This article was updated at 8 pm PT Sunday to reflect that the ghosts have been busted.
For parts of this weekend, many Rainbow Six Siege players were unable to access Ranked, Unranked, and other game modes due to an issue related to lobbies and player account levels.
"We are not having a good weekend," tweeted Siege creative director Leroy Athanassoff on Sunday.
The issue was that Siege seemed to think everyone was partied up with a brand new account, which meant they couldn't join most playlists. There was no one to kick from the squad to fix it, because that low-level 'ghost' squadmate didn't really exist.
Two Siege players at PC Gamer experienced the bug first hand. Morgan took the screenshot above, showing a level 205 account being informed that its empty squad doesn't meet the level 50 requirement for a Ranked game. Spooky. (And frustrating.)
Reports from players on social media indicate that the bug started Saturday at a smaller scale, but has been spreading since. This weekend was a free weekend for Siege, which just started a new season.
-Yes we are aware-Yes Teams are investigating the issue for hours now -Yes as dev we are not having a good week end ==> Stay tuned to official channel for more info And yes we apologize for this 🙏😢September 12, 2021
Some players reported hearing the sound effect that indicates that a player has joined their lobby; the 'ghost' causing the problem. A bot on Siege's official Discord also attributed the bug to ghost players, but Ubisoft's official forum post and tweet about the issue didn't mention it.
At about 4 pm PT on Sunday, the official Rainbow Six Siege Twitter account said that the developers were working on two separate issues, "one impacting matchmaking on PC" and "one impacting online infrastructure on Xbox." The Xbox issue was resolved first, and few hours later the account reported that an update had been deployed to fix the PC version.
UPDATE: We're happy to report that the issues affecting matchmaking on PC have been successfully resolved.As some of you have reported, there was an emerging issue preventing console players from joining Squads. We have addressed this and things should be returning to normal.September 13, 2021
"We'll continue to closely monitor the game's performance to ensure these fixes hold," said Ubisoft. "Over the next week, we will implement more robust long-term measures to prevent this from happening again."
We're not exactly sure what it is Ubisoft will be working on preventing. A bug? An exploit? A mundane server issue? Some players have claimed that a hacker was behind it all, but that rumor hasn't been substantiated, and Ubisoft hasn't acknowledged it. We'll look for more info on that, but for now, the good news is that Siege is returning to normal.