CFOP Method - F2L
F2L is the most important part of the solve. From beginner level to pro level, F2L is usually the step with the most room for improvement because it requires recognizing and tracking multiple pieces at once, while having quite a lot of freedom.
Recommended: Any level
Make sure you're learning intuitive F2L. In other words, you know how F2L works logically.
In theory, there are so many unique F2L cases that memorizing them all would be a very slow way to learn it. Once you understand the intuitive concepts from this tutorial, you should practice it until it feels somewhat natural, before moving on.
Recommended for: Sub-30
Basic intuitive F2L has a lot of steps, and some of those steps can be combined.
For example, you can move pieces to the top and pair them at the same time!
Traditionally, watching walkthrough solves was the best way to learn advanced F2L. But in this video, the advanced concepts are structured to be easy to learn. Walkthrough solves are still useful though, as you can learn good habits and situational tricks.
Recommended for: Sub-20
As you improve, look ahead will rapidly become the most important concept in all of speedsolving.
Look ahead means tracking pieces as they move in order to quickly predict what to do next. Using human reaction time to recognize each separate case is rather slow, yet pros never seem to pause and look. This is all because of good look ahead, which the biggest difference between slower and faster cubers.
The reason we don't work on look ahead at an earlier stage is because the brain can't focus on multiple things very well when going fast. Once F2L cases become like muscle memory, then you can put your focus into what to solve next.
The Advanced F2L Playlist has multiple videos on look ahead techniques.
Recommended for: Sub-15
You don't have to learn 77 algorithms.
As much as possible, cube rotations and extra moves should be avoided. While intuitive F2L takes you most of the way there, it's not always enough.
With this video and the F2L algorithm document, you can check all of your solutions against the best ones. I don't recommend learning straight from this document without having a solid grasp of your own F2L solutions, which is why I recommend being at least sub-15 before trying to optimize your F2L.
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 harder part of the solve begins with fewer unsolved pieces and with more time to track your next F2L pair.
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.
Recommended for: Sub-12
I strongly recommend watching at least a good portion of the Advanced F2L Playlist to pick up a lot of tricks and ideas to apply. This includes:
- Where to look during bad cases
- Multiple options per case depending on the situation
- Practice techniques
- How to predict/recognize cases faster
No matter what level you are at, improving F2L should be near the top of your priority list!