Prison Architect: How to turn off staff needs

Help! The new Staff Needs feature in update-11 has completely broken by prison – and I’ve played for days trying to overcome the problems!

Does that sound like you? Yep, you’re not alone. Sometimes there’s nothing wrong with just giving up, especially when the bugs are outside of your control. Here’s a simple trick to backtrack the butt hurt and disable staff needs in your Prison Architect prison.

Firstly, make a backup of your .prison file. On Windows, game files should be stored in:

C:\Users\<Username>\AppData\Local\Introversion\Prison Architect\saves

If you’re using Mac, no idea, get a real computer.

Open your prison file in a text editor like Notepad or Notepad++. Towards the top of the file, find “StaffNeeds”.

Change the “true” to “false”. Save the file and load the prison again in Prison Architect.

If you want to enable it again later, follow the normal process of going through the Main Menu, Extras, Map Settings and click Enabled Staff Needs.

Start rant. I just want to add I’ve very disappointed in the efforts of Introvision on this new feature. Considering this feature was a Christmas present from the developers to players, Prison Architect simply has become a broken toy. Hope was in the air when a bug release appeared in Jan 2017, however, only one or two issues were fixed, leaving the magnitude of other issues (related to the staff needs feature) unresolved. Fair call, it was a beta build, but even their alpha builds have been less broken than this and the final update was still broken. End rant.


Prison Architect: Prisoners stuck “complaining”

Prisoners stand still, starve, cannot be interacted with while “complaining”.

I’m sure someone could make a joke about their wives here… but we won’t. I’m currently running the PC update-11f steam version of Prison Architect. I’ve noted a few prisoners standing still and starving. They also refuse to fulfil their needs.

I decided to take a look under the hood by opening the game prison save file. I found what appears to be a bug. See screenshot below:

I noticed that there were 10 instances of prisoners with a Needs Action of “Complain” where the others were “Complaining”. The pattern aligned with those prisoners that were stuck.

Firstly, please remember to take a backup before messing with your prison file. Using Notepad++ (though any text editor will do), I did a find and replace of “Complain ” with “Complaining ” which resolved it. Note: Yes, pay attention, that wasn’t an error. There is a space ( ) after “Complain ” and “Complaining “. If you don’t put the space in, every “Complaining” will become “Complaininging”.

I have logged a bug with the developer, though I doubt they’ll resolve it anytime soon, if at all. I hope this helps anyone else “stuck.”


Prison Architect: Top Tip to Relieve Congestion

Did you know: The speed at which your prison architect prisoners move around the map depends on the surface they’re walking on?

To relieve congestion on main thoroughfares (high traffic areas) ensure you take advantage of the 1.5 multiplier speed bonus on particular types of flooring. And areas where prisoners shouldn’t be could be slowed down with the 0.5 multiplier, giving your snipers extra time to shoot before escaping.

Below is an example of my prison architect prison. I was using the road surface on many critical paths around the jail. Now, prisoners arrive faster to patrol meetings, to meals, to the doctor, classes – meaning their needs are being fulfilled for seconds longer. Also, consider kitchens should use high-speed flooring so cooks can “fly” around the kitchen faster. Check out GamePressure’s comprehensive guide on surface speeds (towards the bottom).