Projectors for gaming? Don’t knock it until you’ve played with a 100-inch screen like we have.

Projectors for gaming? Don’t knock it until you’ve played with a 100-inch screen like we have.

Screen sizes have come a long way since many of us played Adventure on our Atari 2600 connected to a 13-inch color CRT. In just the last 10 years flat-panel prices have lowered as screen sizes have grown. But if you want to cover your entire wall with Fortnite, there still isnt a reasonably priced television that can compete with a gaming projector.Gaming projectors don’t just let you game on a giant screen, you can also get all the benefits of modern displays with 4K, and even 8K resolutions, as well as the latest HDR standards.TL:DR These are the Best Gaming Projectors:
1. Optoma UHD60
Best Gaming Projector
Display Technology: 0.66 TRP S610 DMD DLP Max Resolution: 4,096 x 2,160 Native Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 Input Lag: 50ms Projection Screen Size: 26.45″-302.2″ Brightness: 3,000 Lumens Displayable Colors: 1.07b Lamp Power: 240W Lamp Life: 4,000/10,000/15,000 hours (Bright/ECO/Dynamic) Inputs: 1 x HDMI 1.4a, 1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x VGA, antenna, 3.5mm audio in, Ethernet Outputs: Optical Audio Out, 3.5mm audio out Weight: 16 pounds Size: 19.6″ x 13″ x 6.0″
The Optoma UHD60 offers the best value available for a 4K projector. For $1,600 you get a 3,840 x 2,160 resolution picture that can be up to 300-inches in size.With 3,000 lumens of brightness, it’ll also overcome almost any ambient light in your living room. Meanwhile, the projector’s 1,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio will help dark areas of the image dark. You can’t really ask for a more versatile or value-packed gaming projector for this price.
2. BenQ HT2150ST
Best Budget Gaming Projector
Display Technology: DLP Max Resolution: 1,920 x 1,200 Native Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 Input Lag: 16ms Projection Screen Size: 60″-120″ Brightness: 2,200 Lumens Displayable Colors: 1.07b Lamp Power: 240W Lamp Life: 3,500/5,000/7,000 hours (Low/Medium/Full) Inputs: 2 x HDMI, 1 x VGA, antenna, 3.5mm audio in Outputs: 3.5mm audio out Weight: 7.9 pounds Size: 15.0″ x 4.8″ x 10.9″
BenQ has been a stalwart in the projector industry for years. The HT2150ST is the updated version of the excellent HT2050, and the ST indicates it is a short-throw model needing only 5 feet to project a 100-inch picture. At that distance, you can have the projector placed in front of you and not worry about any shadows on the screen.The 2,200 lumens provides plenty of light in a moderately bright room and, paired with its 15000:1 contrast ratio, will look stunning in a dark room. The best thing about the HT2150ST for gamers is its low input lag. When set to Game Picture Mode with Fast Mode enabled, lag is comparable to a television. It has excellent performance for the price, too.
3. JVC DLA-NX5
Best 4K Gaming Projector
Display Technology: 3 x 0.69″ 4K D-ILA Max Resolution: 4,096 x 2,160 Input Lag: 40ms Brightness: 1,800 Lumens Displayable Colors: 1.07b Lamp Power: 265W Lamp Life: 4,500 (Low) Inputs: 2 x HDMI Outputs: D-Sub, Ethernet Weight: 43.1 pounds Size: 19.75″ x 9.25″ x 19.5″
The JVC DLA-NX5 is the true 4K projector to get If you’re setting up an epic home theater and you want the biggest and best-looking picture possible. Sporting a native 4,096 x 2,160 resolution, you can make your picture as big as you want without having to worry about losing detail.You also get one of the highest contrast ratios of 40,000:1 out of any projector from this unit, so you’ll be able to experience darker blacks. It’s 1,800-lumen peak brightness doesn’t make this the brightest projector we’ve ever seen, but it’s more than enough to make flashes of light in games and movies pop.
4. Epson Home Cinema 5050UBe
Best Mid-Range 4K Projector
Display Technology: Epson 3LCD, 3-chip technology Native Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 (with pixel shift) Input Lag: 23.5ms Projection Screen Size: 49.93″-300″ Brightness: 2,600 Lumens Displayable Colors: 1.07b Lamp Power: 373W Lamp Life: 3,500/5,000 hours (ECO) Inputs: 2 x HDMI 2.0 + 4 x HDMI (On Wireless transmitter), 1 x VGA, Ethernet, Outputs: 1 x RS-232, USB power, Optical Audio Out (On Wireless transmitter), HDMI out (On Wireless transmitter) Weight: 25.1 pounds Size: 7.6″ x 20.5″ x 17.7″
The Epson Home Cinema 5050UBe is a brilliant projector for both your usual movies and TV but also for gaming. It has an impressively fast response time at 23.5ms, so you won’t be feeling heavy lag when you’re playing games. At 2,600 lumens, you’ll also be able to get a big, bright image. This project creates a 4K image using pixel shifting technology, however, unlike some projects it doesn’t internally downsample 4K video to a 1080p signal and blowing it back up to an Ultra HD resolution. Instead, you’re getting true(-ish) 4K input to 4K output. This version also includes a wireless transmitter, letting you set the projector across the room from your gaming computer or consoles.5. BenQ TK800M
Best Budget 4K Gaming Projector
Display Technology: 0.47″ DMD DLP Max Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 Native Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 Input Lag: 49ms Projection Screen Size: 30″-300″ Brightness: 3,000 Lumens Displayable Colors: 1.07b Lamp Power: 240W Lamp Life: 4,000/10,000/15,000 hours (Low/Medium/Full) Inputs: 2 x HDMI, 1 x VGA, RS-232 Serial Port Outputs: 3.5mm audio out Weight: 9.2 pounds Size: 13.9″ x 5.3″ x 10.7″
4K projectors are still pretty pricey compared to 4K TVs, but if you’re trying to go big on a budget the BenQ TK800M (read our review) is your best option. It’s a little more affordable than most 4K units at $1,300, but you still get 10-bit color and HDR support.What’s more, this budget projector outputs 3,000 lumens so it’ll work in most rooms even ones that are well lit. The BenQ TK800M’s rated contrast ratio of 10,000:1 might be significantly lower than other projectors, but it has the latest a dynamic 0.47-inch DLP chip and a dynamic iris to strike the right balance between brightness and contrast while presenting rich colors.
6. Sony VPL-VW695ES
Best High-End Gaming Projector
Display Technology: SXRD (3 Chip) Max Resolution: 4,096 x 2,160 Native Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 Input Lag: 55ms Projection Screen Size: 60″-300″ Brightness: 1,800 Lumens Lamp Power: 280W Inputs: 2 x HDMI, Ethernet, Minijack, RS-232 Serial Port Weight: 31 pounds Size: 19.5″ x 8.09″ x 18.25″
There are plenty of 4K projectors on the market now, but Sony is one of the few companies that actually produce a true 4k projector. Most “4K projectors” use a pixel shifting (which involves flashes images multiple times to simulate a 4K picture). the Sony VPL-VW695ES’ native 4,096 x 2,160 pixels is far more impressive than the blown-up 1080p picture that most “4K units” produceThe 695ES supports HDR10 and HLG (for when the content actually becomes available). For gaming though, the input lag reduction option is only available in SDR. It only has a dynamic contrast ratio of 350,000:1 and a light output of 1800 lumens, so it’s best in a room with minimal ambient lighting. But if youre spending nearly $10,000 on a projector, chances are your room is a dedicated theater with little to no ambient light bleed.
7. Epson Home Cinema 2040
Another Great Option
Display Technology: Epson 3LCD, 3-chip technology Max Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 Native Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 Input Lag: 25ms Projection Screen Size: 34″-332″ Brightness: 2,200 Lumens Displayable Colors: 1.07b Lamp Power: 200W Lamp Life: 3,500/5,000/7,000 hours (Low/Medium/Full) Inputs: 2 x HDMI, 1 x Composite, 2 x RCA Weight: 6.4 pounds Size: 11.69″ x 9.65″ x 4.69″
The Epson Home Cinema 2040 is very close in image quality to the BenQ HT2150ST but is less expensive and isnt a short throw projector. Youll need around 9 feet of space to project a similar-sized image to the BenQ. It also has 2200 lumens of light output making it suitable for most room setups. Its dynamic iristhat adjusts the contrast continually based on the picture on your screencan get as high as 35000:1. The input lag is higher than the BenQ, sitting in the high 20ms range, but if fast first-person shooters arent your cup of tea it might be worth saving a couple of hundred dollars over the BenQ.8. AAXA S2 Pico Projector
Best Ultra Cheap Gaming Projector
Display Technology: Triple RGB LEDs Max Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 Native Resolution: 1,280 x 720 Projection Screen Size: 10″-120″ Brightness: 400 Lumens Displayable Colors: 16.7m Lamp Life: 30,000 hours Power Consumption: 36W Inputs: 1 x HDMI, Composite A/V, USB-C (MHL), USB-A, microSD Outputs: 3.5mm audio out Battery Life: 6 hours (Eco mode) Weight: 1.28 pounds Size: 5.2″ x 4.5″ x 1.9″
AAXA’s S2 is a small projector ready to give you a big screen wherever you go. While you can keep it plugged in like a traditional projector, it also has a battery that can last up to six hours. You can use it to give your game consoles, computer, or even phones a much bigger display to play on. It even has built-in speakers, though, they can be a little hard to hear over the fans if the projector is on its brightest setting. This projector wins when it comes to being affordable and portable.9. Sony VPL-HW45ES
A Step-up with 3D
Display Technology: 3-Chip 0.6″ SXRD LCD Max Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 Input Lag: 22ms Projection Screen Size: 40″-300″ Brightness: 1,800 Lumens Lamp Power: 215W Lamp Life: 6,000 hours (Low) Inputs: 2 x HDMI, antenna, 3.5mm mini control, 1x RS-232 Serial Port Weight: 20 pounds Size: 16.1″ x 7.1″ x 18.4″
The Sony VPL-HW45ES has excellent picture quality with very deep blacks. With its input lag reduction turned on the lag reduces to only 22ms. The drawback is its max light output is only 1800 lumens. If you dont have a dark gaming room this is not the choice for you. But if you have a room where you can control the ambient light with shades or curtains, and youre looking for a projector with fantastic picture quality and 3D viewing support, the 45ES is a terrific option.10. Optoma HD39HDR
Fastest Gaming Projector
Display Technology: 0.65″ DLP Native Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 Input Lag: 8.4ms Refresh Rate: 120Hz Projection Screen Size: 30″-301″ Brightness: 4,000 Lumens Lamp Power: 245W Lamp Life: 4,000 / 15,000 hours (Eco) Inputs: 1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x HDMI 1.4a, 3.5mm Audio in, VGA, 1x RS-232 Serial Port Outputs: 3.5mm Audio out, USB power out, VGA Weight: 7.7 pounds Size: 4.5″ x 12.4″ x 9.5″
If you want a projector that’s going to give you the best shot at beating out your opponents in competitive online games, then the Optoma HD39HDR is the one for you. It doesn’t offer the highest resolution at just 1080p, but it can deliver super smooth frames with its 120Hz refresh rate, and your controls will feel snappy thanks to the 8.4ms response time. You even get HDR support, making it all the more impressive that the Optoma HD39HDR comes in at under $1,000.What to Look for in a Projector for Gaming
When looking to buy any displaybe it a computer monitor, a flat-panel television, or a projectorthere are basic specifications to keep in mind. Color accuracy, contrast ratio, and resolution combine to create a true-to-life and engaging image.With gaming, another primary concern is a low input lag on the projector so you can be the frag-er and not the frag-ee. We recommend aiming for something below 35ms. There are of course a few more important necessities to keep in mind when it comes to projectors.
The room you plan to have your projector in, and more specifically the amount of ambient light in that room, can drastically affect image quality. If the projector doesnt output enough light, measured in lumens, the ambient light in the room can cause the picture to look washed out and dull. Youll lose definition in the blacks and colors wont seem as vivid. If your room lets in a lot of light youll want a projector that outputs around 2500 lumens or more. A light-controlled room will be fine with a 1500-2000 lumen projector. No matter what avoid any unnecessary direct light on the displayed surface.
That displayed surface is another concern. While it is completely possible to display your projector on to a white wall, color and contrast will be affected. There are fixed (non-retractable) options like the Silver Ticket 100-inch STR-169100, and there are screens that are mounted to a separate stand that sits in front of a wall, or products for painting a screen surface directly onto your wall.
Having the screen sit in front of a wall causes you to lose a couple of feet of space, which is not ideal if space is at a premium. The paint option is a cool alternative for small living rooms but can be messy and finicky to apply. Plus, if you move its difficult to take the entire wall with you. If you can afford it, we recommend just using a fixed screen.
Where you put your projector can also drastically affect your gaming experience. If it sits in a low position directly behind your couch youll need to sit to one side to avoid any unintentional MST3K shadows. Plenty of ceiling mounts, like the VIVO Universal Mount, are available for under $20, but be aware youll need to think about how you’re going to run power and signal cables.
Projectors have a throw range that determines how near or far they need to be from the screen. If your room depth is limited, a short-throw projector needs only around four or five feet of distance to project a 100-inch diagonal image on the screen or wall.
Kevin Lee is IGN’s Hardware and Roundups Editor. Follow him on Twitter @baggingspam Mark Knapp is a regular contributor to IGN and an irregular Tweeter on Twitter @Techn0Mark

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