Gaming has evolved in recent years, with new 4k monitors delivering a more detailed gaming experience. Console and PC gamers alike have embraced this new format, with upgraded consoles released that can take advantage of the greater levels of detail provided by these new screens. It doesn't come without trade-offs, though, as most 4k screens have a slower refresh rate and, by extension, slower response times than their lower-resolution, higher refresh rate counterparts. However, some 4k monitors are starting to include HDMI 2.1 support, allowing you to reach a higher frame rate for a better gaming experience.
We've tested over 210 monitors, and below are our picks for the best 4k gaming monitors to buy. Also, see our recommendations for the best monitors for Xbox Series X, the best monitors for PS5, and the best monitors for PC gaming.
The best 4k gaming monitor that we've tested is the Gigabyte M32U. It's an impressive 4k monitor with a fast 144Hz refresh rate. It delivers an excellent gaming experience, with low input lag and a superb response time at both the max refresh rate and 60Hz. It supports FreeSync variable refresh rate technology (VRR), and it also works with NVIDIA's G-SYNC Compatible technology, although it's not officially supported.
It's also one of the best monitors for consoles gamers. It's one of the few monitors with HDMI 2.1 ports, so it can take full advantage of most of what the Sony PS5 and Xbox Series S|X have to offer, including 4k @ 120Hz gaming and VRR support on the Xbox. It's also great for productivity when you're not gaming, with a large, high-resolution screen and superb text clarity. It also has a few extra features designed for productivity, including a built-in keyboard video and mouse switch (KVM), so you can control two sources with a single keyboard and mouse.
Unfortunately, the IPS panel results in a low contrast ratio, so blacks look gray in a dark room. It has a local dimming feature to try to improve black levels, but it's terrible. Overall though, it's an impressive gaming monitor that should please most people.
If you want something with a better HDR experience, then check out the ASUS ROG Strix XG27UQ. Unlike the Gigabyte M32U, it doesn't have any HDMI 2.1 inputs, so 4k gaming is capped at 60Hz from most sources. However, it has slightly lower input lag at 60Hz, resulting in a more responsive experience. It's a bit better for HDR gaming because it displays a wider color gamut, meaning it produces a wider ranger of colors, and it's a bit brighter in HDR, so small highlights stand out more. Unfortunately, it uses a similar IPS panel as the Gigabyte, so it can't deliver true blacks, and the edge-lit local dimming feature is terrible once again.
If you want the best 4k monitor for gaming, you can't go wrong with the Gigabyte, but if lower input lag and a better HDR experience are more important to you, then look into the ASUS.
The best 4k monitor for gaming in dark rooms we've tested is the LG OLED48C1. Although this is technically a TV, there's nothing better for dark rooms than an OLED like this. Its 48 inch screen feels incredibly immersive, and it can display deep, inky blacks for a great dark room gaming experience. Also, there's no blooming or visible transition between dimming zones like on backlit TVs because there's no backlight.
Like all OLEDs, the response time is near-instantaneous, resulting in clear motion with almost no blur trail behind fast-moving objects. It supports many different advanced gaming features, including HDMI 2.1, so you can game at 4k 120Hz from the latest consoles or PCs. It supports FreeSync natively and is certified as G-SYNC compatible, ensuring a nearly tear-free gaming experience from any source.
Unfortunately, there are a few downsides to using an OLED TV as a monitor. First, it has no ergonomic adjustments to speak of, so it might be hard to get a comfortable viewing position. Second, there's the risk of permanent burn-in, although we don't expect it to be an issue for most people. On the plus side, it delivers an amazing HDR experience, and it has built-in speakers. Overall, this is one of the best 4k gaming monitors we've tested.
The best 4k gaming monitor that we've tested in the budget category is the Dell S2721QS. It's a very good gaming monitor with low input lag, a good response time, and support for FreeSync variable refresh rate technology. Like all of the monitors on this list, it has a large, high-resolution screen, which is great for atmospheric games like RPGs, as you can see more fine details in your favorite worlds. It also supports HDR, with okay peak brightness in HDR and a wide color gamut.
It has a simple design that looks great in any setting. Like most Dell monitors, it has very good ergonomics, so it's easy to place it in an ideal viewing position. It also has wide viewing angles, so it's a great choice for co-op gaming or watching videos with a friend. It has good reflection handling and great peak brightness in SDR, so glare shouldn't be an issue in a bright room.
Unfortunately, it's limited to a 60Hz refresh rate, which might disappoint some gamers, and it doesn't support any advanced gaming features like HDMI 2.1. It's also not the best choice for a dark room, as it has low contrast and just decent black uniformity. Overall, it's a great monitor and the best budget 4k gaming monitor we've tested.
Oct 15, 2021: Changed our main recommendation from the Gigabyte M28U to the Gigabyte M32U, as the larger model is a bit better overall. We removed the Philips Momentum 436M6VBPAB, as it's been discontinued by the manufacturer and is nearly impossible to find. We also added the Gigabyte M28U and the Gigabyte AORUS FO48U to the Notable Mentions.
Sep 17, 2021: Verified picks for accuracy and refreshed text. Added the LG 27GP950-B to the Notable Mentions.
Aug 18, 2021: Replaced the Acer Nitro XV282K with the Gigabyte M28U and renamed the Philips 436M6VBPAB as 'LED Alternative' for consistency; added the Gigabyte FI32U, LG 48 CX, Dell S3221QS, and BenQ EL2870U to Notable Mentions.
Jul 22, 2021: Verified accuracy of picks. Replaced LG 48 CX OLED with LG 48 C1 OLED.
Jun 22, 2021: Verified accuracy of picks. Replaced LG 27GN950-B with Acer Nitro XV282K KVbmiipruzx.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best 4k gaming monitors currently available. They're 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 4k 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.