Top 25 Best Prison Architect Mods To TryThis post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Prison Architect is one of those games that easily flies under the radar. Started by a smaller development company back in 2012, the crowdfunded prison management game was very successful for an indie title.
Having mod support since the early alpha stages back in 2013, there’s tons of great community content that gives the game interesting twists.
Since the game was recently purchased by publishers Paradox Interactive promising to continue to push content in the future, here are some of the best mods to check out in the meantime.
25. Additional Guard Sprites
With classic games building games, the visuals tend to get less and less interesting as you progress through.
Where it’s typical to have large amounts of buildings and units within the map, you inevitably reach a point where things start to look the same.
Prison Architect is no different. There are pretty much only 4 variations to the guard sprites in the game.
If you’re looking for variety in terms of visuals, Additional Guard Sprites is a great place to start.
Adding over 38 new sprites for all types of guard types, including armed guards and K-9’s, you’re sure to see the impact right away.
24. Additional Staff Sprites
Further adding to the realism of the experience, modder prospectus expanded on his Guard Sprites mod to include staff as well.
Cooks, janitors, workmen, and doctors now have much more variety in terms of appearance.
The attention to detail is excellent in both of these mods, as there are even new body types added to make the game’s visuals much more appealing.
Both mods are part of prospectus’ Additional Sprites – Prison Architect Variety collection, which you should definitely check out.
23. Office Chair
A little OCD is common for players of the building simulation genre.
We’ve gotten used to carefully planning the placement of buildings, rooms, even down to the decorations and objects inside them.
For the more organized players, you’ve probably been irked by the way chairs and desks work in the game. With desks taking up two tiles while chairs only make use of one, it wasn’t possible to align the chair in the center of the table.
Thanks to modder alike03, this is made possible with the simple Office Chair mod.
An office chair that takes up two tiles can now be placed so it fits perfectly in the middle of the desk.
Though this has been addressed in vanilla, many people still prefer the look of alike03’s office chair so this is still worth checking out. If anything it’s a small fix but really valuable.
22. Better Clock
Another thing building simulator players know all too well. Nobody wants to wait around for your workers to finish their jobs, or for that new building to be up and running.
With the vanilla clock only giving options to speed the game up 2-5x normal speed, modder 4loris4 took it upon himself to make the necessary update.
One of the more important features of these games, but can easily be overlooked.
The Better Clock mod adds two buttons which now allow you to speed the game up either 7x or 10x the normal speed. Very handy!
21. Modern UI
With Prison Architect receiving a mobile release, the Android version saw certain aspects of the game updated.
Unfortunately the PC version did not receive the same treatment – specifically in terms of the updated UI.
Mobile gamers got the benefit of an updated UI with a more modern look to the building icons and it wasn’t long before PC gamers wanted in on it too.
Thanks to Drummer Si, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy the new UI as well.
A minor update, but given the amount of time you spend in the menus, this is a welcome visual upgrade for sure.
20. Clearer Needs Icons
With micromanagement being a huge part of building sims, it usually becomes increasingly difficult as your prison expands.
With much more land to watch over, it may become challenging to monitor each and every unit in your prison.
Similar to guest satisfaction in zoo or theme park building sims, your prisoners have needs as well.
Not tending to these needs could have very bad consequences. These are virtual criminals we’re talking about here.
With a simple fix, Clearer Needs Icons makes the needs bubbles easier to see and understand.
It will be easier to tell what the prisoners want without having to scroll and zoom in all the time.
19. Functional Objects
Though Prison Architect already has much to offer in terms of gameplay mechanics, here’s a simple mod that adds much more depth with just a few small tweaks.
The Functional Objects mod takes a couple of decorative items and actually gives them purpose.
Bookshelves and sofas are much more valuable now as they actually have an impact on the prisoners.
When used by a prisoner, bookshelves now lessen literacy and spirituality needs. Sofas, on the other hand, will decrease comfort and sleep needs when used.
A small update, but it adding these items to your prison much more interesting.
18. Grants Mod
Another great way to add content to the game is the Grants mod.
If you’ve played Prison Architect before you’ve probably relied on grants to earn money for prison improvements.
The Grants mod adds 15 new opportunities for you to earn money for the prison.
The addition of these new tasks gives you more challenges to complete, such as building a laundromat to remove stinky dirty clothes, or finding a solution for the increasing overweight population in the prison.
These grant tasks should keep you interested not just for the rewards, but they’re pretty well thought out and engaging as well.
As seen on the show Orange is the New Black, it’s no coincidence that even prisoners are able to maintain their favorite hairstyles.
Now you can do the same in Prison Architect, with the BarberMod!
It doesn’t just let you build a barber shop of course. But barber shops affect gameplay as well.
The modder obviously put a lot of care into creating this as barber shops are not just for aesthetics.
There is a new reform program where prisoners can learn to cut hair, creating new jobs for the prisoners to explore.
Of course, your barber shops are also a means to obtain contraband in the form of razors.
There’s much to explore here, you can even have inmates collect hair to make sellable wigs!
16. Simple Garden
Now if cutting hair doesn’t sound interesting then this simple mod gives your prisoners another means to keep busy.
The Simple Garden mod allows you to place prisoners on garden duty.
They’ll be able to care for plants that produce flowers and food, so you’ll still benefit from the work they put in.
Who knows. It may even keep those prisoners relaxed and make the prison more peaceful.
15. Real-time Basketball
Basketball is a common source of both leisure and exercise in prisons.
With this mod you’ll be able to build a basketball court. Now this will allow inmates to play basketball games during yard time, complete with animations and a scoreboard so you’ll be able to watch the games in real-time.
You can even hire basketball trainers so players will be able to join new reform programs.
They can even be enrolled to basketball training or even play in a prison basketball league!
14. Computers and More
If you’re more of a techy type and would like to take your prison in a more modern direction, check out the Computers and More mod.
As you probably guessed, this allows you to place computer rooms in the prison which inmates can interact with.
The computers can be used to chat with family, play games, and more.
The mod also has a ton of additional features, where the prisoners can enroll in computer and game development classes.
13. Vending Machines 2.0
A pretty brilliant way of automating both prisoner and staff needs that seamlessly integrates into the base gameplay.
This mod allows you add vending machines to different areas of the prison, including the canteen, common room, nursery, yard, and even staff rooms.
You can place vending storage rooms to hold food and drinks for your machines, and even hire a vending manager to keep your machines stocked.
Some examples of vending machine products available include burgers, coffee, medicine, and fruits.
Both inmates and staff alike will be able to get their hands on food and drinks of their choice whenever they feel like it!
Another great mod that increases the options for your inmates is the Recycling mod.
Now at version 3.0, you can have inmates look through the prison’s trash for valuable items.
Sorting trash can produce fertilizer, which is useful for the garden included in the mod as well.
The garden provides the kitchen with food as well as flowers that can be sold (similar to the Simple Garden mod).
There’s even more to this mod too, as you have new reform programs like plant cultivation and botany. New staff to tend to the garden and greenhouse, along with new jobs for the inmates. It’s a big update and well worth checking out!
11. Snitch Sorter
Now even though you’ve given your inmates so much new activities and tasks to help pass the time, you still can’t forget that this is a prison you’re running.
In any prison, snitches and ex cops just don’t play well with the general population.
With this mod you can now add a “snitch sorter” to filter new prisoners.
New arrivals are automatically given background checks by the snitch sorter to identify if they are snitches or ex cops. If that’s the case, they are immediately separated from gen pop and placed into protective custody.
You won’t need the help of informants to track down snitches anymore. This will definitely save you a lot of time in the long run.
10. Land Mines
No matter how busy you keep your inmates, prison riots are unavoidable.
Someone takes a sandwich, or even just mutters some displeasing words at the wrong time and the prison is in chaos.
It may get difficult to manage, especially with your outnumbered guard staff due to the prison’s limited resources.
A fun little mod that actually allows you to place working landmines around your prison to help keep the rowdy prisoners in check.
Either that, or some unlucky prisoners will just end up being blown up. Loads of fun nonetheless.
Landmines can actually stun or injure prisoners instead of killing them so there’s a chance they will survive the blast. They probably won’t be too happy afterwards so you should watch out for that.
Now that you’ve managed to settle the riots and have some casualties from those landmines, you’re going to need a place to bury the unfortunate victims.
With the Cemetery mod, you’ll be able to do exactly that.
You can place your very own cemetery on the prison premises for the deceased.
Here they can be visited by loved ones and given flowers.
This also opens up new jobs as prisoners can now help out from building coffins to digging up graves. New reform programs are also available for those interested.
There are even new grants available including setting up your own prison morgue.
8. Consuela the Janitor
Now that you’ve successfully integrated a cemetery into your prison, suddenly things are starting to look a bit grim.
Let’s take a break from the seriousness of Prison Architect and have a little fun.
Because as you probably know by now, modding makes anything possible.
If you’re a fan of Family Guy then you can probably tell where this is going.
Consuela the Janitor is a fun little mod that replaces all janitors with Consuela. Yes, that means you’ll have multiple Consuelas running around the prison to keep it clean.
7. Sarcastic Popups Mod
Another fun little mod, Sarcastic Popups doesn’t do a whole lot to the game.
It just aims to give you a good laugh every once in a while, and does that pretty well.
All it does is adds new sarcastic popups that poke fun at basic facts of prison life.
Giving examples would probably spoil the fun so it’s best to check it out yourself.
6. Road Sensors
Now back to the more serious stuff – road sensors.
Why would you need road sensors you ask? Well the answer is simple.
You’re already understaffed, and with tons of things going on in your prison along with everything that needs improvement why worry about opening road gates?
The solution is simple: the Road Sensors mod allows you to place sensors that detect when vehicles are present.
You won’t have to rely on guards constantly being at the gate just to open it for incoming vehicles anymore.
Even when there aren’t any guards present, the gates will open as soon as the sensors detect a vehicle.
5. Umbrella Corporation
Based on the popular Resident Evil series of games and films, the Umbrella Corporation mod gives Prison Architect a whole new look.
Though there aren’t any zombies, you now find yourself in a Raccoon City prison along with other survivors.
Guard sprites are updated with Raccoon City Police uniforms, along with new vehicles, objects, grants, and an updated UI to explore.
If you’re a fan of anything RE, you’re going to want to check this out.
If you’re looking for even more of a visual overhaul for a completely fresh Prison Architect experience, I recommend trying out the Gulag mod by ApolloLV.
This mod takes you to the barren lands of Soviet Russia.
Build your own labor camp under the rule of Stalin, as this mod changes the appearance of virtually everything in the game.
Sounds, sprites, and inmate details are updated to make for an even more engaging experience.
Even just exploring what the different prisoners are doing time for is interesting in itself.
Oh and of course, the armed guards now carry AK47’s.
3. Half Life 2 – Combine Architect Reloaded
If you’re looking for more of a fantasy feel, this Half Life 2 mod may be exactly what you’re looking for.
Changing the game completely, this mod takes you to The Combine.
You’ll have access to new units including Overwatch Commanders, Combine Paramedics, and Stalkers.
There are also a number of new wardens based from Half Life 2 like Dr. Wallace Breen and Judith Mossman. If you’re a fan of the Half Life games you will absolutely enjoy this mod.
2. Fallout Vault
If you’re more of a Fallout fan then I have something for you too.
The Fallout Vault mod let’s you watch over the vault dwellers as the overseer, as in the game.
You’re tasked with keeping them safe and healthy.
Retexturing the entire game, vault dwellers appear in the signature blue suits seen in the Fallout series.
The UI and sounds make the game look and feel like a Fallout game, so if you’re a fan of the series check this out. Get started with your underground vault so the vault dwellers can live in peace!
1. Star Wars – Imperial Architect
Last is one the most popular reskin mods ever – the Star Wars Imperial Architect mod.
Everyone’s a fan of Stars Wars right?
Well look no further because this one takes you a galaxy far, far away.
The Imperial Forces have captured some rebels and are keeping them in your prison.
Now it’s your task to make sure the storm troopers are equipped to keep the prison organized to avoid another rebellion.
Included as well are droids to keep the prison clean, as well as different alien species from the Star Wars universe to keep your prison busy.