The best gaming projector goes a step further than your regular screens, because it lets you adjust the size of the image depending on its distance from the wall. Not all projectors are built equally, however, and you’ll need to keep an eye out for specific features that make it good for gaming.
Much like the differences between standard displays and the best gaming monitor or best gaming TV, it’s all about the underlying specs. Resolution determines just how sharp the picture is, with 720p being the value option and 4K being the coveted premium. Refresh rate translates to how smooth your gameplay is, with most running 60Hz but the higher-end offerings boasting up to 240Hz. And response time is how quickly each pixel can change colour when something on the screen changes.
Something that’s unique to projectors is lumens, which is how bright it can get. The more lumens the projector has, the brighter it will be. If you're planning to use the projector in a dark room with little or no ambient light, 1000 lumens should suffice. However, you'll need around 1500 to 2000 lumens for any setup bathed in low to medium ambient lighting. If you’re playing outside in the daylight, you’ll need something even brighter.
We’ve chosen the cream of the crop for pretty much any setup, factoring in all of this as well as preset game modes, built-in speakers, and more. Don’t worry about getting bogged down with the technicalities, as we’ll guide you through everything you need to know down below.
Best gaming projector
Best gaming projector
Other Features: Short Throw, Compatible with Major Consoles
The BenQ TK700STi is the Swiss Army Knife of gaming projectors, suited to pretty much any situation you chuck at it. You can crank things up to a zippy 240Hz refresh rate and 4ms response time at 1080p resolution, wind things down to 120Hz and 8ms if you want to save some power, or opt for 60Hz and 16ms at 4K when it's time for TV and movies.
It's a short throw projector, meaning it works in smaller rooms and can put up a 100-inch picture from 6.5 feet away. It's a looker, too, so it shouldn't stand out like a sore thumb in your living room, dining room, or bedroom. It's also pretty bright at 3,000 lumens, giving you a great picture in the middle of the day
To deliver well-proportioned visuals consistently, the device has 2D Auto Vertical Keystone and Picture Rotation Adjustment. With these two features, you should find images are well-aligned with well-fitted corners.
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To make gaming easier, the projector comes with 3 preset game modes - FPS, RPG, and SPG. Combined with Game Sound Mode, you should find your gameplay is smooth and optimised to whatever it is you're playing.
Finally, BenQ boasts that its projector is compatible with PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X, and even Nintendo Switch. With HDMI 2.0 and USB ports, you can connect even more devices as well.
You'll need to watch out for the 15,000 hour lamp life, tinny built-in speakers, and compromise that it's not true native 4K, but an upscaled resolution thanks to Taxas Instrument's XPR feature. If those things aren't a deal breaker, though, you won't find a better gaming projector in this price bracket.
Best 4K gaming projector
Brightness: 4000 lumens - Connectivity: HDMI, USB
Other Features: HDR, Smart Home Compatible
4K projectors are usually designed for movies first and foremost, lacking the speed needed to game on. If you're willing to pay a premium, though, you can get the same stunning detail, but without the compromise in refresh rate and response time, and the ViewSonic PX748-4K stands above the rest.
To begin with, this device delivers a brightness of up to 4,000 lumens, which should ideal for both dark and well-lit rooms. Plus, you get ViewSonic’s SuperColor Technology, which widens the colour range and aims to give “true-to-life” colour performance.
Visually speaking, the device delivers 4K UHD (that is, 3840x2160p) with HDR support. These specs, combined with the brightness, should be suitable for a high-quality, cinematic gaming experience.
Read More: Best budget 4K monitor
To project this resolution, the device features 1.3x optical zoom, auto keystone, and 4 corner adjustment - all of which help deliver proportion images correctly regardless of the angle.
As far as gaming is concerned, you get a speedy 240Hz refresh rate, which should suffice for fast-paced games. To ensure prompt actions, you get a quick 4.2ms response time as well. When it comes to projectors, these specs are hard to beat.
Finally, it comes with a multitude of connectivity options to blend with your smart home. The device can sync with Crestron, Control 4, AMX, PJ Link, and Network Control. Plus, you get HDMI 2.0 and USB-C plugs to connect your phone, gaming consoles, PC, and other devices.
All in all, we'd say there's plenty to like with this ViewSonic bit of kit.
Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS300
Best short throw gaming projector
Brightness: 3600 lumens - Connectivity: Bluetooth
Other Features: Yamaha Audiophile 2.1 speakers
Short-throw projectors are suitable for those who have limited space and need something to project at close quarters.
This Epson device looks like a particularly great option. It's a laser projector with "ultra short throw" capabilities, so you can scale high-quality visuals up to 120 inches.
Moreover, the projector is packed with specs that should output stunning visuals with great sound. To start with, you get a 4K display with HDR. With its 3-chip LCD design, this projector can also deliver 100% RGB colours.
And to give you a cinematic gaming experience, the projector features Yamaha's Audiophile 2.1 speakers designed to deliver crisp, clear sound.
Read More: Best budget short throw projector
Further, the laser projector has a brightness of 3600 lumens, which should be sufficient for low to medium ambient light settings.
The projector also has a built-in Android TV, so you can quickly access streaming and other apps once you've finished gaming. You can connect to Epson's projector seamlessly via Bluetooth, which is great if you're looking for a wireless device.
If you're looking for a short throw 4K projector for casual gaming, then Espon's laser projector could be your answer.
Best long throw gaming projector
Other Features: Preset Game Modes for RPG, FPS, SPG
If you have a bigger cinematic setup which you plan on using for video games, then it makes sense to have a long-throw projector. BenQ’s X1300i looks to be a great pick here thanks to some impressive specs.
Firstly, it has a brightness of 3000 lumens which, as previously touched on, should be sufficient for well-lit rooms.
Next, you get a resolution of up to 4K UHD, along with an option to go 1080p, depending on your preference. Also, you get a wide 100% DCI-P3 to deliver more detailed, accurate colours. The picture and colour should then be further enhanced by HDR-PRO and BenQ CinematicColor technology.
Read More: Best budget 1080p monitor
As this is a long-throw device, you can project a 100’’ image from a distance of 8.2 ft. You can scale the image up to 150’’ from a distance of 12.5 ft.
Coming to the gaming-specific specs - refresh rate and response time. The projector lets you adjust both of these, allowing you to game at 1080p with 240Hz and 4ms or at 4K with 60Hz and 16ms. Depending on the games you play, you can choose from FPS, RPG, and SPG preset game modes for a smoother experience.
As far as connectivity is concerned, the projector is compatible with gaming consoles like PS5, PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X, and Xbox Series S. With HDMI and USB ports, you should be able to connect more devices as well, thus making it a highly versatile bit of kit to consider.
Best portable gaming projector
Brightness: 800 ANSI lumens - Connectivity: HDMI, USB
Other Features: 4K Input Support
If you're looking to take your projector with you, then you might be looking for a portable device. Or maybe you don’t use a projector that often and like it stow it away - in this case too, a portable projector might be the best solution.
XGIMI’s Elfin Mini projector is described as “Ultra Compact”. But don’t let its small size fool you - the device comes with some impressive specs packed in.
Firstly the projector is said to deliver a brightness of 800 ANSI lumens. These 800 ANSI lumens are more or less equal to 2000 regular lumens. As a result, you should find this "mini" device suitable to use in low to medium-light settings.
Read More: Best budget portable monitor
This little projector can also produce a 1080p resolution, with added support for 4K inputs. That’s not all - you also get HDR 10, which should deliver high contrast and crisp visuals.
To optimise the projected images, it also comes with ISA (short for Intelligent Screen Adaption) technology. With this, you get automatic screen and focus adjustment - something that should make it a quick setup each and every time.
XGIMI also aims to enrich your gaming and movie experience with built-in 6W Harman Kardon speakers, which are compatible with DTS and Dolby for powerful, clear audio as well.
Connectivity-wise, you get HDMI or USB 2.0 cables. Or, you can choose to go wireless with its WiFi and Bluetooth compatibility. Overall, there's a lot to like when it comes to this XGIMI device.
Frequently asked questions
While on the hunt for the best gaming projector, you might encounter these questions...
How do I choose a gaming projector?
There are two main 'categories' of specs you should be looking at while buying a gaming projector - The first category is what we'd call the 'regular projector specs' and the second one we'd say is the 'gamer specs'.
For the regular specs, you should keep an eye out for the brightness, resolution, and throw. The projector should be bright enough to deliver clear images in whatever surroundings you place it in. For instance, for low ambient light settings, a 1500-lumens or 2000-lumens projector should suffice.
You can choose between short-throw and long-throw projectors depending on how much space you have. If you have a compact gaming den, then a short-throw projector would be more suitable as it will be able to produce full-size images at a relatively short distance.
Meanwhile, the resolution depends more on your budget. 4K projectors are available, but generally cost more and tend to come with lower refresh rates. Go for at least a 1080p projector though if you're looking for Full HD visuals.
Coming to 'gamer specs', you would be looking at refresh rates and response time here. Typically, you will see 4K projectors with a 60Hz refresh rate and 16ms response times. If you go for a lower resolution, you can often find faster response times, thus making 1080p projectors, for instance, a little more beneficial for online gameplay, generally speaking.
Are projectors worth it for gaming?
Yes, some people may find projectors better for viewing their games as these devices deliver a big display - much bigger than a monitor or TV.
To add to that, the response times and refresh rates are similar to those of a TV in some cases, so you won't necessarily need to compromise here either.
Arguably, a projector is best for when you want to sit back and relax while playing offline, single-player campaigns where you want to feel more immersed in your surroundings.
However, some can be used for online, competitive gameplay. However, as touched on previously, make sure you opt for a projector with a high refresh rate and low response time here.