Rainbow Six Siege 'can't do anything' about mouse and keyboard on console

Rainbow Six Siege Void Edge Iana Hero Art
Rainbow Six Siege Void Edge Iana Hero Art (Image credit: Ubisoft)

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege witnesses unparalleled success as it nears half a decade on the market, securing a player base over 55 million strong through robust tactical gameplay. Ubisoft continues to deliver regular free updates via tri-monthly seasons, balancing its complex multiplayer sandbox, and tacking pressing community issues.

Rainbow Six Siege overcame constant hurdles in 2019, combating cheaters, boosting, exploits, DDoS attacks, and general toxicity — even receiving our "Best Ongoing Game" award. But for console users, the growing prevalence of mouse and keyboard users has consistently impacted gameplay.

While Ubisoft doesn't formally support mouse and keyboard for Rainbow Six Siege, the rise of third-party adapters has enabled an unauthorized controller alternative on Xbox One and PlayStation 4. These devices facilitate full mouse and keyboard support for any console game, emulating controller inputs, and undetectable by the games.

That causes headaches for developers like Ubisoft, attempting to maintain balanced gameplay across a highly competitive shooter. The dexterity and pinpoint precision granted by mouse and keyboard overshadow any controller, perceived as cheating in many multiplayer experiences.

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Razer Turret for Xbox One

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Speaking on Logic Bomb Podcast, Ubisoft senior community developer, Craig "ItsEpi" Robinson, recently discussed the challenges surrounding mouse and keyboard on console. Robinson, now departing the Rainbow Six Siege team, touched on the situation with a heartfelt message to players.

"The console community has that impression, I think largely in part because we can't do anything about mouse and keyboard on console," stated Robinson. "And I know how frustrating that is, and I empathize with how much that is frustrating to play against. […] It's one of those things where if we could get rid of it, we would. We don't support mouse and keyboard on console. But the tools we have available to us just limit our ability to get rid of it."

"With that in mind, I understand why our console community feels neglected at times, and it hurts. It does, it sucks. For lack of a better word, it sucks that they feel that way, and it sucks that we're not able to address such a pressing issue for them."

The statement reflects the current influence of mouse and keyboard on Xbox One and PlayStation 4, not just with Rainbow Six Siege, but competitive shooters across console. While titles like Fortnite previously attempted to crack down on products like the XIM adapter, a quick firmware update circumvented those measures days later. While some feel the responsibility sits with platform holders, Microsoft has previously discussed "helpful scenarios" across the platform such as accessibility. It's an issue with no clear-cut solution but for competitive shooters, continues to negatively impact the space.

Matt Brown

Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.