How to take a screenshot with Gear VR

by Ian Hamilton • October 7th, 2015

A couple tipsters on Twitter and Reddit pointed out it’s actually fairly easy to take a screenshot on a Gear VR using the “print screen” button on a physical keyboard. I tested it using a Bluetooth keyboard connected to the Galaxy S6 and the screenshots arrived immediately in the phone’s camera roll.

I read a lot (probably too much) about VR and since I didn’t realize the feature was there I figured many other Gear VR owners could benefit from this tip as they also might not realize it can be done.

While it is relatively convenient, not everyone has a keyboard to use for this purpose. I think it would be easier if you could use a button combination on a gamepad to take screenshots. Pressing the “universal menu” button plus one of the triggers to take a screenshot could provide an iPhone-like way of sharing what you’re doing in VR. Since the Rift is shipping with an Xbox One controller the functionality would provide a universal way for Oculus to capture and show what you’re doing in VR at any given time.

I’ve taken thousands and thousands of screenshots with my phone for a variety of reasons including troubleshooting and sharing things that aren’t inherently shareable. It would be nice to have that kind of ease for sharing moments in VR and would help others to see more of the things early adopting VR enthusiasts are seeing. Instead, developers are left to figure out how to implement screenshots on a per-application basis. Taking a selfie in social VR platform Altspace, for example, has drawn a lot of attention to the platform via Twitter by giving people an easy way to take a photo of themselves or what they are doing.

Hopefully Oculus and Valve have something planned for making screenshots easier as more consumer VR devices make it out into the world.

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