Best Projector for Gaming

Updated: Jan 23, 2024 1:09 AM
best projector gaming featured image that shows the top three best projector models

To help you find the best projectors for gaming, we looked at over 30 different projectors across a wide range of categories, including home theater and portable options. As we performed our research, we focused mainly on how fast each projector responded to what you were doing on your gaming controller, also known as input lag. We also rated each option based on its picture quality, brightness, and portability so you could find a good all-in-one product. Keep reading about this and our other top picks to learn more about the best projectors on the market today. 

Our research led us to pick the Optoma UHD50X as the best projector for gaming. This powerful projector features a lightning-fast response time of just 16ms and ultra-detailed 4K resolution. Plus, you get deep contrast and beautiful colors in both games and movies. 

Top 10 Projectors for Gaming

 #1  Optoma UHD50X Projector for Gaming


WHY WE LIKE IT: This projector for gaming is the best of the lot due to its 4K resolution, bright 3400 lumens lamp, and blazing fast response time at 16ms. It also creates a beautiful picture with deep contrast and accurate colors, which is sure to impress even the most hardcore gamer.

  • Bright lamp with rich contrast
  • Blazing fast 16ms input lag
  • 240Hz refresh rate
  • Internal speakers aren’t great
  • Remote control is somewhat flimsy

The Optoma UHD50X is the best 4K gaming projector available on the market today for a wide variety of reasons. For starters, the ultra HD resolution really takes your gaming experience to the next level, especially on gaming PCs and the PS4 Pro. On top of that, the UHD50X features both HDR10 and HLG support for more vivid colors and deeper black levels. You also get a 500,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio for better differentiation between lights and darks. More importantly, though, the Optoma 4K projector features a blazing fast 16ms response time for 1080p and 26ms for 4K, making it one of the fastest 4K gaming projectors around.

The Optoma also features a bright, 3,400 lumens of lamp brightness, which is perfect for use in dark rooms and good for use in moderately bright rooms. Getting the projector installed is super easy, as well. You can mount it on the ceiling or place it on a table, and with 40-degree keystone correction, 5-15% vertical tilt, and 1.3X optical zoom, you’ll be able to get the perfect picture for your specific gaming room. This gaming projector does feature internal speakers, but they aren’t the best, so we recommend using external speakers or headphones for the best audio experience. Consider the best outdoor projector that’s good enough to use on its own so you won’t need to connect an external audio solution to enjoy your outdoor viewing party.

 #2  Optoma HD39HDR Projector for Gaming


WHY WE LIKE IT: With a six-segment color wheel, solid 1080p resolution, and 4000 lumens of brightness, this gaming projector is a good all-around option that will work for most gaming applications. Plus, it’s on the quieter end of projectors, meaning your game audio won’t be overcome by fan noise.

  • Six-segment color wheel for accuracy
  • Incredibly fast 8.4ms response time
  • 240Hz refresh rate
  • Lacking HDR performance
  • Black levels aren’t the darkest

The Optoma HD39HDR is a full HD gaming projector that also supports 4K inputs. The HD39HDR supports up to a 120Hz refresh rate with a blazing fast 8.4ms of input lag on Game mode. This is one of the most responsive gaming projectors your money can buy, so the lack of 4K native resolution shouldn’t be too big of a problem. When it comes to picture quality, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better projector. The Optoma’s six-segment color wheel and 4,000 lumens of brightness work together to create a super bright, colorful display. The HD39HDR does support HDR10 content, but it’s not as great as what you’d find on a native UHD projector.

The Optoma also features extensive connectivity options with dual HDMI ports (2.0 and 1.4a), USB, VGA, and audio in/out. You can connect sound systems, streaming devices, and gaming consoles like the Nintendo Switch with ease. You can even hook up your gaming PC if you so desire. Overall build quality is commendable here, too. With vertical keystone correction and 1.3x optical zoom, you’ll be able to place the projector precisely and make any necessary adjustments without too much effort. The projector’s lamp can last upwards of 15,000 hours and the onboard cooling fan operates quietly at just 26 decibels. And just in case you own an iPhone, you’ll definitely love the best iPhone projector that also includes a sturdy tripod you can use to set the projector up virtually anywhere with ease.

 #3  Optoma GT1080HDR Projector for Gaming


WHY WE LIKE IT: If you’re worried about unresponsive gaming due to high input lag, then your fears can be put to rest with this gaming projector. On top of its 8.4ms response time, this projector features a 120Hz refresh rate plus tons of adjustability to get a picture-perfect gaming experience.

  • 40-degree keystone correction
  • Extra-bright 3800 lumens lamp
  • Versatile short-throw configuration
  • Some blurriness on corners
  • Built-in audio quality isn’t the best

The Optoma GT1080HDR projector for gaming is the fastest option when it comes to response time. Clocking in at a blazing fast 8.4ms of input lag, this projector is quick enough for even the most competitive gamers. Combine that with its 120Hz refresh rate, and you have a responsive and smooth picture on even games like Call of Duty, League of Legends, and Overwatch. The Optoma also features amazing picture quality at 1080p resolution. And with a six-segment, RYGCWB color wheel, you’ll get solid color accuracy with both sRGB and Rec. 709 color profiles.

You’ll also get a super-bright experience with the GT1080HDR. It provides a grand total of 3800 lumens of lamp brightness for quality performance in both bright and dark rooms. Plus, with 15,000 hours of overall lamp life, you get long-lasting performance before needing to get a replacement bulb. When it comes to installation, the Optoma GT1080HDR allows for 40 degrees of vertical keystone correction plus a 1.3x optical zoom so you can get the best picture possible, from nearly any angle. This is also a short-throw gaming projector, so you don’t need a ton of space to get up and running. Compare this to the best short throw projector that offers a sheer number of cutting-edge functions and features.

 #4  BenQ HT2050A Projector for Gaming


WHY WE LIKE IT: This gaming projector can create image sizes up to 300 inches, which encourages a more immersive gaming experience, especially when you consider the excellent onboard audio. It also gives you low input lag at 16ms for excellent response times during intense games.

  • Fast, 16ms response time
  • Image sizes up to 300 inches
  • High-quality built-in speakers
  • Disappointing bright room performance
  • Expensive lamp replacements

The BenQ HT2050A is an affordable, yet high-quality gaming projector that works well for most gamers and video games. For starters, the BenQ can play games with a mere 16ms of input lag, meaning it performs well with even the fastest-moving games. But where the BenQ really shines is in its image size. Depending on where you place the device, you’ll be able to get image sizes up to 300 inches, which is really amazing if you’re looking for full immersion. This immersion is only amplified by the BenQ’s proprietary CinemaMaster Audio+ 2 speakers, which are built directly into the projector. These powerful 10-watt speakers create clear dialogue and deep bass for an overall stellar audio experience.

When it comes to installation, you’ll find the BenQ is simple and user-friendly. The projector can be installed as a ceiling-mounted projector or on a flat surface behind your chairs. It features a 2D keystone correction functionality so you can get a square picture. Plus, with a vertical lens shift, you’ll be able to position it perfectly in your display area. You can also use the 1.3x optical zoom to get a good picture no matter where the projector is placed. The BenQ HT2050A features a native 1080p resolution with unique CinematicColor technology to get a colorful and bright picture. This is one of the best projectors for gaming on the market today. However, take a look at the best projector for bright rooms if that is what you want most.

 #5  Epson Home Cinema 2150 Projector for Gaming


WHY WE LIKE IT: With 1080p native resolution, a 60,000:1 contrast ratio, and excellent colors out of the box, this projector is an excellent choice for casual gamers. It also features tons of adjustability and Frame Interpolation for a smoother picture while playing video games. Plus, you’ll get Miracast to screencast content from your mobile devices for the ultimate connectivity.

  • Miracast functionality for screen mirroring
  • Excellent Frame Interpolation
  • Vertical lens shift for precise picture placement
  • Remote control is not backlit
  • Black levels could be better

The Epson Home Cinema 2150 is a full HD projector for gaming that features native 1080p resolution and excellent overall performance. This performance is due to the projector’s 3LCD lightning technology and 60,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio. It produces accurate colors and fairly rich darks. While black levels could be better, it’s hard to tell while you’re watching. All of these features help when it comes to gaming performance, but we were most impressed with this Epson projector’s Frame Interpolation functionality, which creates an extra-smooth picture during high-action moments. This Epson projector also provides a relatively quick 29ms of input lag. This is best for casual gamers, but competitive gamers may notice some lag.

The Epson Home Cinema 2150 is also easy to use and easy to install. Its slim, lightweight design is easy to place pretty much anywhere in your gaming room. Plus, this projector features image sizes up to 300 inches and tons of adjustability. With 30-degree keystone correction and up to 60% vertical lens shift, you’ll be able to position your picture in the most precise manner. We were also impressed with the Epson projector’s overall connectivity options. It carries the standard HDMI, VGA, and audio ports, but also features a unique Miracast feature, which allows you to screencast media from your smartphone and laptop. And for something a bit more budget-friendly, consider the best cheap projector.

 #6  BenQ HT2150ST Projector for Gaming


WHY WE LIKE IT: If you’re looking for the best when it comes to 1080p content, look no further than this short-throw gaming projector. With 2,200 lumens, a six-segment color wheel, and ultra-low input lag, you’ll be able to experience games as they were meant to be seen.

  • Low 16ms input lag
  • Six-segment RGBRGB color wheel for accurate colors
  • Short throw configuration for flexible installation
  • Disappointing brightness uniformity
  • Only for use in dark rooms

The BenQ HT2150ST gaming projector provides the best when it comes to full HD gaming. This projector defaults to the Game mode, which produces a crisp picture with accurate colors and good black levels. With a six-segment RGBRGB color wheel and 15,000:1 contrast ratio, you’ll get a great picture in most situations. However, with only 2,200 lumens of brightness, this projector is really only good for use in darker lighting scenarios. Plus, you’ll get an impressively low 16ms of input lag for an ultra-responsive gaming experience.

We were impressed with the short-throw configuration of the HT2150ST, which gives you more overall flexibility during installation and general use. This means you won’t need a ton of space to get the BenQ up and running. Combine this with 1.2x optical zoom and vertical keystone correction, and you’ve got a super flexible gaming projector. The BenQ also sports an attractive design, with red accent lines that really make it look good. What looks better is the best projector screen that has the vinyl screen material which makes your colors shine in ways you never thought possible.

 #7  Epson Home Cinema 2040 Projector for Gaming


WHY WE LIKE IT: With unique 3LCD bulb technology, a deep 35,000:1 contrast ratio, and a bright lamp, this gaming projector produces some of the best and most accurate colors available today. It also supports MHL devices and an image size up to 300 inches.

  • Unique bulb eliminates rainbow effects
  • MHL support for more connectivity
  • Up to 300 inches of display
  • No lens shift
  • Shorter bulb life than other projectors

The Epson Home Cinema 2040 gaming projector offers an innovative approach to display quality with its 3LCD lighting technology. This unique bulb setup completely eliminates the rainbow effect you often see in home theater projectors. This means your high-action gameplay will stay clear and crisp when you need it the most. Plus, it offers a 35,000:1 contrast ratio for deeper blacks and better differentiation between light colors and dark colors. Combine all of this with a bright, 2,200 lumens lamp, and you get a picture that displays the best colors out of the lot. Whether you’re playing games or watching a movie, the Epson Home Cinema 2040 will astound you with vivid colors and a crisp overall picture.

This home gaming Epson projector also affords you a certain level of adjustability with automatic vertical keystone correction, optical zoom, and focus controls. When it comes to connectivity, you get two HDMI ports, a USB port, a VGA port, and audio in/out ports. More importantly, one of those HDMI ports is MHL compatible, meaning you can connect streaming devices like Chromecast, Roku, and Fire TV to your Epson projector. All in all, this Epson projector is perfect for casual gamers and movie lovers alike.

 #8  Sony VPL-VW695ES Projector for Gaming


WHY WE LIKE IT: This projector is the cream of the crop with ultra-sharp 4K resolution, incredible black levels, and IMAX certification for a near-theater experience. Plus, this option includes a surprisingly low input lag that will satisfy most casual gamers.

  • Reality Creation tech increases detail
  • Supports IMAX content
  • Dynamic Iris creates incredibly deep blacks
  • No smart functionality
  • Low lumens rating

The Sony VPL-VW695ES projector is a god among projectors, offering cutting-edge features and functionality…if you’re willing to pay for it. This projector is on the higher end of the budget scale, but you do get a ton of extras as compared to other, more affordable projectors. For starters, the Sony offers ultra-sharp image quality with a native 4096 x 2160 pixel resolution. While still technically 4K, this resolution is much higher than the usual 3840×2160 you see in 4K projectors and TVs, making it one of the best 4K projectors around. This results in a super-detailed picture quality that’s incredibly hard to beat. Plus, Sony has built this projector with its proprietary Reality Creation technology, which only serves to increase the sharpness and detail you can see.

The VPL-VW695ES also offers a dynamic iris that creates super deep blacks and HDR10 support for bright, vivid colors. You can even play IMAX content on this projector and view it as it appears, and sounds, in the theaters. When it comes to gaming, we were impressed to find a sub-30ms of input lag on 4K UHD gaming content. While not the best for the most competitive gamers, this is more than enough for most applications, especially on 4K resolution. We do wish Sony included some smart or streaming functionality, but more likely than not you’ll have this connected to a home theater AV receiver, which you can use to connect to streaming services via your Blu-ray player or video game console. And for a more immersive experience in terms of gaming, this is one of the best projectors on the market today. It would also make one of the best projectors for sports.

 #9  Optoma HD142X Projector for Gaming


WHY WE LIKE IT: With an impressive 3,000 lumens of brightness, this is one of the brightest gaming projectors your money can buy today, which makes it perfect for use during the day. This option also produces a high-quality picture with good contrast and bright colors.

  • Excellent black levels in dark scenes
  • Operates quietly at 24 decibels
  • Supports 3D content
  • Low, 8,000-hour lamp life
  • No lens shift

The Optoma HD142X is an older model of gaming projector, but one that remains relevant by today’s standards. It offers 1080p, full HD resolution, and REC.709 color space to produce extra-bright colors. These features combined with the projector’s impressive 3,000 lumens of brightness make this one of the best gaming projectors to use in well-lit places like your living room. Plus, with a 23,000:1 contrast ratio, you’ll get an impressive level of detail and definition in darker scenes.

When it comes to gaming, the HD142X offers a pretty solid input lag rating of 32ms. While this isn’t the best for hardcore gamers, it’s more than enough for casual games on consoles and gaming PCs. You’ll also get 3D support with the HD142X, which works for both movies and video games. Finally, the projector offers MHL connectivity through one of its HDMI ports so you can connect streaming devices when you want to watch Netflix or Hulu. One of our favorite finds on this projector, though, comes in the form of its cooling system. Even on the brightest setting, the Optoma HD142X is not loud when the fan starts spinning. And if you’re looking for a good model for use at your workplace, consider the best business projector that can be used during your meetings without worrying about being drowned out by fan noise, even in the brightest settings.

 #10  Anker Nebula II Mini Projector for Gaming


WHY WE LIKE IT: This option is the best budget projector for gaming, so if you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg, look no further. This mini projector is also super portable and offers 360-degree sound, a rechargeable battery, and image sizes up to 100 inches.

  • Compact design for easy transport
  • High-quality onboard speakers
  • 35ms input lag
  • 720p resolution
  • Not as bright as other projectors

The Anker Nebula II is the best budget projector for gaming we researched. Yes, it makes some sacrifices to increase its affordability, but it’s a stellar projector in any case. For starters, you’ll get a native 720p resolution, which is still HD. This makes sense for such a small projector, and you’ll hardly notice the difference from full HD resolution on larger image sizes. You’ll also take a little bit of a hit when it comes to brightness, but the Nebula II still provides stellar dark-room performance.

This cheap gaming projector produces a high-quality, colorful image that does well for gaming on the go. Plus, with a surprisingly quick 35ms input lag, you won’t run into any stuttering or hiccups while you play. Ultimately, the best thing about the Anker Nebula II is its portability. It’s about the same size as a soda can and can easily fit into your backup or even your pocket. Plus, this portable projector has a rechargeable battery that lasts several hours. You also get Android TV built directly into the device, with over 5,000 apps at your fingertips, including Twitch, YouTube, and Hulu. All of these things make the Nebula II the best portable projector for gaming your money can buy. Compare this to another portable model which is the best mini projector on the market today.

How We Decided

Since gaming projectors and home theater projectors are mostly synonymous, we had to be extra picky during our research and ranking phase of writing this guide. However, as we sifted through the multitudinous options, we found that two features were the most important to consider: input lag and refresh rate. As such, we only included projectors above if they offered input lag ratings under 40ms, ranking options higher if they offered input lag lower than that baseline point. We also preferred projectors with at least 120Hz refresh rates because they created the smoothest pictures. Bonus points went out to products with 240Hz refresh rates, but those are few and far between because it’s mostly 4K projectors that offer that high of a rating. A 60Hz refresh rate is common in standard projectors, but you should aim for projectors with 120Hz so you get that smoother motion.

Speaking of resolution, that was also a major factor in our decision-making process. We mostly included options with 1080p resolution, but still found a couple of excellent 4K options. Ultra HD resolution projectors are still very expensive, so their 1080p counterparts often tend to be a much better buy for the average gamer. Along with resolution, we researched each projector’s overall picture quality, including contrast ratios and color accuracy. We preferred options with higher contrast ratios and color-boosting functionalities because they created a truly immersive gaming experience.

Finally, we considered brightness and adjustability. In general, it’s better to purchase a projector with a higher lamp brightness, and we ranked our picks accordingly. However, this doesn’t mean projectors with lower lamp brightness should be excluded. It just means they should be used in darker rooms. The projector you buy should also include some kind of adjustability options so you can create the most precise picture for your individual gaming space. We awarded points if the projectors included options like keystone correction, vertical tilt, and optical zoom adjustability.

Best Projectors for Gaming Buyer’s Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Input Lag
    Input lag is the measurement of the time your projector takes to display what you’re doing on your controller or remote control, measured in milliseconds. This is quintessential for gaming because it directly affects your gameplay. As such, you’ll want to be sure you purchase a projector with minimal input lag. In general, we recommend purchasing projectors for gaming with less than 40ms of lag. Anything under 25ms is best for competitive gaming.
  2. Resolution
    As you know, a major part of gaming is getting to enjoy the beautiful graphics in your games. This is why getting a projector with at least full HD, or 1080p, is important. Many projectors (like the best RCA projectors) for gaming are also starting to offer ultra HD, or 4K, resolution. 4K projectors for gaming offer a better picture quality over 1080p options, but they also tend to be slower in response time, although not by enough to significantly impede your gameplay.
  3. Refresh Rate
    High-octane games like FPS and racing games feature a lot of action and a lot of movement. As such, you’ll want to consider the refresh rate of the projector you’re purchasing. This is the measurement of how fast your projector refreshes the frame, thus creating a smoother picture during fast-moving action scenes. The best sweet spot between value and performance is 120Hz, but you can get by with a 60Hz refresh rate. 4K projectors for gaming go as high as 240Hz, which is even better, but much more expensive.
  4. Image Size
    One of the best things about gaming projectors is that you can create variable image sizes simply by bringing the device closer or farther away from the screen. Take a look at the space where you spend the most time gaming and consider how big of a display you can realistically create. Then, purchase a projector that fits that size. Remember, there are both long throw and short throw projectors, which require different lengths between them and the screen. Long-throw projectors often need multiple feet, whereas short-throw projectors often only require a foot or two. The best UST projector for gaming only needs mere inches to operate. UST stands for ultra-short-throw.
  5. Brightness
    A gaming projector’s brightness is measured in ANSI lumens.  
    • The level of brightness you’ll need depends on your gaming space. If it’s dark most of the time, you can usually get by on pretty much any level of brightness.
    • However, if you want a clearer picture with more accurate colors, it’s usually still a good idea to get an option with higher brightness.
    • If you game with any kind of daylight or ambient lighting in your room, you’ll definitely want a projector with at least 2,000 lumens of lamp brightness. This way, you’ll still be able to see what’s going on without having to close all the blinds.

Best Projector for Gaming Questions (FAQ)

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