How To VR Without a Headset

Your first virtual reality (VR) experience is something you remember for the rest of your life. Putting a headset on and literally experiencing different locations, activities, and video games in full 3D is fun and exciting, but did you know that there is a way you can enjoy VR without a headset?

How To VR Without a Headset

The Google Cardboard VR is, well, a cardboard version of a VR set you can use with your smartphone and enjoy some virtual 3D worlds.

Google Cardboard

Virtual headsets are very cool, but they often come at a high price. If that’s your problem too, you might want to think about getting the Google Cardboard VR set that costs only a few dollars but provides a decent VR experience. It works without a PC. All you need to do to enjoy a virtual reality experience is to place your phone inside your Google Cardboard to serve as a screen.

Google cardboard

This cheap headset works with both Android and iOS phones, but they have to be between 4 and 6 inches in size to be able to fit. If you own an iPhone XS Max or Galaxy Note 9, you won’t be able to slide them into the headset.

When you get your Google Cardboard headset and a phone that fits, you can download any 360-degree photo or video and enjoy it in VR. The experience is very realistic, almost like using an Oculus Rift or the Samsung VR set. Let’s look at some apps you can start with.

The Official Google Cardboard App

You can download the official Google Cardboard app to be able to enjoy some fantastic VR environments. Google Cardboard comes with a QR code you can scan to download the official app. It’s the perfect app to start your VR experience because it’s designed for complete newbies.

The app offers all kinds of games, environments, and experiences for you to experiment with. Also, all of the content available was designed for Google Cardboard, so you are sure to get the most out of your VR experience. You can visit places you would never have the opportunity to see in real life.

If you’re into VR gaming, there are also plenty of VR games you can download from the Google Play store or the App Store.

cardboard app

VR Theater for Cardboard

You can record and watch your own 2D and 3D movies using Google Cardboard in a virtual cinema called Cardboard Theater. The controls are simple, and they work great. You can also find many different 360-degree photos and environments to explore.

VR theater

Google Street View

You can go almost anywhere with Google Street View. Chances are that you’ve already used this app on your mobile or PC when you wanted to see how a street or a city looked like. Well, you can use Google Cardboard to experience the places you would like to visit in VR. You can visit Paris, London, Tokyo, San Paolo, and LA all in the same day free of charge and without leaving your home!

street view

VR Without a Headset

There is no real way of enjoying VR videos without a headset, but you can still watch 360-degree VR videos within the apps that support the feature. Here are some of the most popular apps you can use to enjoy 360-degree content.


The Facebook app supports VR videos and 360-degree photos. You can move your device in space to see every corner of the video, or you can use your finger to slide the video from left to right or the other way around. Facebook has full support for 360-degree videos, so you won’t have to use another app to get the full experience.

You can view 360-degree videos by typing #360Video into the search bar on Facebook.

360 video on Facebook


YouTube also comes with full 360-degree video support for smartphones. You can view videos from any angle by moving your phone around. You can’t use your fingers to move the video around, and you can’t view 360-degree videos with Google Cardboard because the feature is still not supported.


It is possible to watch 360-degree videos from your PC or laptop, but the experience won’t be as immersive. You can find videos on websites like YouTube and Facebook and navigate with your touchpad or mouse. It’s nowhere close to the experience you get using a VR headset or even Google Cardboard, but it can give you an idea of how it works.

Google Cardboard – Entry Level VR Experience

Like we said before, you can’t have a proper VR experience without some kind of headset. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a VR headset, you can start with Google Cardboard. It’s perfect for VR newbies and costs much less than a regular headset. You can use it to see what a VR experience looks like, and if you like it a lot, buy a high-tech headset like the Oculus or HTC Vive Pro.

Have you already used Google Cardboard? Tell us all about your VR experiences in the comments below!

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