# [Help Thread]F2L Intuitive vs. Algorithm Solving

## How did you learn your F2L? Intuitively or with Algs?

• ### Algorithmic

• Total voters
420

#### cagedpanda

##### Member
Could anybody please list some good sources for algs and/or intuitive f2l stuff

#### Chree

##### Member
For a beginner/intuitive, maybe start with CBC's videos... he has a whole series on F2L that starts off with Beginner, Intuitive, and Advanced techniques. But then he has several videos of algs, and most of them are terrible.

For algorithmic F2L:

http://cubingworld.com/results.php?tags=F2L

3 pages worth of F2L videos. Collin's videos are pretty advanced, but all amazing. Chris Olson also has a few great videos in this collection and on his own channel.

Here are some really old vids that Faz made regarding F2L as well:

The Westonian also has a lot of F2L videos and they were all pretty helpful to me:

Actually, come to think of it, I already have a playlist put together of a bunch of F2L videos on YT... here ya go:

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#### ElectricDoodie

##### Member
The reason I don't like learning algs, is because you have to always solve it that specific way for a specific case. You can't just solve it if it's facing a side that you don't know the alg to. So, you have to turn the cube to face the direction that you know how to do the alg. To solve this, you would have to learn 4 algs for 1 single case (1 for each side, so you don't have to rotate the cube), but then you're literally quadrupaling how many algs you'll have to memorize.

That's why intuitive is better for me. I can look at almost any F2L case, and solve it from any side, without memorizing algs, because I know how the pieces move.
The only memorizing I did was for specific hard cases that suck.

Btw, I started with algs, and hated that I could only solve it from one side, or that I had to learn 4 algs for each case. That's why I switched to intuitive, and I can't believe I ever wanted to do it all with algs.

#### Pailly19

##### Member
I learned through intuition, then I just use muscle memory.

#### pdilla

##### Member
I know I'm in it late and all, but heck... Intuitive with algs for the hard cases (or cases that you solve inefficiently) seems to work out the best imho.

#### Chree

##### Member
I teach the basic techniques of Intuitive to anyone who's just learning.

But I encourage them to look up algs as soon as they have that down. And not just for hard cases... for easy ones too. There are lots of really awesome F2L algs from different angles that are way better than an intuitive solution. Unless the pair is already broke in the U layer, I don't think any of my F2L solutions could be described as "intuitive" anymore.

Many people put a lot of effort into finding better solutions for as many cases as possible. To a certain extent, that's a requirement to get faster. But I'm sure there are plenty of people that are much faster than me that use entirely intuitive F2L. So it's the obvious place to start.

The reason I don't like learning algs, is because you have to always solve it that specific way for a specific case. You can't just solve it if it's facing a side that you don't know the alg to. So, you have to turn the cube to face the direction that you know how to do the alg. To solve this, you would have to learn 4 algs for 1 single case (1 for each side, so you don't have to rotate the cube), but then you're literally quadrupaling how many algs you'll have to memorize.
This is not true. If you learn how to F/B and L/R mirror your algs, a single algorithm will help you with many cases.

Take R U2 R' U' R U R' for example. Way better than an intuitive solution, and I'm sure you can easily (and dare I say, intuitively) figure out how to execute that algorithm from all angles. In this sense, you only had to learn 1 algorithm and that helped you solve 4 cases. 8 if you add a y/y'.

All of the 2Gen F2L solutions are easily mirrorable like this. And it's my view that being able to mirror your algs is a skill of a more well-rounded cuber.

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#### mark49152

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
Take R U2 R' U' R U R' for example. Way better than an intuitive solution
That solution was 100% intuitive to me, although perhaps not to you. Intuitive or algorithmic doesn't describe the solution, it describes how you learned it.

#### ElectricDoodie

##### Member
This is not true. If you learn how to F/B and L/R mirror your algs, a single algorithm will help you with many cases.

Take R U2 R' U' R U R' for example. Way better than an intuitive solution, and I'm sure you can easily (and dare I say, intuitively) figure out how to execute that algorithm from all angles. In this sense, you only had to learn 1 algorithm and that helped you solve 4 cases. 8 if you add a y/y'.

All of the 2Gen F2L solutions are easily mirrorable like this. And it's my view that being able to mirror your algs is a skill of a more well-rounded cuber.
What are you talking about? I learned that exact solution intuitively.
So no, learning algs would not have helped me for that.

That solution was 100% intuitive to me, although perhaps not to you. Intuitive or algorithmic doesn't describe the solution, it describes how you learned it.
This is exactly it.

#### Chree

##### Member
That solution was 100% intuitive to me, although perhaps not to you. Intuitive or algorithmic doesn't describe the solution, it describes how you learned it.
Very well. Still... when I learned an algorithm it was usually pretty easy to figure out the mirrors. So his assessment that it costs so much time and effort is still overblown. That's a misunderstanding of what the algorithmic approach offers, is all I was trying to get at.

What are you talking about? I learned that exact solution intuitively.
So no, learning algs would not have helped me for that.
I thought the intuitive solution was U' R U' R' U2 R U2 R' U R U' R'. So maybe that was a bad example. Felix also highlighted this case in a video, contrasting alg v intuition with these two algs... so I thought that's most people approached it intuitively.

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#### mark49152

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
Very well. Still... when I learned an algorithm it was usually pretty easy to figure out the mirrors. So his assessment that it costs so much time and effort is still overblown. That's a misunderstanding of what the algorithmic approach offers, is all I was trying to get at.
Intuitive versus algorithmic is portrayed too much as black and white, in my opinion.

Yes it's useful to learn algs for some cases, but it's certainly beneficial to do so as part of a primarily intuitive approach where you study the solution and understand how it works. Taking your example, ultimately it doesn't matter whether you learned it as an alg or figured it out. As long as you understand how it works, it's easy to mirror, and easy to adapt it in other ways such as using FR to set up then inserting to BL, or inserting a d/d' mid way when then edge is bad, or adding a sledgehammer then inserting to BR, etc.

When people say it's bad to learn F2L as algs, I think what they really mean is that it's bad to deny yourself the flexibility that comes from understanding how the solutions work, not that it's bad to discover new solutions via algs.

#### Chree

##### Member
Intuitive versus algorithmic is portrayed too much as black and white, in my opinion.

Yes it's useful to learn algs for some cases, but it's certainly beneficial to do so as part of a primarily intuitive approach where you study the solution and understand how it works. Taking your example, ultimately it doesn't matter whether you learned it as an alg or figured it out. As long as you understand how it works, it's easy to mirror, and easy to adapt it in other ways such as using FR to set up then inserting to BL, or inserting a d/d' mid way when then edge is bad, or adding a sledgehammer then inserting to BR, etc.

When people say it's bad to learn F2L as algs, I think what they really mean is that it's bad to deny yourself the flexibility that comes from understanding how the solutions work, not that it's bad to discover new solutions via algs.
That's probably the best way I've ever seen the comparison stated.

#### ElectricDoodie

##### Member
So his assessment that it costs so much time and effort is still overblown.
For you, maybe that's the case. But for me, it did cost too much time and effort, and was not overblown.

#### Sunnymelisa

##### Member
Intuitive is definetly better. That's how I learned it, and I got faster so quickly. Practicing you figure out how to do them in short moves. And you get a better sense of self. Its not just memorized. It's what you can actually figure out from knowing your cube.

#### tikhung01

##### Member
Intuitive is definetly better. That's how I learned it, and I got faster so quickly. Practicing you figure out how to do them in short moves. And you get a better sense of self. Its not just memorized. It's what you can actually figure out from knowing your cube.
This. People who learn F2l by algorithms wayyy overused their left brain.

#### MoonLiteNite

##### Member
Here are my two cents.
I don't buy into this idea that you must learn intuitive F2L first, and then later on learn algorithms for the more complex cases. If the goal of F2L is to be able to execute a situation mindlessly enough as to allow lookahead, then you need for every case you use to be deeply rooted in muscle memory. So if you learn an intuitive alg that is a "bad" alg (high move count, does not utilize the optimal empty slot shortcut, is not 2-gen when a fast one exists, etc.) then you will deeply root this "bad" alg into your muscle memory. Later on, once you discover what will become your best speedcubing alg, you must unlearn your old case and begin the process of committing the new alg to muscle memory. It is very difficult to change your brain's perception of a case from your old alg to a new alg, trust me on this.
Chris
I have been around 90secs my full life at solving the cube, doing my own crazy noob method for solving, just 6 months ago I started to learn how others and "speed cubers" solve it.
EVERYONE told me to learn F2L without algs. And boy do i 100% hate that idea.
At first my cross+F2L was around 2 mins, but i learned "tricks" that i figured out myself, which brought me down to around 35-45secs for cross+F2L.
Sadly, most of my "tricks" that i figured out for myself, are terrible. Using an alg, it would take 9 turns, with my method, i end up doing a single trigger 3 times with a setup move, when instead. I could do a simple set of turns with a trigger. and take off half my time.

Now my poor brain can't quit doing my old terrible habbits...

I 100% support learning the algs, but yeah, play around with F2L yourself and see what you can find on your own, and learn how to use empty slots, but generally, the algs are the best way to go for speed.

#### ElectricDoodie

##### Member
I have been around 90secs my full life at solving the cube, doing my own crazy noob method for solving, just 6 months ago I started to learn how others and "speed cubers" solve it.
EVERYONE told me to learn F2L without algs. And boy do i 100% hate that idea.
At first my cross+F2L was around 2 mins, but i learned "tricks" that i figured out myself, which brought me down to around 35-45secs for cross+F2L.
Sadly, most of my "tricks" that i figured out for myself, are terrible. Using an alg, it would take 9 turns, with my method, i end up doing a single trigger 3 times with a setup move, when instead. I could do a simple set of turns with a trigger. and take off half my time.
Obviously, you'll be slower when starting intuitive F2L. Nobody said you become faster instantly when switching to intuitive.
You learn how the cube moves. You then start figuring out the best ways to solve certain situations, start changing the way you solve some F2L cases, and then you eventually get faster.

Now my poor brain can't quit doing my old terrible habbits...
Then you're not doing it right. Intuitive F2L doesn't mean doing terrible moves, and then using them forever.

but generally, the algs are the best way to go for speed.
No.

#### jms

##### Member
I realise this is an old thread, but I've just read it and my 2p is this:

I am learning intuitively, but some cases I am way sub-optimal on. For these cases I look at algs. I don't mindlessly learn them, I dissect them and see what goes on in there. Then I try to apply the concepts (not the alg exactly) when I come across that situation the next time.

#### STOCKY7

##### Member
I realise this is an old thread, but I've just read it and my 2p is this:

I am learning intuitively, but some cases I am way sub-optimal on. For these cases I look at algs. I don't mindlessly learn them, I dissect them and see what goes on in there. Then I try to apply the concepts (not the alg exactly) when I come across that situation the next time.
Yeah, don't worry, you are doing it right. Learning 'algs' for the odd awkward-ass case is absolutely fine, and I'd recommend doing that for sure!

#### Gallifrey

##### Member
I use no algs at all for F2L (completely intuitive), and I've been doing it that way since I learned it. Sure, it made me slower at first, but learning with algs would make you even slower. using algs means your lookahead probably will be harder, and while you might be faster at first you won't be able to get as fast as if you use intuitive.

I use intuitive, and I can easily finish my f2l in 7 seconds or less.

memorization - ew
it's just boring and tedious as hell. I learned intuitive F2L in 2 days(about). To memorize all forty-some algs (especially for someone at that specific point in their learning) will take much, much longer than that.

#### FishTalons

##### Member
Mostly, I agree with you, though I believe some algorithms are necessary. Some cases are take too many moves/rotations to solve smoothly, so I have learned a few. For example, the case with the corner solved and the edge flipped can be solved much faster with a 2-gen algorithm.