A SPECIAL NOTE: This tutorial is for solving the cube FROM LEFT TO RIGHT (start with White Cross on the LEFT FACE, and solve the cube on the RIGHT FACE).
The following animations are a step by step method for intermediate users.
3x3x3 Rubik Cube Notation
Cube Notation is a basic set of instructions, they are: Up, Down, Left, Right, Face, and Back. For short, this would read (U D L R F B).
The following pictures show the basics about "Faces" and "Pieces".
The 6 FACES
The "FACE" is the side of the cube that is facing you, no matter what color it is. Up will always be the side of the cube that is facing up. Please note, if I say "The UP FACE" or "The UP side", they mean the same thing. The other 3 faces you do not see here are RIGHT, DOWN, and BACK. In the picture below are the names of the individual PIECES of the cube.
Centers, Edges, and Corners.
The CENTERS (6 of them) have only 1 sticker, and they are always in the middle of each FACE.
The EDGES (12 of them) have 2 stickers.
The CORNERS (8 of them) have 3 stickers.
The following video shows the basic moves of the cube that you will be using to solve it.
3x3x3 Rubik Cube Notation (Directions)
Step 1: White Cross
Pick one of the six colors of the cube to start with.
I usually start with white, and I build a "white cross" on the left side (left face) of the cube.
Here is a picture that shows what the white cross looks like when done:
Solving the "White Cross"
The following video shows how to solve the "White Cross" by building what looks like a Daisy Flower on the Yellow Face (the right side of the cube that has the Yellow Center) of the cube, and then moving the White Edge Pieces to the White Face (the left side) to create the White Cross.
(White Edge Pieces have 1 White sticker, and another sticker with another color on it)
Rubik Cube Solve - STEP 1 - White Cross
Tip: You can always slow down the videos with the settings button on the bottom right side of the videos. You may have to click on the "Watch on Youtube" button to get the settings button to appear (it opens a new window).
Step 2: First Two Layers - Part 1
After completing the White Cross, its time to build the "First Two Layers"
For the first layer, the corner pieces with white stickers can fill in those empty spots around the white cross. Once there, they complete the first layer.
(A white corner piece has 1 white sticker, and 2 more stickers with other colors)
The picture below shows what the First Layer looks like when its complete. Please note how the Blue and Red Centers are matched up with the Edges of the same color, they form a sort of "T" shape, and it is turned sideways. The same is true for the Green and Orange that you cannot see in this picture.
Video for solving the First Layer
The video below shows 3 ways to put the White Corners into the First Layer.
Rubik Cube Solve - STEP 2 - Part 1
Step 2: First Two Layers - Part 2
The next thing to do is to complete the Second Layer.
There are 4 Edges that can fill in the empty spots between the Centers of the Second Layer. The 4 Edges have these colors: Blue, Red, Green, and Orange.
The picture below shows the Second Layer when it is complete.
Video for solving the Second Layer
The video below shows 3 ways to put the Edges into the Second Layer.
Rubik Cube Solve - STEP 2 - Part 2
Once the First Two Layers are complete, its time to begin solving the Last Layer.
STEP 3 - YELLOW CROSS
The first part of STEP 3 is to build a "Yellow Cross", just like the White Cross. In order to do this, you must learn a little bit of pattern recognition for the Yellow Stickers.
Look at the Yellow Face, and see how many of the 4 Yellow Edge stickers are showing on that face.
The following quick video shows what I mean by this:
Explaining Yellow Cross Patterns
|# of Yellow Edge Stickers||Patterns|
0, center only
2, adjacent to center
2, parallel to center
"Yellow Cross" cases
Any of the 3 cases above can be turned into the case below, the Yellow Cross.
The picture below is how the Yellow Cross looks, notice how the colors of the rest of the stickers do not matter at this point.
The video below the picture demonstrates the various patterns, and how to solve the Yellow Cross.
Rubik Cube Solve - Video for solving the Yellow Cross
TIP: Practice the algorithm in the video above to familiarize yourself with the various patterns.
If you have an "L" case, and you do the algorithm, it will give you a "Line" case.
If you have a "Line" case and you do the algorithm, it will give you a "Yellow Cross" case.
If you have a "Yellow Cross" and you do the algorithm, it will give you an "L" case.
Doing the algorithm from a "DOT" case will give you an "L" case.
Doing the algorithm from any case SIX TIMES will result in the same case you started with.
Once you have the Yellow Cross, you can now solve one of "THE 7 SUNES" Please click the picture below if you cannot read it!
The 7 Videos below the picture are in the same order.
Step 4 - the 7 Sunes
Only 2 Algorithms
The following is not really 7 different algorithms, it is actually Sune, and Antisune, put together in various ways to solve all 7 cases.
For instance, For the Bruno Case (#7), it is the Antisune algorithm, followed by an R' (right invert) move, and then followed by the Antisune algorithm again.
|Case Name||Algorithm Performed||Result|
1 - Sune
Step 4 Complete
2 - Antisune
Step 4 Complete
3 - Diagonals
Antisune 3 Times
Step 4 Complete
4 - Headlights
Antisune, then Sune
Step 4 Complete
5 - Blinkers
Sune, R2, Then Antisune
Step 4 Complete
6 - Superman
Sune OR Antisune TWICE
Step 4 Complete
7 - Bruno
Antisune, R', then Antisune
Step 4 Complete
Step 4 - the 7 Sunes - Sune
Step 4 - the 7 Sunes - Antisune
Step 4 - the 7 Sunes - Diagonals
Step 4 - the 7 Sunes - Headlights
Step 4 - the 7 Sunes - Blinkers
Step 4 - the 7 Sunes - Superman
Step 4 - the 7 Sunes - Bruno
TIP: You can practice The 7 Sunes easily by performing the Sune, or Antisune algorithm without messing up the rest of the cube.
If you have the Antisune case, and you perform the Sune algorithm, it will give you the Sune case.
If you have the Bruno case, and you perform the Sune algorithm, it will give you the Blinkers Case.
If you have the Headlights case, and you perform the Antisune algorithm TWICE, it will give you the case of Bruno.
Performing Sune or Antisune SIX TIMES will always result in the same case you started off with.
After you have completed one of the 7 Sunes, your cube should look like the following picture.
If your cube does not look like this, please repeat Step 4 - The 7 Sunes.
How the cube looks after completing The 7 Sunes.
STEP 5 - PLL (Permute Last Layer)
The first part of Step 5 is to get a pair of "HEADLIGHTS" on one side of the last layer, (you might have that already), and then make Headlights on all four sides.
It only takes 1 algorithm to do this. In the picture below, you can see the pair of Green Headlights. If your cube does not have a pair like this (it makes no difference what color they are, as long as they are not yellow or white), then all you have to do is to perform the algorithm one time to get one pair.
Then put that pair on the bottom of the cube (the Down Face), and perform the algorithm one more time to make headlights on all four corners, like the second picture below.
The colors of the remaining edge pieces do not matter at this point.
Video for making Headlights
The video below shows how to make one pair of Headlights, and then all of the Headlights with the same algorithm.
Rubik Cube Solve - Step 5 - Part 1
TIP: You can practice the algorithm in the video above.
If you have NO HEADLIGHTS, doing the algorithm one time will make a pair.
If you have a pair, and you put them on the bottom (Down Face), it will make Headlights all around.
If you have all Headlights and you do the algorithm, it will take away 3 pairs and leave you with one pair.
STEP 5 - Part 2 - The 4 Dot Cases
Once you have the Headlights, you can now solve the "DOTS". Please click the picture below if you cannot read it!
The 4 Dot Cases are all in the video below the picture, and they are in the same order.
Here is the timestamps for each case:
1) 3 Dot Swap Clockwise - 0:10
2) 3 Dot Swap Counter-Clockwise - 1:50
3) 4 Dot Swap Straight Across - 4:05
4) 4 Dot Swap Diagonally - 6:35
It only takes one algorithm to complete this step and solve the cube. You may have to do the algorithm more than once, according to which case you have. Good Luck!
How the cube looks after performing the Headlights step.
Solve The Cube - Step 5 - Part 2 (Will Solve The Cube)
TIP: Practice the algorithm in the video above to familiarize yourself with the 4 patterns.
If you have the 3 Dot Swap Counter-Clockwise case, doing the algorithm once will give you the 3 Dot Swap Clockwise case.
If you have a solved cube, doing the algorithm once will give you the 3 Dot Swap Counterclockwise case.
If you have the 4 Dot Swap Straight Across case and you do the algorithm once, it will give you the 3 Dot Swap Clockwise case.
If you have the 4 Dot Swap Diagonally case, and you do the algorithm once, it will give you the 3 Dot Swap Clockwise case.
Doing the algorithm Three Times will give you the same case you started with.
Your cube should be solved, if not, feel free to go back and repeat any of the steps. For instance, lets say you have the First Two Layers solved, but your having trouble with getting the Yellow Cross, you can go back to Step 3 to fix it, then follow the rest of the steps from there.
Mark Wipfler (author) from USA on January 24, 2015:
Please let me know if you see something that needs to be fixed! Thank you!