This page explains an alternate method to solve the last layer of the Rubik’s cube.
The algorithms for this method is longer than the beginner method, BUT they are less repetitive, so you will solve the cube in less moves and ultimately be faster.
More importantly this method is the foundation of the last two steps of the CFOP speedsolving method, where you orientate the last layer (OLL), then permutate the last layer (PLL). This means you can solve the entire last layer with only two algorithms!
For this guide however we will solve the last layer in a couple of steps, but it will give you the correct foundation to learn the algorithms to solve it in two steps.
STEP 4a - COMPLETE THE THIRD LAYER CROSS
- Turn the cube over (white is now on the bottom and yellow on top).
- You should find that there is 0, 2 or 4 yellow edge pieces pieces facing upward. Ignore the corners for now.
- Perform the algorithm below to get to the yellow cross. Make sure the Yellow side is orientated as shown in the image.
For this method you only need to orientate the cross. It doesn’t matter of the side colours don’t match. This will be done in the last step.
STEP 4b - Orientate the Last Layer Corners
In this step we will orientate the last layer corners so that the yellow side is completely yellow. You will have either 0, 1 or 2 corners with yellow facing upwards.
A) If you have ONE corner with yellow facing upwards then hold the cube so that that one corner is in the top, left front position (see Image A below).
B) If you have 2 corners or 0 corners facing up then hold the cube so that there is a yellow side facing left in the top, left front position (see Image B below).
STEP 5a - Permutate Last Layer Corners
- In this step we will move the Last Layer corners in the correct position (permutate) by swapping two adjacent corners.
- If you have no adjacent corners with matching side colours (“headlights”) then hold your cube with yellow at the top and any colour facing you and perform the steps below. After this you should have two adjacent corners with matching colours (“headlights”)
- If you have “headlights” then hold your cube so that the “headlights” are at the back and perform the algorithm below.
Once you have completed this step the cube should look as follow:
STEP 5b - Permutate Last Layer Edges
- In this step we will move the Last Layer edges in the correct position (permutate) by rotating 3 edges either clockwise or anti-clockwise.
- If you have a side with all three colours matching then place that “bar” at the back.
- If you have no “bar” then you need to perform the algorithm from any side with yellow is at the top first. This will give you a “bar”. Hold your cube Place that “bar” at the back and perform the algorithm again to swap your edges.