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How to Solve a 4×4

Let’s Solve a 4×4!

This is a guide on how to solve a 4×4 Rubik’s Cube!

Learning to solve a 4×4 should be at least 2x easier than learning the 3×3.

1. 4×4 Notation

CAREFUL: 4×4 notation is super fast to pick up, but remember that unlike what you may have seen so far, f means to rotate the face behind the front face clockwise, not to rotate both the front face and the face behind it. Fw or Ff means to rotate both faces.

If you don’t know it already, go ahead and take 30 seconds to learn 4×4 notation.

2. Complete the Middles

I’ll assume you know how to solve a 3×3 by now. If you don’t, you’ll know by the end : D

THE GOAL: Solve the middle 4 pieces on each face.

THE METHOD: Solve the white middle, align the other middles, solve the other middles.

Solve the White Middle: Solving the white middle is pretty simple. There are a host of ways to do it; often I just do it like a 2×2. In fact, moving the 4×4 with only wide rotations (so making it essentially a 2×2) is a just fine way to solve the white middle.

Align the Other Middles: On the 4×4, it’s possible to align the red, orange, green, and blue middles all weird. To avoid this, insert a white corner piece next to the white middle and see where the other middles go based off that. As a refresher, blue and green, and orange and red, are across from each other.

Solve the Other Middles: We’ll use a simple algorithm to solve the other middles. It’s Rw U’ Rw’. It inserts the bottom left piece on the top face, and discards the top right piece on the front face. So to use it, align the top face so that the right piece is in the bottom left, and on the front face put a piece you don’t care about in the top right.

Notice the yellow face is never specifically worked on. That’s because solving the other sides always winds up solving the top face.

3. Pair Edges

The edges are all pieces with 2 and only 2 colors on them.

THE GOAL: Pair all except the last 3 edges.

THE METHOD: know the 3 slots, align, insert.

Know the 3 Slots: The edge pairing algorithm does something to 3 edge pairs; the UF, UB, and BR edges. These are the 3 edges the next step is devoted to solving, because when only these are left they need to all be done at once.

Align: If I’m solving the white and green edge, I’ll find both edges that have a white and green piece in them, and put them across from each other on the top of the cube. Face one corner so green is up, and the other so that white is up. Since the algorithm affects the back right (BR) edge, also make sure it’s not one you care about.

Insert: if the white green piece on the front is on the right side, do this algorithm: r (U R’ U’) r’. If it’s on the left side, do l’ (U R’ U’) l. Pretty neat!

4. Last 3 Edges

This is going to be exciting.

GOAL: Finish pairing all the edges of the cube.

METHOD: Fix parody, align like normal, align BR piece, insert.

Fix Parody: Sometimes, only two edges aren’t solved. In that case, line up two edges with the same color facing up (so that the pairing algorithm doesn’t do anything) and do the pairing algorithm.

Align Like Normal: Like all the other edges, set an edge up for pairing like normal.

Align the BR piece: Notice that there are two pieces in the UF slot, and one of them matches a piece in the BR slot. Let’s call this piece Jimmy. If Jimmy is on the right, his twin should be on the bottom of that BR edge. If Jimmy is on the left, his twin should be in the top of the BR edge.

Insert: Do the pairing algorithm as normal for Jimmy’s neighbor, and he should find his twin. I think her name can be Jenny.

5. Solve a 4×4 Like a 3×3

The rest of the cube is pretty easy! I had a hard time figuring out parodies when I was solving it without tutorials, but we’ll get there eventually.

THE GOAL: Solve it like a 3×3.

THE METHOD: Solve it like a 3×3.

Solve it Like a 3×3: Orange you glad I didn’t say banana?

Here’s a link to my 3×3 beginner’s tutorial, if you’re not familiar with solving a 3×3.

6. 4×4 Parities

I’ll refer you to Kewbz UK’s parody page for this one, as they do it better than I can show at the moment.

7. Congrats!

You solved the 4×4! This one’s a beast to tackle for sure, so kudos to you!

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