The lenticular Rubik’s cube, also known as the Rubik’s Revenge, is a 4x4x4 version of the classic 3×3 Rubik’s cube. Solving the lenticular Rubik’s cube can be tricky, but following these step-by-step instructions will guide you through the process.
What is a Lenticular Rubik’s Cube?
A lenticular Rubik’s cube has 4 layers with 16 cubies per layer, totaling 64 cubies overall. Each cubie has a colored sticker on it, usually the same 6 colors as a standard 3×3 Rubik’s cube – white, yellow, blue, green, orange, and red. The 4 layers can be rotated independently, mixing up the cubies to scramble the cube.
The added complexity comes from there being both edge and center pieces to correctly orient on each layer. On a standard Rubik’s cube, there are only edge pieces that need to be solved correctly. The lenticular version requires you to solve both edge and center cubies in the right positions to complete it.
Rubik’s Cube Notation
Before going through the solving steps, it’s important to understand Rubik’s cube notation. This notation refers to the moves made to rotate different layers of the cube.
|F||Front face clockwise 90 degrees|
|F’||Front face counter-clockwise 90 degrees|
|F2||Front face 180 degrees|
|B||Back face clockwise 90 degrees|
|U||Up face clockwise 90 degrees|
|U’||Up face counter-clockwise 90 degrees|
|U2||Up face 180 degrees|
|D||Down face clockwise 90 degrees|
|D’||Down face counter-clockwise 90 degrees|
|D2||Down face 180 degrees|
|L||Left face clockwise 90 degrees|
|L’||Left face counter-clockwise 90 degrees|
|L2||Left face 180 degrees|
|R||Right face clockwise 90 degrees|
|R’||Right face counter-clockwise 90 degrees|
|R2||Right face 180 degrees|
These single letter notations with optional ‘ and 2 denote both the face to turn and the direction and amount of turn. Keep this notation in mind as you follow the solving steps.
Step 1: Solve the Top Cross
The first step is to solve the top layer edges to form a cross shape. This is very similar to solving the first layer cross on a 3×3 Rubik’s cube. You want to get the 4 top layer edge pieces oriented with the correct color sides facing up.
Hold the cube so that the top face is the color that matches the center piece of the top layer. Look for edge pieces with that color on top and move them into place without disturbing the center pieces. Getting all 4 top cross edges aligned completes the first step.
Step 2: Solve the Top Corners
After finishing the top cross, the next step is to orient the 4 corner pieces of the top layer. Again, this is similar to solving the first layer corners of a 3×3 cube.
Look at the location of each top corner cubie and use algorithms to correctly place them without disturbing your solved cross. The algorithms for orienting corners while preserving other solved pieces are more complex than on a 3×3 cube. There are many possible algorithms you can use, here are two common ones:
Corner Swapping Algorithm: R’ D’ R D R’ D’ R D
Corner Rotating Algorithm: R’ D R D’
You may need to apply these algorithms multiple times to get all 4 top layer corners matched with their correct adjacent edges based on color.
Step 3: Solve the Middle Edges
On a standard 3×3 Rubik’s cube, solving the first layer completes the puzzle. But on a 4×4 lenticular cube, there is still the middle layer to solve at this point. For this third step, you want to get all 4 middle layer edge pieces placed correctly.
Hold the cube so an incorrect or unoriented middle edge piece is facing the front side. Use this algorithm repeatedly to cycle the middle edges into their proper positions:
Middle Edge Swapping Algorithm: U R U’ R’ U R U R’
You may need to repeat this up to 6 times to orient all 4 middle layer edges. But be careful that you don’t disturb the solved top layer pieces in the process.
Step 4: Solve the Middle Layer Corners
The fourth step is to position the 4 corner cubies in the middle layer correctly based on their adjacent solved pieces. This requires a new algorithm that swaps two corners without affecting anything else.
Place any incorrectly positioned middle layer corner at the front bottom left position. Then perform this algorithm:
Corner Swapping Algorithm #2: Rw U R’ U Rw’ F R F’
That will swap the piece at the front bottom left with the one diagonally opposite at the back top right position. Do this as needed to get all 4 middle layer corners matched to their adjacent edge colors.
Step 5: Solve the Bottom Cross
On the final layer, we again need to make a cross shape first. Orient the cube so the bottom color face is on the bottom. Then position the bottom edges to form a cross while preserving the rest of the solved cube.
Use the following algorithm as required to swap bottom cross edges without affecting other pieces:
Bottom Cross Edge Swapping Algorithm: Rw U R’ U’ Rw2 F R’ F’
Line up all 4 bottom layer edge cubies to make the full cross and complete this step.
Step 6: Solve the Bottom Corners
For this second to last stage, the bottom 4 corner cubies must be correctly rotated and placed based on the bottom cross you just solved.
Use the following algorithm as many times as needed to rotate the bottom corners until they match the bottom cross color:
Bottom Corner Rotating Algorithm: Rw U R’ U’ Rw’ F’ U’ F
After orienting the corners, you may also need to swap some adjacent bottom corners using this algorithm:
Bottom Corner Swapping Algorithm: Rw U’ R U Rw’ U R U’
Apply these bottom corner algorithms until all 4 pieces are correctly placed to match the bottom cross orientation.
Step 7: Align All Layers
At this point, you have correctly solved cubes on the top, middle, and bottom layers individually. For the final step, you must align all 3 layers horizontally to truly solve the lenticular Rubik’s cube.
Turn only the top layer to align the top 4 centers with the middle 4 centers on the sides. Then turn only the bottom layer to match up the bottom 4 centers.
Doing those final alignments without disturbing the individual layers will complete the puzzle! You have now fully solved the lenticular 4x4x4 Rubik’s cube.
Tips for Solving
Here are some tips to help you master the lenticular Rubik’s cube:
- Practice executing the algorithms slowly at first to understand how they work.
- Solving centers first helps anchor other pieces into place.
- Double layer turns help avoid disrupting solved pieces.
- Take time to think several moves ahead when planning.
- Don’t get frustrated – keep trying different move sequences.
- Refer back to algorithms if you get stuck on certain parts.
Solving the Rubik’s Revenge takes patience, practice and memorization of the right algorithms. Follow the 7 step beginner’s method outlined here, practice the provided algorithms, and refer back when needed during your solve. With persistence, you’ll be able to master this more complex lenticular Rubik’s cube.
The added elements of middle layers and center pieces raises the difficulty considerably over a standard 3×3 cube. But going through the process of solving each layer in order is very rewarding. Understanding how to make efficient turns without disturbing solved pieces is key.
There are also alternative advanced methods to solve the 4x4x4 cube once you’ve mastered the basics. But starting with this beginner’s 7 step method will set you up for success in conquering the lenticular Rubik’s challenge.