Gan 562

June 17th, 2024
Basilio Noris

The best 5x5 available today, unless you prefer flexible, bubbly things.

It's a bit pricier compared to the other 5x5 worth considering, but nowhere near too expensive for you to avoid it.

GAN, you rascals, are you planning to conquer the large cubes market too?

I don’t get to review 5x5 cubes often. Nobody does, because most years, hardly any new ones come out. The current “Top Five” list pretty much corresponds to “All the available ones” list (give or take some very budget non-magnetic cubes). So whenever something new from one of the big brands comes out, anyone will be excited.

Large cubes (anything from 4x4 upwards, but more explicitly 5x5 and up) have been very simple to understand and recommend : “Get the MGC” has been the obvious choice for almost anyone, and for those truly invested in the event, there were some other options (Valk, Moyu WR M or Shadow/Spark for bigger cubes), but the MGC has been the most owned cube for most events for the past couple of years. Some cruel voices (…cough… such as mine…) may suggest that all the engineering efforts and brain power of the MGC line went to all the “side events”, as their 3x3s tend to be forgettable at best, downright nasty at worst. For a brand that so clearly dominates almost all events, it is surprising they might be that unimpressive on the main one.

On the opposite side of the same coin, GAN has been at the top of the 3x3 charts for so many years, that it was very surprising how unremarkable (or downright terrible) they were at all (most) other events. However, this has started to change very dramatically the past couple of years. Their branding hasn’t changed, and you’ll be paying a premium for their puzzles that could instead be invested into purchasing two cubes from any other brand; but you know you’ll be getting good stuff now.

The Gan 562 is no different.

Mind you, making a distinctive 5x5 should not be that hard, as there’s only a handful of (recent) puzzles that are worth considering. Besides the unavoidable MGC, the Zhilong/Zhichuang mini – which is ridiculously good for a cube that is supposed to be a chibi version of a real cube – has been a very surprising and very welcome arrival : having the possibility of executing 3x3-like fingertricks on larger cubes is very appealing, and for people with smaller hands (quick glance toward my stumpy fingers), the mini 5x5 by YJ works really really well. However making something distinctive AND good can be more challenging.

Both the MGC and the Zhilong are pretty “elastic”, with a bubbly plastic and way of turning that works well, but cannot really be dubbed “stable”. Tighten them too much and they become unwieldy. Loosen them too much and they rapidly devolve into a Micheal Jackson compilation album. They remain excellent cubes for a 5x5 (pretty much the best ones up until a couple of weeks ago), and definitely a great choice for people preferring something more flexible and springy. While we’re on this YJ tangent, besides the obvious size difference the Zhilong and MGC also have some other differences, such as different magnet strengths for the different slices on the MGC vs equal-strength magnets on the Zhilong, but overall they are not too far from each other in feeling. (I get similar times on either, but actually find the Zhilong easier to set up.)

The Gan5, in contrast, is the most controllable and surgical-feeling 5x5 I’ve tried. The cube feels very sharp – the design with its flat bevels helps that – and is very stable even when loosened a bit (the default settings are definitely too tight). The magnets are rather strong on the middle slice, making M and S slices very easy to make, and slightly weaker on the outer ones, but still strong enough to keep things together well and help finishing turns precisely, letting you avoid needing to corner-cutting in most situations. Not that corner-cutting would be an issue: it is very snappy and very generous for a 5x5 that won’t pop every 3rd solve. The size and weight are very comparable to the MGC and solving for hours will not feel like a strain. This is a really good 5x5 that feels like a really good 4x4 rather than a traditional 5x5.

I’ve beaten my PB single, AO5 and AO12 within hours of getting it (mind you at my speed that is not saying much), and from the experiences of people around me, it feels like this is a cube that people will instantly fall in love with (or instantly find profoundly meh), which again is something different from the experience of older 5x5s that had to be well broken in before one could truly make a good judgement on how they fit their solving style. It clearly feels like a premium cube (in contrast to the MGC, which despite its fantastic performance still feels like a cheap piece of bubbly plastic) and makes me want to do more 5x5 because it’s just fun to solve with it.

The only gripe I have is that Gan likely underestimated their own success, and produced only a smattering of UV-coated versions, which meant I only could get a frosted-plastic one. It’s perfectly fine (frosted plastic on big cubes is not as much of a drawback as in smaller ones), but dayum if I wouldn’t have loved it even more as a shiny, bright beacon of colored glory. And talking of glory, the cube box is just badass, and adds to the feeling of premium that you get from investing your entire weekly allowance into it.

Should you buy it? If you’re anywhere close to serious about 5x5 yes. Forget the cost, there’s not enough good 5x5s to let this one go, and this one is at the top of the list of the good ones, and will likely fit you better than your MGC or Valk do. If you’re only mildly interested in the event and already have an MGC, AND you like your MGC, then this might make you more interested in the event (this thing feels awesome to solve on!). If you’re not into 5x5 at all but want to start, then it’s a bit more difficult to justify paying 2.5x more for this one than for the MGC. If money is not an issue, however, or if you want to give it as a gift, I’d give this one a go. And the fact that with all of this, this GAN costs only half of the price of their flagship 3x3 is just a cherry on the cake.

A note: this cube was generously provided by, which is kind enough to send me cubes for testing as long as some of you use the code SCDB when purchasing from them. So if you’re buying a cube and you want to get it decently quickly, consider making your purchase using [This link]. That will send some love our way and let me keep doing this!

Log In to Track Your Progress

Algorithms Learnt and Personal Algorithm Sheets
Sign in via Google
  • Sign In with WCA Login