The guards of Prison Architect have needs now too

The top-down shanking simulator Prison Architect [official site] has received an update that introduces needs for the prison’s staff, including the desire to go for a whizz, eat food in the canteen and the need to feel safe while working. The game was supposed to be fully cooked, or at least that’s what developers Introversion said in August with their 2.0 “final” update, saying that it wouldn’t be getting any more features. But they’ve gone back on their word, the dogs, saying that this feature has been “something that has been niggling away in the back of our minds”.

Here’s their usual video breakdown of the changes.

In short, all your guards, snipers and dog handlers now have a “semi random” mix of needs. They’ll want to eat more expensive meals than the prisoners in a staff canteen, play pool or watch TV or lie on the sofa in the staff recreation room, and rest if they become tired. They’re also affected by the cleanliness of the environment and “hate to feel they are in danger”. Having more guards, body armour, tasers and so forth, will make them feel safer, as will being covered by sniper colleagues.

Of course, guards won’t become furious and start wrecking the furniture like your cons do when they become upset. Instead, their displeasure will manifest in a less-effective worker. They will start to move more slowly, dragging their heels, or turn a blind eye to trouble such as a bit of stabbing in the corridor. They may even “take bribes in order to look the other way when searching for contraband”.

There’s a full list of the changes here, which includes some smaller fixes. With Steam, you’ll have to opt-in to this update through the bashful beta button in the game’s properties, and from there you can toggle staff needs on or off. Happy Christmas, prisoners, it looks like life might get a little easier for some of you.


  1. DuncUK says:

    I haven’t watched the video or fired up the game since this update, but it does sound like they might have missed the most important needs; for guards to go home, sleep and spend time with family away from their work. I appreciate that adding proper guard management and rotation would be quite a big change to the current game, but it does stick out as a glaring omission, especially as the inmates have sleep and family needs already.

    I guess that sort of system is a bit big to be adding this late. Good to see they’ve not forgotten PA. :)

    • Ushao says:

      They specifically talk about that in the video.

      • DuncUK says:

        Indeed, I did watch it later. I think they’re missing a trick – sure, that side might not seem that fun but if you add in managing recruitment and resignation, promotions, experience and salary it could round out the simulation wonderfully. I think they were a bit hasty to write it off as “not worth it” at least as far as gameplay is concerned.

  2. Simon_Scott says:

    Can’t help but feel that if they’d sorted out staff needs sooner, the riot in Birmingham could have been avoided.

  3. Chris Wray says:

    Oh, would that that were true Simon, sadly our needs (I work in one in the north of the UK) are highly unlikely to ever get sorted. Birmingham even less likely since it’s a private prison :P

  4. Darth Jimmi says:

    I’ve been watching enough of their devlog to learn a bit about them. They’re incredibly dedicated to that game and will probably always come back with new features. This game is their baby, and they’re the caring mother that fears the day the baby leaves the house.