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CFOP Strategies

The CFOP Strategies article is a blueprint for an amazing CFOP foundation! Nobody takes the advice of people who have been here before, but seriously, it’s worth it to know this before starting. I know cuz I had to go back and learn it.

CFOP stands for Cross, F2L (First Two Layers), OLL (Orient Last Layer), and PLL (Permutate Last Layer). It’s an intermediate to advanced strategy, so if you aren’t already, you should become familiar with the Beginner’s Method. currently doesn’t have a comprehensive CFOP guide. However, JPerm’s guide and SolveTheCube’s alg sheets on speedsolving are both amazing, and I would really recommend them.

The Strats

CFOP Strategy 1: Slow down to go fast. This ALWAYS works eventually! It’s not intuitive, but as you take time during your solve to slow down and recognize patterns, your solve actually speeds up. There’s actually a ton of science behind this, too much to explain here, so if you’re interested head on over to my article about slowing down.

CFOP Strategy 2: Lookahead. This applies to F2L most. It involves looking ahead (wow) at possible pairs to solve and where they are, while you’re solving the current pair. For a 30 second solve, as much as 18 seconds are often F2L; lookahead can cut that time in half if done properly.

CFOP Strategy 3: Time spent improving individual algorithms is time not wasted. Going into cubing, I was really hesitant to use CFOP strategies, specifically this one. They’re not bogus. This one can easily shave 5 seconds off a 30 second solve.

CFOP Strategy 4: Always be learning new algorithms, till you’ve mastered them all. Even the OLL ones.

CFOP Strategy 5: Don’t rotate the cube if at all possible. For F2L, if you can learn easy algorithms to insert a pair in the back, do it. For OLL and PLL, definitely rotate the top face if you need to but not the whole cube.

CFOP Strategy 6: Learn 2-look recognition. This applies specifically to PLL, and it’s good to know the same type of thing for F2L. Learn how to recognize every algorithm from just the two faces you can see.

I wish you luck on your cubing journey, and remember to cube smart not hard!

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