The best curved gaming monitor makes for a far more immersive gaming experience than a normal flat monitor ever can. They're impressive, indulgent, and look awesome when sitting on your desk. But before you invest in one of the best curved monitors, take a moment to consider whether your hardware can handle that many pixels. A good curved gaming monitor will offer a higher resolution than your average gaming monitor, and the more pixels you're pushing, the harder your rig will need to work.
A massive ultrawide display like the Acer Predator X38 will need to be coupled with one of the best graphics cards in order to unleash its full capabilities—namely, by matching the high refresh rate with high frame rates that will make it worth the money spent.
Gamers on a budget might consider something smaller than many of the ultrawide format beasts on this list, such as the Dell S3220DGF or Pixio PXC273. These come in at a fraction of the cost, and you'd be surprised just how much they can still deliver by way of specs and performance—if you don't mind losing out on some pixels, and a few features.
Below, we've rounded up the best curved monitors for gaming that we've tested extensively, and are still using in our everyday lives, so that you can treat your eyeballs to some immersive, responsive gaming action for the right price.
Best curved monitors for gaming
Acer makes good gaming monitors. Some of the best. So, it's no surprise that the Acer Predator X38 made it to the list. The Predator X38 provides high brightness (for a curved monitor) and great colors on a 38-inch IPS panel with a 3840x1600 native resolution.
What can't be understated is the X38's killer design with its built-in LEDs, speakers, and thin aluminum legs. The under-glow of the monitor's bottom-facing LEDs provides a nice ambiance to whatever you're playing as well.
The 3840x1600 resolution gives you a wide field of view, especially in shooters where expanding the battlefield could give you a strategic edge. This feature-loaded gaming monitor doesn't come cheap, though. Expect to spend around $1,700 on this bad boy, but it'll be worth every penny.
Read our full Acer Predator X38 review.
The 32-inch Dell S3220DGF is one of our favorite curved monitors for work and play. It seems like a wildly good deal, too. For less than $500, you can pick up a 165Hz Freesync Premium Pro gaming monitor with everything you need for high-fidelity, high frame rate gaming.
Gaming and editing will benefit from this panel's high contrast and color accuracy, and we also love the fact that it has five USB 3.0 ports where you can plug in a ton of devices. All of which makes this Dell a wonderfully versatile monitor without costing an arm and a leg, even if it doesn't have the greatest viewing angles.
Even among this grouping, the Samsung Odyssey G9 is a vaguely ridiculous offering. Completely in a just-look-at-this-thing way. Obviously, it all begins with that humungous 49-inch panel. The 5,120 by 1,440 native resolution arguably isn’t all that exciting given the size and aspect ratio, equating to an unexciting 109 pixels per inch. You'll still need a powerful graphics card to drive this thing too.
It’s the sheer scale and the outrageously tight curvature that separates the G9 from just about every other monitor. Including the 240Hz refresh, FreeSync and G-Sync support, HDR 1000 certification including a peak brightness of 1,000 nits, 2,500:1 contrast, 95% coverage of the DCI-P3 gamut, and 1ms response. Quite the package. It isn't perfect, with the HDR performance being rather uninspiring—especially so given the sticker price. Still, in almost every other aspect it's golden.
Read our full Samsung Odyssey G9 review.
The Pixio PXC273 is about as barebones as they come in regards to gaming monitors. This 27-inch curved 1080p panel provides frames at a solid 144Hz and is also FreeSync certified. The screen itself is advertised as anti-glare and holds up in most brightly lit environments—and the thin bezel is always a plus in our book.
The biggest draw to the PXC273 is its low price point. It's a great entry-level option for those looking for a larger screen with a high refresh rate and who don't want to be left completely broke. As this is a budget display, you'll lose out on a lot of the extra features you'd find in higher-end curved monitors.
You may have noticed that the PXC273 sells out every time stock is available. You can always check back on our handy price widget will let you know when it's in stock again.
The impressive yet pricey Alienware 34 curved monitor is a gorgeous and speedy ultrawide display. While it doesn't have the same LED light show as the Acer Predator, you might argue that the Alienware AW3418DW's stylish design doesn't need it. Following the space-ship aesthetic that they are known for, it's a good-looking curved monitor.
What we like the most is the game-type specific display mode that'll crank up the brightness in FPS mode, oversaturate colors in RTS mode, and an RPG mode that'll show deeper, richer blacks without too much of a fuss. This curved monitor reproduces a deep 127.2 color on the sRGB color gamut, which is one of the highest we've seen.
Although it's getting a little older now, the AW3418DW is one of the best premium ultrawide displays you can buy.
Check out our guide to the best gaming monitors for those who want some non-curved awesomeness.
The Acer XR382CQK is a massive 38-inch curved screen that looks absolutely stunning. It features a QHD ultrawide panel with a 3840x1600 resolution, with an aspect ratio of 24:10 that's slightly wider than the 'standard' 21:9 aspect ratio on other ultrawide displays. The IPS panel looks great, and the size means gaming from the comfort of your couch is a viable option.
The cost for the best ultrawide display is steep, but at least you won't need to upgrade again for many years. At around $1,000, the XR382CQK can be a bitter pill to swallow, but the beauty of this screen will wash away the nasty taste in your mouth the instant you boot up your favorite games in 21:9 glory. And barring hardware failure, this display should keep you gaming happily far into the future.
Best curved gaming monitor FAQ
What do I need to consider when buying a curved gaming monitor?
If you're considering ditching your flat screen lifestyle for all-encompassing visuals, there are a few things to consider. First off, the three Rs: resolution, refresh rate, and response time.
Higher resolution means more load on your graphics card but more detailed images. A higher refresh rate means speedier visuals. And response time can be useful for bolstering your in-game reflexes.
The final consideration is curvature.
What level of curvature should I choose?
Your panel's curvature, or curve radius, is key to your viewing experience. Most curved panels are rated across a range: roughly 4000R to 1500R. The lower the number, the higher the curvature of the panel. This is one of the reasons the Samsung Odyssey G9's 1000R curve is so surprising—it has a much tighter curve than anything else out there.
The distance you sit from your monitor will also help you choose which curvature is ideal for you. You'll generally find gaming monitors around the 1800R mark, right in the sweet spot for desktop gaming. A more pronounced curve, viewed at a greater distance, could negatively impact viewing angles and your overall experience.
How do you test a gaming monitor?
There are two main ways to test out our screens to determine the best gaming monitor. The first is by playing games on it, obviously. Subjectively testing each panel's gaming performance isn’t necessarily going to give you the lowdown on the specifics of a particular screen. Still, it will let you test the functioning aspect ratio, native resolution, and any particular gamer-centric technologies they’re sporting.
Side-by-side comparative testing in this manner is also precious for keying into the sometimes subtle differences between each panel. When you use a screen in isolation, it’s easy to become blind to its comparative faults as you get used to them. Testing screens back-to-back allows us to discover and highlight specific issues between them.
Objective testing can be great, but it's also far more difficult. To do it properly, you need hardware for testing the true latency, color accuracy, and other metrics. Most gamers don't have access to any of this, but you can do a semblance of objective testing using the LCD calibration pages here. This site offers several test screens to bring up on any web-connected panel to make some qualitative assessments. The days of actual retail space for such things are dwindling, but if you can get a look at a screen before purchasing it, plugging a notebook or such into it and checking out the Lagom pages is very handy.