CFOP Speedsolving Method
Cross, First 2 Layers, Orientation, Permutation (CFOP) is the most popular method for speedsolving the Rubik's Cube. It is the method used by all 3x3 world record holders in the last decade.
Make sure you know how to read move notation to follow the tutorials.
Step 1. Cross
You should have already learned about the cross in the Beginner Method.
This video assumes you can already do the cross, and then goes into the fundamentals of making your cross faster, including: solving the cross on the bottom, ignoring the centers, and dealing with specific cases.
With the right practice, the cross can easily be done in less than 5 seconds.
Step 2. F2L
Instead of solving layer by layer, you can solve 2 layers at the same time. The concepts are harder than the beginner method, but with practice, F2L is much faster than the beginner method.
Intuitive F2L means algorithms are not required, and the process should make sense. You can save around 20 moves per solve by using F2L instead of the beginner method.
Step 3. OLL
Orientation of the Last Layer (OLL) solves the top face by applying algorithms.
Beginner OLL (2-look OLL) has 2 steps:
- Orient the edges (3 algorithms)
- Orient the corners (7 algorithms)
Some of these algorithms were already taught in the beginner method. Other algorithms can be memorized by patterns (which is a common technique for memorizing algorithms) shown in the video.
To organize your progress and train the algorithms, use the 2-look OLL algorithm trainer.
Step 4. PLL
Permutation of the Last Layer (PLL) solves the cube after the top face is completed.
Beginner PLL (2-look PLL) has 2 steps:
- Solve the corners (2 algorithms)
- Solve the edges (4 algorithms)
The corner algorithms are long, but very similar to each other. The edge algorithms are quite short and can be memorized visually.
To organize your progress and train the algorithms, use the 2-look PLL algorithm trainer.
You should focus on new things to learn, in order to maximize improvement. I recommend learning OLL and PLL first, followed by F2L, and leaving the cross improvements for later. It will probably take a few days to properly memorize all of the algorithms. Memorizing too much at once will make you forget them, so try to avoid overlearning.
F2L is not that hard to understand at first, but practicing it is where most of your time investment will be. There are many different situations to recognize, and finding 2 pieces at once is definitely a step up. Expect to be slower at first since it's harder, but over time you will be much faster with F2L compared to the beginner method.
Practice is absolutely key for speedsolving. It's a lot easier to become knowledgeable about algorithms and concepts than it is to actually become fast at solving the cube. I know people who know many algorithms and take over 1 minute, as well as people who are sub-30 seconds with the beginner method because of how much they practice.
Learn good finger tricks to ensure you have high turning speed potential. Good habits are crucial for getting faster, since you don't have much time to think when you solve.
When you feel you are ready to move on, you can learn Advanced Cross, Advanced F2L, Full OLL, and Full PLL. There is no set time for when this should happen, but usually people approach this around sub-30 second averages. Good luck!