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The Rubik’s cube is one of those puzzles that are endlessly fascinating to people of all age groups. But, trying to solve it for the first time can be an exercise in frustration. If only there was an easy way to learn how.

Well, as it happens, there is. I’m a first-time cuber myself, if you ignore my previous attempts to solve the puzzle by idly twisting the cube this way and that, without applying an ounce of thought or logic.

Driven by the desire to learn to solve the Rubik’s cube, I decided to start afresh, this time with more focus and practice. As expected, the Web provided endless interesting content on the topic.

Where I Began My Quest

I started my search for information with Saikat’s article on websites to solve the Rubik’s cube 7 Websites For Those Who Want To Solve The Rubik's Cube With A Bit Of Online Help 7 Websites For Those Who Want To Solve The Rubik's Cube With A Bit Of Online Help Read More . Things just snowballed from there and I ended up with page after page of tricks and algorithms.

Finally, I narrowed down a few simple methods recommended for beginners and put them to the test. As I found out, there is indeed a method that stands out for its simplicity and ease of memorization. Using this method, I was not only able to solve the cube, but also repeat the process several times over with surprising ease.

The Easiest Method

Here is a detailed look at that simple method to solve the Rubik’s cube, as explained by Vince Rocca in his YouTube video. Of course, you can always learn by watching the video. But for those who prefer the written word and appreciate the inputs of a fellow newbie, the following description can help. Pair it with the video and maybe you can even grasp the solution faster and better.

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The Basics You Need To Know

Familiarizing yourself with the pieces of the cube and the standard notations used in various Rubik’s cube algorithms, including the one I’m describing here, is important and quite easy.

The six faces of the cube are referred to as Front (F), Back (B), Up (U), Down (D), Left (L), and Right (R). Moving any face in the clockwise direction is denoted by the letter corresponding to that face. An anti-clockwise move is denoted by appending an apostrophe (called a prime) to the face letter. For example, if you’re moving the front face in the clockwise direction and then moving the right face in the anti-clockwise direction, these two moves would be referred to as FR’.

This Wikihow article visually explains what you need to know about Rubik’s cube notations.

No matter in which direction you turn the cube, the pieces that form the edges of the middle layer are called edge pieces. Those at the corners of all faces are called corner pieces.

As Rocca explains in his video, edge pieces can replace only edge pieces and corner pieces can replace only corner ones. Also note that the center/middle piece, which is the piece left on each face after excluding the edge and corner pieces, cannot be swapped or twisted.

Phase 1 – Solving The Upper Face Cross

To solve the cube using Rocca’s method, you need to create a cross of a single color on one the faces. Pick a center piece, say the orange-colored one, and turn the cube so that this piece is on the upper face. Notice the colors of the middle pieces on the front, back, left, and right faces. In this case, they will be blue, green, white, and yellow.

Let’s solve for the white center piece. To do that, you have to find one of the two pieces that have orange on one side and white on another, and move that piece in such a way that it fits between the orange and white center pieces. Obviously, the orientation should be such that the orange portion of this piece is adjacent to the orange piece of the upper face and the white is above the white center piece of the side face. This completes one edge of the cross we’re aiming for.

Solve for the remaining center pieces (green, blue, and yellow) using the same method, to complete the orange cross on the upper face. At the end of this phase, the solved pieces will appear like the ones shown below.

It helps to remember that the piece you want to insert to form the cross must appear on or be moved to the middle layer i.e. the layer below the upper face.

orange-cross-solved

Phase 2 – Solving The Upper Face

Our next goal is to slide the orange corner pieces into place on the upper face. To do that, we will use a method similar to the one we used to finish the orange cross. Only this time, we’ll be finding pieces with colors corresponding to three center pieces at a time, one of the colors being orange, of course.

Manipulate the cube until the orange portion of a piece is facing a side i.e. not facing down. Then bring that piece to the corner directly below the one where it needs to go.

There can be two possibilities at this point. If the orange section is facing you, D’R’DR will put the corner piece in the right place. If the unsolved orange section is facing right, R’D’R will solve the corner.

Keep using this technique until all the corner pieces of the top layer are in place. The upper face should appear as shown below. The center pieces of the middle layer will automatically be in place, while the edge pieces may or may not be placed correctly.

orange-face-solved

Phase 3 – Solving The Middle Layer

Now, from the bottom layer, select an edge piece that does not match the color of the center piece of the bottom face on any side. In this example, skip bottom layer pieces that contain the color red, and pick a piece formed by any of the following colors: blue, green, yellow, white.

Twist the bottom layer such that the front-facing section of this piece lines up with its matching color in the middle and top layers to form a T-shaped element. For example, the piece I have chosen has white on the front face and green on the bottom face. I have moved the bottom layer to make the piece line up to form the white T shown in the figure below.

white-T

Now, the white face of this piece has to fit in the edge position to its left, since the green face on the bottom has to line up with the green pieces on the left face. Here, holding the cube with the T facing you and using the moves DLDL’D’F’D’F solves the puzzle for the white and green piece (see image below). If the white face had to appear at the edge position on its right, I would have used the moves D’R’D’RDFDF’ instead.

green-white-edge-piece-solved

Beginning with a new T-shaped section every time, repeat this procedure until all the edge pieces of the middle layer are in place and the cube looks like this:

top-and-middle-solved-1

top-and-middle-solved-2

Phase 4 – Solving The Bottom (Down) Face Cross

Turn the cube upside down, so that the bottom face is toward you. Going by this example, turn the cube until you’re looking down at the red center piece.

This is where things become a little tricky and you have to proceed intuitively. Repeat the moves FURU’R’F’ over and over again until you create a red cross on the top. The goal is to leave the red cross and only one red corner piece facing upward at the bottom left corner as shown in the figure below.

red-cross-solved

If there are more of those red corner pieces facing upward, move the cube so that one of the red pieces on the side face is toward you and use the moves RUR’URUUR’. Repeat this sequence until the upper face has been solved for red.

yellow-matching-corner-pieces

Phase 5 – Solving The Final Layer

At this point, the bottom layer (now the top layer since you have turned the cube upside down) will have at least one set of corner pieces matching each other, like the yellow ones shown in the image above.

red-face solved

If there are no such matching pieces, perform the moves R’FR’BBRF’R’BBRR till they appear at least on one face. Then turn the cube till those matching corner pieces are on the back face, and go through the same sequence again till there are matching corner pieces on every face. One of the faces might even appear to be solved at this point. Now perform the moves FFULR’FFRL’UFF repeatedly till the cube is solved.

rubik-cube-solved-1

rubik-cube-solved-2

The Takeaway

If you solve the cube once by taking an easy and logical approach such as this one, you know you can solve it any number of times. As I have found out, you stop being afraid of twisting the cube lest you can’t get back a solved piece of the puzzle.

You get the confidence to experiment with new algorithms and apps 6 Android Apps For Rubik's Cube Fans, Whether Novice or Seasoned Speedcubing Pros 6 Android Apps For Rubik's Cube Fans, Whether Novice or Seasoned Speedcubing Pros If you go online and start searching for solutions, you will quickly find there is a world of knowledge about the so-called Magic Cube... and it's available for Android, too. Read More , give speedcubing a shot, and maybe even try to come up with an algorithm of your own. Suddenly, a whole new world opens up to you.

But be warned. Once you solve the Rubik’s cube, your brain will constantly crave such things that spark your creativity The Top 5 Websites To Spark Your Creativity The Top 5 Websites To Spark Your Creativity Read More .

Have you solved the Rubik’s cube? Which method do you think is the easiest?

Image Credits: LaPetra

  1. Sandy
    August 9, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    There are even easier solutions available these days. Have a look a this one. You just repeat the same 4 moves until its solved. http://cube.crider.co.uk/miris.html

  2. Lisa
    June 14, 2016 at 12:34 am

    Hi i need help I got up to phase four and I kept trying and trying the same algorithm f r u r' u' f' and there was always an edge piece somewhere else than on top I could never get all four edges on top. Please help. ???

    • Akshata Shanbhag
      June 28, 2016 at 7:39 am

      Unfortunately I have no answers for you, Lisa. That part of the algorithm is usually where I get stuck as well. Only trial and error seems to work for me.

  3. sd8204
    March 11, 2016 at 5:28 am

    I got the first two rows and then the on to get the cross by doing the Algerithm over and over just scrambled my cube back up again, didn't work.

    • Akshata Shanbhag
      March 14, 2016 at 3:36 am

      I also struggled with that portion of the solution and had to start all over again several times. But I finally got it by noting down which moves end up messing the cube and trying something different with every iteration.

  4. Akash Pisharody
    December 24, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    I have no idea why, but the last algorithm F2UR'L etc., even after I did it six times, has still failed to solve my cube. Any help would be... Helpful!

    • Akshata Shanbhag
      January 1, 2016 at 4:12 pm

      If that last bit of the algorithm is causing you trouble, the best solution is to follow along with the video posted in the article, Akash. I often got stuck at that bit as well. Playing and pausing the video to observe each move helps.

  5. ayisvariya
    December 24, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    ok nice

  6. Miguel Eduardo Silva
    July 24, 2015 at 3:58 am

    This is just like the other methods in the web, with lots of algorithms dificult to memorize. Just made me wast my time..

    • Akshata Shanbhag
      July 24, 2015 at 4:02 am

      I would be surprised if there's a one-move shortcut for something that's complex like this. Even if there are shortcuts, you still need to put in the hours to figure them out and learn them. I guess you have to start somewhere, Miguel.

  7. deepak
    May 1, 2015 at 5:47 pm

    Its really cool .nd easier

  8. Ramlok
    April 13, 2015 at 10:54 am

    I am not able to understand F' means clockwise or counter clockwise????

    • Akshata
      April 14, 2015 at 8:14 am

      Ramlok, F' refers to moving the front face in the counterclockwise direction.

  9. Akshata
    March 31, 2015 at 5:50 am

    Hi Adhin, as a first-time cuber I was able to solve the final layer of a 3x3 cube fairly easily following instructions from the video shown above. Have you given that a shot?

  10. camilo
    May 12, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    It is much easier then that! The “less is more method” uses just 1 movement (algorithm) and no memorization needed! See the video:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBkka-fhgg4

    • Akshata
      May 17, 2014 at 5:43 pm

      Thanks for sharing that link, Camilo. A method based only on one move and no memorization definitely sounds much easier, but whether it creates more confusion remains to be seen. Will give it a shot!

    • Adhin
      March 25, 2015 at 4:01 am

      I've looked many website's.still don't understand how to solve the last layer of a 3x3 rubix cube!!! someone help me plss

  11. hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
    February 7, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    well, i must admit, i haven't come across many blogs whose author replies as much as AKSHATA does and with such curiosity and respect.............

  12. Robert O
    January 19, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    I was introduced to the Rubik's Cube 30+ years ago (when I was a teen), and to this date have never been able to solve more than one side. :-(

    I remember when my aunt first brought over the cube; I took it and locked myself in the closet for an hour before I sheepishly emerged with just one side solved.

    This article makes it seem that even I can learn to solve the cube! The "notation" stuff is a bit confusing, but I do have an unsolved cube near my bed, so I guess I can give it a go!

    Thanks for the great article! Let's see if, after 30 years, I can finally conquer the Cube!

    • Akshata
      January 20, 2014 at 3:37 am

      Thank you, Robert!

      At least you were able to solve one side right away. I wasn't :)

      The clockwise-anticlockwise moves can be a bit confusing in the beginning, but with a little careful practice, you get used to it. Spend a Sunday focusing on the solution, and I'm sure you'll get it right.

      Let us know how it goes.

  13. Abin
    January 19, 2014 at 6:16 am

    You can use F2L method to solve rubiks fast. Using this method you can solve 2 layers with a single algorithm.

    • Akshata
      January 20, 2014 at 3:27 am

      Oh. I'm wondering if the CFOP method suggested by Brian above is another name for F2L. Will try them all :)

  14. MacLightning
    January 18, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    I was able to solve 2 upper layers when I first picked up a rubik's cube. My brother could solve 1 layer (he was only 6 at that time).

    • Akshata
      January 20, 2014 at 3:25 am

      That's interesting. I don't know their secret, but somehow kids seem to get it right quicker than adults.

  15. Rubik
    January 18, 2014 at 3:58 am

    I had a cube as a kid. One day, some stranger walked over and asked to have a go at solving it. He held it behind his back, twisted and turned it for about one minute, then presented me with a completed cube. He walked away with no explanation - just a smile. There is -- must be, a simpler solution than I've managed to find on the web.

    • Akshata
      January 18, 2014 at 5:05 am

      I know a kid who does that (solving behind his back) and solves a 5x5 cube pretty quickly too. Now I'm more determined than ever to learn to solve it faster. I guess once the cube twists and turns come intuitively, finding a different method of your own becomes easier.

    • Akshata
      January 18, 2014 at 5:24 am

      If you do find a simpler solution (and the stranger someday), do let us know :)

    • Rubik
      January 18, 2014 at 5:01 pm

      It happened sometime in the eighties! The cube was distinctive - so no trickery or dismantling was involved - it happened too quickly.

  16. Brian M
    January 18, 2014 at 1:29 am

    I started speedcubing a bit more than half a decade ago. Since then, my times have improved quite a lot. I prefer to use CFOP to solve cubes.

    • Akshata
      January 18, 2014 at 4:58 am

      I'm waiting to try speedcubing. I'll add CFOP to my growing list of methods to try. Thanks for the tip, Brian.

    • joshua one
      January 16, 2016 at 4:39 am

      Gud morning I have a cube I solve it but it take long time to solve I want to make short or fast my time.What is the meaning of CFOP thank you..

  17. mango
    January 17, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    I got a cube a christmas present back in the 1970s.. It never left my side for the first week.. I managed to solve it by new years day.. The method I found was to get first the top 4 corners, then the bottom 4 corners, then the top and bottom layer, and finally the middle layer.. this is the only method I have ever used.. Never looked into the top,middle, bottom solution that most people who have read up on a solution use..

    • Adam B
      January 18, 2014 at 1:57 am

      yes I too feel this is the easiest way as Mr. Mango has suggested. I solve the cube exactly as you too do it. Top corners, Bottom Corners, Top and Bottom layers, and last middle layers.

    • Akshata
      January 18, 2014 at 4:54 am

      I must give that a shot then. The good thing is now that I have got one method right, I don't worry about messing up a solved portion of the cube to try something else.

  18. Alan W
    January 17, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    I always found that taking off all the buttons or whatever they are called and putting them back on in the right order the easiest method.

    • Akshata
      January 18, 2014 at 4:51 am

      It is, but not easy as detachable colored stickers :D

  19. Jonathan
    January 17, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    As someone who solves regularly this is a fairly good way to start. Nice article. +1

    • Akshata
      January 18, 2014 at 4:51 am

      Thank you, Jonathan :)

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