AFK stands for “Away From Keyboard”, and in the context of Siege often refers to players who are farming an in-game resource called Renown while not actually playing the game. Renown, in turn, is spent on unlocking features in-game, including Operators, the game’s playable characters.
Officially, Renown is earned by completing matches or challenges in-game, but some players seem to be abusing the spirit of “completing” by rigging their characters to perform simple actions while the player themself is absent. This allows them to farm Renown without actually taking part in matches, ruining the experience for people who actually want to play the competitive tactical shooter.
The problem became particularly noticeable in early August when ‘AFK bouncing’ was detected among Japanese players.
Now, Ubisoft has issued a firm statement saying it will be tackling the AFKing problem. Taking to the official Rainbow Six Twitter feed, it said “Alert: AFK abuse will be sanctioned”.
⚠️ Alert: AFK Abuse will be sanctioned. ⚠️ pic.twitter.com/hXcto2cDvt
— Rainbow Six Siege (@Rainbow6Game) September 3, 2021
In a lengthier statement attached to the tweet as an image, it said “in recent weeks, we’ve become aware of a rising issue of players abusing AFK methods in-game. As ever, we will not tolerate bad actors disrupting and degrading the play experience of our player.” (sic)
The Rainbow Six developers add that they “are currently taking action against those we detect abusing this behaviour, beginning today, with a wave of manual sanctions for those found to be abusing this.”
While manual sanctions are in effect immediately, the developer says it will also be looking at “evaluating design changes to alleviate the issue, as well as adding new automatic AFK detections and sanctions” in future. Fingers crossed this will actually improve the experience for sincere Rainbow Six Siege players.
In better news for the game, Ubisoft recently confirmed that the next operation for Siege will be called ‘Crystal Guard’, and released the new animated trailer, above. The game also introduced its first transgender character, Osa.
In other news, the latest Destiny 2 update has added support for cross-platform voice chat, while retro-style shooter Turbo Overkill aims to channel classic DOOM gameplay with a chainsaw-legged cyborg protagonist.