You don't need to spend an arm and a leg to get a decent gaming monitor. There are some very good picks available on a budget, great for dorms or casual gamers. Cheaper monitors are typically less versatile, with smaller screens and slower response times, but you can still expect a decent gaming experience on most of them.
We've tested more than 125 monitors, and below are our recommendations for the best gaming monitors under $300 that are available for purchase. For cheaper options, see our recommendations for the best gaming monitors under $200, the best budget gaming monitors, the best budget monitors, and the best FreeSync monitors. See also our recommendations for the best gaming mice and the best gaming keyboards.
The best gaming monitor under $300 we've tested is the ViewSonic XG2402. It's a compact 24 inch model that delivers an exceptionally smooth gaming experience with its 144Hz refresh rate and superb response time. It has a good build quality despite its budget price, but it isn't the most stylish due to its thick bezels. The stand provides a good amount of ergonomic adjustments, making it easy to place it in your optimal viewing position. Unfortunately, its TN panel has mediocre viewing angles, which isn't ideal for playing co-op games or sharing content. It has great reflection handling and gets bright enough to combat glare.
As mentioned, it has superb motion handling. There's almost no blur trail behind fast-moving objects thanks to its incredibly fast response time, and it has a 144Hz refresh rate that makes motion look fluid. It supports FreeSync variable refresh rate (VRR) technology to help reduce screen tearing and is compatible with NVIDIA's G-SYNC. Using VRR does add a bit of input lag, but it shouldn't be noticeable for most people.
It comes with a surprising number of additional features. It has two USB 3.0 ports, a pair of integrated speakers, and even some LED lighting on the back. There's no HDR support, although it's somewhat expected of something in this price range. The backlight is completely flicker-free at all brightness levels, which helps reduce eye strain during long gaming sessions. Overall, while its smaller screen size isn't the best for immersion, its superb motion handling should satisfy most gamers, especially for fast-paced games.
If you prefer gaming on an ultrawide monitor, then check out the LG 29UM69G-B. Like the ViewSonic XG2402, it has a 1080p resolution, but its 21:9 aspect ratio gives you more horizontal space. It has an IPS panel with much wider viewing angles, so images remain accurate at the sides even if you sit up close. Unfortunately, there are some compromises, as it has significantly worse ergonomics and visibility can be an issue in well-lit rooms due to its low peak brightness. Also, its refresh rate is limited to 75Hz, which means that motion doesn't look as smooth. On the upside, its response time is excellent, and it has a Black Frame Insertion feature to further reduce motion blur. It doesn't have any USB-A ports for charging, but it does have a USB-C input that supports DisplayPort Alt Mode, allowing you to display an image from a compatible device and charge it at the same time.
Overall, the ViewSonic is a better choice due to its much higher refresh rate. However, if you want more screen real estate and don't mind compromising a bit, the LG is a good alternative.
The best 27 inch gaming monitor under $300 we've tested is the ASUS VG279Q. Even though it has a humble 1080p resolution, it delivers an amazing gaming experience with its 27 inch screen and superb motion handling. It's well-built, has outstanding ergonomics, and gets bright enough for use in bright lighting conditions. Unfortunately, it doesn't perform all that well in dark rooms, as it has a low contrast ratio that makes blacks look grayish. On the upside, it has an IPS panel with excellent viewing angles, making it a good choice for co-op gaming.
As mentioned, it has excellent motion handling. Its fast response time results in very little blur trails behind fast-moving objects, and it has an optional Black Frame Insertion feature that can further improve motion clarity. It has a 144Hz refresh rate and supports FreeSync variable refresh rate to help minimize screen tearing. It also works with recent 10- or 20- series NVIDIA graphics cards thanks to its G-SYNC compatibility.
There's no HDR support, and there aren't any USB ports for charging either. You do get a pair of integrated speakers and a few gaming features, such as the ability to add a crosshair, an FPS counter, and a timer. The backlight is flicker-free, and it's well-calibrated out-of-the-box. Black uniformity is a bit disappointing on our unit; however, your experience may vary. All in all, this is a great gaming monitor that most people should be happy with.
If you want a monitor with better dark room performance, consider the MSI Optix G27C4. Although it doesn't have as good out-of-the-box color accuracy as the ASUS VG279Q, it has a much better contrast ratio and still has good gaming performance. It has a native 165Hz refresh rate, resulting in clear motion, and it has a good response time at 60Hz, too. There's a black frame insertion feature, it has native FreeSync support, and the input lag is exceptionally low, one of the best we've seen. It stays low even at 60Hz, which is great for console gamers. Unfortunately, it doesn't get very bright and has poor viewing angles, so it's not ideal for co-op gaming.
Overall, if you're looking for the best 27 inch gaming monitor under $300, check out the ASUS, but if you prefer something with a VA panel, the MSI is a good alternative.
The best 1440p gaming monitor under $300 we've tested is the AOC CQ27G1. It's a large 27 inch screen that delivers a great dark room gaming experience, as its VA panel is able to produce deep and inky blacks. Images and text look sharp with its 1440p resolution, and there's enough screen space to make it a decent option for work. Viewing angles are a bit narrow, but the screen's curvature helps with visibility, and the stand has a wide swivel range. It also has good height and tilt adjustments, but unfortunately, it can't rotate to portrait mode.
For its budget price, it has great gaming performance. It has fast response time, an optional Black Frame Insertion feature, and a 144Hz refresh rate, making fast motion look smooth and clear. It supports FreeSync to help reduce screen tearing, but sadly, it isn't G-SYNC compatible. Input lag is extremely low and only rises slightly with VRR enabled, and there's no HDR support, which is somewhat expected of a monitor in this price range.
There aren't a whole lot of extra features. You have an option to add a virtual crosshair to shooter games and a shadow boost feature to make objects more visible in dark scenes. The one big downside is that it has a fairly low peak brightness, so it's better suited for a dark to moderately-lit room. It isn't the most feature-packed monitor out there, but for its wallet-friendly price, it punches way above its weight.
10/05/2020: Minor text and structure changes, no change in recommendations.
08/06/2020: Replaced Dell U2518D with AOC CQ27G1.
06/09/2020: Moved ViewSonic XG2402 to main pick to replace the Dell S2719DGF; created a new 27 inch category and added ASUS VG279Q and MSI Optix GC27C4; removed the Dell P2417H.
12/13/2019: Replaced the AOC AGON AG271QX with the Dell S2719DGF, as the AOC is no longer in this price range. Changed the article structure to improve clarity.
10/16/2019: Replaced the Dell S2719DGF, as it's currently over $300.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best gaming monitors under $300 currently available. 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.