What is the Samsung Gear VR?
The Samsung Gear VR in the simplest terms is a Samsung Virtual Reality Headset. We live in the virtual reality games era and Samsung is quite aware of it. The Gear VR headset is a combination of the powerful Samsung Galaxy line of smartphones and a VR headset add-on. The Samsung Gear VR has only been possible because of a collaboration with Oculus. And the guys at Oculus are no strangers to VR, as they are the pioneers of virtual reality – with their PC-based Oculus Rift.
That marriage between the top-notch smartphones and Oculus VR expertise results in a comfortable, efficient, practical and yet affordable VR experience. Virtual reality systems nowadays are somewhat expensive and lack mobility, but that’s where Samsung Gear comes in.
This headset isn’t just a plastic holder for a Samsung Galaxy phone. It’s a sturdy construction designed to fit comfortably for long sessions of VR gameplay, making sure that the controls are at the tip of your finger and that there’s very low latency to assure zero motion sickness. Besides housing the phone and providing the necessary lenses for VR, the Gear VR also sports a Home and Back key for Menu interaction and a touchpad for easy navigation and control.
Virtual Reality shouldn’t have any input lag and has to offer fluid visuals and gameplay. Samsung knew this and made sure that the Gear VR had a physical connection with the Samsung Galaxy phone. A Micro USB connection serves as bond between Galaxy and Oculus headset. Simply secure the phone in the frontal part of the headset, secure the Micro USB and get ready to enjoy one of the best affordable VR headsets.
The main difference, and what truly makes Samsung VR unique, is its button layout that allow users to experience mobile VR while having a precise input to interact with the VR worlds and menus. That button layout and a physical connection makes this headset stand out from its mobile VR competition.
At this moment the only direct competition you can find for the Samsung Gear VR is the newly released Google Daydream View. Daydream lacks a physical connection to the smartphone – which doesn’t assure the low latency response that Samsung Gear VR can offer. Also, menus can easily be roamed with the physical buttons of the Gear VR, while Daydream offers no physical buttons on its headset. If you go the Daydream View route you will be missing this key feature, plus, the Oculus supported library that Samsung Gear VR offers.
Overall, the Samsung Gear VR is your best mobile VR option due to its premium quality and great pricing. No other mobile VR headset will offer you key features such as physical buttons and you most definitely will not be able to enjoy the extensive library that you can easily access from the Gear VR. Oculus support is a big deal, especially because of their trajectory in the VR business, and you can only find their stamp of approval on the Gear VR. So you can have a better perspective of some the competition in the VR world and general pricing we have an excellent article that can help you clear all doubts.
What phones work with it?
As you would expect, since this is a Samsung branded device, it loyalty lies with their devices and will not work with any other Android device. The Galaxy line of products is the one that is certified Gear VR compatible. For the moment, according to the Samsung Gear VR site, the following devices are Gear VR ready:
- The Samsung Galaxy S7
- Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
- The Samsung Galaxy Note 5
- Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
- The Samsung Galaxy S6
- And the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge
You should also note that Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is not supported. Besides that tiny inconvenience with the Note 7, which is due to the phone recall from the market, all Samsung Galaxy smartphones are supported. (Side note: The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was removed from all retail stores worldwide due to an issue in which a great percentage of the phones overheated and exploded. The recall was so massive that people weren’t authorized to board an airplane anywhere in the world if they had a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 with them. During the time of the recall many incidents such as cars burnt to ashes and airplane explosions were reported, and of course the main news outlets such as CNN were giving spotlight treatment to this massive smartphone failure. The probability of support for future devices is high as sales for Gear VR have been satisfactory.)
For how much and where you can buy it?
The pricing can range from the low end, like $46 on sites like Ebay, up to its $99 official retail price tag. These are some options for you (prices accurate at the moment of writing):
- $95.25 at Amazon
- $99.99 at Best Buy virtual reality
- $99.99 at Samsung
- Starting at $46.26 at Ebay
- 95.99 at NewEgg
Especially now that holidays are coming, you can expect nice deals coming your way. In order to get a good price, our recommendation is to keep track of several retail websites at the same time so you can make an informed decision on when and where to get your Samsung Gear VR. With the list we just provided you have the most common and popular retailers, so you already know where to start with your sale hunting. All we can say is: happy hunting!
There are some tricks that you can use to make sure you get the best value out of every dollar. If you’re familiar with Chrome extensions, you will know what I’m talking about. These extensions help you save several pages of the same product from different retailer sites, which allow you to efficiently track offers, price drops or increases. We can recommend Smart Price Monitor or PriceZombie. There are also other price tracking solutions out there that you might want to try, here’s an article with some of them for you.
Where can you download the games from?
One of the best sides to the Gear VR is the vast library of games is available both online and from the Samsung Galaxy phone itself. If you are more into getting your software on a full screen on PC, we recommend you browse the Oculus Store and take a look at all the Gear VR experiences listed there. Else, if you are a little more practical and want to get directly to business you can always access the marketplace at the Oculus Store directly from your smartphone.
The layout of the store is very practical. There is a section of featured software that contains the most popular downloads. You can also see the new releases. Not everything is a game, well, for us gamers it is, but you can also enjoy some awesome apps like Netflix. Take advantage of the VR technology and enjoy your content on a huge screen. All that and more can be found at the Oculus Store and some apps like Netflix are even free, so you can jump right into the action immediately.
The Top 35 Samsung Gear VR Games
A liberator of spirits – that is your role in this great VR game. Just the premise sounds fun enough to be on this list. You get to explore 4 natural realms with the objective of completing your role as the avatar of the Spirit of Life. The Spirit of Fire needs to be defeated as he is talking control of the world. Free the world and become the Spirit Champion!
In Polygon’s words: “This is what a well-financed developer who is used to working on space games can do, and it’s one of the best-looking things on the Gear VR.” This arcade shooter has been praised for its spectacular graphics and addictive gameplay. You take the role of a turret and defend your mining platform from enemy ships. Check out the game’s site in the following link.
You’re in the shoes of Poco Eco, an explorer who needs to recover the sound that his village lost. To complete that task you will need to solve several puzzles across twelve 3D animated levels. The whole atmosphere is set up by the great soundtrack that plays an important role in Poco’s adventure to bring his tribe back to former glory. Check out the game’s site here.
You take on the role of a banished deity that has the task of commanding a legion of loyal servants from a faction. In the gameplay area, we are talking about a collectible card-battler. Story wise there is a lot of fantasy with some World War II background. Dragon Front supports online gameplay with VOIP functionality. Check out the game’s site here.
Minecraft is like pizza, it doesn’t matter the topping, hot or cold, it’s always good. And Minecraft Gear VR Edition is no exception to this formula. The idea as always is to battle mobs of enemies. With the new VR perspective and 3D audio, this is one of the most immersive ways to get into Minecraft. It contains all the features of the already popular Minecraft Pocket Edition. Check out the game’s site here.
Since you read the title, you probably know what this game is about. You have to help your boss to catch a rare fish that is located near Bait! Island. If you succeed in your goal, you will save the aquarium you work for, which is having issues staying in business. You will be able to explore 4 different lakes each with new fishes and challenges. Check out the game’s site here.
The Avengers is a name that you can’t go wrong with. Get to work together with your favorite heroes to save the Avenger’s Tower! Check out the game’s site here.
Almost everyone knows the cheesy, yet scary and popular R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps. Jack Black is up to the task of narrating these adventures. In this game, you have a shot at surviving in Stine’s house. But the mansion is rigged with all of his nightmarish creations. Will you be able to survive? Check out the game’s site here.
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is a local multiplayer only. Don’t let that fact make you run away if you are not into multiplayer. This game is tons of fun when you’re joined by a couple friends! There is a bomb that needs to be defused or everyone blows up. The trick: Only one player has a Gear VR and only that player can see the bomb or interact with it, all other players have access to key clues on how to defuse the bomb but none of them can see the bomb! Check out the game’s site here.
Minimalistic to the core is a very efficient way to describe this puzzle game. By utilizing the Hitman franchise, this Square Enix game for Gear VR makes you solve puzzles and successfully take down your target in a stealthy manner. Check out the game’s site here.
Kidnapped and having to escape the room where you are being held hostage. What could be more frightening? That is all you know as you have no idea what happened before opening your eyes in the room. That is only the first scenario and room you would have to escape. There are two more crazy stories to be discovered! Check out the game’s site lhere.
This famous mobile game has gone VR. The fast-paced gameplay of the original is brought to new levels with full VR integration in Gear VR. You must run as fast as you can to avoid being harmed by the famous Artic Demon Monkeys! Check out the game’s site here.
This game claims: “the only thing missing is the smell of gun powder.” This shooting range simulation intends to be the closest thing you are going to get to the shooting range in the commodity of your home. It allows you to try a wide variety of detailed weapons in a very detailed environment with top notch graphics. This is a direct sequel to the Gun Club series, a renowned gun simulator. Check out the game’s site here.
A one of a kind experience. You get to experience the perspective of a bullet as you try to hit your target. Use the touchpad to slow down time to make the difficult runs and hit them where it hurts! Check out the game’s site here.
This is a simple game, but it can be really addictive. You are left in a 360° scene of some random place in the world, just like when using Google’s StreetView. Then you have to guess where in the world are you and earn points. Simple, addictive and in some ways, didactic. Check out the game’s site here.
This is a freemium, you get the first mission free and get the rest through in-game purchases. You are equipped with body armor called Sky Fighter. In this first mission, you must follow instructions to learn how to take advantage of this technological marvel you are wearing. Learn every technique there is and engage in combat in every new chapter of the adventure you unlock. Check out the game’s site here.
As weird as it might sound, this is a button-pushing simulation game. A friend of yours that works in some kind of lab asks you to cover his spot while he goes to the bathroom. He leaves while giving you only one instruction, don’t touch anything. There is a huge red button in front of you, and of course, you will push it. Solve the puzzles that come next to avoid the aftermath of your curiosity! Check out the game’s here.
Taken from real facts… The single worst sentence to start a horror story with. You are an investigator that is determined to find out what happened to a 9-year-old child in a psychiatric hospital. You know that it can only end in death and screams, especially when all you have for company on your journey is a torch. Check out the game’s site here.
This is literally the biggest title on this whole list! Adventure time is famous for its randomness and wonky characters. This time you are going to explore the Land of Ooo as you use Finn´s sword and Jake’s stretching abilities to break the curse that Magic Man has cast upon you.
Get ready for some great open sea and beach graphics. This is the world of a 16th-century pirate, all told by the stories in his old dairy. In this first person RPG, you will have to relive the most awesome naval and land based battles immortalized from the mind of the long forgotten pirate. Check out the game’s site here.
Nuclear doesn’t always have to mean dangerous, it can also translate to awesome jetpack fun. This is the case with Omega Agent, where you have your trustworthy jetpack to complete your spy missions in the best and most effective ways. There will be no mission big enough to beat you and your almighty nuclear jetpack! Check out the game’s site here.
Defend your city against a brutal political regime. You must be tactical and careful as you free your city sector by sector at a time. There will be an arsenal of different weapons and gadgets at your disposal. You will also have military optics to survive in the lurking darkness that has embodied your city. Check out the game’s site here.
This one comes straight from the hands of the creator of Monument Valley. To unlock the power of a lost civilization you will make use of the power of your mind. As Engadget cataloged the game, it is: “A relaxing, almost purifying experience”. Check out the game’s site here.
Dreadhalls is one of those heavy atmospheric Gear VR games. It is the kind of horror that excels because of the immersive environment it creates. You are locked in a massive dungeon and to get out you need to do what you so wish you didn’t have to do: explore it. Will fear defeat you before you escape this dreaded place? Check out the game’s site here.
Karting! Such an awesome genre for VR gaming! In this Gear VR game, you will be able to race solo or with friends in online multiplayer. Get as many power-ups as you can to make sure you have the first place on the podium! Check out the game’s site here.
Multiplayer madness is what defines this Gear VR game. The idea is to blow up your friends in a series of mini-games. You will enjoy some good old capture the flag mixed with stuff like hockey! There is no room for boredom here, especially with its networked multiplayer. Check out the game’s site here.
Are you up for some magic duels online? This online based game allows you to do exactly that. The quality of detail in this VR world is exquisite, to say the least. Build up your strategy by choosing the best spells out there and try to beat other Wielders in the realm of The Beyond. Check out the game’s site here.
You are brought up as an ace pilot in the middle of a political conflict. Your mission: destroy The Resistance to bring honor and glory to The Union. This VR game is playable with both Samsung’s Gear VR touchpad or a separate gamepad. Are you the pilot that has what it takes to end this madness? Check out the game’s site here.
As you receive advice from (or being mocked by) a reality show narrator, you will have to undergo the task of solving puzzles. This virtual reality show takes you from one challenging puzzle to the next one. Will you be the winner of this challenge? Check out the game’s site here.
So far we’ve seen quite a few VR shooters. And this is one of the best action-arcade scrolling shooters out there. There are so many clear inspirations in this one, from games like Contra to Metal Slug. You shoot in a destructible 3D environment in order to save the solar system from the constant and fearful invasion of robotic hordes. Check out the game’s site here.
The impressive space setting lets you take control of different kinds of ships – from fighters to bombers and EMP-equipped crafts. Your role is that of a new enlisted recruit of the deadliest squad of the Ansharian arsenal. This game is pure adrenaline and space combat. And, by the way, it recently received a new coat of fresh paint with 4 new multiplayer maps and VOIP support. Check out the game’s site here.
Hacking and slashing is addictive and adrenaline filled. This is the solid base of this action game. You will be able to control one of two heroines that are defending their construction site against hordes of robots. You will have sixty stages at your disposition plus some extra ones designed to be super hard, if you’re looking for a challenge. Check out the game’s site here.
Suicide Squad, VR, and it’s free? Sign me up now! You are in charge of the squad and can command Harley Quinn with her signature bat, Deadshot and his faithful rifle or simply incinerate the enemy horde with Diablo’s fire. Try to beat your high score by successfully pulling outstanding combos. Check out the game’s site here.
Gotta love those games that start with a question like: Who killed Harris Bullard? This investigation game takes you to a crime scene where a man with some baggage died and it’s up to you to figure out what happened. Uncover secret documents and put together the pieces of the puzzle to get closer to the killer and the truth. Check out the game’s site lhere.
You have to unlock the memories of Annie Amber through puzzle solving. As you unlock the mysterious past of Annie, you will travel across the solar system, going from Annie’s birth until her final moments. Check out the game’s site here.