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Let’s Talk Prisons & Star Citizen 3.9.0

Welcome to some more Star Citizen I wanted to talk more about The Prison Gameplay Loop in Alpha 3.9, what it aims to do and how it works in a bit more detail.

I released a video yesterday with a full gameplay loop and escape from prison that if you don’t mind spoilers it’s worth watching after this video.

What are prisons for in Star Citizen

Take players out of the “main” circulation for a while – A Time Out for a mixture of risky OR potentially unwanted behavior. Don’t want pad rammers? Make it prohibitive and expensive to do that… and maybe don’t punish the party being rammed.

Prisons also Punish Players with risk & actual consequences for potentially more rewarding payouts.

It provides an area for more Gameplay and Missions.

It also gives a sense of justice for players that have been wronged as well as a sense of protection and oversight.

If you commit certain crimes you are in danger of going to prison, in the 3.9.0 PTU if you then die near security forces (this will include all types of bounty hunters and lawful players I believe in the future too).. BUT you’ll wind up in prison…

Prison sentences are per appropriate crime… this can range from 15 mins to hours and that stacks up for sentences once all of the crimes are tallied up I can have 11 or more hours on my record for doing a single criminal mission..

Also your sentence can have more added to it in Prison, if you shank a player or try to escape for example. To get out of Prison there are 3 major ways…


Currently time will tick down while you are logged ON or OFF… originally devs had said they wanted you logged on BUT I think logged off is fine as well imo.


Merits can be earned by you going into the Official Mines at Klesher and using your mining tool (4) and then when you return to the prison hub depositing your mineables. This will basically give you time off your sentence BUT eventually merits that you earn from this can be used in other ways, to buy food, drink, equipment and medi/oxygen pens…

With waiting or mining you can then go to the Release Area respawn out of prison.

There is however another way!


Currently there is 1 escape route currently working as far as I am aware in the (PTU anyway) and it’s not through the main mines… it’s via a broken fan in the main prion hub.

First time you do it it’s going to take you a while to learn the route. Maybe a couple of hours trying, falling and sometimes dying. I think I can run it in around 8-10 mins now after doing it fully once. There are people that speed run it in 5 mins. That’s only out of the Prison itself tho and not to safety.

You’ll want to follow the blue plants and blue lights to find the right route… Lots of Jumps… and it’s more of a I hope the game registers my jump and I don’t slide or rubber band off a cliff.

A true Escape is only really possible if you have a friend with a ship to pick you up OR

If you are avoiding SPOILERS skip a minute or so…

Also There is an office near the exit of this escape route that has blue light, it has the security codes for vehicles garages just outside of the facility, visible there, these will also give you a little area to rest and get oxygen back as well as a vehicle to get to somewhere safer… drive it to an outpost and spawn a ship…

Klesher has gun turrets that will shoot trespassing ships so be aware of that.

AND even when you are off Aberdeen as a prisoner, then someone will have to give you a cryptokey OR insert one for you in a Security Depot like SPK so that you can hack down your criminal rating AS you will not have access to your inventory until you have done this AND if you die for any reason before that’s done YOU ARE BACK TO PRISON BOYO.

Which is very possible BECAUSE Player Bounty Hunters will also be after you..

Players can wait outside Klesher ready to get those bounties, I saw morphologis saying that it may make the area the new jump town… BUT that would need there to be lots of ways to make money as a criminal too to get those criminals in there AND if it’s TOO hard to escape, prisoners will just choose to use the merit system and mine OR jump server to a less populated one.

In the future they will have more escape routes, thru places like the mines… some people suggested there were other escape routes already BUT all I am aware of is the 1 thru the main prison hub broken fan.

The problem with escaping in the PTU and 3.9 build of Star Citizen is jankiness….

The low gravity of Klesher mixed with the mantling points sometimes not snapping correctly, jumps not registering and low frame rates all together make me feel like I am unstable ice skates and I would also glitch into walls and get stuck at times.

With this working as intended then it would be much more satisfying…

Other inmates… they are currently useless as companions or only threats… you can’t really help each other unless one of them has a ship coming to pick them up.

Shanking someone could earn you a hefty addition to your sentence tho.

You could potentially mine rocks a bit faster in the mines with a duo tho…

Both in the mines and the escape route there are Stashes that you can find with Shanks, Food, Water & even medipens.

In the Mines there are Oxygen Outposts which will slowly fill with oxygen and you can dispense it to your suit.

When there is a risk of your character perm dying… you certainly wouldn’t want a janky/buggy experience. At the moment it’s frustrating to have to start again trying to escape but there is no real punishment for failing and trying again.

I’d like to see a little bit of jump forgiveness… like in Doom Eternal. I mash the space bar to make sure I jump. Also there is a lot clipping into terrain, that is a little immersion breaking.

Prisons help Expand Outlaw Gameplay And try to get players Avoiding Detection for crimes by Disabling Comm Arrays (There are more in 3.9 all around the Stanton System to give coverage) They only give you a minor amount of criminality disabling them… also you could get someone else to do it xD

There is an argument that Prisons Should Not Be Fun gameplay… and that is kind of a fair point… maybe not FUN… BUT it shouldn’t be Boring and there needs to be gameplay and a pay off for not just waiting. Also with the escape some players love jumping puzzles and that kind of escape gameplay. Whatever it is a gamified system and serves a purpose that will expand in time.

Future Prison Gameplay

Missions – At the moment there is Hunting Fugitives for Bounty Hunters BUT we will also see Hunt Problem Prisoners for inmates to take as missions for additional merits.

Expect to see missions to Smuggle things in or out of prisons, protect someone or take them out. For lawful players missions to restock the prison or transport mineables out of the prison.

Selling Merits & Transfer of Merits will also be a thing so you can farm merits all day in the mines if that’s your thing and sell them to players that want to get out legit!

There is a boxing ring in the mine area that will be for that very purpose… bets on fights, fighting there yourself.

My Thoughts

I actually think there should be at least a chance if you “die” at all while having an appropriate criminal rating and not having access to an ICU… that you will spawn in Prison… because the idea there is someone finds you and gets you healed in a hospital.

I suppose GrimHex would be ok with you… but there will be some systems that don’t have an Outlaw LZ… AND some that don’t have any appropriate respawn areas and you’ll have to be taken to another system for spawns in the future.

Please bear in mind that this was for Alpha 3.9.0 q patch on the Wave 2 PTU… the gameplay will get bug fixes and tweaks that will address most of my issues with the gameplay. Clean up the jankiness, climbing points, clipping and random slipping then I think it will be significantly more fun… the quest then becomes will there always be static escape routes in the mines OR various changing ones eventually… if you had to work out some info before attempting an escape I think that would improve this type of gameplay a lot.

But yes more escape routes… would be great!

I like what Prison Gameplay is trying to accomplish AND I don’t want to go to Star Citizen Prison! I am for the most part a lawful economy player by nature anyway.

It’s a good step in the right direction that’s for sure.