CFOP method

From Wiki
CFOP method
Information about the method
Proposer(s): David Singmaster
René Schoof
Jessica Fridrich
Hans Dockhorn
Kurt Dockhorn
Anneke Treep
Proposed: 1981
Alt Names: Fridrich Method
Variants: CLL/ELL, VH, ZB, MGLS-F
No. Steps: 4 (Cross, F2L, OLL, PLL)
No. Algs: Total: 78 to 119
F2L: 0 to 41
Full 2LLL: 78 (OLL: 57, PLL: 21)
Avg Moves: ~60 [1]

Scramble 04.jpg

Scrambled cube -> Cross -> F2L -> OLL -> PLL -> Solved cube

CFOP is the most frequently used speedsolving method for the 3x3x3 cube.

Mini maru.jpg

CFOP (Cross, F2L, OLL, PLL, pronounced C-F-O-P or C-fop) is a 3x3 speedsolving method proposed by several cubers around 1981. It is also known as the Fridrich Method after its popularizer, Jessica Fridrich. In part due to Fridrich's publication of the method on her website in 1995, CFOP has been the most dominant 3x3 speedcubing method since around 2000, with it and its variants used by the vast majority of the top speedcubers such as Feliks Zemdegs, Max Park, Sebastian Weyer, Mats Valk, etc.

Origin and Naming Dispute

Jessica Fridrich is often erroneously credited as the sole inventor of CFOP. In reality, many developments were made in the early '80s by other cubers who have contributed to the method in its current form. The constituent techniques and their original proposers are as follows:

During the resurgence in speedcubing's popularity in the late '90s and early 2000s, there was a general lack of information on the sport. Fridrich's website offered a vast wealth of information for those entering the sport, including a full description of CFOP with complete lists of algorithms. As a result, many who learned from her website began to call this method the "Fridrich Method."

Several high-profile cubers have long disputed this terminology; Ron van Bruchem, famously, has publicly written that he will never call CFOP the "Fridrich Method." This issue has become well-advertised within the cubing community around the year 2008, likely because of this. The term "CFOP" has become more popular since then.

While some cubers still insist on the term "CFOP," Fridrich's contribution to the popularization of the method is undeniable, and many others accept the term "Fridrich Method" as established terminology and a perfectly valid synonym for "CFOP."


CFOP can be viewed as an advanced version of a Layer-By-Layer method. It takes the same steps, but combines some of them, solving more of the cube at once.

Cross Cross

The first step is to make a cross on the bottom face by solving four edge pieces that share one color (white in this example).

Virtually all top CFOP solvers nowadays solve the cross on bottom to avoid doing a z2 or x2 cube rotation. Previously in the 2000s it was also popular to solve on a different face, for example Cross on left. Many top solvers are also color neutral, meaning they are able to solve the cross on any color. This allows them to find better solutions in many cases.

F2L F2L (First Two Layers)

In between the solved cross edges and their corresponding centers are four slots that contains a corner and an edge piece. The goal of this step is to fill in these slots with the right pieces to solve the first two layers at the same time. This is accomplished by pairing up a corner that shares a color with the cross, and an edge that shares its colors with said corner, then inserting them together. The completion of this step leaves one with just the last layer, typically placed on top.

OLL OLL (Orientation of the Last Layer)

In this step, the goal is to make the top face one color. There are 57 nontrivial cases, and therefore 57 algorithms to learn for this step

Those new to OLL break up the step into two. This greatly reduces the number of cases; 2-look OLL has 9 cases. However, note that this is a few seconds slower

PLL PLL (Permutation of the Last Layer)

Finally, the cube is solved by permuting the pieces of the last layer, in other words putting them in the correct position. There are 21 nontrivial cases for this step.

Those new to PLL break up the step into two. This greatly reduces the number of cases; 2-look PLL has 6 cases. However, note that this is a few seconds slower


  • Easy to learn - CFOP is widely considered to be the easiest method to learn, as it transitions easily from beginner's methods.
  • Doesn't require a large understanding of how the cube works - Due to the lack of blockbuilding or edge orientation needed in CFOP, the method relies more on pattern recognition and algorithms. Although the cross and F2L are solved intuitively, they are more straightforward than the blockbuilding with Roux or the edge orientation and blockbuilding with ZZ.
  • Is by far the most researched method - As CFOP is the most widely used method and has been for many years, there has been far more research done on CFOP than any other method, which means more resources, a larger variety of algorithms to choose from, and more community members to assist and give advice. All world records for the 3x3 Rubik's Cube since 2003 have been set with CFOP, with the exclusion of Kian Mansour's 9.54 one-handed Ao5 in May 2018.
  • Statistically the fastest speedsolving method - Statistically speaking, CFOP has proven to currently be the fastest method, despite the move count. As of June 1, 2016, the top four speedsolvers in 3x3 average use the method, as well as the top fifteen speedsolvers in 3x3 single.


-Slower : CFOP is high movecount and has rotate cube.

               => Slower than Roux

See also



OLL (edit)

PLL (edit)
Permutations of corners only
Permutations of edges only
Permutations of corners and edges

External links