The goal in this step is to build a 2x2x2 block. Or more
precisely, to place one corner and its three neighboring edges in
their correct positions, solving 4 out of the 20 cube pieces.
For the beginner it is often easiest to pick a corner that you will always start with.
This makes it easy to find the pieces you need. We will use the blue-yellow-orange corner.
This means that the three edges are the blue-orange,
the orange-yellow, and the blue-yellow.
What if there IS NO blue-yellow-orange corner??
That's normal. There are many different color schemes on cubes in the world, so unfortunately,
whatever color arrangement I pick for this site, it will not match most cubes. The method works for
any set of colors, obviously, so try to focus on the method, not the particular colors used as examples.
First find the 4 pieces you need, and then try to build the 2x2x2. It's not really hard,
but it can take a while if you're a rookie. It's best to try yourself for a while, to get a
feel for it, but if it still doesn't work out, look at the description below.
There are many special cases, but this is the basic way I solve it. Remember, we're trying to join up 1 corner, 3 edges and 3 centers.
This animation shows a concrete example
- Pair up the corner with an edge.
- Pair up another edge with a center.
- Join the pairs from 1 & 2 to make a 2x2x1 block.
- Join the remaining edge with the 2 remaining centers.
- Put it all together in the final move.
- Pair corner with blue-orange edge. [Turn 1]
- Pair up orange-yellow edge with orange center. [Turn 2]
- Join. [Turn 3-4]
- Blue-yellow edge fitted between blue and yellow center.[Turn 5-7]
- All done! [Turn 8]
After you can easily
do one corner, you should start looking at all 8 corners and choosing to
start with the one that is fastest to solve. Normally, one or two are real
easy (and some are hard). Picking the easy one makes quite a difference.
It can be a difficult transition to use different colors all the time, but it
is worth it. After a while you'll be completely used to it.
At competitions, there is normally a 15 second period where you get
to look at the cube before timing starts. This is what you do during that time (though 2-5
seconds are usually enough).
Try to be aware of where the four pieces are at all times. You should be able
to visualise the full step solution in your mind before starting.
Spend a lot of time looking at this step, and you will start seeing 5
moves ahead or more surprisingly often.
Here are my solutions for 4 random cube positions. When you can
choose between 8 corners you should get 1-2 less moves on average.
For more advanced techniques, check out the block building page.