Do you feel you’ve graduated from solving the 3x3 Rubik’s cube and it’s time to move on to the next level?
Awesome! You’ve come to the right place. Here, we shall go through how to solve the 7x7 cube. The 7x7 surely contains more cubies than the 3x3 but that shouldn’t scare you. As you will discover, solving this cube is actually not very hard.
Before going into the main topic, we feel it would be good for you to understand some concepts regarding the 7x7 cube first.
So, What’s the 7x7 Cube?
The 7x7 is a cube puzzle that is constructed from smaller cubes (or cubies/cubelets), 7 to each edge. Like the standard 3x3 cube, each of its layers can rotate and rearrange the faces of the cube.
The cube has 6 colored faces, with each corner piece having 3 colors, each edge piece having 2 colors, and each face showing one color in the cube’s solved state.
The cube has 8 corner pieces and each of these pieces has 3 orientations. The middle edge pieces are 12, with each having 2 orientations. Also, there are 24 outer edge pieces and 24 inner ones.
Solving the 7x7 Cube
As with the typical 3x3 or 4x4 cube, there are many solution methods. In this guide, we shall look at the “edge matching” method, as it is both quick and beginner-friendly.
The faces are normally denoted by letters as follows:
Clockwise quarter rotations of face layers are usually denoted by the appropriate letters, while counterclockwise quarter turns are denoted with apostrophes, like L’, R’ or letter ‘i’.
Half turns (also called 180° turns) are denoted by the appropriate letter followed by the digit 2, like L2, R2, U2, and so on. As you can see, the rules here are virtually similar to those of the 3x3 cube.
An internal slice is typically denoted by placing a superscript after the letter. For example, F2 refers to a clockwise rotation of the slice right behind the front face, while F3 denotes an anticlockwise rotation of the slice after that one. As you can see, such moves affect the slices only; the cubes corners are not affected.
Now, let’s look at how to go about solving a scrambled 7x7 cube.
Phase I: Solve centers
The method we shall discuss here is meant to solve the U centers without affecting any faces that are already solved. All you have to do is repeat the process for each face.
Look for any center-piece edge that belongs to the U face. Let the cube lie on the D or F face. If the piece is on the F face, make an F move to place the piece at the top right, that is, in the U2 or U3 slice and at the R2, R3 or R4 slice.
If, on the other hand, the piece happens to be on the bottom face, make a D move to place it at the front right, that is, in the F2 or F3 slice and the R2, R3 or R4 slice.
Now, rotate the U face to place an incorrect piece at the rear-right position where the piece belongs. Perform one of these move algorithms to insert the center piece:
- From F U2 R4 to U B2 R4: Do R4 U' L2' U R4' U' L2
- From F U2 R3 to U B2 R3: Do R3 U' L2' U R3' U' L2
- From F U2 R2 to U B2 R2: Do R2 U' L2' U R2' U' L2
- From F U3 R4 to U B3 R4: Do R4 U' L3' U R4' U' L3
- From F U3 R3 to U B3 R3: Do R3 U' L3' U R3' U' L3
- From F U3 R2 to U B3 R2: Do R2 U' L3' U R2' U' L3
- From D F2 R4 to U B2 R4: Do R42 U' L22 U R42 U' L22
- From D F2 R3 to U B2 R3: Do R32 U' L22 U R32 U' L22
- From D F2 R2 to U B2 R2: Do R22 U' L22 U R22 U' L22
- From D F3 R4 to U B3 R4: Do R42 U' L32 U R42 U' L32
- From D F3 R3 to U B3 R3: Do R32 U' L32 U R32 U' L32
- From D F3 R2 to U B3 R2: Do R22 U' L32 U R22 U' L32
Note that a move like R32 simply means that you should do a R3 followed by a R2. A L3’ refers to a counterclockwise move.
Repeat the process until the 24 center pieces in the U face are in the correct locations.
Phase II: Align the inner edges correctly
In this stage, we shall align the inner edges such that they form matching pairs.
- Find inner edge pieces that aren’t yet matched up with their middle edge pieces. Position the cube such that such an inner edge piece lies in the UFR3 location.
- Find the middle edge piece that matches it and utilize face moves to take it to the UB position.
- Does the middle edge piece show a different color on the U face from the one on the inner edge piece? In case it’s not, just flip it over by doing the move B’UR’U’.
- Seek out any unmatched inner edge piece and place it in the URB3 location; don’t disturb the other 2 pieces. If you find that there’s no unmatched inner edge piece, just perform the move U2 R3 U2 R3 U2 R3 U2 R3 U2 R3 to make some unmatched ones. Perform the move R3 B'RB R3'.
Repeat the i to iii until all your inner edges are properly aligned to the middle ones.
Phase III: Align the outer edges
In this phase, we shall match up the outer edge pieces with the middle or inner edge triplets.
- Seek out outer edges that aren’t yet matched properly with their middle triplets. Position the cube in such a way that such a piece is at the UFR2 location.
- Look for its matching edge triplet and utilize any face moves to take it to the UB location.
- Confirm the triplet has a different color on the U face from the one on the outer edge piece. In case that’s not the case, flip the triplet over by performing the move: B'UR'U'.
- Is there another unmatched outer edge piece? Place it at the URB2 location, making sure that you don’t disturb other pieces. In case there isn’t an unmatched pair, perform the move: U2 R2 U2 R2 U2 R2 U2 R2 U2 R2 to create one.
Repeat i to iii until all the edges are in matching edge quintuplets.
Phase IV: Solve the cube.
Solve your 7x7 by rotating the faces only. You can use any 3x3 method to do it.
And that’s all, folks. How did you find the illustration?
Remember, though it might not be very easy at first, practice always makes perfect. Therefore, try the steps as many times as possible till you get it right in the shortest time possible.
Don’t forget to share with us any tricks you might discover.