Cube Tutorial » Step 5     [To Index] Step 1 | Step 2 | Step 3 | Step 4 | Step 5 | Step 6 | Step 7 | Block building | Examples

Step 5

Now we're at the final layer. Here we do not think as much. We recognise patterns and apply rules.

Common mistake: If the edges are not twisted right here, you have either not done step 3 correctly, or screwed up the edges by breaking the 2x2x3 in step 4.

When starting this step, you should have only one layer remain unsolved, and the edges in it already correctly twisted ("forming a cross"). In this step we will place the top corners correctly, nothing else. That means the red/blue/white corner should be between the red, blue and white centers, but it's red sticker does not have to be facing the red center. The corners normally look pretty unsolved after completing step 5, you have to inspect them to know they're right.

To do this we need a tool that moves the top corners without twisting the top edges. This tool is Niklas™, and you can see it to the right.

In the example, don't worry about how the corners get twisted, just note that the two white cornes swap position. (Turn 8 is just to align the corners to the centers to show clearly how the corners move. Niklas is a 7 turn sequence.)


These are the odds:
1/6 of the time, the corners will already be correct. You can go to step 6.
1/6 of the time, two corners diagonally opposed will have switched positions.
4/6 of the time, two adjacent corners will have switched positions.

First we need to find which two corners (if any) that have switched positions. That's easy. Just turn the top layer until two corners are in correct positions. The two others are either correct or need swapping. There are only four positions to check.

Niklas™ will swap the two corners opposite the layer where you make its first move. For the diagonal case, two Niklas™es are needed. You can start with any Niklas™, and that will give you the adjacent case.

You can do this by just looking at the top layer corners, but I find it much easier to turn it so the colors match up with the rest of the cube. You waste a move but gain time.


The fast way to check corners that I use is to find two adjacent corners with the same (non top) color, and move them to the side of that color. If the corners are correct, all 4 will be in place. If adjacent corners are switched, two will be correct, and you can see which ones. If diagonal corners are switched, all four corners will be placed wrong.

Example: Start with the red/blue/white one. Red is the top color, so only blue and white are interesting. Start with blue. Check if any of the adjacent corners have a blue sticker. If so move those corners to the blue side. If not, do the same for white.

Here is a useful move sequence that directly switches two corners diagonally. It is a different (and as good) way of doing Eve.

Note that Niklas™ twists the corners in the same way as Sune™ does, so the same "target" rules apply. A Niklas™ that hits a target starts with the same turn as a Sune™ that hits the same target. About half the time you can avoid one Sune™ this way.


For the advanced cuber, the steps 5-7 meld together to one single step of dozens or even hundreds of special cases. To achieve real speed, you need to be able to remember them in a fraction of a second. Below are a few examples. For what to do for each of the 25 different corner cases, check out the complete Step 5+6 index

Mail me at