The 8 Best Gaming Projectors of 2020

Enjoy gaming more than ever before with these first-rate projectors

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The Rundown
"Short throw projector with enhanced response times, vibrant visuals and rich contrast."
Runner-Up, Best Overall:
BenQ HT2150ST at Amazon
"It has an immersive 100-inch screen from just five feet away."
"Soft and non-flickering image that is friendly on the eyes even after long gaming sessions."
"Instant connection to the Internet and dozens of popular streaming services."
"A high-end model committed to hyper-realistic, cinematic visuals."
"Unlike a lot of other projectors which accept 4K inputs only to spit out a downscaled picture, the UHD60 offers true 4K resolution up to 3840 x 2160."
Best Color Contrast:
Epson Home Cinema 2150 at Amazon
"With an astounding 60,000:1 color contrast, you have a really wide range of tonal options available here."
"Spectacular 3D for a cinematic and immersive gaming experience."

Best Overall: Optoma GT1080Darbee Short Throw Gaming Projector

Optoma built this projector from the ground up to satisfy the needs of gamers. The result is the perfectly optimized short throw projector with enhanced response times, vibrant visuals and rich contrast. First, the .49 throw ratio is perfect for gamers, allowing the projector to be placed on your TV stand or entertainment center for a 100-inch image from just four feet away.

That image is going to be glorious, thanks to the DarbeeVision Image Processor that reveals extraordinary detail, depth and object separating, so the details of your games show in cinematic quality. Expect full HD 1080p resolution, 3,000 lumens of brightness, as well as a 28,000:1 contrast ratio that creates amazing black levels for the best experience in all genres of games. Don’t worry about lag, either. Enhanced Gaming Mode gives you a best-in-class response time of 16ms to keep you engaged in even the most demanding circumstances. Other nice features include Full 3D and a long-life lamp that will last up to 8,000 hours. 

Runner-Up, Best Overall: BenQ HT2150ST Projector

This award-winning 1080p projector from No. 1 best-selling DLP projector brand BenQ hits all the marks to make an excellent gaming projector. It has an immersive 100-inch screen from just five feet away, with 1.2x optical zoom lens and vertical image keystone to make for easy installation that will fit your living room configuration. The image is bright and vibrant, thanks to 2,200 lumens of brightness and a 15,000:1 contrast ratio with no distortion, even in 3D.

Gamers will benefit from low input lag, meaning racing and action titles won’t skip a beat even on the 100-inch screen. Customized gaming modes provide even more benefit, allowing you to see the darkest shadows and brightest details to get the most cinematic experience out of all of your titles.

Best Budget: EUG Wireless Projector

You can expect surprisingly bright and crisp visuals from this projector, thanks to the 3,600 lumen bulb. The projector has a native resolution of 1,200 x 800 and a contrast ration of 4,500:1, resulting in a soft and non-flickering image that is friendly on the eyes even after long gaming sessions. The LED bulb will also last for up to 17 years, while two built-in cooling fans will keep the temperature regulated if you spend all night gaming. The screen size varies from 50 to 200 inches and needs to be placed about 6.5 feet away from the screen. Gamers will enjoy the wireless experience, the ability to connect their controller to the projector and the quad core CPU that results in fast refresh rate with no lag time.

Best Ultra Short Throw: LG Electronics PF1000UW Ultra Short Throw Projector

Most modern projectors only need four or five feet to cast an image, which is more than enough space for most living rooms. But if you live in a dorm or small studio apartment, you will need to be even more creative with your space. This ultra short throw projector from LG is here to help. From just five inches away it can cast a 60-inch Full HD image with an astonishing 150,000:1 contrast ratio.

It isn’t quite as bright as the other projectors on this list, only 1,000 lumens, but it comes with other features that other projectors lack. Besides the amazing short throw range, you get LG’s award-winning webOS 3.0 Smart TV functionality, giving you instant connection to the Internet and dozens of popular streaming services in an easy-to-use interface. Wireless connectivity and Bluetooth sound out make gaming even easier in a small environment, allowing you to pair speakers or a headset to the sound from the projector. All-in-all, this projector provides the ultimate gaming experience you can have in small spaces.

Best 4K: BenQ HT3550

There’s gaming, and then there’s gaming with the BenQ HT3500 4K Home Theater Projector, a high-end model committed to hyper-realistic, cinematic visuals. Compact and unobtrusive, it can zoom up to 1.3 times, can reach a screen size of 120 inches, and has a brightness of up to 2,000 lumens, allowing it to function at all brightness levels. This, combined with the 4K UHD 3840x2160 resolution with 8.3 million pixels, results in unparalleled picture quality.

Thanks to its dynamic iris, the device has a 30,000:1 contrast ratio, meaning you’ll be able to notice the nuances of shadows, along with details in both dark and bright scenes, bringing games to life. The projector’s built-in speaker is able to fill a room and offer clear, textured audio, though hardcore gamers might want to opt for a higher-end model, for full immersion. Though it is more expensive than other home projectors, the HT3500’s value is more than worth the cost for those who want not just to watch a new world, but be part of it.

Runner-Up, Best 4K: Optoma UHD60 4K Projector

If you’re in the market for a projector, chances are you’ve landed on an Optoma model once or twice. The brand offers high-value projectors, regardless of what specs you’re looking for. The UHD60 is their 4K-enabled model, and unlike a lot of other projectors which accept 4K inputs only to spit out a downscaled picture, the UHD60 offers true 4K resolution up to 3840 x 2160. That’s 8.3 million pixels available, and with 3000 lumens, the brightness is plenty for your gaming needs. The color gamut is pretty impressive here, too, offering everything in the REC2020 sets — making your games shine with truly rich, deep blacks and cinematic highlights. What this all amounts to is the ability to sit up to 10 feet away and still take in the full, stunning range of 4K quality (unlike the much shorter seated distance required when you’re looking at 4K TVs). Plus, it’s HDR compatible, employs UltraDetail technology for picture clarity, and even folds in flexible zoom, throw, and shift. This means it'll fit nicely in your setup, even if you have to deal with awkward angles or room layouts.

Best Color Contrast: Epson Home Cinema 2150

Epson is arguably the king of projectors, but many of their options are catered to either business presentations or movies. When you’re looking to game on your projector, color response is hugely important, because modern video games are just as much works of visual art as they are fun challenges. With an astounding 60,000:1 color contrast, you have a really wide range of tonal options available here. For perspective, many mid-tier projectors settle in at 15,000:1, meaning their range from the blackest blacks to the whitest whites is vastly smaller than this one. The Epson 2150 offers 1080p resolutions, and at an 11-foot minimum throw, it offers a screen four times larger than a 60-inch flatscreen panel. There’s a built-in 10W speaker, and it even supports Miracast so you can easily stream HD media should you choose to use this for other entertainment purposes. Plus, at less than $1,000, it’s far from the most expensive option out there, especially considering its rich color spectrum.

Best 3D: Sony VPLHW45ES 3D SXRD

This high-end home theater and gaming projector from Sony has spectacular 3D for a cinematic and immersive gaming experience. It has advanced SXRD panel technology alongside Sony’s Super Resolution processing technology to refine color and textures and give a crisp 1080p image. To complement the amazing visual experience, this projector has powerful picture calibration that includes nine modes for gaming, cinema and other presets. No matter what you choose, Motionflow technology lets you game with minimal motion blur even up to a 300-inch screen size.

What to Look for in a Gaming Projector

Input lag - When you push a button on your controller, you want to see the result on the screen as fast as possible. Unfortunately, a lot of projectors have a lag so large that you can actually perceive it. Great gaming projectors still have a little bit of lag (because zero lag is impossible) but not enough to have an impact on your game.

Frame rate - When you play fast-paced games on a projector that has a low frame rate, the result is a blurry mess. This isn’t just unpleasant to look at — it’s also unacceptable when you’re playing a game where every single moment counts.

Luminosity - Projectors work best in dark rooms with high-quality screens. If your real-world circumstances are less than ideal, you can end up with a washed-out picture that’s difficult to see. Gaming in a room that has a lot of ambient light calls for a projector with at least 2,500 lumens, while something in the range of 1,500 to 2,000 will do if you have decent shades or blackout curtains.