Fridrich (CFOP) Method

Overview

The Fridrich method (or CFOP method) was invented by Jessica Fridrich in the 1980's. This method is not for beginners. If you're comfortable with all of the algorithms in the layer by layer method and want to become faster then this method can help you acheive solve times of under 20 seconds.

CFOP stands for Cross, F2L, OLL, PLL. The key idea of the CFOP method is to combine the steps of the layer by layer method into fewer steps, decreasing the amount of moves requred to solve it. The top speedcubers in the world use some variant of the CFOP method.

Goals

Cross

Sovling the four edge pieces on the first side.

F2L

Simultaneously solving the first two layers.

OLL

Orienting all of the pieces on the last layer.

PLL

Permuting all of the pices on the last layer.

Cross

The cross is the hardest part to write tutorials for because it's mostly intuitive. Following strictly the begginer method for the cross will greatly slow down your solve time. Practice the cross using the begginer method. Pay attention to what the algorithms are doing and try to solve the cross without using the method.

Solve the cross on bottom

Solving the cube from the bottom makes transitioning from cross to F2L faster because you dont have to spend time rotating the cube after finishing the cross.

Plan the cross

Before making any moves on the cube look for all four of the cross edges. Imagine where they go and how you can solve each edge. With practice you will be able to solve multiple cross edges at the same time. From any scrambled cube you can solve the cross with a maximum of eight moves. Planning out your cross before solving can significantly increase solve times.

F2L

In the beginner method we solved the corner pieces and then solved the middle edge pieces. F2L solves the corner / edge piece pair at the same time. This is done by pairing up the matching pieces and then inserting them into the corner slot. I suggest practicing the intuitive F2L method first. Once comfortable with that, move onto studying Advanced F2L algorithms.

Intuitive F2L

F2L is solved with the cross on the bottom. If you solve the cross on top then rotate the cube so the cross is on the bottom. The main idea with F2L is to solve the corner and edge piece in the bottom right slot.

Get the pair on top

  1. Look on the top for a corner that belongs on the bottom.
  2. Find the edge pieces that pairs with the corner. For example if solving the white, red, and blue corner the red and blue edge is the one that pairs with it.
  3. If the edge is in the middle layer it needs to be moved to the top. Hold the cube so the edge piece is in the front right. Turn the top face so the corner you're pairing isn't in the front top right and do R U R'

Once the two pieces are on the top they will either be together or separate. If they are together but not matching then the pair needs to be broken up and reassembled.

Matching Pair

Ready to be inserted

Unmatching Pair

Needs to be broken up before making a matching pair

Separated Pair

Needs to be matched together before inserting

Unmatching Pair

  1. Hold the cube so that the slot you're inserting into is in the front right.
  2. Turn the top layer until the corner to be inserted is in the top front right. The pair will line up on the front or the right.
  3. Do one of the following algorithms to break apart the pair.

U' R U' R'

R U2 R

Separated Pair

There are only 12 cases you need to worry about. With some practice all of these cases can be done intuitively.

  1. Hold the cube so that the slot you're inserting into is in the front right.
  2. Turn the top layer until the corner to be inserted is in the top front right.
  3. Look at the color of the corner that is on the top face. It will either be white(color of the bottom face), or one of the edge colors.
  4. Find the case that matches your cube. Do the algorithm and the pieces will be paired and inserted.

y' (R' U' R)

(R U R')

(U' R U R') U2 (R U' R')

d (R' U' R) U2' (R' U R)

U' (R U2' R') U2 (R U' R')

d (R' U2 R) U2' (R' U R)

d (R' U' R U')(R' U' R)

U' (R U R' U)(R U R')

U (R U2 R') U (R U' R')

y' U' (R' U2 R) U' (R' U R)

U2 (R U R' U)(R U' R')

y' U2 (R' U' R U')(R' U R)

Matching Pair

  1. Hold the cube so that the slot you're inserting into is in the front right.
  2. The pair will match up on the front or the right.
  3. Do one of the following algorithms to insert the pair.

R' F R F'

F R' F' R

OLL

OLL is best learned by using two look OLL. Two look OLL first solves the cross on the last layer, and then orients the corners. This reduces the amount of OLL algorithms required to memorize from 57 to 7.

Two Look OLL

  1. Solve the cross on the bottom layer by using the algorithms in the beginner method.
  2. Do one of the OLL algorithms below to orient all of the corners.

F R U R' U' R U R' U' R U R' U' F'

R U2' R2' U' R2 U' R2' U2 R

r U R' U' r' F R F'

F' r U R' U' r' F R

R U R' U R U2 R'

R U2 R' U' R U' R'

R2 D R' U2 R D' R' U2 R'

PLL

The cube is finished by permuting the pieces on the last layer so they are all in the right spot.

There are 21 PLL cases. Find the case that matches your cube and apply the algorithm.

Aa

x R' U R' D2 R U' R' D2 R2

Ab

x' R U' R D2 R' U R D2 R2

Ua

R2 U R U R' U' R' U' R' U R'

Ub

R U' R U R U R U' R' U' R2

H

M2 U M2 U2 M2 U M2

T

R U R' U' R' F R2 U' R' U' R U R' F'

Jb

R U R' F' R U R' U' R' F R2 U' R' U'

Y

F R U' R' U' R U R' F' R U R' U' R' F R F'

Ra

L U2' L' U2' L F' L' U' L U L F L2' U

Rb

R' U2 R U2 R' F R U R' U' R' F' R2 U'

V

R' U R' d' R' F' R2 U' R' U R' F R F

F

R' U2 R' d' R' F' R2 U' R' U R' F R U' F

Gd

R U R' y' R2 u' R U' R' U R' u R2

Gb

R' U' R y R2 u R' U R U' R u' R2

Gc

R2 u' R U' R U R' u R2 y R U' R'

Ga

R2 u R' U R' U' R u' R2 y' R' U R

Z

M2 U M2 U M' U2 M2 U2 M' U2

Ja

R' U L' U2 R U' R' U2 R L U'

E

x R U' R' D R U R' u2 R' U R D R' U' R

Nb

R' U L' U2 R U' L R' U L' U2 R U' L U'

Na

L U' R U2 L' U R' L U' R U2 L' U R' U