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Game modes

The game modes

There are two game modes in Papers, Please. Story mode is available from the start, and endless mode is unlocked after reaching one of the twenty endings in the former.

Story modeEdit

Story mode consists of a 31-day campaign, with 20 different endings. The story is that an unnamed male Arstotzkan is chosen via a job lottery ( aka October lottery) to work as a border inspector. He will have to earn enough money to cover rent, food and heating bills each day, and medicine ( if needed) in order to keep his family healthy.

In addition to taking care of his family, he will soon have to make some tough choices, as a revolution is stirring in Arstotzka, under the careful planning of a mysterious organization. (aka Ezic)

Each day, the inspector will encounter a number of randomized generic entrants as well as scripted events, such as entrants with unique dialog, documents or items. The inspector's daily salary is based on performance. Each entrant that is handled according to immigration protocol is worth 5 credits; failing to follow regulations will lead to a citation.

Easy modeEdit

Story mode can be played with easy mode set on in the preferences. This will give the inspector extra 20 credits at the end of each day but does not have any other effect on the game. The daily bonus is called easy mode crutch in the end-of-day screen.

Endless modeEdit

Endless mode allows you to play one of three game types with an endless flow of procedurally-generated entrants: Timed, Perfection, or Endurance. Each game type has a different scoring system. You can also choose from four different rule sets for any game type.

Endless mode is unlocked by entering a five-digit code, which is unlocked after reaching ending 20 in story mode. The code is 62131, and it is shared among all copies of the game and is not generated separately for each player or playthrough.

Endless mode can be seen as the semi-epilogue to story mode, specifically ending 20, since ending 20 says to report for return to duty on January 1st, 1983, and endless mode will always be on or after this date.

Endless game modesEdit

Name Challenge Details
Timed Process as many travelers as possible in 10 minutes
  • +1 point for each correctly processed entrant.
  • +5 seconds and +1 point for each detained entrant.
  • –30 seconds for each incorrectly processed entrant.
Perfection Game over at first citation. Earn dwindling points.
  • +10 points for each correctly processed entrant in the first minute, one less point for each minute that passes until you get +1 point per entrant, in which the points per properly processed entrant will not lower any more.
  • Receiving a citation ends the game.
Endurance Play until balance goes negative. Avoid penalties.
  • +1 point for each correctly processed entrant.
  • +2 points for each detained entrant.
  • –5 × n points for each incorrectly processed entrant, where n is the number of citations received.
  • Falling below 0 points ends the game.

Rule setsEdit

A rule set determines which border checkpoint rules are in effect and which documents are required for entrants. All four rule sets are available for all three game types in the endless mode.

Icon Features in use Rules in effect Documents in use
Endless 1
  • Entrant must have valid passport
  • All documents must be current
  • No weapons or contraband
  • Arstotzkan citizens must have an ID card
  • Foreigners require an entry permit
  • Workers must have a work pass
Endless 2 as above as above, and
  • Foreigners require an ID supplement
  • Diplomats require authorization
as above, and
Endless 3 as above, and as above, and
  • Asylum-seekers must have a grant
  • Entrants must have a polio vaccine certification
as above, and
Endless 4 as above as above, but
  • Foreigners require an access permit
  • Entry permits and ID supplements are not valid (not in the rulebook)
as above, but

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