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 205 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 gaming monitor under $300 with a 1080p screen that we've tested is the Acer Nitro XF243Y Pbmiiprx. It's an excellent gaming model that rivals some more expensive options. It's decently well-built and has excellent ergonomics, allowing you to place the screen how you like. It has wide viewing angles, and it provides good visibility in well-lit environments. While its small screen size isn't the most immersive, it does make the pixel density higher, which results in sharper images and text.
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, and 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 frequency range and can't be used when VRR is enabled.
Unfortunately, it isn't a good choice for dark room gaming because it has a low contrast ratio that makes blacks appear gray. Also, even though it supports HDR, it can't display a wide color gamut and lacks local dimming. Nonetheless, this is one of the best gaming monitors under $300 that we've tested.
If you want a monitor with an even higher refresh rate, check out the ASUS TUF Gaming VG259QM. At 25 inches, it's just slightly bigger than the Acer Nitro XF243Y Pbmiiprx, and it also has a 1080p resolution. However, you can overclock its native refresh rate of 240Hz up to 280Hz for a smoother and more responsive gaming experience. Additionally, its black frame insertion feature is usable while VRR is active to further improve motion clarity. Unfortunately, it has one downside: its input lag is much higher at 60Hz, so it isn't ideal for 60fps console gaming.
Overall, the Acer and the ASUS are both excellent gaming monitors. The Acer is cheaper, and its 165Hz refresh rate should be enough for most casual gamers. However, if you want a monitor with a higher refresh rate for better responsiveness and don't mind paying a bit more, then go with the ASUS.
The best gaming monitor under $300 that we've tested with a 1440p resolution is the Gigabyte M27Q. It's a 27 inch monitor that delivers an amazingly smooth gaming experience. It has a 170Hz refresh rate and an exceptional response time, which results in a clear image with almost no blur trail behind fast-moving objects. Its response time at 60Hz is also outstanding, making it a good choice for 60fps console gaming. It supports FreeSync natively and is compatible with G-SYNC to reduce screen tearing.
It has many features in addition to its excellent gaming performance. It has an IPS panel with wide viewing angles that make sharing content or playing co-op games easier, and it gets bright enough to fight glare. It has a very wide color gamut, with near-full Adobe RGB coverage, making it suitable for content creation. It supports HDR, but like most IPS monitors, its low contrast makes blacks appear gray in the dark, and its HDR brightness is only decent, not enough for a true HDR experience.
There are two USB 3.0 ports, as well as a USB-C that supports DisplayPort Alt Mode, which lets you display an image from a compatible device and charge it simultaneously. However, the power delivery is quite low and is only enough to charge small devices like smartphones. It has a Picture-in-Picture mode, a built-in KVM switch, and a blue light filter to help reduce eye strain. Overall, this is a great choice for anyone shopping on a tight budget.
If you often game in a dark room, you should consider a monitor with a VA panel, like the Dell S2722DGM. Like the Gigabyte M27Q, it also has a 27 inch screen and a 1440p resolution, but it can produce much deeper blacks thanks to its high contrast ratio. The downside is that its viewing angles are narrower, so the image looks washed out when viewed from the side, which isn't ideal for sharing the screen with someone else. Its response time is excellent, but as is typical of most VA panels, you may see some dark smearing behind fast-moving objects. Unfortunately, it doesn't have any USB ports or HDR support.
Overall, the Gigabyte is a better choice because it has superior motion handling and many more features. However, if dark room performance is important to you, the Dell is a good alternative.
The best 4k gaming monitor under $300 that we've tested is the Dell S2721QS. Although it's mainly designed for productivity, it performs well enough for some casual gaming on the side. Plus, its large 27 inch screen and 4k resolution are amazing for atmospheric games like RPGs. The stand allows for a good amount of adjustability, making it easy to place the screen at a comfortable position or share it with others. It has wide viewing angles and gets bright enough to provide good visibility in well-lit settings.
The refresh rate is limited to 60Hz, but it shouldn't be an issue for most people as 4k gaming is still very demanding, even for current hardware. It has a good response time and supports VRR to reduce screen tearing. Input lag is very low, as expected for a 60Hz monitor, and it remains low even with VRR or HDR enabled. As for the HDR gaming experience, it's alright. It supports a wide color gamut, but it has a low contrast ratio with no local dimming to improve the black level, and it doesn't get bright enough to make highlights pop.
Unfortunately, there are no USB ports, but you do get built-in speakers and a Picture-in-Picture/Picture-by-Picture mode. The backlight is flicker-free to help with eye strain. Color accuracy is just okay out of the box, so you might need to calibrate it if you plan on using it for content creation. Overall, while it isn't the most feature-rich and is slightly above $300, it's still one of the best 4k monitors we've tested and worth spending a little more on.
Sep 24, 2021: Verified accuracy of picks. Replaced AOC CQ27G2 with Dell S2722DGM because it has a better response time.
Jul 26, 2021: Replaced Dell Alienware AW2521HF with ASUS TUF Gaming VG259QM. Replaced Gigabyte G27Q with Gigabyte M27Q. Replaced Gigabyte G27QC with AOC CQ27G2. Replaced BenQ EL2870U with Dell S2721QS.
May 27, 2021: Replaced the ASUS TUF Gaming VG259QM with the Dell Alienware AW2521HF as 'Higher Refresh Rate Alternative' since the ASUS is over the price threshold.
Mar 31, 2021: Verified accuracy of picks. No change in recommendations.
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'.
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.