2×2 Rubik’s cube is just a mini version of the 3×3 Rubik’s cube. The cube has only corner pieces. Its most common names are Pocket Cube or a Mini Cube. Erno Rubik, the inventor of 3×3 Rubik’s cube, invented the Mini Cube.
Anyone looking at this cube may assume it to be very easy to solve, until knowing that it has around 3.5 million possible permutations. So, it’s not easy to solve by just making any random moves.
What will We know
Basic Knowledge of the 2×2 Mini cube
This is a 2-layer mini Rubik’s cube, with only corner pieces.
The color arrangement is just similar to the 3×3 Rubik’s cube. Red opposite to orange, blue opposite to green and white opposite to yellow, with blue, yellow, and red in the order in a clockwise position.
If you know how to solve the 3×3 Rubik’s cube then you can solve this 2×2 cube too using the basic algorithms like placing the white corners, orienting the yellow pieces, etc.
Notations are unit moves that tell you which side of the cube to move, in which direction, and how many times to turn. Every cube needs algorithms for its solution, and the algorithms are just a sequence of notations.
There are a total of 6 faces on the cube. All the faces can be turned individually, therefore 6 notations can be identified from here. Now all the sides can be turned in both the directions, which means a total of 12 notations are present in a cube.
Faces of the cube
|Up (U)||Front (F)|
|Down (D)||Back (B)|
|Left (L)||Right (R)|
Holding a cube gives a total of 6 faces. While performing any of the notations given below, you cannot rotate the cube, you need to keep the faces constant. The front should be facing you constantly.
Now you know the faces of the cube.
For instance, to perform a notation of R, you need to move the right face of the cube in the clockwise direction.
And when the right face of the cube is rotated in the anti-clockwise direction, the notation has an apostrophe (‘) or (i) attached to the original notation, i.e., R’ or Ri.
When there is a number “2″ along with the notations, as R2, then you need to perform the R or Ri twice.
Similarly, all the notations work with the 6 faces.
Now let us head towards how to solve a 2×2 rubik’s cube?
Solving the 2×2 cube
This cube, similar to the 3×3 Rubik’s cube, can be solved layer by layer. First, we will solve the white layer, which is pretty easy to solve. Second, we will permutate the yellow pieces to its original place, and finally orient all the yellow pieces.
We will start with the white layer first. This is very easy, at least you can align two white pieces together by moving randomly. You have to keep in mind that the side colors of the pieces should match.
Once you fix any two pieces together, then look for the 3rd piece and its respective position where it will be placed.
Now hold the cube with the desired place of the corner piece facing front-up-right of the cube, and move the corner piece to the back of that corner, which means the back-up-right side of the cube.
Now we will use some algorithm to easily solve the first layer.
Look at the picture and match the case number with your cube and perform the given algorithm.
- Di Ri D
- R B Ri
- R D B2 Di Ri
- Push the white unsolved corner to the back of its desired place by performing – Di R D, then match with the above 3 cases and perform the respective algorithm.
Repeat the process for the 4th corner too, your first layer is complete by now.
Permutating the Yellows
Now we should permutate the yellow pieces to its original position, irrespective of its orientation. The orientation part will be done in the end in a very easy step, we performed in the first layer.
Now look at the cube and the yellow corners, and try to identify the yellow pieces which are in their original position by rotating the upper layer.
There will arise 3 cases:
Case 1. Only one piece is in its original position, and the remaining three pieces requires rotation, to fix its position. Perform this algorithm to rotate the three pieces anticlockwise by holding the cube with the fixed piece in front-right-up position. U R Ui Li U Ri Ui L
Perform the algorithm twice to rotate the pieces clockwise.
Case 2. When the two adjacent corners are in its original position then, hold the cube with the two wrong positioned pieces facing front, and perform the algorithm. L Fi Li Di Li D F
Case 3. When two diagonally pieces are in the correct position, and the remaining two pieces are needed to be swapped, then perform the algorithm. F L F Li Di Li D
By now, you have correctly placed all corner pieces in their original positions. Only work left now is to orient the yellow pieces to face up.
Orienting the Yellows
Now all the piece of the cube is in its original position, only some of the yellow corners are not oriented correctly. So, we need to orient the yellow pieces so that the yellow colour faces upside.
This is very easy and similar to fixing the white corners. You need to hold the cube with a wrongly oriented corner facing the front-right-up side of the cube and perform Ri Di R D algorithm twice of four times until the piece is oriented correctly. Then rotate the upper layer to bring the next unsolved corner piece and repeat the same process with all the corners, to finally solve the cube.
Performing the algorithm twice rotates the corner anticlockwise, and four times to turn clockwise.
Let us take an example of two yellow faces facing front.
Here the first corner has to be turned anticlockwise and then rotate the upper layer Ui to bring the next unsolved corner and turn in clockwise. Therefore, the complete algorithm for this case will be – (Ri Di R D)x4 Ui (Ri Di R D)x2
Congratulations!!! You have successfully solved the 2×2 Rubik’s cube.
You can learn all the algorithms to solve 2×2 rubik’s cube on this site – AlgDb
-2×2 cube has more than 3.6 million possible permutations. So it’s better to say not too easy for a beginner.
-World record for solving the 2×2 cube fastest is 0.49 seconds and was achieved by Maciej Czapiewski.
-2×2 can be solved in 11 moves.