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Spider Solitaire (Windows, 2007)

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Title Screen

Spider Solitaire

Developers: Oberon Media, Microsoft
Publisher: Microsoft
Platform: Windows
Released internationally: January 30, 2007

DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.

The killer app in Microsoft Plus! 98 if you didn't like golf, marbles, image editors, CD players or McAfee. This page documents the 2007 version of Spider Solitaire included with Windows Vista and 7.

Debug Menu


Like 2007 versions of Solitaire, FreeCell, and Minesweeper, this game has an internal g_debugEnabled variable. As well as the block & pause modes and logging as described on the Solitaire page, setting it to a non-zero value enables this debug menu.

Amongst the obvious options:

  • Show Idle Tip - Shows a hint if you leave the cursor stationary on a card for a short period.
  • Delete Settings - Deletes the SpiderSolitaireSettings.xml file from "%LocalAppData%\Microsoft Games\Spider Solitaire".
  • Toggle Debug Keys - Enables the semi-colon key which lets the game play the next move without dealing another row of cards, and the apostraphe key which does the same allowing dealing of cards.
  • Toggle Hint Rankings Display, Toggle Allow Any Move and Toggle Dialogs - These options have had their code removed. Execution falls through to the Game menu's Change Appearance option and sets the cards to the Large Print deck.

Solver Debugging


Running the executable with the -solverdebug argument adds a third part to the status bar of the following format:

Solver: SC=?,MD=?,MT=?,PM=?(A=?)(Sx[y]->Sz[w]...)

PM is the number of possible moves, and the Sx[y]->Sz[w] portion are the possible moves (card y on stack x can be placed on card w on stack z). The other values are currently unknown.

This is also present in Solitaire.

XInput Support

In the Vista/7 version, an interesting feature that isn't documented anywhere (Help Menu-wise) is XInput (gamepad) support – if the game detects an Xbox 360 controller plugged into a USB port, the P1 corner on the controller will light up, signifying the controller can be used. Possibly undocumented because Microsoft thought people were too used to the traditional controls, and a gamepad wouldn't work for a card game. It's a neat little feature, nonetheless.


Button Effect
Left analog stick/D-Pad/Shoulder Buttons/Triggers Moves the cursor. Oddly, they can also be used to navigate the menu bar.
B/Back Undoes the previous move.
A/X Selects the card the cursor is on. Moving the cursor onto another card and pressing A or X again moves the previous card onto the stack. Double-tapping either button moves a card to the home stack.
Y/Start Opens the Game Menu.