Introduction: How to Solve a Rubik's Cube!

About: I'm a just a not-so-average human with a passion for making. I see a world of hackers, makers, and producers as the sun rises in the near future. I'm starting olopede, an educational electronics kits compa…
This instructable will teach YOU how to solve a Rubik's cube!

I will also teach you algorithms that will enable you to make your cube "pretty", which will impress people!

Note: This is only ONE algorithm, although it is applicable to ANY "situation" that can be presented to you on the cube.

1 Rubik's Cube
1 Good Memory (if you want to impress people)
1 Sack Load of Patience

Subnote: This method took me 3 days to master, and a week to perfect, working on it about 4 hours a day. I can now solve a cube in under X3X X2.4X 1.37 minutes. (Look Below)

Step 1: Getting It All Messed Up! (use When Necessary)

Pretty much just scramble up the cube.

-Don't turn any one side more than twice in a row, then you're being inefficient.
-Don't turn two edge sides the same way, you could have just turned the middle section
-Don't turn only one or two faces, rotate the cube while scrambling to get a better scramble
-If you want the best scramble, scramble the middle rows and columns, that tends to make the solution take longer.

Step 2: Solving the Top Corners

So, what you want to do now is solve the top corners.
-Pick your favorite color (I always use blue, some use white, it really doesn't matter)
-Locate one of the corners
-Make it so that your favorite color (we'll use blue from now on) is facing upwards and that the other two colors on the corner piece are on the side of the cube. (You can just rotate the cube so that the blue part is facing up)

-Rotate the cube so that the first blue piece you found is in the top-left hand corner
-Find another Blue corner piece, this time with one of the same "side colors" as the first one you picked (In my case red or white)
- Get your target (new) corner piece right under where you want it to go by rotating the bottom or side rows or columns, keeping the original piece in the top left hand corner, then follow the steps in the pictures until you have all four top corners solved!

As for notation, a capital letter by itself represents a 90 degrees clockwise turn if you were looking at the face itself.
For Example: U means turn the top layer 90 clockwise as if you were looking at it, or to the left.
L means turn " Left " " " " " " " " " " " , or down
R means turn " Right " " " " " " " , or up.

I've included some pictures that help explain all the moves.

(I need permission for the pictures first, so they'll be up by tomorrow, probably)

Step 3: Solving the Top Edges

Okay, so you have all the corners, now you need to fill in the edges!

Since the top corners are finished, it's not suggested that you move the top layer during the set-up process if this is new to you, but you CAN move it in the algorithms that I have presented to you.

Simply move the middle and bottom layers to set up your target pieces
The target pieces for this are Blue and nColor, where nColor is the color of the surrounding two edges.

If your target cube is in the top row, but not in between the correct two corners, skip that color and go onto the next, it should free itself.

If the cube does not get free, you may turn the middle column that the target cube is on, in order to move it to the bottom row.

Finally, follow the algorithms until you have solved the entire top edges. If you have the middle, too, then skip the next step. If you don't, continue reading.

Step 4: Solving the Top Middle Piece

Okay, so your Top (Blue) middle piece can be in one of two places:
-The bottom center
-The center on one side of the middle layer.

If it's in the bottom center, just follow algorithm 1 from any face
If it's in the center on one side of the middle layer, make the target center piece face you, then preform algorithm two.

Step 5: Solve the Middle Layer

So now that you have the top layer done, you should be able to make a "small 'T'" on each side by simply turning the middle layer until the middle centerpiece of nColor matches up with its respective colored "side" of the top face.

Now, follow these steps:

1. Once you have that, rotate the bottom layer until it makes a "larger 'T'" with the "small 'T'"

2. Look under that piece to make sure that it isn't green (only in the case of solving for the blue side first. If you're solving for the yellow side, make sure it isn't white. If you're solving for the orange side, make sure it isn't red, and visa versa for all 3 cases)

3. Decide which way it has to go (to the left or to the right (according to the picture)) by seeing which color is on the bottom. (In the example, if the bottom red pieces' bottom was yellow, it would go right)

4. Follow the provided algorithm in order to move the piece, making sure that you're looking at the cube so that the "larger 'T'" faces you.

Step 6: Placing the Bottom Corners

The first thing you need to do once you finished the middle layer is flip your entire cube over.

Now, examine the corners the way that they are (colors) and see if the colors of the corner pieces correlate with the edge that they are on.

You might need to turn the top (used to be bottom) layer in order to line up two adjacent corners to their respective edges.

If you cannot line up two adjacent ones, then you'll have to do the algorithm twice, so just do it once and then start this step over.

I can better explain this through graphics, so look at the first five pictures now.

Make the two corners that need to be switched face you, then do the provided algorithm.

If you don't need to switch any corners, skip this step.

Step 7: Orienting the Bottom Corners

Okay, now that you have all the Top (Bottom) corners in place, you have to rotate them in place so that the colors match up with their respecive sides.

For example, in the first picture you see that two of the corners are not green. That's because the green is on the side of the cube. We need the green to come to the top of the cube.

There are three cases for this step:

- There is only one corner piece with green on top. In this case, make sure that that corner piece is on your right, and closest to you, then preform the algorithm once ( first cube example in the first picture).

If all of the corners are solved, then continue onto the next step, otherwise see if you have the same or another case, and follow the instructions for that case.

- The are no corner pieces with green on top. In this case, follow the 3rd cube example in the first picture, making sure the cube is facing you the right way, and preform the algorithm.

If all of the corners are solved, then continue onto the next step, otherwise see if you have the same or another case, and follow the instructions for that case.

- There is more than one corner piece with green on top. In this case, follow the 2nd cube example in the first picture, where there is a corner that is not green in the closer right hand corner, and any of the other corners are green. You MUST make sure that the right corner closest to you is NOT green.

If all of the corners are solved, then continue onto the next step, otherwise see if you have the same or another case, and follow the instructions for that case.

Once you have solved all the corners, move onto the next step.

Step 8: Positioning the 4 Remaining Middle Pieces

Okay, so now all of the corners are in the right place and orientation.

You should have one side that has the right middle piece, but it doesn't have to be in the right orientation.

-If you do, then look at the cube from that side (the one with the correct middle piece between the two corners) and preform one of the two algorithms (don't look at the first picture, that's just for fun, look at the second picture)

You'll either need to shift the middle pieces one way or the other. Based on which way you need to go, right or left, do the appropriate algorithm on the 2nd picture.

-If you have more than one or none in the proper orientation, use the "scramble" algorithm on the 3rd picture, looking at any side when you do (so long as you don't rotate the cube up or down), then start this step over again

Step 9: Finishing Move!

Okay, so now you have either one of two situations:

- The Fish Pattern (The correctly colored top pieces make the top of the cube look like a fish

-The "H"* Pattern (The correctly colored top pieces make the top of the cube look like an "H"
*Note: You hold the cube so that it looks like an "I", so it should really be called the "I" Pattern.

For either pattern, follow the corresponding algorithm. If you'll notice, they're quite similar. This makes it a bit easier to remember both of them.


Now gloat to all your friends, show off how smart you are, but most importantly, PRACTICE!

The faster you get, the better it looks!

This is also not the only way to solve a Rubik's cube, so you can experiment, create your own algorithms, be creative!

A couple of fancy things I figured out are in the next two steps.

Step 10: Fancy #1: the Cross

In this, just follow the algorithm looking from any side.

The rotate 90�º means that you rotate it as if you were looking from the top, so if you are looking at the red face, rotate the cube so that you're looking at the green face.

NOTE: only do this if you thing you can figure out how to un-do it. I'm going to leave you to figure that out =)

Step 11: Fancy #2: the Centerpiece

Again, just follow the algorithm from any face.

Once again, only do this if you can figure out how to un-do it =)

Step 12: Combine!

Do both algorithms, in any particular order!

This will come out pretty fancy looking, I think, at least!

Again, if you can un-do it, feel free to do it!

Step 13: Other Thoughts

Like I said, there are a ton of ways to solve a Rubik's Cube.

This is by no means the best way to do it, just the way that I learned to do it a while back.

The Rubik's Cube is one of my favorite toys, especially because it always attracts a crowd when people see that you can actually solve one.

By the way, for all of you nerd guys that can do this too, IT WILL GET YOU CHICKS!... well, nerd chicks, but those are the best kind!

Here's a video of me solving it in my personal record time as of two nights ago. I broke that record by 15 seconds the next night ;)
Oh, and I lied about the song: It's "The Spirit Caries On" By Dream Theater