How to Set Up Your Samsung Gear VR With Controller

Enter the world of virtual reality

Samsung Gear VR and controller

Samsung Gear VR extends your Samsung Galaxy device into the realm of virtual reality (VR). The system consists of two components:

  • Headset. The headset connects to your Galaxy smartphone, which acts as the Gear VR processor and display.
  • Controller. You use this handheld device to interact with and navigate experiences and games in VR.

This article walks you through getting your headset ready to work with your Galaxy device and the Gear VR controller setup process.

Before You Get Started

Before you begin setting up your Gear VR components, make sure your smartphone will work with Gear VR. Six Gear VR models are currently available, and most are compatible with Galaxy devices running Android Lollipop 5.0.1 or later, including the following:

  • Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+
  • Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+
  • Galaxy Note8
  • Galaxy Note FE (Fan Edition)
  • Galaxy A8 and Galaxy A8+
  • Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge
  • Galaxy Note5
  • Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 edge, and Galaxy S6 edge+

Gear VR is not compatible out of the box with Galaxy devices later than Galaxy S9. Galaxy S10, for example, requires a USB type-C (USB-C) adapter, while Galaxy Note10 is entirely incompatible. For more information about device compatibility, visit the Galaxy Support website.

Attach the Straps to the Gear VR Headset

Samsung Gear VR
  1. Slide the wide strap through the rings on either side of the Gear VR headset, and then fasten the Velcro tabs.

  2. If your Gear VR headset has a second, narrower strap, insert the hook on one end of this strap under the metal bar on the top of the Gear VR headset. Then, snap it to secure the strap to the headset.

    samsung gear vr sm-r320
  3. Slide the other end of the narrow strap through the loop in the center of the wide strap, and then fasten the Velcro tab.

Connect Your Galaxy Device to the Gear VR Headset

Samsung GearVR Virtual Reality System For Galaxy Note 4
Image provided by Samsung
  1. Open the connectors on the front cover of the Gear VR headset, and then remove the cover.

  2. Depending on the model number of your Galaxy device, it may have a USB-C or a USB Micro connector port. If you you need to switch the connector port on the headset to accommodate your Galaxy device, complete the following steps:

    1. Slide the left connector tab to the unlocked position.
    2. Remove the connector.
    3. Insert the proper connector.
    4. Slide the connector tab to the locked position.

    Deactivate any screen lock features on your Galaxy device before connecting it to the Gear VR headset.

  3. Connect your Galaxy device to the left connector port on the Gear VR headset with the screen facing inward. Then, use the right connector to lock the device into place.

  4. When you hear the voice prompt, remove your Galaxy device from the Gear VR headset.

Your device displays the "Samsung Gear VR Welcome" screen.

Install the Oculus App on Your Galaxy Device

Samsung Gear VR set up
Samsung Gear VR set up.
  1. Select Next to download the Oculus app to your Galaxy device.

    Do not download the version of the Oculus app in the Google Play Store: It isn't compatible with Gear VR.

  2. Read the Warning Notice, select Agree, and then select Next.

  3. On the next page, select Install.

  4. On the Samsung Gear VR welcome page, select Start.

  5. If you have an Oculus account, sign in now. Or, create a new account.

    If any software updates are available, download and install them now.

  6. On the next page, select Turn on Bluetooth. Then, confirm the device permissions for enabling Bluetooth.

Pair the Gear VR Controller With Your Headset

Samsung Gear VR controller pair
Paring Samsung Gear VR controller.

The Gear VR controller comes with 2 AA batteries.

  1. In the Oculus app, select More (the three horizontal bars), and then select Controllers.

  2. Insert the 2 AA batters that came with the Gear VR controller.

  3. On the controller, press and hold the home button.

  4. When the LED on the bottom of the controller turns blue, select Pair.

Calibrate the Gear VR Controller

Calibrate Samsung Gear VR controller
Calibrate Samsung Gear VR controller.
  1. Select Next to calibrate your controller.

  2. Hold the controller in the hand you plan to use, and then draw a figure "8" in the air.

  3. Select Left Handed or Right Handed depending on how you'd like to use your controller.

    You can change which hand you want to use at any time by going into the controller settings.

  4. Select Done.

When the pairing is complete, the LED on the controller turns green, and "Paired Gear VR controller" appears on your Galaxy device.

When Gear VR controller setup is complete, your Galaxy device loads the Gear VR store. Connect your smartphone to the Gear VR headset, put the headset on, and you're ready to go. Use the controller to navigate the store, play games, and access other content—all in VR.