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The best gaming monitor 2022: get the best display today

The best gaming monitors
Best Gaming Monitor (Image credit: Future)

Adding the best gaming monitor to your setup - PC or console - is, we think, one of the handfuls of guaranteed methods that can provide an instant impact on your gaming experience, immersion, and enjoyment.

There are plenty of options nowadays including differences in resolution (1080p, 1440p, and 4K), screen techs (FreeSync and G-Sync), and more. This guide will help you make decisions and will cover all the relevant specs, and types and we'll also find you the best prices too. An important point to make too is that these monitors are absolutely not just for PC gaming, as more and more console gamers are using them too nowadays.

As a result, we're really spoilt for choice for the best gaming monitors around. At GamesRadar+ we've been working hard for years to pick out the best gaming monitor by constantly reviewing, testing, and comparing the best in the business to build this very list to help you find the best screen going. Our writers and reviewers spend masses of time with each screen we review and really put them through their paces with hard gaming sessions, as well as noting their qualities for every day and work use.

And to help you make the best decision, we strive to lay out all the facts as plainly as possible. After all, the best gaming monitors have more going on behind the scenes than the best gaming TV or the best home projectors. So if you game separately to where you watch your films and TV content, then a monitor is a great idea to optimize your setup. With the advent of 4K gaming monitors and their steady journey to affordability, this is an excellent time to get the highest quality monitor for all your gaming needs. Plus with multi-monitor setups becoming more common, there's always room to look at an extra panel to incorporate into your setup. Whatever your needs, our round-up and lowdown will help you make the right call and get you something with a brilliant picture, and all the performance and features you need.

The best gaming monitors 2022

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MSI MPG Artymis 343CQR

(Image credit: Future/Jeremy Laird)
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MSI MPG Artymis 343CQR

(Image credit: Future/Jeremy Laird)
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MSI MPG Artymis 343CQR

(Image credit: Future/Jeremy Laird)
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MSI MPG Artymis 343CQR

(Image credit: Future/Jeremy Laird)
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MSI MPG Artymis 343CQR

(Image credit: Future/Jeremy Laird)

1. Alienware 34 AW3423DW QD-OLED

The best gaming monitor going - offering OLED greatness

Specifications

Screen size: 34”
Aspect ratio: 21:9
Resolution: 3440 x 1440 at 175Hz
Brightness: 1,000 nits peak HDR
Response time: 0.1ms
Viewing angle: 178° H&V
Contrast ratio: 1,000,000:1
Features: QD OLED panel, 99.3% DCI-P3, Nvidia G-Sync Ultimate, DisplayPort 1.4 x1, HDMI 2.0 x2, USB hub, AlienFX lighting

Reasons to buy

+
Fabulous OLED panel
+
Incredible pixel response
+
True HDR performance

Reasons to avoid

-
Less convincing as a desktop monitor
-
Not the lowest latency option
-
Not exactly cheap

It’s been an awfully long time coming, but with the new Alienware 34 AW3423DW, OLED technology has finally come to the best gaming monitor. And, boy, does it deliver. This screen has better contrast and a faster response than any LCD panel we’ve ever seen while also looking richer, more convincing, more immersive, and being faster, sharper, and clearer. It really does do everything.

We found that it’s not absolutely perfect, though. The supposedly brighter HDR 1000 mode actually results in a duller image most of the time than the more usable HDR 400 setting. You will rarely if ever see the full 1,000 nits. The low pixel density also means this isn’t a great choice for an all-purpose display. It’s likewise not a good fit for console gaming. And strictly speaking, higher refresh panels will offer better latency.

Concerns involving OLED burn-in do linger, a little. If that proves unfounded, OLED could take off on the PC in a big way and for most types of gaming, we think this is an absolute revelation.

Read more: Alienware 34 AW3423DW QD-OLED review

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2. ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ

The best gaming monitor on a budget

Specifications

Screen size: 27"
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Resolution: 2560 x 1440p
Brightness: 350 cd/m2
Response time: 1ms
Viewing angle: 170° H, 178° V
Contrast ratio: 1,000:1
Features: IPS panel, HDR-10, Extreme Low Motion Blur Sync technology

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent picture quality
+
Great colours and vibrancy
+
Lovely and smooth
+
Solid settings menu

Reasons to avoid

-
Slightly haziness to some edges and images
-
Matte finish gives lighter pictures a sheen

The ASUS TUF VG27AQ is not exactly a flashy entry to our best gaming monitor list but it is bursting at the seams with quality. It's ordinary-looking but that didn't fool us, as it packs a punch and offers an incredibly speedy monitor for gaming. There's a 165Hz (featuring Adaptive Sync Support), a 1ms response rate of 1ms, and it is both G-Sync and FreeSync compatible. Add into this ASUS' own Extreme Low Motion Blur Sync technology and the in-game pictures this monitor provides are some of the smoothest and best you can get on a 1440p monitor. 

When we tested the monitor, the image quality was excellently crisp, too - it's not all about the speed. Stir in a rating of HDR10 high dynamic range for colour and brightness levels, too, and they are some of the nicest images we've seen on a 1440p. The VG27AQ does a great job of balancing overall picture quality, speeds, and, importantly, the price point. It's a great do-it-all monitor that we think will serve people well for PC gaming and console gaming.

Though remember, that 1440p resolution won't be natively supported by any PlayStation console. Yet.

Read more: ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ review

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MSI MPG Artymis 343CQR

(Image credit: Future/Jeremy Laird)
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MSI MPG Artymis 343CQR

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MSI MPG Artymis 343CQR

(Image credit: Future/Jeremy Laird)
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MSI MPG Artymis 343CQR

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MSI MPG Artymis 343CQR

(Image credit: Future/Jeremy Laird)

3. MSI MPG Artymis 343CQR

The best curved 1440p gaming monitor

Specifications

Screen size: 34”
Aspect ratio: 21:9
Resolution: 3440 x 1440 at 165Hz
Brightness: 550cd/m2
Response time: 1ms
Viewing angle: 178° H&V
Contrast ratio: 3,000:1
Features: AMD FreeSync, DisplayHDR 400

Reasons to buy

+
Ultra bright and punchy VA panel
+
Extreme curve is incredibly immersive
+
Excellent HDR performance for this type of screen

Reasons to avoid

-
Curvature not as convincing in Windows
-
Not exactly cheap
-
Pixel response is merely decent

Not a fan of curved candidates for best gaming monitor? Then  you might want to jog on. Because we think that MSI has definitely doubled down on the notion of bent screens with the MPG Artymis 343CQR. With a mere one metre radius of curvature, this thing is positively twisted.

As it happens, we found that it’s also unbelievably immersive. Partly this comes down to that extreme 1000R curve, but it’s also because MSI has boldly opted for VA rather than IPS panel technology. Combined with a very strong monolithic backlight, the result, confirmed in our testing, is punchy peak brightness of 550cd/m2 and 3,000:1 static contrast. Granted, there’s only entry-level HDR 400 certification. But this monitor delivers the best HDR experience we’ve yet seen from a monitor with no local dimming. CyberPunk 2077 running on this 34-inch, 3,440 by 1,440 pixel beauty is truly something to behold.

Of course, the big worry with any VA panel is pixel response. The 343CQR does need a little time to warm up. But once it’s up to temp, we found the response is nearly good enough to justify the 1ms claim. Add in 165Hz refresh and AMD FreeSync support (for the record, Nvidia G-Sync isn’t officially supported but does work) and you have one heck of an overall gaming package.

Back on the Windows desktop, that extreme curve makes less sense. Likewise, at this price point, the mere 1440p resolution will be disappointing from a productivity perspective. And don’t forget that even the latest consoles don’t support the ultra-wide 21:9. But for the specific job of high-end PC gaming, with the arguable exception of esports, this monitor proved to us that it is absolute madness. And in a very good way.

Read more: MSI MPG Artymis 343CQR review

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4. ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q

The best gaming monitor that has it all

Specifications

Screen size: 27”
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Resolution: 2560 x 1440 at 165Hz
Brightness: 350 cd/m2
Response time: 4ms
Viewing angle: 178° H&V
Contrast ratio: 1,000:1
Features: IPS panel, nVidia G-Sync, flicker-free backlighting, blue light filter, genre-specific presets and overlays, built-in speakers

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent color and gamma
+
Attractive G-Sync range

Reasons to avoid

-
Hit-or-miss calibration from factory
-
Very expensive

The PG279Q houses an IPS LCD panel capable of a maximum resolution of 2560X1440 at 165Hz. Color depth and gamma quality are excellent, as is to be expected of a high-end IPS panel, though reviewers (both consumer and press) disagree as to whether the PG279Q requires extensive calibration in order to achieve the best picture quality. The PG279Q’s G-Sync support is appealing but, like the Acer Predator XB271HU, only works if you’ve got an Nvidia graphics card installed, which is a bothersome limitation that might tempt you to look elsewhere. 

Nvidia’s customary G-Sync premium applies to the PG279Q, resulting in a price tag on the wrong side of $700, which is more expensive than many of the computers that’ll be paired with the monitors in this guide. It also isn’t anywhere near as pricey as 4K displays can get, if you can believe it, so while still very expensive, it’s a cheaper option for those who aren’t bothered about the 4K experience. All things considered, the ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q is absolutely one of the best gaming monitors and one that is just about worth the steeper price range compared to the next jump up in visual hardware.

Note: this is a little 'old' now so might be harder to come by in terms of stock at retailers - well worth it if you can find it though!

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ASUS XG27UQ review

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ASUS XG27UQ review

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ASUS XG27UQ review

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5. ASUS XG27UQ

The best 4K gaming monitor

Specifications

Size: 27-inch
Resolution: 4K (3840x2160)
Refresh Rate: 144Hz
Response Time: 1ms
Panel: IPS
Ports: 2x HDMI 2.0, 2x DisplayPort, 2x USB 3.0, earphone jack

Reasons to buy

+
Perfect specs of 4K, 144Hz, 1ms
+
It's far cheaper than any other monitor with similar specs
+
The best way to play the latest AAA games

Reasons to avoid

-
Quite expensive
-
Need a 3080 or better to unlock its full potential

Until now, 4K60fps+ gaming has been a concept only attainable by the hardcore enthusiasts who dedicate everything they have to PC gaming and their best gaming monitors. Not anymore. Thanks to the recent launch of the 30-series cards from Nvidia, and AMD's RX series equivalents, it's finally affordable for those who desire it. To reach that level, you need one of the best monitors on the market, but they're usually more expensive than the graphics cards themselves.

The ASUS XG27UQ changes that entirely, bringing almost the best possible specs on a 4K screen down to a reachable tier for general PC gamers. It's still not cheap, but for the first time ever a 4K monitor with 1ms response time and a 144Hz refresh rate is below the $1k mark. Quite considerably actually, coming in at around $800/£800. It's still a hefty price tag, don't get me wrong, but it's far cheaper than the other top-tier offerings.

We think that the ASUS XG27UQ is like a gaze into what PC gaming will be like for everyone 5 to 10 years down the line. With ray tracing on, Cyberpunk 2077 had my jaw on the floor, with stunning lighting effects and texture detail throughout Night City. As did Assassin's Creed Valhalla, with the sunrays splitting the treetops. if you have a rig capable of it – seriously, don't upgrade to 4K if your graphics card is a few years old – then you will not be disappointed with this monitor.

Read more: ASUS XG27UQ review

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Dell S2721DGF review

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Dell S2721DGF review

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Dell S2721DGF review

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6. Dell S2721DGF

The best bang-for-buck value gaming monitor

Specifications

Size: 27-inch
Resolution: 1440p
Refresh Rate: 165Hz
Response Time: 1ms
Panel: IPS
Ports: 2x HDMI, 1x DisplayPort, 5x USB 3.0, headphones, audio line-out

Reasons to buy

+
All the best specs; 1440p, 165Hz, 1ms
+
Wide viewing angles
+
Stunning, sleek design

Reasons to avoid

-
Poor HDR performance and dark areas

Dell offers a lot of monitors, from basic 1080p run-of-the-mill office jobs to uber impressive 4K beauties. The S2721DGF slots firmly in the middle, offering gaming performance at 1440p, and while we find that the specs are those you'd expect of a top-notch competitive esports ready screen, when we took it out of the box it certainly doesn't look like one on the outside.

When any PC gamer is looking for a monitor, two specs are vital; refresh rate and response time. The Dell S2721DGF is almost perfect in this regard, offering 165Hz and 1ms respectively and this was confirmed to us in testing. Another attraction is the IPS panel, which is excellent and contributes to the bang-to-buck value that the monitor offers. The monitor is covered in a matte, all-black finish, with thin, flat bezels around the edge, making it a brilliant choice for anyone looking for a double or triple-monitor set-up.

The only place we think this monitor trips up is in HDR performance, especially in dark areas. The contrast is low, which means it's often hard to differentiate between subtle blacks and greys, but if you're using this primarily for gaming and not movie-watching, it's not too big of a deal. This is one of the best 1440p gaming monitors on the market.

Read more: Dell S2721DGF review

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7. BenQ EL2870U

The best gaming monitor that offers 4K on a budget

Specifications

Screen size: 28"
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Resolution: 3840 x 2160 at 60Hz
Response time: 1ms
Brightness: 300cd/m2
Viewing angle: 170° H, 160° V
Contrast ratio: 1000:1
Features: TN panel, eye-care technology, built-in 2W stereo speakers, headphone jack, FreeSync

Reasons to buy

+
4K HDR support 
+
Built-in speakers

Reasons to avoid

-
Poor viewing angles

The BenQ EL2870U has been proving to us all that 4K doesn't have to cost a bomb - and it can hold its own as a quality monitor all the while.

While the viewing angles of its TN panel continue to prove to us in testing that there are better options for viewing, this monitor boasts a shocking wealth of functionality typically found outside a budget monitor's wheelhouse. If you have an AMD graphics card, the BenQ EL2870U is enhanced with native FreeSync support. Sadly, however, it is not G-Sync Compatible – trust us, we tested it. That said, it does have a utilitarian selection of ports, namely two HDMI 2.0 connections and a single DisplayPort 1.4. 

And, should you spend hours on end trying to best your KDR in Apex Legends like we did with this monitor in testing, then Ben-Q's integrated eye-care solution automatically adjusts brightness and blue light to safeguard your eyes from the evils of light-emitting diodes. It's not perfect, but the fact that this 28-inch 4K HDR screen regularly goes on sale for a fraction of its price is a compelling case for snatching one up no matter what you platform you play on.

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Samsung G7 gaming monitor

(Image credit: Future/Samsung)
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Samsung G7 gaming monitor

(Image credit: Future/Samsung)
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Samsung G7 gaming monitor

(Image credit: Future/Samsung)
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Samsung G7 gaming monitor

(Image credit: Future/Samsung)
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Samsung G7 gaming monitor

(Image credit: Future/Samsung)
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Samsung G7 gaming monitor

(Image credit: Future/Samsung)

8. Samsung Odyssey G7

The best 240Hz gaming monitor

Specifications

Screen size: 27"; 1000R curve
Panel type: VA
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Resolution: 2560 x 1440
Refresh rate: 240Hz
Response time: 1ms
Brightness: 350 nits
Contrast ratio: 2500:1
Features: G-Sync Compatible, FreeSync Premium, 2x USB 3.0 hub

Reasons to buy

+
Gorgeous VA panel
+
Super-fast response
+
Nice design and build quality

Reasons to avoid

-
Seriously pricey
-
Extreme curve could be too much
-
Not a true HDR display

Looking for one of the best gaming monitors that combines nearly everything that’s best about the latest LCD technology? You just found it in the Samsung Odyssey G7 C27G7. With local dimming, adaptive sync, high refresh, HDR, quantum dot technology, a curved panel, and more, on paper it's got the works. 

More specifically, it comes with a 27-inch diagonal with 1440p resolution and 240Hz refresh for what we think nails the sweet spot in terms of balancing detail with speed and response. That's why it's our pick for best 240Hz gaming monitor right now.

The main question mark concerns the use of VA panel technology, which is traditionally associated with slow pixel response and generally slightly laggy performance. Not so here. Samsung claims 1ms response times and interesting we found that this monitor feels and looks at least that quick. No question, it’s comparable with the best TN monitors for sheer speed. That it also matches IPS panels for colours and adds excellent contrast into the mix makes for an incredibly compelling package.

As for negatives, they’re limited to a particularly poor HDR implementation given the DisplayHDR 600 certification, plus a niggling doubt that the extreme 1000R curve may be a bit too much of a good thing. Oh, and that price. That premium price.

Read more: Samsung Odyssey G7 review

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9. Razer Raptor

The best Razer gaming monitor

Specifications

Screen size: 27-inch
Panel type: IPS
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Resolution: 2560x1440
Response time: 1ms
Weight: 12.3 lbs

Reasons to buy

+
Exceptional picture quality
+
Excellent colors and contrasts
+
Offers great PC use for multi platform setups
+
Two versions now available

Reasons to avoid

-
A little expensive compared to the others in its category
-

As soon as I began testing the Raptor, I knew Razer's first gaming monitor would be worthy of its place on this best gaming monitor list. It is a 27-inch panel that has quality specs oozing from everywhere. An IPS panel with a 1440p resolution, it has a 1ms response time and 144Hz refresh rate. There's also a cool black design that has RGB in the stand - because of course it does - and a mesh material all over the back, much like you'd find on speakers. The traditional Razer-green cables contrast nicely with the black stand and monitor and are tidily kept in check at the back with cable guides, too. The overall design impressed us and is a thing of Razer-centric beauty.

This is a terrific gaming monitor all in, and one which has a quality of picture that alone makes it easy for us to recommend as one of the best gaming monitors. In testing, we confirmed that the screen's speed is fast and pacey for smooth pictures, the image quality is crisp and gorgeous, and the color range and contrasts are deep and immersive. It's a little pricey perhaps, but if you're looking to get a great PC monitor that can be great for other uses too: it quickly became one of our top picks for best PS4 monitor such is its quality, and it would certainly hold its own with the newest consoles too.

Read more: Razer Raptor 27 review (original 144Hz version)

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10. Alienware AW3418DW

The best Alienware curved gaming monitor

Specifications

Screen size: 34”
Aspect ratio: 21:9
Resolution: 3440 X 1440 WQHD
Brightness: 300 cd/m²
Response time: 4 ms (gray-to-gray)
Viewing angle: 178°/178°
Contrast ratio: 1000:01
Features: Curved 1900R IPS display with NVIDIA G-Sync™, wide viewing angles and sharp resolution

Reasons to buy

+
A compact widescreen option
+
6 games modes offered
+
Easy to set up

Reasons to avoid

-
Another pricey purchase 
-
A little stingy with the ports 

Another curvy bit of eye candy for you, this time from the fine folks at Alienware. This one is a more compact option for widescreen fans, with 34 inches of pixels. This monitor's secret weapon is that is it can be overclocked to a 120Hz refresh rate, which puts in ahead of some of its cheaper rivals. Add to that its 100Hz refresh rate and G-Sync technology, which offer high frame rates without screen tearing, and Alienware is making sure you get plenty of bang for every buck you're putting into it. 

The monitor also gets a nod for keeping it classy on the design front. Think corporate super villain minimalism, with a ultrathin three-sided bezel and a stand that doesn't dominate your desk space. Yes, this is a pricey option, and won't be for you unless you're going to be playing games that really require ultra fast speeds. But if you want smooth, high-frame-rate games and a suite of game-specific features, the Alienware AW3418DW is worth the credit card debt.

Best gaming monitors 2022 - The best of the rest

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11. Acer Predator XB271HU

The best G-Sync Acer gaming monitor

Specifications

Screen size: 27”
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Resolution: 2560 x 1440
Brightness: 350 cd/m2
Response time: 4ms
Viewing angle: 178° H&V
Contrast ratio: 100,000,000:1
Features: IPS panel, nVidia G-Sync, flicker-free backlighting, Ultra Low Motion Blur (ULMB), built-in speakers

Reasons to buy

+
Robust IPS display
+
Excellent G-Sync range

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited input connectivity
-
G-Sync upcharge

The Acer Predator XB271HU is the Nvidia user’s answer to the Asus MG279Q, and it features many of the same benefits: a vibrant, flicker-free IPS panel with 144Hz refresh, excellent viewing angles and built-in screen tear prevention technology. Like AMD’s FreeSync, Nvidia’s G-Sync lets the GPU and monitor coordinate their efforts, reducing or eliminating screen tearing. Unlike FreeSync, which is part of the DisplayPort 2.1a standard and is free to include in any applicable monitor, G-Sync requires a proprietary Nvidia chipset in the display, which usually incurs a $200 premium over comparable monitors equipped with FreeSync, and even more versus monitors with no adaptive sync support.

The upside is that since Nvidia has total control over the standard and its implementation, there’s greater assurance that a G-Sync monitor will work as advertised, while FreeSync quality can vary between manufacturers and from model to model. G-Sync monitors also tend to support a wider range of applicable refresh rates, as well as better anti-ghosting than FreeSync monitors.

True to form, the Predator XB271HU is G-Sync capable between 30 and 144Hz out of the box, up to a maximum of 165Hz if you’re the overclocking type. Most modern computers, even the kind you buy a $700+ monitor for, can’t render a steady 144+ frames-per-second, so right now that much G-Sync headroom isn’t especially useful. As an investment, however, the Predator XB271HU makes a strong argument, as it’ll graciously provide for not only your current GPU, but the next couple of upgrades as well.

AOC 24G2

(Image credit: AOC)

12. AOC 24G2 / 24G2U

The best budget IPS gaming monitor

Specifications

Screen Size: 24-inch
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Resolution: 1920 x 1080 / Full HD
Brightness: 250 nits
Response time: 1ms
Viewing angle: 178/178
Contrast ratio: 1,000:1
Features: 144Hz, variable refresh rate, DisplayPort 1.2; HDMI type HDMI 1.4 x2

Reasons to buy

+
Proper IPS panel
+
144Hz refresh
+
Variable refresh rate

Reasons to avoid

-
No HDR support
-
Relatively puny 24-inch panel
-
Not terribly bright

Limited to a budget of around $200 / £200? Don’t despair. A high-refresh monitor with a decent IPS panel is within reach and we think could be a top gaming monitor for a lot of folks. Enter the AOC 24G2 and its closely related AOC 24G2U sibling. Inevitably, some compromises have to be made. The 24G2 / 24G2U are mere 24-inch monitors with a modest 1,920 by 1,080 resolution, otherwise known as 1080p. The difference between the two? The 24G2U adds a USB hub.

Good for a seriously zappy 1ms pixel response and with both variable refresh rate support and a low input lag mode, they run at a fulsome 144Hz which was confirmed to us in testing. Of course, that’s a far lower resolution than a 4K panel with just one-quarter the number of pixels. But then fewer pixels means more frames and lower latency which might just give you that critical edge in your Battle Royale or team-based shooter of choice, be that Apex Legends, Call of Duty: Warzone, Battlefield 5, or Overwatch.

One obvious omission for us, spec-wise, is HDR capability of any kind. But then very few monitors deliver a true HDR experience from our experience. So, at least AOC doesn’t tease you with the promise of HDR only to ultimately disappoint. What’s more, with slim bezels and both height and tilt adjustment, this panel doesn’t feel or look like a budget option.

Read more: AOC 24G2 review

MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD

(Image credit: Future/Jeremy Laird)

13. MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD

The best gaming monitor which nails the 1440p sweetspot

Specifications

Screen size: 27-inch
Resolution: 2,560 x 1,440 at 144Hz
Brightness: 300 cd/m2
Response time: 1ms GTG
Refresh rate: 165Hz
Viewing angle: 178° H&V
Contrast ratio: 1,000:1
Features: IPS panel, Nvidia G-Sync Compatible, DisplayPort 1.2 x1, HDMI 2.0 x2, USB-C with 15W charging

Reasons to buy

+
Crazy quick IPS panel
+
Great all-round feature set
+
Excellent colour coverage

Reasons to avoid

-
A bit expensive for a 1440p panel
-
15W USB-C charging
-
Limited HDR support

We think that the combo of 1440p and 27 inches has been the sweet spot for affordable PC gaming for an age. Does it make sense for consoles, too? The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD likes to think so, in part thanks to a compatibility mode that allows a 4K input from the PS5 to run at 2.5 on this 2,560 by 1,440 pixel panel, which means it offers a different edge in its contention for best gaming monitor.

Even with that quirk aside, this MSI panel still has a lot going for it, we think. For starters, it runs at 165Hz and packs a high-quality IPS panel with colour accuracy that’s well above the norm for a gaming monitor.

Arguably even more important is the fact that this monitor is seriously fast in our testing. Rated officially at 1ms response, it’s one of, if not the, fastest LCD gaming monitors we’ve ever seen. That speed makes it great for all kinds of PC gaming and a particular joy for online shooters which were great to test. It’s also feature-packed, including G-Sync compatibility, plus USB-C connectivity (albeit limited to 15W of charging power). The only slight snag is the price; it’s pretty expensive.

Read more: MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD review

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14. BenQ EX3203R

The best gaming monitor that's curved and budget-friendly

Specifications

Screen size: 32-inch
Panel type: VA
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Resolution: 2560x1440
Response time: 4ms
Refresh rate: 144Hz
Weight: 18 lbs

Reasons to buy

+
Gorgeous curved panel
+
144Hz refresh rate
+
FreeSync support

Reasons to avoid

-
Lower end of HDR support
-
No G-sync

BenQ's EX3203R is an answer to the exorbitantly priced models we've seen flooding the market since the curve trend has taken hold of consumer's imaginations. While it's not exactly a budget screen, it's reasonably priced and worth the investment, especially when it's on sale.

Interestingly, BenQ has opted for a VA rather than an IPS or TN panel for the EX3203R. VA generally provides better contrast and probably contributes to the high refresh rate as compared to IPS equivalents, though sacrifices slightly in the viewing angle and color production departments. All that said, unless you have an extremely keen eye, you're unlikely to notice the differences in panel tech, for better or worse. And since it's a curved panel, any reduction in viewing angle is less of a concern - and wasn't really something that bothered us in testing.

All in all, we think this is an amazing monitor that provides stunning visuals and fantastic in-game performance, and a great excuse if you've been waiting to jump on the curved-screen bandwagon.

Read more: BenQ EX3203R review

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15. Alienware AW2518HF

Th best high-performance Alienware gaming monitor

Specifications

Screen size: 24.5”
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Resolution: 1920 x 1080 at 240Hz
Brightness: 400 cd/m2
Response time: 1ms
Contrast ratio: 1000:1
Features: AlienFX RGB LED lighting, AMD FreeSync support

Reasons to buy

+
High frame-rates 
+
Alienware exclusive bonuses

Reasons to avoid

-
No G-Sync

Alienware is a household name in PC gaming, so you know you’ll be getting the good stuff when it comes to the company’s line-up of bespoke monitors. The AW2518HF is a particularly enticing option, with a focus on exceptionally fast response times and refresh rates which come at a forgivable cost of visual resolution. That aforementioned refresh rate comes in at an impressive 240Hz, making the AW2518HF one of the best 240Hz gaming monitors and also perfect for competitive gaming with consistently smooth imaging that rarely buckles under pressure. 

But the drawback is the TN (Twisted Nematic) technology panel, which doesn’t allow for G-sync support and only offers full HD resolution. It still plays fast and smooth for what you’re paying for, though, and the AW2518HF’s gorgeous, expressive design and build is ergonomically robust to ensure a safe and comfortable viewing experience at all times. It even comes rigged up with the AlienFX RGB LED lighting, which can be synced up to whatever’s playing on the screen, as well as the rest of your Alienware PC and laptop hardware. 

Best gaming monitor: IPS vs TN, 4K vs 144Hz

Should FreeSync and G-Sync come at a cost that comes largely unjustified to you, other factors to look out for as you set your sights on a great gaming monitor are aspect ratio and viewing angle. Most gaming monitors now offer in-plane switching, or IPS, panels. Compared with the twisted nematic, or TN, displays of the past, IPS screens have much better viewing angles and color reproduction. That said, competitive gamers who care more about performance than visual fidelity still find TN monitors enticing because of their faster, often 1ms response times.

A similar sentiment applies in the resolution department, where 4K monitors exist alongside those with somewhat lower pixel densities yet higher refresh rates. If you find yourself kicking back exploring the vast open world of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s ancient Greece more often than sniping your friends in Overwatch, then 4K HDR inhabits the best gaming monitor of your future. Esports athletes, on the other hand, ought to peep the 120Hz or even 144Hz speed demons we’ve scouted out.


What brand is best for gaming monitors?

This is a tough question with no real stand out, single answer. Much like other areas of gaming tech, like headsets, for example, the monitor market is a crowded one, and this means pinning down one brand as the best of them all is nigh on impossible. Big name abound like ASUS, Acer, BenQ, Samsung, and Alienware, but thinking about a brand should always be secondary to the specs that you need and the price that you can spend.

Is 144Hz or 240Hz better?

In what is increasingly becoming a defining factor among the best gaming monitors, and gamers' approach to buying them, the refresh rate is critical. And the difference between these two numbers, 144 and 240 is increasingly becoming a distinction worth making as, 1) games can be noticeably differnt at these speeds, and, 2) monitors are made and sold at these exact numbers. 

144Hz is almost certainly enough and games running at this framerate will be buttery smooth, but 240Hz will always be a bit more future proof and allow extra headroom. If a 240Hz monitor is only a small amount more, then it's probably worth it - but always consider other specs before committing too!

What monitor do pro gamers use?

You'll find pro gamers across esports use a variety of different gaming monitors. There doesn't seem to be a prevailing brand - but they do pick and play on ones to their strengths and needs. Fast refresh rates, fast response times, and 1080p resolutions are often the favoured specs here - there's no need for ultrawide beasts, of 4K behemoths. 

Should I get one or two gaming monitors?

The brutal reality here is that unless you're some kind of superhuman, you can only play one game at any one time, and look at one screen to play said game at any one time - thus one monitor is, realistically, all you need. 

Having said that, there's always a case for a 2nd gaming monitor - I use two at home depending on what PC game I want to play. Such is the range of gaming monitors available, if you had the budget and the setup, you could go for one which is best for competitive play and one that's best for slower-paced role playing games and so on.

So, even though I would like to approach this much like my attitude in the kitchen, that more is more, it might just not be worth it for most folks. Particularly if you're on a budget; even if you're set on having two screens, you could splash out on one and pick up a cheap 2nd one for work or admin.

What type of monitor is best for FPS gaming?

Speed and smoothness of picture are the two most important factors for a screen if you are shopping for a gaming monitor for first-person-shooter games.

Speed in the screen having a fast refresh rate (Hz) which dictates the level of frames per second you'll get from your machine; but also in the screen's response time, (ms)  which measures the amount of time it takes for a pixel to change. You want the former to be as high as possible, and the latter to be as low as possible.

And smoothness rolled into this by the screen having FreeSync or, preferably, G-Sync to ensure the transitions between frames are consistent and buttery is the perfect complement to the speeds.

If you're after something that's TV-shaped then head over to our best gaming televisions guide as well as our best TV for PS5 and Xbox Series X, best OLED TV, and best 120Hz 4K TV guides which will all see you right.

I'm the Commissioning Editor for Hardware at GamesRadar+ and have been here since late 2018. I'm also a writer on games and have had work published over the last five years or so at the likes of Eurogamer, RPS, PCGN, and more. Day to day, I take care of a whole host of gaming tech reviews, buying guides, and news and deals content that pops up across GamesRadar+. I'm also a qualified landscape and garden designer, so I do that in my spare time. I'm also an expert on the virtual landscapes and environments of games and love to write about them too, including in an upcoming book on the topic!