Toxicity is becoming a hot topic for a number of service games, and now Ubisoft is latest to take aim at the lamest of trolls in Rainbow Six Siege. Managing toxicity will be a top priority for the Siege team over the next few years, all with the aim of tracking negative player behaviour and permanently removing the biggest offenders.

“Our end goal is to track negative player behavior, manage those that behave poorly, and eventually implement features that will encourage players to improve their behavior,” says Ubisoft.

The dev team is going to tackle toxicity through a number of methods. The first of these is chat monitoring. Ubisoft will track the frequency at which racial and homophobic slurs, specifically, are used by individual players. Bans will then be placed on a case by case basis depending upon the severity of the offence, ranging from 2 days, 1 week, 15 days, or a permanent ban. There’ll be no progression system through these ban tiers, so a particularly offensive slur could result in an immediate permanent ban from Rainbow 6 Siege. Chat monitoring is beginning to take place right now, so watch your P’s and Q’s.

The rules Ubisoft have laid out are pretty simple to follow, though. If you want to be a racist/homophobic prick, you’re going to have to use an alternate communication app like Discord rather than use Siege’s text and chat systems.

Then, from the start of Siege’s Year 3 Season 3, chat filtering will be implemented. Players can choose to use an automated filter to censor out offensive language. It’ll also inform players if their language is repeatedly found to be unacceptable. I would like a little more clarification on this as it’s not totally clear whether this purports to all offensive language or just racial or homophobic slurs. No one wants to receive a caution for a simple swear word and this would be a step too far.

Ubisoft’s final tactic in regards to offensive language will be a mute text chat function in season three. Players will be able to individual mute specific players and choose whether they mute voice, text, or both.

It’s not all about offensive language though, as they’re one last thorny issue that it feels Ubisoft has never got close to solving - Teamkilling in R6: Siege. “Intentional team killing is an issue in Rainbow Six, and our current method of addressing it is being improved,” says Ubisoft. “The goal is to track long-term offenders across multiple games and sessions that slip through the cracks of our current team kill detection system. We cannot provide too many details on this, as it will lead to exploiting.” It goes without saying but Siege wouldn’t be the game it is without friendly fire, so team kills are inevitable. This makes it particularly tricky to highlight genuine griefing though, and even the current 'two team kill = kick' system can be majorly flawed. Over the course of up to nine rounds, two team kills is a genuine possibility.

Toxicity is definitely an issue across the entirety of gaming that needs sorting somehow, beyond the brain-dead attitude of suggesting people grow a thicker skin or it’s just ‘part of online gaming’. Neither of those hot takes solve anything and just allow an opportunity for hate speech to fester in an environment that’s supposed to be fun. Actually cracking down on it is a heck of a tough goal when there are literally millions of players in any given game though, and potentially thousands flooding in each and every day. From my experience, I haven’t really encountered much aside from the occasional private message in Siege. I usually team up with a party of four mates so the toxicity tends to fly right over my head, but I’m sure solo players, in particular, have had some tough times.

Do Ubisoft need to have a crackdown on toxicity in Siege? What do you think the solution could be to prevent teamkilling?