Winning and Failure Conditions

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Like most games, there are goals that the player must achieve in order to make progress in the game. However, there are also conditions that the player can meet that will result in them losing the game. Prison Architect is a game that has such goals and failure conditions. In this article, all possible win and fail conditions will be listed, including those from the Campaigns. Additionally, this article will serve as a guide to those who may be stuck at a certain part of a campaign.


At this point, the only campaign made available is the Deathrow campaign. It is only partially finished, but the first chapter of the campaign serves as a short and brief tutorial on how to play the game, while walking the player through the execution of Edward for the murder of his wife Susan and her lover Anthony. To complete the goals in the first chapter, the player must follow the instructions given to them by the The CEO. Otherwise, the player will be unable to progress. There are currently no failure conditions that the player can meet while playing through the tutorial.


As of Alpha 20, four failure conditions were implemented and are active for prisons created during alpha 20 and beyond. Prisons created before the update remain unaffected, but players can activate them by adding the following line into their save file:

FailureConditions true

If the player meets any of the failure conditions listed below, they will no longer have control over their prison. Instead of the game simply ending, the player is still allowed to view their prison in it's final moments. This is similar to how Dungeon Keeper operated when the player met with failure, they would become a ghost and could watch their dungeon crumble.

As part of the update, a death and escape counter was added to alert unaware players. These are especially helpful in avoided a potential failure condition. Additionally, if a player starts getting close to failure, a game over timer will start counting down which further alerts the player that they need to act quickly.


If you let a riot run for too long, the government will be forced to step in and take over your prison. In this event you will be sacked, and the National Guard will be deployed to retake your prison by force.

This is a very violent end to your prison because every inmate who is acting aggressively while the soldiers are present will be shot and killed. Prisoners surrendering to the soldiers has not been implemented, but Chris has stated it will be worked on.


If you have a negative bank balance and a negative cash-flow, you are bankrupt. You will have 24 hours to put in place a financial rescue package before being sacked.


Too many deaths in a single day will trigger a warning. If more deaths occur the next day you will be sacked. You will then be convicted of Criminal Negligence, and will spend time within your own jail as a prisoner.

This results in you, the architect, becoming a prisoner of your own creation while it runs on its own.


Too many escapes in a single day is a PR disaster waiting to happen. If more escapes occur the next day you will be sacked.