Well, well, well… if you are reading this, then you too are baffled by the provocative yet beautiful symphony of moves that solves the best puzzle ever created. Ever since Professor Erno Rubik designed the cube, it has been a gauge of a child’s mental prowess and creativity.
Many amateur cubers feel frustrated when they are unable to fathom the next move, let alone solve the cube.
You need to understand that no one learns it in a day, and each generation of cubers relies on the experience of the previous generations. Nearly every cuber starts by practicing a known method to solve the cube.
Using the known methods help familiarize your mind to the moves and algorithms of solving the cube. The knowledge dawns on you as you begin to see the pattern in the moves. Here is a step-by-step guide to solving a Rubik’s Cube if you are a beginner. Grab yours and have fun.
Steps to Solve a Rubik’s Cube
Step 1. Understand the construction of cube
Understanding the construction of the Rubik’s Cube is of utmost importance, as it lays the foundation of how to make moves that get you closer to solving it.
The pieces in a Rubik’s Cube determine the moves in the game. Often, you need to make a move that will bring a particular piece into a designated location. The correct location of the piece is determined by the piece itself. This is the beauty of the cube’s design.
There are 3 kinds of pieces that make up a Rubik’s Cube.
- 6 center pieces
- 8 corner pieces
- 12 edge pieces
Center pieces: The only fixed pieces in the cube are the center pieces, which have only one surface facing outward. Therefore, they determine the color of the face (or side) in which they appear.
For example, if the center piece of the face of the cube is Red, then the face must have all Red pieces to be complete. The 6 center pieces are White, Yellow, Red, Orange, Blue and Green
Edge pieces: Edge pieces are located in the middle of all the edges and have two surfaces facing outward. They contain the two colors of the respective faces in which they belong.
Corner pieces: The corner pieces are located on the eight corners of the cube. They have three surfaces facing outward, thus their surfaces represent the three colors of the respective adjacent faces of the cube.
The orientation of the center pieces is important. To solve the cube, these pairs of colors must be on opposite faces of the cube- White & Yellow, Red & Orange, and Blue & Green.
That is, if you look at the cube with the White center piece facing you and the Green center piece on the Top face, then Blue must be on the Bottom, Orange on the Right, Red on the Left and Yellow on the Back face.
If your cube doesn’t have the orientation described above, then disassemble and reassemble the Rubik’s Cube to attain the correct orientation.
Step 2. Understanding the moves of a Rubik’s Cube
These are the moves that will help you to understand the step-by-step solution.
Sides or faces of the cube
When looking at the front of the cube, the sides or faces are represented by the letter R, L, U, D, F and for Right, Left, Up, Down, Front and Back, respectively.
The movement of each face is divided into two parts: the clockwise movement and the counter-clockwise movement. Remember, each movement is a quarter turn, or a 90-degree rotation.
A clockwise turn on the right side will shift the right side up and the left side down (when looking at the cube from front). There is a simple method to understand it. The clockwise turn for any side is represented by the fact that when you are directly looking at that surface, the direction of the clockwise turn is considered.
When you are looking at the right surface directly, the clockwise movement will define the R of the right side, and when you are looking at the left face directly, the clockwise movement will define the L of the left side.
The actual letter notation represents a clockwise turn, and a lowercase ‘i’ represents a counter-clockwise (or inverse) turn. R-Ri, L-Li, U-Ui, D-Di, F-Fi and B-Bi are the pairs of movements that you will use.
Step 3. Solve the white cross
To start solving, first look for the white center piece, which usually (but not necessarily) contains the logo of the company. Now you want to move the cubes until you have a white cross, as shown above.
To make the white cross, keep a few things in mind:
- Keep the white face on the top.
- The edge pieces will make the cross.
- The colored face (other than white) of each edge piece must correspond to the color of the center piece of the face that it ends up on.
- So to make a white cross, you need to consider two faces simultaneously. One is obviously the white face, while the other is in the order of Blue, Orange, Green and Red. Remember the order.
To bring the white edge pieces on top, simply rotate any side. Only two possible outcomes would occur:
1) The white of the edge piece will align with the white center piece.
2) The remaining color of that edge piece will align with the white center piece.
To proceed, locate the first edge piece that has two sides that are blue and white. There are 12 possible locations for your white and blue edge piece. It would be, obviously, in the middle of any of the six faces.
Your edge piece can be brought to the top by simply rotating it upwards and rotate the top face (do not rotate if it is aligned) to match the color side of the edge piece with the corresponding color face.
However, if the second scenario occurs, you need to follow a different strategy.
After rotating the sides to bring the white edge piece to the top, if the position of colors on the edge piece is swapped, you can follow the rotation below to correct it. Before that, hold the cube so the edge piece that you have to reverse, is on the right face of the cube. Now follow this rotation:
Your white cross will be completed following either of the two ways mentioned above.
Step 4. Solve the white corners
While solving the white corners, keep in mind that of the 8 corner pieces, 4 will fill the corners on the top face. At least you won’t have any trouble locating the pieces that will reside on top.
If the white corner piece is already on the bottom side, check that the white surface corresponds with the top white surface. That is, the other two colors of the corner piece will align with their respective face colors (color of the center piece) when white face is on the top corner. If that is not the case, then to align the piece to its respective position on the top, rotate the bottom or down side (D or Di).
If the white corner piece is on the top side but incorrectly placed, first hold the cube so the white side is on the right surface of the top right corner piece. Now, bring it down by doing:
When the white corner pieces are at the down side corresponding to their actual position on top, hold the cube so that the corner piece is on the right side.
At this point, there are three possible arrangements of your cube:
In the first case, hold the cube so that the right surface of the bottom right piece is White. Follow the move sequence below to align it in its respective position on the top corner.
In the second case, hold the cube so that the front surface of the bottom right piece is White. Follow this sequence of moves to align the piece to its respective position on the top corner.
The third arrangement is a bit different than others, as in this case the white color is on the base of the bottom right corner piece. Note that the other two colors of the bottom right piece would be swapped.
To bring its white face up, you need follow the move sequence of case 1, but do it 3 times.
Your white corners are solved and your first layer is now complete!
Step 5. Solve the middle layer
This step involves solving the edge pieces adjacent to the center piece in the middle layer.
In this case, hold the cube so that the Yellow color face is on the top and the White face is on the bottom. Now choose a face such that it makes an inverted ‘T’. That is, the front surface of the top edge piece matches with the color of the center piece, but its top surface does not contain the yellow color. If not, rotate the topmost side to the desired combination. Use only those top edge pieces in which neither of the colors is yellow.
Now, the topmost edge piece would fit in either side of the center piece, right or left depending on the color of the top surface of the edge piece.
If the edge piece is supposed to go right or in the clockwise direction, follow these moves:
If the edge piece is supposed to go left or in the counter-clockwise direction, follow these moves:
It might happen that the edge piece is in the correct location but the colors are interchanged or any other unwanted edge piece is adjacent to the center piece. Follow any one of the above moves from case 1 or case 2 to bring that piece to the top layer.
Then, from the top layer you can bring it to its exact location easily by doing the inverted ‘T’ formation again, and it will look like either of the above two cases. Now you can easily solve it.
Follow the directions of the above cases until you solve the middle layer.
Step 6. Making the yellow cross
To make a yellow cross pattern on the top face, you need to first match the arrangement of the yellow pieces in a particular manner.
There are four possible arrangements on your cube right now:
The yellow cross is already obtained. In that case, move to step 7.
There is a single yellow piece in the center. Now, hold the cube in any way you like, as long as the white face is on the bottom and yellow is on the top. Then, follow these moves:
You will obtain a result that will match either case 3 or case 4, so proceed accordingly.
There are two yellow edge pieces on the adjacent sides of the yellow center piece. Hold the cube so that one yellow edge piece is on the left of the center piece, while the other is on the top of the center piece. Now, follow these moves to make a yellow cross:
Move to Step 7 once you’ve obtained the yellow cross.
There are two yellow edge pieces on the opposite side of the yellow center piece, making a single line of yellow in the middle. Hold the cube so that the yellow line is horizontal to you. Now, follow these moves to make a yellow cross:
Move to Step 7 once you’ve obtained the yellow cross.
Step 7. Making the corners yellow
After making the yellow cross, you need the four yellow corners to finish making the top face yellow. In this case, you DON’T NEED to align the other two colors in the yellow corner piece with their respective faces.
There are three possible yellow cross combinations that you would have obtained. Before making the moves to solve the corner pieces, you need to hold the cube so that it matches with the cases given below. Only then perform the steps.
The top face has no yellow corner pieces. In this case, hold the cube from front such that there is yellow on the left surface of the top left corner piece. Now you can follow the sequence below:
The top face has one yellow corner piece. In this case, hold the cube so that the yellow corner piece is on the bottom left corner of the top face. That is, you must hold the cube from the front, such that the yellow color is on the top surface of the top left corner. Now you can follow the sequence below:
When the top face has two yellow corner pieces (in the illustration all the corners are grey because any two corners could be yellow). It does not matter which corners are yellow in the top face (similar corners or diagonal corners).
In this case, you must hold the cube from the front, such that the yellow color is on the front surface of the top left corner piece. Now you can follow the sequence below:
Note: After finishing the above moves, if you have not obtained the four yellow corners, even then your cube would match any of the three cases mentioned above. Change the position of the cube to hold it according to the case it matches and make the move sequence again.
Now all the corners of your cube will be yellow.
Step 8. Put the yellow corners in correct position
Now that you have all the yellow corners on top, you need to realign the yellow corners in their respective positions. That means, you need to position the corner pieces (A, B, C and D) so that their other two color surfaces correspond with the respective colors of those sides.
Coincidentally, you will see that two corner pieces are already aligned. If not, just rotate the top layer (U) until you see that two corner pieces are completely aligned with their respective colors.
Now, what you want is two aligned corner pieces on the same side.
Note: If these two corner pieces are diagonally opposite(A & D or B & C), then irrespective of the location of the diagonal pieces, follow the sequence of moves mentioned later in this step once and you’ll get the corners on the same side.
After getting the two corner pieces on the same side, hold the cube from the front so that the two aligned corner pieces are exactly on the back side. Both the top right and top left corners visible to you must be misaligned. Now follow the sequence below:
Step 9. Put the yellow edges in correct position
You are nearing the completion of the cube. There are two possible scenarios which can happen to you at this moment.
One yellow edge piece is aligned and the other three edge pieces are misaligned. In this scenario, hold the cube so that the aligned piece is exactly at the back and the misaligned edge pieces are in the front, right and left face.
Now, check in which direction (clockwise or counter-clockwise) the top layer should revolve so all three edge pieces can come back to their respective locations. Once you have figured out the direction of movement, you should make the move sequence below:
Sequence for movement in clockwise direction
Sequence for movement in counter-clockwise direction
The above cube was rotated using the clockwise move sequence.
No yellow edge pieces are aligned. In this scenario, follow either sequence of moves below. It doesn’t matter if you choose moves for clock wise or counter clockwise direction.
Sequence for movement in clockwise direction
Sequence for movement in counter-clockwise direction
Now your cube will look like case 1. Figure out the direction of movement for the three edge pieces and follow the above move sequence.
Voila! You have completed the seemingly impossible task. Now keep practicing it for better understanding of the moves and to increase your speed.
- The images in the tutorial are there to show you how the method works in real time. It is entirely possible that in your cube you will stumble upon different sets of cases than what the pictures represent. Therefore, follow the illustrations as they take care of all the possible cases.
- Please read the tutorial along with a cube in your hand. Since there are countless possible moves (technically, 43 quintillion) and numerous arrangement of pieces, merely reading it without a cube will make it hard to follow and remember.
- While solving the cube, hold it so you look at the front face directly. Always rotate the sides, never rotate the cube.
- Each piece in the cube is unique. So, you need to be sure about what colors you desire in your edge or corner pieces.
- You’ll never be confused because there is only one possible piece in the cube that matches the description that you require at that moment.
How to Solve a Rubik's Cube, Guide for Beginners
How to Solve a Rubik's Cube | Introduction
The Rubik's cube (sometimes misspelled rubix cube) is a mechanical 3D puzzle, invented more than 30 years ago and still considered as the best-selling toy of all times! Yet, solving the Rubik's Cube is considered a nearly-impossible task, which requires an IQ of 160... Is that really so hard? Definitely not!! Just follow this simple step by step solving guide and you'll shortly find out that you can solve the Rubik's cube as well… Let's get to work!
Watch my 7.63s Rubik's Cube solution >>
The mechanism of the Rubik's CubeThe Rubik's cube is actually a 26 pieces puzzle. There are three types of pieces: (see image)
Corner piece: has three different color stickers on it (there are 8 corner pieces in the cube)
Edge piece: has two different color stickers on it (there are 12 edge pieces in the cube)
Center piece: has one color sticker on it (6 center pieces, all are attached to the core)
The core is the inside of the Rubik's Cube, which holds all the pieces together and is attached to the center pieces with rotatable axes.
Important! The center pieces are part of the core and subsequently cannot move relatively to each other. For that reason they are already "solved". The solving process is actually bringing all corner and edge pieces to the "already solved" center pieces (meaning there are only 20 pieces to solve out of the 26). For example, the blue center piece will always be opposite to the green center piece (on a standard color-scheme cube). It doesn't matter how hard you will try scrambling the cube, it will just stay that way.
Rubiks Cube Move notationsMove notations are made in order to convey a sequence of moves through writing. When describing the solution we'll use the following move notations (traditional move notations).
Here is how it works- every face given a letter:
- F (front): the front face (facing the solver)
- B (back): the back face (opposite to the front face)
- R (right): the right face
- L (left): the left face (opposite to the right face)
- U (up): the upper face
- D (down): the bottom face (opposite to the upper face)
A letter followed by ' (apostrophe) means turning that face 90°, counter-clockwise (single turn). (e.g. R')
A letter followed by "2" means turning that face 180° (double turn). (e.g. R2)
For example: executing [ F R' U2 ] in a row looks that way:
(If you're having difficulty in finding the CW/C-CW direction of a face (like B or D), temporarily twist the cube so that face will become the F face which is the easiest face to determine the cw/ccw direction.)
Don't be worried about it, you'll easily get used to these move notations. Besides, all the algorithms are followed by animations like the one of the last example (only if animations are turned on).
For further explanations and full move notation:Full move notation page.
Now you know everything you need to start and learn how to solve a Rubik's Cube! So, proceed and solve the Rubik's Cube, for good.. Good Luck!
End of Intro.
The Rubik's Cube SolutionSolving the Rubik's cube is made piece by piece, just like any other puzzle. Therefore the solution is divided into steps each of which solves number of pieces without destroying the ones completed on previous steps. Let's start!
Step 1: Solving the edge pieces of the top layer
In this step we have four pieces to solve. First choose a color to begin with. I chose white in this guide. For this time, choose the white as well, so the images along the solution will be relevant to your solving process. In addition, it is best to start with the white/yellow colors as they are the easiest colors for quick recognition which is important for speedsolving.
Since the center pieces cannot be moved relatively to each other it's important to solve the edge pieces correctly in relation to each other. For example, when solving the white in our case- the green center piece is to the left of the red center piece, therefore the green-white edge piece should to be solved to the left of the red-white edge piece (see image).
Remember! Bring the white edge pieces to the white center, and not the white center to the edge pieces.
The following examples cover all possible cases for this step:
(solution is below the image/animation)
Step 2: Solving the corner pieces of the top layer
In this step we'll solve the four corner pieces of the top layer.
Pay attention! The corner piece has to match not only the white color on top, but also the colors to the left and right (see correct/wrong images).
Inserting a corner piece to its solved position is done this way:
First find an unsolved white corner (at the bottom layer), and position it under the place it should be solved into (by doing D moves). Then continue as follows:
The following examples cover all possible cases for this step:
Repeat that for the other three corners.
Solving a corner that its white sticker is in opposite to the upper face (the third case above), is done in two steps. The first is orienting the corner so the white sticker will show on one of the side faces (done by- R' D2 R D), then Solving using the second case solution (R' D' R).
If a white corner piece is located on the top layer but in the wrong place (see wrong image above) or incorrectly oriented in its place, just insert a non-white corner there, and by that the white corner piece will go back to the bottom layer. Then solve it correctly.
Step 3: Solving the edge pieces of the middle layer
In this step we'll solve the four edge pieces of the middle layer, and by that we'll actually complete the first two layers (a.k.a F2L).
Flip the cube upside down so the solved layer will be on the bottom. Choose an edge piece to begin with which is currently on the top layer, and locate it above the correct center piece to form an upside-down T shape (see image).
In order to insert the edge piece into its position we'll use one of the following algs:
(These are mirror algorithms which basically does the same. One is for edge pieces which are to the right of the solving position and the second is for those on the left)
Repeat that for the other three edge pieces.
In a case that an edge piece is in its correct position but incorrectly oriented (see image), insert a wrong edge piece to this position, and as a result the wanted edge piece will go back into the top layer. Then solve it correctly using the suitable algorithm.
Step 4: Orienting the last layer edge pieces
In this step, for the first time we won't completely solve the pieces but only orient them correctly. In other words our step goal is to form a cross shape on the upper face of the cube. The edge pieces do not need to fit the colors on the sides.
There are only four possible orientation states:
In order to complete this step (reaching state 4) we'll use the following algorithm:
This algorithm promotes the cube one state ahead each execution.
Meaning that executing this alg once, on state 1 will promote the cube to state 2, and so on. Therefore, we'll have to apply this alg 1-3 times to complete this step. (Animation note: wait for the algorithm to finish before clicking "play" again, remember to turn the upper face twice yourself (U2) before the last execution).
Pay attention! Executing this alg from the correct angle (angle of the cube in your hands) is crucial. For example, in state 3 it's important to execute this alg when the two correctly oriented edge pieces are facing to the back and left faces, and not to the front\right faces.
Step 5: Permuting the last layer corners
In this step our goal is to permute the four last layer corner pieces.
Pay attention! Our goal is only to position the corners in their correct place; we don't have to orient them correctly. For example, take a look at the image to the right; the yellow-green-red corner piece is well permuted.
In this step there are only 2 different possible unsolved states:
- When two well permuted corners are adjacent to each other.
- When two well permuted corners are diagonal to each other.
In order to complete this step we'll use the following algorithm: (Keep reading before executing)
This algorithm rotates 3 corner pieces counter-clockwise, and leaves the fourth corner untouched.
If you have 2 adjacent well permuted corners- turn the upper face once clockwise (U). That move will reposition the corners into a situation which only one well permuted corner will remain while the other three corners needed to be rotated counter-clockwise. Now just execute the algorithm above, and by this single execution you actually completed this step (remember to execute this algorithm from the correct angle – when the well permuted corner is on the back right. see algorithm image above).
If you have 2 diagonal well permuted corners- just execute this algorithm above once (the angle doesn't matter), and by that, your cube state will change into a two adjacent well permuted corners state. Then follow the two adjacent corners instructions above.
Step 6: Orienting the last layer corners
In this step our goal is to orient the four corner pieces of the last layer, the ones we have just permuted.
In order to do so we'll use the following algorithms:
These algorithms actually do the same thing, just in an opposite direction. The first algorithm orients three corners clockwise, while the second orients three corners counter-clockwise. For that reason you can learn only one of them if you prefer (executing one alg twice equals to executing the second once).
If you have only one well oriented corner (like in the alg images), then you are lucky - just execute the suitable alg once and finish this step.
If you have two well oriented corners or no well oriented corners, execute one of these algs randomly from different angles until you'll get only one oriented corner, then just execute the suitable alg one more time to complete this step.
Step 7 (and last!): Permuting the last layer edge pieces
In this step our goal is to permute the last layer edge pieces into their correct position, and by that to completely solve the Rubik's cube.
For that, we'll use the following algorithms:
Just like the previous step algs, these algorithms actually do the same thing, just in an opposite direction. The first algorithm rotates three edges counter-clockwise, while the second rotates three edges clockwise. For that reason you'll have to learn only one of them if you prefer.
In this step there are only two possible states:
1 correct edge piece, or no correct edge pieces.
(Of-course also- all edge pieces correctly positioned can occur- and that means the cube is already fully solved..:) Congratulations! )
If you have one solved edge piece, then execute the suitable algorithm above and by that actually complete the whole Rubik's Cube!
If you have no solved edge pieces, then execute once, one of the algs above (the angle doesn't matter), and by doing that, one of the edges will become solved. Then solve using the suitable algorithm.
Congratulations!! You did it! Keep practicing the solution until you'll be able to solve the Rubik's cube without looking at the algorithms (memorize them), I promise you it will happen sooner than you think!
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