So you’ve got your Samsung Galaxy device and the company’s accompanying virtual reality headset, Gear VR. That’s awesome! Gear VR provides a great, inexpensive taste of what virtual reality has to offer. Let’s show you how to get that thing all set up and running so you can strap it your face and travel to far away lands. Get hype.

Step One: Put the Phone in the Gear VR

This may seem like a no-brainer, but putting the phone in the headset can be a bit confusing the first time you do it. Unlike some other VR headsets, Gear VR actually requires a physical USB connection to the phone. And since it’s designed to fit snugly, it doesn’t work with a case on the phone.

When you take the cover plate off of the Gear VR, you’ll notice a pair of latches flanking either side of the unit. When facing it, the one on the left is where the USB plug is found—it’s on a hinge, which makes it incredibly easy to insert the phone.

Go ahead and flip it out and plug the phone in, with the screen facing the lenses.

From there, just click the top of the phone into the right latch. Boom, you’re in.

Step Two: Set Up the Software

With the phone in place, a voice should prompt you to install the required software—you’ll have to pop the phone back out, which is kind of silly. But it’s still easier than installing everything manually, because it essentially automates the process. Agree to the terms, tap “Next,” then “Install.” Let it do its thing.

Next, you’ll need to log in to or create your Oculus account. This is required to use Gear VR.


Once you’re logged in, the Gear Store will launch. You can go ahead and put the phone back into the Gear VR.

The first thing that will show up is some text telling you to use the dial on the top of the unit to get proper focus. After you get that dialed in and accept the warning by looking at it for a few seconds, it should tell you to log in to Oculus. You’ll have to take the phone out to do this.

A quick tutorial will show up here that tells you how to navigate the Gear VR interface.

Step Three: Understanding and Navigating the Gear VR Interface

Now that you’ve gone through the tutorial, you’re basically ready to download apps and use Gear VR. There are a few things worth noting, however:

  • To get to the menu, long-press the back button (located above the D-Pad on the headset). This is where you can see notifications, disable Wi-Fi/Bluetooth, and access other profile information.

  • To take a screenshot or record a video, jump into the menu and select “Utilities,” which is on the right side. You can also access the camera passthrough feature here, so you can see your surroundings through your phone’s camera.
  • All other navigation—Home, Library, Store, and Voice Search—can be located at the bottom of home screen. As an aside, I really wish someone would straighten that rug.

  • To exit an app, just tap the back button.
  • When you’re finished with Gear VR, simply take the phone out.

That’s pretty much all you need to know—it’s fairly intuitive, but can still be a bit daunting for users unfamiliar with VR. Have fun with it!

Profile Photo for Cameron Summerson Cameron Summerson
Cameron Summerson is ex-Editor-in-Chief of Review Geek and served as an Editorial Advisor for How-To Geek and LifeSavvy. He covered technology for a decade and wrote over 4,000 articles and hundreds of product reviews in that time. He’s been published in print magazines and quoted as a smartphone expert in the New York Times.
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