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PC Games > Strategy Games > Papers, Please > How to Play Papers, Please

How to Play Papers, Please

A helpful guide for the basic and first few days of Papers, Please.

Rocky Bytes Score
Papers, Please is Great!
Software Ranking
7th out of 35

In order to follow this guide you will need to download Papers, Please. Please click the green button below.

This is a How to Play Guide for outstanding indie game Papers, Please.

Papers, Please Tutorial

The premise of Papers, Please is that you live in a kind of Soviet country in the early 1980’s you have won the job lottery and have been selected to be the immigrations officer at the newly reopened border of your country Arstotzka.

The more people you allow to enter the country or deny access to the country to the more money you will make, you must try to make enough to keep your family fed, warm and buy them medicine should they get sick. This provides you with a moral dilemma do you rush through the security checks and make money but risk making mistakes and possibly losing your job or take your time to do things more thoroughly but perhaps not end the day with enough money to keep your family in good health? The decisions are all yours!

There are plenty more moral dilemmas to be discovered as you continue through the game but in this guide the aim is to help you with the basics but let you discover the amazing story yourself.

On your first day things are relatively simple, only allow Arstotzkans through the border, so you must check their passports and make sure all the data correlates, you need to check that the issuing city of the passport is one of the legitimate cities that do this, also check that the passport has not expired and that the photo and gender matches the person on the other side of the counter to you.

Make sure you check all of these things as it can be very easy to miss a minor detail and receive a warning, if you make too many mistakes you will be fired from your job and we can only assume the worst for your family’s health!

On the first day do not allow anyone through the border who does not hold an Arstotzkan passport.


On the second day you are allowed to start permitting people from outside of Arstotzka in to the country, you will need to be very vigilant that you check all the data again and use the rule book to make sure the issuing city of their passport is listed as an issuing city of the country they are from.

You can check for any discrepancies that you are not certain about by clicking on the red exclamation mark in the bottom right corner, then highlight the two pieces of information you want to check that are ok, if the data matches it is fine, if there is a discrepancy detected you will be given the option to interrogate them, but you should deny anyone entry who does not have completely correlating data.

On your 3rd day you will have to make sure anyone who is not an Arstotzkan citizen has a valid entry ticket, be sure to check the date on the ticket.

As the game continues the restrictions on allowing people in to the country will become even stricter, Arstotzkans will be required to show an ID card along with their passport and foreigners will need an entry permit, you must make sure the data correlates from both the passport and the entry permit along with the person them self.

As the game continues you will find due to in-game events that the security restrictions become tighter and tighter meaning you must be more vigilant than ever and also have a lot more documents to check, anyone who is not native to the country and is coming to work will need not only their passport and entry permit but also a work permit too.

You must also check that the stamps on the documents are correct and official, you can do this by bringing the rule book up from the counter top and and finding the page with all the official stamps on them.

As you go on other rules will be implemented and you will have the opportunity to interrogate and even search people, watch out for any Kolechians carrying anything dodgy!

Make sure to use the previously mentioned discrepancy checker from the bottom right corner if you are not sure about anything, even look for the tiniest details like that the picture matches or that the gender is correct, but make sure you get enough people through the border to keep your family fed, warm and not sick!

There are many questions of morals in Papers, Please such as whether to let through someone who you know is a bad person but has all the correct documents and the decisions will all affect how the game plays out for you of course these decisions are solely down to yourself but hopefully you have found this How To Play Papers, Please Guide useful to learn the basics and it will help you to dive straight in to the game without too much of a learning process.

For further information, here is a basics tutorial of Papers Please that can help you to start the game: