Whether you only game occasionally or are simply on a budget, you can still get a decent gaming experience for less than $200. Monitors this size typically don't offer super-fast refresh rates or high-resolution screens, but as prices come down, budget monitors have become more feature-packed than ever before. Many budget monitors now even support newer gaming technologies like variable refresh rates and virtual on-screen displays.
We've reviewed over 125 monitors, and below you'll find our picks for the best gaming monitors under $200 that are available for purchase. If your budget is a bit more flexible, see our recommendations for the best budget gaming monitors, the best budget monitors, and the best G-SYNC monitors.
The best gaming monitor under $200 we've tested is the Acer XF251Q. It's decent overall and has great gaming performance. It's a bit over $200 now, but for its price, this is still a great choice if you're on a tight budget.
It has a TN panel with outstanding motion handling. There's overshoot in the darker transitions, but it performs well with brighter transitions. It has a native 75Hz refresh rate, the input lag is low, and it has FreeSync support to reduce screen tearing. Despite being a budget-friendly option, it has built-in speakers, so you don't have to worry about getting an external setup if you don't want to. You can also add three different types of crosshairs on the screen for FPS games.
Sadly, the picture quality isn't good. It has a low resolution, poor out-of-the-box color accuracy, a mediocre contrast ratio, and narrow viewing angles. However, its black uniformity isn't bad, especially for a TN panel, and it's good to use in moderately-lit rooms as it gets fairly bright and has good reflection handling. All in all, you're getting great gaming performance for a low cost with this one.
If you prefer a monitor with better ergonomics, then check out the ASUS VG245H. It has worse uniformity than the Acer XF251Q, but its stand allows for a wide range of adjustments, so you can place it in the position you want. It has excellent out-of-the-box color accuracy, so you don't have to worry about getting it calibrated. It also has a TN panel, a 75Hz refresh rate, and FreeSync support, and it performs very similarly to the Acer in terms of gaming. Motion handling is superb and there's less overshoot, and the input lag is low. Sadly, the picture quality isn't the best on this monitor, as it has even worse viewing angles, a low contrast ratio, and it has uniformity issues.
Overall, the best gaming monitor under $200 we've tested is the Acer, but if you prefer something with a stand with better ergonomics, check out the ASUS.
The Dell P2417H is decent if you need something more versatile than the Acer XF251Q, and is one of the best gaming monitors under $200. The 60Hz refresh rate and lack of variable refresh rate support may be disappointing for gamers, but Dell does get a lot of things right to make this an all-purpose monitor.
It has a low input lag, very good motion handling, and great out-of-the-box color accuracy. As with most of their Professional Series monitors, Dell didn't skimp on the ergonomics: the stand is sturdy and allows for all manner of adjustments as well as being VESA-mountable. The 1080p resolution is a bit of a letdown, but overall, it's a good choice for console gaming after a long day of working at home.
Unfortunately, as it has an IPS panel, the contrast ratio is low, so blacks look gray when viewed in the dark. Luckily, that means it has wide viewing angles, great for sharing your screen with others. While it might not be as good as the Acer, its versatility makes this one of the best gaming monitors under $200 that you can find.
If you have a smaller space and can't fit in a 24 inch monitor like the Dell P2417H, you can go with its smaller sibling, the Dell P2217H. They're nearly identical, but there are a few differences. This one has better viewing angles, so you don't lose as much image accuracy when viewing from the side. It also has a better SDR color volume to produce a wider range of colors, and its excellent gradient handling results in less banding. Its color accuracy isn't as good out-of-the-box but still decent, and unfortunately, our unit has bad black uniformity, though your experience may vary.
Overall, choosing between the P2417H and the P2217H largely comes down to size, as they're nearly identical. The P2217H doesn't offer as much screen real estate, but its smaller screen size results in a higher pixel density, making images and text look sharper.
The best gaming monitor under $200 with a 27 inch screen is the AOC CQ27G1. In full disclosure, it typically sells for a bit more than this price point. However, given its impressive performance, it's well worth the extra cash, as finding a good gaming monitor at this price is quite difficult. It sports a VA panel with a great contrast ratio, producing deep and inky blacks for a good dark room gaming experience. It has decent reflection handling, but it doesn't get very bright, so it might have a bit of trouble fighting glare. Also, it has narrow viewing angles, which isn't ideal for playing co-op games or sharing content.
It has great motion handling due to its fast response time, Black Frame Insertion feature, and 144Hz refresh rate. Motion looks smooth and clear, and screen tearing is minimal thanks to its FreeSync support. Unfortunately, it isn't G-SYNC compatible, which might disappoint those with an NVIDIA graphics card. There's no HDR support, although that's somewhat expected of something in this price range.
There aren't many extra features, but you do get a shadow boost feature that makes objects more visible in dark scenes, and you can also add a virtual crosshair for shooter games. Also, the backlight is flicker-free, great for reducing eye strain. Overall, while it does cost a bit more, it's a great gaming monitor that punches well above its weight.
09/24/2020: Minor text and structure changes, replaced HP 27F with AOC CQ27G1.
07/22/2020: Removed the Samsung CF398 as a 27 inch alternative; added the ASUS VG245H as an alternative to the Acer.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best gaming monitors under $200. They are adapted to be valid for most people. 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.