Building a high-end gaming rig can easily cost a few thousand dollars, and pre-built models are often on the high-end of the pricing spectrum due to the convenience factor. But there are plenty of cheap gaming PCs out there that can play modern games at decent settings and still hit smooth frame rates.
To help make your foray into PC gaming simpler, we’ve sifted through the numerous manufacturers and hardware setups to find the best cheap gaming PCs you can buy right now. Our picks range from around $500 to just under $1500. $1500 might sound expensive, but considering you can easily spend two or three times that on a top-tier gaming rig–and in some cases on the graphics card alone–this range is about as low as you can go if you want solid gameplay performance.
The PCs we selected aren’t built for 4K gaming, and some are slim on internal storage and RAM. That will limit how many games you can install and how fast they load, and make streaming and content creation more challenging–especially if you’re playing and recording gameplay at the same time. Most low-end PCs can’t handle VR well, either.