There are great options available if you want to get the best gaming monitor for under $300. You can find some very good monitors on a budget 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 tested more than 215 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 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. You can rotate the screen on its stand a full 360 degrees, making it a great choice for co-op gaming.
It's packed with features that most people expect to find in a gaming monitor. You can overclock its native 144Hz refresh rate 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 wide viewing angles, and it 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, it does make the pixel density higher, which results in sharper images and text.
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. Also, it has a backlight strobing feature, but it flickers within a narrow frequency range, and you can't use it when VRR is enabled. 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. It has a worse swivel range because you can't rotate it 360 degrees like the Acer Nitro XF243Y Pbmiiprx. However, at 25 inches, it's just slightly bigger, and it also has a 1080p resolution. You can overclock its native refresh rate of 240Hz up to 280Hz for a smoother and more responsive gaming experience. Additionally, its backlight strobing 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 60 fps console gaming.
If you want the best gaming monitor under $300, 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 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.
The main downside to this monitor is that it uses a BGR subpixel layout. While most people won't notice the difference, some programs don't like this format, meaning text will look a bit blurry. 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. 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. It has a different panel type than the Gigabyte M27Q with worse viewing angles, so the image looks washed out when viewed from the side, which isn't ideal for sharing the screen with someone else. However, that means it has a higher contrast ratio that can produce deeper blacks, and it also has a 27 inch screen and a 1440p resolution. 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 Dell S2721QS is the best gaming monitor under $300 with a 4k resolution. It's designed as an office monitor, but it still delivers very good gaming performance, and even though it's limited to a 60Hz refresh rate, it's hard for graphics cards to push a higher frame rate at a 4k resolution anyways. It even has FreeSync support to reduce screen tearing, but it only works between 40 to 60Hz.
What makes this monitor good for gaming is the quick response time, and although it's not as fast as some dedicated gaming monitors, motion still looks smooth. You won't feel any delay due to the low input lag, and the 4k resolution helps deliver crisp and sharp images for an immersive gaming experience. It's a good choice for co-op gaming because it has wide viewing angles that make the image remain accurate from the sides, and its stand has a wide swivel range.
Sadly, even though it supports HDR, it doesn't add much because it has a low contrast that makes blacks look gray, it lacks local dimming, and it doesn't get bright enough to make highlights pop. Also, be aware that it costs just a bit more than $300, and the price goes up when the availability is low, so you may have to wait to find it around $300, but it's worth it because 4k monitors usually cost more. If that isn't an issue for you, then it's one of the best monitors we've tested under $300.
If you want a larger screen, then the best gaming monitor under $300 in a 32 inch size that we've tested is the LG 32GN650-B. It's a great gaming monitor with a 1440p resolution, but due to its larger size and lower pixel density, text and images don't look as sharp. It has a VA panel that makes it a good choice for dark room gaming as it delivers deep blacks, but it doesn't get bright enough to fight a ton of glare in some very bright rooms, and the reflection handling is just decent.
It has a 165Hz native refresh rate that you can achieve over a DisplayPort connection because it's limited to 144Hz over HDMI. Gamers should appreciate the native FreeSync VRR support, and even though it's not certified by NVIDIA to be G-SYNC compatible, it still works over a DisplayPort connection. It has low input lag for a responsive gaming experience, and it has a quick response time at its max refresh rate and 60Hz. Like other VA panels, there's black smearing due to its slow response time in dark transitions.
Unfortunately, it doesn't have the most premium build quality as the plastic feels a bit flimsy, but that's what you expect for an entry-level monitor. Its stand doesn't offer much ergonomics either, and there's an even cheaper version with worse ergonomics and the same overall performance, the LG 32GN600-B, but it's harder to find. Regardless, it's still one of the best gaming monitors under $300.
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.
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.
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.