solving the centers


1. solve a single center

2. solve the opposite center

3. solve another center

4. solve adjacent centers around the cube


solving the first center

connect an inside edge with its matching center

in this particular case a good choice to match up would be the edge on R, by using (Ff)'. this matches up the center and first inside edge, the reason this choice is good is because it also pairs up our first 1x2 block on the L face. this is how one gets really fast with big cubes, efficiency and multitasking.

build a 1x2 block and put it in place next to our center/edge pair

since we worked smart in the last step, all we have to do is put the 1x2 block where it goes, this will make a 2x2 block. also be sure to look for ways to set up the next 1x2 pair or other things that will help us down the road.

build another 1x2 block and place it on the other side of the center/edge pair, this will give us a 2x3 block. try to find ways to make the final 1x3 easy to assemble, for example move #8 (U) is done to keep the 1x2 pair that was built on the U face intact, as well as lining it up for the final inside corner. this may seem like an incredible amount to keep track of at first, but with some practice, this foresight becomes easier.

here we assemble the final portion of our center, a 1x3 block and put it into position


opposite center of the first

this process is very much the same for the next center, except the moves are a little bit more restricted because of the fixed center, this is achieved with simple set up moves and paying attention to ensure that you don't damage the first fixed center. in these examples the solved center from step 1 will be on the L face.

we are just copying our first step from the first center, with an extra move at the end to restore our first fixed center (Uu) moves the 1x3 back to the L face)

here we are matching up a 1x2 pair then moving it to the center/edge pair, again with a move at the end to restore our first center (a 1x3 is on B until the (Uu)')

here again we build our last 1x2 group, swing it into place and restore the first fixed center (a 1x3 is on the D face until the (Bb)')

here is the last step where we build the final 1x3 and put it into place, and again restoring the first center ((Ll)' puts the 1x3 back this time)


solve another center

now we are going to solve one of the remaining four centers, this can be done easily without destroying the two fixed centers we have, as long as we are sure to not do any deep twists. this is were you should experiment a little and see where you like to have the solved faces, on U and D, or on R and L. this site was done with the solved faces on R and L. with the solved faces on L and R avoid u or d turns; with the solved faces on U and D faces avoid r or l turns (see the notation page for differences in capital and lower case letters). since 2 sides are solved we also know the color of all the other faces, so the center colors have been added.

now we are going to follow the same idea as the first two centers, but since everything we need is on the four faces left (U, D, F, B) we can speed up quite a bit, especially for this first face as we have nothing built in the middle strips (l, M, and r) to interfere. since a edge/center pair is already made (which is almost always the case at this point) we can work right away for the 2x2 portion. in this case using the edge on the B face can get this done quickly.

now we are going to again pair up a corner/edge group and put it in place, next to our 2x2 block (note the final move in this sequence it done to make a "path" on the right hand that we can use to maneuver our last 1x3 group together and into place)

same old, same old, build the 1x3 and put it in place...only three more centers left, as we get farther we have a couple trade-offs that happen. we may have to wiggle a little more to get things where they go, but fortunately nearly everything left can be seen all once, so much less time is spent searching for pieces, which can be a good trade since you can look ahead easier.


solve the adjacent centers around the cube

now we will work our way around the cube and solve the adjacent centers. The reason we do it adjacent instead of opposites is when you're down to two centers left, usually its easy if they are adjacent to each other, for solving and recognition purposes. the solved faces are now on L, R, and B. there is no particular order or method to choose the next center, except to try pick the one that looks the easiest.

at this point we have three centers solved so we should be well on our way to understanding the process to make this happen. the one complete side can make for a teeny bit of hassle but it's easily dealt with using simple set up moves.

turn 1-4: building 2x2

turn 5-8: expanding the block to 3x3x2

turn 9-11: starting the final 1x3 block, being sure to restore the 1x3 to the D face.

Turn 12-16: finishing the 1x3 block

turn 17-22 inserting the last 1x3, again being conscious of what we have already built


solving the final two centers

now we are at our last two centers, this particular case is kind of an easy one, but most of the time this is easily done, the most frequent ending in this step is to swap a single edge or corner between adjacent centers is show below by themselves. the single corner swap is a double layer sune. it's a good idea to experiment with oll's on the top layer to see what they achieve some have really great uses.

here are some special cases that you should look for when solving the centers because of their ease and quickness to fix
lightning bolt with 1x2 in adjacent face L-shape built with a single edge in adjacent face
swapping a single edge swapping a single corner


centers progress gauge
master centers <40 seconds you have lightning recognition and response to easy patterns, first 2 centers should be under 20 seconds, last 4 under 25. last 2 centers should almost always be completed with a 1x3 block, not piecing out edges or corners
intermediate centers <75 seconds You can quickly recognize easy patterns and have the responses committed to memory. slow practice to learn more patterns and trying to reduce move count will make you a master. your time for the first 2 and last 4 centers should be about the same.
beginner centers 75+ seconds you can assemble the centers, but it is disjointed and chaotic, not a smooth execution. learn a couple of easy patterns and practice spotting them and executing. also work on smoothness over speed, the speed will come naturally with improved look ahead and improved methodology which will reduce move count

on to the edges

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copyright 2005 frank morris & clancy cochran