The First Layer
Before you can start to solve the Rubik's Cube you have to decide what layer you're going to solve first. The diagrams in this tutorial will show steps solving the white face first. It doesn’t make a difference what color is solved first, but to make following along easier, I suggest starting with the white face.
While solving the first layer hold the cube so that the white face (or whatever face you're solving first) is in the U position. You can check this by looking at the center piece on the U face. If it's white then you're all set. If it's not white then look around the cube until you find the white center piece, then hold the cube so that the white center is in the U face.
Remember that the edge pieces have two colors on them. If an edge piece had white and red, it would need to go in the space between the white center piece and the red center piece. If the two colors on the edge piece don’t match the center pieces they touch then it is in the wrong spot. Figure C shows the white and red edge in the right spot.
- Look on the bottom layer for an edge piece that has white on it. If no edge on the bottom have white then find pieces on one of the other layers. Edge pieces in the top or middle layers require an extra step to solve.
- Look at the two colors on the edge piece you’re working with. The edge piece belongs in the spot between those two colors.
- Hold the cube so that white is on the top. Find the center that matches the other color on the edge piece. Hold the cube so that center is on the front face. For example, if solving the white and red edge piece, the white center would be on top, and the red center would be in front.
- Rotate the bottom face until the edge piece is directly under the front center. To put the edge piece on the top layer do F2. Figures A and B show how the white and red edge piece could look.
- Now the edge piece will be on the top layer. If the edge piece isn’t flipped correctly (shown in Figure D) then do F U’ R U
If the edge piece you’re solving is on the top layer, hold the cube so that the edge is in the front. If the edge is in the right spot then it’s already solved. If it’s in the right spot but flipped the wrong way, use the algorithm below to flip it. Otherwise do F2 and the edge will be placed on the bottom.
Figure E shows an edge on the top layer but in the wrong spot.
If the edge is in the middle layer hold the cube with the edge you want to move in the front on the right side. (The FR position) Remember to keep the white center on top. Do R’ D’ R This needs to be done to prevent messing up cross pieces that are already solved on the top layer.
Figure F shows the white and green edge in the middle layer that needs to be moved down.
Do this for all of the white edge pieces and the cross will be solved. Double check that you have all of the cross pieces in the right spot by making sure each cross piece matches with both center pieces.
The next step is to solve all of the corners on the top layer. Remember that the center pieces never move so you need to get the corner in the spot in-between all three colors on the corner piece. As before, hold the cube so white is on top.
- Look on the bottom layer for a corner with white on it
- Find where the corner piece needs to go. For example, if solving the corner piece with white, red, and blue, look for those three center pieces.
- If there are no corner pieces on the bottom layer that have white on it then you have to move an unsolved corner to the bottom. Do this by holding the cube so that the corner you want to move down is in the front right (shown in Figure G) and perform this algorithm. R’ D’ R D
- Hold the cube so that the three centers are in the U, F, and R faces. (With white on top, see Figure G) Now turn the bottom face until the white corner you want to move up is in the spot below the desired position. Do R’ D’ R D to move the corner piece to the top layer.
- If your corner piece isn’t flipped correctly just repeat R’ D’ R D until you have white on top.
Repeat these steps with all of the white corner pieces.
After solving the corners the first layer should be solved. Double check that each piece is solved. The top face should be solid white and the sides of the top layer should all match. Compare your cube to Figure I.