- Estimated achievement difficulty: 5/10 [Achievement Difficulty Rating]
- Offline: 31 
- Online: 9 
- Approximate amount of time to 1000: 80+ hours* [Estimated Time to 100%]
- Minimum number of playthroughs needed: Multiple of numerous puzzles
- Missable achievements: None
- Does difficulty affect achievements: No. You can play all of the game types on the easiest difficulty for all of the achievements
- Unobtainable/glitched achievements: None
- Extra equipment needed: None
- DLC: Title Update
- Difficulty: 3/10 with a solver and video guides; 8/10 without [and highly skill dependent]
- Time to 850: 20-30 hours with a solver, 100-150 hours without, but either method will need to be done over the course of approximately 20-30 real-time days [no date manipulation is possible]
- Unobtainable: None [but be aware of the extremely time-sensitive nature of "Expert Hunter," "One with the Dash," and especially "Dragonslayer," which is only obtainable a couple times each year]
Welcome to Microsoft Solitaire Collection, a free game for Windows 10 and one of the many Microsoft Casual Games out there. It has quite a bit of content: there are five game types - Klondike (classic Solitaire), Spider Solitaire, FreeCell, Pyramid, and TriPeaks - as well as the Star Club, which has many collections of different challenges for each of the five game types, and then Daily Challenge mode, which is a standard feature of all of the Microsoft Casual Games. There is a lot to do and enjoy if you're a fan of Solitaire games, especially for a free game. As far as achievements go, each of the five game types has two miscellaneous achievements and then two achievements for 10 and 100 games/boards completed, there are two achievements tied to completing challenges in the Star Club, and a bunch of achievements related to Daily Challenges that are standard with all of the Microsoft Casual Games. The Daily Challenges in this game are way slower than other casual games, so expect to put in quite a bit of time for this completion. Let's get started with the most efficient route possible.
As mentioned in the intro, there are five game types, and each one has two miscellaneous achievements, an achievement for 10 wins/boards, and one for 100 wins/boards. Unfortunately, none of the wins/boards you achieve during Star Club challenges or Daily Challenges count towards these achievements, meaning at some point you're going to have to grind out wins/boards in each of the five game types. These are completely independent of one another and the rest of the steps below, so feel free to do them whenever you have time. One other important thing to note is that difficulty does not matter for any of these achievements, so feel free to play on the easiest difficulty to make games as fast as possible.
This is a completely separate section of the app where you can choose from many different collections of challenges to try to complete. You'll have to complete all challenges in an entire collection to earn both achievements, which will take a decent amount of time but isn't difficult. You're looking at at least a few hours to complete a whole collection, which will unlock the related two achievements for 70.
Daily Challenges are a separate game mode where five challenges, one per game type, are offered up each day, ranging in difficulty from easy to expert. Each challenge you complete awards you coins, and earning coins in each month unlocks bronze, silver, gold, and diamond badges. You'll need 12 bronze badges, 10 silver, 8 gold, and 1 diamond, plus you'll have to do every challenge in a single month. This will by far be the biggest time sink in this game, as it takes a while to do the challenges even when they're easy, and you need a lot of coins to earn the badges. The majority of your time spent with this game is going to be doing daily challenges.
One way to speed this up is to upgrade to Premium. For $2.00, you get double the coins in Daily Challenge mode and all ads removed. I highly recommend upgrading, as it will save you at least 20 hours of grinding daily challenges to unlock all the required badges, but it comes down to how much you value your time versus your money, and whether or not you think you'll actually enjoy doing all the daily challenges or not. One other important aspect of the Premium upgrade is that your Windows 10 device only stores the expiration date of your upgrade, not the date you bought it. Because of this, if you upgrade to Premium on September 1st, 2017, and your Premium expires on October 1st, 2017, all your device looks at is if it's before or after October 1st, 2017. This means when you change your date to past months to earn daily challenge badges, you will still get double coins for the Premium upgrade. This means a one month Premium upgrade gives you essentially an unending Premium bonus, making it even more worth it.
Earning all the required badges and completing all related achievements will earn you the 9 online achievements for 250.
Final Miscellaneous Mop Up
There are some general miscellaneous achievements, but they should all unlock by the time you finish everything else. If you still have any achievements left at this point, consult the guide for the relevant achievement solution.
This title update brings with it two major additions to the base game: Events mode, and experience/leveling for each game type. As far as achievements, there are a bunch more game-specific miscellaneous achievements, many related to leveling up a lot in each game mode, a couple more related to the existing Daily Challenges mode, and then a bunch related to the new Events mode.
Events is the main new mode and will need to be your primary focus for completing this title update. The reason is that almost every achievement tied to Events mode is only progressed during a live event (i.e. on the day of the event). As a result, unlike Daily Challenges, changing the date on your device to access earlier/future Events doesn't help. You're completely at the mercy of what Event is live each day, and you'll need to commit time every day to finish each Event if you want this completion in a month or less. The Events themselves consist of a number of challenges, which can vary widely (as little as 5 or 7, or as high as in the 30s). These challenges are the exact same format as Daily Challenges, with the same variety in difficulty level, so if you're familiar with Daily Challenges, the Events challenges will be essentially the same.
Because you're completely at the mercy of whatever Event challenges are live on a particular day, it's extremely important to be aware of certain achievements tied to this mode, as you won't have many opportunities to obtain them.
- The first, and most time-sensitive/rarest, is "Dragonslayer." This achievement tasks you with earning a 10,000 point Events bracelet (i.e. score at least 10,000 points in a single Event). This requires the Event to have enough challenges to reach that point threshold. As of right now, there are only two known dates in an entire year where this is possible: December 28th and May 22nd. As a result, be sure to keep a very close eye on the Events mode calendar so that you can get this achievement during one of the very few days each year it is actually available.
- The next most time-sensitive achievement in this mode is "One with the Dash." This achievement requires you to complete an Expert Events challenge for each game mode in under 5 minutes (i.e. when an expert Klondike Events challenge is live, complete it in under 5 minutes, and then the same for the other four game types). Expert Events challenges aren't exactly common (you'll be lucky to see an expert challenge for all five game types in less than a few weeks), and on top of that, you can't retry Events challenges, and time spent retrying, undoing, etc., all contributes to the 5 minutes. This means that you get a single attempt at every expert Events challenge to try to complete it in under 5 minutes to get the associated bracelet. Refer to the achievement solution and make it a point to focus on these bracelets each time an expert Events challenge is live that day.
- "Expert Hunter" also requires you to have a live expert Events challenge on a given day, so make sure that when you see one, you take advantage of its presence to unlock this achievement. Refer to its solution for more information.
The remainder of this title update is pretty straightforward. Refer to the achievement guide for tips on all of the miscellaneous achievements, keep an eye on for double XP on the various game types to speed up leveling, and refer to "Grandmaster of Bronze" for more information about leveling up enough for all related achievements, as well as a link to a solver that can drastically speed up all of the leveling that needs to be done.
Microsoft Solitaire Collection is a great collection of different card games, with lots of different challenges at your disposal to work on, not to mention it's a free game. Unfortunately the unique fun miscellaneous achievements are earned pretty easily, and then the game quickly turns into a very long grindfest of playing challenges and games over and over again to unlock the long term achievements. Even with the Premium upgrade you're looking at a solid 50 hours of just daily challenges and completing 100 games/boards in each mode. That being said, the achievements themselves aren't difficult, with only a few being a little luck based, so the completion is readily attainable as long as you're willing to put the time in. If you are, congrats on a very long but well earned completion!