How to Solve a 2x2 (Beginners Method)
If you're reading this then you must want to know how to solve a 2x2 Rubik's Cube? Our easy guide on solving the cube has helped over 35,000 people successfully solve their 2x2. Voted one of the easiest methods, the beginner method will help you solve a 2x2 in no time at all.
All images used in this guide are generic pictures of 2x2 Speed Cubes and may not be genuine Rubik's brand cubes. All images are for illustrational and educational purposes only
Notation of the 2x2
Right, this first bit is easy. During this tutorial we will be using letters to denote which faces of your 2x2 Rubik's Cube to turn and in what sequence. A capital 'F' for example (as seen in the illustration below) stands for 'Front - Clockwise', in which you would turn the Front Face (the one facing you) in a clockwise position. A capital 'F' with an apostrophe denotes an anti-clockwise rotation of the front face.
Using the images above along with the F/D/B/L/U/R letters and the video to the left you should be able to understand the notations of the 2x2 Rubik's Cube. This step is crucial to solving your cube and you should not move on until you can understand all the letters in an algorithm (such as this: F D F' D' F D F').
Once you are confident you understand the notation for this puzzle you can move on to step 1 below.
Step 1 - The First Layer
Okay, Let's learn to solve our 2x2. We are going to start by solving the blue face of our 2x2 Rubik's Cube. There isn't much to this step apart from bringing all of the blues to one side of our cube. We've created an easy to follow video guide on doing this as we believe its the easiest way for you to learn.
1. Start by locating any blue corner you like. I'm going to use the blue/white/red corner, I recommend you do the same. Once your cube looks like the image below you can move on to step 2. Please Note: Always keep your blue faces on the top of your puzzle.
2. Locate the other blue/red corner piece and hold it below were it needs to go (we want both blues to be next to each other (making a pair) and both red pieces to be next to each other, making another pair. (Please note: Your puzzle may look slightly different to mine as your pieces may be rotated differently)
3. Using the selection of different cases below (numbered 1-6) to solve these 2 pieces of your 2x2 Rubik's Cube. In this example I would need to perform case number 2, notice the pattern is the same although the cube is in a different rotation. Simply hold your cube so that both blue pieces are in the exact same position as shown in the image and perform the algorithm. Your 2x2 Rubik's Cube should now have 2 blue corner pieces on the top layer (like below).
4. Now, Locate the other blue/yellow corner piece and once again, hold it beneath where it needs to go to make a pair of yellows and blues.
5. Perform the correct algorithm to solve this 3rd corner piece. Remember, you may have a different pattern than me, as long as you hold your puzzle the in the same way as shown in the case image below and perform the correct algorithm you will have solved 3 corner pieces of the top layer.
6. Find the last blue corner piece on your Rubik's Cube and again, hold it beneath where it needs to go (to make a pair with the orange side and the white side. In my example here, it is the blue/white/orange corner.
7. Use the case chart below to solve the the last piece of your top layer.
F D F' D' F D F'
F' D' F D F' D' F
L D2 L' D' L D L'
R' D2 R D R' D' R
F' D' F
F D F'
If the above text walkthrough wasn't enough to help you solve the first layer of your 2x2 Cube, then we have also provided a follow along video (LEFT).
We go through each bullet point one by one and teach you in a visual way how to perform each stage of step 1.
Step 2 - Orientating the Last Layer
In step 2 we are going to use a set algorithm to correctly orientate our last layer.
1. Place your 2x2 Cube on a table with the blue side facing down and hidden.
2. The unsolved layer which is now on the top will become the green side, eventually.
3. Keeping the blue side on the bottom at all times count how many green stickers are on the top layer and try to match your cube to one of the cases in the image below.
R U R' U R U2 R'
R U2 R' U' R U' R'
R U R' U R U' R' U R U2 R'
F R U R' U' F'
R U2 R2 U' R2 U' R2 U2 R
L' U' L U R U' R' F
L' U' L' U R U' L U
4. Once you have decided which case you have using the case images below (1-7) hold your Rubik's Cube in the same orientation and perform the algorithm shown below the case. Please Note: Make sure to always have your blue side on the bottom. The green lines in the case images below show which way the other green stickers are pointing.
5. You will only have to perform one of the algorithms to bring all of your green stickers to the top layer.
6. Once your top layer is all green and your blue layer on the bottom is still intact you may move on to step 3. You're almost there!
Again, if you are having trouble understanding the stages in step 2, please watch the video (LEFT) it will guide you through each stage and hopefully you will have nearly solved your 2x2 cube.
Once you have orientated each piece on the final layer you can move on to the final step and permute these pieces. You're so close... Keep going!
Step 3 - Permuting the Last Layer
In step 3 we are going to permute all of the correctly orientated corners of the last layer. Hopefully at the end of this step you will have solved your 2x2 Rubik's Cube using the beginners method.
There are a few different ways to solve this last layer but as this is the beginners method we will stick to just 1 method and then we can progress on to other ways in a later tutorial.
1. First look for 2 corners that are correctly permuted in relation to each other (meaning 2 solved pieces next to each other). Like the image below.
2. Place your cube blue side down on the table and the green side facing up.
3. Rotate the whole of your puzzle until the 2 solved corners are at the back of the cube.
Remember: If you do not have 2 solved pieces next to each other (like the image above with the 2 white pieces) just perform the following algorithm from any angle and repeat from step 1.
4. With the 2 solved pieces at the back perform the algorithm: L' U R' D2 R U' R' D2 R2
If you're having trouble with this step simply watch the video (left) and hopefully all of your questions should be answered. It's an easy step and doesn't take too much figuring out.
If you managed to solve your 2x2 cube using this guide please do leave a comment, it really does help us. If you didn't quite manage to follow the whole guide and you got lost along the way, leave a little comment and let us know what we need to change.