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4×4 Rubik’s Cube

The Basics

The 4×4(x4) Rubik’s Cube (most people just say 4 by 4) is so named for the 4 “cubelets” it has on each side. People also call it the Master Cube or Rubik’s Revenge. And if you’re looking to solve it, you’re in luck! It’s not that hard to get the hang of, but think of people’s faces when you pull this one out! Because of how it’s solved though, you will most likely want to know the 3×3 first. Most people choose to tackle the 2×2 and 3×3 before the bigger cubes, followed by the 4×4. Then comes the 5×5 if you’re ready for more, and 6×6 on up if you happen to be rich.

Why the 4×4?

People learn to solve and use the 4×4 Rubik’s Cube for the challenge it brings and the talent it shows. It looks pretty simple at first. But anyone who has seen someone solve it or tried it themselves knows the struggle is certainly real. Especially with a cube like the 4×4. So it’s no surprise that puzzles like these can teach you loads of skills needed in life; problem-solving, short-term memory, skill acquisition, the list goes on and on. Ever been in an awkward position with nothing to do, people around or not? Bam, pull out a 4×4. Are you ever feeling like you’re not the coolest person in the room? The solution to that problem should be evident.

Now for a more specific question, why the 4×4 above other Rubik’s Cubes? The 4×4 offers a few unique things. First, why not have all of them? You don’t need to choose one type of Rubik’s Cube. All of them have unique aspects that make them interesting. The 4×4 has a few absolute sells though. First, if you’re looking for more challenge after solving a 3×3, the 4×4 is a perfect step up. It’s affordable while not being insanely complex like some of the bigger cubes. Second, the 4×4 can be scrambled and solved like a 3×3 and 2×2, effectively making it a clunky version of both of those.


World records for Rubik’s Cubes are all over the place, and always improving. The current record as of this article’s last update for the fastest solve of a 4×4 is 16.86 seconds, set in 2021! The record time to solve a 4×4 blindfolded is currently 57.87 seconds.

Solving a 4×4

As someone starting out, you’ll solve the 4×4 using something called the reduction method or Yau method (essentially the same). This method works by pairing all like pieces on the edges and middle, making it work much like a 3×3. From there, it’s totally possible to follow a good 3×3 guide to finish things up. Content related to actually solving a 4×4 hopefully is coming soon; for now, J Perm’s video is a great place to look, and cubeskills’s tutorial is a good one as well.


Rubik’s Cube notation is a way of recording algorithms, or ways to solve or scramble, a Rubik’s Cube. It works by referring to parts of the cube and recording how they should move. The 4×4 is somewhat annoying to tackle because of its size but becomes intuitive pretty easily. This is a shorter explanation, you’ll find a more in-depth one with a simple search.

You’ll see people refer to the outside faces of the cube as “U” for up, “R” for right, etc. “L” means left, “F” front, “B” back, and “D” down. Next, “u” will represent the row just below “U”; “r” is for the row right next to “R”, and so on. Lastly in identifying what to move, some people like to move 2 or 3 rows at once. You’ll find that recorded as Rw (Right Wide) for rows r and R, or just as Rr. One last thing, the direction of rotation. If someone writes “R”, it means rotate that face clockwise. An R with an apostrophe ‘ next to it means rotate that face counterclockwise. R2 means rotate that face counterclockwise twice. This works for any letter, so L2 or B’ are all legal.

That’s all you need to know. To wrap up, let’s look at an algorithm for the 4×4: “U2 R’ u Rw’ “. To follow it, rotate the “Up” face (the face on top) clockwise twice (a U-turn in all senses). Then rotate the right face counterclockwise. The row inside from the top face you’ll rotate clockwise. Finally, the right face and its neighbor rotate counterclockwise. If your cube now looks like a scrambled mess, well done! If this just ruined a perfect cube it’s ok, you can do it backwards! It’s “Rw u’ R U2”.

Where to Buy

Amazon and Walmart are actually pretty good places to get cheap speed cubes, as far as starting out goes. There are also plenty of cubing devoted 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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