The 25 best Samsung Gear VR games, apps and experiences

UPDATED: Refreshed for 2019 with must-try games and apps

You don't need an HTC Vive or Oculus Rift to strap impressive VR experiences to your face - Samsung's Gear VR does it at a fraction of the cost.

Sure, they're not all exactly on the same level, but the Gear VR requires a much less expensive overall investment, especially if you already have a recent Samsung flagship phone (like the Galaxy S9 or Galaxy Note 9). And it has more than 1,000 apps and games to check out in the Oculus Store. There are plenty out there that support the current-generation Gear VR, too - including its bundled motion controller for more immersive experiences.

From games to 360-degree VR videos, there's plenty to dig into - and we've got some favourites, naturally. Here are the 25 Gear VR games and apps you ought to start with.

Virtual Virtual Reality

One of the best Google Daydream games is also on its chief rival, as well, as the brilliant Virtual Virtual Reality is now available for Gear VR (and Oculus Go, too). It's a delightfully strange game built in the comedic mould of Portal, albeit with a very different experience in mind.

Virtual Virtual Reality takes place in a future dominated by artificial intelligence, and the A.I. minds that be are now looking for humans to provide "artisanal companionship" by strapping on VR headsets and completing odd jobs. That's the "Virtual Virtual" of it. Yes, it's as weird as it sounds, and it's one of the true VR highlights on any platform today.

Price: US$9.99

Download Virtual Virtual Reality here from Oculus

Minecraft

Minecraft in VR? If this doesn't have Gear VRs flying off of store shelves, then we don't know what will. The Gear VR edition is effectively the same as the other renditions, offering survival and creative modes as well as multiplayer action... only now you're immersed in the blocky worlds.

Playing in first-person is a real trip, but it can also be overwhelming – which is why a tap of the touchpad can switch to you a windowed view, wherein the game is played on a TV inside a pixelated lodge.

In either case, if you love Minecraft, you'll certainly want to have it all around you in VR. And if you don't know Minecraft, now's the time to try it.

Price: £4.99

Download Minecraft here from Oculus

Zombie Gunship Raptor

Not thrilled with the idea of getting up close and personal with the undead? Why not pick them off – or pulverise them en masse – from afar? That's the proposition offered by Zombie Gunship Raptor, which turns the entertaining mobile game into an immersive VR blaster.

From your floating perch in the sky, you'll mow down the shambling invaders using machine guns and rockets. It's pretty straightforward and isn't the longest-lasting experience you'll find on the Gear VR, but it's hard to resist the allure of raining hell down from above.

Price: US$3.99

Download Zombie Gunship Raptor here from Oculus

Star Wars: Droid Repair Bay

The Last Jedi put a bit of Star Wars fever back into (some of) its many, many fervent fans, and luckily Star Wars: Droid Repair Bay is here to let us immerse ourselves in a small little segment of the film's universe.

It's a pretty simplistic game, but an attractive one at that: you'll take a role in the titular repair center, fixing up BB-8 and other roly-poly droids as they come in with defects. You'll pull open the droids, fiddle with their innards, and send them on their way. Droid Repair Bay isn't the most consequential part of The Last Jedi's media barrage, but it's free and certainly worth checking out if you have a Gear VR.

Price: Free

Download Star Wars: Droid Repair Bay here from Oculus

Augmented Empire

Like Hitman Go, the Gear VR-exclusive Augmented Empire doesn't really need to exist in virtual reality. After all, you'll spend most of the game looking down at a grid board, moving characters around and waging turn-based battles.

Even so, this is an incredibly cool game that you can only play on Gear VR, and it might sate your urge to use the headset for something deeper. This cyberpunk-meets-steampunk tactics game offers up great graphics, voice acting from the likes of Kate Mulgrew and Nick Frost, and about 10 hours of gameplay to savour.

Price: £7.99

Download Augmented Empire here from Oculus

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