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 80 monitors, and below you'll find our picks for the best gaming monitors under $200 that are available for purchase in 2020. If your budget is a bit more flexible, see our recommendations for the best gaming monitors under $300, the best budget gaming monitors, the best budget monitors, and the best G-SYNC monitors.
The best gaming monitor under $200 that we've tested so far is the Acer XF251Q. This 1080p monitor is an all-around good performer despite its budget price. It has a good build quality that feels sturdy, and the monitor is easily adjustable thanks to its great ergonomics. The TN panel may not have great viewing angles, but it does have outstanding response time and input lag to provide you a smooth and responsive gaming experience. Also, it has a native 75Hz refresh rate and supports FreeSync.
This monitor has decent peak brightness and reflection handling, making it a good choice for those with a bright room setting. There are even some extra features that we only see on more expensive models, such as built-in speakers, a crosshair for shooter games, and a flicker-free backlight to reduce eye strain during those long gaming sessions.
All in all, if you're looking for a budget monitor that has few compromises, this is the one.
The Dell P2417H is a decent monitor 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. Viewing angles are great on this IPS panel, along with impressive color accuracy and gray uniformity. Unfortunately, we can't say the same about black uniformity, as there's a significant amount of backlight bleeding.
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 decent monitor for any office.
While it might not be as good as the Acer, its versatility makes it one of the best gaming monitors you'll find in this price range.
If you like having a versatile gaming monitor but you're cramped for space, the Dell P2217H is a very similar, but smaller, alternative to the Dell P2417H. It performs almost identically to the larger model, with almost identical picture quality, but the unit we tested has slightly worse black uniformity. Its small size means will allow you to place it comfortably in a smaller gaming setup, which is good for those living in a smaller apartment or a dorm room.
Although the P2417H is the most versatile gaming monitor under $200 that we've tested so far, if you have limited space, the P2217H is a nearly identical monitor.
The best 27 inch gaming monitor under $200 that we've tested so far is the HP 27F. It's a 1080p monitor with a 75Hz refresh rate and support for FreeSync variable refresh rate. It has an IPS panel that provides decent viewing angles, and it has an impressive out-of-the-box color accuracy for a monitor in this price range. It's not the most ideal monitor for gaming in a dark room, though, as it has a mediocre contrast ratio that makes blacks look gray.
This monitor has a great response time, resulting in clear images with very little motion blur. Input lag is low, even when VRR is enabled, and it has a flicker-free backlight if you're concerned about eye strain. It has very thin bezels, which is great for multi-monitor setups, but unfortunately, its ergonomics are rather poor, as it only allows for tilt adjustments.
On the whole, although this monitor doesn't offer much in terms of features, it's a decent gaming monitor nonetheless, and is one that won't break the bank.
If you like gaming in the dark, you're better off with a monitor like the Samsung C27F398. It has a VA panel with a far better contrast ratio than the HP 27F, so blacks look deep when viewed in the dark. There are, however, a few minor compromises, as this monitor can't get as bright and its viewing angles are sub-par, which causes images to look washed if you're not sitting directly in front of the screen. On the bright side, you still get an excellent response time, a low input lag, and support for FreeSync variable refresh rate to reduce screen tearing. It's also compatible with recent NVIDIA graphics cards and the backlight is flicker-free.
Overall, most people should be satisfied with the HP, but if you want better dark room performance, then get the Samsung.
03/23/2020: Minor text and structure changes, no change in recommendations.
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 under $200. 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.