If you're looking for a gaming monitor on a tight budget, there are a good amount of options you can find for under or around $300. While you won't get the premium gaming features or performance you would get with higher-end monitors, they're still great for gaming with low input lag and features like variable refresh rate (VRR) support. You can find options in this price range with almost any size up to 32 inches, but most are available in 24 or 27-inch screen sizes.
These models are available either with a 1080p resolution and refresh rates up to 240Hz or a 1440p resolution with refresh rates around 165Hz. So, when looking for a monitor, you must consider whether you want a high refresh rate for smooth motion or a high resolution for detailed graphics. Besides the refresh rate and resolution, monitors with a fast response time also have minimal motion blur, so this is another factor to consider for the best gaming experience.
We've bought and tested more than 300 monitors, and below are our recommendations for the best gaming monitors available for under $300. See our recommendations for the best monitors under $200, the best budget and cheap gaming monitors, and, if you don't mind spending more, the best monitors under $500.
The best gaming monitor under $300 that we've tested is the Dell G2724D. It's an excellent display with almost everything you'd want in a gaming monitor, like support for all common variable refresh rate (VRR) formats, including FreeSync, G-SYNC compatibility, and even HDMI Forum VRR. It has a 1440p resolution that delivers sharp details in your games without being too taxing on your graphics card, and it has a 165Hz refresh rate, ideal for most types of gamers.
This monitor is better than most budget options because it has fantastic motion handling at any refresh rate. While it doesn't have a backlight strobing feature to further reduce persistence blur, motion looks smooth without it. It's also a good choice if you want to connect a gaming console because it supports VRR with both the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S, and besides not supporting 4k @ 120Hz signals, there aren't any compatibility issues. It isn't perfect, though, as it isn't ideal for gaming in dark rooms, like when playing HDR games, due to its low contrast ratio and terrible local dimming feature.
If you want to play HDR games, or if you tend to game in a dark environment, it's important to get a monitor that provides the best picture quality. While there aren't many options in this price range that are good for HDR, the AOC Q27G3XMN stands out and is excellent for HDR gaming. This is because it has an excellent native contrast ratio, and it uses Mini LED backlighting with a good local dimming feature to further improve that, meaning blacks are deep and inky in dark rooms. It also gets very bright in HDR, enough for highlights to pop, which helps result in this excellent HDR picture quality.
That said, it isn't the best option over the Dell G2724D for all types of gamers because it has slightly worse motion handling with more black smearing behind fast-moving objects. So, if you care about motion handling and want better pure gaming performance, go for the Dell, but if you care about picture quality, the AOC is the better option. The AOC still has some issues, like a red tint with certain picture settings, and its availability can vary.
If you find the 27-inch screens of the Dell G2724D and the AOC Q27G3XMN too big and prefer something smaller, the market for 24-inch monitors tends to be different than the one for bigger displays. These usually have higher refresh rates and lower resolutions, which make them ideal for competitive esports gaming. If you're interested in that, check out the ViewSonic XG2431, an impressive gaming monitor with a 1080p resolution and 240Hz refresh rate. You don't get the same excellent picture quality as the AOC or detailed images like the Dell, but it still has a fantastic response time for smooth motion handling.
It's unique for a low-cost monitor because it has a customizable backlight strobing feature to improve motion handling. You can fine-tune its settings, like the intensity and frequency of the backlight flicker, until you find something you enjoy gaming with. It's a nice addition to a budget-friendly model, offering good value versus similarly-priced displays. It also supports FreeSync VRR to reduce screen tearing, and if you have an NVIDIA graphics card, G-SYNC compatibility also works with it.
If you're looking for something cheaper than $300, there are many options you can choose from, but only a few offer great gaming performance. Regardless, some still do, like the Gigabyte GS27QC, which is a reliable choice if you need a simple and low-cost gaming monitor. It has a 27-inch, 1440p screen like the Dell G2724D, but it doesn't have the same fantastic motion handling and has a lower refresh rate than the ViewSonic XG2431. That said, its response time at high refresh rates is still good enough for most gamers, but it has overshoot at lower refresh rates. It has a backlight strobing feature like the ViewSonic, but it isn't as versatile and creates some image duplication.
Besides that, it performs well for dark room gaming as it has an excellent native contrast ratio, so blacks look deep, but it doesn't have a local dimming feature to further improve it. As a cheap monitor, it has some clear downsides, though, as it has terrible ergonomics and narrow viewing angles, so it isn't ideal for co-op gaming.
Jan 09, 2024: Replaced the Gigabyte M27Q P with the Dell G2724D and renamed it to 'Best Monitor' because it's better for gaming; replaced the Acer Nitro XF243Y Pbmiiprx with the Gigabyte GS27QC because of availability; removed the LG 32GN650-B/32GN63T-B because its price increased, and added the AOC Q27G3XMN as 'Best HDR'; updated Notable Mentions based on changes.
Sep 27, 2023: Removed the Dell Alienware AW2523HF because it went up in price, and added the Acer Nitro XF243Y Pbmiiprx as 'Best Cheap Gaming Monitor Under $300'; replaced the Gigabyte M27Q (Rev 1.0) with the Gigabyte M27Q P because it's easier to find; updated Notable Mentions based on changes.
Aug 01, 2023: Added the Dell Alienware AW2523HF as 'Best Esports Gaming Monitor Under $300' to give another option; added the Acer Nitro XF243Y Pbmiiprx and the LG 27GP850-B/27GP83B-B to Notable Mentions.
Apr 12, 2023: Added the Dell Alienware AW2523HF to Notable Mentions because it tends to go on sale for $300; replaced the LG 32GN650-B with the cheaper LG 32GN600-B; updated text for clarity 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.