Projectors aren’t just good for business presentations or movies but are also best for gaming.
Earlier the projectors had very dull visuals and blurred graphics. But they have improved since then and now they can support 4K visuals, HDR10, and operate a much higher refresh rate.
In this guide, we have compiled a list of 9 best gaming projectors based on short-throw projectors, 4K projectors, best budget 4K projectors, best budget projectors, and best 3D projectors. A lot of you might be buying the projector for the first time so I have also created a buying guide that will walk through all the important features you need to look into a projector.
|Projectors||Brightness||Distance (ft)||Resolution||Bulb Life(hrs)||Input Lag(ms)|
|Optoma HD243X||3300 L||8||1080p||12000||16|
|BenQ TK800M||3000 L||12||4K||15000||48|
|BenQ HT2150ST||2200 L||5||1080p||7000||16|
|Sony VPL-HW45ES||1800 L||12||3D||6000||22|
|Optoma GT1080||3000 L||4||1080p||8000||16|
Without a doubt, Optoma HD243X is the best gaming projector available in the market. It was a hot-selling product on the Korean market so much so that HD142s were going for 2-3X market value on eBay.
Input Lag. One of the most important reasons why it is the best gaming projector is the input response time. It has a response time of 16ms which improves your gaming experience.
Brightness. Optoma HD is available in 3 models offering 3000 lumens for the 2017 and 2018 model (slight variation in the price) and 3300 lumens for the 2019 model.
With this much amount of brightness, it can brighten up any space such as a home theater, living room, or your backyard for outdoor movie nights.
Viewing Distance. You need to have around 8 feet of distance between the projector and the room so that it displays a clear and bright projection.
Resolution. It has a 1920×1080 resolution which displays sharp and detailed images without downscaling or compressing it.
It also comes with full 3D 1080p support which means you can display any 3D film or game which will give you real-life gaming experience.
Bulb Life. Optoma 243 has a lamp life of 12000 hrs (500 days if you do gaming 24×7) that will make sure you will have to replace it every few years instead of annually.
Speakers. It does have a 10 W speaker but it is not a stereo speaker. You can plug into an audio-output port that will send the audio signal to a speaker system.
Connectivity. It has a pair of HDMI and USB inputs that supports all the latest and old gaming consoles and other streaming devices. It also comes with an additional 3D sync port and a 3.5mm audio in & out.
Above all, it does not have a refresh rate issue which is most commonly found in other gaming projectors.
Dimension: 12.44 x 9.2 x 4.27 in
Weight: 8.4 lbs
Connectivity: Dual HDMI, MHL
Resolution: 1920×1080 (with 3D support)
Lamp life: 12000 hrs
Contrast Ratio: 24000:1
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Usually, 4K projectors are pricey but if you are determined to buy a 4K projector but don’t have the budget then BenQ TK800M is the best option. Still, it is more compared to other projectors but less in the category of 4K projectors.
Bulb Life. It is rated at 4000 hours lamp life in normal mode, but you can get 8000 hours in ” SmartEco” mode, 15000 hours “ LampSave” mode, which helps to extend the life of the lamp.
Resolution. BenQ offers full 4K UHD resolution with 1920×1080 of native resolution which uses dynamic 0.47-inch DLP chip and an iris which balances out the brightness and contrast while displaying 4K gaming or movie.
Brightness. It offers 3000 lumens of brightness which provides a truly awesome cinematic projector for a dark room.
Connectivity. It has 2 HDMI ports one is HDCP 2.2 for 4K devices and the other is for 1080p devices, it also has a 3.5 mm audio in and out and a 12V trigger.
Input Lag. TK800 has an input lag of 48ms which is not a surprise if you look at other 4K projectors which has a much higher input lag. Though some of the reviews claim that they did not notice any significant lag.
Speakers. It is equipped with 5-watt audio which uses EQ algorithms for pure clarity and sensual sound quality which delivers deep bass which creates a Hollywood like experience.
When you get bored after gaming for long hours you can turn on “Football Picture” mode and watch the match as if you are sitting inside the stadium.
Dimension: 13.9 x 5.31 x 10.71
Weight: 9.2 lbs
Resolution: 4K UHD 3840×2160
Lamp life: Economic 10,000 hours, LampSave 15,000 hours
Contrast Ratio: 10000:1
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BenQ is a relatively unknown company that produces top-quality award-winning products such as televisions and monitors and included that expertise in making the BenQ HT2150. It is an updated version of the HT2050.
Viewing Distance. It is the best budget short-throw projector that requires 5 feet to project a 100-inch picture.
Resolution. BenQ features a 1920×1080 native resolution, equipped with a DLP projector due to which you will experience a long-lasting, slimmer design, sharper and crisper image.
It gives a tough competition to the Optoma GT1080Darbee due to their similar price and performance.
Brightness. It has 2200 lumens and a 15000:1 contrast ratio that provides plenty of light in a dark and moderately bright room and delivers rich color and crisp details for gaming.
Bulb Life. BenQ has a lamp life of 5000 hrs which can be operated on 7000 hrs in economical mode.
Input Lag. It comes with a 16-millisecond input lag when game mode is enabled which is the most important feature a gamer looks in a gaming projector. With the 16ms of input lag, the lag is comparable to the television.
Connectivity. It has 2 x HDMI that will give connectivity to your HD and streaming content. But if you use a regular cord-like DisplayPort then you need to purchase an adaptor which is not a big deal but can be a real issue if you use Apple products.
Speakers. The 20W stereo speakers have the ability to make your home feel like the movie theater. It is particularly useful for those who find it hard to connect audio to get the Hollywood-like sounds.
Dimension: 4.79 x 14.98 x 10.91 in
Weight: 7.93 lbs
Connectivity: 2 x HDMI, 1 x VGA
Lamp life: 5000/7000 hrs
Contrast Ratio: 15000:1
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If you are looking for the best 3D gaming projector then look no further than the Sony VPL-HW45ES. It has an excellent picture quality with very deep blacks and it is best for viewing in dark and low ambient light.
Bulb Life. It has a lamp life of 6000 hrs (in low lamp mode) means simple maintenance, with fewer lamp swaps and reduced running costs. There are replacements available at $300.
Input Lag. Sony VPL has an input lag of 22 ms including input lag reduction on, which is the default for the game mode. 22 ms of input lag offers the gamers a huge advantage while playing a 3D game.
Brightness. It has an ANSI measured 1800 lumens. The game mode offers the highest lumens at 1800 lumens which is useful for other purposes such as data and graphics presentations.
Connectivity. It has 2 inputs, both HDMI and HDCP compliant. It also has a USB port, IR input and an RS-232 connector which you can use to connect wired remote control externally.
Speakers. If you are looking for a built-in audio speaker then Sony VPL doesn’t have one. For that, you will have to externally connect speakers via HDMI or a USB port.
Due to the 60000:1 contrast ratio, it yields deep dark blacks in dark lighting and also when the lights are on. It also has an excellent color balance mode in all the preset modes such as Game, Cinema Film 1,2, Photo, etc.
Viewing Distance. If you are looking for a projector that can throw a 200″ diagonal then SONY VPL can do the job between 19’9″ to 31’4″ and a 120″ 16:9 image from a range of just under 12 feet. You should use this projector between 100″ and 140″ diagonal for the best picture viewing experience.
Dimension: 23 x 20 x 11.5 in
Weight: 20 lbs
Connectivity: 2 x HDMI, 1x RS-232 Serial Port
Resolution: 1080p 3D
Lamp life: 6000 hrs
Contrast Ratio: 60000:1
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If you are looking for a short distance gaming projector that will replace the need for big-screen gaming then Optoma GT 1080p does exactly that.
Viewing Distance. Even if you have only 4 feet of space Optoma GT can produce a 100-inch (diagonal) picture on a screen or wall from just over a meter away.
Brightness. It has a 3000 lumen light bulb which is sufficient enough to display images but you should still dim your lights and close the curtains to make the room as dark as possible. With 28000:1 of contrast ratio, it will provide you with a gaming experience that has deep blacks and depth.
Bulb Life. It has a lamp life of 5000 hrs in normal mode and 8000 hrs in an economy mode which is less compared to other gaming projectors.
Input Lag. Optoma GT1080 has a lag time of about 16 milliseconds (ms), which is better than other short-throw projectors available in the market.
Connectivity. It comes with 2 HDMI ports which are compatible with gaming consoles, Blu-ray players, and television. It also supports 3D gaming, Blu-ray players or cable boxes for watching movies although it doesn’t come with 3D glasses.
Speakers. It comes with 10W built-in speakers that can match the set of 2.1 or 5.1 speakers although they are more than enough for normal usage if you already have headphones for gaming.
Resolution. It will provide you with a 1080p resolution that gives you sharp and detailed images from Full HD content without downscaling or compression.
Dimension: 12.4 x 8.8 x 4.4 in
Weight: 5.59 lbs
Connectivity: Dual HDMI with audio I/O
Lamp life: 8000 hrs
Contrast Ratio: 28,000:1
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Though 4K projectors are getting better and better unfortunately nearly all the latest 4K projectors make a big hole in your pocket. To tackle the price problem BenQ created BenQ HT2550 (also called BenQ W1700 in the UK, Australia, and UAE) which is much affordable than other 4K projectors available in the market.
Bulb Life. It has a 4K UHD display which delivers a high image quality with stunning clarity and crisp details. It has a massive 15000 hrs lamp life which can run for 625 days only if you do gaming 24×7.
Viewing Distance. If you put the projector on a 1.2x zoom it will require 13 to 15 feet of distance between the projector and the screen to display a 100-inch (diagonal) picture on a screen or wall.
Connectivity. BenQ HT2550 has 2 HDMI ports out of which one is 2.0 compliant that should be used only with a 4K HDR and one standard HDMI port for other purposes. It also has a USB port, a 12-volt trigger, and a 3.5mm audio input and output.
Brightness. The HT2550 projects at up to 2,200 lumens something that is not the highest brightness projector out there, but since you would be using indoors it would work fine.
Input Lag. It has an input lag of 50 ms which is fine for most casual gaming since there aren’t a lot of famous 4K games, while it is best for streaming videos or movies.
Speakers. It has a single 5W speaker mounted on the left side which is loud enough and offers deeper bass which will give you the best video experience.
Fan noise is something which is most common in the projectors but BenQ HT doesn’t produce any excessive noise even if used at its max settings.
Dimension: 13.9 x 10.71 x 5.31 in
Weight: 9.26 lbs
Connectivity: Dual HDMI with audio I/O
Resolution: 4K UHD 2160p
Lamp life: 15000 hrs
Contrast Ratio: 10,000:1
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If you are tight on budget and cannot afford to spend hundreds of dollars on a gaming projector then EUG HD Video Projector is the best option for you. It surely won’t have the features that a $1000 projector would have but it is the best budget gaming projector for beginners.
Resolution. It has a 1200 x 800 native resolution that is below full HD (1920 x 1080). If you are using this projector at its maximum capacity you can easily detect individual pixels.
It rates it’s contrast ratio as 5000:1 on some ecommerce stores while 4500:1 in other places, which is a bit contradictory.
Bulb Life. EUG has 50000 hrs of lamp life which converts to over 2000 days of lamp life considering you do gaming 24×7. This much of lamp life is enough for you to forget about changing the light source.
Brightness. It has a luminosity of 3900 lumens which is not calculated by ANSI standards just in case you might want to know. 3900 lumens is still very bright in dark rooms but according to some customers, it doesn’t perform well in moderate or brightly lit rooms.
Speakers. It has a built-in dual 5W stereo speakers that support RCA audio out. It offers a crisp and clear sound that is best for movies, gaming or sports. You can also connect an external speaker via Bluetooth or plug in the wire in one of the ports in the rear of the device to accomplish it.
Connectivity. For connectivity, it has 2 HDMI inputs, two USB inputs, 1 VGA input, and a Composite and Component video port. You also have the benefit of smartphone mirroring which you can accomplish using wired or wirelessly. It supports mostly all the video and audio formats such as AVI, MP4, MP3, etc.
Viewing Distance. It is not a short-throw projector because it requires 22 ft of the distance between the projector and the screen. It has a diagonal screen size of 200 inches which is pretty large.
Dimension: 13.4 x 10.4 x 4.9 in
Weight: 8.15 lbs
Connectivity: 2x HDMI, 2x USB, 1x VGA
Resolution: 1280×800 1080P
Lamp life: 50000 hrs
Contrast Ratio: 6500:1
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The Epson Home Cinema 2040 1080p is one of the less expensive 1080p projectors which is available under $1000. It is the successor of Epson Home Cinema 2030 which provides Frame Interpolation, 2D to 3D conversion, low input lag, and advanced noise reduction.
Bulb Life. Epson Home Cinema 2040 offers a 4000 hrs of lamp life in full power mode and 7500 hrs in eco mode. You can also replace the lamp for less than $90. Epson lamp replacement.
Input Lag. It has an input lag of 25ms which is roughly 1.5 frames. It is one of the fastest projectors with low input lag available for gaming. Since advanced home theater projectors have to do more image processing which adds to input lag but Home Cinema 2040 is a relatively simple projector and hence it cut downs the input lag.
Connectivity. For I/O connectivity it has 2 HDMI ports, a composite video port, and a VGA port. It also has a USB Type-A port which can be used to insert the USB stick directly inside the projector. It is also enabled with MHL ( Mobile High-Definition Link) which supports Chromecast, Roku Streaming Stick and more.
Speakers. It has a 5W of the onboard speaker which is better than a 2W speaker which delivers sound quality the same as that of a typical HD TV.
It has a contrast ratio of 35,000:1 which is best in comparing how “black” black looks. Due to the higher contrast ratio, it increases the perceived brightness and sharpness, because there is more “contrast” between darks and lights.
Resolution. Epson Home Projector delivers a full HD 1080p resolution and full HD 3D resolution which is best for gaming.
Brightness. It has a brightness of 2,200 lumens which is plenty bright for cinema use in a dark room/environment. You can also use it in the daytime if you are able to darken the room with drapes/curtains.
Viewing Distance. At 10 feet it is able to project a 90″ wide image and for a 100″ inch image you need a distance of 12 feet to achieve it.
Dimension: 14.6 x 14.3 x 7.2 in
Weight: 6.4 lbs
Resolution: 1920×1080 (Full HD 1080p)
Lamp life: 7500 hrs
Contrast Ratio: 35000:1
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Optoma UHD60 is one of the 4K projectors that’s actually affordable. and unique among other 4K projectors because of it’s contrast ratio which stands at 1,000,000:1 and lowest audible noise rating at 28dB.
Input Lag. It has an input lag of 63 ms with Dynamic Black on and 56 ms with Dynamic Black off which is a bit high but if you check the input lag of other 4K projectors then you will find that the input lag is in the same range.
Brightness. Optoma UHD60 is rated at 3000 lumens which is bright enough not only in a dark room but also in a dim-lit room.
Speakers. It has two 4W speakers which are quite loud and has a good bass which you can also use outdoor. So if you are not someone who requires dedicated speakers for gaming then the UHD60’s onboard speakers are more than enough for your needs.
Bulb Life. You will get up to 15000 hrs of lamp life in Dynamic black mode which is equivalent to 4 hours of viewing time every day for 10+ years. In full power mode, you will get 4000 hrs of viewing time and 10000 hrs in eco mode.
Connectivity. It has 2 HDMI cables and one of them is fully 4K compatible. It is also enabled with MHL ( Mobile High-Definition Link) which supports Chromecast, Roku Streaming Stick and more. It also has a VGA-In, Audio-In (3.5mm), Audio-Out, SDPIF Out (Optical), USB 2.0 Port (Service), and USB-A Power.
Viewing Distance. With a 1.6x zoom lens, it can accommodate a throw distance of 12 to 19 feet to hit a 120″ diagonal screen. You can sit at a minimum distance of 10 feet away to see 4K pixels for a truly immersive experience.
It does not have a keystone correction which means when you press the “keystone” button on the remote it gives you a message that says “not supported”. You are expected to lineup the projector manually to get a truly rectangular image.
Dimension: 13 x 19.6 x 5.6 in
Weight: 16 lbs
Connectivity: 2x HDMI, USB, VGA
Lamp life: 15000 hrs
Contrast Ratio: 1,000,000:1
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Buying Guide What to Look for in a Projector for Gaming?
How to pick the best gaming projector that will cater to my needs? It is actually a pretty deep question. There are a lot of things you need to consider before buying a gaming projector such as color accuracy, input lag, refresh rate, resolution, etc.
So to make your life a bit easier here are 10 things we consider are important that you need to consider before buying a microphone.
1.) Bulb Life
Imagine you call your friends to your home for a FIFA match and you all are excited and when you turn on your projector you find out that the projector bulb has burnt out. It would really be a sh*tty feeling.
So to protect yourself from the embarrassment you should buy a projector that has at least around 6000 hours of usage or 250 days of usage. It will make sure that you are not constantly changing the bulb every few months.
2.) Input Lag
Input lag means the difference between the response time of input and output. A high input lag means your games are a few seconds behind. Hence it is important to have a projector that has as little as possible input lag so that the gaming feels smooth and responsive.
It is measured in milliseconds. A very few projectors offer an input lag of 10-20 milliseconds while a regular gaming projector will have an input lag of 30-40 milliseconds.
3.) Refresh rate
The refresh rate is defined as frames per second displayed by the projector. It is measured in Hertz (Hz). The more the refresh rate the better the projector is. For below 30Hz refresh rate you will see stuttering and tear of the pixels. It is better to have a projector that has a refresh rate of above 60Hz such as a 144Hz.
4.) Wireless vs Wired
Usually, projectors are mounted from the ceiling or adjusted on some household items. Hence it is very important to decide whether you will be purchasing a wireless or wired projector. A Bluetooth enabled wireless projector can smoothly transmit the audio.
There are plenty of ceiling mounts available such as VIVO Universal Mount, which are available for under $20. Purchase it only if you are thinking of buying a wireless projector.
All the latest consoles such as PS4 Pro, Xbox One X, or Playstation 4 are 1080p or 4K enabled while the older consoles such as Xbox One, PS3, etc. work on 720p and lower resolutions. Hence using a wrong resolution projector would stretch the pixels.
Hence it is better to use a 1080p resolution game on a 4K projector than a 4K game on a 720p projector. To keep yourself futureproof it is better to go with a 4K projector which is excellent for gaming. Below is a list of devices with their resolutions.
- Xbox – 480i
- Playstation 3 – 720p
- Xbox 360 – 720p
- Wii – 480p
- Xbox One – 1080p
- Xbox One X – 4K
- Playstation 4 – 1080p
- PS4 Pro – 4K
- Wii U – 854 x 480
- Nintendo Switch – 720p
- PC – Depends on GPU and hardware (can be made 4K).
6.) Onboard Audio
Having speakers on the projector that are loud enough can be an awesome thing to have. Most of the projectors have very low-quality speakers. Having onboard audio will help you save some bucks instead of purchasing external speakers.
One of the most important factors you need to look before buying a projector is the luminosity. Luminosity is measured in Lumens. Projectors cannot be used outside the home hence you need to use it indoors which requires curtains, dimming switches, etc. The best projectors have 3000 lumens but if you are gaming in a room that has a lot of ambient light calls then a projector with 2,500 lumens is sufficient, or else if you have shades or blackout curtains 1,500 to 2,000 lumens will do good.
8.) Viewing distance
Projectors work in a specified range if too close then it will look blurry and if too far then it will look stretch the pixels. So projectors that can fill an 8-foot screen with as little as 3.5 feet away are called short throw projector.
Make sure you check the setup space required by different projectors some work well even when they are close to the wall while some require 8ft of distance just to accommodate the screen.
If you are a gamer and want to use your projector exclusively for gaming purposes then there is one input port you need to look for and that is HDMI port. You can not only connect the console but also your PC to the HDMI port. There are also other ports such as DVI, VGA or DisplayPort. HDMI port can carry audio signals while other ports such as DVI cannot.
Saving money is natural so if you are thinking of buying a cheap projector then make sure you have a habit of playing on lag. A cheap projector will use a cheap bulb, have very low luminosity, overheat and give you a lot of different troubles. Hence it is better to spend a bit and buy a good gaming projector.
So I hope you liked this guide on the best gaming projectors and you might have made the decision of which projector you are going to buy. If you have any doubts you can comment down below.
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