Depending on your needs, even budget monitors can deliver a great gaming experience. While they may lack some of the advanced features and fancy designs found on more expensive models, even budget monitors can offer low input lag, excellent response times, and even frame rate matching technologies like FreeSync or G-SYNC. Budget gaming monitors are typically smaller, but many of them are versatile monitors that are great for PC and console gaming alike.
We've reviewed 76 monitors, and below you'll find out recommendations for the best cheap gaming monitors to buy in 2019. See also our recommendations for the best monitors for Xbox One and the best gaming monitors for PS4. If you're looking for a good pair of headphones to game with, check our recommendations for the best gaming headsets.
The ASUS VG279Q is the best budget gaming monitor that we've tested so far. It delivers an excellent gaming experience that should please even the most demanding gamers. It has outstanding low input lag so you can respond instantly to what's happening onscreen, and it has an extremely fast response time, so fast-moving objects have very little blur behind them.
As a budget gaming monitor, it doesn't have many advanced gaming features. There's no RGB bias lighting, but it does have a few virtual overlays, including a virtual crosshair which can't be detected by games. It also supports FreeSync, something which is great for Xbox One owners, and is one of the few FreeSync monitors to have an optional black frame insertion feature.
Unfortunately, the 1080p resolution might be disappointing for some gamers, as the image isn't as sharp as a 1440p or 4k monitor. It's a bit more expensive than most budget monitors, but if you can find it on sale it's an excellent gaming monitor that should please most people.
If you like the ASUS VG279Q but want to play the latest games in HDR, check out the Acer Nitro VG271 instead. This is a great gaming monitor, with similar motion handling to the ASUS and almost identical low input lag, which is great. This monitor also supports HDR, which is great for console or PC gaming. Unfortunately, although it can get decently bright in HDR, this monitor can't display a wide color gamut, so HDR games don't look quite as good as they should. This monitor also has a worse stand than the ASUS, so it might be more difficult to place it in the ideal viewing position.
If you want something slightly cheaper than the ASUS VG279Q, check out the ViewSonic XG2402 instead. This 24", 1080p monitor delivers a great gaming experience, thanks to its incredibly fast response time, low input lag, and fast response time. Like the ASUS, this monitor supports FreeSync, which is great, and it has a few useful features for gamers. Unfortunately, unlike the ASUS, the image degrades when viewed at an angle and the stand is a bit less versatile.
The AOC AGON AG271QX is the best budget 1440p gaming monitor that we've tested so far. It delivers a great gaming experience, with an excellent response time (slightly better than the ASUS VG279Q), a fast refresh rate, FreeSync support, and excellent low input lag. The 1440p screen is great, as you can see more fine details in your favorite games, and it provides more screen real-estate.
This monitor isn't quite as bright as the ASUS, but it has similar reflection handling, so you shouldn't have any issues gaming in a bright room. This monitor also has a great selection of inputs, including a built-in USB hub with two USB 3.0 ports, great for connecting gaming peripherals.
Unfortunately, the image on this monitor degrades when viewed at an angle, so the sides of the screen can appear washed out when sitting really close. Overall, though, this is a great gaming monitor that should please most people.
If you want a good 1440p gaming monitor with wide viewing angles, check out the Dell U2518D instead. Although not as good for gaming as the AOC AGON AG271QX, this is a good gaming monitor for casual gamers, with wide viewing angles and a great stand. It also supports HDR, although there isn't much benefit to it, as it can't display a wide color gamut.
Unfortunately, this monitor has slightly higher input lag, which isn't ideal for fast-paced shooters or MOBAs. Overall, though, it's a good monitor for pretty much any use.
The Acer XF251Q is the best cheap gaming monitor we've tested so far. Despite the budget price, it delivers a great gaming experience, with an outstanding response time, low input lag, and support for AMD's FreeSync variable refresh rate technology.
This monitor also has great ergonomics, which is rare for a budget monitor, so it's easy to place in an ideal viewing position. It gets decently bright and has good reflection handling, so you shouldn't have any issues with it in a bright room.
Unfortunately, this monitor has a simple 1080p resolution, which might disappoint some gamers, and it has a limited selection of inputs.
If you like to play games at night in a dark room, check out the Samsung CF398. This monitor isn't as good for gaming as the Acer XF251Q, as it has a slower response time and a simple 60Hz refresh rate. This is still good enough for most casual gamers, but isn't ideal for fast-paced action games like shooters or MOBAs. On the other hand, this monitor has a much better contrast ratio, so blacks look black, especially when gaming in a dark room.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best cheap gaming monitors currently available. They are adapted to be valid for most people, in each price range. Rating is based on our review, factoring in price and feedback from our visitors.
If you would prefer to make your own decision, here is the list of all of our monitor reviews. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. Most monitors are good enough to please most people, and the things we fault monitors on are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.