From charlesreid1


What is it

The layer method of solving the Ruiks Cube involves solving the cube one layer at a time, and using progressively more complicated algorithms as more of the cube becomes solved to leave the solved portions of the cube alone.

The layer method is also called the "beginners method".

This method method only requires memorizing 5-6 algorithms. This is part of what makes it a good method for beginners. The tradeoff is, having fewer algorithms means the algorithms must be more general, which means there is generally more work in setting up the cube to apply the algorithm, or the algorithms must be applied multiple times.


The layer method is nice and easy. It requires memorizing a relatively small number of algorithms. The layer method can also be used to solve the 4x4 and 5x5 cases, once they have been reduced to the 3x3 case.

The layer method can get your solve time for a 3x3 down to about a minute, but this method will not help you get any faster than that.

Why Not

The layer method is not as flexible, because there are not as many algorithms. The Fridrich Method leads to faster solve times because it skips/combines several steps from the layer method. Of course, this requires more new algorithms to cover the many scenarios that arise.

Solution Algorithm Steps

Layer method steps:

  • Solve bottom layer cross
  • Solve bottom face
  • Solve second layer
  • Orient the top layer to a cross
  • Orient the top layer edges
  • Orient the top four corners to right locations
  • Flip four corners to correct orientation

Step 1: Bottom Cross

RubiksCube LayerMethod 1BottomCross a.jpg

RubiksCube LayerMethod 1BottomCross b.jpg

Step 2: Bottom Face

RubiksCube LayerMethod 2BottomFace a.jpg

RubiksCube LayerMethod 2BottomFace b.jpg

Step 3: Second Layer

Solving the second layer proceeds step by step

RubiksCube LayerMethod 3SecondLayer 1A.jpg

RubiksCube LayerMethod 3SecondLayer 1B.jpg

RubiksCube LayerMethod 3SecondLayer 2A.jpg

RubiksCube LayerMethod 3SecondLayer 2B.jpg

Step 4: Top Cross

The prior step can result in a top layer with one of four patterns:

  • Top layer has a single white cubie in the center of the top face
  • Top layer has an L-shape made of three white cubies on the top face (other top face cubies may also be white)
  • Top layer has a stripe of white cubies across the top face (other top face cubies may also be white)
  • Top layer has a white cross of five white cubies across the top face

RubiksCube LayerMethod 4TopCross 1Center.jpg

RubiksCube LayerMethod 4TopCross 2L.jpg

RubiksCube LayerMethod 4TopCross 3I.jpg

RubiksCube LayerMethod 4TopCross 4Cross.jpg

Top face with single center white cubie Top face with L shape white cubies Top face with stripe of white cubies Top face with cross of white cubies

Step 5: Orient Top Edge Cubies

RubiksCube LayerMethod 5TopEdgeOrient.jpg

RubiksCube LayerMethod 5TopEdgeOrient 2.jpg

Step 6: Permute Top Corner Cubies

RubiksCube LayerMethod 6TopCornerPermute.jpg

Step 7: Orient Top Corner Cubies

The starting position for this step is to have the four top corners in the correct positions, but not necessarily the correct orientations:

RubiksCube LayerMethod 7TopCornerOrient.jpg

RubiksCube LayerMethod 7TopCornerOrient 2.jpg

In the cube state shown above there are two corner cubies that are in the correct position with incorrect orientation.

Solved State

RubiksCube LayerMethod 8Solved.jpg