Fun With Numbers - Part Two
What apps can you run on the Quest? Let's find out!
As much as we love the Samsung Gear VR and Oculus Go, the facts are these headsets are now a part of history. The VR world has moved on and the Meta Quest is now the platform of choice for standalone virtual reality.
Between the Gear VR and the Oculus Go there were over 1300 titles released.
Of these 21 received updated Quest versions, and 66 were made compatible, with only 29 of these 66 still able to be purchased/downloaded.
So what about the rest? Time for some testing...
Although the title count for Gear VR and Oculus Go games is 1361, we weren't able to acquire all of them. Many can't be downloaded anymore, and many are paid. Although between all of our team we did have access to the majority of paid apps, we couldn't get all of them.
The final count for APKs to test was 903.
678 of the still worked, while 225 failed. The most common reason for an app not to run was that it involved some sort of online component, and these servers have been taken offline.
"One of the requirements to sell an app in the Oculus Store is that you verify the user purchased or obtained your app legitimately. This check is called the entitlement check. You should make the entitlement check within 10 seconds of the user launching your app."
An "Entitlement Check" was a required part of listing an app on the store. The trick here is that the Quest series is not capable of performing an Entitlement Check on a Gear VR/Go app.
This meant the next part of our testing was to find out which apps would still run without being signed into a Oculus account. This was particularly important since even running on original hardware, it's no longer possible to create a working account for the Gear VR.
Fortunately there are many titles where this check was not implemented. There are also patched versions of many apps floating around online.
There were 626 Gear VR/Oculus Go apps that still worked (Oculus Go only apps have been excluded from these numbers as the Go can't be used without a Meta account). Of these 402 worked or have a patched version available.
And The Results Are...
It took us roughly 4 weeks to get to this point. One last step to go: take all of the Gear VR APKs we knew would work without an Entitlement Check, plus the 58 Oculus Go exclusive APKs we had access to and test them on the Oculus Quest.
We choose to test of the original Quest as it is the only unit with a complete Gear/Go compatibility layer. Although the Quest 2 received compatibility in April 2023, and the Quest 3 also had this at launch, it would seem the "Back" button wasn't correctly assigned, making some titles unplayable.
Two weeks later and we had our answer: 290 apps are playable.
93 of these were restricted to 3 degrees of freedom, just like the original hardware it was designed for, while 197 magically supported full 6 degrees of freedom.
Just tell me what can I play!
If all you want to know is which titles work, then you can jump to our Quest Compatibility spreadsheet. For the more curious among you we have also uploaded our full test list which includes which titles didn't work, and in what way they failed.
The most common failure was a bit of a surprise - they would report that a newer version of the firmware was required. Without any solid evidence, we made an educated guess that the app had some sort of firmware version check included and for whatever reason was unable to understand the firmware version numbering of the Quest series.
If you own a Gear VR or Oculus Go, you can sideload an APK Extractor to pull apps directly from your legacy device. There is a Telegram channel full of APKs and a Torrent out there for those happy to use a less legitimate method.
Continuing our effort to preserve the history of the Samsung Gear VR we will be making APKs available to download directly from The Gear VR Codex in the near future. In order to do this we need to acquire the legal authorisation to make these APKs available and this will take some time.
We post on social media everyday celebrating the anniversary of Gear VR and Oculus Go releases, so if you enjoy a bit of nostalgia, or you'd just like to stay up to date with changes to this site, follow us using the links below.