A study conducted at the University of Leeds in the UK found that Apex Legends caused the biggest increase in heart rate of all the Battles Royales studied.
The to study, commissioned by BetVictor, took 32 players aged 20-26 who identified themselves as good to expert level players and measured their heart rate before, during and after three sessions of their game chosen 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. Counterintuitively, CS: GO actually reduced heart rates on average. Study administrators link changes in heart rate to the pace of play in each game. They hypothesize that CS: GO’s longer match durations and inter-round resets allowed players to adjust to a pace that more chaotic battle royales rarely allow.
Despite the elevated heart rates, STAI (or State Anxiety) tests indicated that stress levels in participants decreased after playing any of the four titles.
The study is far from definitive given its small sample size, but the results are nonetheless interesting and line up with previous studies showing a link between playing games and reducing stress.