Solving the Centers
Step 1: Centers | Step 2: Edges | Step 3: Fix parity
Know your color scheme | Example centers solve | Last two centers cases

The first thing I need to say is that this is only one method of speedsolving the centers. To be honest I don't consider myself one of the fastest centers solvers, though I think my method could be very fast with lots of practice. If you want a really fast centers method then ask around and talk to Stefan Pochmann, Frank Morris, Ron van Bruchem, Yuki Hayashi, and others.

Ok so now that the disclaimer is over, here is exactly how I solve the centers of a 4x4x4.

Know your color scheme!

Ok so you want to know how to speed solve the 4x4x4. Well, you probably don't want to hear this but the very first thing you have to do is to completely and thoroughly memorize your color scheme. I don't just mean learn your opposite colors either, I mean given any two adjacent faces you had better know where the other colors are almost instantly. Below is a little system I use to memorize the colors of the cube.

1) Pick four adjacent colors like the setup below. The colors will be on the faces U,F,R, and D.

Top View
Bottom View

These four centers, and knowledge of which colors are on opposite sides, are all you need to completely memorize your color scheme. When solving the centers the first thing you will do is solve two opposite centers. After that step you will solve two adjacent centers, and this is why you need to have your color scheme memorized. You will also be color neutral, meaning you have to solve the best setup pair of opposite centers in the beginning, so here is the method I use to know which centers are where, no matter which centers I have solved first.

The key to this step is to know the order the four middle layer centers are in after having solved any pair of opposite colored centers. Now you may think that you need to learn six groups of four colors in order. Say if orange is on top you would memorize green-white-blue-yellow as the counterclockwise order around the U face, and if red was on top you would have to know white-green-yellow-blue. However this isn't necessary. If you solve the red-orange center pair first then always rotate the cube so either red or orange is the top face, just make sure it is always the same one.

So in each pair of opposite colored centers you have one "priority" face, and that is the one that always gets rotated to become the U face center after solving the first two. Now you only need to memorize three groups of 4 middle layer center orders.

My opposite colored centers and the priority faces are as below,

Opposite color pairPriority face
red - orangered
yellow - whiteyellow
green - bluegreen


Notice that the three visible center groups in the "Top View" picture above are all my priority faces (yellow, red, green). It is very important when picking your priority faces that they are all mutually adjacent to eachother. Ok now here is how the method works. I will show you based on each pair of opposite centers.

Solving the yellow-white pair first

Remember that our priority faces look like this,


So if I have solved the yellow-white center pair first, the very first thing I do is rotate the cube so that the yellow center is on the U face. Now the order of the faces in the middle layer will be (counter-cockwise around the U face) red-green-orange-blue. Remember that this is a cycle of faces, so the order is also green-orange-blue-red, orange-blue-red-green, and blue-red-green-orange. This is very important to remember. This is because when solving the second pair of centers you must always solve the best setup adjacent pair of centers. So if you see lots of orange and blue centers together, you have to know that the order of orange and blue is orange-blue (going counterclockwise as seen from the U face). If you memorize your cycle as red-green-orange-blue you will be tempted to always solved red and green, since they are the first two colors in your memorized word string. So it is best when thinking of the order to think like this, red-green-orange-blue-red-green-orange-blue-red-green-orange-blue-red-green-orange-blue-red. That way you see all the adjacent pairs. Ok so that takes care of solving yellow-white first.

Solving the red-orange pair first

Ok so remember that our priority faces look like this,


Now it isn't immediately obvious what the order of the middle layer centers is, so do this. Rotate your mental cube (the one with only 4 center groups on it) such that the red face becomes the U face and the white center on bottom replaces the spot where red used to be.

Before rotating
Top View
Bottom View

How to rotate
Top View

After rotating
Top View

So now, using your opposite colors knowledge, the order of the middle layer colors (counter-clockwise around the U face) will be white-green-yellow-blue.

Solving the green-blue pair first

Ok so remember that our priority faces look like this,


Now it still isn't immediately obvious what the order of the middle layer centers is, so do this. Rotate your mental cube (the one with only 4 center groups on it) such that the green face becomes the U face and the white center on bottom replaces the spot where green used to be.

Before rotating
Top View
Bottom View

How to rotate
Top View

After rotating
Top View

So now, using your opposite colors knowledge, the order of the middle layer colors (counter-clockwise around the U face) will be red-white-orage-yellow.

Move on to an example centers solve

Step 1: Centers | Step 2: Edges | Step 3: Fix parity
Know your color scheme | Example centers solve | Last two centers cases
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