The 10 best games apps to play with the Gear VR Controller

BY GreenBot Staff

Published 2 May 2017

Take control
gearvr controller lead

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ong with the Galaxy S8 Galaxy S8 us came a new version of the Gear VR headset shell, but this one doesn’t just vary in shape to hold the wider-screened phones: it also comes with a wireless, one-hed controller, taking cues from ’s Daydream View.

The Gear VR Controller features a clickable, thumb-ready touchpad, along with built-in motion controls a shooter-friendly trigger beneath, enabling new kinds of mobile VR experiences for Samsung’s platform. And thankfully, that means no more reaching to find the touchpad on the headset itself, or holding your arm up for extended play sessions.

Samsung also sells the Gear VR Controller by itself, it works with the previous consumer versions of the headset, as well as phones dating back to the Galaxy S6 models the Galaxy Note 5. Dozens of games apps are now compatible with the Controller, if you’re looking to make the most of it, these are the first 10 experiences you should check out.

End Space
gearvr controller endspace

Image by Orange Bridge Studios

End Space is one of the most impressive games available for Gear VR, it is significantly enhanced with the Controller in h. This dogfighter finds you zipping freely through space as rival emerge, you’ll need to spin up, down, all around to track their flight paths zap them with lasers rockets alike. 

Moving the Controller does the same for your ship, while your gaze aims the firing reticle. It can be a little overwhelming at first, but once you get a hang of it, End Space gets its hooks in deep. Incredible graphics a great sense of immersion make this premium game worth every bit of its eight bucks, there’s more to it than the fun, yet comparatively straightforward Gunjack.

End Space ($8)

Smash Hit
gearvr controller smashhit

Image by Mediocre

though it began life as a really entertaining free-to-play mobile game, Smash Hit really takes on its ultimate form in VR. It’s a game about throwing shiny metal balls to shatter glass panes objects as you are propelled through an array of abstract rooms, it’s incredibly immersive when you can look freely all around amidst the dazzling destruction.

Truth be told, Smash Hit is the only game on this list that hasn’t been updated with official Controller support, but it totally works: just click in or swipe on the touchpad you’ll toss a ball towards wherever you’re looking. The biggest gripe of the original VR experience was keeping your arm up for lengthy play sessions to tap the headset’s touchpad, but that issue is easily alleviated with the Controller. And the game is all the more enthralling because of it. 

Smash Hit ($3)

int VR
gearvr controller paintvr

Image by Coskami

If you like painting but find real-world canvasses too limited for your artistic expressions, then maybe int VR can help. This app turns the Gear VR Controller into a virtual paintbrush, which moves in the VR world with surprising accuracy lets you paint all around you in 3D space. Once you layer paint into the air around you, you can move around to examine augment it from all sides.

It’s essentially a simpler take on ’s extremely cool Tilt Brush on the higher-tech HTC Vive Oculus Rift, but while not entirely original, the trick remains impressive here. You can paint your own 3D creations with ease, as well as switch between brushes colors without breaking the flow of creativity.

int VR ($2)

A Night Sky
gearvr controller anightsky

Image by Coatsink

Released by Oculus Studios alongside the new headset, A Night Sky isn’t the most complex Controller-based experience on the Gear VR today, but it does pack in a fair bit of wonder. You’ll spend the entire experience within a desert canyon at night, as you look up at the stars, you might see one of them pulsing— then another, another, so on so forth.

Connect the dots to complete a full constellation you’ll be rewarded by some dazzling sight in the world around you, such as flying battleships exchanging cannon shots, or a gargantuan rock monster emerging from the backdrop. You might only end up spending 15 minutes in A Night Sky, but as a free early Controller offering, it’s an enchanting affair. 

A Night Sky (Free)

Drop Dead
gearvr controller dropdead

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th its accurate pointer functionality nice-sized trigger button on the bottom, the Gear VR Controller serves as a solid light gun substitute— it makes the already-impressive Drop Dead even more fun in the process. This Gear VR original is a throwback to arcade classics like The House of the Dead, likewise finds you blasting shambling zombies to bits. 

It’s really just as simple as pointing shooting, but having zombies come at you from all around ratchets up the tension, as do the small clips on your firearms. You’ll find dozens of stages to shoot your way out of, along with some odd time-travel shenanigans along the way—plus there’s head-to-head online score attack battles if you want to show off your skills.

Drop Dead ($7)

Star Chart
gearvr controller starchart

Image by Escape Velocity

A Night Sky delivers a whimsical take on constellations, but Star Chart gives you the real thing. ll, the VR version of the real thing, at least. Star Chart lets you look up at the digital evening sky examine the stars that make up the classic constellations, there’s more to it than just that: you can also travel through space to see each planet in the solar system up close. 

The Controller’s precise pointer makes it easy to pinpoint select stars, not only that: in the app, the Controller serves as your floating info board, you can even wield small versions of stars to examine as you please. Star Chart also lets you explore the original moon ling site, as well as a Mars Curiosity Rover scene, learn about items in each area. 

Star Chart ($5)

Esper 2
gearvr controller esper2

Image by Coatsink

You needn’t play the original game to enjoy Esper 2, which has been smartly updated to take advantage of the Gear VR Controller. This first-person puzzle experience puts you in the role of a person with newly-discovered telekinetic abilities, so the government has recruited you… is making you take tests to harness your skills. 

Doing so means grabbing manipulating objects with your mind (the Controller’s pointer) guiding them around obstacle courses, although the game gets a lot stranger with each chapter. Esper 2’s amusing tone narration seem to pull a bit of inspiration from the seminal rtal on , Coatsink’s game is clever in both puzzle design writing alike. 

Esper 2 ($5)

Ocean Rift
gearvr controller oceanrift

Image by cselica

Ocean Rift is not a game, although it definitely is an experience. ready one of the go-to Gear VR picks, Ocean Rift drops you into open water in one of 12 different exhibits, each packing fish, plant life, more specialized finds like sea turtles, dolphins, whales, manatees, yes, even sharks. o needs a trip to the aquarium when you can hop into the digital ocean here? 

th the Gear VR Controller in h, it’s now easier to navigate around the underwater space, rather than just sit still look all around. You can move forward backward rise or descend with simple button presses, giving you the freedom to see these creatures from all angles. At $10, it’s one of the pricier Gear VR purchases, but there is a free demo version

Ocean Rift ($10)

gearvr controller rangi

Image by Digigo

Inspired by African tribal art, music, architecture, Rangi is a mesmerizing puzzle game that feels perfectly suited for the Gear VR. Each stage drops you into the middle of a large environment filled with switches, movable blocks tiles, other curious objects— your task is to move rearrange the objects to help illuminate pathways across the walls floors.

Doing so opens up the portal at the end of the level, but getting to that point is rarely a straightforward process. ckily, the Controller works perfectly here, acting as a magic w within the game. You’ll point to swap to different locations in the world for new vantage points, as well as move sliding panels with ease. The ability to freely look around interact with the world makes this one memorable.

Rangi ($5)

HoloGrid: Monster Battle VR
gearvr controller hologrid

Image by HappyGiant

You may not know who il Tippett is, but you’ve probably seen his work: he concocted the Holochess game in the original Star rs way back in the day, now he’s the mastermind behind HoloGrid: Monster Battle VR. It’s not exactly the same thing, but HoloGrid takes some inspiration from the big-screen version transforms it into a card-centric, turn-based combat game.

The Controller’s pointer is perfect for placing the fantasy character cards onto the battle grid directing the 3D creatures’ movements attacks, letting you get “hs-on” without ever really touching the grotesque beasts. It’s playable either in single-player against the A.I. or online against real competition.

HoloGrid: Monster Battle VR ($3)