For gamers that are on a tight budget and just getting into PC gaming, getting a low-cost monitor may help keep the total costs low. There are great options available if you want to buy a gaming monitor for under $300, and these are also great if you have limited space. Cheaper and budget-friendly monitors are typically less versatile, with smaller screens, but you can still expect a great gaming experience on most of them. However, companies are starting to produce higher-resolution or higher refresh rate monitors for about $300, so the market for budget monitors is expanding.
We've bought and tested more than 260 monitors, and below are our recommendations for the best gaming monitors that are available to buy for under $300. Also see our recommendations for the best monitors under $200, the best budget gaming monitors, and if you want to spend a bit more, the best monitors under $500.
The best gaming monitor under $300 we've tested is the ViewSonic XG2431. It's an impressive gaming monitor with a fast 240Hz refresh rate, which is ideal even if you're a competitive gamer and want to play games at a high frame rate. It has a 1080p resolution, which may seem low, but it also allows you to achieve a high frame rate without being too taxing on your graphics card, and it's what you have to expect for a budget-friendly display. It natively supports FreeSync variable refresh rate (VRR) technology to reduce screen tearing, and if you have an NVIDIA graphics card, G-SYNC compatibility also works with it.
It offers great value for its cost because it has an incredible response time at high frame rates, and it remains quick with a 60Hz refresh rate, so the motion handling is incredible. It means there's minimal motion blur with fast-moving objects, and it also has a customizable backlight strobing feature that most monitors don't have, which is a nice touch for a budget-friendly model. You can customize its flicker frequency and intensity, meaning you can fine-tune the backlight-strobing settings until you get something you enjoy gaming with.
If you find the 24-inch screen on the ViewSonic XG2431 too small, check out the 27-inch Gigabyte M27Q. Besides the larger screen, there are a few differences, as the Gigabyte has a higher 1440p resolution, but the trade-off is that it has a lower 170Hz refresh rate. It isn't ideal for high-frame-rate or competitive gaming, but if you want a higher resolution for a sharper image, you'll be happy with this one. Even though its motion handling isn't as good as the ViewSonic, it's still quick with minimal blur trail behind fast-moving objects, and there isn't any overshoot that results in inverse ghosting.
While it supports a high 170Hz refresh rate, this is only possible with a DisplayPort connection using an 8-bit signal and not 10-bit, meaning you'll see some banding in games, but you can still get a 120Hz refresh rate with 10-bit signals. It also has FreeSync VRR support with G-SYNC compatibility and low input lag, so you get a nearly tear-free and responsive gaming experience. If you want to use it in a well-lit room, you won't have issues either, as it gets bright enough to fight glare, and the reflection handling is decent.
If you want an even bigger screen, there aren't so many options with a 32-inch screen size, but there are still a few if you're willing to spend even just a bit above $300, and if that's what you're interested in, check out the MSI Optix G32CQ4. It's available in 27 and 32-inch models, and although we tested the 27-inch variant, the results are also valid for the 32-inch model, which is just over $300. It has the same 1440p resolution as the Gigabyte M27Q with a bigger screen, meaning you can see more of your game at once, and despite the lower pixel density, the text clarity is still good. It offers very good gaming performance as it has a high 165Hz native refresh rate with VRR support, very low input lag, and a quick response time.
It's a better choice for dark room gaming than the Gigabyte or even the ViewSonic XG2431 because it has a higher native contrast ratio for deeper blacks, but there's backlight bleed in dark scenes. It also has great color accuracy before calibration, so colors look life-like, and you won't need to get it calibrated unless you want to. Unfortunately, it doesn't support HDR, but that's the trade-off you need to make for getting a 32-inch display for around $300.
If you find a $300 budget too tight and want something a bit cheaper, there are some great gaming monitors, although you'll have to sacrifice some features. If you want a cheap gaming monitor, something like the HP X24ih is a great choice. Its regular price is close to the ViewSonic XG2431, but it often goes on sale for under $200, making it a great cheap option. You get a smaller screen than the MSI Optix G27CQ4, and it has the same 24-inch, 1080p screen as the ViewSonic XG2431, but it's cheaper due to its lower 144Hz refresh rate. It's good if you're just getting into PC gaming and your graphics card doesn't support a high frame rate.
In terms of gaming performance, it has remarkable motion handling thanks to its incredibly fast response time, which remains quick even with low-frame-rate signals. It also has native FreeSync VRR support to reduce screen tearing with G-SYNC compatibility if you have an NVIDIA graphics card, and it has low input lag for a responsive feel while gaming. If you find the 24-inch screen too small, consider the LG 27GL650F-B, which has a bigger screen but worse motion handling.
Dec 14, 2022: Removed the Acer Nitro XV272U KVbmiiprzx because it's hard to find; added the MSI Optix G32CQ4 and the HP X24ih to their respective categories; updated the Notable Mentions based on changes.
Oct 18, 2022: Restructured article for consistency and to reflect current prices and availability; replaced the LG 27GL850-B with the ViewSonic XG2431 as the 'Best Gaming Monitor Under $300'; removed the Acer Nitro XF243Y, ASUS TUF Gaming VG258QM, LG 32GN600-B, and the Gigabyte G27Q; added the Gigabyte M27Q and the Acer Nitro XV272U in their respective categories; updated Notable Mentions based on changes.
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.
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.