Out of every headset that we’ve talked about in the past, only Samsung Gear VR is available for purchase nowadays. So, since we’re a group of benevolent VR enthusiasts that really care for our readers, we’ve gathered a few important tips and must-knows of the popular mobile headset to help you make your first baby steps to the virtual world enjoyable. Don’t worry, it’s not as bad as it sounds, I promise.
Before you buy Samsung Gear VR
Well, there are some things we have mentioned here and there regarding Gear VR, but it’s really important to mention them again for this guide to be complete. First, and foremost, Samsung decided that for this generation of Gear VR headsets, the only models that will support the integration into the virtual world are the following: Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+, and Note 5. If you own one of those, or you plan on getting one, then you can safely also buy a Gear VR.
Furthermore, even though this pretty much comes natural to every home owner, if you don’t own a swivel chair, then this is the time to get one. Swivel chair is the best, and most comfortable, way at experiencing virtual reality with Gear VR. Since the headset is cable free, most of the experiences in the headset will need you to turn your head around a lot. So, if you don’t want to strain a muscle, a swivel chair is the best way to be comfortable and have fun.
I don’t think I have to persuade you in the need of headphones. It’s important before you get the full integration effect to have a pair of good wired headphones (or earbuds) to be completely immersed into the virtual space. However, due to a glitch that I’m sure the company is working hard to solve, Bluetooth cans are not supported yet, creating a feedback loop that renders them unusable.
(Pro tip: If you have the extra bucks available for your disposal, you can also invest in a Bluetooth game controller. Some games can only played by using one, and it really makes navigating into the virtual world easier. However, since the price is close on the $100 price tag, I would advise you to rethink if you don’t absolutely plan on using one.)
After you buy Samsung Gear VR
There are many things that you can do with a Gear VR. We’re already preparing a list of our favorite apps for the gadget, but before you’re ready to take on the world through your mobile HMD, you have to be accustomed with the navigation style that the Gear VR uses. Luckily, Samsung came up with a quick tutorial teaching you the basics of the VR hub and how to navigate between your tabs.
When you finish the tutorial, the hub awaits you. Feel free to explore, and you’ll soon see that you’re at a luxurious patio of the Oculus VR offices. You’ll see the Oculus Store on your left and Samsung Gear VR apps on your right, so tread carefully and start having fun. In the center there are four icons representing featured content, the tutorial, Oculus Video and Oculus 360-degrees photos.
Now, for some usability. If you press the back button for 2 seconds, it cues up the Universal Menu where you’ll find icons for Oculus Home and Passthrough Camera. You’ll have to explore every menu for yourself if you want to really get the advanced treatment of the whole headset, but since we’ve already also done that for you, we have some Pro Tips ready.
Turn on the do not disturb feature in the universal menu
It’s really important that your virtual reality session remains undisturbed since you’re having your mobile screen too close in your eyes for comfort. If a window, or notification pops up in your screen while you’re playing a game, it can cause severe disorientation and discomfort. That reminds me,
Clean your smartphone screen
For the same reason you don’t want notifications popping before your eyes, you don’t want dust to be part of your experience as well. It’s not easy to get the full immersion when your phone is full of smudges and hairline scratches, so try to do your best at cleaning up your screen.
Pay attention to the ratings
The guys that develop your content are usually very much aware of the condition of their app. If you see user reviews, or tags, that say comfortable for all, dig in and don’t fret. However, if the tag is comfortable for some, or something in between, you get into the experience in your own responsibility, so if you feel uncomfortable, you know you had it coming.
Make sure Samsung Gear VR is plugged in
Okay, so I think you get how tedious must be for your phone to create the Virtual Reality effect using the limited computing power of your smartphone’s CPU. Be ready for heat, and fast depletion of your battery, so even though we have praised Gear VR for being the first cable-free VR headset, it seems that we might need to be back to our roots at sometimes, just to charge our phone. And while you’re doing that,
Remember to take long and comfortable breaks from the virtual reality world
It can be really addicting to stroll seamlessly through many different experiences, but don’t forget that you’re stranded in a bright display just inches away from your eyes. If you need to take a 15 minute break from your computer screen for every hour of games, then be certain that the same thing goes for using a Gear VR.
So, after our long list of tips is over, you’re now free to have fun with your Gear VR. We’ll be here preparing another long list of content already available for Gear VR, so stay tuned and we’ll be happy to help you have a great, virtual reality day.
What’s your opinion: Are you already an owner of a Gear VR? If so, what’s your favorite feature, and how do you see the experience evolving in the future? If you’re not, do you plan on getting one soon, or you’ll wait out for the initial hype to subdue before owning one?