VR BOX 2.0 Android Guide
Recently I bought a VR Box 2.0 to get into the various VR apps that are available for Android phones. The VR Box 2.0 is a headset and depending on where you buy one and what comes with it, you could also end up with a Bluetooth remote controller and/or other goodies. What I got was the headset, a Bluetooth remote controller, and a power bank. Unfortunately, the power bank seems to not be working properly at all so far. That’s ok since it was just a freebie included in the package and I didn’t really need it!! That sucked but oh well !!
NOTE: You really should check your Android phone to make sure it has a gyroscope sensor BEROFE trying to buy a VR headset like this or similar headsets. There IS another option IF you have an accelerometer and compass built into your phone. You have to use an app called VR Player free or some other similar app.
To check for a gyroscope, simply type in the brand and model of your Android phone with the word “gyroscope” into a google search. Be specific on the bran and model of your phone. Check the specs on your device.
This particular headset is a very inexpensive way to have a VR headset but has been pretty fun so far. The lenses are not that great but it’s an entry level VR headset anyway!! It’s fine since I can see things clearly. The trick to most of it was just to relax your eyes and use the lens adjustment sliders found on the top of the VR Box.
Front view above and the open sliding front piece for AR below.
This is inside of the VR Box to see the lenses.
The top side and there’s 2 (4 total) sliding lens adjusters.
The side view to see the holes in the holder piece.
The Bluetooth controller.
Great, now how does it work?!!
There’s a manual included with the VR Box 2.0 (like other VR headsets would) that gives some basic instructions for its use. When I checked mine, I found out you have to install some app that you download from the Google Play Store. Unfortunately, the only way to get the app was to use a QR code. I say “unfortunately” because the QR code itself was too small and blurred for my phone to read it. So that didn’t work at all.
On the upside, the Google Cardboard app DOES work!! The downside is that another QR code is required. The Google Cardboard app tells you to pair your phone with the app by scanning the QR code on the headset. Of course, there’s no QR code on this headset. Thankfully, this site has the QR codes for various headsets.
While scrolling through the list, your best bet is to get an exact name match. When searching through the site (CRTL +F and type in “VR Box 2.0”), I happened to spot a lot of VR headsets that were renamed from the VR Box 2.0 or VR Box. One other thing to note while looking through this site is that they were nice enough to have the list showing in alphabetical order!! Good job!! I really hope they add more!!
Simply tap the 3 “vertical dots” button in the upper right corner of the Google Cardboard app. It will be looking for that QR code again. So I tried the first QR code for the VR Box 2.0 on that site. That turned out to be for another headset. The second QR code worked and it showed up as a match for my headset. So now any VR apps/games I install can be run through the Google Cardboard app and they show up fine in my headset. Yes, I did try it without the Cardboard app and that sucked!! I’m not sure why but it did!!
My phone happens to be an Alcatel Flash Plus. This phone has a 5.5” screen and it takes some effort but it fits very snugly. The problem is the power and volume buttons are located near the middle on the side of the phone. Unfortunately, as you can see in the above picture, the sliding holder piece that holds your phone in place is in the exact same location. With such a tight fit, it tends to press the power and/or volume buttons. Thankfully cushion pieces were included in the package. I placed two of the cushion pieces on the bottom of the phone holder and cut one cushion to create a gap on the sliding piece. It comes out to two cushion pieces that are placed on the sliding piece. So I just line up the power button inside the gap and push my phone up and into place. Works like a charm!!
From there, start the Google Cardboard app and select which app/game you wish to use. You might have to select a few options here and there before inserting the phone holder into the VR headset. It depends on the game you’re playing. Once the app has started, just slide the holder in and put the VR headset on. Again, relax your eyes. You’ll be seeing double images until you get used to using it and have adjusted it with the lens adjusters. Hold the headset with both hands and use the lens adjustment sliders on the top to focus it better. Yes, adjust the lenses ON BOTH SIDES!! Or at least try to focus it. Some of you with vision problems might have to take some time to adjust things to focus. If need be, you can always restart the app/game you were using. Just make sure it’s as comfortable as you can get it.
Some extra info:
- There are some holes in the holder piece. You could string a smaller sized power bank through one of those holes or a headphones wire IF you’re not using wireless headphones or speakers. For the power bank, you could find a way to attach it (NOT permanently) to the sliding front piece on the headset. Just mind your wire length!!
- The stronger the specs are on a phone, the more it has the chance to heat up. So do watch out for that as much as possible.
- YES, be in an OPEN AREA while using a VR headset IF you’re not seated. It will suck something fierce if you go crashing into things and end up breaking them!!
- NO, you will not always get a full immersion experience from whatever VR headset you’re using. There’re many apps that don’t do so well in trying to create an immersion effect. Then again, this was an inexpensive VR headset so we can’t really hope for too many miracles!!
- Yes, clean the lenses often and any part of the VR headset you’re using directly after using it. Keep the lenses clean as best you can. If anything you’ll keep dust from getting into your eyes. Do note that IF anyone else uses the same VR headset, all users will appreciate a freshly cleaned headset in the case of sweaty and/or oily/dirty faced individuals!! Nothing personal towards anyone but common sense would tell you to at least wipe it down!!
- You WILL need a controller of some sort for certain games. Which one you happen to have or which one you happen to buy is entirely up to you. Just know that not everything works with everything. The fun part is that there’s a LOT of Bluetooth based controllers you can get and use for this. So the options are a plenty!!
- Yes, you CAN connect low cost VR headsets to the PC. It just takes some extra software depending on your purpose. There’re plenty of YouTube videos that will give you the exact details as to how. There’s a variety of game recording purposes involved too!! Just remember that the screen you’re recording is showing a side by side image/moving images/video. That might not record so well!! Oddly enough, there are lots and lots of side by side videos loaded all over YouTube!! It just looks weird to me half the time!!
- Yes, some headsets will work fine while you’re wearing your glasses. Do note that said “some”. So those with bigger sized glasses, sorry!! The upside is that you CAN adjust the lens positions and should still be able to focus well enough to use your VR headset. Just note that this won’t be possible every time without fail.
- Yes, you can end up with a case of cyber sickness. You’ll feel dizzy and/or a need to “hurl” and/or you might start sweating a lot. So do pay attention to how you feel. Simply stop and relax for a while until that “bad feeling(s)” go away. Try again whenever you’re ready.
Oh hell YEAH there’s a LOT of VR games that can work with these low cost VR headsets!! You can find some in the Google Cardboard app itself and in the Google Play Store. Some are free and some are not. Some will only be a demo and/or buy to get the full game. A simple search for “VR” or “Cardboard” would do!! The hard part is trying to find something you’d like to play. Of course, one person loves a particular game and another person hates it completely. So don’t rely too much on the reviews of the game(s) in the Play Store. But DO read the descriptions for the game(s) in question.
There are a variety of different things to try out. These include first person shooters (FPS), space games, roller coaster rides, and some RPGs too. As seen in the Google Cardboard app screen shots above, I have a game called Battle360VR. Once the game starts, you move your head around to aim. The game auto-fires the guns you have selected. The fun part is that this game can also use your camera so you’ll see the enemy planes in the area you’re literally in. This is a form of Augmented Reality. Yes, very much like what other games such as Pokemon Go have put together. You can start and stop the augmented reality setup while looking at the main menus. Just look to the left and hold the crosshairs on the menu option for a few seconds to activate it.
Other games such as the space shooting games and Battle360VR are meant to be played while you’re standing. Again, refer to point #3 in the Extra Info section. Be in an OPEN AREA!! It really is 360 degree combat in those kinds of games. You have opponents coming at you in ALL directions. Oddly enough, there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of evasion involved in those games. I’d imagine that would have been nice to have but oh well !!
The Bluetooth controller
Some are having problems connecting and/or using their Bluetooth controller. This will hold true because once again, not everything works with everything. But in my case, it worked fine!! You can see my Bluetooth controller in action in the videos below. Well, mostly!! Thanks MegaWilma!!
To set it up, simply insert the batteries and turn it on via pressing the power button for a few seconds. It’ll light up, IF it’s working, sometimes upon battery insertion (that’s fine). The manual will have the exact key combinations to press for the various modes of the controller. I’d recommend you write down those key combinations somewhere else for just in case. For example, on my controller, pressing the @ + C buttons places it in game mode. There’re also music/movies, mouse, and some other mode(s) too. It depends on which controller you end up with.
On your Android phone, go into the settings and activate your Bluetooth connection (if it’s not already activated). You might have to “Scan for Devices” once or twice to see your controller show up in the list. Once you see your Bluetooth controller in the list, pair it with your phone. If you don’t see your controller in the list after 2 scans for devices, there’s a good chance you have a defective OR incompatible controller. All is NOT lost. Do note there are LOTS of different controllers you could use via Bluetooth. There’re some game controllers meant for console systems that CAN connect to your phone via Bluetooth. Once again, there’re lots of videos on YouTube that can show you how to do that.
Just for fun
Here are some videos of my friend MegaWilma using my VR Box 2.0 being recorded by her husband. Yeah, she had some fun doing this!! Yes, I did punch him in the arm for calling me “crazy”.
MegaWilma VS Zombiestan
Here we have “round 2” of my friend MegaWilma using my VR Box 2.0. This time I wasn’t hiding inside the house. I was taking a nap!! WHAT?!! They have a big comfy bed… it’s really nice!! Once again he got punched for that “lunatic” remark.
MegaWilma Vs Deep Space VR
At least they took the advice of being in an open area while using that thing!! hahahahaha