Way back in 1990, with the release of Windows 3.0, Microsoft included the free game Solitaire with every copy of the operating system. FreeCell came a year later. In-between all the productivity going on, a lot of time was wasted on Solitaire and FreeCell. According to Microsoft, at one point Solitaire was the most-used Windows program (opens in new tab), ahead of Microsoft Word and Excel. It was that big.
In 2012, Microsoft released Windows 8 and alongside it came Microsoft Solitaire Collection. As the name suggests, instead of being a single game Microsoft Solitaire Collection (opens in new tab) was a package of five games: Solitaire (in actuality a game called Klondike), Spider, FreeCell, Pyramid, and TriPeaks. Developed by Next Level Games, the package also includes daily challenges and Xbox Live profile support.
The latest version was added to Windows 10 just in time for the 25th anniversary of Microsoft Solitaire, and the collection comes pre-installed on most Windows 10. But not everyone is using Windows 10. What then? You can try to download Microsoft Solitaire Collection for your own machine.
Where to download Microsoft Solitaire Collection
While Microsoft Solitaire Collection was developed for Windows platforms, that doesn't mean that Microsoft is the only place to play. The collection has versions on Google and Apple's platforms as well, so no matter where you go, there's Solitaire to play.
- Microsoft Solitaire Collection for Windows 10 and Xbox One: Microsoft Store (opens in new tab)
- Microsoft Solitaire Collection for Android: Google Play (opens in new tab)
- Microsoft Solitaire Collection for iOS: iOS App Store (opens in new tab)
It's worth noting that every version of Microsoft Solitaire Collection is free to download — even on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store, there's no price to entry. Instead, Microsoft offers up other alternative monetization schemes. Yes, even on Windows 10, which already has the collection installed.
What you can do with Microsoft Solitaire Collection
With Microsoft Solitaire Collection, you can play Solitaire, Spider, FreeCell, Pyramid, and TriPeaks. There's also a progression system, where you gain levels and experience in each game the more you play it. The levels unlock player titles and badges, or new card backs. The collection also has daily challenges that push you to try each game and achieve a certain score or suit of cards.
The collection also offers timed events on a regular basis, which are similar to the challenges and focus players on playing a specific game for a few days. Completing the various event objectives gives enhanced experience, helping you gain more levels and titles.
Microsoft Solitaire Collection is free to download, but it's not entirely free on any platform. There are video ads that need to be watched if you want to keep playing. If you want to get rid of the ads, you can pay $1.49 a month or $10 a year.
Jumping up to the Premium tier gives you bonuses in TriPeaks and Pyramid and double coins for completing daily challenges. Despite signing in with Xbox Live on all platforms, the Premium subscription doesn't work across platforms: you'll need a Premium sub on every platform you play.