Rainbow Six Siege DDoS pandemic hits new level in Ember Rise

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege recently secured Operation Ember Rise, the latest of its tri-monthly updates, bringing two new Latin American Operators to the roster. Amaru and Goyo shake up combat via grappling hook and incendiary shield gadgets, laying the foundations for a promising season.

However, the release of Ember Rise has highlighted new issues for Rainbow Six Siege, as players report increased distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks in multiplayer. Flooding servers with requests with the aim of overload, these digital strikes can quickly bring services to a halt. And for Ubisoft's hit shooter, meddling with connectivity allows cheaters to break matches, gaming the skill-based ranking system.

DDoS attacks are far from unique to Rainbow Six Siege, already an infamous and unsolved industry issue, attributed to countless server outages over the years. However, the attacks have seen an increased prevalence in 2019, now overshadowing the debut of Operation Ember Rise this September.

Rainbow Six Siege Ember Rise Amaru

Rainbow Six Siege Ember Rise Amaru (Image credit: Ubisoft)

The latest season brings the usual "hard" rank reset, and as competitive players enter initial placement matches, perceived DDoS attacks are taking center stage. The gameplay upset allows cheaters to manipulate Ranked, often rendering games unplayable, artificially boosting skill ranking as a result. Top YouTubers Get_Flanked and Matimi0 recently voiced concerns, stressing the effect on an integral component of Rainbow Six.

Combatting DDoS attacks is challenging for all, only heightened by the low-latency, real-time nature of competitive shooters. Furthermore, Ubisoft leverages Microsoft Azure cloud services to power its multiplayer sandbox, with solutions primarily down to the service provider, rather than Ubisoft itself. However, combatting DDoS outages an issue still largely unsolved, and given a level of anonymity via third-party services, enforcing ramifications isn't easy.

Rainbow Six Siege Ember Rise Goyo

Rainbow Six Siege Ember Rise Goyo (Image credit: Ubisoft)

Rainbow Six Siege has faced several issues with time, as natural for any competitive success. Ubisoft has taken steps to combat past exploits, hacking, and boosting, but DDoS attacks bring wider-reaching difficulties beyond game design. Among the issues Rainbow Six Siege has faced, DDoS attacks could be Ubisoft's most challenging yet.

If among those affected by the uptick following Ember Rise, the newly-introduced Unranked playlist could be a temporary alternative, at least until some form of resolution deploys. While retaining the same tailored ruleset and map pool, the mode drops your skill-based badge, offering the middle ground between Casual and Ranked play.

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.