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 over 75 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 ViewSonic XG2402 is the best budget gaming monitor we've tested so far. Despite the budget price, this 24 inch monitor delivers a great overall gaming experience, with outstanding motion handling, a flicker-free backlight, and extremely low input lag. This results in an incredibly clear, responsive gaming experience, with little noticeable blur behind fast-moving objects.
Unfortunately, like most TN monitors, it delivers only decent picture quality. It has good peak brightness, with great reflection handling, so glare shouldn't be an issue in a bright room. It doesn't look as good in a dark room, though, as it has a low contrast ratio and poor black uniformity, and unlike IPS monitors, the image degrades when viewed at an angle.
Overall though, the ViewSonic XG2402 is a great budget gaming monitor that should please even the most demanding gamers, as long as picture quality isn't as important to you.
If you want to experience HDR gaming for the first time but don't want to spend a fortune, the Dell U2518D is the best HDR budget gaming alternative. It has a higher native resolution than the ASUS VG79Q, but much simpler gaming features, which might disappoint some users. It has a limited 60Hz refresh rate, and it doesn't support any variable refresh rate technologies, like FreeSync. This monitor supports HDR, though, and although it isn't as good as high-end HDR TVs, it has decent peak brightness in HDR, so some small highlights will stand out more.
Overall, the ASUS VG279Q is the best budget gaming monitor we've tested so far, but if you want to experience HDR for the first time, the Dell U2518D is a decent HDR gaming alternative.
If you want something a bit bigger than the ViewSonic XG2402, check out the ASUS VG279Q instead. This monitor delivers an outstanding gaming experience, with an excellent response time, an optional black frame insertion feature, and excellent low input lag. There's a bit more noticeable blur behind fast-moving objects than on the ViewSonic, but it still performs well. Unlike the ViewSonic, the image remains accurate when viewed at an angle, and it's a bit brighter.
Overall, the ViewSonic XG2402 is the best budget gaming monitor we've tested so far, but if you want something a bit bigger, the ASUS VG279Q might be a slightly better choice.
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 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 gaming in a dark room, the Samsung CF398 might be a better choice than the Acer XF251Q. This is a basic gaming monitor with a 60Hz refresh rate that might disappoint some gamers, but it supports FreeSync variable refresh rate technology. This monitor looks better in a dark room, as the much higher contrast ratio delivers deeper blacks, which is especially noticeable in a dark room.
Overall, the Acer XF251Q is the best cheap gaming monitor for most people, but if you game in a dark room a lot, the Samsung CF398 might be a better choice.
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.