PlayStation 4 Rainbow Six Siege players in Japan have said the game is being ruined by what have been dubbed AFK "bouncers".
Players of Ubisoft's competitive multiplayer shooter have complained they are constantly joining matches where other players are exploiting the way the game works in Japan to farm for in-game currency.
This in-game currency, known as Renown, is earned primarily by completing matches. You can also earn some extra Renown from daily challenges and from Ubisoft Connect, which is Ubisoft's cross-platform social and loyalty hub. Players use Renown to unlock operators, weapon attachments and customisation items.
The trouble is that, outside of the base operators, the cost of other content in Renown is extremely high. Take for example the Year 6 DLC operator Flores, who costs 25,000 Renown to unlock, or an older Operator from Year 3, Lion, who costs 10,000 Renown to unlock. To put this in perspective, a player earns around 200 Renown per match on average. A great player in a ranked match may earn 400 Renown on average.
If you aren't up for the grind however, there is an alternative. R6 Credits can be used to buy all the same things as you can with Renown, except you have to purchase R6 Credits with real money. Going back to Flores, unlocking him costs 600 R6 Credits, which is £3.99. Or you could buy a bundle that contains all previous DLC operators, which varies in price depending on which operators you have already unlocked.
But since this shortcut costs real money, cheaters are opting for a cheaper way to unlock everything. This is where Renown farming comes in.
The cheat works because of a quirk in the game's user interface for Japanese PS4 users. Japanese games traditionally use the circle button for confirmation and the cross button to cancel. The trouble is the circle button is also the crouch button in-game.
It should be noted this only works on the PS4 version of Rainbow Six Siege, since Sony made the contentious decision to swap the button mapping for PlayStation 5 in Japan to match the rest of the world.
The two make a deadly combination. With a modded controller set to automatically press circle, players can get through the menu and into a match where the player model is set to crouch in a loop, which players call "bouncers". The crouching action is essential so cheaters aren't kicked for inactivity. The end result is rather hilarious, though I am sure it is extremely frustrating for genuine players.
To add salt to the wound, this exploit isn't a new one. I have found Reddit posts reporting this problem as far back as February 2019. The issue doesn't appear to affect other platforms for now, but with plans to make the game completely cross-platform by 2022, this exploit could become endemic.
When asked for comment, Ubisoft said the following: "The Rainbow Six Siege team is fully aware of this situation and is currently defining a long-term strategy for addressing this while analysing the impact this has on the game and its player base. While the development team has not set an official date of implementation for a resolution of the problem, they are actively investigating these disruptive actions to create a best practice for their detection, in order to properly sanction them."