Are You Both A Streamer & A Gamer? Best Android TV Boxes For Gaming

Let’s find out what is the best Android TV Box for gaming!

TV boxes have revolutionized how we bring films and TV programs to our big screens. But what about games? Yes, you can stream games direct to your TV using a TV box as well, but you will have an infinitely better experience if you choose the right box.

Today, I am going to share with your five of the best Android TV boxes for gaming.

Why only Android? The openness of the software just means it is more flexible and you can install a greater variety of emulators and other support for games than you can with proprietary boxes. So, yes, all of my top five gaming TV boxes run off the Android operating system.

I have also put together a guide listing the minimum TV box requirements to run games, whether they be PC games or classic Super Mario on a Nintendo emulator. As long as your box ticks off everything on the list, you shouldn’t have any problems.

Without any further ado, let’s jump in!

Spoiler Alert! My top choices are the new and incredibly powerful NVIDIA Shield and Beelink GT King Pro. But these are both premium boxes, there are also some more affordable options on the list.

If you are looking for a TV box for media streaming (yep, films and TV), check out our list of the 25 Best Android TV Boxes.

Best Android TV Boxes For Gaming: Product Overview

NVIDIA Shield TV
1Best Overall
NVIDIA Shield TV
  • Tegra X1 CPU
  • H.265 decoding
  • Android 9.0 Pie
  • Read More
Beelink GT King Pro
2Best For Tech-Heads
Beelink GT King Pro
  • S922X-H Hexa-Core CPU
  • H.265 decoding
  • TF Card Slot
  • Read More
Turewell 4/64GB
3Best Budget Gaming TV Box
Turewell 4/64GB
  • Allwinner H6 Quad-Core
  • Android 9.0 Pie
  • H.265 decoding
  • Read More
Raxxio X96 Max Plus
4Best For Emulators
Raxxio X69 Max Plus
  • AMLogic S905X3 Quad-Core
  • Android 9.0 Pie
  • H.265 decoding
  • Read More
Speed-A Android 10.0 T95 TV Box
5Best Android 10.0 Box For Gaming
Speed-A Android 10.0 T95 TV Box
  • AMLogic S905X3 Quad-Core
  • Android 10.0
  • H.265 decoding
  • Read More


Wait, What Is A Game Emulator?

Yes, to play games on your TV box, you will first need to download an emulator. What is that?

An emulator is simply a piece of software that lets you run other software on a system that is not designed for it. So, if you want to play classic Super Mario, you will need a Nintendo emulator. For old GTA games, you will probably want a Playstation emulator.

You can find a lot of emulators in the Google Play Store, like those for Nintendo, PlayStation, and GameCube. There are also hundreds that can be downloaded and installed as APKs.

Top 5 Android TV Boxes For Gaming

Here are our personal TOP 5!

1 NVIDIA Shield TV

NVIDIA Shield TV

If you aren’t just looking to play around with an emulator and you want the full PC gaming experience on your TV, then the NVIDIA Shield has you covered.

Under the hood, it has a high-end Tegra X1 CPU and 3 GB of RAM, plus a graphics processor with a 256-core GPU. This means it can handle games other TV boxes can’t. This is hardly a surprise considering this is one of the biggest names in PC gaming graphics.

To secure its credentials, the box also comes with its own gaming remote. This means it is native to the box, and therefore, works more smoothly than any alternative remote you might choose to use.

With this box, you also get access to NVIDIA’s GeForce Now Cloud gaming platform from where you can stream games directly to your box from their cloud collection, all in 1080p with low latency. As long as you have at least 15 Mbps of internet, you can get the full PC gaming experience through this application.

It is worth noting that this is the only TV box on this list that will let you watch Netflix and Prime Video in 4K. While all the boxes on the list have the specs to deliver this, these streaming services only let “authorized hardware” access their 4K content. While the NVIDIA Shield is authorized, none of the other boxes on this list are.

This does matter if you are gaming, since presumably, you will want to use the same box for both gaming and streaming. So, if being able to watch your favorite programs in full 4K is also important to you, that is a big tick for the NVIDIA Shield.

Specifications
CPUTegra X1
H.265 decoding
Memory3GB of RAM & 64 GB of ROM
Operating SystemAndroid 9.0 Pie
USBUSB 2.0 x 1 and USB 3.0 x 1

2 Beelink GT King Pro

Beelink GT King Pro

The Beelink GT King Pro system is built on an S922X-H Hexa-core CPU and a Hexa-core ARM G52 MP6 GPU. It is a matter of opinion whether this is a more powerful system than that offered by the Tegra X1 core used in the NVIDIA Shield, and it probably doesn’t really matter because they are both amazing.

On top of this, you get 4 GB of memory and 64 GB of storage. There is a TF card slot, allowing you to plug in up to another 4 TB of storage if desired, so there is plenty of room for storing and running your gaming content, or to act as a personal media hub.

This TV box also has one USB 2.0 slot and two USB 3.0 slots. These slots allow you to personalize your device by plugging in controllers, keyboards, and pretty much anything else you want to get up on your big screen via this box. Gamers will love it when it comes to connecting their favorite controller.

The box is also great for streaming, capable of delivering 4K output at 75 frames per second, and you get great 7.1 surround sound with Dolby Audio and DTS Listen. But as already stated, you won’t be able to watch Netflix or Prime Video in 4K.

Specifications
CPUS922X-H Hexa-Core
Memory4GB RAM & 64GB ROM
Internet2.4+5.8G Dual Wi-Fi & 1000M Ethernet Connection
Bluetooth4.1
H.265 decoding
InputTF Card Slot
USBUSB 2.0 x 1, USB 3.0 x 2

3 Turewell 4/64GB

Turewell 4/64GB

Both the NVIDIA Shield and the Beelink GT King Pro are top-of-the-range boxes, so they also come with hefty price tags. If you are looking for an affordable box that can still deliver the gaming experience, then consider the Tubewell device.

This machine has 4 GB of RAM and runs off an AMLogic S905X3 Quad-Core, making it a very powerful machine for the price tag. Like the two devices above, it uses H.265 decoding, which saves you 50 percent of the bandwidth compared to H264. This means less buffering when playing your games on the big screen.

This box actually comes with a decent range of games already installed, but the bandwidth means there is no limit on the games you can get working on this little box.

Specifications
CPUAllwinner H6 Quad-Core
Memory4 GB of RAM & 64 GB of ROM
H.265 decoding
Operating SystemAndroid 9.0 Pie
USBUSB 2.0 x 1 and USB 3.0 x 1

4 Raxxio X96 Max Plus

Raxxio X96 Max Plus

If you want to download several emulators onto your TV box, you are going to want to have a bit of space for them. This TV box from Raxxio delivers on that and so much more.

With 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of ROM, this box also runs off an AMLogic S905X3 Quad-Core, making it powerful enough to handle any game emulator and graphics. Connect your favorite controller using Bluetooth or USB; this box comes with both USB 2.0 and 3.0.

This box also runs off Android 9.0, which is not only faster and more stable but also integrates better with gaming emulators.

Specifications
CPUAMLogic S905X3 Quad-Core
Memory4 GB of RAM & 64 GB of ROM
Operating SystemAndroid 9.0 Pie
H.265 decoding
USBUSB 2.0 x 1, USB 3.0 x 1

5 Speed-A Android 10.0 T95 TV Box

Speed-A Android 10.0 T95 TV Box

If you want the gaming experience but also prefer the absolute latest Android operating system, try this 10.0 box from Speed-A, which is also another affordable option.

The hardware includes 4 GB of ROM, 64 GB of RAM, and an Allwinner h616 QUad-Core Cortex-A53 CPU. This means the box can deliver up to 6K, as well as clear and defined gaming.

It has one USB 2.0 port and one USB 3.0 port, and it can take a Micro SD card up to 128 GB. There is also 2.4G/5G Bluetooth built-in, so basically lots of ways to connect your favorite controller and boot your favorite games.

Specifications
CPUAMLogic S905X3 Quad-Core
H.265 decoding
Memory3GB of RAM & 64 GB of ROM
Operating SystemAndroid 10.0
USBUSB 2.0 x 1 and USB 3.0 x 1

Key Features Of Gaming TV Boxes

While you can technically game on any TV box, some will deliver a better experience than others in terms of graphics and lag time. When looking for the ideal TV box for gaming, there are a few features to look out for.

First and foremost, you will want a top-quality CPU and at least 2 GB of RAM. This is really the minimum you need for your machine to have the power to run any game emulators.

You will also want H.265 decoding to save you about 50 percent on bandwidth when running games, which will dramatically reduce any lag time.

You will want to download game emulators either from the Google Play Store – where you will find Super Nintendo, PlayStation, and GameCube emulators – or from elsewhere in APK format. This means you will want a box that allows APK downloads without you having to do much behind the scenes. That is when there aren’t any locked boxes, like those that run Fire TV, on this list.

You will also want quite a bit of ROM to comfortably run your emulators. I recommend a minimum of 32 GB, but the more, the better. You will also want a box that accepts SD cards and USB 2.0 and 3.0 if you want to transfer your own games directly to the machine.

Look out for something with multiple USB ports as well, as your chosen gaming controller might also connect via USB, in which case, you will want multiple ports at your disposal.

I recommend looking at something with at least Andoird 9.0 Pie. This has removed a lot of glitches and made the operating system more stable and fast. This again means it is better capable to run complex emulator programs.

So, what’s our checklist?

  • A powerful CPU
  • H.265 decoding
  • At least 2 GB of RAM
  • At least 32 GB of ROM
  • At least Android 9.0 Pie
  • Multiple USB ports

Don’t forget when you are downloading apps and games to your machine, you will want to be protected by an antivirus program. Read my list of the 5 Best Antivirus for Android and Android TV Boxes.

The Verdict

An Android TV box can be a great tool for bringing your favorite games to your biggest screen, whether you want powerful PC games or nostalgic Sega Megadrive favorites from your youth.

But not all TV boxes can do this well. Many boxes are designed to be lightweight and with just enough capacity to do what they are designed for streaming. You need something with a bit more metal under the hood if you want it to take on gaming as well.

We’ve provided a full list of the necessary minimum requirements if you want an Android TV box that can also handle gaming, and we have also recommended the best boxes for the job.

My absolute top picks are the NVIDIA Shield and the Beelink GT King Pro, both of which are premium devices designed for serious gamers.

Do you game on your TV box? What tech do you use and what challenges have you encountered? Share your experience with the community in the comments below.

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