3x3 Methods used by the Community
Cubing is sometimes a game of preferences. First, you have to select a cube that suits you, buy it and when you get to speedsolving it, you have a plethora of methods to explore. Not all methods are developed equally in the community. If a new cuber today starts cubing and searches the internet for resources and techniques we have developed until now, they would find a treasure trove of CFOP resources and only later find out about other methods like Roux, ZZCT, APB, Mehta, and Belt.
In this forest of methods, there are two lions in 2022, CFOP and Roux. ZZ is kinda outdated in 2022. Roux has just exploded in recent years. 3-Style only interests the BLDers. Waterman may never gain traction post-1990s. These methods have a lot of fast results and are attractive for new cubers to pick up as their main method of speedsolving and reaching their potential.
CFOP has many subsets that have been handcrafted and developed by many pro cubers over the years. So, it does have an advantage in being developed better and tested by more people worldwide.
The first person to burst the scene of WRs with the CFOP method was Yu Nakajima, Erik Akkersdijk, Feliks Zemdegs, and finally Tymon+Max Park. Before we go into the methodical breakdown of both methods, let's take a history lesson.
The two-handed master Dan Knights with the one-handed master Chris Hardwick.
- The 1980s- Waterman Method used in speedsolving at WC 1982
- 2005- Bad cubes and Bad Algorithms
- 2008- Dayan Zhanchi and New Fingertricks
- 2009- Sub-10 using CFOP
- 2012- Feliks becomes the best CFOPer ever
- 2016- First sub-5 with CFOP and Rouxavolution starting
- 2017- Magnetic Cubes and faster turning
- 2018- First sub-4 3x3 solve ever recorded in a comp
- 2019- Method neutrality to overcome 2018’s efforts?
- 2020- The pandemic gives rise to online cubing and a new generation of cubers
- 2022- Hardware and methods getting optimized and cubing reaches the next level of competitiveness
The history of speedcubing is complex and it takes time to get the complete picture. I recommend reading the excellent blog written by Pranav Prabhu on history of speedcubing and the path speedcubing has taken.
Pros and Cons
The Current State of the Art in CFOP Method -
Extremely fast solvers out there with 17 cubers having sub-6 officially. CFOP dominates the rankings with just one sub-6 average using the Roux method. Two-handed WR has been using the CFOP method since 2003, and there was no other method coming close to taking away the WR.
The Current State of the Art in Roux Method -
Rouxavolution only started in 2016. Newer finger tricks and algorithm sets still need to be discovered and peer-reviewed by the community. Roux is dominating in the official OH results, but it is difficult to match up the times of 2H CFOP solves even with advanced techniques due to fewer people's finger tricks developing and becoming fast with it.
The Pros and Cons of the CFOP and Roux method can be debated for a long time. There are a lot of positives and negatives with both methods and it is hard to choose one which would give a winning advantage. The complexity of the Roux method stays constant even with more sophistication whereas CFOP becomes very algorithmic with a lot of algorithm sets after the F2L stage. Roux is flexible in its evolution and can be shaped into any other corner's first method out there, or mixed with CFOP to give FreeFOP.
As of 2022, CFOP still dominates over Roux result-wise. The point of this article is to say it is hard to say what the future will bring and which method would end up being adopted more by fast speedcubers and newbies who just got to know about speedcubing and want to only use the best method.
Roux method of solving a cube
It all boils down to personal preference at the end of the day.
The method that we start with sticks with us for the longest so there is always
a personal bias toward the method.
Yes, it is hard to get a decisive winner in the CFOP vs Roux comparison. Drilling out solves generally helps get into the zone. The method we start out with is what we ultimately feel comfortable with.
Blogs related to the article we just read,
Abhijeet Ghodgaonkar is the current 4x4 Blindfold (single) National Record holder from Mumbai. He started cubing when he was 13 and he has an overall competitive experience of 8 years. His main events are 5BLD and MBLD. He has been developing concepts like letter quads and 5-style since 2017, to make blind-solving events more structured. He has participated in 50 competitions in a total of 3 countries and won 105 podiums with 51 Gold medals, 2 Asian Continental Records, and 3 National Records. He also has a World Ranking of 29 in 4x4 Blindfolded Single.