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 for 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 2019. 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.
The ViewSonic XG2402 is the best gaming monitor under $300 that we have tested so far. Despite the budget price, this 24 inch, 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, the ViewSonic XG2402 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 the narrow viewing angles of the ViewSonic XG2402 are an issue for you, check out the Dell P2417H instead. This 24 inch IPS monitor isn't the most advanced in terms of gaming performance, but it delivers a generally good gaming experience. It doesn't support any variable refresh rate technologies, like FreeSync, but it has a great response time, flicker-free backlight, and excellent low input lag, for a responsive gaming experience.
Overall, although the ViewSonic is the best gaming monitor under $300 for most people, if you need better viewing angles the Dell is a better choice.
If you prefer the immersive gaming experience of an ultrawide over the ViewSonic XG2402, check out the LG 29UM69G-B instead. This is a good gaming monitor for most gamers, with an excellent response time, optional black frame insertion feature, and support for FreeSync variable refresh rate technology. This monitor also has excellent low input lag for a responsive gaming experience.
Overall, although the ViewSonic is better for gaming, if you want a more immersive gaming experience the LG is a good alternative.
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 AOC AGON AG271QX is the best 1440p gaming monitor that's available for less than $300 we've tested so far. It has an outstanding fast response time, resulting in extremely clear motion, with almost no noticeable blur behind fast-moving objects, and no noticeable overshoot artifacts. It supports AMD's FreeSync variable refresh rate technology, resulting in a nearly tear-free gaming experience.
The 2k resolution of this monitor makes it easier to see small details in your favorite games, and also makes it easier to multitask, great for watching your favorite streamer while doing something else.
Unfortunately, the image on this monitor degrades when viewed at an angle, and the low native contrast ratio isn't great for dark scenes, especially if you like gaming in a dark room. Overall, though, it's a great gaming monitor that should please even the most demanding gamers.
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.
10/16/2019: Replaced the Dell S2719DGF, as it's currently over $300.