Before we start solving the cube, we need a way to justify the moves you make on the cube. This is important because you cannot solve the cube without learning this. The paragraph below explains what I am talking about.
Notation for the moves: This part is for describing the moves you can do on your cube.The cube consists of nine layers. Each layer has it own symbol so you can identify each layer. The F layer is the closest layer to you, if you hold your cube in a certain way, for the sake of simplicity Blue is on front, White is on top. So the blue would the F or the Front layer since it is on the front get what I mean? There is, B, R, L, U, D moves too. B is for the back layer, R is for the right layer, L is for the left layer, U is for the top layer and D is for the bottom layer. Are we still on the same page here? Hopefully you are. These moves mean to turn the layer clockwise 90 degrees. If there is an ' after a layer name then you turn it counterclockwise 90 degrees and when there is a 2 after the layer symbol you turn it twice in either direction. Finally the M, E, S moves mean M = layer between L and R, E = layer between U and D and S = layer between F and B.
So if I say to these moves R U R’ U’ R2 you would do the following
Turn the right layer clockwise (90 degrees) ·
Turn the top layer clockwise (90 degrees)
·Turn the right layer anti clockwise (90 degrees) ·
Turn the top layer anticlockwise (90 degrees) ·
Turn the top layer clockwise or anti clockwise (180 degrees)
Note that from here on out I will only use this notation described above without the degrees. So if I say R just turn the right layer clockwise 90 degrees and if there is a 2 after the layer symbol turn that layer halfway around or 180 degrees. Please understand this notation very clearly when performing the algorithms so you don’t screw up. If it was Uw, you would turn the top 2 layers clockwise (together) or what ever the layer symbol is. You should now be able to understand this notation system.
Parts of your Rubik’s cube I want to make you familiar with the types of pieces in your cube. It is not going to be long so just look at the bullets below briefly for about a minute
* Centers: The centers are what make the cube twistable. There found in the middle of each face (So if you want to find the blue face look for a blue sticker in the middle or center of your cube). Only one sticker is on a center *
Edges: The edges are one of the 2 things you need to solve the cube. Edges have 2 stickers on them and there are 12 of them on the cube. (Count them if you want to)
*Corners: The corners are the second piece you need to solve to complete the cube. Corners have 3 stickers on them and there are 4 on the top layer and 4 on the bottom or down layer.
I have one last thing to say before I actually start talking about the cube solving part. As you probably know, the cube has tons of possible combinations. There are 2 key elements making up those billions of billions of combinations. Orientation is how a piece is flipped (edges) or twisted (corners). Permutation is where the piece is physically on the cube. So that’s about it for the intro... enjoy the guide!!!
Okay now for the guide it self. I am going to give you an idea of what the steps are and then go in detail about each step:
Step 1: The white cross on top
Step 2: Solve the first layer
Step 3: Solve the first 2 layers (F2L) The last layer is the by far the most difficult to explain so I separated the solution into corners and edges
4a: Orient the last 4 edges
4b: Solve the last 4 edges
5a: Orient the remaining corners
5b: Solve the corners
Step 1: Solve the white cross
In this step what you basically do is the following: find 4 edge/ middle pieces of one color and solve them. You can pick whatever color you like on your cube. In this guide, I will use the color white to make the cross, always. Note that when you correctly solve the cross the white side has a plus sign on it and from the side the centers match up with the edge pieces. By the centers matching up I mean that, for example the blue center must match up with the blue/white edge piece. Right now you don’t care about the yellow side or whatever the opposite side is from where you are going to make the cross. I am assuming that your cube scrambled a lot. If the conditions do not match with your cube for any possible case skip the cases that are not your cases. In this guide I will hold white on the top and blue on the front. First of all, locate where the four white or your color on top edge pieces are: on the top layer, in the middle layer, or in the bottom layer. You have to solve one edge at a time. Since my front face is blue I look at the blue/white edge piece.
A(1) If it is on the bottom layer, with the white facing down, simply connect the blue center with blue side of blue/white edge piece and bring it to the top by doing F2.
A (2) The second case is where the edge is on the bottom layer but instead the blue is facing down. Try the same strategy and you will find that it needs to be flipped the other way. What you can do is, instead of connecting it using the front side you can use the left or right side to connect and insert the piece correctly or you can do this algorithm to fix the problem: F U' R U. Lets say that you are holding the cube and blue white edge piece happens on the bottom layer on the right side and blue is facing down. If you do R then the blue center and blue side of the blue white piece match. Simply to solve the piece do an F’ and the edge is solved. If you have this case, but the piece is on the left side on the bottom, just mirror the moves. You would do L’ F and the piece is solved. If the piece is on top and the white matches with white then just align the centers so the piece is solved. You can do a U or U’ or U2 to align them. If it’s flipped the wrong way, try connecting the other color with its center using R layer moves, L layer moves, F layer moves, or the B layer moves. If the piece is in the middle layer bring it to the bottom or the top layer, then solve it using one of the cases above. To bring the piece down from the middle layer you can use R L F or B to bring it down. Repeat the process four times so that the edges on the white face are solved. I believe that this step is the hardest for beginners to comprehend and understand but with practice it will get easier and easier.
Step 2: Solve the first layer
You now have the white cross; the edge pieces on the white side are solved. First thing you do in this step is finding a missing corner that belongs to the white side. Did you find one? Well, I am sure you did. It can be in two layers: the top layer or the bottom layer. I am assuming it is on the bottom layer. If not, bring it to the bottom layer. To do that you do the following: hold the cube so that the corner you want to bring down is on the top-front-right side. Next, do the following moves: R' D' R D. The target corner or the corner you wanted to bring down is down. Now you solve the corner, find the other two colors on the corner piece. Got them? Ok, now carefully look at where the 2 other colors are on the cube. I will give you an example; the other colors are blue and orange. So bring the corner below its home. The home is where the corner would be when the cube is solved. So I bring my blue-orange-white piece below where the blue orange and white intersect on the top layer. On my cube when I hold blue in front white on top, the orange is on my right. Basically bring your corner below its correct solved position. The placing move is R' D' R D. Make sure that your corner is on the bottom right front position before performing the move. Do the move until you see the white side of your corner on the white side. Was that really that difficult? A little? Here is a way to check that you are doing everything correctly. If I solve all the four corners of the white side from the perspective of blue or any other color besides yellow or white there should be a "T" on the front side of that color. In other words, there will be a line above the center of a color. The line should be only one color going across and the center should also be the same color. In the picture below, I hope you can see the orange and blue "T"
Step 3: First two layers
Now we have completed the first layer of the cube. As you can see it consisted of simple logic and thinking. So now we flip the cube so that the white side is on the bottom. To solve the second layer we need to put in the 4 middle layer edges. First things first, find an edge piece that belongs to the middle layer. Belongs to the middle layer means it does not have yellow on it. Found it? Now look at the color of the edge piece that is not facing up. By using the U moves connect the not facing top color with its center. Good, now find the spot that your edge belongs to. Hold the your cube so that your connected edge is on the front. The place where you want to place your piece is either on the left or right. If it is on the left then perform this algorithm to place your edge piece in: U' L' U L U F U' F'. Now your piece is solved. If you want to place your piece to the right then do this algorithm: U R U R' U' F' U' F. Here is an example: I want to solve the blue red piece with out disturbing the first layer. I find the blue- red edge piece, in this example blue is facing up meaning not to the side. I use the top layer to connect the red side of the blue - red edge with the red center because it is not facing up like the blue. Once I connect the edge correctly, I hold the cube so that red is in front and yellow is on top. Finally, I use the first or second algo depending if I want to place it on the right or left. After you get one middle layer edge down, just repeat the simple process three time and you have completed 2/3 of the cube. Pat yourself on the back and move on to the last and the most confusing layer on the cube.
Step 4a: Orient the last 4 edges
By this point, we have completed the first 2 layers of the cube. So we have only more layer to go or lets say 8 pieces left to solve (4 edges, 4corners). With the white still facing down, look at how many edges are oriented correctly. In other words, look at if the yellow stickers of the edges are facing up or not. There are 4 possibilities that can occur: All the yellow stickers are on the yellow side, 2 yellow stickers are on the yellow side, or no yellow stickers are on the yellow side. Remember we are only looking at the edges, ignore the corners. If you have all the yellow stickers of the last edges on the yellow face (when you just look at the face with yellow facing you), you are lucky and can skip this step. Please read on though. Okay so the second case, it has 2 scenarios. First one is where the two edges you need to flip are across from each other and the second scenario is when the two edges you need to flip are adjacent or next to each other. To deal with the first scenario do the following, hold your cube in away so that the edges that need to be flipped are in the F and B layers but on the U layer. Once you hold it correctly then do this short sequence: F R U R' U' F'. I believe when you do this once then you are done. If you have the second scenario, then hold your cube so that the edges that need to flipped are in the F and L layer, but on the top layer of course. Do the algorithm listed above twice and you are finished. Lastly if you have the case where no edges are flipped correctly do the algo once and it becomes one of the two cases listed above.
Step 4b: Solve the remaining edges
Now you may have noticed that once step 4a has been done, it looks like a yellow cross. Well, it is not a complete cross. This is a very simple step. Use the top layer (again with white facing down) to solve one of the 4 edge pieces. By using, I meant U moves. Only get one. Okay so now hold your cube so that your solved edge is in the front up position. Do these moves once or twice to get all the four edges in the solved position: R2 U' R' U' R U R U RU' R. Not confusing, eh?
Step 5a: Orient the last 4 corners
Here come the final moments before you earn bragging rights for the cube. Here are some things to point out: we can’t move the U layer any more because the edges are disturbed. We have to use super safe algos otherwise it is all over. To orient the corners, we only need one algo by our side. It is: R' D' R D. Hold your cube so that the front right up corner needs to be twisted correctly. There are 4 cases: 4 corners needed to be twisted, 3 corners need to be twisted or 2 corners need to be twisted. Do the move listed above 1,3 or 5 times. Once the yellow sticker of your front right up corner is on the yellow face, rotate the top layer to find another corner piece and repeat. The colors on your previous layer look to be getting messed up, but DO NOT freak out and read and follow my directions very carefully. Once you do this step correctly, the 2 bottom layers come back magically and just turn the top layer once or twice to get back your 4 solved edges.
5b: Solve the corners and finish the Rubik’s cube!!!
Drum roll please! Okay so we are just moments away from cube glory and defeating the worlds number 1 puzzle! So we have to name the corners now. Corner 1 is the one on the front left side, Corner 2 is on the front right side, Corner 3 is on the back right side and Corner 4 is on the back right side. If you have one corner solved, hold the cube so that is corner 4.Then do this algo once or twice very carefully and slowly: R B' R F2 R' B R F2 R2. You are done!!! If you have no corners solve then do the algo above once and then it becomes the first case and you can solve it exactly as listed above.