For many people, a monitor is a monitor–but for a serious gamer, the type of monitor you use matters. Variables like your refresh rate, input lag, and many other factors can be the difference between victory and defeat. Have you ever tried playing a competitive fighting game with severe input lag?

High-end gaming monitors can break the bank, but you don’t need to spend a small fortune to get a great experience. There are plenty of gaming monitors available for less than $300 that will give you a leg up and improve your gaming sessions. 

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    Best Ultrawide Gaming Monitor Under $300: Sceptre C305B Curved Gaming Monitor

    A curved monitor allows you to sit equidistant from all points on the screen. At 30 inches, the Sceptre C305B has sufficient screen real estate to split your screen in half and play in windowed mode (you know, if you need to keep one eye on your Twitch chat.) 

    The truly outstanding quality to this monitor is the 200 Hz refresh rate. It’s tough to find monitors with that high of a refresh rate under $300, but the Sceptre comes in at just $279. It is also equipped with FreeSync, so AMD users will see even better performance.

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    The Sceptre C305B has preset modes customized for different types of games. The FPS mode is designed to deliver the best performance in first person shooter games, while the RTS mode is designed to deliver the best performance during real-time strategy games. 

    The one area this monitor falls short is in resolution. It’s only a 1080p display and has a 5ms response rate. However, thanks to FreeSync and its high refresh rate, you might not even notice the input lag. 

    Lowest Input Lag Gaming Monitor Under $300: AOC C24G1

    Input lag may not seem like a big deal, but at higher levels of competitive play, every advantage you can get matters. If you’re playing a frame-perfect fighting game, you want as close to zero input lag as possible. While zero input lag isn’t possible because of physics, some monitors come very close.

    The AOC C24G1 claims a 1ms response time and a 144Hz refresh rate. It also uses FreeSync to further improve performance and help up your game. The 1500R curved monitor will help immerse you into the gameplay so your senses remain sharp and no one sneaks up on you.

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    With an input lag this low, the AOC C24G1 is a fantastic choice for playing competitive fighting games or competitive shooters. The more in sync your mouse is with the action on screen, the more likely it is you’ll be able to pull off shots that completely astound your opponents. 

    At just $185, the AOC C24G1 is an incredibly affordable gaming monitor. It also packs in a few quality of life features that are worth noting, including a “Low Blue” mode that reduces blue light to reduce eye strain over long gaming sessions.

    Most Adjustable Monitor Under $300: BenQ ZOWIE

    The BenQ ZOWIE competes with some of the top monitors on the market with its 144 Hz refresh rate and a 1ms response speed. For just $200, that’s a lot of value in a single package. But what sets the monitor apart is how customizable it is both in viewing angle and in color levels. 

    With a 100mm x 100mm VESA mount, the BenQ ZOWIE can easily be mounted on a wall or on a monitor stand. However, its default stand allows you to adjust the height and tilt the monitor however you like. If you want to use this as a secondary monitor for reading Discord chats, you can turn it vertically.

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    It also allows you to easily adjust the color saturation to your liking. A feature called the “Black eQualizer” makes it easier to spot hidden enemies on the battlefield. Never again be caught off guard by someone trying to spawn camp your base.

    The BenQ ZOWIE isn’t without its shortcomings, however. The most noticeable thing about this monitor are the bezels that look more at home in the late 90s than in 2020. If you can forgive this assault on aesthetics, however, since the BenQ ZOWIE is a great value for a gaming monitor under $300.

    Best G-Sync Gaming Monitor under $300: LG 27GL650F

    Users with an AMD GPU will prefer FreeSync-compatible monitors, but those with an NVIDIA GPU will need a G-Sync monitor. The LG 27GL650F is a 27-inch, G-Sync compatible gaming monitor with a 1ms response time and a 144 Hz refresh rate, but it sits at the top of the price scale at $299.80. 

    This LG gaming monitor has a motion blur reduction feature that makes it look even better than it might otherwise. The monitor is HDR10 compatible, showing deeper, more rich colors than non-HDR monitors. The downside is that it’s only a 1080p monitor, when 1440p would better demonstrate the benefits of HDR.

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    Thin bezels make this monitor an ideal choice for a dual-display setup, and you can easily mount the monitor to a compatible wall or arm mount. However, take note that many users reported incompatibility issues with certain arm mounts. 

    With such a low response time and a high refresh rate (not to mention color accuracy), the LG 27GL650F is a great choice for first person shooters, particularly for players that enjoy sniping. You will better be able to line up shots and pick out targets in the distance.