Category:Fewest Moves techniques
This page introduces some tips and techniques to help you solve the cube in as few moves as possible.
The best results can be obtained when all techniques are controlled. It is strongly advised not to follow a strict pattern, for example a speedsolving method. However some algorithms learned from a speedsolving method will give some advantages in some cases. The most useful methods are Heise, Petrus, Fridrich, Roux and ZBLL.
|Main Article : Block Building#Blockbuilding in FMC|
Best start for an FMC is block building technique. Try to build a 2x2x2 block then a 2x2x3 block. After the 2x2x2 block you have 3 sides to extend it to a 2x2x3. Explore all of them. After the 2x2x3 block...
When inserting Fridrich-pairs in F2L don't get stuck with you speedcubing methods but try some alternatives and check each of them for...
If you can't find a good start to your scramble, you can try inverting the scramble. That means the scramble R F' D2 U becomes U' D2 F R'. Find a good solution based on the inverted scramble, then invert the solution. The inverted solution will solve the original scramble. It looks strange to solve like this, but gives you more chances to find a good start.
Pseudoblocks or Pre-scramble-moves
|Main Article : Premoves|
Like Heise Method you can build pseudo blocks, which are adjacent 1x2x2 blocks or c/e pairs that are not adjacent but need an extra turn to get those blocks at the right color-centre. Solving with pseudo blocks can be very difficult and requires a lot of experience. As an alternative you can replace a pseudo block by a pre-scramble-move to give more oversight over your solve.
|Main Article : NISS|
The Normal-inverse-scramble-switch (NISS) technique was introduced in 2009 by Guus Razoux Schultz on the speedsolving forums and has since become one of the most commonly used FMC techniques. NISS is applicable basically everywhere and gives the user twice as many possible continuations as usual after any given step in exchange for only having to learn a couple of rules.
Inserted Moves (single)
Sometimes after a promising start you can't find a good continuation. Say you have solved a 2x2x2 block, but after that there's nothing good. By stepping through the solution you might see that at one place there's no 2x2x2-pieces on U, at that place you can try to insert U, U' or U2 and see if a better continuation is possible.
|Main Article : Insertion|
A very powerful technique in FMC is to solve everything except 3-5 corners and then insert 8 move commutators that cycle three corners earlier in the solution. Since there many corner configurations that can be solved in 8 moves often one will cancel moves, and thus one corner cycle will add less than 8 moves to the total solution length. Edge cycles are not used as often since FMC is judged in HTM and edge cycles often involve slice moves that are counted as two moves. Some people use stickers to more easily track the unsolved pieces through the solution. It is also possible to
|Main Article : Domino Reduction#Fewest move solving|
Domino Reduction is based on a step in Thistlethwaite's algorithm. Although it has been known as an FMC technique for a long time, it only started to gain popularity in 2019. Since then, Domino Reduction has widely been adopted by top FMC solvers due to often being more effective than standard approaches. The rapid improvement in FMC world records between 2019 and 2020 may be also be attributed to Domino Reduction.
If you see some opportunity to solve a lot of blocks without any (known) pattern you could try to solve it. When leaving a maximum of 4 edges and 4 corners try to conjugate them to 1 face during a solve. Then use pre-scramble-moves or a second cube to solve that face / LL.
Last Layer algorithms
|Main Article : Last Layer|
Sometimes you solve a lot of LL blocks using a very short LL algorithm, 8 or 9 moves maximum. Try to learn short LL algorithms in such a way that you know what it does to corners and edges. Start with the length-6 LL-alg, then the three 7-move LL-algs, the five 8-move LL-algs, and so on. You are really an expert when learning all LL algs up to 10 moves.
A step up from this is to start the alg part from the last slot.
- Try to stick with "standard moves" (no rotations, slice and wide moves).
- Use fixed colors for up & front to enhance recognition.
- Look at the center of the face you are turning, it tells which side it is ("White" = U and so on), then orientation does not matter anymore.
- Write down promising moves, do not wait till the very end!
- Create a backup solve!
- Learn to scramble fast, it can save a lot of time during a 1-hour solve, especially when using NISS.
- Bring stickers (for insertions) and extra cubes during a competition.
- Ryan Heise's page on intuitive solving techniques
- Speedsolving.com Fewest Moves: Tips and Techniques
- Speedsolving.com The FMC thread
- Speedsolving.com 6 to 10-move LL algorithms
- Online tool: Insertion Finder