We know all about the best budget gaming phones, and we’re more than happy to share our wisdom. We love playing the best mobile games just as much as we love saving money, so you’d better believe we’re ready to bring these things together in one exhaustive guide. These are the most powerful, functional all-rounders you can get for under $1,000.
If price isn’t an issue for you, our guide to the best gaming phones on the market takes you through offerings such as the iPhone 15 Pro Max, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, the Asus ROG 7, and more, all of which can help you to take your gaming to the max. Still, for even more choices, check out our expert guides to the best Xiaomi phones, the best Samsung phones, and the best Sony phones, if you need a device that can withstand the elements, the best rugged smartphones.
How we chose the best budget gaming phones
We decided on our list of the best budget gaming phones by balancing price and performance and trying to find a variety of devices that fit consumers’ needs. The most important things are the display and the power of the device, and we chose every pick on our list because they offer something great for their price point.
While the chipset is important, the amount of RAM is also crucial. RAM is how much memory the device has for processing games and applications, and in several cases, you can choose to select an SKU with higher RAM. If you have the money to stretch to extra RAM and more storage for games, we recommend it.
While some of the devices are more gaming-focused than others, every single pick on here is a great starting point for anyone looking to play mobile games on a budget, or for someone looking to upgrade to a newer device that doesn’t break the bank.
Check out our how we test guide for more detail.
Should I buy Android or Apple?
When it comes to gaming, generally, we lean more toward Android. Apple has a lot of great games available, plus the Apple Arcade service is a great way to explore some games without getting bogged down by microtransactions. However, the Google Play Store simply has more titles for you to explore.
As well as being able to download most modern games like Genshin Impact, Honkai Star Rail, and Pokémon Unite, you can also download the Epic Games launcher to play Fortnite and Rocket League Sideswipe on the go, as well as plenty of other games not available on Apple. Plus, only having to bring a USB-C cable along is always handy, and Apple’s proprietary chargers are expensive and prone to breaking.
If we’re missing one of your favorite picks, be sure to get in touch over at the Pocket Tactics Facebook page. If this has you in the mood for some gaming, discover our list of the best mobile games of 2024 next.