From cube rube to speedcuber
April 15, 2018 11:51 AM   Subscribe

How can I best go from being a beginner to being more advanced at solving the rubik’s cube?

Using the beginner’s methods and a regular 3x3 Rubik’s cube, I can solve it in 2:00-3:00 minutes. My personal record is 2:02.

I’m having fun with this—it’s actually a great way to not think about anything else for a little while. What should I do to go from being a beginner to being an intermediate cuber? Should I buy a speed cube? Should I study more advanced algorithms? If so, which ones? What is my best order of steps to improvement at this point?
posted by umbú to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Study mathematical group theory, until you can sink your teeth into the Rubik’s Cube Group?

Caveat: I’m not that good at cube solving and certainly not fast. But that’s how I would want to think about it: learn how moves compose, learn the compact terminology, be able to write and think in succinct move lists.
posted by SaltySalticid at 12:10 PM on April 15, 2018

I'm not a speed cuber, but I recommend getting a non-Rubiks brand cube. They move much faster and are just generally more pleasant to play with. I have this one, but any similar one with chamfered inner corners should be fine.
posted by theodolite at 12:41 PM on April 15, 2018

Disclaimer: I am not a speed cuber. My solves are usually around 2 minutes.

Definitely learn F2L. While there are some algorithms for it, it's mostly intuitive. It will slow you down at first, but eventually make you faster. Definitely learn all the PLL and OLL algorithms. I mostly have used Badmephisto's list (his website is down, but he has a phone app). As for which particular algorithm for those, it's a matter of personal preference – I disagree with some of his recommendations. Also, I have yet to take the time to learn all of those. I go through phases where I really focus on learning them and then I kind of drop it and backslide.

While Rubik makes a proper speed cube, you can buy a non-Rubik one for much less. I have this one, but whatever is high-rated and cheap is fine. Stickerless is also a personal preference.
posted by O9scar at 1:56 PM on April 15, 2018 [3 favorites]

This was on my new years resolution list, and I've been meaning to try F2L etc., but have not got very far with it. I did learn some new moves for the 2nd layer and top layer, to combine with moves I've used for 30 years. I also got a speedcube (I think a Rubik's, but not the regular kind). This took me from 2:30-3:00 down to 1:15-2:00.
I think I need to work on F2L- just printed the list out.
Practice, practice, practice.
posted by MtDewd at 7:09 AM on April 16, 2018

(I can solve a cube in about 30 seconds. )

Do get a better cube. Anything from Moyu or Dayan will be great, spend between $5 and $20. (My favorite is a Moyo Aolong V2 but any "speed" cube gives me about the same times.)

Learn F2L. I learned an intuitive method from this video which is quirky but it works. There are also more algorithm-oriented methods if you like memorizing lots of things.

Then learn "2 look OLL" and "2 look PLL". The Badmephisto app O9scar mentions has a good chart for those. Basically there are about 7 algorithms to get all one color on the last layer, then you swap corners as needed, then use 2-3 algorithms to get your edges switched to the right places.

Once you learn those you'll pretty quickly discover that the first two layers are taking 3/4 of your time, so practice lots with the initial cross and F2L.

All this will get you to about 20-30 second solves, which is where I am. If you want to go even further you'll have to learn the full OLL and PLL lists.
posted by mmoncur at 4:37 AM on April 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

Actually, I wound up working on the Roux method.
I haven't picked up speed yet, but I like the approach.
posted by MtDewd at 9:29 PM on May 5, 2018

Interesting! I haven't tried that but I wish you luck!
posted by mmoncur at 10:30 PM on May 6, 2018

Update- so I've been using the above linked Roux method for about two months, gradually picking up more advanced techniques, and I'm averaging (when I don't mess up) around 70 seconds.
Personal best so far 48.53, and I'm getting sub-1 min. times every day now.
It looks like I could stand to learn some F2L moves even using Roux- it would help with step 2, which is where I'm wasting the most time.
But I really like it.

Also- I've been using a MoYu cube, which I got from Amazon for $5. A nice cube, but I'm thinking of getting a magnetic cube.
posted by MtDewd at 4:24 PM on July 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

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