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.
If 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.
Although the Dell P2417H is the most versatile gaming monitor under $200 that we've tested so far, if you have limited space, the Dell P2217H is a nearly identical monitor.
The best gaming monitor under $200 available in a 27 inch size that we've tested so far is the HP 27F. It's a decent 27 inch monitor with good gaming performance. It isn't a very advanced gaming monitor, but it's an okay choice for casual gaming, or for turn-based games that don't need an extremely fast response time. Despite the budget price, though, it supports AMD's FreeSync variable refresh rate technology.
This monitor has wide viewing angles, much better than the Acer XF251Q, so it's a good choice for co-op gaming. It has excellent gray uniformity and great gradients. It doesn't look as good in a dark room, but it has decent peak brightness and great reflection handling, so glare in a bright room shouldn't be an issue.
Overall, although it isn't the most versatile monitor, this is a good 27" gaming monitor that should please most casual gamers.
If you often game in a dark room, then consider the Samsung CF398. Its VA panel has a much better contrast ratio than the HP 27F, producing deep blacks that don't look like gray. As expected, this monitor has excellent low response time and input lag, and it even has a flicker-free backlight to reduce eye strain. Although the monitor's native refresh rate is 60Hz, it can be easily factory overclocked to 72Hz for a smoother gaming experience. On top of that, it supports FreeSync variable refresh rate and is compatible with recent NVIDIA graphics cards as well. Unfortunately, this monitor has rather poor ergonomics, as it's limited to tilt adjustment only, but the overall build quality is pretty decent.
For most people, the HP is a better choice overall, but if dark room performance is important to you, go with the Samsung.
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.
01/24/2020: Minor text and structure changes, no change in recommendations.
11/26/2019: Minor text and structure changes, no change in recommendations.