First Layer Corner Pieces

This page gives you instructions for the second step of fixing a rubik’s cube – the corner pieces of the first layer. If your rubik’ cube is still completely messed up, you need to get the edge pieces fixed first. Another page on this site explains what a layer is and why they are important.  Personally, I find this step is easier than the one before it.

So, if you follow the instructions on this page, your rubik’s cube will change…

From This –> the corners all messed up
a rubik's cube with the first layer solved <– To This!

 

Solve the edge pieces first!

The instructions on this page show how to get the corners right, and not mess up the edges. It’s much harder to get the edges right and not mess up the corners. So if you haven’t completed the edge pieces of the first layer, do that now. The instructions there also explain what I mean here by your “target colour“, “target layer” and “target piece” – but basically, these all mean the colour, layer or piece you are right now trying to fix up.

Now for the corners!

Here, my target colour is red. I’m going to get the four corner pieces with a red sticker into their correct places.

To fix up the corner pieces, you do this :

  • Choose one corner piece that belongs on your target layer – your “target piece“.
  • Move it to its correct position, or “home“. This is easy enough, once you know how. You want to know how…. You want to know how… You will know how….! So read on!
  • Repeat four times, and all the corner pieces will be fixed. The you’ll be ready to turn your cube over and solve the middle layer

The steps, or method, to solve the target corner piece will depend on where you found it. There’s only three possibilities, really, and I’ll cover them one by one.

The missing corner piece might have been

Bottom Layer, Facing Out

This section explains how to get a corner piece into the correct place in the top layer of your rubik’s cube, if it’s now in the bottom layer, with the target colour facing out. If your target piece is not in this position, then you’re reading the wrong section! Check where it is, and go to the correct section to see how to fix it up.

Actually, even if it’s (the target colour) is facing out, there’s still two ways it could be facing. The steps for each case are similar. I give both possibilities below.

First, spin the bottom face so your target piece is directly underneath its home. Then, your target piece will either be facing your right, or your left. See below which sequence of steps best suits your situation.

ready to move a corner piece to the right place In this example, I’m trying to get the red, blue and purple corner piece into its correct position, at the top front of the cube.

Can you see it there? It’s at the bottom of the cube, directly under its “home”, with the red sticker facing to the right.

Turning the front face anticlockwise is no good. It would put the corner piece right, but also put an edge piece wrong.

The trick is to move the target piece – and its home – somewhere safe first. Somewhere where I can move it home without damaging my progress so far.

So, I move the home down, by twisting the  right hand face. Now, the target piece, and its home, are both on the bottom layer. Why the right and not the front? Because the red sticker, my target colour, was on the right.

If your target colour is facing the other way, you may want to check out the ‘mirror image‘ instructions for this step.

partway to getting an corner piece in place
If I twist the bottom face, I’ll bring the target piece back to the front

Now it’s home! Err, Almost.

The problem is that its “home” isn’t home anymore. To fix that problem needs one more twist.

getting the corner into place
Just turn the right hand face back again! (Remember, I turned the right hand face down just a minute ago?)

I give the right hand face a twist, so the target piece’s home – where the target is now warmly nestled – goes back to the place it was meant to be. And this corner piece is done!

the first corner piece is now in place!

Here’s a video clip of the above steps.

If your corner pieces are not all solved yet, then choose another, and follow the steps on this page to get it back to where it belongs!

If your target piece is facing towards the ‘left’, read on… ok, ok, in the pictures below, it’s actually facing forwards.

ready to move a corner piece to the right place In this example, I’m trying to get the red, yellow and green corner piece into its correct position, at the top front of the cube.

These instructions start with the piece waiting patiently, directly under its ‘home’.

As before, I can’t just twist it into place without knocking out some of the work we’ve already done.

As before, I need to move the piece – and its home – somewhere safe.

The target colour of my target piece is facing frontwards, and moving the front face clockwise does the trick! Now, both the target piece and its home are on the bottom layer.

Can you see the target piece, off to the right?

By the way, if your target piece was facing the right, no the front, you may want to read the ‘mirror image‘ instructions.

partway to getting an corner piece in place
Next, I twist the bottom face, to bring the target piece back to where it was – where its ‘home’ has temporarily shifted. getting the corner into place
Lastly, turning the front face again moves target and home up to the top where they belong!

You may have noticed that these steps were exactly the ‘mirror image’ of the steps given above, for the ‘mirror image’ situation.

the first corner piece is now in place!

Clear as mud? You might like to have a look at the video clip below

If your corner pieces are not all solved yet, then choose another, and follow the steps on this page to get it back to where it belongs!

 

Bottom Layer, Facing Down

If your target corner piece is facing down, things get harder! But don’t worry, it’s not too hard to fix. (If your target corner piece is not in the bottom layer with the target colour facing down, check where it is, and go to the correct section to see how to fix it up.)

This section doesn’t exactly teach you how to fix this situation. Instead, it shows how to change it into a situation that’s easier to fix. Making a big problem small is the same as soling it, right? Well, usually? Anyway, it works here!

a messed up rubik's cube In this example, I’m trying to get the red, yellow and purple corner piece into its correct position, at the top front of the cube.

Currently, it’s at the bottom of the cube, at the front. Note that the red sticker, which should be on top, is facing down.

If you need to, spin the bottom face to bring your target piece into this position – just below its home.

First, I rotate the right hand face so that the piece’s home is on the bottom layer. The target piece has moved to the back. Can you see it there?

Actually, it doesn’t matter if you move the right face or the front face. As long as both the target and its home are now on the bottom.

partway to getting an corner piece in place
The next step is to twist the bottom face a full 180 degrees. That’s right, send it straight through its home to the other side of the cube. partway to getting an corner piece in place
Next, move the ‘home’ back to the top.

But what’s the point of this? The target isn’t home!

No, you’re right. It’s still there, an the left of the picture, on the bottom. Now, twist the bottom face so the piece is underneath its home again.

partway to getting an corner piece in place
See the difference? Now the red sticker is not facing down anymore! And this is a problem that’s much easier to solve!

You can now follow the instructions elsewhere on this page, and get this corner safely home!

the first corner piece in place

Here’s a short movie clip to make all that clearer :

If your corner pieces are not all solved yet, then choose another, and follow the steps on this page to get it back to where it belongs!

Top Layer, But Not The Right Place

The last possibility is that the corner piece might already be in the top layer, but not in the correct place. If your target piece is in the bottom layer, then you’re reading the wrong section! Check where it is, and go to the correct section to see how to fix it up.

The tip here is to knock it out of the top layer, then use one of the methods given above.

A couple of hints

  • If my target piece is in the top layer, I normally choose another target first. Why? Because by choosing another target, there’s a good chance I might bump any wrongly-placed corner pieces out of the top layer anyway!
  • When I’m fixing a corner piece, in the bottom layer, whose target colour was facing down, that’s a good chance to knock out any wayward top-layer pieces. Instead of spinning it through its home, spin it through the wayward piece instead.

Sometimes, however, there’s no other choice but to use the instructions here. All the other corner pieces are solved, and the only ones still to be done are in the top layer.

a corner piece needs twisting In the picture at the left, the red, green and blue piece is in the correct place, but it’s facing the wrong way.
Turning the right hand face puts this corner piece on the bottom layer.

It doesn’t matter too much whether you turn the right hand or the front face at this step.

part way to getting a corner piece into place
Next, I’ve turned the bottom face a quarter turn.

Since my target colour was facing down, I kept my target piece on the right hand face, by turning the bottom face towards the right.

If the target colour was facing out, I would have twisted the bottom face to the left instead.

partway to getting an corner piece fixed
Next, I turn the right hand face back to where it was. Now, my target piece is on the bottom layer, facing out, ready to be sent home! partway to getting an corner piece in place

I’m sure you’d like to see that animated, so here’s a movie I put together of the above steps!

If your corner pieces are not all solved yet, then choose another, and follow the steps on this page to get it back to where it belongs!

Top Layer, Right Place

Ain’t this just your lucky day! Choose another piece, and move on!

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