If you’re playing Rainbow Six Siege on the Test Server, you won’t have to worry about the enemy team’s vitriolic remarks. Ubisoft removed cross-chat from all Rainbow Six Siege game modes on the Test Server earlier today. The move came as part of the company’s “continuous efforts against in-game toxicity.”
Ubisoft’s data revealed that “a very high percentage of Abusive Chat reports are from cross-chat,” according to the patch notes. Siege matches have a cross-chat, aptly titled “all.” Messages sent to that channel are relayed to all players, regardless of team. The game also has dedicated team chats where players can talk without fear of being eavesdropped on.
Until the patch makes its way to the Test Server, Siege’s mechanism for silencing individual players is a cumbersome one. Players must open the scoreboard, click the middle mouse button, and check a box for each user in the lobby. The settings aren’t global—if someone joins mid-match, it’s necessary to repeat the process. Players must go through those steps in each match since the preferences are saved per player.
Ubisoft’s current ban system displays a server-wide message whenever a player is punished for toxic behavior. A similar message is shown for hackers detected by its anti-cheat system, BattlEye. The measure serves as a public warning that the rules are being enforced, but that’s basically its full extent.
The global mute preferences were a welcome addition with the patch, but it still displeased some players. “Why not a simple toggle to remove all chat and a toggle to only remove chat from opposing team?” one player asked. “Let players choose this Ubi, if you are that worried about it have enemy text chat off by default even.”
Siege’s old system forced players to manually mute opponents every match. A catch-all “mute enemy chat” button would still be an improvement. But Ubisoft exercised the nuclear option and chose to remove cross-chat altogether. This is a measure that forcibly removes room for toxicity and “friendly chats with the enemy,” as one Reddit user described it, in a single blow.
It’s unclear when the update will reach the live servers or if it’ll be tweaked before leaving the Test Server.
Update Dec. 5 4:17pm CT: After receiving player feedback, Ubisoft reverted some of these changes and added a toggle chat button instead.