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Rubik’s 5×5 Notation

What’s Special about 5×5 Notation?

THE MAIN IDEA: Rubik’s 5×5 Notation is made much simpler by learning 3×3 notation and how to solve the 3×3 first. Rubik’s 5×5 notation is like English or any language–just specific to the Rubik’s Cube. It’s how we record moves on a Rubik’s Cube, just like you would use English to write in a journal.

THE RUBIK’S 5×5 NOTATION PART: if you’re here because you know 3×3 notation already but 5×5 notation in addition confused you, 5×5 notation is just like the 3×3, except f doesn’t mean double wide turn but instead means the layer behind f. In the case of a 5×5, Fw or Ff is what denotes a double wide turn, and 3Fw denotes a triple wide turn, or taking the middle along with Ff.

Learn the Rest

THE BASICS: there are six faces on a Rubik’s cube, and a letter for each one. F=front, B=back, U=up, D=down, R=right, L=left. If I said the letter (F) to you, that would mean turn the front face clockwise.

5x5 notation

PRIME ROTATION: any letter with an apostrophe ‘ after it marks a prime, or counterclockwise, rotation.

DOUBLE ROTATION: F2 means rotate the front face twice. It doesn’t matter which direction.

WIDE ROTATION: Fw for a 5×5 means rotate the front face and the inner row that goes with it. 3Fw is the same thing, just including the middle row.

SECOND ROW ROTATION: In contrast to the 3×3 Rubik’s cube, the symbol f in a 5×5 solve guide would notate moving the layer behind F and that layer alone. Same with any other letter.

MIDDLE SLICE: M, E, and S notate what are called “middle slices”. They describe turning the middle layer. The “M”iddle layer turn is in the same direction as an L turn, the “E”quatorial layer turn is in the same direction as a D turn, and the “S”tanding layer turn is in the same direction as an F turn. The names seem pretty random, but there you have it.

WHOLE CUBE ROTATION: X, Y, and Z notate rotating the whole cube, along the X Y and Z axis. The X rotation is in the same direction as an R turn, Y as a U, and Z as an F.

Where to Go from Here?

If you’re still stuck, Kewbz UK has a pretty stellar guide on Rubik’s 5×5 notation.

If you’re still here, try to solve the 5×5!

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