Most gamers already have large monitors or huge flat-screen TV sets they can use for gaming purposes. But if you love games and gadgets, it can be tempting to also invest in a projector.
These devices come in handy when you are traveling because they are more compact and much easier to haul or if you just want to show off at a friend’s house without struggling with getting someone else’s TV or monitor set up on your gaming device.
There are quite a few options available for serious and casual gamers alike, so it can be overwhelming trying to decide on the perfect projector for your specific needs. We’ll help you choose the best projector for gaming among the top five choices on the market.
What To Look for in the Best Projectors for Gaming
Projectors come in all shapes, sizes, and brands. Some of these devices are designed with portability in mind while others are developed for large event spaces. Some of these devices are better suited for simple slide-show presentations while others work better for watching movies.
If you want to use your projector for gaming purposes, it’s important to invest in one that has the right features. Here is a quick look at some of the most important aspects to look for when you are shopping for a quality gaming projector.
Keep in mind that while we outline these suggestions for your consideration, your specific needs and preferences are ultimately most important for the ultimate customized gaming setup and experience.
If you love gaming, chances are you likely already have a primary flat-screen monitor or TV set that you generally use for gaming. Projectors for gaming are usually temporary and portable devices to add to your gadget collection.
They can also be ceiling-mounted to add a little extra something to your overall custom setup. Because it is more of an add-on than a primary gameplay tool, most gamers don’t want to spend too much on projectors. Luckily, there are lots of good gaming projectors out there that won’t break the bank.
Input and Output Ports
The input and output options are very important because they will determine the type of devices you can use with your projector. This can be the most important factor in getting the most customization in your gaming setup.
After all, if you can’t plug in your preferred devices because the projector doesn’t have the correct compatibility, you’ll end up with an experience that could ultimately be better.
Most projectors come with HDMI or other display ports but for some gaming consoles, you might require other types of ports like VGA, component, or RCA ports.
It is best to do a little bit of research to ensure that your projector is compatible with the type of gaming device you are using.
Input lag is important to consider when you are looking for a good gaming projector. Projectors that are designed for movies or watching TV usually have a pretty low input lag of about 60 ms. For gaming purposes, this tends to be far too low because it will hinder your ability to see clearly when you are enjoying high-speed or action-packed games.
If you want to use your projector for gaming purposes then it is best to look for an input lag of at least 40 ms. Projectors with an input lag of 20 or lower are much better since the lower lag will be optimal for constant action.
Frame Rate/Refresh Rate
The frame rate is usually measured in frames per second (FPS) while the refresh rate is measured in hertz (Hz). Projectors with a higher frame rate score will display a lot more frames per second and will give you a much better real-time view of your game.
A projector with a 120 Hz refresh rate will display 120 frames per second which can be good for gaming as long as your projector has a pretty low input lag. If your projector has a relatively high input lag of around 40 ms then it is best to invest in one with a higher refresh rate so you can enjoy good visuals for these fast-paced games.
Brightness and Contrast
It makes sense to get a projector that has a powerful lamp so you can get a more clear view if you are playing in relatively light conditions, such as rooms without blackout curtains during the day or roommates that insist on keeping every light in the house in the on position.
Projector manufacturers usually advertise their products with lumen ratings, but be wary here because in most cases the view isn’t quite as powerful or bright as advertised. Movie projectors often have a brightness level of 2000 – 4000 lumens, but it is rare to see a projector actually produce more than 3,000 lumens.
In any case, it is good to look for a projector that has a pretty powerful light or you will have a tough time seeing clearly unless you are playing in a completely dark room, which while ideal, isn’t always possible, especially when you’re on the go.
Throw Distance and Screen Size
The longer the throw distance of your projector is, the more pixelated your view will be. It is always good to invest in a projector with a greater pixel rating. Most projectors have a standard resolution of 1080p (1920 x 1080) which should be more than enough for most gaming applications.
If you love to play sophisticated games, it might be wise to look for a higher resolution rating of around 4k (3840 x 2160). This resolution rating will allow you to blow up the image without sacrificing as much picture clarity. The last thing you want at game time is to miss something because of an avoidable pixel-deprivation situation.
Some gamers still manage to get a pretty clear view of gaming with a lower resolution rating, but for these lower ratings, it’s always best to invest in a projector with an ultra-short throw so you can get a pretty large image over a shorter projection distance.
The Best Projector for Gaming: Top Choices
Now that you know a little bit more about the most important features to look for in gaming projectors, it is time to take a closer look at some good options. Here is a quick look at the five best options we found on the market that are worth your attention.
The Optoma HD146X is a very good projector for playing video games in a dedicated area like your living room or gaming room because it has all the features you would want and is an ideal design for a ceiling mount.
This projector is quite powerful with its 1080p display resolution and it has a high 2500:1 image contrast ratio which allows you to blow up the image nice and large without the view becoming too pixelated. It is a relatively short-throw protector that creates a 120-inch display over a short distance of just 14 feet.
The projector is powerful with a maximum output of up to 3600 lumens and can function pretty well in daylight. The lamp is also durable with an expected life of 15,000 hours.
The laser projector features built-in speakers although most gamers don’t find them to be loud enough. Luckily, the projector does have an audio output port so you can hook up external speakers for a more immersive and customized experience.
The projector is perfect for competitive gamers because it has an input lag of just 16ms which will give you smooth visuals throughout your game. This input lag makes this one of the best projectors for gaming compared to its peers.
- Product dimensions – 9.5 x 12.4 x 4.3 Inches
- Display resolution – 1080 p
- Connectivity – HDMI 1.4a input, Audio out, USB-A
- Image brightness – 3600 lumens
- Image contrast ratio – 25000:1
- Color – HDTV
- Throw distance – 13 – 14 feet with 120″ image
- Lamp life – up to 15,000 hours
- Sound – Built-in speakers
- Input lag – 16 ms
The XGIMI Elfin is one of the best portable projectors for gamers or for home movie theaters. This tiny projector is pocket-sized and it has numerous connectivity options so you can easily set it up or combine it with a wide range of devices.
The view of this projector is good considering its small size. It produces a display resolution of 1080p with 800 ANSI lumens that should function pretty well in ambient light. Most gamers prefer to use it in darker rooms because of its slightly lower brightness level.
The projector can create a screen size of up to 200 inches in a completely dark setup. In natural light environments, you will need to reduce the image size to 60-80 inches or you might not be able to see clearly.
With its 26.5 ms input lag, this projector will function pretty well for the casual gamer. It also features two 3-watt speakers which produce good sound quality considering its small size. Thanks to its Bluetooth and wireless connectivity it’s easy to connect to a larger speaker. The connectivity also makes it easy to connect other devices like a gaming chair with built-in speakers.
- Product dimensions – 7.56 x 7.63 x 1.89 Inches
- Display resolution – 1080 p
- Connectivity – Wireless, Wifi, Bluetooth, HDMI, USB 2.0, and headphones
- Image brightness – 800 ANSI lumens
- Image size – 40 – 200 inches
- Sound – 2 x 3W speakers
- Input lag – 26.5 ms
The Miroir M76 is an ideal projector for gamers who want something ultra-portable. This projector is tiny and can easily slide into your back pocket.
The little projector is perfect for simple gameplay or streaming. Because it only has a brightness of 90 lumens, it is usually best to use the projector in a darker room.
The image contrast ratio of 300:1 means that you will get a pretty clear view with an image size of 70 inches as long as you keep the room dark. For natural or ambient light conditions, you will have to reduce screen size or you won’t be able to see much.
Because of its low lumen level, the lamp should last up to 20,000 hours. This portable projector also features a built-in battery that can last up to 2 hours and it is pretty easy to set up, use, and recharge.
The HDMI port makes it compatible with most gaming devices. It also features a 1-watt speaker that can produce some sound although most gamers prefer to simply add an additional speaker via the 3.5mm audio jack.
- Product dimensions – 4.25 x 4.25 x 0.7 Inches
- Connectivity – HDMI, USB-A, 3.5mm audio jack, USB C charging port
- Image brightness – 90 lumens
- Image contrast ratio – 300:1 pixels
- Image size – Up to 70 inches
- Lamp life – 20,000 hours
- Battery life – UP to 2 hours
- Sound – 1-watt speaker
We recommend the BenQ TK700 projector for elite gamers because it is quite superior in its features and design.
This advanced projector has a display resolution of 1080p but it does offer 4k support which means it is as close as you will possibly get to a full 4k projector if you don’t have a small fortune to spend on gaming gear.
The 3200-lumen lamp is powerful enough to create a very clear view even in daylight and because of its high resolution and brightness level, you can get a pretty clear view even if you expand the projector screen to its full capacity of 150 inches. It also produces vivid colors which will make your gaming experience better.
In game mode, this projector should offer you an immersive experience because it will create a crisp clear view with lots of dark visual details and the low lag time of just 16ms will ensure a smooth display while you play.
The projector has a built-in 5-watt speaker that gives relatively good quality sound. It also features various connectivity ports so you can upgrade to a better sound system or perhaps a surround sound audio system.
- Product dimensions – 4.3 x 9.7 x 12.3 Inches
- Display resolution – 1080 p with 4k support
- Connectivity -HDMI-1 2.0b, HDMI-2 2.0b, Audio output, RS-232
- Image brightness – 3200 Lumens
- Image contrast ratio –
- Color – Dark visual details
- View size – 100 – 150 Inches
- Sound – 5 Watt chamber speaker
- Input lag – 16 ms
The 2022 Epsom 2350 projector is also a good option for serious gamers. This projector is designed for home cinemas but it should function pretty well as a gaming projector because it has all the needed features for video games or PlayStation games.
The powerful 4K projector will give you the brightest view you can get from these types of devices. It also has a pretty powerful lamp that produces up to 2,800 lumens of light so you can play during day time. The projector will create a pretty good view with accurate colors even when you have the screen size set up at the maximum level of 150 inches.
If you buy this projector, you won’t have to invest in additional speakers or sound systems. The projector has a built-in 10-watt speaker that produces enough sound for most gamers.
The fast response time of the projector (20 ms) makes the theater projector perfectly suitable for gaming and you should be able to play enhanced gaming modes with great success.
- Product dimensions – 10.8 x 13.1 x 4.8 Inches
- Display resolution – 4K
- Connectivity – HDMI, HDMI ARC, and WiFi
- Image brightness – 2,800 lumens
- Image contrast ratio – 16:9
- Screen size – 80 – 150 Inches
- Technology – Android TV 5
- Sound – 10 Watt speaker
- Input lag – 20 ms
Frequently Asked Questions
While you are looking for the perfect device, you might have lots of questions regarding the right model to buy or whether you should indulge or not. Here is a quick look at some of the most frequently asked questions other gamers had about these handy devices.
Why Should You Buy a Projector for Gaming?
Since most gamers already have TV sets or monitors that they can use for gaming, most see projectors as a luxury item. For many this is, however, a more suitable solution because projectors are a lot more portable compared to screens and they can double as a screen that allows you to watch movies or stream shows.
For some gamers, having a projector simply eases portability. For others, it is more functional since they get a bigger screen that can also double as a TV.
What Makes a Gaming Projector Better Than a Flat-Screen TV?
The size of the projector image and the portability of these devices are the most appealing characteristics. With a projector, you can easily create an image of up to 120 inches from a small box that can fit into your suitcase.
These devices are also often better for creating split screens so you can enjoy multiplayer games. Thanks to the size of the screen or view, you can easily split your view four ways and still get a pretty clear image of all of your surroundings without cutting anything off.
There is certainly a lot to consider when it comes to selecting the best projector for gaming. We are certain that any of these projectors will be just fine for gaming purposes and we hope that our guide made it easier to make the best choice for your needs and customized gaming setup.
If you want to learn more about gaming equipment or if you are looking for other quality accessories to include in your gaming room then you should check out some of the other guides we have on Einstein Gaming. With our guides, you can read about all the latest and best gaming gear or game room accessories.