Papers, Please

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  • Don't bother with booth upgrades unless you've got tons of cash to spare. Their benefits are negligible.
  • The rule book tabs upgrade, however, is invaluable for saving time finding the exact reason why you're denying someone.
  • Try really hard to sneak in one last person just before closing time. You can then take all the time in the world processing them.
  • You don't actually have to use the time-consuming scanner on people if you know you will deny them anyway. Though using it can let you detain them instead.
  • You can save a ton of dough by trading off between heat and food. At the end of the first day, deselect food to put that 20 bucks back in your pocket. Turn off the heat for the next day, back and forth, etc, etc. There weren't any obvious downsides, you can do this for most of the game.
  • Keep your desk organized! You'll soon be dealing with several layers of paperwork per applicant and needing to sift through the rulebook, newspaper, transcript, etc. can be a nightmare if you don't have a layout in mind before you start.
  • On top of all that, don't feel bad if you need to write things down in the real world. Sometimes the game will mention a name once, verbally, and expect you to remember it for two days.
  • There's an achievement for getting to Class 5 housing, but other than that the benefits are completely negligible. You'll save money on heat, but spend it on rent. Your family will get sick less often, but they don't get sick very often to begin with and the 5 credit cost for medicine is pretty easy to manage.