A study conducted at the University of Leeds in the UK found that Apex Legends caused the largest increase in heart rate of any battle royale studied.
the to learn, on behalf of BetVictor, took 32 players, ages 20-26, who identified themselves as good to seasoned players, and measured their heart rate before, during, and after three sessions of their chosen game from Apex Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS and Call of Duty: Warzone.
Apex Legends produced the highest average heart rate increase, followed by Warzone and then PUBG. Contrary to intuition, CS: GO actually reduced the heart rate on average. The study’s administrators link the heart rate changes to the game pace in each game. They assume that the longer match lengths of CS: GO and the resetting between rounds allowed players to settle into a rhythm that more chaotic battle royales seldom allow.
Despite the increased heart rates, STAI (or State Anxiety) tests showed that participants’ stress levels decreased after playing any of the four titles.
The study is far from definitive given its small sample size, but the results are interesting nonetheless, and are in line with previous studies showing an association between gaming and reduced stress.