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The main menu can be accessed by pressing the ESC key on the keyboard or by clicking the little home icon in the upper left part of the screen. It provides access to many further menus which allows you to:

  • Start a new campaign or sandbox game.
  • Replay the cutscenes featured in the campaigns.
  • Save and load previous games, and open the save folder in your system's file explorer.
  • Extra menu:
    • View the Names in the Game (with the options to mark one of the prisoners as yourself, report offensive biographies or transfer the prisoner to your prison).
    • View the polaroids and Game Bible pages collected within the game.
    • Share your prison on the Steam Workshop or get shared prisons from there.
    • Get Mods from the Steam Workshop, and activate/deactivate them.
    • Record a Time Lapse video of your prison growing and living (or stop this recording)
    • Start the Escape Mode by loading any saved sandbox game, any steam workshop prison or any previously saved escape attempt
  • Options menu:
    • Change the graphical and audio settings for the game.
    • Change some game settings (like autosave timer and clock type). (Note: The "Room checkerbox" option to display a checkerboard pattern at the floor of rooms only becomes active when starting or loading a game).
    • Set the parameters for recording Time Lapse videos.
    • Change the language
    • Open Save Folder
  • Open this wiki in your browser
  • Quit the game.
  • Read Introversion Software's Terms and Conditions.
  • Open Introversion Software's Twitter stream in your browser.
  • Read the version information and update news.

Campaign[edit | edit source]

Select which chapter of the campaign you want to play (again). Before a chapter is unlocked for selection here, you need to finish the previous chapter.

Cutscenes[edit | edit source]

Select which cutscene from the campaign you want to see again. Before a cutscene is unlocked for selection here, you need to have seen it during campaign game play.

Load campaign[edit | edit source]

Enables you to load a savegame that you created while playing a campaign chapter.

Create New Prison[edit | edit source]

Allows you to start a game in Sandbox Mode. There are many special options for those. See Sandbox Mode for a description.

Load Prison[edit | edit source]

Enables you to load a savegame that you created while playing a sandbox game.

Save Prison[edit | edit source]

Create a savegame.

Extras[edit | edit source]

A submenu for extended game features.

Names in the Game[edit | edit source]

Allows you to browse the names, faces and biographies of all the special prisoners available in Prison Architect (most of them created by people who bought the "Name in the Game" package of PA).

The following buttons are available:

  • "Update Now" - load the latest version of names in the game from the Introversion website.
  • Filter - search for certain prisoners
  • "This is me" - mark this prisoner as your own entry. If you end up in prison yourself (either by meeting the Failure Conditions or by using the Escape Mode), this character will represent you then.
  • "!" - report the bio as objectionable or offensive
  • "Transfer" - send this prisoner to your current prison with the next load of prisoners.

Game Bible[edit | edit source]

The Game Bible.

Polaroids[edit | edit source]

Polaroids are collectibles that appear in the game from time to time, depicting scenes happening in your prison in a more graphic way. The ones that you have found already can be seen here.

Prison Sharing (Steam)[edit | edit source]

Allows you to publish your current sandbox prison in Steam Workshop, to open the prisons you subscribed to in Steam Workshop, or to open the Steam Workshop in order to browse for prisons to subscribe to. (Steam overlay needs to be activated in the Steam options in order to use the latter option.)

See Sharing your Prison for some additional information.

Most Popular Prisons (Steam)[edit | edit source]

Provides a list of the most popular prisons in Steam Workshop in a certain range of time. Without the need to subscribing to them first, you may directly play them in sandbox or escape mode.

Premade Prisons[edit | edit source]

A small list of extraordinary prisons designed by Steam Workshop users, shipped with Prison Architect and thus available to play without an online connection to Steam.

Mods[edit | edit source]

Allows you to activate or deactivate mods you installed from Steam Workshop, or to go there and find more mods. (Steam overlay needs to be activated in the Steam options in order to use the latter option.)

Record Time Lapse[edit | edit source]

Exits the menu and continues with your current game, recording a time lapse video. (This is a video of you playing, with a frame captured e.g. every minute only, and thus showing your constructions in a fast way. The exact parameters can be configured in the "Options" menu. The video will be saved in Ogg Vorbis format in your savegames folder.)

The "Record Time Lapse" entry in the menu will be replaced by a "Stop Time Lapse" entry, which does pretty much what you think it should do.

Map Settings[edit | edit source]

Enables you to activate certain options in a sandbox game that you had not selected when starting it. These options (gangs, events and weather) can only be enabled and not disabled once they have been activated. If events, gangs and weather are all activated, there will be no "Map Settings" menu displayed at all.

Escape Mode[edit | edit source]

Allows you to load one of your sandbox savegames in order to play it in Escape Mode.

Escape Mode (Steam)[edit | edit source]

Allows you to load one of your subscribed Steam Workshop prisons in order to play it in Escape Mode.

Also allows to open a random Steam Workshop prison (with a given rating).

Load Escape Attempt[edit | edit source]

Allows you to load one of your escape mode savegames.

Options[edit | edit source]

A submenu for options like graphics and audio settings.

Graphics[edit | edit source]

Allows you to choose whether to play the game in windowed or fullscreen mode, and in which resolution you like your windows.

Also offers to change the filtering mode (off, multisampled, supersampled). The higher the rating, the better does the game look, but also the slower it runs. If you experience problems with the game running too slow, try reducing the sampling rate.

See Graphics Options for a more detailed description of the settings. This page also explains how to set them from outside the game, which may be important if you are unable to start the game due to incompatible graphics settings.

Audio[edit | edit source]

Volume, mix frequency, swap stereo, if you need to do that for some obscure reason.

Game[edit | edit source]

Provides some settings for the game's technical behaviour.

  • Autosave timer: by default, a special savegame is created all 10 minutes. You can change this frequency here.
  • Room checkerbox: whether there should be a checkerbox pattern on the room floors. You need to restart the game in order to make changes made here become effective.
  • Version 2.0 GUI: Version 2 (or its preview, Version 1.8, actually) cleaned up some of the ingame menus, changed tooltip sizes, added context menus, etc. If you prefer the old style, you can disable the changes here.
  • Zoom To Mouse: By default zooming in the game centers the screen to your mouse cursor. Disable this to have the center remain the center.
  • Clock Type: Change the default analogue ingame clock by a 12-hour (AM/PM) or 24-hour digital version.

Time Lapse[edit | edit source]

Change the settings (camera mode, playback rate, capture interval, quality) for the Time Lapse videos (see "Extras" menu).

Language[edit | edit source]

Change the language of the game. Includes official translations (highlighted in blue) and inofficial language mods (possibly outdated).

Experimental[edit | edit source]

Enable Vertex Buffer Objects (?)

Open Save Folder[edit | edit source]

Opens the folder that contains your savegame files.

Help (wiki)[edit | edit source]

Opens this very wiki. May it answer your questions.

Exit[edit | edit source]

Quit the game.

Terms and Conditions[edit | edit source]

Opens Introversion's Terms and Conditions in a web browser.

Twitter[edit | edit source]

Open's Introversion's Twitter page in a web browser.

Language[edit | edit source]

The flag icon allows you to change the language (see "Options" submenu described above).

3D Mode[edit | edit source]

The hidden 3D Mode is opened in the "Extras" menu. There you might see a little Pi symbol (grey on grey) in the bottom left corner of the menu.