Rainbow Six Siege is switching to CS:GO-style recoil patterns

Something odd about the L85A2 assault rifle came to light during the recently-concluded Operation Health interval for Rainbow Six Siege—which led to something odd being discovered about all of the weapons in the game. As Ubisoft explained in the latest Rainbow Six Siege dev blog, the displacement of a weapon's sights during firing, meant to simulate the effects of recoil, "created a parallax issue between the gun and the world." And that, apparently, is bad. 

"The gun you are holding is rendered at a fixed 50 FOV ('Field of View'), but the world is rendered at 60 FOV for consoles and anywhere from 60-90 FOV on PC," Ubi explained in the post. "Because of this, any amount of movement we do with the First Person visuals off the center of the camera will immediately cause alignment issues with the weapon." 

That turned out to be a bigger problem than you might think. Removing the offset eliminated a lot of the recoil effect and made weapons too easy to control, which led to the need to tweak the recoil of all weapons. But that led to another problem because the existing recoil system only enabled one pattern definition, which "left us with a system that is still very random number generator (RNG) dependent that pulled hard on the camera and made the weapons feel erratic or unpredictable."

To get around that, Ubi implemented "multi-stage recoil" that lets it define unlimited recoil data sets at any point during full-auto firing. "We can say to the engine 'For the second bullet use this recoil data set and for the third bullet, use this other data set' etc." it explained. "That way, we can say where every bullet goes in relation to the previous one." 

To keep the learning curve manageable, Ubi has divided recoil patterns into families rather than creating a unique pattern for each individual weapon: 

  • AUG A2, Type-89, F2, C7E, AR33, G36C, L85A2, 556xi, PARA-308
  • 552 commando, AK-12, C8SFW, 416-C, R4C
  • G8A1, M249, 6P41, T-95 LSW, PDW9, P90, Scorpion EVO 3 A1
  • MP5k, MP5, FMG-9, T-5, MP5SD, MPX, 9x19VSN, MP7
  • MK17 CQB
  • SMG-11, Bearing 9, Vector .45 ACP

(Shotguns, pistols, DMRs, and some "lower rate-of-fire SMGs" are excluded, because removing their offset didn't impact their recoil enough to require any changes.)

Conversations about the new system are taking place on the TTS subreddit, and the response so far isn't what you'd call universally positive. There aren't a lot of people talking about it yet, but those that are generally sound as though they'd prefer to stick with the old system. One of the more thoughtful posts, from a redditor named Icemasta, states that while the original randomized recoil "might give some 'bullshit' moments, fixed recoil patterns are even more bullshit."

"When you once had to tap/burst fire at long range, with fixed recoil, you can now spray. This is actually a big issue in CS:GO, even at long range people will spray down because the recoil patterns are known and easy to use," they explained. "Hell, some of the recoil patterns currently on TTS are very reminiscent of CS1.5 AK pattern, which was a near straight up line. This can easily be 'abused' to simply aim at the chest and after 1-2 bullets you'd land a headshot, making it easier to land a headshot and lowering the risks. While one-tapping a head is still far better, it actually severely reduces the skill level."

If you'd like to try it for yourself, the new recoil system is live now on the Rainbow Six Siege Technical Test Server

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.