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Budget Gaming PC Builds for 2022

Budget Gaming PCAre you looking for an inexpensive gaming computer that can easily handle your favorite games? Below, you’ll find six different budget gaming PCs that will serve you well into 2022 (and beyond).

In this day and age of incredible graphics and extremely demanding video games, you, as a PC gamer, must have a capable system if you want to play your favorite games in the way they were designed to be played.

And, although some console gamers might tell you that PC gaming is too expensive to get into, the reality is that even if you are working with a tight budget, you can build (or buy) a cheap gaming PC that can deliver excellent performance at 1080P resolution in most games.

And, if you’re willing to spend between $700-$800 you can even get a VR-ready gaming PC that is capable of utilizing an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive headset. In this guide, I’ve given you six different cheap PC builds that you can use as is, or that you can use as a base to put together your own part list.

These aren’t the best gaming PCs you can build, but for the price their performance is incredible and for the most part, the majority of them will offer a better PC gaming experience than consoles will.

In the end, you’ll have a plan of action, as well as a number of different components to choose between, and you’ll be well on your way to building the best gaming PC for your budget. For each option, you’ll also find a link to a comparable prebuilt gaming PC. So, if you don’t want to build your own system, you can check out a prebuilt gaming PC for a similar price.

FAQ: Questions to Ask Before You Build Your Budget PC

If you’re on the fence of whether or not you should build your own cheap gaming PC, or you have questions, we’ve provided a list of frequently asked questions below to help you find the answers you’re looking for.

1. Is building a gaming PC hard?

Anyone who knows how to read or even how to watch a video and how to use a screwdriver can build their own PC. (Although, if you’ve seen the PC building video that was released from ‘The Verge’ a few years back, that is an example of how NOT to build a PC. Check out our guide on the common PC building mistakes that first-time builders make in order to get an idea of what NOT to do.) I should also add, too, that you do need some patience when building your own computer. Building a gaming PC is not rocket science and is not too difficult of a task.

However, there are moments that can arise during the building process that can be frustrating. The good news, though, is that there are plenty of guides out there that can help walk you through the building process to minimize the chances of you running into these kinds of problems.

Most builders won’t face too many issues during their first build and even the most tech-challenged individuals could probably get through their own PC build if they are patient enough.

I’ve also put together a step-by-step guide to help first-time builders through the building process. You can access it here.

2. How much should a budget gaming PC Cost?

In a normal market, building a PC is typically cheaper than it is today. Thanks to supply shortages, certain components have gone up significantly in price. These rise in prices are starting to mellow out a bit as we head into the middle of 2022, but it is still much more expensive to build a computer than it was a few years ago.

Traditionally, you could spend $500 on a cheap gaming PC and have a system that would be able to max out most games on a 1080P display. As of right now, though, the 1080P-killing graphics cards that used to cost ~$150-$200 now cost a bit more.

While prices are dropping, a prebuilt gaming PC can be a solid alternative. The companies that provide prebuilt systems are able to purchase their components at much more reasonable prices by buying them in bulk. You can check out our recommendations for the best budget prebuilt gaming PC at each price range in the sections below.

For more information on the cost of building a PC, check out our guide How Much Does it Cost to Build A PC Right Now?

3. Is building your own PC cheaper in 2022?

Up until recently, building your own PC has typically been cheaper than buying a prebuilt gaming PC with similar hardware. However, as of right now, there is a global shortage of supplies (due to a number of reasons) and that shortage has had a drastic impact on the price and availability of the components necessary to building a PC.

The good news is that prices have started to come down and it is again becoming more affordable to build your own PC. Your best bet is to compare the prices of the PC builds listed below and a comparable prebuilt gaming PC to see which option would be better for you.

4. How do I build a gaming PC for the first time?

To build a PC you need a specific set of components, an operating system, and a screwdriver. While the process might seem daunting, as long as you follow a solid PC building guide, you should be able to finish your build without any problems. I walk you through how to build your own PC in this step-by-step PC building guide.

Also read: How Long Does it Take to Build A PC?

5. Should you build a cheap gaming PC or get a console?

There are two sides to this question… Yes, I am a diehard PC fan. But one of my favorite video games happens to be Madden. And, up until a few years ago, Madden wasn’t available on PC. So, if I wanted to play Madden in the past, I also had to have an XBox One. (Yes, that’s right, I have a console…)

Or, if you wanted to play a game like Red Dead Redemption 2 at launch, you would have needed a console to play it. If you’re a baseball fan and you want to play MLB The Show, your only option is to get a PlayStation, and Xbox, or a Switch.

So, before you go out and build a new budget gaming computer, you need to make sure that you understand that certain games aren’t available on PC. But, at the same time, what you lose on a console, you gain on a PC. There are also plenty of games that are exclusive to PC, like, for instance, League of Legends (also one of my favorite games.)

And, overall, the in-game experience on a PC is better than it is on a console. That’s simply because on the PC you can play with better visuals, more detailed graphics, and smoother gameplay. And, of course, on average, PC games tend to be cheaper and there are also a lot more of them.  (Although, with the launch of the PS5, the gap between platforms is closing. Check out our guide PC vs PS5: Which is Better for Gaming? to learn more.)

So, while a console will cost you less upfront (unless you go with a really inexpensive PC), if you buy a lot of games, in the long run, a PC will win out. Ultimately, though, if you’re like me, you just get both and enjoy the best of both worlds.


Quick-Look: Our Top Picks for the Best Cheap Gaming PCs

In this section, I’ve taken six different price points ($300, $400, $500, $600, $700, & $800) and I’ve put together budget-friendly gaming PC builds for each budget. These builds can either be used as is, or they can serve as a base that you can customize to your liking. I’ve also linked to a comparable prebuilt gaming PC for each price range.

NAME SPECS
VR/1440P
$800 Budget Gaming PC Build

$800 Gaming PC

  • Intel i5-12400F
  • RX 6600 XT
  • 16GB DDR4 RAM
  • 480GB SSD

SEE PRICE »

PRE-BUILT »

BALANCED
$700 Budget Gaming Computer

$700 Gaming PC

  • Intel i5-12400F
  • RX 6600
  • 16GB DDR4 RAM
  • 480GB SSD

SEE PRICE »

PRE-BUILT »

BUDGET VR
$600 Budget Gaming Desktop

$600 Gaming PC

  • Intel i5-12400F
  • RX 6500 XT
  • 16GB DDR4 RAM
  • 480GB SSD

SEE PRICE »

PRE-BUILT »

1080P
$500 Budget Gaming PC

$500 Gaming PC

  • Intel i3-10100F
  • RX 6500 XT
  • 8GB DDR4 RAM
  • 480GB SSD

SEE PRICE »

PRE-BUILT »

ENTRY
$400 Budget Gaming PC

$400 Gaming PC

  • Intel i3-10100F
  • GT 1030
  • 8GB DDR4 RAM
  • 240GB SSD

SEE PRICE »

PRE-BUILT »

BAREBONES
$300 Budget Gaming PC

$300 Gaming PC

  • Ryzen 3 3200G
  • 8GB DDR4 RAM
  • ASUS A320M
  • 240GB SSD

SEE PRICE »

PRE-BUILT »

*I update these builds about once per week and if the total price is over the price range I have set ($30 threshold) then it’s likely that one (or more) of the components included in the build saw a price increase since I had last updated the build.

1. Powerful $800 Gaming PC (VR-READY)

$800 Budget Gaming PC BuildWhat if I told you that for ~$800 you could build a computer that could serve as a solid 1080P or 1440P PC gaming machine? Or, that could support the Oculus Rift?

That’s what this $800 gaming PC brings to the table. Thanks to an Intel Core i5-12400F CPU, a Radeon RX 6600 XT video card, and 16GB of DDR4 RAM, this budget PC build is capable of playing most games on a 1440P 60Hz monitor at medium-to-higher settings with acceptable frame rates. And, if you want to jump into the world of Virtual-Reality gaming, this build meets the requirements to run an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive as well.

Also Read: How Much is A VR Headset?

And, of course, if you just want to play on a 1080P monitor, this budget system will easily be able to handle that as benchmarks for the RX 6600 XT show that it can handle 1080P gaming incredibly well. In fact, pairing this build with a cheap 144Hz gaming monitor would make for a great gaming PC for Fortnite, GTA, Apex Legends, or any other highly-competitive game.

The build also includes a 480GB SSD and a 600W power supply that will handle any upgrades or additions you might want to make in the future. And, while you can choose any case that suits your personal preferences, we’ve included a decent mid tower case.

Ultimately, this is one of the best budget gaming PCs available. It can easily handle 1080P gaming, it will serve well for 1440P gaming, and it can even run games on a 4K monitor on mediumish settings.

Part List for $800 PC Build

Intel Core i5-12400F Gigabyte H610M XFX RX 6600 XT Zalman T7
CPU Intel Core i5-12400F

VIEW

MOBO Gigabyte H610M

VIEW

GPU MSI RX 6600 XT

VIEW

RAM TEAMGROUP 16GB

VIEW

SSD ADATA 480GB

VIEW

CASE AeroCool Cylon

VIEW

PSU EVGA 600W

VIEW

ODD Install O.S. from USB
OS Windows

VIEW

Grand Total: $770-$830

PRICE ON AMAZON »

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*Component prices fluctuate daily. Click here to check current pricing.

**You’ll need an operating system. Windows costs ~$100. However, you can still install Windows for free and it will work indefinitely without activating it—there will just be a watermark at the bottom left of your desktop asking you to activate it.

12400F + RX 6600 XT Benchmark

2. Best Cheap Gaming PC for $700

$700 Budget Gaming Computer

With an Intel Core i5-12400F CPU and an AMD Radeon RX 6600 GPU, this is one of the best budget gaming PC builds for ~$700. It is even capable of functioning as an entry-level 4K gaming system (it can run non-demanding games on a 4K monitor).

The processor/graphics card combination will even meet the required specifications for running the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive—so virtual reality is also doable with this setup.

This $700 gaming PC also comes with 16GB of DDR4 RAM and a nice-looking mid tower case with three pre-installed fans. This isn’t the greatest case in the world, but for right at $50, you get a nice case with decent airflow, plenty of room, and nice aesthetics, too. For storage, you also get a 480GB solid state drive. And, for the power supply, the 600W 80 PLUS Gold unit will give you plenty of power to make upgrades or additions in the future.

Overall, this budget build will offer ideal performance in 1080p gaming, or on a 1080P 144Hz, monitor, and decent performance in 1440P gaming, and it is one of the best options for $700 in 2022.

Also Read: 1080P vs 1440P vs 4K for Gaming?

Part List for $700 PC Build

Intel Core i5-12400F Gigabyte H610M XFX RX 6600 Zalman T7
CPU Intel Core i5-12400F

VIEW

MOBO Gigabyte H610M

VIEW

GPU XFX RX 6600

VIEW

RAM TEAMGROUP 16GB

VIEW

SSD ADATA 480GB

VIEW

CASE AeroCool Cylon

VIEW

PSU EVGA 600W

VIEW

ODD Install O.S. from USB
OS Windows

VIEW

Grand Total: $670-$730

PRICE ON AMAZON »

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*Component prices fluctuate daily. Click here to check current pricing.

**You’ll need an operating system. Windows costs ~$100. However, you can still install Windows for free and it will work indefinitely without activating it—there will just be a watermark at the bottom left of your desktop asking you to activate it.

12400F + RX 6600 Benchmark

3. A Solid $600 Gaming PC Build

$600 Budget Gaming Desktop

For right around $600, you can throw together a solid gaming desktop that will max out any game on the market on a 1080p monitor as well as a system that will even be able to handle most games on a 1440p 60Hz monitor (although, you wouldn’t be able to play more demanding games on some of the best 1440P 144Hz monitors with this setup) as well.

And, for popular games like Elden Ring, Minecraft, Fortnite, or Call of Duty, this computer will be able to handle them with ease.

Also, with an Intel Core i5-12400F CPU, an AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT graphics card, and 16GB of memory, this $600 gaming computer build is actually capable of running an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive!

The bottom line, though, is that this system is a really good budget gaming PC for the money and it will easily last you through 2022 and beyond.

Part List for $600 PC Build

Intel Core i5-12400F Gigabyte H610M XFX Radeon RX 6500 XT Zalman T7
CPU Intel Core i5-12400F

VIEW

MOBO Gigabyte H610M

VIEW

GPU XFX RX 6500 XT

VIEW

RAM TEAMGROUP 16GB

VIEW

SSD ADATA 480GB

VIEW

CASE AeroCool Cylon

VIEW

PSU EVGA 600W

VIEW

ODD Install O.S. from USB
OS Windows

VIEW

Grand Total: $570-$630

PRICE ON AMAZON »

SHOP PRE-BUILTS »

*Component prices fluctuate daily. Click here to check current pricing.

**You’ll need an operating system. Windows costs ~$100. However, you can still install Windows for free and it will work indefinitely without activating it—there will just be a watermark at the bottom left of your desktop asking you to activate it.

12400F + RX 6500 XT Benchmark

4. Best Cheap Gaming PC for $500

$500 Budget Gaming PCIf you’re looking to get the best budget gaming PC for $500 this next build will present you with solid performance.

These parts are capable of producing an experience on par with a big custom PC builder’s $1,000+ prebuilt gaming PC.

Thanks to an Intel Core i3-10100F processor, an RX 6500 XT graphics card, and 8GB of DDR4 RAM, the cheap $500 gaming PC build listed below can max out pretty much any game on a budget 1080p monitor, as well as play non-demanding games at 1440p on medium-to-high settings.

And, while 8GB of RAM may not be ideal for gaming in 2022, we did include a single 8GB stick of RAM so that you can quickly and easily add a second 8GB stick of RAM in the near future.

This system also comes with a 480GB SSD and a 500W power supply—which should allow you to upgrade to a better video card with no problems.

Overall, this system is a good starter build for anyone looking to get into PC gaming or anyone who is looking for the best cheap gaming PC for $500.

Part List for $500 PC Build

Intel Core i3-10100 ASUS Prime H410M-E XFX Radeon RX 6500 XT Zalman T7
CPU Intel Core i3-10100F

VIEW

MOBO ASUS H410M

VIEW

GPU XFX RX 6500 XT

VIEW

RAM Patriot Signature 8GB

VIEW

SSD ADATA 480GB

VIEW

CASE AeroCool Cylon

VIEW

PSU EVGA 500W

VIEW

ODD Install O.S. from USB
OS Windows

VIEW

Grand Total: $470-$530

PRICE ON AMAZON »

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*Component prices fluctuate daily. Click here to check current pricing.

**You’ll need an operating system. Windows costs ~$100. However, you can still install Windows for free and it will work indefinitely without activating it—there will just be a watermark at the bottom left of your desktop asking you to activate it.

10100F + RX 6500 XT Benchmark

5. $400 Ultra Budget Gaming PC

$400 Budget Gaming PCAt that price point, you can build a budget gaming PC that will allow you to play games like Rocket League, League of Legends, and Dota 2 on higher settings.

And, by building it yourself, you can avoid having to deal with the low-quality power supplies and motherboards that the big computer companies like to throw in their builds, or getting stuck with a cheap gaming laptop.

This $400 gaming PC build comes with an Intel Core i3-10100F processor, 8GB of DDR4 memory, a GT 1030 graphics card, a 500W power supply, and a nice micro-ATX case. The power supply and the roomier case size will make upgrading this budget gaming PC a lot easier in the future.

Ultimately, the desktop PC build listed below is based on my research on the best brand new parts available for a cheap gaming PC. However, it should be noted that if you want to maximize the performance you can get out of a $400 budget, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to search the used market for a better graphics card.

Part List for $400 PC Build

Intel Core i3-10100f ASUS Prime H410M-E ASUS GeForce GT 1030 Thermaltake Versa H15
CPU Intel Core i3-10100F

VIEW

MOBO ASUS H410M

VIEW

GPU Gigabyte GT 1030

VIEW

RAM Patriot Signature 8GB

VIEW

SSD PNY 240GB

VIEW

CASE AeroCool Cylon

VIEW

PSU EVGA 500W

VIEW

ODD Install O.S. from USB
OS Windows

VIEW

Grand Total: $370-$430

PRICE ON AMAZON »

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*Component prices fluctuate daily. Click here to check current pricing.

**Price includes the parts that make up the tower only. You’ll need an operating system and Windows costs ~$100 for an activation key. However, you can still install Windows for free and it will work indefinitely without activating it with no problems—there will just be a watermark at the bottom left of your desktop asking you to activate it.

10100F + GT 1030 Benchmark

6. Best Cheap Gaming PC for $300

$300 Budget Gaming PCFor gamers or students who are headed back to school who are working with an extremely tight budget, it is possible to throw together a gaming PC for under $300. The downside of putting together such a system is that you’ll be stuck with integrated graphics.

However, the upside of this build is that with just an upgrade to the CPU and video card you will have a very powerful cheap gaming PC.

But, even as is, with the AMD Ryzen 3 3200G and its integrated Vega graphics, and 8GB of DDR4 RAM, this PC build is capable of handling most games at 1080P resolution on lower-to-medium settings.

So, if you are severely strapped for cash now, but you want something that will let you play your favorite games on lower-to-medium settings and will also let you upgrade to a high-end system later on down the road, then this is probably one of the best budget gaming PCs you can build for the price.

Part List for $300 PC Build

AMD Ryzen 3 3200G APU ASUS PRIME A320M-K Patriot Signature 8GB Thermaltake Versa H15
CPU AMD Ryzen 3 3200G

VIEW

MOBO ASUS A320M

VIEW

RAM Patriot Signature 8GB

VIEW

SSD PNY 240GB

VIEW

CASE AeroCool Cylon

VIEW

PSU EVGA 500W

VIEW

ODD Install O.S. from USB
OS Windows

VIEW

Grand Total: $270-$330

PRICE ON AMAZON »

SHOP PRE-BUILTS »

*Component prices fluctuate daily. Click here to check current pricing.

**You’ll need an operating system. Windows costs ~$100. However, you can still install Windows for free and it will work indefinitely without activating it—there will just be a watermark at the bottom left of your desktop asking you to activate it.

Ryzen 3 3200G Benchmark

Hey, I’m Brent. I’ve been building computers and writing about building computers for a long time. I’m an avid gamer and tech enthusiast, too. On YouTube, I build PCs, review laptops, components, and peripherals, and hold giveaways.

203 thoughts on “Budget Gaming PC Builds for 2022”

  1. Well, the price increases have definitely caused me to rethink PC gaming. If you go cheap as in cheap at today’s prices you really don’t get much in terms of graphics performance. You will regret it a year or so from now when games demand even more performance. I play at 1080p on a laptop with minimal GPU Nvidia 3050. It’s fine for older games but even so I doubt a year from now I will feel the same. Gaming in general whether on consoles or on PC has dramatically increased in costs. Especially if you want to play at decent settings and higher resolutions.

    Reply
  2. If I were making the 300 dollar build, what about the fans? Aren’t fans needed for a PC build (sorry if this is a dumb question, I am new to PC building)?

    Reply
  3. Hello! I am a Mom of two amazing boys, and I am trying to price out a gaming computer for them. I would like to build it for them as it’s a lot easier on the wallet. I see that every priced out build is missing something on Amazon. Do you happen to have recommendations that include in stock parts? I know it’s near impossible to keep up with all the sales, and part availability. I sure appreciate any more help you can provide.
    Thank you!

    Reply
  4. hello
    In the Powerful $800 Gaming PC (VR-READY) section in the table, you said Intel Core i5-10400f, and in the content, you said Thanks to an Intel Core i5-11400 CPU
    Which one do you mean?

    Reply

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