I'm looking to try and get my gaming experience as good as I possibly can with my connection. I am in the UK with Virgin media on a 200mb connection. I am using the Netgear R7000 in modem mode. Can I use this router with openwrt and still have wireless? Or should I get a better router. I heard openwrt with cake is the best way to go to improve connection for gaming
Use cables instead of wifi is the best way.
My PC is on ethernet. I'm just making sure my household can still use the internet wirelessly with openwrt
The r7000 is a Broadcom(-softmac) based device, while it has very basic OpenWrt support, its wireless capabilities are basically unsupported. If you were fine with using it as a wired-only router, without functioning wifi, it could be used with OpenWrt - but I wouldn't choose it with OpenWrt in mind (there's much better, fully-supported, hardware around).
Which router would you recommend for use with openwrt? Is Openwrt with cake the best setup for use with online gaming?
Given the 200 MBit/s WAN speed figure from your original post, the direct equivalent would be the well-supported Netgear Nighthawk X4s r7800 or the rather similar ZyXEL Armor Z2 NBG6817 in the ~170 EUR price range. Without SQM, which is apparently a major aspects in your online gaming needs, there'd be more/ cheaper options - as there would be if you'd detach router and wireless AP functionality (e.g. RPi4, several Marvell mvebu devices, NanoPi r2s/ maybe r4s in the future). With a look further into the future, ipq807x (such as the ax3600) could become an option, but those will require quite some more time to become viable with OpenWrt (but they will push the limits in terms of performance or 802.11ax).
The two routers you listed I will look into