The 7 Best Gaming Projectors to Buy in 2018

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

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

The Rundown

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Optoma GT1080Darbee Short Throw Gaming Projector

5

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

4.9

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 Ultra Short Throw: LG Electronics PF1000UW Ultra Short Throw Projector

4.7

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 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.

Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best cheap projectors.

Best Color Contrast: Epson Home Cinema 2040 3LCD Home Theater Projector

Epson delivers a kaleidoscope of color with the Home Cinema 2040, a Full HD projector that delivers up to 3x higher color brightness than similar models in its price range. The innovative 3LCD technology supports a 35,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio which, alongside advanced image processing and 2,200 lumens, creates an immersive experience. Image Enhancement and Frame Interpolation create an even more vivid contrast for rich detail in dark scenes, allowing you to game in 1080p on a screen that is up to 300 inches wide. Versatile connectivity allows you to connect your console directly to the projector, while the easy setup means you can take the projector with you to a friend’s house without any hassle.

Best 4K: Epson Home Cinema 5040UBe

Sony was the first electronics manufacturer to make native 4K projectors. They have unparalleled picture quality, but they start at $8,000 and get far more expensive than that. Then in 2016 Epson released the world’s first WirelessHD projector with 4K content support; not quite the same as native 4K, but at less than half the price you get revolutionary 4K enhancement technology that accepts 4K input.

Along with 4K support comes an astounding 1,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio for the most dramatic black levels imaginable. It is HDR compatible to enjoy brightness levels and real-life color, revealing the subtle intricacies of all your games. This amazing projector streams in wireless HD, has 3D projection and displays the entire sRGB colorspace.

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.

Check out our other reviews of the best high-end projectors available on the market today. 

Tested by

How We Tested

Our reviewers spent 127 hours testing three of the top gaming projectors on the market. To really get the full picture, our testers installed them in their own homes and played their favorite games. We asked our reviewers to consider the most important features when using these gaming projectors, from their ease of setup to more technical qualities like luminosity and frame rate. We've outlined the most important points here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.

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.


Test Results: Optoma GT1080Darbee Short Throw Gaming Projector (Best Overall)

5

What We Like

  • Easy setup

  • High performing

  • Portable

What We Don't Like

  • A little big

  • Limited focus feature

Optoma GT1080Darbee Short Throw Gaming Projector
Optoma Short Throw Gaming Projector
Optoma GT1080Darbee Gaming Projector
Optoma Gaming Projector

This projector stood out to our gaming testers for its special features designed for just that. “The Darbee Vision Processor makes a big difference,” explained one tester. “It smooths out the image and provides the detail you need to play.” Lack of lag was also a huge asset, with one reviewer commenting that he didn’t notice one “even playing high-resolution, fast games like Fortnite.” Our testers wished this projector’s footprint was a bit smaller and also didn’t love that its focus feature was “manual and somewhat limited.”

Test Results: BenQ HT2150ST (Runner-Up, Best Overall)

4.9

What We Like

  • Excellent picture quality

  • Vibrant brightness and color

  • Low input lag

What We Don't Like

  • Tough to change screen size without moving projector

BenQ HT2150ST
BenQ HT2150ST parts
BenQ HT2150ST back
BenQ HT2150ST buttons
BenQ HT2150ST screen

One of our testers — who has used multiple projectors for the sole purpose of playing video games — tried this one out with Rocket League, The Legend of Zelda, FIFA 18, GTA V, and more. The verdict? “It was seriously awesome,” he gushed. “I showed it to a bunch of friends and they were all very impressed by the picture’s crispness and how vibrant the colors were. Everyone asked me what kind of projector it was and how much it costs.” Our testers did, however, want to be able to change the screen size more effectively without moving the projector itself.

Test Results: LG Electronics PF1000UW Ultra Short Throw Projector (Best Ultra Short Throw)

4.7

What We Like

  • Easy setup

  • High-quality picture

  • Minimum 4-inch projection distance

What We Don't Like

  • Screen size can’t be less than 60 inches

LG Electronics PF1000UW Ultra Short Throw Projector
LG Electronics PF1000UW Throw Projector
LG Electronics Ultra Short Throw Projector
LG Electronics PF1000UW Ultra Short Throw
LG Electronics Projector

This projector’s HD quality was so excellent that one of our testers reported she could “see every pore on people's faces onscreen.” Our reviewers were also surprised at how easy the setup was: “The hardest part was trying to put the batteries into the remote,” one remarked. One word to the wise: While you can place this projector just four inches from your wall, you’ll still need a surface large enough to fit a 60-inch projection.