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How to Solve a 2×2

Let’s Solve a 2×2!

This article should be an easy step by step guide to get you solving the 2×2 in no time. The goal here is ease of solve, not speed of solve; the article is oriented towards a total beginner. Enjoy!

2×2 Notation

REAL FAST: Before you start solving, I will be using Rubik’s 2×2 Notation in this article for some simple algorithms. Here’s a quick reference, but each algorithm will lead to the notation page so don’t worry if you get stuck.

The default direction is clockwise, and (‘) means counterclockwise. If a 2 follows, like F2, rotate twice. F is the front face, U is the up face, R right face, L left face, D down face, and B back face.

1. White Face

THE GOAL: Get all 4 white pieces together, facing the same direction.

THE METHOD: select a face, select a corner piece, make sure it’s in the top layer, make sure white isn’t facing up, insert, repeat.

Select a Face: Here, we’ll pick a face, or side of the cube, we want to put all the white pieces on. I’d pick a face with a white piece or two already on it, to make it easier. Point that side of the cube down.

Select a Corner Piece: After selecting a face (side of the cube), let’s put all the white corners there. To select a corner piece, find any piece that has white on it and focus on that.

Make Sure it’s In the Top Layer: Remember, point the face you’ve chosen to line the white pieces on down. If the piece you’ve chosen isn’t on the top layer, use R U R’ to get it there.

Make Sure it Isn’t Facing Up: If the piece you’ve chosen has its white side facing up, use this algorithm to make it not do that: R U2 R’.

Insert: Turn the top layer till the white piece is above an empty slot in the bottom layer. Then, face the white side of that piece towards you. If the slot and piece are on the left side of the cube, do F U F’; if it’s on the right side do F’ U’ F.

2. First Layer

While it’s possible to do this step while solving the white face, it’s pretty hard. Pointing that beautiful white face downwards, we’re going to solve the first layer.

THE GOAL: Solve the first layer.

THE METHOD: Pick a piece, outsert, pick a place, insert, repeat.

Pick a Piece: Choose any piece that isn’t in line with its neighbors. That means if any parts of the first layer are solved, leave those.

Outsert: Do R U R’ on the piece you chose.

Pick a Place: The piece you picked has two other colors than white on it. After that you’ll want to put it (by moving the top layer) next to a piece in the first layer (not on top of) that has a matching color.

Insert: Do F’ U’F on the piece you chose, with white facing you.

3. Yellow Face

Let’s solve the yellow face! Remember to keep the white face down.

THE GOAL: Solve the yellow face.

THE METHOD: Pick a piece, align, do an algorithm, repeat.

Pick a Piece: Pick any piece without yellow facing up.

Align: Face the yellow face up, then turn the cube till the unsolved piece you picked is on your right side.

Do an Algorithm: Do (R’ D’ R D)(R’ D’ R D), and see how it rotated that piece you chose? Then, if it needs to be rotated again, don’t worry, just do the algorithm again, it’ll work out. When yellow is facing up, rotate the top face to put an unsolved piece in its place.

4. Second Layer (Solve)

This is the last step! You got this!

GOAL: Solve the cube.

Method: Align, do an algorithm in 2 cases.

Align: It’s kind of weird, but white is actually facing you for this step, for ease of doing the algorithm!

Case 1: If no pairs exist, then no matter how you rotate the top face (which is now the back face) you won’t be able to have 3 faces solved (white, yellow, and some other color). In that case, do (L2 D2)(L’ U’ L)(D2)(L’ U L’)

Case 2: No there is a pair of pieces in the top(back) layer. In this case, line them up to solve 3 faces, face that face to the left, and do (L2 D2)(L’ U’ L)(D2)(L’ U L’).

5. Congrats!

Nice job!! You now know how to solve a 2×2! And this congrats part is kind of a congrats part for me because I finished the article hehe. Consider buying a 2×2 if you don’t have one, or learning to speed solve!

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