There are great options available if you're on a budget and want to buy a gaming monitor for under $300. You can find some very good monitors for a low cost, which are 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 bought and tested more than 240 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 monitors under $200, the best budget gaming monitors, and the best budget monitors.
The best gaming monitor available for under $300 we've tested is the LG 27GL850-B. It's a great gaming monitor with a fast refresh rate and an outstanding response time at any refresh rate, resulting in very clear motion with almost no noticeable blur behind fast-moving objects. It also has outstanding low input lag and supports both FreeSync and G-SYNC Compatible variable refresh rate technology, ensuring a responsive, nearly tear-free gaming experience. Its 27-inch, 1440p screen delivers impressive visuals and is well-suited for both fast-paced action games and immersive RPGs.
If you're in a dark room, the LG's low contrast ratio and poor black uniformity aren't ideal. The Dell S2722DGM is a great alternative, with a high native contrast ratio, so blacks look black instead of gray. The Dell has a slower response time than the LG, so it's not as good for fast-paced action games, as there's more noticeable blur behind fast-moving objects.
The best cheap 1080p gaming monitor we've tested is the Acer Nitro XF243Y Pbmiiprx. It's an excellent gaming monitor with an exceptionally fast response time, resulting in crystal-clear motion with barely any blur noticeable behind fast-moving objects. It has wide viewing angles and provides good visibility in well-lit environments because it gets bright and has good reflection handling. While its small screen size isn't the most immersive, the higher pixel density results in clearer text and sharper images.
It's packed with features that most gamers expect to find in a gaming monitor. You can overclock its native 144Hz refresh rate to 165Hz. It has native FreeSync variable refresh rate (VRR) support and G-SYNC compatibility, resulting in a nearly tear-free gaming experience from almost any source. It also has an optional backlight strobing feature, commonly known as black frame insertion. Sadly, the BFI feature flickers within a narrow frequency range, and you can't use it when VRR is enabled, so it's not a perfect implementation.
The best esports gaming monitor under $300 we've tested is the ASUS TUF Gaming VG258QM. It's an excellent gaming monitor, with an extremely fast refresh rate and a fast response time at the max refresh rate. There's barely any noticeable blur behind fast-moving objects, making it a great choice for competitive gamers. It also has incredibly low input lag at the max refresh rate, ensuring your actions are in-sync with what you see on the screen. It's compatible with both FreeSync and G-SYNC variable refresh rate technology, ensuring you'll hardly see any distracting screen tearing while gaming.
It has fantastic ergonomics, so you can quickly and easily adjust the screen to your optimal viewing position, and if you need more flexibility, it can also be VESA mounted. Finally, it has great visibility in bright rooms, with impressive peak brightness in SDR and great reflection handling, so you don't have to worry about glare.
The best 32-inch gaming monitor under $300 we've tested is the LG 32GN600-B. The large screen provides a more immersive gaming experience as you see more of your game at once, and it has a 1440p resolution, making it easier to see fine details in your favorite games. As expected for an entry-level monitor, it's not the most versatile, but it still has great gaming performance. It has a fast 165Hz refresh rate with native FreeSync support to reduce screen tearing, and even though it's not certified by NVIDIA to be G-SYNC compatible, it still works with NVIDIA graphics cards.
Gaming feels responsive, as it has low input lag and a quick response time, but as is the case with many VA panels, there's black smearing with dark objects. The VA panel displays deep blacks and has decent black uniformity, making it a good choice for dark room gaming.
The best HDR gaming monitor under $300 that we've tested is the Gigabyte G27Q. Most monitors at this price point don't even support HDR, and the few that do, can't deliver a true HDR experience, but this monitor delivers an okay HDR experience overall. It has decent peak brightness in HDR, so bright areas in some games stand out a bit. It has an excellent HDR color gamut, with surprisingly good coverage of the DCI-P3 color space used by most current HDR content, ensuring it looks vivid and realistic. It lacks a local dimming feature, and it has low contrast, so really bright highlights don't stand out as well as they should.
Of course, HDR performance is only half the story here. It's also a great gaming monitor, with a very good response time at the max refresh rate and low input lag for a smooth, responsive gaming experience. Like most monitors on this list, it supports FreeSync, but it's also compatible with G-SYNC, which helps reduce tearing in games. It has great peak brightness, good reflection handling, so you don't have to worry about glare, and wide viewing angles, so you can easily share your screen with someone else.
Jun 15, 2022: Completely restructured with new categories, and refreshed the text throughout. Removed some out-of-date Notable Mentions.
Mar 25, 2022: Replaced the Dell S2721QS with the LG 32UL500-W because of the price, and moved the LG as a '4k Alternative' to the LG 32GN600-B; added the Dell AW2521HF, ASUS VG279QM, and the Dell S2722QC to Notable Mentions.
Jan 26, 2022: Replaced the LG 32GN650-B with the LG 32GN600-B, as the 650 is no longer widely available and has increased in price. Refreshed the text throughout.
Nov 23, 2021: Added the LG 32GN650-B as the 'Best 32 Inch Monitor' and updated text for clarity; added the ASUS VG258QM, ASUS VG27AQL1A, LG 32GN600-B, Gigabyte G27Q, and the Dell S3221QS to Notable Mentions.
Sep 24, 2021: Verified accuracy of picks. Replaced AOC CQ27G2 with Dell S2722DGM because it has a better response time.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best gaming monitors that are currently available for under or around $300. 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.