Save your Gear VR progress when moving between Samsung Galaxy devices!

With the Samsung's Gear VR platform quickly growing with new titles, it's getting easier than ever to sink your hours into mobile virtual reality. But once a new phone comes along and you jump ship, why should you lose your cherished progress from your Gear VR games?

With the launch of Samsung's Galaxy S8, it's now the time to move your Gear VR saves. Provided you have access to both devices, this process is made a little simpler thanks to a third-party application. Here's how to love your Gear VR saves between compatible Samsung Galaxy devices.

Setting up Helium

To transfer your Gear VR game data between devices, we'll be taking advantage third-party application called Helium. With versions available for Windows, Mac, Linux and Google Chrome, this is a solution accessible to a large number of users. Although our steps will focus on the Windows application, the process of setting up and using the app doesn't differ hugely between platforms. While the app requires an additional device to activate the Android app, by default backups stay on the local storage for your mobile device.

Install Helium on your Windows PC

For Windows users, the Helium application takes advantage of Android's USB debugging feature to create backups for a device. For this to work you'll need both the Helium desktop application and Android ADB Drivers, which both come with a relatively simple setup. For those attempting to use Helium on other platforms, it's not required to install the drivers.

  1. Download the Helium installer via Github.
  2. Follow the on-screen steps to install the application.
  3. Download the Android ADB Drivers via Github.
  4. Follow the on-screen steps to complete the driver installation.

After installing the drivers, we recommend restarting your PC. You can now move over to your Android devices to install Helium.

Install Helium on your Android devices

To take advantage of Helium, we'll be using the Android application on both phones. The app will be used to extract saves from your old device and restore them on a new one. These steps should be taken on both devices to ensure Helium is active.

  1. Install Helium on your Android device via the Google Play Store.
  2. Open Helium.
  3. When the prompt appears to enable USB debugging, press Enable USB to automatically open Settings.
  4. Enable the switch labeled USB debugging from the Settings menu that appears.

Setup Helium across Android and Windows

Now you've installed Helium on both Android phones, we're now going to set them up via the Windows application. To set up the app you'll need a USB cable to connect the phones to your PC. This is the final stage of the setup process and should be done with both devices. However, make sure to set up Helium with your PC one phone at a time.

  1. Plug your Android device in your Windows PC.
  2. Open Helium on your Windows PC and Android device.
  3. Swipe down from the top of the screen to open your phone's Notification Center.
  4. Tap the notification labeled Connected for charging.
  5. Select Transferring media files. This will allow the Windows application to automatically set up the Android app. If any prompts are displayed on-screen by the app regarding debugging, accept these.
  6. Helium should now automatically configure itself. If correctly set up, a green tick should soon be displayed on-screen.

Backing up your Gear VR saves

Once configured, Helium can now be used to extract and create backups of your game and app data. Using the Android app on both devices, we'll be taking your app data from one phone to the other.

Back up your game save on your old Android device

After setting up Helium, we're now going to create a backup for your Gear VR game saves. These saves can be backed up on a per-game basis, without the need to back up any unwanted applications. The following steps will create a backup on your old device, which will be brought forward to your new phone.

  1. Open Helium on your old Android device
  2. Scroll through the list of apps on your device and find the apps to back up. Installed Oculus games will also be included in this list.
  3. Tick the box on right-hand side to select it.
  4. Click Backup once you've selected the applications you wish to save.
  5. Choose Internal Storage. This will create a backup of selected apps on your device in an easily extractable form.

Move your game backups between Android devices

Now you've created a backup on your phone, you'll need to get this off the device. To do so we recommend diving into Windows' file explorer and moving the file directly between the two phones. Alternatively, the folder can be extracted from your old phone and put aside in the meantime. Although there are some additional steps to get your saves active on a new phone, the following gets the necessary data on the new device.

  1. Make sure both phones are connected to your PC with Helium successfully installed.
  2. Using the Windows File Browser, navigate to PC > Old Phone and copy the folder named carbon. This will fetch the backup from your old device and copy it to the Windows clipboard.
  3. Now, navigate to PC > New Phone and paste the folder. This will overwrite any existing carbon backups on the device, but now place your old application backups on your new device.

Restore your game backups on your new Android device

After moving your backups to your new device, you'll need to restore them to make them active. It's important all required games have been installed on the new device prior to restoring their saves.

  1. Open Helium on your new Android device.
  2. Select the tab named Restore and Sync.
  3. Choose Internal Storage.
  4. Tick the boxes for the apps you're restoring on your new phone.
  5. Tap Restore. This will restore all save data from your previous phone for any apps installed on the device.

You should now be able to open relevant apps and continue with your existing save data! Going forward, you can still use your Helium install on Android to create extra backups of your apps, which is highly recommended for any precious game saves. A premium version of the app is also available, which offers cloud-based saves for minimum effort.