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 reviewed more than 80 monitors, and below are our recommendations for the best gaming monitors under $300 that are available for purchase in 2020. 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 Dell S2719DGF. This monitor has a TN panel with outstanding motion handling to provide you with a smooth gaming experience. It has an exceptionally low response time, a fast 144Hz refresh rate, and it supports FreeSync variable refresh rate to reduce screen tearing. It's also compatible with NVIDIA's G-SYNC if you have a recent 10- or 20- series graphics card, though it requires a firmware update. Unfortunately, there are some downsides with TN monitors. Contrast ratio is sub-par and black uniformity is bad, so it may not be a good choice for dark room gaming. Also, its viewing angles are poor, which isn't ideal if you like to play co-op games with friends.
If you like playing atmospheric or RPG games, this monitor's 1440p resolution can deliver a sharp and detailed picture for an immersive experience. Additionally, it has good color accuracy right out of the box, and it has a flicker-free backlight to reduce eye strain during those long gaming sessions. There are also some extra features that can be useful and convenient, such as a frame rate counter overlay and a dark stabilizer, which brings out details in dark scenes.
On the whole, if you're shopping for the best gaming monitor on a limited budget, this one is worthy of consideration.
If you find the Dell S2719DGF's 16:9 aspect ratio a bit too narrow, you should take a look at an ultrawide monitor such as the LG 29UM69G-B. Although it has a meager 1080p resolution and a 75Hz refresh rate, it can still provide you with a great gaming experience. It has a remarkably low response time and input lag, which feels smooth and responsive, and it also supports FreeSync variable refresh rate. This monitor uses an IPS panel with wide viewing angles, but its contrast ratio and black uniformity make is unsuitable to play in the dark, as there's significant clouding and backlight bleed that can be rather distracting. Lastly, this monitor has built-in speakers, a flicker-free backlight, and can display a crosshair for shooter games.
Overall, the Dell is a better monitor, but if you prefer the ultrawide format, the LG is the way to go.
If you want a more versatile monitor with very good gaming performance, check out the Dell U2518D. It's a good 1440p IPS monitor with wide viewing angles and a great stand. It can get very bright and has good reflection handling, as well as a great stand, so it's a good choice for almost any room.
Unfortunately, it doesn't support VRR, and some people may be disappointed by the 60Hz refresh rate. It supports HDR, which is very surprising at this price point, but it can't take full advantage of it as it can't get very bright and can't display a wide color gamut so, unfortunately, HDR doesn't add much.
This monitor has great low input lag and a fast response time. It has great versatility, as the wide viewing angles and great resolution make it great for multitasking. The price of this monitor tends to vary a bit and can go slightly above $300.
The ViewSonic XG2402 is the best 24 inch gaming monitor under $300 that we have tested so far. Despite the budget price, this 1080p monitor delivers an impressive gaming experience. It has an outstanding response time, resulting in crystal-clear motion, with almost no noticeable blur behind fast-moving objects. It also has a fast refresh rate and outstanding low input lag, for a responsive gaming experience.
This monitor has good peak brightness, decent gray uniformity, and great reflection handling. It also has excellent gradient handling, despite only supporting an 8-bit color depth.
Unfortunately, like most TN monitors, it doesn't look great in a dark room, as it has a low contrast ratio. It's also best enjoyed from directly in front, as the image degrades when viewed at an angle, so it might not be a great choice for co-op gaming. Overall, though, it's an impressive gaming monitor that should please even the most competitive gamers.
If you're looking for a monitor with wider viewing angles than the ViewSonic XG2402, get the Dell P2417H. It delivers a good overall gaming experience, although not as good as the other monitor. It has a fast response time that delivers crisp motion, a low input lag for a responsive gaming experience, and a flicker-free backlight. The image remains accurate for wider angles, so you can sit up close without worrying about uniformity issues at the sides.
If you want the best 24 inch gaming monitor for under $300, get the ViewSonic. However, if viewing angles are important, then the Dell is a great alternative.
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 under $300. 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.
02/11/2020: Minor text and structure changes, no change in recommendations.
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.