There are many types of Rubik’s cube-like 2×2, Mirror, Skewb, etc. all with different levels of difficulty of solution.
Originally the Rubik’s cube was invented as a teaching tool, later it was realized to be a puzzle. This puzzle concept of Rubik’s cube gave the opportunity to cubes with different shapes and sizes which therefore gave a different level of difficulty to solve.
So now we will discuss about the different types of Rubik’s cube.
Types of Rubik’s Cube
1. 2×2 Rubik’s cube
Pocket cube and Mini cube are the most common names of 2×2 Rubik’s cube. It is a 2-layer cube. Erno Rubik this too.
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.
So, the color scheme is 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 are arranged in a clockwise position.
There are many modified versions of 2×2 cube with different shapes and sizes like Meffert’s Pocket cube, which is simply a 2×2 in a 2×2, a Pyramorphix, a Kilominx, a Ghost cube, a Mirror cube, etc. you can find them in the below picture.
2. Classic 3×3 Rubik’s cube
Every Rubik’s collection starts with a Classic 3×3 Rubik’s cube. Without the 3×3, whole collection is incomplete. This is the original cube invented by Erno Rubik, which made whole world go crazy about it.
There are more than 43 quintillion possible permutations, which makes it impossible to solve it randomly. It requires so much practice to solve it within some seconds.
The world record of the fastest single solve being 3.47 seconds. It’s a three-layer cube with 9 faces on each side, which makes it possible to make some amazing patterns.
I will not discuss much this cube in this blog, if you need more information, you can find it in my other blog “Everything about the Rubik’s Cube – You never knew.”.
3. Mirror Cube
Mirror cube is simply a Rubik’s cube, whose every single piece has its own unique shape and size, which is the only identification of the position of every piece, as all the pieces are of the same color, either silver or gold.
Mirror cube comes in many variants like 2×2, 3×3, etc. But the most common of all is the 3×3 Mirror cube.
When solved, it looks a normal cube, but when scrambled, the overall shape of the Mirror cube becomes very unusual due to the unequal shape and size of every piece of it.
This unusual shape of the cube makes it very complicated to solve, as there are no colour differentiation to look forward while solving, rather you need to identify manually which piece will go where and then do your algorithm moves.
Although, the solving method remains the same as the classic 3×3.
The unusual shapes of the Mirror cube pieces make it easy to solve it blindfolded, as you can feel the shape of the pieces and identify its original position without looking at it.
The fastest time to solve a Mirror Cube blindfolded is 1 min 16.31 seconds, achieved by Jatin Ghangas (India).
Megaminx is a dodecahedron-shaped puzzle, which is very similar to Rubik’s cube. At first sight one will assume it to be very difficult to be solved. But if you know the solution of 3×3 cube, you can solve the megaminx with just learning a few new algorithms.
There comes a lot of variants of megaminx, which mainly differ with the number of pieces on each side. The 2×2 variant is called Kilominx, and the bigger size of dodecahedrons are called Gigaminx, Teraminx, Petaminx, Zettaminx, upto Yottaminx.
Skewb is a corner turning cube puzzle. It has 8 corners and 6 fixed centers which is very similar to the classic Rubik’s cube.
At first sight, it seems to be very difficult to solve, but it is actually easier than a 2×2 cube. The world record of the fastest solve of Skewb is held by Jonatan Klosko with 1.10 seconds, which is just two blinks of an eye.
It is a shape-shifting puzzle with three layers. It is in shape when solved, and becomes very unusual when scrambled.
There are three layers of which the middle layer has 2 pieces in total, and these 2 pieces remains in the middle always. The lower and upper layers have 8 pieces each, with 4 triangular shaped edge pieces and 4 kite shaped corner pieces.
Due to its unusual shapes of pieces, the corner becomes edges and vice versa, which makes its solution very unique. But the concept of the solution remains same like the 3×3 cube. It is solved layer by layer, without altering the previous solved pieces.
There are many variants of Square-1, like Super Square-1, Square-2, two-layered, and four-layered mods.
3x3x4 is a cube similar to 3x3x3 but with an extra layer. Its mechanism work similar to the 3x3x3 cube. The color scheme is similar to 3×3 Rubik’s cube.
The solution is not similar to the 3x3x3 cube as its 3×4 layers can not turn 90°, it turns half (180°). But the solution is still with the same concept of solving it layer by layer.
8. 3x3x3 Mastermorphix
It is another mod of 3x3x3 Rubik’s cube. It is a triangle-shaped puzzle which comes in two versions, one color version, and four colored versions. There are 4 triangle-shaped faces with one centerpiece each. The puzzle has 4 triangle-shaped centerpieces.
This cube has a lot difference than the regular 3x3x3 cube. The center pieces can be rotated 180°, which also happens in Rubik’s cube but it doesn’t affect due to its square shape, but in this puzzle, it affects a lot. This puzzle can have just one corner piece rotated in the end, which never happens in Rubik’s cube.
So, here we discussed many types and mods of Rubik’s cube. Every Puzzle has its own uniqueness and complications. But the classic 3x3x3 cube will always remain on the top of all.
Megaminx is just similar to the 3×3 Rubik’s cube, with just few more sides. If you know how to solve 3×3, then you can easily solve Megaminx, with a few more algorithms.
Pentamix is the toughest Rubik’s cube mod ever. It is just 9 layered Megaminx Dodecahedron shaped cube.
Pyramix is the easiest cube according to the satistical data. Still it depends on person to person. One may find it easier, while other may not.
Further you can learn how to solve Rubik’s cube here on my other blog on “How to solve a Rubik’s cube in 1 minute? A Beginner’s Guide”