Buying the best gaming monitor is difficult. Certain equipment such as mouse, controllers and keyboards are often a subjective choice: what feels best to you? But with gaming monitors, there are so many different specifications, brands and features that it’s easy to get confused.
That’s why we keep it simple in this guide. We’ve compiled some helpful categories to make it easier for you to choose the best gaming monitor for your needs.
Best 1080p gaming monitors
At this point, most gamers still play on 1080p monitors. That is certainly not a problem, because the image quality is decent and it also ensures that you can play at high frame rates fairly cheaply. These are our recommendations.
Monitors with a high refresh rate were once expensive, but now you can find monitors with 144Hz for very little money. This model is a textbook example of a somewhat older screen that offers very smooth images at a low price.
This monitor has a ‘curved’ VA panel, which gives you accurate colors and good contrast. Perfect for dark games or when playing in dark rooms. In addition, this monitor supports FreeSync, which makes frame rates appear even smoother.
A good alternative is the BenQ Zowie RL2455. You get extremely low input lag (the time between touching a button and a response in a game), smooth visuals, and a ‘black equalizer’ mode that automatically brightens dark areas on a screen. Very useful for shooters like Call of Duty. However, you are limited to 60Hz.
AOC 24G2U / 24G2
If you like to play fast multiplayer games, then monitors with a high refresh rate are important to respond quickly. Working with an IPS panel, this monitor has accurate colors and good viewing angles – better than TN or VA panels. There are a few issues with IPS though: a relatively low brightness (250 nits), medium contrast (1000:1) and a slightly higher response time (4ms GtG) compared to TN panels. Still, if you want to game, browse, and create content, IPS is the perfect choice. There’s also FreeSync support to make frame rates smoother.
The Alienware AW2521HF is the best 240Hz monitor we’ve tested. The Nano IPS panel combines wide viewing angles with accurate colors, high refresh rates and extremely low input lag (2.5ms!). This makes it the ideal monitor for competitive games such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Call of Duty: Warzone and Rainbow Six Siege. VRR is also supported: FreeSync for AMD cards and G-Sync for Nvidia cards. Ideal for gaming on Xbox One X and Series X as well.
Only the brightness and contrast of this screen are disappointing: around 450 nits and 1200:1 respectively. As a result, black tones sometimes look gray. For competitive gaming, however, that is not a big problem.
A good alternative is the Samsung CRG5, a 240Hz monitor with a curved 27-inch VA panel. This is also an ideal choice for competitive games such as Counter-Strike and Rainbow Six Siege as even mid-range PCs can take advantage of the extremely high refresh rate of 240Hz. In addition, the extensive VRR implementation ensures that frame rate problems are neutralized. In addition, this screen also has a feature to illuminate dark areas extra.
Since this monitor uses a VA panel instead of TN, it can achieve a contrast ratio of 3000:1. The color accuracy is also very good. The disadvantage is a high pixel response time of 4ms, which for a TN would normally be 1ms or lower. So keep in mind the pros and cons of this monitor.
Best 1440p gaming monitors
If you are looking for a sharper screen with more detail, 1440p screens are a good investment. Please note: these screens require more horsepower from your PC. Again we start with a 144Hz screen, before moving on to ultra wide.
1440p 144Hz is now a wildly popular category, but the LG 27GL850 stands head and shoulders above it. This is a great monitor with wide viewing angles, excellent colors, and an input lag of 4ms. FreeSync and G-Sync are supported, avoiding screen tearing and small drops in the frame rate. HDR is supported, but the low brightness means it will never come into its own. Nevertheless, this is an excellent display for both competitive gaming and single player adventures for such a low price.
AOC Agon AG273QZ
Extremely high refresh rates are a new trend, mainly due to the popularity of competitive gaming. In our opinion, the AOC Agon AG273QZ is the leader in this category.
This model uses a TN panel, which provides excellent motion clarity and an MPRT pixel response time of 0.5ms. FreeSync support also addresses framerate issues. You can enjoy this feature by playing with an Xbox One, Series X and S, and PC on this monitor.
If you also want to do content creation, the color reproduction is somewhat less than IPS panels. The viewing angles are also not ideal. Yet this monitor has so many positive aspects. The metal foot rest is excellent and very flexible. The very thin bezels also make this a great monitor if you want to work with multiple screens.
The AOC CU342X offers the best price/quality ratio for an ultrawide. Thanks to the width of 34 inches, this screen bends to your periphery. This VA panel has excellent contrast, a resolution of 3440×1440 and a refresh rate of 144Hz, making it an ideal all-round screen. We were extremely impressed with how this screen handles blacks: Metro Exodus was simply a bloodcurdlingly beautiful experience on this screen.
The ultrawide 1440p resolution is somewhere between the normal 1440p and 4K so that you can get impressive results even with a mid-range PC. In addition, Freesync is supported.
Acer Predator X35
Let’s get straight to the point: the Acer Predator X35 is the best 1440p ultrawide gaming monitor on the market, but it will cost you a fortune. You get an incredibly smooth 200Hz display here: ideal for fast-paced shooters and racing games. Plus, there’s full G-Sync support, so tearing isn’t a factor. The monitor supports DisplayHDR 1000, resulting in beautiful colors, strong contrast and an extremely high peak brightness. The ideal 1440p for HDR gaming. The Acer Predator X35 is simply a top model.
Best 4K gaming monitors
Now that the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are on sale, and the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X are getting reasonably cheap, 4K gaming is more accessible than ever. So here are our picks for the best 4K gaming monitors, including premium 4K 144Hz options for PC gamers with powerful hardware.
Acer Nitro VG280K
At 28 inches, the Nitro VG280K is a relatively modest screen, but it still has significant advantages because it supports FreeSync and HDR. It uses an IPS panel, so color reproduction is excellent. If you’re into audiovisual productions such as film or visual design, this is an excellent choice. Viewing angles are good and the input lag is minimal.
A strong and cheaper alternative is the BenQ EL2870U. This monitor uses a TN panel, which means that the color reproduction is less strong. The pixel response time is higher, which can give you an advantage in competitive gaming.
If you have a console that supports 4K gaming (be it the Xbox Series X, Xbox One X, PlayStation 5 or PlayStation 4 Pro), this monitor is a good choice for those looking for something smaller than a TV. This screen has an extremely low input lag, good motion handling and the VA panel provides excellent contrast. The DisplayHDR 600 certification also ensures beautiful colors and clarity, while FreeSync support enables variable refresh rates on Xbox One and PCs with AMD cards. For example, frame rates between 40 and 60 fps are smoothed out.
In addition to these strong foundations, the Asus also has some other nice features. There are handy USB ports to recharge your controllers, ambient RGB backlighting and a very nice interface to choose your settings. Its size also makes it easy to watch from a distance, so you can actually use it almost like a TV.
Alternative recommendation: The Philips Momentum 326M6VJRMB has the same core features, but at a much lower price. The nice extras of the Asus are missing though. You don’t get a stand, USB ports for reloading, nor the Asus’ advanced OSD. Still, good to keep in mind if you’re working on a smaller budget.
This is an excellent monitor for both gaming and content creation with a blazingly fast 4K Nano IPS screen, beautiful colors, and a fast pixel response time. By the way, the screen can exceed 600 nits to give a real HDR experience. In addition, the monitor supports Display Stream Compression to display the full 4K 144Hz experience with HDR and VRR via a single DisplayPort cable. No need for chroma subsampling or two cables!
An alternative is the Acer Nitro XV273K. The 4K IPS Quantum Dot display offers extremely accurate colors and displays games at lightning speed with minimum input lag. There’s also an ambient light sensor and a shading hood, making this a good choice for those involved in audiovisual productions.
HDR is only so-so, though. FreeSync is admittedly in place of G-Sync, which now works on all modern gaming PCs and the Xbox Series and Xbox One X. Also a nice option: you can connect two DisplayPort cables to power the monitor at 4K 144Hz, run with full 10-bit color.
Acer Predator X27P
In our opinion, the Predator X27P is the best gaming monitor available. The problem is the high cost. This is justified by the insane amount of modern screen technologies available: in addition to 4K and 144Hz, there is support for G-Sync, DisplayHDR 1000, the screen works with a Quantum Dot IPS display RGB lighting.
This 43-inch screen supports 4K at 120Hz with DisplayHDR 600. Although it comes close in size to a TV, this is a gaming monitor at heart. The input lag is extremely low, making it ideal for competitive gaming. There’s even a setting that brightens dark areas!
The VA panel has a fantastic contrast (4000:1) and strong peak brightness (600 nits) so that HDR comes into its own. The colors are very accurate, making this an ideal screen for content creation. Motion resolution alone is not a standout: at 4ms GtG, the pixel response time sometimes causes slightly blurry images with fast movements. There is also no HDMI 2.1 port for the new consoles.
A strong alternative is the Asus ROG Swift PG43UQ. The cost is slightly higher, but the HDR implementation is fantastic and the refresh rate runs up to 144Hz. This screen also has Display Stream Compression, so you need a single DisplayPort 1.4 cable. A beauty of a gaming monitor.
If you are still confused about choosing the right gaming monitor for you, you can read our guide on choosing the best monitor for gaming.