Samsung Gear VR is a cost-effective alternative to high-end VR hardware such as HTC Vive. It allows early adopters to experience the technology at a fraction of the cost and works great for people who already own a Samsung Galaxy phone (S6/S6 Edge/Edge+, S7/S7 Edge, S8/S8+, Note 5 and Note 8). The Samsung Gear VR is powered by Oculus so it arguably brings a lot to the table. It’s compatible with around 1000 apps that include games, live streaming and virtual experiences. In addition to being an affordable product, Gear VR is also easier to setup and does not require people to heavily invest in building a powerful computer. All you need is a compatible Samsung Galaxy phone to get started and scratch the VR itch without spending a fortune.
- 1 How to Download and Install Samsung Gear VR Games and Apps?
- 2 Samsung Gear VR Versions
- 3 Gear VR App Requirements and Health Issues
- 4 Best Samsung Gear VR Games
- 5 Minecraft VR
- 6 CoLab
- 7 Smash Hit
- 8 Dreadhalls
- 9 Smashing the Battle
- 10 Skylight Deluxe Edition
- 11 Wrath of Loki
- 12 VR Karts: Sprint
- 13 Eve: Gunjack
- 14 Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
- 15 Best Samsung VR Apps and Virtual Experiences
- 16 WITHIN
- 17 Facebook 360
- 18 NextVR
- 19 Disney Movies VR
- 20 Netflix
- 21 PAINT VR
- 22 Samsung VR
How to Download and Install Samsung Gear VR Games and Apps?
Setting up Samsung Gear VR is fairly straightforward and simple, while same is also true for downloading and installing games and apps. The screen-lock feature should be disabled and your phone connected to the internet via Wi-Fi or mobile network. Your phone should not be in silent mode as you might not be able to hear voice prompts. The next step involves downloading the Oculus app. But you need to connect your phone with Gear VR first by following the instructions provided in the hardware manual.
A voice prompt then asks the user to disconnect the device and proceed with installation of the app (you might have to update the firmware if your phone is not running the required Android version). You’d also need to install various other apps required to complete the setup such as Oculus System Driver, Samsung Gallery etc. You don’t have to install them manually or individually as you just have to select ‘install’ when prompted. Once the installation is complete, the Oculus app would launch and ask you to login with your Oculus account or create a new account if you don’t have one.
The setup process requires users to create a pin, which makes it easier to buy VR content. You can also add a payment method, but it’s not compulsory and you can add a method later. After the installation is complete, you can use the app to download games, apps and other VR experiences from the Oculus Store.
Samsung Gear VR Versions
The first Samsung Gear VR (SM-R320) was launched in December 2014, which was only compatible with Samsung Galaxy Note 4. It mainly focused on developers and enthusiasts who wanted to gain early access to the VR technology. The 2nd Gear VR (SM-321, released in March 2015) supported Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge and included a microUSB port for providing additional power. Launched in November 2015, SM-R322 was the next big thing in the VR world and supported S6 and S7 series phones as well as Note 5. It featured a completely redesigned touchpad and improved ergonomics.
With Galaxy Note 7 came SM-R323 with some improvements such as an improved field of view and a flat trackpad. But the Note 7 battery issues and discontinuation meant that Gear VR was not supposed to be used with the phablet. SM-R324 was released in March 2017 with support for the taller Galaxy S8 and bundled with the Gear VR controller, which was also made available as a standalone accessory. SM-R325 was released in September 2017 with added support for Note 8. Different versions of Gear VR are backward compatible with older phones. For example, although SM-324 was released alongside Galaxy S8, it also supported older phones such as Galaxy S6 and S7.
Gear VR App Requirements and Health Issues
Some games and apps require the gamepad in order to work properly so it’s better to check out the game requirements before making a purchase. You’d also have to pay for most of the premium games and VR experiences, so it might be a good idea to setup a payment method during the Gear VR app set up. Many VR games and apps do not support Samsung Galaxy Note 4 so if you own this phablet, you better make sure that the game or app you want to purchase is compatible with it.
Users should also read the safety guidelines carefully before diving into the world of VR as many people have reported experiencing eye-strain and motion sickness. The comfort level of each individual varies and one should stop using Gear VR as soon as they start feeling uncomfortable.
With so many games and apps to choose from, it’s might not be possible for enthusiasts to try everything themselves. This post aims to save their time and includes some of the most popular Samsung Gear VR games, apps and experiences. Let’s start with Gear VR games (paid) that offer players another dimension and a whole new perspective.
Best Samsung Gear VR Games
The VR edition of one of the most popular games requires a controller and costs $6.99. It allows fans to enter the amazing of Minecraft and do all the things they already know and love, but from a different perspective. With VR, they come face-to-face with mobs and can enjoy everything the classic Minecraft has to offer, including multiplayer, marketplace and the full game loop.
CoLab takes a different approach to puzzle games by making the player a contestant in a VR game show. The trials require a fair amount of thinking and include solving physical puzzles and juggling. A heavy dose of humor is also part of the game, while the robot host follows and narrates each puzzle. There are plenty of mind-bending puzzles to keep users occupied, which make the single-user game a must-have for users looking for a ‘Comfortable’ game, which only costs $4.99.
Available for only $2.99, Smash Hit is a single-user VR game based on a simple concept: smash everything that comes in your path. The VR game propels players through the otherworldly dimension with music and sound, requiring them to stay focused and hit the beautiful-looking glass objects in a timely manner. It all starts quite slowly, but the speed increases and players have to hit more and more glass panels as the game propels them forward.
If you love horror games and intense scary experiences, Dreadhalls has a lot to offer in $4.99. Players wake up trapped deep inside a dungeon with no weapons. All they have is a small lantern that helps them find their way out of the dungeon. There is plenty to explore as the procedurally-generated game does not repeat the same sequence twice. The only weapons players can use are their stealth and courage. The VR game requires a controller to work properly.
This hack-and-slash adventure game requires a controller and is available for $9.99. It puts players against an army of robots who are in-charge of the construction site. Players have to avoid hazards, squeeze between bullets and take down the swarms of robots using special attacks. In addition to six standard-stages, hardcore hack-and-slash gamers can test their skills in additional, more challenging stages. Players can choose from two distinct playstyles by taking control of two different heroines. Each heroine means a different gameplay as each story unfolds with different challenges.
The spaceship battle game offers an interesting take on strategy games and puts players in control over an entire spaceship fleet. The main objective is to command the fleet to take out enemy’s fleet using a variety of ships, each having its own benefits. The immersive VR game is available for $9.99 and is multiplayer-compatible. Players can enjoy 360 Campaign missions or play multiplayer matches against their friends or random players.
Available for only $1.99, Wrath of Loki is a single player VR game that allows players to dive deep into the fantasy world of Asgaard inspired by Scandinavian legends. The hidden-object game is based on an interesting story that includes beautifully-painted and environment-based puzzles and hidden objects. Although players might find it confusing to figure out the gameplay, the game is more about enjoying the environment that solving puzzles. The hand-painted graphics and colors are bound to occupy players.
The fun kart-racing VR game lets players compete against human components and AI. The VR game is competitively priced at $4.99 and offers various play modes, power-ups and tracks. The ultimate objective is to throw the opponents off the track or put them in the dust. If you like blowing steam and are already a fan of kart-racing games, VR Karts: Sprint has a lot to offer.
This VR game is designed for players who love shooting pirates in the space and their objective is to shoot anything that moves. Plenty of levels keep players occupied, while the game also challenges them from time to time. The fast-paced arcade shooting game is available for $4.99 and puts players in the middle of a visually stunning science fiction universe.
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is more like a social-party game. It puts players in a tricky situation in which they are staring at a ticking bomb (randomly generated). Their nearby friends cannot see the bomb, but are trying to figure out how to disarm it by deciphering the defusal manual. Players have to talk it out fast how the bomb looks like, while their friends try to walk them through the disarming process. The VR game not only tests the ability to work under pressure, but also tests the communication skills. The game costs $9.99 and only supports local-multiplayer (2 or more players and just one Gear VR with the game installed is needed).
Best Samsung VR Apps and Virtual Experiences
Available for free, WITHIN allows users to enjoy experimental short films, mini-documentaries, videos and more in the 360-degree format. People having a speedy internet connection (15Mbps+ recommended) can enjoy informative and entertaining 3D content created by world-renowned partners, including NBC, The New York Times, Apple, the UN and U2 and Muse for music videos.
Facebook 360 is another free Gear VR app that offers plenty of great content. The seven app categories include 360 Videos, 360 Photos, suggested 2D and 3D content, Facebook Shows, Live 2D and 360 videos and video games streaming.
NextVR is a free app that’s a must-have for users who want to livestream VR events, including sports, entertainment and concerts. The app is considered a leader in live VR broadcasting and has already proven itself in NASCAR, the US Open and the US Presidential debate. You can expect many live sports events to follow as NextVR has established partnerships with many world-class partners, including NFL, NBA and FOX Sports. Viewers can watch live events or enjoy on-demand programs. Although the app is available for free, users have to pay for livestreams or purchase a subscription.
This free app transports fans into the amazing world of Disney and offers a fully-immersive experience. Viewers can enjoy immersive themed worlds owned by Disney and interact with their favorite characters, including Avengers Tower, Cinderella’s Castle, Millennium Falcon and more.
Although the available Netflix 360 content is fairly limited, you can still enjoy many programs in your own private virtual space. Viewers can watch Netflix content in their personal virtual room with a big screen in front of them. This probably isn’t the ideal way of watching content in Gear VR, but you might find yourself occupied by the experience.
As the name suggests, PAINT VR is about creating a 360-degree environment where you can unleash your creativity using the virtual brush. The app is available for $2.99 and works best with a controller. You get a variety of brushes and a 3D canvas that does not follow rules of the real world and even allows painting onto the air.
Available from Google Play Store, Samsung VR provides an easy access to a world of videos optimized for an immersive VR experience. The 360-video library has something for everyone and also allows downloading videos that you find interesting. Some of the most popular categories include science, sports, nature, autos and machines, travel, games and brands. The app is much more than just a VR player as it’s optimized for Gear VR and Controller and offers a smoother viewing experience.