Need a new gaming monitor? New models seem to come out too fast for most users to keep up with, and the latest innovations and features of gaming monitor design are always changing. Fortunately, HotRate is aggressive about keeping up with the hottest developments in monitor technology.
If you’re a gamer, you probably understand the basics, so we’re going to focus our attention on giving you more. We’ll keep you up to date with a flood of models that are in contention for the title of the best gaming monitor, but we’ll also provide some resources at the end so that you can know what you’re talking about when it comes time to pick out the best gaming monitors for your specific needs.
TL;DR - 14 Best Gaming Monitors:
- ASUS TUF VG27BQ WQHD Gaming Monitor
- Alienware AW5520QF 55″ OLED Gaming Monitor
- ASUS VG278QR 27” G-SYNC Compatible Monitor
- Dell S2417DG YNY1D 24″ Monitor
- Acer Predator Z35P Curved 1800R NVIDIA G-SYNC VA Monitor
- Samsung C32HG70 Gaming Monitor with Freesync
- LG 27GL850-B 27 Inch Ultragear Gaming Monitor
- ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q 27″ Gaming Monitor
- ViewSonic Elite 27″ GSYNC Gaming Monitor
- AOC AGON AG493UCX Gaming Monitor
- Alienware AW3420DW 34 Inch Curved Monitor
- BenQ EX2780Q Gaming Monitor 144Hz 1440p Monitor
- AORUS FI27Q 27″ Frameless Gaming Monitor
- Acer Nitro XV273K Pbmiipphzx 144Hz Monitor
1. ASUS TUF VG27BQ WQHD Gaming Monitor
Performance and Visuals in One Monitor
The ASUS TUF does a great job of offering the cutting edge of graphics without compromising performance in the process. Sure, it can support an impressive 1440p resolution, but this monitor can also keep pace in competitive gaming with a 144 Hz refresh rate and some of the best response rates around at less than half a millisecond.
And given the flexible variety of ports, you can connect this monitor to practically any console or gaming rig that you have in your collection. The value for gamers is further expanded by good motion blur handling and contrast boosting for darker environments.
2. Alienware AW5520QF 55″ OLED Gaming Monitor
A Beast in Both Size and Specs
Alienware is really testing how much their customers are willing to spend with their latest and best monitor - but while it comes with a $4000 price tag, it also offers some of the best performance you'll find anywhere. At a full 55 inches, this model dwarfs practically every other gaming monitor in terms of sheer size, and it does so without sacrificing game performance.
The refresh rate, response time, and input lag rank among the best numbers on our best of monitor list, and the OLED technology allows for some incredibly detailed and realistic contrast reproduction.
3. ASUS VG278QR 27” G-SYNC Compatible Monitor
Snappy Performance for Competitive Gamers
The best gaming monitor for you won't necessarily be the one with the best specs. That's because there's little use in paying for a monitor when your gaming PC can't keep pace. The ASUS VG278QR clocks in with a retail price of under $250, and it offers specs that will still suit the needs of most gamers, especially more competitive gamers.
That's because the Full HD display supports very snappy response times and solid refresh rates. This monitor won't display the prettiest virtual vistas, but it passes muster when you need a more competitively oriented gaming monitor.
4. Dell S2417DG YNY1D 24″ Monitor
Impressively Versatile in a Small Package
By typical gaming monitor standards, the Dell S2417DG is pretty small - but it's got some great hardware and is absolutely packed with gaming-focused features. GamePlus technology allows you to quickly shift between different genre-specific game modes or to even create your own settings and add them to the list.
Input lag is particularly quick here too, and there's plenty of anti-flicker technology in place here: including support for AMD FreeSync. Ultra-low blue light tech is also here to prevent strain on your eyes, and there are a lot of ergonomic adjustment options.
5. Acer Predator Z35P Curved 1800R NVIDIA G-SYNC VA Monitor
Immersive Curved Widescreen Experience
For the money, there's no better way to immerse yourself in your favorite gaming experiences than with a curved monitor, and the smart design of the Acer Predator makes the most of its curved widescreen format, although it will cost you a significant chunk of change for the privilege.
The refresh speed on the Acer Predator isn't the best we've seen, but it does come accompanied by some of the top motion blur compensation that we've ever seen, and the Acer Predator looks great even from very wide viewing angles. That's before even accounting for the exceptional Acer Predator GameView configuration platform.
6. Samsung C32HG70 Gaming Monitor with Freesync
Some Serious Performance to Suit the Price Tag
The color reproduction in Samsung's C32HG70 is seriously hard to match. This gaming monitor comes with quantum dot technology, and that inclusion allows for the reproduction of over a billion different colors. It will set you back over $500, but it's hard to argue with the results you'll get with this monitor.
There are a decent number of ports available here, and this gaming monitor makes it easy to shift back and forth between your console, PC, and other devices. And helping to justify that price tag is a curved screen that can help you be more productive and read the battlefield easier.
7. LG 27GL850-B 27 Inch Ultragear Gaming Monitor
Combine Gaming with Everyday Productivity
A dedicated monitor for gaming is a luxury that many customers don't have, and if that's you, you may want to turn your attention to this display from LG. This isn't built explicitly as a gaming PC, but it's a well-rounded build that can suit you well if you want to combine gaming with general usage at the home or office.
It combines a Nano IPS display with a one-millisecond response time for one of the best fusions of performance and image quality that we've run across in gaming monitors. It's also fully adjustable to suit your ergonomic needs.
8. ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q 27″ Gaming Monitor
ASUS ROG Swift does not mess around when it comes to putting together the hardware for their monitors for gaming, although their gaming monitors aren't built with the budget-oriented customer in mind. But if you're willing to drop a few hundred dollars on the ASUS ROG Swift, you'll get a decently sized gaming monitor that exceeds 1080p, offers a refresh rate above 144Hz and delivers some solid if not class-leading color reproduction.
Input lag here is minimal, and all but the most serious gamers likely won't notice it. That's combined in the ASUS ROG Swift with some great motion handling for smooth movement even in more fast-paced gaming experiences.
9. ViewSonic Elite 27″ GSYNC Gaming Monitor
ViewSonic isn't necessarily known for the quality of their gaming monitors, but their professional approach to creating monitors focused on the needs of serious creatives applies well to the world of gaming. The Elite makes use of Nano Color technology to deliver 98% coverage of the DCI-P3 color gamut, without making too many sacrifices in terms of performance.
This gaming monitor can exceed the standard 144Hz refresh rate with overclocking and makes use of an ultra-thin bezel that makes it great for daisy-chaining together multiple gaming monitors. And since it supports G-Sync technology, it's a natural gaming monitor for customers with NVIDIA graphics cards.
10. AOC AGON AG493UCX Gaming Monitor
"Widescreen" can be a subjective term, but the AOC Agon really tests the limits of what widescreen gaming monitors can look like. With the dramatic curve and huge amount of real estate, this gaming monitor can double well as a work and productivity machine. That extra space to work with also makes it one of the best gaming monitors for everything from real-time strategy to first-person shooter games.
And while on-screen displays have a habit of being hard to navigate, this gaming monitor comes with dedicated remote control for more easily adjusting your display settings.
11. Alienware AW3420DW 34 Inch Curved Monitor
Want to be prepared for the next wave of gaming experiences coming out this holiday season? Get yourself the AW3420DW by Alienware. As one of the most respected gaming monitor manufacturers, Alienware has outdone themselves with this one. The wide curved screen helps you really get into the heart of your gaming experience, but Alienware has done a truly exceptional job of fusing together quality color reproduction and gaming performance.
The IPS Nano technology allows for more vivid experiences that really complement the high resolution at work here, and the refresh rates of 120 Hz should be able to keep up with even the most serious gamers.
12. BenQ EX2780Q Gaming Monitor 144Hz 1440p Monitor
Gamers looking to delve headfirst into a local co-op session will find what they need in the BenQ EX2780Q. The relatively large size and good reproduction from even the widest viewing angles make it easy to compete with your friends head to head. And there are some solid automation features here, too.
Brightness Intelligence Plus will automatically adjust the lighting of your gaming experience based on environmental factors, and the inclusion of a USB-C connection greatly simplifies the process of connecting your monitor to your gaming devices. But if you prefer, you also have the option to connect via DisplayPort or HDMI.
13. AORUS FI27Q 27″ Frameless Gaming Monitor
As an IPS display, you can count on the AORUS FI27Q to provide you with great viewing angles and good performance in more response-driven competitive games, but you might be surprised at how good it looks even when there aren't objects in motion. The 1440p resolution is further improved by some of the best color coverage around, and the refresh rate easily ranks as one of the best monitor models available for gaming, too. This may be a pricey gaming monitor, but you can rest easy knowing that the build quality is designed to last for years to come.
14. Acer Nitro XV273K Pbmiipphzx 144Hz Monitor
No matter what graphics card you have packed into your computer chassis, you can count on some top-tier performance from the Acer Nitro. It provides support for both AMD FreeSync and NVIDIA G-Sync technology, and it sports a fully natural refresh rate of 120 Hz with no hidden tricks to mask its true capabilities here.
But what really stands out about this monitor is that it comes with support for 4K resolution. 4K gaming may still be in its infancy, but the Nitro offers a solution that can keep you up to date with the current trends for the same price as many 1440p models.
Gaming Monitor Buyer’s Guide
There are a lot of different options to sort through when looking for the best gaming monitor for you. Our list alone may be intimidating if you don’t know what you’re looking for, but that’s what we’re here to help with. Check out our full guide to help you understand all the specs when shopping for the best gaming monitor, so you can more easily identify the quality of different options at a glance. It won’t tell you everything, but it’s a great way to narrow down those gaming monitors that will be the right fit for you.
The biggest question you should ask yourself when shopping for the best gaming monitor is whether you want to focus your experience on performance specs like refresh rates and input lag or on more visually stunning image reproduction and higher resolutions. The former is ideal for competitive gaming, and these gaming monitors tend to be fairly inexpensive. But if you’re looking for 4K gaming, HDR, or other factors that will really test your high-end graphics card, you can expect to spend a decent amount more on these displays.
When evaluating the size of your display, bigger is better – at least in most cases. While the best gaming TVs are all about getting the biggest size and best resolution possible, things are a little different when looking at a monitor for gaming. That’s because gaming monitors tend to be significantly smaller than the average television, and so your main goal should come down to finding the best size for the native resolution rather than simply trying to go with the biggest and best.
Fortunately, there are some pretty smart rules of thumb you can use to find the best gaming monitor for your situation. The majority of gamers will want to look for a screen size of 24 to 27 inches. That’s because gaming on a monitor usually involves sitting much closer to the screen than you would if you had your console just plugged into your living room TV.
If you sit up to two feet away from your monitor, 24 inches is the way to go. If you sit further away, you’re going to want to aim for 27 inches. Generally, we think the best gaming monitor should also be determined by your preferred play style. If you’re more involved in competitive games, you’ll need a smaller screen with better gaming performance. But if you prefer single-player experiences, 27 inches and an emphasis on visuals over gaming performance might be your best option. Just make sure you have a big enough desk for your screen!
One more factor to consider is curved monitors. While they’re seen by some as a gimmick and come at a more premium price, curved monitors offer you some of the best immersion to plunge into the midst of your favorite gaming experiences. Just keep in mind that 27 inches might not cut it in this case. While there are some smaller gaming monitors out there with curved screens, you’re likely going to get the best results from gaming monitors that offer a screen size of at least 30 inches.
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to how screens are constructed, but there are three standards you should pay attention to when shopping for the best gaming monitor. And while there are three different types of panels available today, they all have their own strengths and weaknesses, and each of them does at least one thing the best in regards to gaming. But that doesn’t mean that all panels are built for gaming, or that they’ll be the best gaming monitors for your specific style of gaming.
- An IPS panel (In-Plane Switching) is all about providing you with the best gaming experience you can get in terms of visuals. Their color depth is the best around for games, and an IPS panel is the best way to go if you really want to milk your graphics card for all it’s worth.
- High refresh rates and response times are the hallmarks of a TN panel (Twisted Neumatic). As the polar opposite of IPS, the color quality and viewing angles tend to suffer pretty significantly here, but the ability to hit higher performance specifications means that this is the best gaming monitor if you just want to compete. As an added bonus, this type of display is also the cheapest on the market today.
- A VA panel (Vertical Alignment) splits the difference between others. Offering a level of balance that many of the best gaming monitors require. The color reproduction and price on a VA panel are both closer to an IPS panel than a TN panel, but a VA panel also offers performance specs that outclass even the best gaming monitors with an IPS screen.
The best gaming monitor panel for you will ultimately come down to what you prefer. IPS monitors are easily the most common, but they also tend to be the most expensive, and they tend to fall down a little when it comes to performance. Of course, whether you’re focused on multiplayer or single-player gaming can have a big difference, too.
We generally recommend a gaming monitor with an IPS display for the latter and a gaming monitor with a TN display for the former. That being said, while the refresh rates of TN and IPS monitors can’t quite keep up with the best performance of a VA monitor, the distinction between refresh rates has actually grown significantly narrower in the past few years. If you have the money to spend, the best displays will be IPS because of that closing performance gap among the top gaming monitors.
On a budget?
- See what deals can be had for monitors under $300.
- Check out our best gaming monitors under $200.
- On a tight budget? See our best gaming monitors under $150.
The higher the resolution, the more pixels that can be packed into a screen. That means a crisper and clearer reproduction of the game developer’s original intentions and a more accurate gaming experience. A 4K resolution currently represents the gold standard for the best gaming monitors, but they continue to be both fairly rare and exorbitantly expensive.
More likely, you’ll be looking at monitors that support WQHD (1440p) or FHD (1080p) resolutions. WQHD is a strong choice for larger screens and screens you intend to sit a decent distance from, while those with an FHD resolution are the best gaming monitors for smaller screens viewed at a closer distance. The smaller your screen gets, the less value you get out of a resolution increase. You may want to sit down to visually compare the two because a WQHD display is one of the more expensive choices around.
Some gamers are focused on the win, while others are focused on the experience. For the latter, color reproduction should be a huge deal. While there may be diminishing returns on resolution depending on the size of the monitor, quality color reproduction doesn’t plateau in the same way. Color reproduction is generally measured by how much of a given color gamut can be represented. While there are a lot of standards on the market, users looking for the best visuals should keep an eye out for monitors that register on the DCI-P3 color gamut.
One of the best ways to improve color quality without having to invest in an incredibly expensive IPS display is to look at models that support HDR. Not all games support HDR, but the technology is becoming more prominent, and if you want your monitor prepared for the next generation of games, HDR should have a part to play in the conversation.
That said, HDR improves color through intense lighting, so you want to make sure that the brightness level of your monitor is decent before investing. A lot of manufacturers will list HDR support, but may not in fact offer the hardware to back it up.
You should aim for a panel that can achieve at least 400 nits if you really want to see a noticeable effect from a monitor that promises HDR support. There are a number of different HDR formats, but the most prominent (and the one most worthy of consideration) is HDR 10. With HDR 10, you can improve the quality of your games, but HDR 10 can also provide a far more engaging experience for movies and TV, too.
If you’re a competitive gamer, the refresh rate is arguably the very first spec you should look at. A high refresh rate means that the screen refreshes more often over the course of a second, and that makes it easier to engage in multiplayer battles without having to deal with pushback from your graphics card or other hardware. In other words, a higher refresh rate means more time to respond to a split-second opportunity.
For competitive gamers, we recommend a refresh rate of at least 120 or 144 Hz. For single-player gamers, 60 Hz should be just fine. Graphics cards can affect the quality of refresh rate, and there are higher levels of refresh as well. Many 144Hz monitors can be overclocked to hit 165 Hz, and some of the latest and greatest monitors can even achieve a refresh rate of up to 240 Hz.
If the refresh rate tells you how often the screen is refreshed, response time tells you how long it takes for your monitor to register and perform the actions from your input. For the majority of gamers, the difference in response times isn’t going to make that big of a difference, because response times are measured in mere milliseconds.
But response times can affect your precision if you’re into more intense and competitive multiplayer games. A mere millisecond might not make a noticeable difference on a regular basis, but it can determine the difference between a win and a loss. A response time of 5 milliseconds or less should be fine for most gamers, but if you’re an esports contender, 1 millisecond or less is ideal. Some monitors even offer response times that register at less than half a millisecond.
Along with response time and refresh rate, input lag rounds out the trifecta of performance-based specs on a gaming display. Input, in this case, refers to whatever you’re using to interact with the game and could be anything from a Guitar Hero peripheral to an Xbox controller to a mouse and keyboard. Input lag simply refers to the time it takes a screen to register the input.
This is another case where only the most diligent gamers are really going to notice a serious difference between input lag. Just like with response time, input lag is measured in a matter of milliseconds. In terms of overall measurements, input lag probably isn’t something you need to pay too much attention to.
Adaptive Sync Tech
Adaptive sync technology is one of the coolest new additions for game monitors, but the proprietary nature of the two big graphics manufacturers means it can get a little complicated. Adaptive sync tech helps make up for any weaknesses in your GPU to smooth out rough edges and prevent too much blurring.
The extent of adaptive sync you’ll want with your display will come down solely to what sort of graphics card you use. If you have an NVIDIA chip, you’re going to want to aim for G-Sync support. If you have an AMD chip, you’ll want to aim for a display with AMD FreeSync. Both AMD FreeSync and G-Sync are proprietary, so you won’t get any value out of G-Sync or FreeSync unless you have the right graphical processor and the proper display.
There are a surprising amount of considerations to think about when you’re looking to buy a monitor for your favorite games, but it doesn’t need to be intimidating. Consider how you prefer to game, and that will determine whether visual features like HDR are important or whether you should pay more attention to response time and refresh rate.
You also need to pay attention to what computer you plan on pairing your monitor with. The specs inside your computer will have just as much of an impact in game performance as the monitor itself. Regardless of what you’re looking for, HotRate can probably help you find it. Our guides cover gaming, gadgets, cameras, and more. So feel free to dig a little deeper and check out the huge number of products available today.If you liked our article on gaming monitors, please share and comment below what your favorite product is.