If you do your research, a cheap gaming monitor can be a great investment and still provide a top-notch gaming experience. Many budget-friendly displays still pack in premium-rate features like high refresh rates, 1440p resolution, and HDR support for better detailing and color. The flip side is that you may have to sacrifice screen size, depending on what you’re willing to spend. There are a few big-screen options that are on the more affordable side, but they’ll still push towards the upper-end of “budget-friendly.” So if you’re trying to stick to a stricter budget, you’ll have to settle for a smaller screen. 

A cheap gaming monitor can also be a great way to get your hands on a display for console gaming; if you’re willing to play on smaller screens, a gaming monitor can be even cheaper than the most budget-conscious TVs. I’ve gathered up some of the best cheap gaming monitors from top brands like Samsung, MSI, and Acer. And I’ve broken down their features to help you find a new screen that fits your budget as well as your gaming needs.

Also: Best gaming monitor: Prepare for a world of hertz

The Samsung Odyssey G5 27-inch monitor is the best cheap gaming monitor according to our analysis of gaming monitor specifications, including price, screen size, resolution, response time, and more.

Gaming Monitor

Price

Resolution

Refresh Rate

Samsung Odyssey G5

$270

1440p

144Hz

HP X32

$390

1440p

165Hz

LG Ultragear 27GL650F-B

$240

1080p

144Hz

MSI Optix MAG251RX

$250

1080p

240Hz

Omen 25i

$270

1080p

165Hz

Once you’ve hammered out a budget for a new gaming monitor, you want to make sure that you get a screen that is going to fit well within your current setup. A screen that is too big can overwhelm your desk, while one that is too small can make your in-game HUD feel cramped and limit your viewing area. You’ll also want to consider connectivity, since some monitors use either HDMI or DisplayPort cables to hook up to your GPU. And if you hate wearing a headset, you’ll want to spring for a monitor with integrated speakers.

Choose this cheap gaming monitor…

If you want…

Samsung Odyssey G5

The best overall option.

HP X32

A cheap gaming monitor with a big screen.

LG Ultragear 27GL650F-B

A gaming monitor that’s under $250. 

MSI Optix MAG251RX

A cheap gaming monitor with a high refresh rate.

Omen 25i

A cheap gaming monitor with adaptive sync. 

Aside from making sure these monitors are budget-friendly, I looked at a number of tech specs to ensure they would work for both PC and console games as well as being a good value for the price. I checked refresh rates, response times, screen resolution, and color volume to pick the best displays for a variety of games.

They absolutely can be! Just because you have to stick to a budget, that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality or awesome features. There are tons of options out there for budget-friendly gaming monitors with premium features like HDR support, 1440p resolution, and VRR support.

There’s no real hard and fast answer for this, but the absolute minimum refresh rate you want for gaming is 60 or 75Hz. Anything lower can make your games feel pretty sluggish and more prone to screen tearing. Fortunately, many gaming-specific monitors (even the cheap ones) have native refresh rates of 120Hz or higher for smoother gameplay.

This is another pretty subjective question, but you wouldn’t want to go much smaller than 24-inches. You want a screen that gives you enough viewing area to be able to see your HUD, in-game text, and game menus clearly. There’s nothing more frustrating than having to press your nose to the monitor and squint to read dialogue prompts or game settings.

There are plenty of budget-friendly options out there if you’re looking to upgrade your gaming setup without spending a fortune. Here’s a short list of other, affordable monitors that I thought were great:

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