What is the best 4x4 speedcube in 2023?
A 4x4 speedcube, also known as a 4x4x4 cube or simply a 4x4 cube, is a challenging twisty puzzle that is a step up in complexity from the more common 3x3 Rubik's Cube. The primary difference between the two is the number of layers and the mechanisms involved in their solving. Here are some reasons why a 4x4 speedcube is more difficult than a 3x3 cube:
- Increased Complexity: The 4x4 cube has four layers on each side, totaling 16 individual smaller cubes (or cubies) per face. This is nearly twice as many cube pieces as the 3x3 cube, which has only nine per face. The increased number of pieces adds to the overall complexity of the puzzle, making it more challenging to solve.
- Parity Errors: The 4x4 cube introduces the concept of "parity errors." In a 3x3 cube, you can always solve the last layer without encountering any odd or even parity issues. However, on a 4x4 cube, you may come across situations where it appears that just a single piece is out of place or rotated incorrectly. These scenarios can be frustrating and require a long algorithm to solve..
- Center Pieces: In a 3x3 cube, the center pieces are fixed and serve as reference points for aligning the colors of the adjacent edges and corners. In a 4x4 cube, the center pieces can move, which means that not only do you have to solve the edge and corner pieces, but you also need to ensure that the centers are correctly oriented. This added layer of complexity can be challenging to grasp for novice cubers, I would recommend initially having a 3x3 infront of you when solving your 4x4 so you can check the colour scheme as you go.
If you want to still get into 4x4x4 speedsolving then I hope to explain which is the best 4x4 on the market at the end of 2023 so you can buy the one that is going to get you the best times. Cube manufacturers do not release new 4x4s as frequently as 3x3s which means that this guide will remain relevant for longer.
Important things to note:
4x4x4s are a lot harder to reassemble than 3x3x3s, they have a far more complicated mechanism with many more pieces, it is important to stop turning if you ever do have a pop and immediately focus on trying to fix it. I recommend keeping 4x4s on quite tight tensions to reduce the risk of pops, you can use fast lubricants instead to speed the cube up, if you are solving regularly then you are going to need to regularly add fast lubricants such as Luboss Rapid to your cube to prevent it slowing down.
Modern 4x4 mechanisms are essentially 5x5s with pieces that are not visible when turning as they are inside the cube, these inner pieces are very important to the cube and if any ever come out you should not just ignore them (even though the cube may still function without one of them), this video here may be helpful in fixing them if this happens to you:
Best 4x4x4 overall:
Picube MoYu AoSu WRM: £65
Many people will be put off by the high price tag but I really do think it is worth it if you are genuinely looking for the best. Core magnets are used across the board in 3x3x3s, 2x2x2s and pyraminxes and now they are available on the best 4x4x4 on the market too. The PiCube MoYu AoSu WRM features a very fast and fluid turning and the core magnets help to stabilize it. Out of the box it features a slow and smooth lubricant set-up which I would personally clean out and replace with something faster.
Best 4x4x4 (£30 and under):
MoYu AoSu WRM: £30
The MoYu AoSu WRM features ordinary magnets between the corners and edges and was my main 4x4 for nearly 4 years before the PiCube version was released. It is just 59mm which is smaller than many other 4x4x4s and just turns really fast and smooth, on certain settings it can even corner-cut 45°.
Best 4x4x4 (£20 and under):
YJ MGC 4x4x4: £16
Especially with big cubes, you cannot go wrong with the MGC series, YJ could definitely have gotten away with charging way more for these cubes! The MGC is slightly larger than the AoSu WRM at 60mm, it is slightly slower and more stable and features a blockier feel. It is all round an excellent speedcube and is even preferred by some top cubers over the AoSu WRM. PiCubeShop also released a core magnetic version of this cube too.
Best 4x4x4 (£12 and under):
QiYi MS 4x4x4: £11
The QiYi MS 4x4x4 has a feeling that a lot of cubers don’t like but I think it is a great option for its price range, it is larger than many other 4x4x4s at 62mm (although that was the standard before 2018), it features a simple design that is somewhat blocky but smooth and relatively stable.
Best 4x4x4 (£7 and under):
MoYu MeiLong 4x4x4 (£7)
I have been selling the MeiLong 4x4x4 at my market stalls for the past 4 years as it is still simply the best budget 4x4x4 speedcube, it is of course the only 4x4 on my list here that is not magnetic, but it still performs very well despite that, it is only 59mm like the AoSu WRM and is very lightweight, the plastic is quite cheap and hollow but the design makes up for this and allows the cube to turn well. There is also a magnetic version for £11 which is a worthy competitor to the QiYi MS above.
Best for smaller hands:
YJ ZhiLong 4x4x4 (£12)
The ZhiLong series features puzzles that are simply slightly smaller than regular puzzles, the ZhiLong 4x4 is 56mm which is the same size as many flagship 3x3s. The design is actually more similar to the YuSu V2M than the MGC but is still an excellent design from YJ. It turns just as fast as their larger cubes but is just perfect for those with smaller hands or who want something easier to carry around.
Best for solving blindfolded:
X-Man Ambition (£27)
Most blind solvers still use the MoYu AoSu GTS2M but that is out of production now so is very difficult to get hold of. The X-Man Ambition is a lot smoother and slower than other 4x4s which makes it potentially work well for blindsolving as it requires higher accuracy. The X-Man ambition is 60mm and will feel similar to their 3x3s such as the Tornado V3.