Best Samsung Gear VR apps: The games, videos and experiences to download first

The most exciting 360 degree fuel to stick in your VR engine
The Samsung Gear VR apps to try first

The amount of truly awesome apps, games and shorts for the Gear VR has gone up and up and up in the past 12 months. And with the new Samsung Gear VR (2016) on sale, everything is starting to click into place for Samsung's mobile VR plans even with the PlayStation VR and Daydream View lurking round the corner.

Here's our round-up of the best apps, games, demos, short films and interactive experiences available right now. The list will continue to grow, so we'll update this feature as and when demos become games and teasers get sequels. We've also tried to include a mixture of free and both cheap and more pricey paid for apps.

Wareable verdict: Samsung Gear VR (2016) review

These can all be downloaded either via Oculus Store or Samsung's Milk VR store, which is a bit confusing but they all end up in the same place - your Library.

Best Samsung Gear VR games

Let's face it, we all love getting our game on. Check out this list of the best Samsung Gear VR games to download today.

Hitman Go: VR Edition

A kind of third person, turn-based strategy board game, Hitman Go in VR is more fun that it sounds. It looks amazing, as anyone who has played the Square Enix game on PC or console will know and is downright tricky as you help Agent 47 navigate around a grid layered on top of model-like environments. You can get it on the Oculus Rift (where it's slightly more expensive) as well as the Gear VR. Supports both the trackpad and Bluetooth controllers.


Please Don't Touch Anything

More than just a brilliant premise and name, PDTA is a reworking of a 2D puzzle game and it's a hoot in VR. It's a little short especially if you race through the puzzles (looking for clues, solving riddles, pushing buttons) but there's new ones for fans of the original and gameplay is littered with geeky easter eggs/references.


Minecraft: Gear VR

Minecraft in virtual reality isn't a perfect experience yet but with a bit of patience, and a controller (you need one of those) this will blow Minecraft fans' minds with Pocket Edition modes like Creative and Survival. If the full on immersion isn't what you're after, you can choose to play in 2D i.e. viewing your blocky gameplay on a 'display''.


BombSquad VR

best samsung gear vr apps games videos experiences

Also on Google Cardboard, BombSquad VR belongs to the type of third person, god's eye board game-style title that we're seeing made for VR - with a splash here of Super Smash Bros. It's cheap, it's cute and it's great fun with (local) multiplayer options including co-op, teams and free for all for things like capture the flag. Oh and the explosions are the bomb.


Smash Hit VR

An example of a VR arcade game from Mediocre Games that we could play for days, this is a great transition from the smartphone game of the same name. You'll have to get used to shifting your head from side to side to hit all your targets but when you get in the zone, Smash Hit VR can be actually pretty relaxing with alternately hued environments to experience. Plus you might find gazing and tapping easier than the mobile version.


Dead Secret

Dead Secret is the CG animated equivalent to GONE (see below) - a mystery thriller in which you get to play detective/reporter as you investigate a suspicious death of Harris Bullard, with four main suspects.

It's very good at keeping things tense with spooky sound effects, disturbing clues to discover and head scratching puzzles to solve. Not one if you'll get impatient reading notes, documents, blackmail letters and maps but for everyone else, well worth the money. Dead Secret is also coming to PlayStation VR.


Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes

Most of the apps and games on the list can be passed around the group pretty easily but Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is an example of a game that's designed for a bunch of you to play. Only one person needs to wear the Gear VR and the rest give the headset wearer instructions (via pages and pages of a printed manual) to defuse the bomb they're trapped in a room with. Also on Steam but comes into its own in VR. A special treat rather than an everyday go-to, who said VR is anti-social?


Land's End

Ustwo's first VR game is pretty damn mesmerising and that's no surprise. It's a slow, relaxing puzzle game over five chapters (for now), which makes lovely use of the Gear VR's head tracking as controls.

Serene sunsets, blocky mountains and a range of easy peasy to head scratching - but always mysterious - puzzles. It's best played while standing or on a swivel chair.



This CCP Games VR game started life as Project Nemesis, which we played way back in early 2015. It's a great little arcade space shooter with big attention to detail, you get a body to look down at in your fixed cock-pit and there's cracks in the glass as you get hit by enemies.

It's set in the EVE universe so the sequences are pretty and it's quick to get the hang of the controls, like sliding back on the touchpad to reload.


Oculus Arcade

best samsung gear vr apps games videos experiences

This is another virtual environment in which you do things in 2D but hey, it's a virtual arcade so shut up. Play Pac-Man, Sonic, Galaga and more in three arcade rooms. Everything is free for a bit but you have to pay to unlock unlimited play. Some things never change.


Esper/Esper 2

Esper shows off the potential of VR for puzzle games, not just first person shooters. If you liked Portal, you'll have the patience to play along with the puzzles here with your 'telepathic' powers using the Gear VR's touchpad as well as appreciate the intriguing 70s visuals and playful dialogue. Plus once you've played this, you can play Esper 2 - slightly more expensive at $9.99.



First person is where VR really comes into its own and the Gear VR is no exception. The journey through creepy dungeons in Dreadhalls, picking locks, opening doors, keeping your lamp going and checking behind you is damn scary especially considering how long it makes you wait to get attacked. Then you run away, heart genuinely pumping. Super terrifying. Also being developed for the superior Oculus Rift.



An arcade-style, strategy hacking game with lovely visuals and a stern voice giving you instructions, Darknet sees you spread viruses through a network of nodes, banking the Bitcoins and causing carefully constructed mayhem.

The hacking takes place in more of a 2D game environment and a lot of Darknet reminds us of any well-crafted smartphone game that doesn't just rely on graphics.


Anshar Wars 2

There's two Anshar Wars games on the Gear VR now. It's a neat space shooter in which you control the direction your ship is going with your head movements. Firing missiles is taken care of via a Bluetooth controller or the headset's touchpad. One more thing - it's games like this that make you realise you need to invest in a good swivelling office chair to get the most out of the Gear VR.



Streetview VR

best samsung gear vr apps games videos experiences

A nice choice to get a hit of that travel rush without leaving the sofa, Streetview in VR is surprisingly easy to navigate with really great controls for selecting tourist attractions or natural beauty spots around the world and looking around the area. They are stills of course but it's still freaky when you re-visit a panorama that you've visited before.

It's not made by Google but don't let that put you off - there's 3,000 locations and the ability to bookmark images and even lead a group via audio chat. Also on Oculus Rift.


Samsung Internet

best samsung gear vr apps games videos experiences

Lots of people have complained that there's no way they would pick up a mobile VR headset without a browser and Samsung has listened. You can open up sites via voice or by selecting from favourites like YouTube. Use Gaze mode to select stuff but there's an onscreen keyboard too. It's in beta but works exactly as you would expect.


Oculus Social Beta

This has got to be the most random experience we've had in VR so far. Choose an avatar then hang out with other Gear VR users in rooms and environments to chat via your phone's mic or watch Vimeo videos together.

You're essentially a group of 3D cartoon heads floating in cinema seats but what's freaky is your head movements are still tracked so you can turn to face each other as you chat. Or - as one pair of friends were doing when we rudely interrupted them - sing Bonnie Tyler's Total Eclipse of the Heart to each other.

Oculus Social is still in beta with updates include new and larger avatars, the ability to see what is playing in rooms from the lobby and a new (separate) Social Trivia app which you can connect to Oculus Social to play with friends (and friends of friends).



best samsung gear vr apps games videos experiences

If you really want to feel like you're at a sports or news event, download NextVR. It livestreams events to VR headsets like the Gear VR in 180 degrees and has tested its system out on the US Open and NASCAR. Last October it livestreamed the US Presidential debate in collaboration with CNN. Many more live sports events are to follow.


Read this: We speak to NextVR about how TV will transition to VR

360 Photos

Samsung's pre-loaded photo viewing app now includes spherical content from Getty Image's huge 80 million+ image archives so it's worth a look. The so-called 360° View by Getty Images collection features immersive, professional stills from Cannes Film Festival, the World Cup and from around the world.



One for music makers, Soundscape is a very cool experience that lets you tap to add musical notes, change effects, add drums. Jam alone or with two random people in a multiplayer mode. The theory is that because the notes are based on a pentatonic scale,. So no matter what you do, it'll sound good-ish.



Yep, Netflix. You can now download and view the movie and TV streaming service on a Samsung Gear VR. Like Oculus Cinema, it simply gives you a private, virtual space (a luxe/rustic cabin living room with a big screen) in which to watch regular 2D content.

Free (with subscription)

AltSpace VR

best samsung gear vr apps games videos experiences

The social platform AltSpace VR is exciting for a few reasons. First, it's now in beta so anyone can try it. It's also cross-platform (Gear VR, Oculus, HTC Vive) so it's a virtual hang out space unlike Oculus Social. You can watch streamed videos with other headset wearers and even share virtual web browsers. Worth a look.



Affected: The Manor

best samsung gear vr apps games videos experiences

We don't want to spoil the spares too much but if you want something jumpy and squealy, give Affected a go. Try it out in the privacy of your own home then subject your mates to it and make sure you have a spare phone to capture the reactions.


Notes on Blindness

best samsung gear vr apps games videos experiences
One of our VR highlights from the selection at Cannes in May, Notes on Blindness is a must download. It's a meditative VR experience that uses minimalist animation and sound to put you in the shoes of a professor who lost his sight and documented becoming blind. Note: it's 2GB.

The Night Cafe

This one is nestled in the 'Concepts' area of the Oculus store. Part animation, part VR experience, it is a wholly odd way to spend a few minutes - or more. The Night Cafe is a tribute to Vincent Van Gogh and his oil paintings - sunflowers, the chair in his bedroom, self portraits - from Borrowed Light Studios and this VR app lets you well, walk around inside them. It's seriously surreal and feels a bit like intruding on someone else's dream. You have to try this.



This is a big deal and well worth checking out, via the Milk VR store (Samsung's). Gone is a episodic thriller from the creators of The Walking Dead and it shows. You can't miss it, it can be found in the main menu at the top of the menu 'room'.

It's a TV show-style narrative, which enfolds in front of you but you can follow 'hotspots' via your gaze to zoom over to a clue or conversations that might be relevant. So it's interactive but you don't seem to impact the plot. The storyline and 'clues' are very True Detective which is not a bad thing. You'll race through the episodes.


Cirque du Soleil - Inside the box of Kurios

This is a very great intro for someone who is putting on a VR headset for the first time. A classy Felix & Paul Studios production, you get a private performance of Cirque du Soleil's steampunky Kurios show and it's pretty magical. Everything is perfectly choreographed to stun and unlike the previous Zarkana effort, it's a decent length too. You'll be clapping to yourself by the end.



best samsung gear vr apps games videos experiences

This animation by Tyler Hurd is short and sweet? No, short and eye-boggling. We don't want to ruin the fun by giving the game away too much (it really is short), it'll suffice to say that you won't have seen anything like this before. And it's a little delight.



This app is designed to be the home for CG animated VR shorts and the first one - Rosebud - is blooming adorable. It's by Penrose Studios which was founded by ex Oculus Story Studio head Eugene Chung.

We won't give away the plot too much, but do the tutorial first to get the hang of zooming in and out for the charming action in front of you. You can also hold to 'grab' an object to make it and anchor point and rotate round it, which you should try out towards the end of this short.


Within (VRSE)

best samsung gear vr apps games videos experiences

Within (previously VRSE) is a must if you're looking for quality. You can watch some of the most impressive VR vids made so far including Vice News and Spike Jonze's VR broadcast from a NYC protest - it's rough around the edges but you really do feel like you're right there in the middle of it - and Evolution of Verse, the beautiful short film by Chris Milk which debuted at this year's Sundance.

Also, in the Within collection is the collaboration with the UN which includes the short films Clouds over Sidra and Waves of Grace.



This funny little animated VR short, in which the viewer is a fluffy bunny welcoming some aliens to earth, comes from Baobab Studios and we saw more material in April at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Download the app to view the first short, from the director of Madagascar no less, which looks superb, makes great use of sound cues and will genuinely have you chuckling and you'll be ready to try out the next installments when they arrive.


Oculus 360 tours - world, Iceland

These are the (short) demos that you show to your mates and your mum who want to see what all the fuss is about with the virtual reality thing. They will give newbies a bit of vertigo, probably, as a lot of the 360 degree footage is filmed from helicopters. But, boy is it a ride. It's still early days for virtual tourism but even the relatively low res footage here will elicit cries of 'Oh I'm in Petra, I always wanted to go here!'


Let us know your favourite apps, games, shorts and experiences for the Gear VR in the comments.


  • fb_102048 says:

    no  Nightterror Terror on that list?

    • putmoregames says:

      plz very little selection...

      • Neomancer says:

        He/she is curating so of course the list will end at some point. Go make your own list and make it as long as you want. 

  • Pauline says:

    Where and how did you download these apps/games?

    • abeezy_here says:

      The Oculus app has most of these apps you can download... I never saw Ikarus on there. 

    • Monty4211 says:

      where and how did I download apps/games to my gear vr

  • famadorian says:

    Seriously, I was there since Lawnmower man, but I will not buy this crap without a normal browser. 

    • asielcode7 says:

      It has a browser and it works great.  Just buy it dude, it's amazing!

    • Carlosmarkic says:

      what kind of a retard buys a vr device for web browsing? Your parent must be cousins...

      • Neomancer says:

        You'd be surprised how useful it is for looking up hints mid game or something.

  • cobrasixtysix says:

    Because of the relatively low resolutions (figuratively speaking) of using phones for VR headsets, has anyone ever thought of doing a kind of SLI thing where you would create a headset that could house not one, but two phones, one for each eye and sync the outputs on both screens? Sure you would need two phones, but It would increase the resolution dramatically from what we have now.

    • Judge says:

      Current GPU architecture would make this a not very economical bump in power. Hence why NVidia and AMD are changing their architectures this year. The headset will improve but they need our support. So buy one as they are loads of fun! 

      I do miss head tracking though. When you get used to the PC consumer and Dev products this feels like a big step backwards. But unlike those I can use this on my commute

    • MDragon says:

      Having 2 phones would look exactly the same. The low res is a limitation of how Phone screens are made and the current level of tech we have to work with. We also need to consider the current pixel density in relation to the lenses and being that close to the screen, it's call the 'Screen Door' effect, as you are actually viewing the pixels and the diamond like pattern that divides them (diamond like -at least in AMOLED).   

      Everyone is working on solution to this problem. But ultimately it's going to take a new type of AMOLED screen design with perhaps even higher resolutions and pixel density and techniques to hide or eliminate the pixel grid. I know there is software in the works to blend the screen door effects to smudge or blur them so it is less apparent but these aren't perfect solutions. 

      New lens technology is an important part of the equation, better lenses can zoom into a portion of the phones screen without needing to be close enough to see the screen door and at the same time allow thinner VR headsets. 

      Realistically the ultimate VR experience might be to use another technology altogether.  Like beaming laser images directly on to the eye, contact lenses, eye and brain implants. 

    • Kitch says:

      Two phones, seriously??

      To make this technology work (financially I mean), it has to be accessible and economical.

      We all walk around with HD screens in our pockets now.  What a fantastic concept the VR Headset from Samsung is.  Now it just needs to made for all phones, so that our lesser technical friends with Apple devices can enjoy it too.

  • tota5 says:

    Check Finding Monsters Jake & Tess Adventures, I feel it should be on that list ;)

  • Aileen says:

    Can you watch amazon prime movies on it?

    • EBHamptonVA says:

      So far, the answer is no.  I downloaded 2 movies to the phone and have been searching for them to move into my library,  but can't seem to find them.  There is no app that works with the vr goggles and amazon movies yet.  If I locate the movies,  I'll post in here,  however amazon prime movies streaming will not work at all as of now. 

      • Uncle_Fester says:

        Can you not watch prime movies through the browser? I'm a bit of a noob when it comes to amazon prime. I've found I can download any vid, dump it in a folder and access it through MilkVR. This includes regular video, 3d movies and the 180 and 360 degree VR video. If you're in the wrong region to grab Milk from the store there are tutorials everywhere how to fudge your region to go in and get it.

  • pdconner says:

    Curious.... I cant find the Oculus Cinema or most of these apps.. I am confused about what to download on my Samsung Note 5 and from where (Play Store or Samsung Store).. I just ordered the Samsung Gear VR today and it will be here on Tuesday and wanted to get the phone ready.. Anyone care to explain.. or help me..  

    • mopycat says:

      The Oculus Cinema and apps are available via Oculus Store, which is ONLY available after you connect your handset to the Gear VR. Once the Gear VR is connected, the phone will then download the Store and you'll be able to search/install these.

    • Lumen8ight says:

      Hello, pdconner. The only way to get the Oculus store is from the actual headset. Once you initially plug it in, it will immediately download the necessary programs etc...You can download right from the gear or even after you disconnect from the gear. Just open the app on your phone (it will then be installed already), and browse and download what you wish. I have one and love it! Enjoy mate!

    • s.charara says:

      Afraid you can't prep just yet. When the Gear VR arrives, follow the instructions in the booklet and connect your Note 5 to the headset. It then prompts you to download the Oculus and Samsung apps and you'll be good from there. Have fun!

  • Afiso says:

    I can't add my creditcard. I'm from Holland. 

    • Michellevr says:

      I cannot add my payment info either and it shuts my phone off 

  • Cupcakeimissyou says:

    I downloaded apps from the play store and I'm not sure how to play it on the gear vr? 

    • asielcode7 says:

      Just plug it in to the vr headset and then go to Library.

    • tyardley says:

      You don't download games from the google playstore. Those are for google cardboard. You can disable the GearVR service which then you can use the apps from the playstore. Look up the app Package disabler. 

  • max_meister says:

    Eine Frage: Ist das Spiel Gunjack überhaupt schon draußen...Wenn ja ist es mit der Samsung Gear VR kompatibel?


  • Lizbeth-r says:

    How come I cannot find the dreadhalls game on the app store? 

  • Prizeguy says:

    just wondering why the arcade ent installing.any 1 no..not many good games on gear vr. Carnt see the vr coaster.???

  • streetmember says:

    is there a way to use you'r phone normaly while wearing the Headset?  that would make the experence complete for me, to just switch to another app in 2D.
    also what about youtube?

    • dfennell says:

      I 2nd this I have been looking for this kind of app since I got my headset you would think it would be an easy thing to do. I'd gladly pay for it.

      I'm waiting with you.....

      • grag37 says:

        you can watch youtube in normal 2D, 3D or 360 inside the samsung internet app. just go to te youtube url and you're set

  • Shuvani says:

    Too bad 'Titans of Space' contains some major mistakes in information about the age of stars. No way a read giant can just be about 10 million years old. Its a pity and makes no sense at all if you consider the high tech standards of the app itself.

  • raider says:

    How do we download the FREE games we are suppose to get with the VR and what are they?  No directions or anything on where to go for this.

    • CaptainJester says:

      Once you recieve the headset and connect it, your phone will download the oculus app. After you create an account it will give you the option to dl the 6 free games

  • Vank2u says:

    I have the VR but can't access the apps that I have download on my phone. I will love to use my phone normally why wearing the VR.

    • Nighthawk610 says:

      You can't use the non-vr apps your phone has installed on it because there is no way to split the images into two separate screens, one for each eye.  You would need some sort of wrapper that could take your phones screen and split the images.  Even if you did split the images they would appear flat and floating in front of you because they were not made to wrap around you in full 360 degree 3D video.  Also, how would touch the screen to control it?  The touchpad only allows you to do up down left right and click.  There is no cursor in cell phone apps.

      As an example of this, check out the YouTube app.  If you watch a video you will see a cardboard app icon in the bottom corner. When you press that the app splits the screen into two images so you can watch it through Google cardboard.  Unless an app has been developed to do that it won't work.

      • larry57 says:

        Try the VR 360 4k Video Player by  Vector VR,LLC to view stills or video

  • pete1061 says:

    When you embed videos on a page, please include all the controls for that video, like volume, play/pause, etc.

    Very unprofessional web design. 

  • RalphVojvoda says:

    I opened the Oculus store on my note 5 and was unable to locate the Oculus Arcade. Any suggestions?

  • Jungleboy1121 says:

    I want to watch 3D movies like avengers and just whatever on galaxy 7, how do I

    • MDragon says:

      You'll need to download the 3D video,  then transfer them to your phone via a USB cable. You will need to create a folder in the Oculus Cinema area and name one 3D. If all goes correctly you will see them in the list of your movies in the Oculus Cinema app when you run it with your VR. 

      Here's a vid step by steyp walkthrough:

  • MDragon says:

    Adventure Time: Magic Man's Head Games 

    Should be on the list!!

  • Streamingsteve says:

    why wasn't a headphone jack included on the helmet?  Stereo sound or simulated surround would have been nice vs phone speaker.

    • LinShakka says:

      You just plug your headphones on your phone's headphone jack.(say that 3 times fast, lol)

      The plastic cover of the Gear VR even has a hole for it.

      You should plug the headphones in the phone, before putting the phone in the Gear.

  • trlehman74 says:

    Can anyone help? I cannot locate the Oculus Arcade on the Gear VR? If they took it away, does anyone know when they will get it back?

  • Breezyan says:

    Great article! I just got my Gear and this list was perfect for me since I didn't know where to start. Now a have plenty of great content. Thanks for sharing!

  • Maureen123 says:

    looks good

  • mikster says:

    can you watch any movies from Netflix on it?

    • Cloaker says:

      Yeah, there's a Netflix app which essentially is like the Netflix TV app except you're in a virtual lounge room. On paper, it sounds stupid. In practise? I actually really like it.

  • kalaxus says:

    Can you play Five Nights at Freddy's on Gear?

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