Prison Architect Free for Life Update Out Now on Xbox and PC

PlayStation update coming later.

Paradox has recently released the Prison Architect Free for Life update on PC and Xbox.

Prison Architect Free for Life Highlights

The Free for Life update is a big free quality of life patch for the prison management simulator. This includes the community’s most requested features. According to the post, it will make players spend more time managing their compound rather than going through menus.

Full Patch Notes

Check the full patch notes below:

Prison Architect: Free for Life Key Features:

  • Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks – After spending an extended period of time in your prison, inmates will change both visually and functionally, developing different needs compared to younger ones.
  • Climbing up the Ladder – Hired guards can be promoted to Officer and Specialist Officer and each increase in rank will provide additional perks.
  • Keeping an Eye on Things – Always be aware of what’s happening in your prison with the new Prisoner Log.
  • Building Blocks – The planning menu is getting renewed with lots of new options for fences and walls, plus, you can save your custom quick builds!

Free for Life​

  • New Saving Options – With this pack you can now save your preferences for certain things and also certain areas of your prison.
    • Prison Preferences – Instead of needing to change your creation settings every time for a new prison, you can now save your preferences to load up the next time you’re making a prison to make the process a little more streamlined.
    • Policy Preferences – Every time you update your policies these changes will automatically be made to any future prison you create, so you don’t need to repeat the same changes every time.
    • Custom Quickbuilds – Now using the clone tool you can save areas of your prison as it’s own custom quickbuild, allowing you easily expand your prison using what you’ve already created.
  • Regime Options – A number of existing regime option have been updated with new options also added to help manage your prison.
    • Updated Options – Yard, Shower, and Eat regime have all been updated so that once a prisoner’s needs are fulfilled they will they move freely afterwards, in hopes of lowering congestion during these times.
    • New Options – Shower/Lockup and Eat/Lockup, both of which have prisoners who finish eating or showering to be sent back to their cells, to lower congestion.
  • Building Tools – Multiple new options have been added to make the building of you prisons a little easier.
    • Custom Quick Rooms – Using the clone tool, areas of your prison can be saved as quick rooms to be used later when expanding your prison.
    • Utilities Update – The utilities menu has been separated into 3 tabs, Electrical, Water, and Wiring, to help make the menu more readable.
    • Planning – A few missing items have been added to the existing planning options and we’ve also added the ability to create plans for fences.
    • Wall Dimensions – A tooltip has been added when “drawing” walls or foundations that will state the width and height of the area you’re drawing.
    • Plot Grid / Coordinates – With this new option, your prison will be given a grid overlay with each cell displaying their coordinates when hovered over, allowing for more accurate designs.
  • Prisoner Aging – Once a prisoner stays in your facility long enough they will begin to grow older, making them behave milder and also become weaker.
    • Young – Inmates up to the age of 49 will be have no changes and will behave as normal.
    • Senior – Once reaching the age of 50, prisoners will gain wrinkles, become weaker, have their needs lowered, and be less likely to commit misconduct.
    • Elderly – From the age of 65, your prisoners will become elderly, their sprites will change to show their advanced years and all the effects of aging will be enhanced further until the day of their passing.
  • Events Log – Major events will now be listed in realtime for the player to check at their leisure.
    • Prison Log – This log will record all major occurrences within your prison, from minor misconduct to escape attempts, providing names of those involved in each situation.
    • Prisoner Log – Each individual prisoner will also have their own individual log you can use to see what they’ve been up to recently.
  • Guard Promotions – After spending a certain time in your service and completing tazer training, guards can be promoted in limited numbers to give them higher stats but also an increase to their daily wage.
    • Senior Guards – Upon completing the training program they can be promoted to Senior Guards, giving them a small boost to stats,
    • Officers – After being in service for 10 days guards can be promoted further, gaining further stat boosts and a higher wage.
    • Specialist Officer – After working in your prison for 20 days, a guard can be promoted a final time, Specialists will have a high increase to their stats, gain another increase to their wage, and will also be equipped with a gun to use in the most dire of situations.
  • Security Chief – To properly lead their newly promoted guards the Chief has also been given firearms training and will be equipped with a gun to defend himself if needed,

  • Create Prison Menu – The create menu has been given a make over to help the creation process become a little easier and to have a separation between base game and DLC options.
    • Uniform Picker – Through future packs, new uniform choices for your prison staff will be made available.
    • Dynamic Reputations – To make this option more manageable for players, we’ve added different levels to it so players can choose the level of challenge it will present.
  • Program Scheduler – The program scheduler has been given an update, making the management and adjusting of your programs easier and more controlled.
  • New Items – As usual we’ve also added a few new aesthetic items for your prison decorating needs.
    • Brown Sofa – Sometimes blue just isn’t your favourite colour.
    • Dark Wood Flooring – A rich dark wooden flooring to be used in the offices of admin who prefer to use the dark theme.
    • Unmanned Search Light – This light item will become active at night and will provide a moving cone of light to help keep an eye on any misbehaving prisoners.
    • Barbed Wire – Although not a new item, we have added new sprites to allow for barbed wire corners, making you prisons both imposing and aesthetically pleasing.

  • QoL Improvements – Along with the larger improvements and features we’ve made a number of smaller improvements based on feedback.
    • Item Types – Through the years many items have been added, as such some of we’ve refined the type tags on multiple items to make finding them easier.
    • Death Row Speed – During the Execution scene the speed will no longer be capped, allowing players to speed through the scene as quickly as desired.
    • Room Descriptions – A number of rooms had never been given a description string, as such we have provided text for each room that needed it to help out any new players who don’t fully understand these rooms.
    • Infirmary Time Extension – Prisoners and staff who are seriously injured and require medical assistance will now remain longer within the infirmary.
    • Bring Out Your Dead! – A new mutator has been added that will have hearses arrive every single day.

Crowbar Hotel (Free Update)​

Fixes & improvements​


  • Prisoners moving to the Reception on intake can no longer be blocked by sectors
  • Crooked Guards are investigated regardless of their current actions
  • No longer possible for Gang Leaders to leave their Gang via Tattoo Removal
  • Criminally insane prisoners can’t be gang members anymore
  • Non-gang related items are no longer blocked when prisons don’t have new gangs settings enabled

Perfect Storm:

  • First Aid and Fire Safety programs and items are no longer blocked by requiring Weather or Rat options to be enabled.

Island Bound

  • Boats and Helicopters have been given more driving lessons. They now know how to properly do their jobs.


  • All searched items are now the same for both client and host
  • Clients no longer see visual bugs for the teacher of the breathing program
  • The meal policy recommended setting is now applied to all users (host or client)
  • Bakery/Restaurant Customer feedback smiles is displayed for all users (host or client)

Misc Fixes:

  • Prisoner tooltip and prisoner profile are now always in synch
  • Fixed overlapping UI issues for the Prisoner Menu, Legal Menu, Options Menu, and Create Prison Menu for multiple languages
  • Backup Generator functions properly if the output is slightly over the max
  • Metal Stool missing from the room quality’s item list
  • The Sink and Mirror items can be cloned properly now
  • Fence Gates and Double doors will now remove wall blocks when placed
  • Staff can now interact with the armoury even if the room is missing requirements
  • The tyre stack item will no longer overlap the tyre apparatus when built behind of it
  • Mail will now be distributed to prisoners regardless of the number of letters within the mail satchel

Console Specific Changes

  • The Program Scheduler has been added as a new method to manage your existing programs.
  • Barbed Wire has been added as a new item, to place upon your walls.
  • Fixed UI issues for the Labour Management menu, Security Menu, Room Requirement window, and Programs menu,
  • Fixed rare campaign blockers for Palermo, Bootstraps, and Conviction
  • Crew members no longer become stuck in tunnels if order is changed from “Attempt Escape”
  • Players will no longer be sent to different rooms when eating in escape mode
  • Prisoners will now use the items in their cells properly during free time
  • Progress of grants is correctly saved and reloaded once re-entering a prison
  • Prisoners and staff will now be properly healed by doctors under all circumstances
  • DLC content no longer changes the game difficulty to “Custom”
  • Animations will no longer become frozen upon actions changing suddenly
  • Pest Control now holds the fumigator correctly
  • Overwriting an existing save file no longer resets the save name of that slot
  • Gang members can no longer become criminally insane
  • Birthday presents can no longer be left if the targeted prisoner isn’t available
  • Cooks will no longer ignore the cleaning of trays when there numbers are “too high”

Prison Architect is now available on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. PlayStation version of the update will be released later.

Former News Editor