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2×2 Rubik’s Cube

The Basics

The 2x2x2 Rubik’s cube, most often called the 2 by 2, Mini Cube, or Pocket Cube, is named for the two squares on each edge of the cube. As far as the cubes go, it’s the easiest to master, and either 2×2 or 3×3 cubes will make for good starter cubes. As you master the 2×2, you can move on to 3×3, 4×4, and, if you’re feeling ambitious, 5×5 and above! For any age level, beginners or masters, 2×2 is a fun and basic cube that’s great for fiddling with, and your friends will be in awe at your cube-solving abilities.

Why the 2×2?

Because 2×2 cubes are smaller and simpler other cubes, they’re easier to master and make a great cube to practice on if you’re new to the art of Rubik’s cubing. With six faces to a cube, it can be intimidating to get every color in order, but 2×2 offers the easiest solution with only two rows and columns to line up—rather than three or above. 2×2 cubes are also smaller than any other size, making them the perfect cube to slip into a backpack and bring anywhere. The faster you get at solving Rubik’s cubes, the cooler it looks, and with a little practice, even the basic 2×2 can be impressive and entertaining. Fun fact: 2×2 cubes have over three million unique color combinations when scrambled, and you can learn to solve all of them!

While the 2×2 is a great beginning cube if you’re just getting into cubing, there isn’t one specific cube that you have to start with. 3×3 is the most common kind of cube out there, and it takes different techniques, but isn’t too hard to master with some effort. Anything bigger than 3×3 will be hard to start with, though. 2×2 isn’t just for beginners, either; even as an experienced cuber, you can still enjoy fiddling with a little 2×2 and breaking your personal speed records.


While for some, Rubik’s cubing is just a fun hobby, there is a community of competitive “speedcubers” who attempt to break records in their communities or worldwide. The world record time for solving a 2×2 cube is 0.49 seconds, set by Maciej Czapiewski (Poland) on 20 March 2016!

The world record for the fastest average time to solve a 2x2x2 rotating puzzle cube is 1.02 seconds, set by Zayn Khanani (USA) on 12 February 2022.

Solving a 2×2

If you’ve already learned how to solve a 3×3, you’ll be happy to know that solving a 2×2 is basically the same strategy—a 2×2 is just the corner of a 3×3. Basically, you’ll want to get a certain pattern solved as the first step, and then from there you can do the rest (usually the pattern should be in yellow or white). For 2×2’s, that base pattern is solving the first layer. You’ll get the side you chose solved in such a way that the first layer of all the other colors on the edges are also lined up. To do that without ruining things, two easy algorithms are R’ D’ R and F D F’. Next, put the solved layer on the bottom and solve the new U face (which, if you started on white, will be yellow, and vice versa). This time, don’t worry about those edges. Finally, look for any corners that are correctly aligned (or “permuted”) and move them into place, do U’, and execute the algorithm L’ U R’ D2 R U’ R’ D2 R2.

More in-depth content related to solving a 2×2 will hopefully be coming soon; for now, J Perm’s video on 2×2’s is a great place to look, and Rubiksplace 2×2 tutorial is a good one as well.


Rubik’s Cube notation is a way of recording the solving or scrambling a Rubik’s Cube, and it refers to parts of the cube and how they should move. The 2×2 has no middle layers, so the notation is simpler than bigger cubes, and becomes intuitive pretty easily. This is just a basic overview on notation; you can go here for a more in-depth tutorial.

When using tutorials to learn to cube, you’ll see the outside faces of the cube referred to using letters, like “U”, “R”, or “F”. These abbreviations are pretty intuitive: there’s Front, Back, Right, Left, Up, and Down. This tells you which side you rotate in each move. Faces will always be in uppercase letters; lowercase is used to indicate layers (only important in bigger cubes). As for the direction of rotation, the default direction is clockwise. If a notation wants a counterclockwise movement, it will indicate with an apostrophe ‘ by the face.

Where to Buy

Amazon and Walmart are both good and widely found places to get cheap speed cubes, as far as starting out goes. There are also plenty of online cubing stores, like and, that sell multiple brands. A few good name brand names to check out are GAN, MoYu, and QiYi.

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