Ubisoft will start messing with Rainbow Six Siege players that cheat by using XIM or similar devices to spoof controller inputs by using a mouse and keyboard on console. In an update to Rainbow Six Siege, players that cheat by using third-party devices like XIM will soon start to notice more input latency that will mess with their aim.
Devices like XIM, Cronus Zen, and ReaSnow S1 are often used in online competitive shooters to allow mouse and keyboard users to get the benefits of aim assist from controller mixed with the benefits of movement from mouse and keyboard. They’re steadily becoming a problem across Overwatch, Call of Duty, Destiny 2, Rainbow Six Siege, and other online shooters.
“This is a problem that all console shooters have, especially the competitive ones,” says Jan Stahlhacke, gameplay programming team lead for Rainbow Six Siege in a video message to players. “There hasn’t really been a reliable solution for this yet, in fact the devices they’re using are specifically designed to be undetectable.”
Ubisoft has developed a system it calls Mousetrap that will detect these devices on consoles. In fact, Ubisoft says it has been running this system quietly in the background for several seasons now, helping it build out a detection system and understand who is using this third-party hardware.
“We know exactly which players are spoofing and when they were spoofing,” says Stahlhacke. “We also know that at the highest ranks spoofers become much more common.”
In a mid-season update, Ubisoft will start applying extra latency to these players to mess with their aim and movement. “It’s going to start out really unnoticeable, but it’s going to ramp up over several matches and it’ll definitely be noticable,” explains Stahlhacke.
Players who use this special hardware will have to unplug the device to remove the extra latency, and after a few matches it will be automatically reduced. This type of hardware is also sometimes used by players with disabilities, and Ubisoft says it is aware and keen to learn more from anyone in the community that might be affected by these changes.
But hardware like XIM, Cronus Zen, and ReaSnow S1 isn’t marketed as accessibility devices, it’s all focused on giving players an advantage in games. Cronus has a dedicated section on its website for Rainbow Six Siege that doesn’t mention the word accessibility once. Instead, it markets features like extra aim assist, anti-recoil, auto lean, auto scope, auto reload, and other firing mods that help players cheat through specialized scripts.
Ubisoft certainly isn’t the first to attempt to ban the use of these devices. Epic Games started issuing permanent bans to players using Cronus Zen and Cronus Max last year. Ubisoft isn’t going the ban route just yet, preferring to mess with these players instead much like how Call of Duty: Warzone messes with cheaters.
The problem Ubisoft, Epic Games, and other developers and publishers will face is that it’s a cat and mouse game against the developers of this third-party hardware. It’s designed to be undetectable for a reason, and these device makers have created healthy businesses that they’re not about to walk away from.
Fortnite cheaters quickly found ways to work around Epic Games’ detection systems last year, and we’re bound to notice the same in Rainbow Six Siege. Nobody has a perfect solution for this problem yet, but Ubisoft is trying. “We intend to keep monitoring the data, to update our detection system, and to continue to tune the penalties,” says Stahlhacke. “We’re committed to continuing to work on it to improve the fairness of Siege.”