The experience of both VR and and VR have never been easier to experience from the comfort of your own home. Through cheap headsets and the use of your smartphone, there are hundreds of apps that can give you a full virtual experience.

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Swimming with sharks, hanging out with your friends or simply taking a calming trip in a boat - there are plenty of VR experiences available and we've listed the best android and iOS options below.

Rec Room

© Rec Room
© Rec Room

Android, iOS

Rec Room is a hugely popular VR experience enjoyed by millions of users. Available on iOS, Android, PlayStation, Xbox, Oculus and Steam, you can play it across platforms. You can chat and hang out with millions of people in user-created rooms or build something new. There's customisable avatars, challenging games and more.

Incell

iOS, Android

This multi-coloured action-cum-racing game takes place in a unique micro-world, which recreates the anatomy of a human cell in impressive detail, giving it an educational angle, too. Players ride along capillaries and connections as they take in inner space. The depth and scaling of the scenes really makes the experience worthwhile, and it has a rousing soundtrack to boot.

Cartoon Village

Android

Cartoon Village drops you into a colourful medieval cartoon settlement where you’re free to investigate any nook and cranny you fancy. The extreme level of detail gives the rural enclave a real lived-in feel, and you can simply change the season and time of day to see how it affects the habits of its dwellers and the surrounding natural world. Additionally it can run in Daydream mode on devices with Android 4.2 or higher. Cartoon Village has already taken the mantle as cutest CG-rendered app in the world of virtual reality.

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Within (formerly VRSE)

iOS, Android

Within is a production company specialising in telling stories through live-action VR filmmaking, and this app is the best way to experience their selection of high-quality 360° videos on your smartphone. Collaborations with the likes of The New York Times, the UN, Vice and Saturday Night Live ensure a well-rounded exploration of the medium’s potential. Within also worked with U2 on their ‘Song for Someone’, so viewers could sit with Bono in their living room.

Jaunt VR

Android, iOS

Jaunt is another production company that aims to send viewers into story-driven worlds, simply through use of their mobile device. A virtual Nepalese mountain adventure, a front row seat at a Paul McCartney concert and a trip inside North Korea as the country holds military celebrations highlight the breadth of scenarios Jaunt is covering. They also send you into film, like the 360° fashion photoshoot with Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) in Zoolander 2.

The Black Mass Experience

Via Jaunt VR (see above)

Jaunt’s eagerly anticipated immersive horror short certainly isn’t for the faint of heart. What’s more, it comes complete with an interactive sound field mixed in Dolby Atmos to really freak you out. You have been warned.

Relax river

© Relax River
© Relax River

Android, iOS

Looking for a relaxing experience from VR? The aptly named Relax River will be a great option for you. You float down a river, able to take in your full surroundings without having to do any work. There's no settings or configurations, just enjoy the journey.

VR Space virtual reality 360

© Reality games VR
© Reality games VR

Android

What better way to learn about the Solar System than to fully immerse yourself in it. With this VR app, you can compare planets, get up close to them, play spaceship missions through asteroids and generally enjoy the life of an astronaut in VR.

Fulldive VR

© Fulldive
© Fulldive

Android, iOS

Fulldive VR is a social platform with the incentive of earning cryptocurrencies while you use it. You can follow your friends, watch videos, play games, browse the internet and generally do anything you would do on the internet, but through a VR lense.

Sites in VR

© Ercan Gigi
© Ercan Gigi

Android, iOS

Looking to explore the world from the comfort of your own home? This app uses VR to take you to some of the world's landmarks. This includes the Eiffel tower, Egyptian Pyramids, museums, tombs and even Mars!

Trail World VR

© No Pressure Studios
© No Pressure Studios

Android, iOS

Trail World VR is all about experiencing a wealth of journeys. You can ride a roller coaster, fly in an airplane, go fishing and generally explore a VR world that spans islands, waterfalls, farms, towns and other areas for you to discover.

Hardcore

© Mike Farlenkov
© Mike Farlenkov

Android

Hardcore is a third person VR shooter game, complete with multiplayer modes and challenges. Because it's in 3rd person, you don't get the same feeling of being the character in the game, but it is a more immersive experience, especially with the addition of a controller.

YouTube VR

© YouTube
© YouTube

Android

YouTube VR is very much what it says on the tin - a way of viewing the videos on YouTube in a VR format. While all videos are available like this, not all are going to be optimised. Instead, certain videos will be designed in a way to fully enjoy the VR experience.

VR Noir

© New Canvas
© New Canvas

Android

VR Noir is an Android VR game that pulls you into the life of a detective. You must solve a job presented by a new client without 'crossing the line'. This game focuses on blending a story line with the VR experience - much like the other horror games on this list.

Sketchfab

© Sketchfab
© Sketchfab

Android, iOS

Sketchfab allows you to explore millions of models in 3D, VR or AR straight from your mobile phone. This could mean teleporting yourself to a foreign city, walking amongst the dinosaurs, or performing surgery. You can follow specific creators on the Sketchfab platform or simply search for something you're interested in seeing.

House of Terror

© Lakento
© Lakento

Android, iOS

House of Terror is a VR game that has you searching through intense environments full of traps and even monsters. You have to solve puzzles, search for clues and work out what is going on in this horror house experience.

VR Abyss: Sharks & Sea Worlds

© Rabbit Mountain
© Rabbit Mountain

Android

Like the idea of exploring the ocean, but not quite ready for the intensity of it? VR Abyss plunges you down with sharks, coral reefs, whales and other exciting aspects of the sea. Not only can you explore, there is also a game that you can play to try and set a high-score as you dive.

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Authors

Alex is a staff writer at BBC Science Focus. He has worked for a number of brands covering technology and science with an interest in consumer tech, robotics, AI and future technology.

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