This game had always topped the front page during v2.0 in 2016 and early 2017, with an average of 10,000-20,000 or even 50,000 players daily despite being rarely updated. Currently, in 2020 the game frequently reaches the top page and more frequently close to it.
It had predictably dropped since Jailbreak was released, which drew in many disgruntled Prison Life players with the promise of updates. Prison Life has dropped to about half of the number of active players it used to have.
However, the creator of the game, Aesthetical, has explained that he has been in University since 2017, so he does not have much time to develop the game as other game creators may have themselves. Despite this, though he did in the Prison Life game description in recent months state he has been getting additional time off which he can use to further the develop the game and further stated he will announce when the next project comes for the game.
Prison Life's last major update was on March 7, 2019. The update changes all of the sounds in the game, except for the prison door opening. It has lost a lot of popularity because of a more innovative and modernized prison-escape game released, known as Jailbreak. However, its player base is only slightly shrinking. The update also fixed a bug where you could not steer cars. It also enabled driving on mobile devices.
There is an unreleased Gamepass of Prison life called the "Mafia access". This pass is meant to be used by criminals since the description is "Join the rebellion against the prison!". This Gamepass grants you the FN-FAL Battle rifle, Bulletproof Vest [150 HP], and C4 explosives. It is unknown about the release date of this Gamepass. Aesthetical also tweeted a picture of the FN-FAL Battle rifle in his Twitter.
In the game, there are three teams, and each team has a different goal. The goals are as following:
Playing as a prisoner, the player's goal is to escape the prison. There are many ways, from brute force to sneaking out of their cell at night. The player can also kill all guards they see if they have obtained a gun; the player can get one in the armory or from a dead guard, which always drop.
It is better for the player to kill guards as a prisoner because the guards will not be able to handcuff them (unless they're in the armory area, if it's lights out, or any other area, depending on the time and place). The player can also kill the criminals that are raiding the prison. Being a prisoner while having the Riot Police game pass also gains access to the game pass armory, though the riot shield and kevlar armor are inaccessible.
Note/Tip: If you reset your character before the handcuff timer goes to 0 then you can skip the 10 seconds wait time.
Playing as a Guard, the player's job is to prevent prisoners from escaping and killing the player, their colleagues, or other prisoners when necessary. They also arrest the escaped prisoners, which are known as "Criminals". Note that prisoners cannot be handcuffed when they are in an area where they can be, even if they attack you.
Killing 3 unarmed prisoners or criminals will cause the player to turn into a prisoner and will not let them rejoin the Guards team. This can get very annoying when unarmed criminals and prisoners get caught in crossfire and a prisoner has not had a weapon out recently but you know they have a weapon. The player can also make their job easier if they purchase the Riot Police Gamepass. There can be only up to 8 players at a time being a Guard. Trying to click "Kick a Random Player" will not do anything -- it is a small harmless joke the creator decided to install to trick gullible players. There are also some false guards that help other prisoners escape or get into the armory.
This team can be connected to the "Prisoner" team. Unlike the other 2 teams, you cannot select this one as an option when entering a server. To become a criminal, prisoners have to escape or touch the criminal spawns as a Guard. As a criminal, you can either shoot guards without getting arrested, shoot prisoners or free prisoners. But be careful, some prisoners might act with hostility towards you even though you may haven’t caused any harm.
If you die as a criminal, your team status won’t be affected regardless of the killer was either a guard, prisoner or even a fellow criminal (though the last case is only possible via punching). However, you will get sent back to prison as a “prisoner” if you manage to get arrested. If you have the Riot Police game pass, the weapons in the armoury are still accessible, though it is incredibly risky to try to enter the armoury as a criminal.
Tip: Resetting when escaping as a prisoner will spawn you at the criminal base. You can also reset when tased to avoid being arrested.
A blue bar at the bottom of the screen shows your stamina level. Without stamina, you are not able to jump at all, including the ability to get off of a seat or bench. All players can jump 10 times before the stamina bar is depleted.
There are car spawns located at multiple locations, including the Warehouse and the garage at the Prison. Car spawns at the Prison, in particular, spawn police cars. They have sirens that can be switched on and off. All cars are immune against bullets, but it does not prevent a player from shooting another (if both players are inside the car).
Riot Police Gamepass
This game pass grants access to all riot police-related items. When players without this game pass attempt to pick up weapons or clothing in the riot police category, the server offers for the player to purchase the gamepass on the spot, but can't grant the gamepass items until it's purchased. Criminals and Prisoners cannot pick up Riot Shield and Kevlar Armor even if they have the game pass, mainly to prevent the criminals or prisoners from becoming overpowered, or to look like the police officers with the gear. However, they can still pick up the ski mask, helmet and M4A1.
There is a small variety of tools available to each team. However, the same tool can't be picked up again if a player already has the same tool in their inventory. Some tools are guard exclusive and others are prisoner/criminal exclusive. No team can have all tools at the same time.
This is not a weapon but it does boost you. You can find this in the vending machine. In the right vending machine there is a chance to find a chocolate bar in the dispenser. When eaten it makes you crawl faster than normal.
The hammer can be obtained below a bench in the yard. It is commonly used to break the toilet and escape through the sewers. Guards cannot obtain it since they can access all parts of the prison by default. It can also be used by prisoners or criminals as a melee weapon, though it is risky since it is more visible than crude knives.
The crude knife can be found in 2 locations: the white bleachers and below one of the 4 tables in a corner. The Guards cannot obtain it since they already have access to guns in the armoury. It is a melee weapon.
The M9 is the default and only pistol every guard is given when spawned. It is the weakest gun, but most common when used upon prisoners. It can be obtained by prisoners and criminals, either by killing guards or by breaking into the armoury. You can shoot 15 times before re-loading.
The Remington is a shotgun that is very powerful at close range, therefore it is possible to die in 1 shot if you get close enough to the shooter. However, it has a slower firing rate than pistols and it becomes more inaccurate at longer ranges. It is located at both the prison armory where the Guards spawn and the warehouse where the Criminals spawn. You can shoot 6 times before re-loading.
The M4A1 is an automatic rifle that only players with the Riot Police game pass can access. It is the (arguably) most powerful gun in the game given its very high rate of fire and accuracy. You can shoot 30 times before re-loading.
The Riot Shield is an item that is locked with the Riot Shield Gamepass. When equipped, the user can click anywhere on the screen and the shield will switch positions to the left. Another item can be equipped and the Riot Shield will still be visible. The Riot Shield blocks damage, but only from the left and the front (partially). It is often debated if the shield is overpowered, mostly due to the fact that that the user with the shield is often given a huge advantage.
The AK-47 is an automatic rifle that is located at the Warehouse where the Criminals spawn. Although meant to be used by Criminals, Guards can also pick up one with or without the Riot Police gamepass. It is slightly less powerful than the M4A1 but still very powerful. You can shoot 30 times before re-loading.
The Armory is the Guards' spawning point. Most of the game's guns are found here. It also includes functional security cameras and a simple lounge/break room. The Armory equips the player with:
- Remington 870
- M4A1 (With the Riot Police Gamepass)
- Riot Shield (With the Riot Police Gamepass, Guards only)
- Kevlar Armor (+50 health) (With the Riot Police Gamepass, Guards only)
- SWAT Helmet (With the Riot Police Gamepass)
- Ski Mask (With the Riot Police Gamepass)
- Police Cap (With the Riot Police Gamepass)
The handcuffs are a tool that Guards spawn with by default. It allows guards to arrest Prisoners (at locations they shouldn't be at) and Criminals (anywhere), but they are very short-range and have a 15-second cooldown between each arrest. It cannot be dropped.
The taser is a tool that Guards spawn with by default. It is a ranged weapon that can be used to stun prisoners or criminals to the ground for 5 seconds, although it has to be reloaded each time after firing and has a limited range of up to around 200 studs. It cannot be dropped.
A keycard is a tool dropped as a result of a guard's death, though it only has a low chance of dropping, which can be used by prisoners or criminals, allowing them to have access to every door in and out of the prison. They can also be picked up by guards, but mainly to deny the prisoners or criminals easy access. Guards can only pick up one keycard per life.
Removed/Exploit only periphials/items
There is some removed and 'only available through exploit' items in Prison Life.
Melee weapon, it looks like a sharpened stick. This might be an early version of the Crude Knife.
A simple gear that "zooms" your view. It doesn't do any damage and has no animations.
Only available with exploits. However, you cannot get the weapon, because it says you already have it, despite not having it. However, in the Police Room, there is a gun called "nil", and when you click it, it does not appear in the inventory. The "nil" is believed to be the sniper rifle.
There have been rumors that the Sniper Rifle is part of an upcoming gamepass that is yet to be revealed, but this hasn't been confirmed yet. It is behind a window with a notice saying 'Coming Soon'.
The Neutral Team is where the player chooses the team but it can be accessed by switching teams but playable with exploits, as you can kill anyone if you bypass the team choosing screen. It can also remove the pause menu from the Roblox client (this bug is only server-side) and the player has to find another way out in trying to exit out of the game.
WarehouseThe warehouse is the criminal spawn point. It includes a car spawn and a warehouse with 2 weapons: the Remington 870 and AK-47. Guards can travel to the Warehouse to stage police raids and take AK-47s as an alternative to the Riot Police game pass. There are two other warehouses beside the main warehouse, but they are inaccessible as of the present time. However, the two other warehouses can be accessed by glitching, even though there is nothing inside of both of them.
The prison is the subject of Prison Life, and most player activity takes place here. It is situated at the corner of the map and includes the main building, yard, armory, back lawn, parking lot, walls and a garage with police car spawns.
The Jail Block is the room that contains the prison cells. Inside the prison cells are beds, a table and a chair, sinks, and toilets, which you can break using the hammer to escape through the sewers. Inmates can get handcuffed there at any time of the day, except during Breakfast and Lockdown.
Meals spawn there during Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner, you can pick up a tray and sit at the tables and eat. There are vending machines with "Out of order" on it. However, when the server you joined is new, potato chips, milk, and other stuff spawn there, and you can eat them. Inmates can be handcuffed there during Yard time, Lockdown, and Lights out.
It is the main hallway in the prison, and it has entrances to the yard, guard room, cafeteria, and jail block. Inmates can only get handcuffed there during Lights out.
The yard contains an athletics area, a few bleachers, tables near the door to the yard, an entrance to a tower, a hammer and a crude knife. The hammer is located under a bench at the athletics area, and the knife is located on the white bleachers on the side of the yard. It is also located under one of the tables next to the yard door, you need to crawl and get into the first-person mode to get it. Inmates can get handcuffed here any time except during Yard time and Free-time.
ArmoryThe armory is the place where guards spawn. It contains an M9, a Remington 870, a police hat, an M4A1, a riot shield, a SWAT helmet, a ski mask and SWAT armour. Only the M9, Remington 870 and police hat can be taken without having the Riot Police game pass. It also has a break room and a surveillance room where you can watch the inmates using the security cameras. Inmates can be handcuffed at any time here since it is a restricted area.
Walls and Gate
The prison is surrounded by tall concrete walls with roofed towers located in between, and there's a single fence gate at the front that can only be opened by guards or others with key cards (or camera glitching). Criminals can get inside via stolen key cards at the gate or via the leaning tree, and prisoners can escape by climbing ladders at certain locations. It is also a restricted area, so prisoners can be arrested there at all times.
There are a few skyscrapers, houses, trees, empty shops, car spawns and roads scattered throughout the map, with many providing hiding locations for criminals on the run, although not usually used. Criminals are rarely chased into a building.
Cars spinning out of control after leaving the driver's seat
When leaving the driver's seat, there is a chance to stuck in the ground or spin out of control. Aesthetical tried to fix this on May 30, 2017, but the glitch is still in the game.
This is the most annoying form of glitching. It is considered cheating. It is considered annoying for guards, as criminals/prisoners can escape and hide easily. This can also be used to gain access to the room with the windows (see Glitch Room) near the garage (There are some comfy seats and flying mirrors that don't work in there).
This is caused by being arrested and rapidly clicking guns. This cannot work on keycards. However, they can now work on hammers and knives due to them being permanent.
Permanent hammer and crude knife
Before this glitch happened, they would reappear sometime after they were taken. It is unknown if this was intended or not.
Falling out of cells
Prisoners have been reported falling under cells at night, after Aesthetical fixed the server memory issue on May 30, 2017. This was because of the server memory issue breaking the cell assign script.
Server time stuck to 99:00AM
This is probably caused by the time clock experiencing an integer overflow.
When you kill a criminal, the game can sometimes think you're killing innocent inmates and proceed to give you warnings. This has been found to be actually when you kill a criminal that isn't brandishing a weapon right after they escape the prison, as the innocent inmate script is the exact same with criminals.
Legal room glitch
A prisoner wielding a gun in legal rooms such as the prison, cannot be arrested. It is unknown why this happens.
Before v2.0, the game was criticized for having abusive cops in the game, buggy cars, bad weapons, and also for the poor design. It later turned over to the exploiters for appearing in most servers destroying the game.
Some days after Jailbreak released in public BETA testing, a lot of people falsely criticized Prison Life for being a copy of Jailbreak. Some people have also criticized Prison Life for "copying" Redwood Prison. Prison Life has also been criticised because of the lack of activities when players escape. Players who are on mobile cannot crawl, punch, and run, which has also lead to criticism from mobile players. There is also an exploiter issue in the game itself as exploiters are in almost every server in the game.
- 6:01am - 8:00am: Breakfast
- 8:01am - 12:00am: Yard Time
- 12:01am - 2:00pm: Lunch
- 2:01pm - 6:00pm: Free Time
- 6:01pm - 9:00pm: Dinner
- 9:01pm - 10:00pm: Lockdown
- 10:01pm - 6:00am: Lights out