Prison Architect Wiki

Tips and Tricks

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This page is for tips and tricks. Feel free to add your own.


This section is tips about needs. You can see the needs of a prisoner if you hire a Psychologist .

Need Solution Regime
Bladder/Bowels Toilet Freetime/Sleep/Nothing
Sleep Bed Sleep
Food Canteen ,Kitchen ,cook(s) Eat
Hygiene Shower Shower /Freetime
Clothing Laundry Work and Shower/Freetime
Comfort Bench /TV/Bed Sleep/Freetime/Eat/Nothing
Exercise Yard Yard/Freetime
Defense Time Any
Freedom Outside Areas(Yard)/Freetime Yard/Freetime
Family Phone booth /Visitation Yard/Freetime
Recreation TV /Pool Table Freetime

^ After Alpha 11 release, prisoners put on their clothes after showering during free time also.

  • A good way to lower the recreation need is put a TV in the cell.
  • Freetime can lower many needs.
  • Visitation isn't really needed, as prisoners can just use the phone booth.
  • Put objects that lower needs in the Yard. Phone booths and TVs are good ones.
  • Maybe you can do meal on high. This can be changed in the regime.


This section is about the rooms.

  • A good place to put an Office is on the small land right of the road.  Offices do not need to be indoors, so that is a good place to put them.
  • The Kitchen should have staff only doors as their entrance.  This prevents prisoners from getting contraband. This doesn't apply if prisoners are working in the kitchen. If this is the case, place a metal detector at the door with a guard stationed nearby, even minimum security inmates will attempt to smuggle out contraband.
  • The Execution room currently does not serve any purpose outside of the introduction.
  • The Kitchen and Canteen should be close to each other, this reduces the time for cooks to place food in the serving tables .
  • A good object to put in the Yard is a phone booth.
  • Building multiple Workshops is inefficient unless they are adjacent to each other. The prisoners will walk from workshop to workshop.
  • The bigger the workshop, the more prisoners working.
  • It is reccomended to have your workshop adjacent or close to Deliveries . This is because the sheet metal required is delivered there and where your prisoners (or if Deliveries is set to staff only, your workmen) will collect it from.
  • Staff rooms work best in the centre of the prison so there is less of a distance for staff members to travel in order to reach it.
  • Laundry rooms are most efficient near your cell blocks. That way, there's less distance for your prisoners to travel between the two buildings.
  • Consider using holding rooms to hold prisoners en masse for great profit, the only downside is that prisons will crave Privacy. However this isn’t much of a problem if you serve their other needs and you will find yourself running a profitable prison without having individual cells.


A way to stop the prisoners from escaping
Gordonst4Added by Gordonst4

 This section is about Security.

  • A good way to stop escaping prisoners is fencing. Since you can't build in the road, and blocking the deliveries zone will stop prisoners from getting in, use a staff door and leave the deliveries zone out. Post Alpha 16 users will be able to use the Road Gate to secure the area.
  • The more guards you hire, the higher security your prison against dangerous prisoners will have.
  • Ordering your guards to patrol in cell blocks by the cells will reduce Prisoner's danger rate.
  • Always have a guard in every room except Cleaning cupboard, Solitary, Execution, Morgue and Storage.
  • Riot Guards may be effective and more strong against prisoner's attacks, but they will increase the danger level even if they do nothing.
  • Make sure to add a Guard on any infirmary only if there are usual fights, because when Prisoners go to infirmary, they may attack doctors.
  • Perimeter walls may be expensive and take a long time to build but they're a formidable barrier for prisoners attempting to tunnel out.
  • Don't be shy to add extra jail doors in corridors. You can leave them open but they will make a great defence barrier in riots when in Lockdown. Consider placing Solitary doors to make it even more difficult for the riot to spread.

  • Position your Visitation Room carefully. Keep it away from the prison population and in a secure wing like where your offices are, anything which is behind a few jail doors to make it harder for angry inmates to reach. You don't want to be responsible for the deaths of visitors due to an unguarded and vulnerable room.

  • Build your Armoury, in a secure place. If the prisoners are rioting, or are trying to escape, they will try to break into the Armoury room, and they can steal from there shotguns, pistols and batons.

  • In case of a riot, use the armed guards carefully. Armed guards, can kill your inmates with their shotguns, and the valuation of the prison will go down. Also, don't let the inmates to beat up the armed guards, becasue they can pick up their weapons and use them.

  • Armed guards will fight with the inmates using the fists, and will use the shotguns, only if their lives are in danger (they are highly injured, or the inmates have dangerous weapons). After you hired almost one armed guard, you can press the "Weapons free" button in the bottom-right corner, and they will use always the shotguns.

  • In case of a riot, the guards will stay away from the areas controlled by prisoners (the red ones). These areas are too dangerous for them, and only the riot police, and armed guards can access the red areas.


  • To stop prisoner intake, continuous intake must be off and all 3 prisoner threat levels must be off. To turn off the prisoner threat leavels, go to the report, then prisoners tab and close all 3 levels.
  • It's recommened to take grants at the beginning of the game. They will help fund the prison. Use a grant mod to gain even more capital if you want to expand quicker.
  • Creating storage rooms will help you save money. Because when you dismantle something, it will not be dumped, and you can reuse it later.
  • The only thing a Foreman does is research. Once you have researched Cleaning, Grounds Keeping, Prison Labour, and Clone, fire the Forman to save money. As of Alpha 18, you'll need the Foreman to teach inmates Workshop safety and Carpentry skills.
  • Focus on building a Workshop early in the game. A group of low risk security prisoners making plates will be easier to manage than a prison of high security prisoners and you will be spending less on the guard's wages.

  • Alpha 16 players can 'disassemble' trees and sell them to make quick, easy money.

  • You may left click on an employee and right click a tile to force them to move to that tile.  This is very usefull for stopping fights, healing people, detecting drugs, etc.

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