How I solved the cube with just 4 algorithms

Rubiks cube

There are two approaches to solving rubiks cube you must choose from.

1. Find the solution yourself. Start with one side and solve layer by layer till your done. Find all the algorithms you need without help. This is the hardest way, but most rewarding.

2. Use an online guide to learn a method to solve the cube. This is the easy way, but once you go down this road you can never go back to the first option.

The best way to do option number two is to follow the beginners guide at SolveTheCube. You can also follow my method and read the rest of this post, but be warned it’s not really a guide. However my first method for solving the last layer is a bit different from the usual OLL/PLL methods, which other cube nerds might find interesting. Also I believe it’s the method with fewest algorithms to learn.

(For learning notation for the algorithms check out

Of course I started with solving the side facing me first (and needed to turn everything upside down later for learning the two look CFOP method). I started with the first layer cross and edges.

First layer cross
R’ D’ R

The second layer edges was harder, but after some trial and error I managed to find an algorithm to manipulate the second layer edges without messing up the first layer. This was my first discovered algorithm that I memorized. By mirroring it I could now complete the F2L.

R’ D R D F D’ F’
L D’ L’ D’ F’ D F

So far I needed just one algorithm. I attacked the last layer like the first. Trying to build the cross, and placing the corners last. For building the cross i quickly found that it was just 4 cases to start from.
Yellow cross, line, L or a dot.
I permuted the cross for all cases by repeating this algorithm i found multiple times:

Then I found and algorithm to orient the cross:

R’ D’ R D’ R D2

Now only the last layer corners remained. Finding an algoritm that just changed the last layer corners was a challenge. Finally I came up with. R’ D’ R B R’ D R D’ B’ D which keeps one last layer corner untouched and moves the other three around.

Now it was only a matter of finding how the corners moved and applying it in an order to get everything in place. I found that byt getting two corners on the same side correct, then just mirror the algorithm keeping the stationary corner like this did the trick:

If the yellow stickers are facing sideways, it must be done twice.

So that was basically it. After finding how to solve the first face all thats needed to solve the cube is:

  • R’ D R D F D’ F’ (Second layer edges, mirror for left/right)
  • R’ D’ B’ D B R (Permute last layer cross)
  • R’ D’ R D’ R D2 (Orient last layer cross)
  • R’ D’ R B R’ D R D’ B’ D (Permute and orient last layer corners, mirror left/right)

The main advantage with this method is that it’s very few algorithms to memorize. However, because the same algorithms are used many times the methods generates many moves which makes it slow. There’s many ways to optimize it. For example permuting the two last corners can be done by mirroring R’ D’ R D’ R D2 like this:

Hope you found this interessting. Happy cubing!

Cube animation powered by Roofpig, embedded with a simple plugin script.

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