Practicing for Speed

By yoruba


An essential skill for EOCross is the ability to execute solutions involving many different types of moves. That’s why we need to adapt a repertoire of fingertricks, especially for executing F/B moves. Be able to do:

  • U/D flicks
  • U2/D2 flicks (or get very good at double single flicks, Max Park style)
  • U/D pushes
  • U drags
  • Being able to do U and D moves at the same time
  • F moves with thumbs
  • Rolling R/R2/L/L2 moves

Then for F/B moves in general, execute them as U/D from the thumb on top/bottom grip.

What you should prioritize is developing a high quality turning style. Here's how to do it:

  • Prioritize turning accuracy. Make sure you allign each layer correctly on every turn. The way you can think about this is to complete each turn fully instead of rushing through moves.
  • Relax your hands and don't use too much force. For this you may need to switch to a faster cube or apply a lubricant that speeds up your cube.
  • Use the tips of your fingers, instead of the pads. This will make the moves quicker as turning with the tips requires less physical movement.

You can practice these techniques by doing untimed solves before a solving session where you focus on good turning.

There are 2 areas to improve in solving the EOCross faster: Solutions and Execution.


While it is important, low movecount isn't everything. We want our solutions to also be executed quickly: After all, the end goal is to solve the EOCross as fast as possible, not to be as efficient as possible. Ergonomics and ease of planning can justify a longer solution, even if it takes 10 or 11 moves. Here's some tips on optimizng your solutions for speed:


  • Don't go for solutions that have a lot of F2/B2 moves. In your solution, one such move is fine, two such moves should be reasonably justified and never do them 3 times or more.
  • Color neutrality helps a lot here. CN and x2y solvers will have a lot of advantage over fixed solvers for being able to choose between multiple options.
    • Executing your planned solution from a y2 away can greatly improve the ergonomics of your solution. You can do that, because after a y2, the EO axis and the cross color stays the same. This is most used during solutions with a lot of singular B moves, in these cases you can just do a y2 to turn the B moves into easier to execute F moves. Here's an example (opens in a new tab).
  • Prioritize solutions with triggers in them.
  • The first move is important. With stackmat, it will be preferable for the first move you do to be a U/D move. If your solution starts with an F/B move, just rotate x/x' before a solve to make this move U/D. As for which moves are the best to start: It depends on the grip, but generally, U/D and single R/L moves are the best, with F/B moves on the same level (if executed from a rotation away as stated before), and finally R2/L2 moves.


Simplicity is key. You will find that simpler solutions with 1-2 moves less efficient will actually be the best for TPS. This will also help in inspection, so that you don't have to spend more time than necessary planning the EOCross. Here's an example (opens in a new tab).

But what was the point of improving movecount if simpler, less efficient solutions are faster?

Because we still want to know how to deal with the harder scrambles, after all, not every solution will be obvious. Also, more often than not, move efficient solutions turn out to be more ergonomic. The point of this is that we don't want to do a computer optimal solution with horrid ergonomics when there's a much faster option for 1-2 moves sacrifice.


On how to better execute your EOCross:

  • Go over the Solutions section above. Better solutions will of course be better executed.

  • Work on your turning. Apply the tips and fingertricks from the Turning section so that you are able to turn fast and accurately in solves with some practice. Accuracy is far more important, as locking up on a move is worse than turning slightly slower.

  • In your solutions, find strings of moves that could be done like a trigger.

    For example, B' R2 B': You can either: Start with thumb on bottom, do B' with right ring, R2, and then B' with right index. Or the opposite: Start with thumb on top, do B' with right index, R2', do B' with right ring.

  • Reduce the amount of regrips you do. Make sure that you're not doing any unnecessary regrips during your solution, if you think you regrip too much, go over the solution that you have done. The best thing you could do is to learn multiple fingertricks for U/D moves in different grips so that you don't have to switch to a specific grip to do U/D/F/B moves, for example B' like in the example previously mentioned. Refer to the Turning section to see if you can apply any to reduce the regrip count, as well as try different grips to see if you can execute a set of moves faster.

Finally, to apply these tips in practice, we can use a modification of the previously mentioned Movecount Drill: but instead of typing in the amount of moves that the EOCross took, we type the time that it took us to solve EOCross from stackmat. Then go over the scrambles that took the most time to solve EOCross, or that went above the 'target time'.