CFOP Method - Cross
The cross is the step with the least amount of structure, so it takes a lot of thinking and creativity to come up with a good solution. This section covers cross fundamentals and tricks, all the way to predicting more than just the cross during inspection.
Intermediate Cross Tips
Recommended: Any level
The cross can always be solved in 8 moves or less.
Being able to come up with efficient solutions is extremely important. This skill is a result of seeing how cross pieces interact with each other, rather than solving 1 piece at a time.
Advanced Cross Tips
Recommended for: Sub-40
This video has more advanced techniques, which only apply to specific patterns. From examples at the end, you'll see how to reduce a complex case down to the techniques we learn in the video.
Cross cases don't have definite answers, only good solutions and bad solutions. As an exercise, you can try to come up with a different good solution for some of the cross cases I showed!
Walkthrough solves can be useful to see a variety of cross solutions.
Recommended for: Sub-20
X-Cross is short for Extended Cross.
This means solving the cross plus 1 F2L pair in an efficient way. You should not use this every solve since many scrambles are just as fast doing cross and the first pair separately.
After watching the tutorial, the best way to practice is to predict when corners/edges will be solved after making the cross. If you find that one will be solved, try to insert the pairing piece as shown in the video.
Predicting First Pair
Recommended for: Sub-15
This is one of the most overlooked fundamentals of advanced CFOP.
By predicting the first F2L pair in inspection, you reduce a pause after finishing the cross. Additionally, the uninspected portion of F2L begins with fewer unsolved pieces, making look ahead easier.
This is one of the most difficult skills to master (competition inspection time is 15 seconds), but is also the most rewarding skill for reducing times at a high level. It can be good to practice with unlimited inspection time to force yourself to predict 1 F2L pair.
Recommended for: Sub-12
Coming up with a good cross solution becomes quite natural at this level, and you should almost always be able to come up with an optimal or near-optimal solution.
The best things to do from here are:
- Choose a cross solution that gives better finger tricks
- Make X-Crosses on more scrambles than usual
- Change the cross solution to set up easier F2L cases
- Predict first pair in under 15 seconds on harder scrambles
- Predict the approximate location of the 2nd F2L pair (on easy scrambles)
Walkthrough solves show all the important ideas mentioned here.