PC gaming is a hobby that can get expensive very quickly, and if you're already trying to save money on your actual rig, not to mention your gaming desk and chair, a new monitor can stress your budget even more. Thankfully, there are a lot of relatively cheap gaming monitors out there that offer some of the features once reserved for higher-end options. When shopping for a new gaming monitor, you'll want to keep in mind the type of gaming experience you're looking for. FPS and competitive gamers will want a monitor with a high refresh rate--at least 144Hz--to get the edge on their competitors. Those who are more interested in single-player games and want the best in picture quality may go for an ultrawide monitor or even one with a 4K resolution and HDR support to get the most vibrant image. Whatever monitor you go with, you'll definitely want to make sure it comes with FreeSync support, so your game always looks smooth with no screen tearing.
Below, we've rounded up some of the best budget gaming monitor options on the market right now. A number of factors played a role in our picks--the biggest one being our experience with the respective companies and their monitors. We've also considered each monitor's technical specifications, user reviews, and availability, and where possible, we tried to stay under $300 as well. With that in mind, here are the best cheap gaming monitors that we think are worth your time.
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Ultrawide monitors are often the most expensive you can find on the market, but the 30-inch LG 34UM69G gaming monitor is an excellent budget option that provides a great experience while not breaking the bank. It's also quite popular with a 4.5/5 rating on Amazon from over 1,000 reviews. It boasts a 2560x1080 resolution, 75Hz refresh rate, and FreeSync support as well as a 1ms response time.
Another feature of this LG gaming monitor is the company's built-in black stabilizer, which makes darker scenes brighter to help you see enemies hiding in the shadows. If you're looking for an ultrawide monitor that works great in competitive settings, the 34UM69G is well worth its price tag.
4K is a resolution that often comes with a premium tag, but the BenQ EL2870U gaming monitor offers a solid 4K experience at an affordable price. Of course, with the high resolution, you sacrifice the refresh rate. The EL2870U only features a 60Hz refresh rate, but you do get a nice 4K TN display with a 1ms response time and HDR10 that is also supported by FreeSync for smooth and responsive gaming. It holds a 4.5/5 rating on Amazon with over 3,000 reviews.
In addition to its gaming features, it also features adaptive brightness, low blue light, and anti-flicker tech, all of which work to make gaming sessions more comfortable for your eyes. The adaptive brightness adjusts automatically throughout the day as the lighting in your room changes.
Gigabyte's G27Q gaming monitor is an excellent budget monitor if you're looking for a 1440p option. Its IPS display boasts a 1440p resolution and 144Hz refresh rate backed up by FreeSync Premium and G-Sync compatibility. This gives you a higher resolution than 1080p as well as a higher refresh rate than 60, providing both a sharp image and smooth, fluid gameplay. The FreeSync and G-Sync compatibility helps eliminate screen-tearing no matter what graphics card you have.
It also features HDR400 support, though don't expect the brightest and most colourful image from this budget display. It looks great for its price and is well worth its sub-$300 price tag. It boasts one DisplayPort and two HDMI ports.
The Asus VP249QGR gaming monitor boasts a 1080p resolution, a 144Hz refresh rate, and FreeSync support. As far as gaming monitors under $200 go, this is one of the best options. The refresh rate allows for fast and fluid gameplay, and the 1080p makes it easier for lower-end and mid-tier graphics cards to hit that 144fps mark. FreeSync also keeps your image looking clean and smooth when that frame rate fluctuates.
Asus's Extreme Low Motion Blur mode also helps the monitor achieve a 1ms response time, eliminating the time between inputs and actions happening on screen. Right now, it has a 5/5 rating with over 2,000 reviews on Amazon.
The curved craze didn't quite take hold like some thought it would, but there are still some quality curved gaming monitors out there. One of the best budget monitor makers, AOC, has one that's well worth its $240 price tag. The 32-inch AOC C32G2 gaming monitor features a frameless curved display that boasts a 1080p resolution and 165Hz refresh rate. It also comes with FreeSync Premium, which helps keep the image smooth and fluid.
AOC's C-series of monitors is extremely popular, garnering over 20,000 reviews with a 4.5/5 rating. If you don't shop on Amazon, then you may not have heard of them, but they're worth paying attention to. There are better monitors out there, but it's hard to beat AOC at its prices.
AOC also makes an excellent 144Hz monitor for under $200. The C24G1A is a 24-inch curved gaming monitor with a 1080p resolution, 144Hz refresh rate, and 1ms response time. It also features FreeSync Premium to help with keeping your image smooth and tearless. Pairing that with its 1ms response time and frameless design, and games look and feel great when playing them on the C24G1A.
Additionally, the AOC C24G1A features an adjustable stand that lets you tweak the height, tilt, and swivel of the screen.
If you enjoy competitive gaming, then a 240Hz monitor is the best option for you. The Acer XF250Q gaming monitor boasts a 1080p resolution and 240Hz refresh rate with its 24.5-inch display. The 240Hz refresh rate provides an even faster-feeling and smoother-looking image than 144Hz, and it boasts FreeSync and G-Sync compatibility. This is key to the 240Hz experience since keeping your frame rate as high as possible often means it fluctuates, sometimes wildly--FreeSync and G-Sync help keep your gameplay smooth and tearless.
The Acer XF250Q also has a 1ms response time and an ultra-thin bezel. Additionally, the display is on a pivot that allows you to flip it 90 degrees and use it vertically. This isn't always the most practical position, but it can work well for productivity and some games like pinball and vertical shooters. With nearly 1,500 reviews, it holds a 4.5/5 rating on Amazon.
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