There are great options available if you want to get the best gaming monitor for under $300. 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. However, companies are starting to produce higher-resolution monitors for about $300, so the market for budget monitors is expanding.
We've tested more than 150 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, and the best budget monitors.
The best 1080p gaming monitor under $300 that we've tested is the Acer Nitro XF243Y Pbmiiprx. It's an excellent gaming model that rivals some more expensive options. It's fairly well-built and has excellent ergonomics, allowing you to place the screen how you like. The picture quality is great thanks to its high peak brightness, excellent accuracy, and amazing SDR color gamut.
It's packed with features that most people expect to find in a gaming monitor. Its native 144Hz refresh rate can be overclocked to 165Hz, it has native FreeSync variable refresh rate (VRR) support, and G-SYNC compatibility. The response time is simply incredible whether you're gaming at its max refresh rate or 60Hz, resulting in minimal motion blur. It has a Black Frame Insertion feature, but it flickers within a narrow range and can't be used when VRR is enabled. Input lag is also incredibly low, and it doesn't increase with VRR enabled, which is great.
Unfortunately, the 1080p resolution may be too low for immersive gaming, but the smaller, 24 inch screen, increases pixel density, so images still look fairly sharp. It's also not a good choice for dark room gaming because it has a low contrast ratio that makes blacks appear gray, but that's expected from a VA panel. Nonetheless, this is one of the best gaming monitors under $300 that we've tested.
If you prefer something with a higher 240Hz native refresh rate that you can overclock to 280Hz, then look into the ASUS TUF Gaming VG259QM. It has a much higher input lag at 60Hz than the Acer Nitro XF243Y Pbmiiprx, so it's not ideal for console gaming. However, the VG259QM also has an exceptional response time and the Black Frame Insertion feature has a wider flicker range, so motion looks buttery smooth. Like the Acer, this monitor also has FreeSync support and G-SYNC compatibility. Its IPS panel provides wide viewing angles, but that comes at the cost of a low contrast ratio. However, thanks to its high peak brightness and good reflection handling, the ASUS is a great option for use in well-lit rooms.
If you want the best gaming monitor under $300 with a 1080p resolution, you should be happy with the Acer, but if you need a higher refresh rate and don't mind spending a bit more money, then check out the ASUS.
The best 1440p gaming monitor under $300 that we've tested is the Gigabyte G27Q. Although it's a bit over $300, it's still a great gaming option and offers very good value for its cost. It's versatile enough for most uses and the 1440p resolution helps deliver an immersive gaming experience. It has good build quality, but it doesn't offer much in terms of ergonomics, so it may be a bit difficult to place in an ideal viewing position.
It has a native 144Hz refresh rate with FreeSync support and G-SYNC compatibility, but you can't overclock its refresh rate. Input lag is extremely low and the response time at 144Hz is excellent, resulting in minimal motion blur. However, it has a slower response time at 60Hz, so 60fps games may look like they have some blur trail with fast-moving content. It has a few extra features, like the ability to add a virtual crosshair, it has a 'Black Equalizer' to make it easier to see opponents in shadows in games, and it has built-in speakers, which is great if you don't want to spend more on a dedicated setup.
Sadly, it's not a good choice for dark room gaming because its IPS panel has a low contrast ratio, so blacks appear gray when viewed in dark environments. However, that means it has wide viewing angles, so the image remains accurate when viewed from the sides. It's also great for gaming in well-lit rooms because of its great peak brightness and good reflection handling. If you want something with a 1440p resolution, this is one of the best gaming monitors under $300 that we've tested.
If you tend to game in a dark environment and want something that displays deeper blacks, then look into the Gigabyte G27QC. It's extremely similar to the Gigabyte G27Q, except it doesn't have wide viewing angles, but its VA panel has a much better contrast ratio. It also has a higher 165Hz refresh rate, and like the G27QC, this monitor has FreeSync support, G-SYNC compatibility, and very low input lag. It has a great response time at its max refresh rate and 60Hz, but you may notice some motion smearing due to some overshoot. It also has poor ergonomics and combined with its narrow viewing angles, it's not ideal for co-op gaming. On the plus side, it gets bright enough to combat glare if you also want to use it in a bright room.
If you want the best 1440p gaming monitor under $300, you should be happy with the G27Q, but if you want to spend a bit less money and prefer something with better dark room performance, then look into the G27QC.
The best 4k gaming monitor under $300 that we've tested is the BenQ EL2870U. Although there aren't many low-cost options with this resolution, this one offers good value for its price, and the high resolution helps delivers incredibly clear images. It's limited to a 60Hz refresh rate, but that shouldn't be a problem since many 4k games don't go past 60fps.
It has VRR support in terms of native FreeSync and G-SYNC compatibility, allowing the refresh rate to go as low as 40Hz. It has a low input lag that only slightly increases with VRR enabled, and motion looks smooth thanks to its quick response time. It has excellent gray uniformity, and colors look rich and vivid thanks to its great out-of-the-box accuracy and excellent SDR color gamut. It also has good reflection handling and decent peak brightness if you want to use it in a well-lit room.
Sadly, it has a TN panel that results in both a low contrast ratio and narrow viewing angles, so it's not ideal for use in dark rooms or co-op gaming. It also has terrible ergonomics, and even though it supports HDR10, it fails to display a wide color gamut and get bright enough to make highlights stand out. Regardless of these issues, it's a decent 4k gaming monitor that should please most people.
Feb 02, 2021: Complete restructuring of the article. Removed the ViewSonic XG2402, LG 29UM69G-B, ASUS VG279Q, MSI Optix G27C4, and Dell S2721QS; removed the 'Best Gaming' and 'Best 27 Inch Categories'; added 'Best 1080p' category; added the Acer Nitro XF243Y, ASUS VG259QM, Gigabyte G27Q, and BenQ EL2870U; moved the Gigabyte G27QC from a main pick to 'Dark Room Alternative'.
Dec 04, 2020: Replaced the AOC CQ27G1 with the Gigabyte G27QC; added the Dell S2721QS as 'Best 4k Gaming Monitor'.
Oct 05, 2020: Minor text and structure changes, no change in recommendations.
Aug 06, 2020: Replaced Dell U2518D with AOC CQ27G1.
Jun 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.
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, sorted by price from low to high. 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.