How to Solve "The Cube" + Tips and Tricks for the Rubik's Cube

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Introduction: How to Solve "The Cube" + Tips and Tricks for the Rubik's Cube

This first half of the Instructable will teach you how to solve a Rubik's cube using one of the most simplistic methods possible. You will only need to memorize about 5 or 6 algorithms.

If you can already solve a Rubik's cube in about a minute then visit This site for a better solution that has been clocked to about 10 seconds.

If you have a move that you are having trouble understanding I'll be happy to email you with a better example. If that still doesn't help I'll be happy to upload a video of it onto this instructable.

And.... No... I didn't speed up any of my videos.

EDIT: I now use the Fridrich method, and my average is 32 seconds and my personal best is 24 seconds.



Comments are appreciated!

Step 1: My Cubing History

(You really don't have to read this. now that I look back at this I think I should just delete this page...)

The first time I ever really saw or used a Rubik's Cube was back in 2005 in my 6th grade advanced science class. Our teacher had several Rubik's Cubes to play with while we were waiting for class to begin. Since it was an advanced class and everyone was more or less inclined to mental challenges, like puzzles, we had to almost fight over the cubes. Everyone in the class was amazed when someone finished a side. Since it was such a challenge just to get to use a Rubik's Cube I decided to go to WalMart to buy one for my self. When I took it home to try to solve it I was amazed at how complex and addicting the little puzzle was. One day I decided to take my cube to church. While I was at church that day I found a man who could solve it in about 3 minutes. I was amazed that it was actually even possible to solve them. I finally decided to ask him if he would teach me his method. Over the next month he would teach me a step every Sunday and write it down on a piece of paper so I could practice it every day.

I was very excited the first day I solved it. I stayed up late mixing it up and solving it. The next day I showed my teachers at school and they were amazed. (o.k., now to skip ahead a bit...)

When the summer came I stopped solving the cube. During math class in 7th grade my 6th grade Social Studies teacher brought her whole class to watch me solve the cube. Since it had been a while since I last solved it I forgot a couple algorithms so it took me a lot longer than it had before. I was very embarrassed that i could barely solve it. So when I went home I went through my sock drawer and found my notes and started to memorize the method again.

Once I got to school I could solve the cube in about 2 minutes. I then started to learn the Petrus method but discontinued using it because it was too hard for me. I picked up some key tips while learning the method though.

I've recently started a Rubik's craze at school now that I've gotten sub-minute times with this method.

My personal best solve is 29 seconds with a method similar to this, and my average with that method is 35 seconds. My best solve with the method on this instructable is 38 seconds. I'm currently learning the Fridrich Method (the one clocked at a record 10 seconds).

I can also solve a Pyraminx with a personal best at 11 seconds and an average of about 17 seconds. I can solve a Megaminx in about 10 minutes.(I don't practice much) a K-8Ball in 38 seconds (Similar to 2x2 Cube). A Dino Cube in 34 seconds (Discontinued sales, i used an applet on the internet). And a Twin Cube in about 2 minutes 30 seconds. I invented the Twin Cube. Its basically two Rubik's Cubes connected by the corner. ( I just sawed to corner pieces in half and glued them together)

First image is a random H (for history)
Second image is of a Pyraminx
Third Image Megaminx
Fourth Image K8Ball
Fifth Image Dino Cube Applet
Sixth image Twin Cube

This is a video of me with my regular method. I timed about 40 seconds.
The method I used is almost the exact same except for last layer. Instead of getting yellow cross, permuting edges, permuting corners, orienting corners.

My method for last layer is: get yellow cross, permute corner, orient corners, permute edges.


Step 2: Terminology and Frequently Asked Questions

Terminology

There is some terminology you will need to know in order to understand this instructable. Here are some words to know.

Corner - a physical plastic corner piece. Has 3 stickers.

Edge - a physical plastic edge piece. Has 2 stickers.

Piece - A corner or an edge.
Sticker - One colored sticker. There are nine on each side. You know what I mean. (hopefully)

Side - one of the 6 sides of the cube.

Layer - the cube consists of three layers (top/middle/bottom).
This is a 3-dimensional concept, as opposed to "side" which is 2-dimensional. The "green layer" is the one with the green center.

Twist, twisted - how a piece is oriented. A corner can be twisted in 3 different ways, an edge in 2.

Turn, turning - the physical act of rotating a side.

Orient- to twist or flip a corner or edge.

Position (noun) - a space of the cube, occupied by one piece.
Positions don't move, pieces move by occupying different positions. For example the red-white edge can be in any of the 12 edge positions, and it can be in the correct (red-white) position but wrongly twisted.

Position (verb)- to put a piece in its correct position.

Permute, Permute- to switch cubies while leaving them oriented the same.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are a few questions that have been asked over and over through emails from various people so I want to post FAQs about them.

Q: What are the gray stickers in your example?
A: The gray stickers signify that the color of that sticker is irrelevant.

Q: When you say 2 Times which way do you mean to turn it?
A: It really doesn't matter which way you turn it. Two times clockwise is the same thing as two times counterclockwise.

Q: Where do you buy good Rubik's cubes?
A: I bought mine at Rubik's.com under the DIY section. With those cubes you can adjust the screw tension. The $8.99 ones with lube are very good. The lube makes your cube turn like a dream. If you want to purchase 2x2 cubes or other sizes try this site. If you want other puzzle shapes like the Pyraminx go here. Also Ebay some times has good and rare puzzles just search for "Rubiks".

Q: I have a fairly good cube but want to lube it. Do you know of any websites where I can purchase lube cheap?
A: This Website has lube that is identical to the stuff sold at Rubik's.com but cost a fraction of the price. Also NEVER USE W.D.-40!!!! IT DESTROYS YOUR CUBE!!! I put W.D.-40 on my first Rubik's cube and it didn't last me a year. The centerpiece broke in half from speedcubing. The W.D.-40 seriously weakens the plastic.

Q: What are the Official (and Unofficial) World Records?
A: Try Speedcubing.com they have many resources plus links to the records at the top of their web page.

Q: What exactly does middle: up mean? or middle: left?
A: Here are some graphics at the bottom that i hope will explain the moves.

Q: Are the Rubik's Cubes popular enough to have any forums or a place where I can talk to other Rubikian Fans?
A: Try http://twistypuzzles.com/ they have a large forum. The website also features a puzzle database, price guide, and articles to describe puzzle building.

Q: I'm having trouble understanding the Left: "Up" and "Down" concept. Can you illustrate the turns better?
A: Heres a video explaining the basic turnings.


Step 3: Getting a Cross on the First Layer

First begin by getting a cross on the top. (I prefer using the while as top.) Here are some examples of piece placements and the fastest ways of putting them into place. When you get the cross you must put the edges in correctly.

You by no means need to memorize all these cases. They are just here to help people who have no idea what they are doing.

Example 1
Front: Counter Clockwise

Example 2
Right: Down
Bottom: Clockwise
Right: Up
Front: 2 times

Example 3
Bottom: Clockwise
Front: 2 Times

Example 4

Middle: Clockwise
Bottom: Counter Clockwise
Middle: Counter Clockwise
Bottom: Clockwise
Middle: Down
Bottom: Counter Clockwise
Middle: Up
Bottom: Clockwise
Middle: Clockwise
Bottom: Clockwise
Middle: Counter Clockwise

Example 5
Top: 2 Times

Example 6
Front: 2 Times
Bottom: Clockwise
Left: Up
Front: Clockwise
Left: Down

Example 7
Middle: 2 Times
Bottom: 2 Times
Middle: 2 Times


Step 4: Placing the Corners on the First Layer

In this step you will be placing the corners of the white side. (or what ever color you chose to get the cross on) Remember to place the corners in their correct spot. I will provide some more examples for those who just don't understand it so well. These are by no means necessary to memorize.

Example 1
Front: Clockwise
Bottom: Counter Clockwise
Front: Counter Clockwise

Example 2
Middle: Up
Front: Clockwise
Middle: Down

Example 3
Right: Down
Bottom: Clockwise
Right: Up
Bottom: 2 Times
Front: Clockwise
Bottom: Clockwise
Front: Counter Clockwise

Example 4
Left: Down
Bottom: Counter Clockwise
Left: Up
Bottom: Clockwise
Middle: Up
Front: 2 Times
Middle: Down

Example 5
Right: Down
Bottom: 2 Times
Right: Up
Bottom: 2 Times
Front: Clockwise
Bottom: Clockwise
Front: Counter Clockwise


Step 5: Placing the Middle Layer Edges

First before we do this step we must flip the cube over so the yellow side is on top and the white side (first layer) is on bottom.

In this step we will be placing the edges in the middle layer. (The row of cubies in between the white and yellow on most standard cubes). There are 3 algorithms to do this. It is basically just one algorithm. One of them is a mirror of the other, and the other one is the algorithm repeated twice with one extra turn. First look at the last layer and find a piece that goes in the middle layer. Then look at the color of that piece that is on the top (yellow side) Turn the top side so that the color is across from its side. (refer to first image)

Next look at the other color of the edge piece. Hold the cube so that the color that you saw is on the front. Now look to see if the cubie goes in on the left or right of that side. If it goes in the right (refer to second image) then do the move titled right. If it goes in on the left (refer to third image) then do the move titled left. If the piece needs to be flipped (refer to fourth image) do the move titled flip.

Right Move
Right: Up
Top: Counter Clockwise
Right: Down
Front: Clockwise
Right: Down
Front: Counter Clockwise
Right: Up

Left Move
Left: Up
Top: Clockwise
Left: Down
Front: Counter Clockwise
Left: Down
Front: Clockwise
Left: Up

Flip Move
Right: Up
Top: Counter Clockwise
Right: Down
Front: Clockwise
Right: Down
Front: Counter Clockwise
Right: Up
Top: Counter Clockwise
Right: Up
Top: Counter Clockwise
Right: Down
Front: Clockwise
Right: Down
Front: Counter Clockwise
Right: Up

(or if you need help memorizing that)
Right move ()
Top: Counter Clockwise
Right move ()


Step 6: Getting a Cross on the Last Layer

In this step you try to get a cross on the last layer. (yellow side) There are 4 cases of edges. All the cases use the same algorithm but the cube is oriented differently.

Example 1
Hold the cube so the white side is on the bottom and the yellow side top. It doesn't matter which side is the front. (refer to first image)

Example 2
Hold the cube so the white is on bottom and the yellow on top. Make sure the --- on the top is parallel to your body. (refer to second image)

Example 3
Hold the cube so the white is on bottom and the yellow on top. Make sure the half plus sign is in the close, right, corner(of the top). (refer to 3rd image)

Example 4
Congratulations you have finished this step. Go on to the next one. (refer to fourth image)

Move
Back: Clockwise
Top: Clockwise
Left: Down
Top: Counter Clockwise
Left: Up
Back: Counter Clockwise

Note: the back turn is turning it as if you are holding the back side as the front. That does not mean that you solve it with the back on the front though. I might upload a video of what I mean.



Views of the top.

Step 7: Permuting the Edges

In this step you will permute the edge Last Layer Edge cubies. This move leaves the cubie on the front side alone and switches all the other pieces counter clockwise.

If none of the pieces are in the right place rotate the top until at least one edge is in the correct place.

(refer to the first image to see how the pieces are swapped.)

Some times when you do the move it still doesn't work. Here are some positions that may require a different way of executing the move. Here are the positions.

Example 1
Do the move with the right one of the two solved pieces to the left of you. After you do the move turn the top clockwise. (refer to second image)

Example 2
First do the move with the front as an unsolved side. Then turn the top 2 times. Next turn the whole cube clockwise then do the move again. Then finally turn the top clockwise. (refer to third image)

The move

Right: Up
Top: Clockwise
Right: Down
Top: Clockwise
Right: Up
Top: 2 Times
Right: Down


Step 8: Permuting the Corners

This step deals with permuting the corners and putting them in place but not having them oriented correctly. First you must find a corner that is in the correct position. If there isn't one, do the move on a random corner until a piece is in the correct place. This move leaves the top left front corner piece in place and switches the other corner pieces counterclockwise. Remember, make sure you permuted them correctly before moving on to the next step.

The Move

Right: Up
Top: Counter Clockwise
Left: Up
Top: Clockwise
Right: Down
Top: Counter Clockwise
Left: Down
Top: Clockwise


Step 9: Orienting the Last Layer Corners

Congratulations!! You have made it to the last step without brain damage!(hopefully)

In this step we will be twisting the corners to solve the cube. First before you do the move you must turn the cube so the white is on the right and yellow is on the left. (Last layer on left. First layer on right.) Then rotate the cube so an unsolved cubie is in the top left front position. (Remember keep white on right while you do this.) When you do this move you must repeat it either two or four times. To tell how many times you need to do the move. Do the move that was in the top left front position has the yellow sticker facing the yellow side (correctly oriented) WARNING!! THE REST OF THE CUBE WILL BE SCRAMBLED!! THIS IS OK!!! Once the piece is twisted correctly turn the left side until another unoriented piece from the last layer is in the top left front position. Then do the move again. Repeat this process until the cube is solved.

Move
Right: Up
Top: Counter Clockwise
Right: Down
Top: Clockwise

(2 times or 4 times)

Congratulations!!! Cube Solved!!!

I'm adding a new video soon!


Step 10: How to Lube Your Cube

Lubing, or lubricating, your Rubik's cube is an important part in getting faster times. It enables you to use finger tricks without breaking your fingers, and turn it without getting Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or "Cube Thumb". Some lubes make your cube turn so good you could turn the sides with your tongue (eww).

On this part of the instructable I will teach you how to lube your cube.

Step 11: Buying the Lube

You can purchase silicone lubricant from Rubik's.Com for $9 for one syringe full. Or you could buy the exact same product 30 syringe fulls from CubeLube.Com for $8.

Since we all like to get the most for the cheapest price I will teach you the cubelube.com method. First click on the link near the top or type cubelube.com then click on products. Next select the product you want and click 'add to cart'. Then click checkout. Next fill out the form and submit. Your lube should arrive in around a week. After the lube arrives go to step 2.

Step 12: Applying the Lube

Next we have to apply the lube. This part is very easy. First turn the top 45 degrees (It doesn't have to be exact). Next stick your thumb or a butter knife under the edge piece and lift up. You should be able to pull out the piece. After you take out the edge piece take the cap off the syringe and place your palm on the pump and middle finger and pointer finger on holds then slowly push until some silicone lube comes out. You do not need a lot of silicone, if you put to much on it wont dry up and will leak out when turning the cube. After you place a small amount of silicone on the cube place the edge piece back on. After you place the piece back on randomly turn to cube to work in the silicone. You should see an instant increase in your turning speed. Watch the video if you do not understand.


Step 13: A Few "Pretty Patterns"

Due to some requests in the comments and I think it would make it an over all better instructable dealing with Rubik's Cubes. Since people said they were having trouble with pretty pattern explanations from other sources I'll include videos to go with them. Watch the video to find out how to undo the patterns also.

First Pattern "Circle around dot."
In this pattern it may look like the centerpieces are changing around the edges and corners. Since centerpieces don't change position relative to each other it's just the edges and corners moving around the centerpieces.
(Picture one)

Move
Middle: Up
Middle: Left
Middle: Down
Middle: Right

Second Pattern "X marks the spot."
This takes all the edge pieces and swaps them with the ones opposite their original position. To make that easier to understand say you have a cubie in the Front Left position. It swaps it with the cubie in the back right position. And the cubie in the Top back position swapped with the bottom from position.
(Second picture)

Move
Middle: Up 2 Times
Middle:Left 2 Times
Middle:Clockwise 2 Times

Third Pattern "I C you."
This pattern basically takes the cubies on the bottom layer and swaps them across the side. So the cubie on Bottom Front swaps with bottom back and Bottom left swaps with bottom right. It makes 4 c's if you turn the cube on the side.
(See third image)

Move
Right: Up
Left: Down
Top: 2 Times
Right: Down
Left: Up
(Turn the cube 1 time clockwise so the side that was on the left is on the front)
Right: Up
Left: Down
Top: 2 Times
Right: Down
Left: Up

Fourth Pattern "I, I Captain"
In this pattern It is basically the same as "I C you" Except it swaps the cubies on the top layer AND bottom layer in the same way. It looks like alot of I's if you turn the cube on its side.
(See fourth image)

Move
Left Up 2x
Bottom Right 2x
Left Up 2x
Bottom Right 2x
Left Up 2x
Right Up 2x
Top Right 2x
Right Up 2x
Top Right 2x
Right Up 2x
Top Right 2x
Left Up 2x


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125 Comments

My personal best is 39 sec and i am using friedrich method and my average is 55 sec

what to do with this hell

i am using yj guanlong white speedcube with corner cutting of 45 degrees

pls help

i want to sub 30

I applaud you for making this instructable. It is the best "how to solve a Rubik's cube " instructable out there. However I could already solve one beforehand.

My brother has had one for about 7-8 years and its still unsolved. :P

i find it easier in step six to turn the cube 90 degrees to the left and do this.

Left: Down
Top: Clockwise
Front: Clockwise
Top: Counter-Clockwise
Front: Counter-Clockwise
Left: Up

i only find it easier because you dont have to do a back move

You can also increase your speed by lubricating it. Try lubixcube.com