Large screens have always been a passion for many. However, huge TVs that can cover your whole room wall and allow you to fully enjoy your favorite games, are usually too expensive.
Nevertheless, there is a way for your dreams to come true, and that is the best projector for gaming. There is a device that can transform your entire room into a battle station and offer an ultimate gaming experience, within seconds.
Of course, finding the best fit isn’t that easy, but with some advice, it shouldn’t be that difficult, either.
How to Choose the Best Gaming Projector
Similar to TVs and monitors, there are many aspects that influence the efficiency and the quality of a projector. However, a few of them make the biggest difference and they include the following:
If you want to enjoy 4K content in the best possible way, your only option is a 4K projector.
On the other hand, if you are searching for something more affordable, 1080p projectors will do the job, especially if they are supplied with a pixel shifting feature that allows for image upscaling to a 4k resolution.
Darkroom playing usually demands a projector with up to 2.000 Lumens of brightness. However, if you prefer more brightness in your surroundings, 2.500 Lumens is the minimum your projector should have to produce a reasonably clear picture, but if it is possible, go for at least 3000 Lumens.
One of the most important characteristics of a gaming projector is certainly its input lag. Although it isn’t that important for watching movies, it is, however, crucial for a good gaming experience, because it gives you those few extra moments to spot the opponent and react.
The input lag of 16ms is ideal, while it is acceptable for it to go up to 25ms. Everything above that value can significantly impact your overall gaming performance.
There is not that much to say about this category, except for the good old rule that more outputs and connection types mean higher versatility and ultimately lead to higher usability. For that reason, don’t hesitate and purchase a device with as much connectivity as possible.
Best Projectors for Gaming
A Great Projector For The Money
The Optoma HD28HDR is a full HD 1080p home theater projector designed for both gaming and movie enthusiasts. The projector also supports 4K input (as in native 4K support), is HDR compatible and boasts 120Hz refresh rate, which is awesome for gaming aficionados, as well as an enhanced gaming mode, low 8.4 milliseconds response time and 3600 lumens of brightness on max settings.
As far as tech specs go, the Optoma HD28HDR makes for a significant improvement over the previous model, the HD27HDR respectively, i.e. this baby is everything you’ll ever require for a wild gaming session, provided you’re into projectors. We already mentioned the native 4K support, and that means high definition content without downscaling or compression, which produces detailed and sharped images, plus an amazing 50,000:1 contrast ratio.
The High-Bright lamp is rated at 15,000 hours, and the Game Display Mode enhances shadows and dark scenes, thus providing perfect visibility. The projector can connect to gaming consoles and media players for gaming and life-like home-theater experiences, and if you want to enjoy Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV or Apple TV, you can connect it to a 4K UHD HDMI dongle to stream videos, play games, share photos or whatever.
As far as entry-level gaming projectors go, the Optoma HD28HDR is pretty amazing in terms of quality vs price; however, keep in mind that this is not a true 4K projector, as in it can accept 4K signal on one of its HDMI 2.0 inputs, but it will only display 1080p resolution on screen.
- Bright lamp
- Great picture quality
- 4K native support
- Excellent for HDR content
- Quiet (26db in ECO mode)
- Comes with backlit remote
- Limited zoom range
- No lens shift
The Ultimate TV Killer
Our next pick is a true-blue 4K UHD projector, the Optoma UHD50X respectively. Just like the Optoma reviewed previously, this is a gaming-centric projector, boasting 240 Hz refresh rate, which is impressive for a projector, very low input lag on 4K, 16 ms response time in Gaming Mode, as well as HDR10 & HLG Compatibility, plus a bright 3400 lumens lamp.
Just looking at the specs and the price tag is enough to understand that the Optoma UHD50X means business, so let’s dive deeper: basically, if you’re looking for a performant projector aimed squarely at gaming, this is the droid you were looking for, and it delivers in spades.
Obviously, you can also use it as a home cinema solution, but truth be told, if you’re not into heavy gaming, this is overkill and you should go for something cheaper. To give you a little hint, the Optoma UHD50X was the world’s first 240 Hz cinema-gaming projector, and that tells you everything. Also, this high-end projector uses a 1080p Digital Micromirror Device with 4-way pixel-shifting to deliver true UHD images, i.e. 3,840 by 2,160 pixels.
The contrast ratio is very high, as expected, standing at 500,000:1, and the lamp is rated at 15k hours, depending on the mode. However, you’ll still get 10k in standard brightness mode, which is impressive. The projector comes with 2 HDMI ports, plus a D-SUB15 for analogue video. You also get analogue and optical digital output, a 10-watt amplifier + a speaker built-in, but you can always connect the projector to external speakers for better sound.
We must also mention that the projector comes with a ton of image presets, calibration options, dynamic black etc., while the lens shift-and-zoom-make setup and alignment easy as pie.
Most importantly, one of the HDMI ports supports HDCP2.2, as well as MHL 2.1 for connecting Android phones, plus signals up to 2160p60 and 1080p120. In Enhanced Gaming mode, it supports up to 1080p240, which is great. The lens features a 1.3:1 zoom range and allows vertical lens shift, and, to make a long story short, if you’re looking for a gaming-centric UHD projector that really delivers, this is it, cut and dried.
- 240 Hz refresh rate
- Sharp, detailed images
- Low input lag
- True 4K resolution
- Cinematic viewing experience
- Easy to setup
- Lacks G-Sync/FreeSync support
The Best Projector For a Basement Gaming Setup
Getting back to more Earthly stuff, we have the BenQ TH685, a very affordable 1080p gaming projector, and before you ask, yes, you read that right: this is a GAMING PROJECTOR, which means it’s been designed with 120 Hz refresh rate and 8.2 ms latency, plus an enhanced game mode to please avid gamers out there.
To make it easy for our readers, if you’re looking for a well-priced, as in amazing value for money, gaming projector, this is it. The BenQ TH685 is the perfect choice for first-person shooter aficionados on a budget, making for a super responsive beamer, and provided that you have control over your room lighting, this is as good as it gets.
Keep in mind that the BenQ TH685 doesn’t do well if you’re not using it in absolute darkness, so be advised. Other than that, this affordable gaming projector comes with 3,500 lumens of brightness and under 10 ms input lag, which makes it great for last-gen gamers. Design-wise, this is a mid-size long-throw DLP projector and can fill a screen-size of up to 100’’ from 8 ft away.
Connectivity is taken care of by 3.5 mm input/output jacks, in/out VGA, RS-232, 1x USB and 2x HDMI with HDCP 2.2. Obviously, the HDMI ports can’t carry 4K, but they do recognize HDR, which comes in handy if you want to connect your projector to an Apple TV or a similar device. Unfortunately for geeks, the BenQ TH685 doesn’t have smart features, i.e. it’s as dumb as it gets, and the only automated thing it can do is to automatically adjust the vertical keystone.
Performance is great though, as full HD gaming looks and feels great, and there’s a built-in game mode which kicks-in automatically when a console is plugged in, and enhances brightness and boosts refresh rate to 120 Hz. If you’re into buttery-smooth gaming, there’s no equivalent for the BenQ TH685.
- Ideal for gaming
- Very bright
- 2x HDMI ports
- 8.3ms at 120Hz
- HDR Enabled/4K Compatibility
- Full HD 3D
- Lacks smart features
- Poor contrast
ViewSonic Short Throw Gaming Projector PX706HD
A Real Full HD Gaming Projector
If gaming is your whole world and you are trying to bring it to an even higher level, ViewSonic Short Throw Gaming Projector PX706HD is an ideal device for you. Although it isn’t among the cheapest, its low 16.4ms input lag and a crystal-clear image make it perfectly suitable for all sorts of gamers.
This projector has very good integrated 5W speakers, offers 1080p native resolution and provides 3D support. Also, it comes with various connection outputs, such as USB Type C port, VGA port, two HDMI, etc. Because of its short throw lens (it can project picture from just a six-feet distance), it is appropriate for small rooms, or offices and altogether presents a very flexible device.
ViewSonic Short Throw Gaming Projector PX706HD has a three-year warranty, offers 1.20:1 zoom, comes equipped with a lamp that should last for at least 4.000 hours and offers brightness of up to 3.000 Lumens. Moreover, its Movie mode provides almost 1.650 Lumens, which is impressive not just for its class of projectors, but also for much more expensive devices.
In other words, if you are looking for the best HD projector for gaming, ViewSonic Short Throw Gaming Projector PX706HD is pretty close to being a perfect device.
- Crisp, clear image
- Good connectivity
- It only projects to screens of up to 120 inches
Epson Home Cinema 1080
Full HD Projector for Gaming on a Budget
As per its name, this projector is designed to be an affordable component of one’s home cinema system. Even if 1080p resolution may sound obsolete in 2020, at least for “high end videophiles”, this relatively modest projector from Epson may very well be an excellent addition to your gaming rig, due to its low price and more than decent performance.
To begin with, the Epson Home Cinema 1080 has a 3400-lumen lamp, which provides excellent picture quality in 1080p, while its “brains” (the hardware inside that is) deliver fast data processing, optimized for gaming, action sports and anything in between. The advanced 3 LCD technology incorporated into its built displays 100 percent of the RGB color signal for every frame, and that translates into excellent color reproduction and brightness.
There are 2 HDMI ports for connecting your projector to your gaming console, cable or satellite box, BluRay or whatever, and the built-in picture skew sensor will automatically correct/adjust the keystone instantly for a square image. Finally, if you’re looking for a well-built 1080p projector for gaming and more, the Epson Home Cinema 1080 is easy to recommend, as it delivers great picture quality and decent brightness in the right circumstances, everything at a very affordable price.
- Good value for money
- Crisp and bright images
- Easy setup
- 2 Year Warranty with unit replacement
- The fan gets pretty loud
The Best Native 4K Projector Under $2k
Our next pick is the LG HU70LA, a 4K UHD Smart Home Theater CineBeam Projector with Alexa Built-in, running on LG’s in-house made webOS Lite, and compatible with all popular streaming apps, the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime, and VUDU.
What’s really cool about the LG HU70LA is that it makes for a native UHD projector with solid image quality and 4K resolution that can be bought for less than $2k, i.e. this baby is quite affordable for what it is, which makes it a solid contender for the best gaming projector in its price range.
And speaking of the price range, you should learn that there are 4K projectors out there that cost 3-5 times as much as this LG, so yeah, this really is a bargain if you’re into gaming. Obviously, LG had to cut some corners to deliver us with this miracle, especially in the sound department, but that doesn’t really matter, since you can hook it up to external loudspeakers and all that. Since it was built for home-use, the LG HU70LA is incredibly compact at 31.5 x 21 x 9.4 cm, and has a minimalist design. Connectivity-wise, you’ll get 2 HDMI ports on the back, 2 classic USB ports, a USB-C, ethernet port, antenna input and optical output.
Setting it up is very easy, due to LG’s WebOS operating system, which supports almost all streaming services; by the way, the projector comes with Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play Movies & TV, and YouTube pre-installed; the Magic Key remote also supports voice commands, but what’s best about this affordable 4K projector is image quality.
Here LG did an awesome job, as the HU70LA delivers near-perfect color accuracy and detail for an UHD projector. The lamp is rated at 1500 lumens, has a life span of 30,000 hours and it’s built around a four-channel LED light source. Bottom line, if you’re looking for a native 4K projector for gaming and more, this is the way to go.
- Low-priced native 4K
- HDR10 support
- 5 color presets for HDR
- Digital TV Tuner
- LG WebOS is awesome
- Long-life lamp
- Decent input-lag
- Poor black levels
Amazing Value for Money
We know, it’s getting like a paid ad at this moment but what do you know: we have another Optoma for you. Here comes the HD146X, a high-performance full HD 1080p projector, but a very affordable one this time. The HD146X is specially designed for gamers and binge videophiles who are still satisfied with “ancient” standards such as 1080p, but kidding aside, this is an excellent projector for the money.
Even if Optoma cut some corners in their quest to bring amazing value to their customers, the HD146X has a super bright bulb (3600 lumens) in a DLP single-chip design, as well as 16 milliseconds response time. Hence, if you’re looking for a no-nonsense projector which offers cinematic picture quality and high-def/crisp images, as well as the latest calibration technology courtesy of Texas Instruments, fast response time in enhanced gaming mode and also a game display mode for boosting dark scenes and shadows for better visibility, this projector has your name on it.
Connectivity-wise, this projector comes with HDMI, USB-A, 3.5mm Audio Out, and, interestingly enough, despite its humble price tag, the HD146X is one good looking projector, being crafted from high quality glossy black plastic. Also, for the money asked, the HD146X is more than impressive in terms of picture quality and contrast ratio, and due to its Wall Color feature, it can be used on non-white surfaces with ease, at it will automatically adjust colors for the best viewing experience.
Bottom line, for the price asked, the HD146X is one hell of a gaming-projector, and if your budget is limited to $500 give or take, just take it for a spin and you won’t regret it.
- Superb color reproduction
- Solid build quality
- Long-life lamp
- Incredible specs for the price
- No HDR support
- Gets pretty loud
An Office-Looking Projector with Amazing Brightness
If you are an occasional gamer that is looking for a 4K capable device at a fair price, ViewSonic PX747-4K might suit you well. In all other scenarios, you should probably look for something else.
This office-looking device offers amazing brightness of 3.500 Lumens and quality build, but on the other hand, comes with a rather mediocre 55ms input lag. Moreover, it delivers an image with poor black levels, which makes it a bad option for full-time gamers.
ViewSonic PX747-4K has an RGBW color wheel (offers very bright whites), can cope with screen sizes of up to 300 inches and is equipped with a lamp that should last for at least 4.000 hours. Also, it offers decent connectivity (two HDMI ports, one VGA output, one USB port, etc.) and more importantly, it provides HDR support. However, its HDR performance isn’t great and is resulting in inferior deep blacks and dynamic range, but still gives acceptable results.
Moreover, be aware that ViewSonic PX747-4K has a Texas Instruments 0.47” DMD XPR (1920×1080) DLP chip inside and therefore, can’t offer a native 4K resolution. However, although 4K picture is artificially produced, it is bright and sharp and can be compared even with the true 4K projectors.
- Nice brightness
- Good for sports viewing
- Sharp image
- Mediocre HDR performance
- Poor 55ms input lag
Outstanding Laser Projector for Gaming
No, this is not a conspiracy, but Optoma is one of the most popular projector-makers in the world, and also one of the most successful, hence we’re at it again: enter the Optoma GT1090HDR, a short-throw laser home theater projector, with 4K HDR input and “lamp free”. Everything’s taken care by a laser beam in this state-of-the-art projector, and the main advantage of laser technology is that you’ll get 4,200 lumens of brightness and 30,000 hours of maintenance-free reliable operation.
Also, short-throw laser technology works equally good day and night, not to mention that you’ll never have to worry about changing lamps and all that. But wait, there more good news: Optoma threw in IPX6 dust resistance rating for the optical engine, which means you can use this projector outdoors, and that’s awesome for (LAN) parties, presentations, what have you.
Now, keep in mind that the GT1090HDR is not a true 4K projector, as it can only produce images in full HD 1080p, but it supports 4K input, which is good enough for the price. Moreover, this laser projector is excellent for gaming, as it’s best suited for use in small rooms (or outside), and it’s capable of delivering crystal clear images even in well-lit environments.
It’s important to mention that the GT1090HDR comes with HDR10 technology for deep blacks and bright whites, plus an impressive 300,000:1 contrast ratio, 120 Hz refresh rate and low input lag. Needless to say, if you’re a gamer and you can afford it, this is the golden path to greatness!
- Laser light source
- IPX 6 certified
- 120 Hz refresh rate
- HDR10 support
- Lights-On Viewing
- Super short throw
- A bit expensive
The Little Projector That Could!
Finally, let’s get back to basics: the YABER Y31. By basics, we mean a no-nonsense dirt-cheap 1080p projector which can be currently bought for less than $300. Even if YABER is not the most popular company out there, the Y31 really shines in terms of image quality and affordability, hence it would make for the sensible option if you’re on a tight budget yet you’re dying for a full HD projector.
Even if the YABER Y31 costs peanut money, it comes with advanced features, like 4D keystone correction and 7000 lumens of brightness, not to mention a contrast ratio of 10000:1 and full HD native resolution. Another cool thing about the YABER Y31 is that it’s capable of delivering a cinematic visual experience with precise shadow details and crisp frames.
Moreover, you can enjoy 4K Ultra HD videos with zero ghosting or lag, while the impressive 7,000 lumens of brightness make it usable in virtually any scenario. This projector is designed to deliver big-size visuals both outdoor and indoors, as it comes with a generous 50-300inch screen size range; on top of that, thanks to its auto vertical keystone feature and minus 25 percent zoom function, plus the effective throw distance of 4.9-21.3ft, you can safely use it in tight spaces.
- 4K support
- 7,000 lumens
- One click operation
- Double-sided cooling system
- Impressive image quality
- 3 Year Warranty!
- Can get noisy
Looking for a gaming projector? This guide hopefully helped you find your right fit – and if not, it gave you pointers and eased your search. Now go out there and get that device, so you can enjoy gaming on a large screen! Have fun!