How to solve the Rubik’s Cube – Fridrich Method (CFOP) Stage 2
This is the hard bit. But be patient! It is a lot faster than the beginner’s way of solving the first two layers. Understand that, once you’ve done the cross, there are four corner-edge slots for you to fill, to complete solving the first two layers. Here we solve the first two layers at the same time, by making corner-edge pairs and then inserting the pairs into the empty slots. Again making the corner-edge pairs is intuitive, but here are a few hints:
Try making sure that the corner and edge of the pair have the same colour facing up, then you can use algorithms such as R U R’ to pair them up.
Be sure to pay attention to where the cross is, so you don’t break it.
Just like with the cross, locate the two pieces of the pair before trying to pair them up. Then you can track them as you make moves. After pairing them up you can easily insert the pair. See below for some algorithms.
One method of solving the first two layers:
- Stage 1: Get both pair pieces on the upper layer
- Stage 2: Separate the pair pieces
- Stage 3: Make sure the corner’s white isn’t facing up
- Stage 4: Make the pair
- Stage 5: Insert the pair
Getting both the pair pieces on the upper layer
Try to get both the edge and corner on the top layer. If you’re stuck, try these algorithms to get them there. Be wary of if any of the pieces in the indicated area are there. If they are, you might need to move them away with a U move. This is because the algorithm moves that piece into the D layer whilst you want both of the pieces in the U layer.
Step 1, get the edge on the U layer. Rotate the cube such that the edge is in the green area, and make sure the corner is not in the red area by doing U turns. Then do the algorithm:
R U R’
Step 2, get the corner on the U layer. Rotate the cube such that the corner is in the indicated area. Then do the algorithm:
R U R’
Separating the pair pieces
If the pair pieces are together, it helps to separate them. It makes them easier to work with. There are two possibilities for how they are stuck together; rotate the U layer until you get one of these- the pair is marked in green. Be aware of the slot the algorithms affect (marked in blue); turn the bottom two layers so that the indicated slot is clear before doing them.
R' U R
R U’ R’
Make sure the corner’s white sticker is not facing up
This again makes it easier to work with the pairs. Again the area that is affected by these algorithms is marked.
If the white sticker on the corner (marked in green) is facing up, you can twist it anticlockwise using this algorithm.
R U’ R’
If the edge is in the red area, then this algorithm will take it out of the U layer. Instead, you might want to do this algorithm in that case.
R U2 R’
This algorithm may cause the pieces to get stuck together- if so, you know what to do.
Making the pear
If the colours of the pair on top are the same, you have to move the edge round via a U move to place it next to the corner in the right place. Of course just doing a U move to move it there will not work, because doing a U move will affect your corner which is the U layer. So you’ll have to move the corner out of the U layer, temporarily, into the D layer using (R,L, F or B), then move the edge (orange) where it should be, then move it back (this at the same time restores the cross. Generally, you want to move the corner out of the way using the face its white is on. Notice where white is in each diagram, as well as which slots are affected.
R’ UX R
F UX F’
If the colours of the pair are different, then you can move them opposite each other using the same method described above, but instead of using the U layer to bring the edge next to the corner, you use the U layer to bring the edge opposite the corner. Then you can pair them together with one move (this affects the cross), move the pair out of the way so you can restore the cross. Here are two possible cases and algorithms to solve them. The slot they affect is marked in blue.
R U’ R’
R’ U R
INSERTING THE PAIR
Once you have paired them, you can insert them with one of two algorithms depending on the pair’s orientation:
U R U’ R’
U’ F’ U F