How to Solve the Rubik's Cube/Beginner (alternative)

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This is a beginner "cross" method for solving the Rubik's Cube.

Things to know[edit | edit source]

There are some things that are very important to know:

  • A corner piece is always a corner piece.
  • An edge piece is always an edge piece.
  • A center piece is always a center piece AND is always in the same place relative to the other center pieces.
  • When you position a corner piece or edge piece correctly, its colours are in their respective faces.
  • A cubie is an individual cube.

Now that that's out of the way, let's begin!

Notation[edit | edit source]

While many notations exist, this seems to be pretty much the most common and standardized.

F: Front face
B: Back face
L: Left face
R: Right face
U: Up face
D: Down face

If a side's letter is shown unaltered (e.g. R), it is rotated clockwise (as seen face-on). If it is followed by an apostrophe, it means counterclockwise (e.g. L'). Finally, if it is followed by a 2, turn it twice i.e. 180 degrees (e.g. U2).

While performing one of the move sequences during a step, don't rotate the cube. Only rotate the cube (thus changing the sides referred to by the letters) when instructed to. If when you begin a step the end condition is already fulfilled, simply move on to the following step.

Step 1: Up face cross[edit | edit source]

Select a colour to begin with, e.g. white. Rotate the cube so that this is the up (U) face. Now find the four edge cubies that have a side with that colour, and twist the cube to place them on the top layer.

We want the U colour on each of them to be facing upwards, so that they form a cross on U. If one of them is incorrectly oriented, place it on the edge connecting the front (F) and up (U) faces, and perform the following sequence once:

F U' R U

This will flip the cubie so that the U colour is facing upwards.

You now have a cross of the up colour on U. For each edge cubie in the cross, we want the colour of its other side (the one that is not on U) to match the side face it is on. If all of them already match, or if you can fix them just by turning U, great! Otherwise, pick one of them, turn U until it matches, and then move that cubie to the bottom by turning the side it is on twice. Do the same for each of the others. Once they are all in the bottom layer, move them back to the top by turning each side twice. This will restore your up face cross, and the side colours will now match the side faces.

Once the up face has a cross on it (regardless of whether any corners are correctly coloured as well) with the edge cubies on the correct side faces, this step is complete. Go on to the next step.

Step 2: Up face corners[edit | edit source]

Find one of the corner cubies on the bottom layer that has one face as the up colour. If, for example, its colours are white (as the up colour), red and green, turn the bottom layer until it is a corner on both the red and green faces, i.e. it is directly below the place where it should be. Perform the following sequence either once, three times or five times until the corner is in the right place and orientation:

R' D' R D

If the sequence puts another corner cubie in the relevant upper corner that is not the correct colours, do not stop the sequence. Keep going until the correct cubie is placed. If the cubie is correct but it is incorrectly oriented, perform the same sequence once to move it to the bottom layer. From there, repeat the sequence as above. Once the up face is completely solved, flip the cube over completely, so that the up face is on the bottom and the down (D) face is on the top, and proceed to the next step.

Step 3: Middle layer edges[edit | edit source]

At the start of this step, you should have an upside-down 'T' shape of four correctly placed cubies on each of the side faces and the down face should be solved. Find an edge cubie on the top layer that has two colours on it that are not that of the up face: this cubie will now be moved to the middle layer. Rotate the top layer until the side (not top) face of this cubie extends one of the short T's; the cubie's top face now matches the colour of one of the adjacent side faces. Rotate the whole cube so that the two faces whose colours match the cubie are F and R: the big T is now on either F or R. If the big T is on F (and the top face matches R), perform:

U R U' R' U' F' U F

If, on the other hand, the big T is on the R face, perform:

U' F' U F U R U' R'

This will place the edge cubie, correctly positioned and oriented, into the middle layer.

Repeat this procedure for the other three edge cubies which need to be in the middle layer. If one of them is already in the middle layer, but is not correct, hold the cube so that it is on the F and R face and perform either of the sequences once. It will then be on the top layer, and you can perform the procedure normally.

Once you have a 2x3 solved block on the bottom part of each side face, proceed to the next step.

Step 4: Up face cross[edit | edit source]

Note that this is the up face now i.e. the face that is opposite to the original up face that you chose for Step 1. Turn the top layer until one of the following patterns is visible:

  • Top layer edge cubies on F and R display the colour of the up face on their side faces.
  • Same as above, plus the opposite top layer edge cubies have the up colour on their upper faces, forming a 'corner' on the up face with its 'arms' pointing away from the F and R faces.
  • A line across the up face parallel to the F face. The edge cubie on F should display the up colour on the F face, not the U face.

Once you locate one of these, perform the following sequence to advance the pattern through the list:

F R U R' U' F'

The result of this is that the first pattern becomes the second, the second becomes the third, and the third becomes the solved cross, completing the step. If necessary, turn the top layer between sequences to find the pattern if it is not visible (sometimes it isn't).

Step 5: Top layer edges[edit | edit source]

Similarly to Step 1, you now want the up face cross with the edge cubies on the correct side faces as well. The method this time is different: turn the top layer until at least one of the edge cubies is correct. If the colour to its right needs doing, have the just-done one on the F face and perform the following sequence either once or twice until the edge cubie on the R face is done:

R U R' U R U2 R'

Now check the B and L faces. If they also need doing, rotate the whole cube so that the F face is now on R and the L face is now on F. Perform the sequence once, and follow it with:


This will complete the step.

Step 6: Top layer corners (placement)[edit | edit source]

This step places the corners correctly. Don't worry about orientating them yet. Find a corner piece that's in the right place (regardless of orientation). Rotate the cube so that it is the U/F/R corner and perform:

U R U' L' U R' U' L

If the corners are still not all correctly placed, repeat the sequence once again. If none of the corners are correct, just perform the sequence once on any of the four top corners, then find one that has become correctly placed. Once the corners are in the right places, move on to the final step.

Step 7: Top layer corners (orientation)[edit | edit source]

Choose one of the unsolved top corners and treat it exactly as you did with Step 2, although it will require an even number of iterations of the sequence this time, either twice or four times:

R' D' R D

After this, turn the top layer (not the whole cube) to position another unsolved corner where the solved one just was. Repeat the sequence, then do the next corner. After solving the last corner, only one more twist (which should be obvious) remains.

Congratulations, you've solved the Rubik's Cube!