything can be fixed with the snap of fingers. However, It feels like Ubisoft (the publisher) isn't investing enough of the money they make from this game back into it. Instead they're investing it into multiple failed projects like Ghost Recon Breakpoint, WD Legion and Hyperscape (seriously Hyperscape died faster than if Usain Bolt was on steroids). Meanwhile, Rainbow has a toxicity problem, a MASSIVE cheating problem on PC (makes KG's streams more entertaining though) and it's esports scene is in shambles. Orgs leaving left and right, Ubi making all the worst decisions for some reason implementing a system that isn't fully franchising the scene. Teams have a 5-6 months break, giving the org 0 exposure while they're supposed to shell out cash to keep their players. The whole thing is a disaster.
@nessisonett I play this game on PC a lot, and argue it really doesn't need voice chat any more than any other team-based shooter.
The signaling you can do during normal gameplay gives your teammates enough context as to what you want them to know.
@PcTV I dunno, the drones can be useful sometimes but people often just completely ignore your signals. They’re far more likely to listen if you’re calmly telling them that there’s a massive Tachanka turret behind the wall they’re about to breach. Of course, it never actually works out that way due to the adverb ‘calmly’ just not existing in online multiplayer.
I haven't played a shooter online in ages, Halo: Reach was the last one I put time into. But as a online fighting game player I can still relate to this a little too much. No cheating, but plenty of toxicity at times, given that the 1v1 setup means egos can't be protected when you lose. I don't have mountains of hatemail, but my friends do, and I've seen good ol' FGC elitism on the net long enough to have a permanent mark on my desk that vaguely resembles my head.
Couldn’t agree more
Quite a number of people have been hooked to this on my Friends list, I'm sure the gameplay loop is addictive to them. They told me MH World's gameplay loop was fun, well yea quite, but I find the Far Cry series having the most fun gameplay loop. Sinking hours into FC5 right now like I did with 4.
@Jimmer-jammer I can't remember exactly, but isn't that what Epic did with Fortnite? IIRC matching is by input type. That solves a lot of problems.
Great game but yes, it is toxic. Loaded it up on the PS5 after not playing for a year or so to see how it was. Playing solo on casual. First game it was 5-4, one round win away from victory. I was the last player on my team left alive, against two opponents. Killed one, planted the defuser. My team mates screamed into my ear, he's coming right, so I wait for an attack from the right. I get flanked and shot from the left. Someone starts screaming why didn't I hear him coming from the left. I say because everyone was screaming in my headphones and I couldn't hear a thing. I get called a f*gg*t multiple times, the next round someone team kills the name caller, he then just screams loudly into the mike for 5 minutes until I remember how to mute everyone. We lose the game.
I would have preferred a sequel by now with better destruction, better graphics, new gameplay elements, etc.
@hondo You’ve pretty much just described an average game I’m afraid. It’s just plain sad when the gameplay’s that good.
Also nice to see a fellow Zero Escape lover! Virtue’s Last Reward is definitely my favourite one.
Unfortunately cheating is alot more rampant that most people realise, for every obvious cheater you see there are 10 more sad losers cheating who are being alot more subtle about it.... Thing is alot of these cheaters have become so accustomed to cheating its almost like they forget they are doing it and will still criticize others for cheating... And even when they are caught red handed some will still deny it.. These scum really have no morals, dignity or respect for anyone including themselves...doesnt matter if there are worse cheats than you, if you cheat in any form you are a low life ruining the game.
Playing warzone for instance... it's so blatantly obvious so so many players are using wall hacks, they try to hide it but all it takes is a few minutes of spectating and it's becomes so obvious, magically knowing where people are going to appear over and over again.
Seems pretty simple to me.. don't do to others what you wouldn't like done to yourself.. Play freaking fair.
Siege has many problems beyond its toxic community: 1) the operators are like a freak show you’d see in a circus with unrealistic appearances and gadgetry, 2) the movement is appaulingly stiff and 3) the gunplay is very basic especially shotguns and revolvers which are so laughably cartoonlike in their gunplay they’re only good for opening up walls
@KevinDS88 Yeah I tried it a few months back for the first time since release, it has not aged well
P. S Rainbow six Vegas 2 is still my favorite that along with Graw 2 I loved them soo much back in the day
I wish we would go back to the format of the original RB6 games, those were some of the best games I have ever played. The planning and tactical skills required were really pushing my skills as a 12 year old but I can honestly say they shaped me as a person. Having to make decisions whether to continue the campaign when you end a mission with 2 dead and a couple wounded, putting you in a bad position for upcoming missions. So many choices to make.
Not to mention the awesome feeling when you execute your plan perfectly.
Unfortunately to me the franchise doesn't exist anymore. I can never see myself playing this counterstrike look a like. Especially after articles like this.
Nice soapbox. Does the game have an option for password protected / private games? If so, that could be the way forward, just invite people you know won't cheat and aren't toxic. No doubt there's a few people on this site that would be interested in joining in.
"Im not going to tell you how to cheat"
Proceeds to tell us how to cheat lol.
Ive been very close to getting this on sale as it seems like fun but the learning curve and very rigid roles turned me off, i didnt realize it had a ultra toxic non fun community, glad i never got it
@StylesT Vegas 2 and Graw 2 were indeed very good, surprisingly so, I enjoyed Vegas 2 cooping the campaign with a friend in split screen. That is never coming back
@Flurpsel I’m dumbfounded why they haven’t brought back that original RB6 experience, look at Desperados III that came out this year, tactical gameplay is not dead!
This is why I tend not to play any game online very much, unless it offers co-op PvE.
I bought DayZ in the sale the other day. Signed in for the first time, was just waiting for a couple of friends to join and had walked about 200 feet when I encountered some idiot gesturing wildly at me, then start walking in front of me trying to block my way. I walked past him and he shot me in the back.
I've never understand the enjoyment of cheating. It really seems pointless to go out if your way to trick people into thinking you're better at something. Is clout really that important to people? I pretty much play offline single player but have recently started playing Rocket league and it is great. The only issue I see is people love to quit the match as soon as their team starts losing. I don't see the point in doing that. Seems like very poor sportsmanship. Stick it out and learn from your mistakes and get better. And most importantly have fun. With all the craziness in our world having fun should be number 1 on the list
@KevinDS88 hey thanks for the tip. Didnt know about desperados. Its not quite the same as RB6 but I really enjoyed shadow tactics as well so I put this on my wishlist
@nessisonett Yes, Virtue's Last Reward was great. Loved it on my PS Vita back in the day. For some reason, every game I play with a character creator, I end up making it look like Alice.
Mouse & KB on console is why I stopped playing it during season 1.
Literally bought this on PS5 the other day cause it was on sale and yet to play it. None of my friends play it so was going to play it by myself but judging by this article it might be best to just leave it in the library of shame....
Goddamn, I agree with 100% of this article.
I bought R6 at launch. I had my cousin, his friend and another friend of mine convinced to buy it and we all played together from day 1. It was my first multiplayer experience on PS4, as I was catching up on the single-player backlog I had back then.
It was a wonderful experience, I won't lie. The game was really really good, despite all its downgrades and whatnot. But honestly, after 2-3 years of dealing with toxic players and cheaters, I gave up. I've been tempted by my very cousin and friends to go back and install it. They still play the game, but I just couldn't get along.
It's a shame because Ubisoft has something unique and special here and instead of addressing real issues, they add Sam Fisher to the game. Although that seems to be a new Ubisoft trend, gotta look out for Sam showing up in AC sometimes.
Great article, here's hoping this raises a bit of awareness, gets some traction and we see Ubisoft addressing these issues.
I cant handle toxic players it makes me hate a game. The PS4 is the most lonely console generation for me somehow. People get so mad so easily even in friendly matches and i thought #### it. And i dont have friends who like too play videogames.
It's rare to find a competitive multiplayer game that isn't extremely toxic or hateful these days. I play Black desert Online (I know) and I had to actually turn off server chat because nothing good ever comes from there, just people cussing others out and bypassing filters to insult people as much as possible. On top of that the game almost seems to encourage bullying because people can gang up on someone they just don't like and keep killing them, chasing them between servers until that person just quits out of frustration.
We just never seem to be able to have friendly competitive games anymore. Everyone takes things so damn seriously or they just live to troll others, which is why I barely play online to begin with.
@LieutenantFatman I dunno about password lobbies, but there are private matches. The problem there would be that there's just no matchmaking system in place for that, and the stats don't carry forward or count for anything. I'm pretty sure it has no impact on progression. I guess it coulda changed though. Haven't used it in a while!
@StylesT Yeah, Warzone is a whole different can of worms! Different forms of cheating, but it's no less frustrating. I just don't get it. I don't get how winning or having a higher KD unfairly can possibly be as satisfying or fulfilling as actually winning. It just doesn't make sense
@hondo Oof. Solo que? I'm so sorry! You're braver than I!
@NickTheGeek (Replying to your first comment) Twitchers 🤣 I guess every group has their own names haha. When we run into them we just say they have "really good gaming chairs". Or "thumbstick extenders"
@Sam-Bridges We can dream right? It's been 5 years so they probably won't but I definitely wish they would
@HeroYoshiko It's so so so so much worse now than it was then for that haha
@Grumps859 Completely with you! I just don't understand the motivation to cheat. I just don't see how someone could possibly get anything from it!
@Gmork___ I didn't though? Telling people what kinds of cheating happen aren't the same as offering a detailed breakthrough of how to actually accomplish it
Yeah, as much as I love the game, honestly I think I'll just warn you away from it haha. It's not worth it!
@NickTheGeek Just let us shake our sticks angrily at the sky! But yeah, honestly either a full team of friends or a mostly full team of friends is pretty much the only way to play this game at this point
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