How to Solve a Rubik’s Cube, Step by Step

Earlier this year, while putting in_concert a video_recording about the world’s fastest solvers of the Rubik’s Cube, I decided to devote some clock_time to learning to resolve the authoritative perplex myself. Tyson Mao, a cofounder of the World Cube Association, came to WIRED’s offices and spend about an hour teaching me his go-to beginner’s method. Afterwards he told me that, with practice, I could credibly get my modal clear fourth_dimension down to under a moment and a half. Ninety seconds is not fast by speedcubing standards (the world’s fastest cubers median good downstairs 10 seconds per solve), but Mao said it would be a estimable meter for a dabbling_duck such as myself.

I began practicing the following day. My beginning prison_term solving the block on my own took me more than 20 minutes. Brutal. But I kept at it: For two weeks I spend at least 20 minutes a sidereal_day scrambling my block and solving it the manner Mao had taught me. First I memorized a handful of algorithm (cuber slang for specify sequences of moves known to advance a block close to its resolve state). then I practiced performing them faster and more precisely.

By sidereal_day three I was solving the block in under four minutes. I broke the two-minute barrier a match days later, on a cross-country escape to Florida. (Planes are an ideal topographic_point to exercise cubing.) The improvements came more lento after that, but within a fortnight I’d lowered my modal resolve clock to a small under 60 seconds.

In the clock_time since we published the television about speedcubing, respective viewers requested that WIRED create another video_recording demonstrating the method_acting I used when learning to clear the cube. So we made one! Above you’ll find a ocular usher in which I walk you through the lapp solving method_acting that Mao taught me. Below is a written tutorial that summarizes the points in the video, including the eight steps you’ll follow to clear the cube, an overview of block notation, and descriptions of the algorithm you’ll motivation to memorize.

The tutorial under was primitively created by Mao, so all recognition goes to him. I’ve merely tweaked it for the sake of clarity.

One stopping_point thing: While the tutorial can function as a stand-alone document, it’s truly intended as a addendum to the video. In time, you might come to rely entirely on the written instructions, but don’t be discouraged if you find yourself referencing the television for help—especially when you’re starting out.

Before You Begin

Here are some things you should know about the Rubik’s Cube. Some of these points might strike you as fiddling at first, but each affords some penetration that will become clearer the more fourth_dimension you spend with the cube.

  • The Rubik’s Cube has six faces.
  • Each face is define by its center. The face with the blue center will ultimately be blue when the block is solved.
  • Centers don’t move. White is typically opposite of yellow, blue is typically opposite green, and red is typically opposite orange.
  • Corner pieces have three stickers and edge pieces have two stickers. When solving the cube, try to keep in mind that you are moving pieces, not stickers. Another means of thinking about this point is that a red sticker on a corner piece will never move to an edge position.
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