Prison Architect Wiki

Armed Guards are well-trained, efficient and potentially deadly security staff members. They are tasked with maintaining prison-wide security and suppression of dangerous inmates. Armed Guards are unlocked by researching Armoury which is researched by the chief.

The most noticeable difference between an armed guard and a standard guard is the fact that the armed guards come equipped with shotguns. There are only two circumstances in which an armed guard will draw and fire their shotgun:

  1. When given direct authorisation via the Freefire emergency command.
  2. When inside a riot.
  3. When the Armed Guard's own life is in danger to the point where death appears imminent.

Armed Guards will not rely on the use of their shotgun alone. The Chief can unlock tazers which can be utilised by Armed Guards to subdue prisoners non-lethally.

Armed Guards do not conduct the same duties as normal guards. In short, they will not open doors, escort prisoners or operate surveillance equipment.

If an Armed Guard is knocked unconscious, his shotgun, jail keys and taser (if they have one) will be dropped to the ground, collectable by Prisoners.


Armed Guards also require an Armoury, an area where they can reside, rest and re-obtain any dropped weaponry. The number of Armed Guards you can hire is dependent on the number of Guard Lockers you have in your Armoury.

Armouries are where prison-authorised weaponry is stored and housed. It is therefore imperative that your armouries are secured and heavily protected. This is because prisoners, during a riot situation, will attempt to raid your armouries for firearms. If successful, this would undoubtedly spell trouble for your prison.

Skills & Combat[]

As aforementioned, armed guards don't rely on the use of their shotguns alone.

  • Tasers fired by an Armed Guard have a 70% accuracy rate as opposed to a regular guard's 60% accuracy rate. Any other ranged weapon fired by an Armed Guard, i.e. a shotgun, will have a 90% accuracy rate.
  • In a case where tasers have not yet been researched/one has already been discharged, but freefire is disabled, armed guards will resort to the simple use of their fists when attempting to subdue misbehaving inmates.
  • Armed Guards possess the ability to shout warnings at misbehaving prisoners. There is a small chance that a prisoner will adhere to this warning by desisting their misconduct and surrendering - therefore cancelling the need for use of weaponry at all.
  • Armed Guards are extremely efficient in quelling riots, of any scale. Any misbehaving prisoner(s) in close proximity to an armed guard, specifically within 4 squares, will surrender immediately after the weapon is discharged.


Armed Guards emit an aura of suppression to all nearby prisoners which causes them to think twice before starting trouble. The likelihood of a prisoner engaging in misconduct in the presence of a shotgun-wielding guard is heavily reduced.

However, suppressed prisoners will move a lot slower around your prison. They will also be disinterested in prison labour activities and reform programs. Any suppressed prisoners already undergoing a reform program will most likely fail. Furthermore, the presence of armed guards on site alone will cause the danger level of your prison to rise. It is therefore unwise to position a large number of Armed Guards around your facility - it may do more harm than good.


  • Armed Guards have a lower base health as opposed to regular guards, meaning they can be killed slightly easier.
  • Armed Guards, like most other guard types, can obtain body armour if it is unlocked.
  • Excluding standard patrols, armed guards do not conduct normal guard duties (as specified above).
  • Armed Guards that are not on patrol will simply idle in your security rooms or armouries.
  • Armed Guards will drop their firearm if they are knocked unconscious or killed or disarm them when fighting.
  • Armed Guards carry jail keys which they will also drop if they are knocked unconscious or killed.
  • Some prisoners possess the fighting ability to disarm an armed guard or steal the weapon out of their hands altogether.
  • Armed Guards will make a loud shrieking noise if they are killed. This can be a good auditory signal that one has been killed and a potential firearm is insecure and available for a prisoner to snatch.
  • Unlike regular guards, armed guards do not need to attend taser certification classes. They are already qualified for tasers when hired.
  • Armed Guards do not carry melee weapons for hand-to-hand combat.
  • Prisoners of a lower security category are more likely to adhere to an armed guard's verbal warnings.
  • Armed Guards can be moved to a location manually by the player.
  • If Staff Needs are enabled, Armed Guards will use the Staffroom to rest as opposed to the Armoury.
  • Ensure prisoners do not get their hands on a shotgun from a fallen Armed Guard. They are extremely deadly and will render essentially every enemy unconscious or dead with one shot. (This is rare since armed guards, when in extreme danger will lethally retaliate, but it’s a good point to keep in mind if something goes horribly wrong.)


  • Armed Guards were added to Prison Architect in Alpha 17.
  • They appear to carry shotgun shells on their upper torso.
  • Shotgun-shell residue can be seen on the floor after a shotgun has been fired.
  • The walls may display bullet holes which look like runny ink spots.
  • Armed Guards appear in the G.A.B.O.S campaign mission arriving in Riot Van, they are called "Armed Police" in the mission.
  • Like other staff, Armed Guards will protest if they do not receive high enough wages.