How to Set Up Google Daydream

Play immersive games and watch videos with this VR headset

The Google Daydream View is a headset with which can watch virtual reality (VR) videos and play VR games by pairing it with a compatible Android smartphone. Devices that work with the Daydream View include Google Pixel, Samsung Galaxy, and Moto Z smartphones, and a handful of others from brands such as Huawei and ZTE. The headset has a soft-cloth exterior for a comfortable fit and a remote control to help you make your way through the virtual reality landscape. It takes some getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, VR with Google Daydream is a lot of fun.

Google Daydream VR Set-Up

Google Daydream View with smartphone and remote control
Your smartphone goes inside the Google Daydream.

To setup Daydream, you need the Daydream app installed on your Android device. Fire it up, and the app will walk you through a few essential tips. First, it will warn you to stay seated or standing while using the Daydream and not to walk around. When immersed in VR you'll, be less aware of your surroundings and can thus cause injuries or property damage. It also notes that your phone will intermittently get hot, so you should take regular breaks. (VR will also run down your battery.) The app will prompt you to put the phone in the headset; subsequently, Daydream will automatically launch each time you put the phone in. Before you put the headset on, be sure to set up the included controller, which is what you use to navigate Daydream and play games.

Charge and Update the Daydream Controller

Google Daydream View Headset with controller
The Google Daydream view comes with a controller.

The Google Daydream has a feature that other VR headset don't: a remote control. There's a slot to store the controller in the headset—the space occupied by your phone when in use. The controller has three buttons on the front: an indented touchpad control and home and minus buttons. On the side is a volume rocker. You can swipe the touchpad to move around the Daydream interface and press it to click on something. The Home button brings you back to the main Daydream screen. The Minus button changes functionality depending on the app you're using; it might open a menu, go back, or pause the video or gameplay.

Before you begin, make sure to charge and update the remote if needed. If the controller needs an update, you'll get a prompt when you place your phone in the Daydream. To update, hold down the home button and follow the on-screen instructions.

The Daydream controller defaults to right-hand use, as so many things, do, but you can change in two ways. First, you can launch the Daydream app and go to Settings > Controller > Handedness, and choosing right handed or left handed. You can also access the same settings while wearing the headset.

Once you have the remote ready to go, you'll use it to navigate menus, select apps, and play games.

Google Daydream VR Apps and Experiences

Video screenshot of a Mars simulation with an array of satellites and other equipment
Fly to Mars via the Hello Mars VR app.

There is an array of Daydream VR-compatible apps available in the Google Play store including Netflix VR, Google Street View, Discovery VR, and all sorts of immersive games. You can download them from the Play app or from within the Daydream interface when you have the headset on. From the main screen, you can see suggested apps and installed apps and navigate to the Play Store.