How to solve a 2x2 Rubik's Cube
IntroductionThe 2x2x2 Rubik's cube, or in its official name- the Pocket Cube, is another puzzle in the Rubik's cube series, invented by Erno Rubik. It is considered the "easy" version of the Rubik's cube. You will find out that solving the 2x2 cube is much easier than solving the classic 3x3x3 cube.
If you already know how to solve the 3x3 Rubik's cube..If you can already solve the classic Rubik's cube, then lucky you- you already know how to solve a 2x2 cube!Here is a nice perspective of the puzzle: the 2x2 cube is actually a regular 3x3 cube, without the edges and the center pieces. So basically solving the 2x2 cube will be identical to solving only the corners of the 3x3. You will be surprised that some of the algorithms you'll have to know are identicalto those you'll need in order to solve the 2x2 cube, and you already know all of them if you are familiar with the speedsolving method..
Before starting the solution guide, make sure you know the Rubik's cube move notations. For 2x2, the notations are exactly the same (same faces, same letters, same cube rotations, just without the "middle layer moves" – as there aren't such in the 2x2 cube)
The 2x2 Rubik's Cube solution
Step 1: Solving the first layerThis step is identical to step 2 of the 3x3 cube solution. Choose a color to start with (Most popular color to start with is white or yellow – In this guide I chose yellow). Choose a corner that has this color (yellow in our case), and bring the other 3 corner pieces to it. Make sure that you solve the corner pieces correctly in relation to each other (also the side colors of the corner pieces should fit each other, not only the yellow. See image- right/wrong).
There are 3 different cases to solve a corner piece to its correct position without harming the other corners:
F D F'
R' D' R
R' D2 R D R' D' R
Step 2: Orienting the last layer piecesFlip the cube upside down (the solved layer should be on the bottom now). In this step the goal is to orient the last layer pieces. The result should be that the opposite color to the color we started with will be completed (In our case: the opposite color to yellow is white). Note that unlike the first step, here the permutation of the corners does notmatter, meaning that they don't have to be correctly solved in relation to each other (side stickers don't have to fit).
There are 7 possible cases of last layer orientations (not including the already oriented case):
(The gray color means the sticker is not the upper face color. The bars to the sides show where the upper face color is. In our case it's white, not yellow. It doesn't matter of course.)
R' U' R U' R' U2 R
L U L' U L U2 L'
R2 U2 R U2 R2
F [R U R' U'] [R U R' U'] F'
F [R U R' U'] F'
[R U R' U'] [R' F R F']
[F R U' R' U' R U R' F']
It is best to learn all the 7 algorithms. However, it is possible to completely solve this step using only 1 algorithm – the first algorithm. The idea is to execute this algorithm from different angles until its suitable case shows up, then execute it one more time and solve the step. It is possible to solve all possible cases within 3 executions, or 2 if you use also its mirror algorithm (case #2).
The first algorithm orients 3 corners counter-clockwise and leaves the 4th corner intact (its mirror algorithm, case #2, does the same, but clockwise). Before executing, try to think from which angle executing this algorithm will leave only 1 oriented corner (can be done within 1 execution from all cases), than just apply the suitable algorithm (case #1 or #2). You can execute algorithm #1 twice instead of the using #2 algorithm when it's needed (in a case a clockwise rotation needed (case#2). Doing counter-clockwise twice for the corners will be just like doing a clockwise orientation, which will solve them.)
Note that 6 of these 7 algorithms are exactly the same algorithms being used in the speedsolving method of the Rubik's cube. You can see it is the same 7 possible cases when all the edges of the 3x3 are oriented: OLL algorithmspage. However, since there are no edges to preserve, we can use shorter algorithms from other cases of the traditional OLL of the 3x3 Rubik's cube, as long as they rotate the corners as we need:
- For the first case best algorithm is the anti-Sune (OLL algorithm #26)
- For the second case best algorithm is the Sune (OLL algorithm #27)
- The third case is special: a shorter algorithm can be applied, which does exist in the 3x3 OLL, however OLL algorithm #21 is very nice)
- For the fourth case best algorithm is the easiest L (OLL algorithm #48)
- For the fifth case best algorithm is the first T (OLL algorithm #45)
- For the sixth case best algorithm is the second T (OLL algorithm #33)
- For the seventh case best algorithm is the first Fish (OLL algorithm #37)
Step 3 (and last): Permuting the last layer piecesIn this step the goal is to permute the last layer pieces so they will be also correctly solved in relation to each other, and not only correctly oriented. This step is very similar to step 5 of the 3x3 solution (beginner's method) (-also the same algorithm can be applied, it is just that the one I show here permutes the corners clockwise and not counter-clockwise).
The way to solve this method is by looking for 2 corners that are correctly permuted in relation to each other (can be easily recognized by the fact that 2 correctly solved corners in relation to each other has the same color on their mutual face. Look for the same color in 2 adjacent corners). If you don't have 2 corners that are correctly permuted, just execute the following algorithm below from any angle that you want. After that execution, 2 correctly permuted corners will show up.
- Do some U turns so the 2 adjacent same colors will line up with their color on the bottom layer. Rotate the cube so that this solved color will be on the right face- see image above.
- Do U' once.
The effect of this move is that the front-left corner will become "solved" now, and the 3 other corners will require a clockwise rotation between them. This is exactly what the next algorithm does.
- Execute the following algorithm: (This is the Aa-perm algorithm. l' replaced for L' because no middle layer)
L' U R' D2 R U' R' D2 R2
That’s it!You have just solved the 2 by 2 Rubik's cube! Congratulations! Keep practicing on solving the first layer and learn the algorithms by heart, so you could solve the 2x2 cube without needing them written around you (They are also useful for 3x3 speedcubing!). If you didn't solve the 3x3 Rubik's cube yet, it's just about the time to start, you already have much of the basics! Congratulations!
Read my best 2x2 speed cubes guide
Where I review the best 2x2 cubes today, current world records, top cubers choices and where to get them. They are much faster and pleasant for solving and cost around ~10$.
Introduction: How to Solve a 2x2 Rubiks Cube
Step 1: Solving the White Side, Plus a Continuous Line Around the Top
Start the white side on any side that has. a white piece. From there, you want to look at all the white pieces on the cube. Match up the white pieces on the top by using the algorithm: Ri, Di, R, D. You have to get all the white pieces on the top face, as well as having a continuous line of green, red, blue, and purple (or black depending on your cube) right underneath the white layer. Accomplishing this can be done with common sense, and figuring out where the corners have to go in order to match up correctly.
Step 2: Solving the Yellow Layer
Now with the white side and colored layer completed, turn your cube over. If you have one yellow piece, position that in the bottom left corner and do the following algorithm: R, U, Ri, U, R, U2, Ri. (U2 is up 2 times. After the algorithm put the yellow piece(s) in the bottom left again and do the algorithm again and keep doing this until the yellow side is complete.
Step 3: Orienting the Last Corners
Turn the cube until a pair of colors (like red or blue, that are together) matches up with a pair of the same colors from under the white layer,creating a complete side. By now, you should have 3 sides solved. LAST STEP: Turn that solved side (whatever color it is) to the back side and do this algorithm: Ri, F, Ri, B2, R, Fi, Ri, B2, R2
Step 4: You're Done!!
Congratulations! You've completed the 2x2. You make now wave your hands in the air like you just don't care. :) Your welcome.
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The 2x2x2 Rubik's Cube - Beginner's Solution
The 2x2x2 Rubik's Cube (also called as Pocket Cube or Mini Cube) is the two layered version of a Rubik's Cube. This puzzle was invented by Rubik Erno before the 80s and was patented on March 29, At first sight it may seem to be a simple puzzle but it's good to know that it has more than 3,6 million possible permutations so it's impossible to solve it by just randomly twisting the faces.
The 2x2 cube is an official WCAcompetition event, the fastest solves being below 2 seconds.
Start the Pocket Cube simulator and solver
Pocket Cube Mods
The 2x2x2 has inspired many designers and lots of variations and shape mods were produced since as seen on the picture above.
Starting from the top left a center-shifted 2 color Meffert's Pocket Cube by Justin Eplett which basically is a 2x2 in a 2x2. The Pyramorphix is not a 2x2 Pyraminx but in fact it's a smart mod where you have to worry about the orientation of only 4 pieces. The Kilominx dodecahedron-shaped puzzle is the smaller brother of the Megaminx. On the right a member of the Mad Heads zombie series which proves that any shape can be built on the core of this cube. 2x2 puzzles are available in the shape of cartoon figures, the most common being the Homer Simpson head.
A Ghost Cube and a Mirror Cube in the second row which are probably the most popular shape mods of the NxNxN cubes. Next a non-twisty sliding puzzle, the Inside out 2x2x2 (or Vadász Kocka) which works like a 3D Puzzle. A small Siamese (Triamese) puzzle where three cubes are sharing their corner pieces.
Try some pretty color patterns if you're tired of just simply solving the cube the traditional way. Try to reach the schemes on the images or invent new ones. Having only four stickers per face the possibilities are limited compared to the Rubik's Cube color patterns. Find the algorithms below if you get stuck.
- Quarters: U F2 U2 R2 U
- ZigZag: R2 F2 R2 U2
- Cube in a cube: R F U' R2 U F' R U F2 R2
- Checkerboard: U R F2 U R F2 R U F' R
- Pillar: U R U' R2 U' R' F' U F2 R F'
- Spiral: U2 F2 R2 U2
How to solve the Pocket Cube?
The 2x2 cube is basically a Rubik's Cube without center and edge pieces having only the 8 corner pieces. If you can solve the classic 3x3x3 then you will be able to unjumble this one too.
You might meet two cases that you will never see on the 3x3x3: when two pieces are switched on the last layer.
next to each other:
L F’ L’ D’ L’ D F
F L F L’ D’ L’ D
To handle this problem use one of the algorithms. If you don't know what the letters mean please read the Rubik's Cube notation.
Beginner's Solution Method
In case you have never solved a Rubik's Cube before here's the easiest solution method for beginners.
To solve the puzzle we need to rotate the faces, so let's mark them with letters: F(front), R(right), L(left), D(down). A letter alone means a clockwise rotation while reverse turns are marked with an apostrophe (F') and double turns are marked with 2 (F2).
An example algorithm: F R' U2 (turn the front face clockwise, then the right counterclockwise and do a ° turn of the up face)
Step1: White Face
Start with the white face. This is the easy part so you can try to do this without using the algorithms.
We need to place the white pieces next to each other making sure that the side colors match, as seen on the first image. Here are the algorithms to move a piece from the back face to the front. There are three possible orientations of the piece so we need three algorithms to position the white pieces.
Case 1: D' R' D
Case 2: R B R'
Case 3: R D B2 D' R'
When the piece is in its position but oriented wrong first we need to send it to the back layer and do one of the three cases above (D' R D).
Step 2: Position Yellow Corners
Turn the cube with the white face down because we won't need to work with that anymore. Turn the upper layer to see how many pieces can be moved to their final position. The orientation doesn't matter at this stage.
1. Only one piece can be moved to its final position: Do U R U' L' U R' U' L holding the correct piece in the front-right-up position to cycle the other three corners.
2. Swap two pieces in the top front: L F' L' D' L' D F
3. Swap two diagonal corners: F L F L' D' L' D
Step 3: Orient Yellow Corners
At this point all pieces are on their final position, we just have to orient the yellow corners.
Hold the puzzle in your hands with an unsolved yellow piece in the FRU (front-right-up) position, then do the R' D' R D algorithm twice or four times until that specific piece is oriented well. Making U' moves bring another unsolved piece to the FRU spot and repeat R’ D’ R D until this specific piece is ok. In each step the algorithm needs to be performed twice to turn the corner counterclockwise and four times to turn it clockwise.
1. Headlights: Two yellow stickers facing to the front: (R' D' R D)x4 U' (R' D' R D)x2
2. Yellow on the sides in the front layer: (R' D' R D)x2 U' (R' D' R D)x4
3. Three corners need to be turned counterclockwise (R' D' R D)x2 U' (R' D' R D)x2 U' (R' D' R D)x2
For a more detailed explanation of this step with animated examples read about the orientation of last layer corners here.
Congratulations, you have solved your 2x2 Cube!
2x2 Rubik's Cube Solver
Calculate the solution of your scrambled 2x2 Rubik's Cube with this online solver. Set up the stickers and let the program find the solution or generate a random shuffle and try to figure out the solution yourself rotating the faces!
How To Use?
You can see an unfolded 2x2x2 cube on your screen. Click the Edit button to remove the colors of the puzzle and paste your colors one by one to the fields. Start with red, then green, white, yellow, blue and finally the orange. The program won't allow you to set up an invalid scramble, for example to add a corner piece with two stickers of the same color. The program will help you by guessing the colors of the remaining stickers. For example when you reach the last color the solver will set the remaining fields automatically. The solver supports any color scheme.
When your setup is complete press the Solve button to retreive the solution in less than 11 steps. The program will display the solution using the classic FRU notation and also a graphical demonstration of the steps using arrows. Since a clockwise rotation of a face rearranges the pieces the same way as a counterclockwise rotation of the opposite side it's enough to work with only the F(Front), R(Right) and U(Up) faces. Counterclockwise rotations are marked with an apostrophe, while double (o) turns are marked with the number 2.
Solve It Yourself
This is not just a 2x2 solver but a puzzle simulator where you can play with the Pocke Cube. Click Scramble for a random shuffle and try to solve the cube yourself. Click a face to make a clockwise rotation as shown by the arrow.
How to solve the 2x2
The Pocket Cube is an easier puzzle than the Rubik's Cube. It can be solved as a 3x3 with corners only. Learn the solution of the 2x2 here!
Leave a message below if you have any question, suggestion or just want to say hi!
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