How to setup Samsung Gear VR and run your first game

The Samsung Gear VR is a virtual reality headset that uses your smartphone to deliver a shockingly realistic VR experience. It is fairly simple to assemble and use. Just follow the step by step instructions below, and we’ll walk you through what to do your first time through, including how to set up a free app for your first experience.

*Denotes optional step not required for normal operation.

Compatibility: * Galaxy S6 * Galaxy S6 Edge * Galaxy S7 * Galaxy S7 Edge * Note 5 * Note 7 (Gear VR 2016 Only) Contents: * 1 Gear VR Headset o White mask (Black for 2016 model) o Cloth face cushion (attached) o Black front mask cover (attached) * 1 Thick elastic strap * 1 Thin elastic strap * USB Type-C adapter (Gear VR 2016 Only) * 1 Charging cable


1. Attach the thick elastic strap to the Gear VR Headset.

  • With the Gear VR facing away from you, and the plastic link on the strap facing upwards, feed each end of the strap through the hoop/link on each side of the Gear VR with the leather pads facing inwards until the leather pads are completely through the hoop/link (about 2 in or 5 cm).
  • Fold the ends sticking through the hole back onto the section of the strap before the hole until it adheres with the attached Velcro.

2. Attach the thinner elastic strap to the Gear VR Headset and thick strap.

  • The thinner strap works to keep the Gear VR from resting on the bridge of the nose, and can be added or removed easily for comfort.
  • With the leather side down, feed the opposite end of the thin strap through the hole/link in the center of the thicker strap until the entire leather pad is through (about 2 in or 5 cm).
  • Fold the end sticking through back until it adheres to the strap with the attached Velcro.

3. Verify all pieces are present, installed, and ready for operation.

  • Check to make sure the face cushion is firmly attached to the Gear VR along any edge that would make contact with the face during normal wear, with the exception of the very top of the nose bridge section.
  • Verify that the Gear VR lenses and Samsung smartphone are clean and smudge-free. To clean, use a lint free microfiber cloth or lens wipes to removed dust and smudges.
  • Ensure that the Samsung Galaxy S series or Note smartphone is sufficiently charged (50% or higher) and connected to a wireless network (app downloads required).
  • Ensure the Samsung smartphone is on, unlocked, and at the home screen.

4. Plug the Samsung smartphone in to the Gear VR and follow the audible instructions.

  • Gently detach the front faceplate from the Gear VR headset
  • Looking at the front of the Gear VR, with the nose-bridge section down, gently move the right locking clip to the right, until it tilts out and locks into place.
  • With the smartphone screen on and unlocked, lift the left clip and insert the smartphone so that it attaches to the micro USB plug visible on the inside of the clip. The smartphone screen will be facing towards the lenses of the Gear VR.
  • When inserted, a short tone will sound, followed by instructions to remove the smartphone and install the necessary software.
  • Remove the smartphone from the micro USB port and follow the on-screen instructions to install the Oculus app.

The Oculus app will take 3-5 minutes to download and install. Once completed, applications and games can be downloaded and installed by opening the Oculus app on the smartphone, or while it is installed in the Gear VR.

Congratulations! The Gear VR is now fully assembled and ready to use. The next section will help to identify the control scheme, and walk you through first-time operation of the Gear VR.

WARNING: Some experiences can be intense and/or frightening. Consult a physician before playing if you are pregnant or have a heart condition.

Now that your Gear VR is assembled, and the Oculus app is installed on your Samsung smartphone, take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the basic controls for the system. The instructions below will identify all controls, and setup a short demonstration within the VR. Please read all steps and warnings before wearing the Gear VR.

Gear VR stock


1. Identify the four-directional square touchpad on the right side of the Gear VR.

  • The pad is highly touch sensitive, similar to the screen of your smartphone.
  • Swiping forwards/backwards on the touchpad will scroll through menu items horizontally.
  • Swiping up/down will scroll through menu items vertically.
  • Tapping the touch pad will select an item or interact with the environment.

2. Locate the back button just above the four-directional touchpad.

  • The back button must be pressed to activate and responds to short or long presses.
  • A short press will return to a previous menu or the Gear VR home screen.
  • A long press (about 2 seconds) will open a settings and utilities menu within the Gear VR.

3. Locate the black volume control forward of the four-directional touch pad.

  • The volume is activated by a press up and down until it makes an audible click.
  • The volume control switch will adjust volume with or without headphones attached.

4. Identify the focus knob on top of the Gear VR headset.

  • The focus wheel can be turned to the right or the left to adjust the clarity of the image.
  • Typically glasses may be worn with the Gear VR, but are often unnecessary. Ensure the focus is adjusted accordingly.

WARNING: Never wear the headset without the smartphone properly attached. Serious injury to eyes can occur.

WARNING: Never leave the Gear VR unattended with the faceplate off or with the lenses pointed at any surface. Damage to property, including fire damage, can occur.

First Time Operation and Demo:

For the demo we’ve chosen “Jurassic World: Apatosaurus” as the application to get you started. It can be downloaded from the Oculus App Store by clicking on the Oculus app on the smartphone, or within the gear VR in the store menu. It is currently free to download, and is a short 3 minute “experience”. Any application can be used the same way.

**Read all steps and warnings before wearing the Gear VR.**

1. Reinsert the Samsung smartphone in to the Gear VR.

  • Plug the Samsung smartphone in to the micro USB port with the screen facing the lenses.
  • Press the smartphone into the Gear VR until it clicks in to place between both clips.

2. Attach headphones via the audio jack on the Samsung smartphone.

  • *The speaker on the smartphone will play all sounds without headphones. For stereo sound and a more immersive experience, headphones are recommended.

3. Replace the front faceplate over top of the Samsung smartphone.

  • The faceplate is not required for normal operation. The faceplate can reduce light bleed-through with some devices, however it should be removed if overheating becomes problematic.

4. Place the Gear VR over the face.

  • Place the mask on the face and pull the thick strap over the back of the head, with the optional thin strap running over the top of the head.
  • The straps can be tightened or loosened as needed at the leather pads attached to the Velcro.

WARNING: Always be aware of your surroundings and use the Gear VR in a safe area. Serious injury can occur.

5. Place headphones over ears or place earbuds gently in ears and adjust for comfort.

6. Read the safety message as the Gear VR starts up automatically. Tap the touchpad to continue.

7. Adjust the focus and volume.

  •  Rotate the focus wheel on top of the Gear VR left and right until the image is clear.
  •  Several tones will play as different items are pointed to. Use the volume switch to adjust to a comfortable volume.

Jurassic world

8. Select the “Jurassic World: Apatosaurus” application.

  •  Scroll through the Library contents to locate the “Jurassic world: Apatosaurus” application.
  •  Tap the touchpad on the right side of the Gear VR to select the application
  •  Follow the onscreen instructions for seating and positioning (we recommend viewing this app from a couch)
  •  Tap the touch pad when you are ready to begin.

We hope you enjoyed your first virtual reality experience in the Samsung Gear VR! There truly are endless possibilities within the world of virtual reality. From video games, to movies, to social experiences, there is something for everyone!

If you need help troubleshooting, you can reach the customer support line at 1-800-SAMSUNG (1-800-726-7864) or visit them on the web at for 24-hour customer support.

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About Ryan Ellis
Ryan Ellis is a student of geosciences at Penn State University and a hobbyist level writer. He spends his free time writing and playing video games, mostly Pokemon Go Rocket League and Mario Kart 64.

One thought on “How to setup Samsung Gear VR and run your first game

  1. Nice, simple, clear instructions. Can I use the gear VR with YouTube?

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