How to watch VR content on YouTube

Watch YouTube VR and 360-degree videos using this quick guide. strap on a virtual reality headset and watch content in a way unlike anything else before.

VR on mobile is more than a temporary fad, and now it’s easier than ever for YouTube’s biggest fans to strap on a virtual reality headset and watch content in a way unlike anything else before.

There’s a wide range of VR headsets on the market now at varying prices, but even the cheapest of these, Google Cardboard, is all that’s needed to make the most of YouTube’s VR offerings.

The free Android and iOS applications, which both support 360-degree video, give the illusion of being ‘in’ some of YouTube’s most breathtaking uploads.

Google Cardboard is all that’s needed to watch 360-degree videos on YouTube. On top of that, it’s cheap and brilliant fun.

Read on as YouTube Wizard guides you through the world of YouTube VR.

Google Cardboard and YouTube

Cardboard is Google’s own answer to affordable mobile VR and you’ll be pleased to hear that picking up your own headset will likely cost under £5. You may have to assemble the accessory yourself (unless you get some slightly pricier headsets), but the DIY option is so simple that even YouTube Wizard Co-editor Tom managed it.

In a nutshell, Google Cardboard is a cardboard image viewer that houses two small lenses. Users slot their mobile phone behind the lenses and hold the Cardboard up to their head. If they turn they head whilst watching a 360-degree video on YouTube, the camera will appear to turn too.

Accessing 360-degree YouTube Videos

The easiest way to find a collection of VR-compatible videos is via the Google Cardboard app.

Load up the Android and iOS application and you’ll be greeted by a welcome menu explaining the basics of the technology. Tapping on ‘360 Video Channel’ will take you to YouTube’s #360Video homepage, where there’s some exciting videos to try out.

At the time of writing, the #360Video YouTube channel features videos including a Red Bull Barnstorming experience and a POV video of a GT-R powering around Le Mans.

Manually searching for ‘360 degree videos’ on YouTube will bring up a whole load of other clips. There’s no shortage of content, we’re pleased to report.

VR Alternatives

If you’re looking to spend a little more money on your VR headset and want something that’ll last, we recommend the Homido VR headset. It may be slightly pricy at £50, but this sturdy accessory is comfier than the Google Cardboard, also boasting adjustable lenses and a head strap for hands-free play.

No Cardboard, No Cry

We should point out that it’s still possible to experience 360-degree video on YouTube without holding something up to your face. Simply navigate to a compatible video on your PC or Mac and click and drag your mouse to manipulate the screen