We all play video games for different reasons, but one particularly common reason is to unwind and de-stress after a busy working day. The specific games or genres we play to do this will naturally differ from person to person, but a new study conducted by Comfy Sacks has found that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a popular choice.
The game actually came second in the study's list of top stress-relieving games, losing out on the top spot to The Sims. Other games like Minecraft, Pokémon and Tetris - the latter of which could cause just as much stress as it relieves, in our view - also made the top ten.
In the same study, games like Call of Duty, Fortnite, and Halo were voted as the most stressful games. No Nintendo-published games made it into the most stressful top ten.
You can read the full study here if you're interested; it surveyed just over 1,000 US gamers with a number of stress-related questions surrounding their gaming habits. The methodology is explained below:
"To collect the data shown above, we conducted a survey of 1,007 respondents. To qualify for this survey, respondents were required to play video games occasionally, almost every day, or every day. Of the respondents, 293 reported playing occasionally, 356 reported playing almost every day, and 358 reported playing every day. The respondent pool was 58.4% female, 41.3% male, and less than 1% nonbinary. A preliminary survey of 150 respondents was conducted to gather the top 50 most played video games."
Do you tend to play games to de-stress? What would your top picks be? We've actually put together a list of what we feel are the most relaxing Switch games, so feel free to check those out if you're looking for something new to play.
Just running in those fields, chopping down trees and picking up shrooms....sometimes that's all you need.
riding around on horseback exploring the world with that twinkly piano is very freeing x x x
Relaxing : ACNL 3DS, The Sims games, Dance Dance Revolution games
Stressing : Dillon's Dead Heat Breakers 3DS, Drummania, Metroid Prime Federation Force 3DS,
Most destressing: Animal Crossing New Horizons
Clearly they never fought a silver/gold lynel... shudder
#1 for me is any Street Fighter II or Alpha game. Its a good cure for when there's too much on my mind. Just go blank and hadoken my way across the world with Ryu or Sakura.
I've always used Zelda as a way to relax! Except the parts in certain games with those darn sliding block puzzles. I always suck at those. I used to tell my mom zelda was good for me because it's a game that makes you use your brain! Unlike that call of duty nonsense.
Cod online is definitely most stressful game I’ve played! It’s the voice that pisses me off. Kill confirmed etc.
CSGO stresses me out soooo much. Especially competitive as it feels a lot more is on the line then the usual game. I guess fortnite is stressful like that too, mostly if there are not many people left. But ahh yes zelda, that relaxing scenery.
Zelda or the Witcher 3 for that matter are indeed great stress relievers. There is something about those worlds just absorbing you. With all the action happening in those, Minecraft and Stardew valley still score higher on the scale for me though. Farming, relaxing, exploring, fishing. It's great!
BOTW is currently in the top 5 on the E-shop and that is clearly because people want something to play while being locked in doors
Most Zelda games aren't relaxing for me because I get really into the adventure. I become the hero and must save the day, so not relaxing. And that's okay to me.
Most relaxing: ACNH and Mario Party (not competitive so I just enjoy the mini games lol).
Most stressful: any SSB. The combos and fast movement stresses me out. I just want to try the items and not die lol.
Nintendo is simply the best. True gods of gaming. And as we all know, Kirby number 1, haters get rektd.
Can we just take a note of the Halo game here. Now, I love Halo, and the MP can be very stressful, but the standard Xbox games aren't what's being shown here. It's actually showing "Halo: Fireteam Raven", which is a 4 player co-op arcade on rails shooter, and that's weird.
Did the researchers just google which were the most recent releases in the respective franchises? and include them. Is Halo 5 and MCC so screwed up that respondents are playing more of an arcade exclusive release far more than the readily accessible home console versions?
I have so many questions about this.
@Anti-Matter You still play Federation Force?
Gaming is how I get out of my head and into a fantasy world. Sometimes, I enjoy stressful games, others i, just want to play something. I do not get frustrated with any game. I just put it down and play another if I ever find myself wanting to throw a controller.
I must be playing it wrong 😳
Tetris 99 is by far the most stressful game ever conceived by a development team.
I didn’t know people still played The Sims.
@Dragonslacker1 that’s until you see red dot on your back or charging Lynel
Just walking through the wooded areas, listening to the birds, watching the lighting gradually shift with time. It's beautiful.
Skyrim. At night finding a quiet, scenic spot and then stargazing.
I always go back to BOTW, it is very relaxing and I don't get stressed really when enemies approach. I have around 695 hours and still not bored with it, currently korok seed hunting in master mode then I'll eventually get to trial if the sword. I think it's time for me to get back into The Witcher 3 and Assassin's Creed Rebel Collection. The only stress I have delt with lately is buying Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate yesterday getting 98% on the download to then ran out of my phone's wifi hotspot. So no online for me until the 3rd but oh well, just got to wait a little longer. Hope everyone is enjoying their favorite games and staying healthy.
@Krzysztof and then tap that button like hell to escape arrrghhh! X x x
Only when you don't run into a Guardian (early in the game) or most Lynels...
I have been playing a lot of BOTW lately for stress relief. Though I’ve been avoiding Thunderblight Ganon cause that’s stress incarnate.
I still in beginning of Mission 11.
Still 50% of journey to reach Mission 22. 😩
It is indeed a stress relief to roam serene landscapes in quiet solitude and undisturbed pea- wait, what's with those menacing piano sounds all of a sudden?
Apparently not as peaceful for everyone. The other day a friend told me people had been trying to blow up the lord of the mountain? It never occurred to me to throw bombs at him. Just like I never kill the little foxes. Ah well.
I don’t know... I always find beating the snot out of an opponent in wii sports boxing pretty relieving.
I am surprised Animal Crossing New Horizons isn't the number one. Breathe of the Wild is an amazing game. Is master mode as relaxing? The beginning is tough, you either avoid enemies the first few hours or die many times. The beginning is tough until you get proper weapons.
They haven't heard the Guardian piano tune yet
To be honest, this game stressed me out more than most i played exploration no, combat yes.
Any open world-based game really, is soothing to me. The sheer pleasure of going where you want, doing what you want, how you want.
It was my go-to unwind game last year. Get home from work, turn it on and ride a horse across Hyrule or climb mountains for 30 minutes.
Enough said, honestly.
I believe it. There were times when I played Breath of the Wild to just relax. Whether it was just gathering cooking supplies or climbing mountains and cliffs. Very relaxing indeed
Fortnite should be up there but....there are long spans of the game where you're just running thru the environment, not fighting...maybe screwing off a little.
Well, the early game --when you're underpowered and you have less stamina than I do after two months of staying indoors-- is not particularly relaxing. But a dozen hours in, yeah, it's soothing. At least, outside of the Trial of the Sword. That thing's brutal. It's worse than the damn coliseum in Hollow Knight.
They obviously haven't been near the top of a massive climb when the rain starts 😂
Until those lazer beams catch up lol.
@KoopaTheQuick Axes broke in New Leaf
Ah yes, nothing like the guardian theme to make me relax and unwind...
The world itself is very relaxing to explore though, might start a new file now to relive it.
Mario Kart 8d .... 100cc. Mario Golf, Kirby, Yoshi, Mario Party, Miitopia, Fx3 Pinball, Fallout Shelter, Sonic All Stars Racing Transformed....
Yeah i can agree with this, just roaming around not doing much can be pretty relaxing.
Not that EA Madden was on the most stressful list and the most relaxing list. They only surveyed 1000 people. This not that broad.
Animal Crossing has been like medication for me during quarantine though.
I can't agree more. Breath of the Wild is extremely soothing. I have never taken so many pictures of beautiful scenery in a game before, just enjoying traveling through the world and finding quiet places. It's entirely refreshing.
Would you like to hunt together on Generations Ultimate? I just bought mine as well and I have no friends to play with Monster Hunter is always a better experience to hunt with friends than with strangers.
@Ulysses. Sure I'd like that but I have no wifi until the 3rd so I have to wait until then to download the game completely. It go to 98% then it stopped lol. Anyway just add my friend code, it is on my profile
After playing a lot of FPS's in the past months, I'm currently playing only Octopath Traveler and Picross S3. Both very relaxing and soothing games 👌🏻
Funny enough, I'm playing this right now.
I understand. I'll add you then!
@Ulysses. I will accept the request as soon as I can get online again
No problem! It always takes me a few days to get up and running in a Monster Hunter game anyway.
I believe everyone who says they were frustrated by it. I don't know if it'll make a comeback. I don't care much either way because I'm at the point in my game where 95% weapons are pretty worthless for a lot of reasons.
Once you get the Hylian shield (which you can do pretty much immediately) all other shields become worthless, especially if you're decent at parrying or dodging.
The Great Eagle bow is one of the bests and you can rebuild it super easily every time it breaks and the same with all the champion weapons. If you have the Great Eagle bow you only need a few others. Either a Phrenic bow or Golden bow (which respawns in Gerudo town) for long ranged accuracy, and any bow at all for one-shotting keese or skeletal enemies with a headshot. Any basic bow at all will still one shot any fire or ice-enemy with the opposite element and any guardian with an ancient arrow to the eye. Ancient arrows one-shot Lyonels if you don't care about getting their equipment.
And the powered up master sword just wrecks everything else. By the end of it you have the wisdom to kill most enemies with one hit because you know their weaknesses.
I can only offer for the frustrated the knowledge that while weapons are breakable they're all really easy to replenish because all of the weapons respawn with the blood moon.
I love the Royal Claymore and there's one on the skull above the tower immediately north of Hyrule castle as well as several inside the castle itself. Hyrule Castle is like Walmart and there are so much knight, royal, and royal guard level equipment there for near free. Especially if you wear Majora's mask.
Every base weapon you need to forge a champion weapon is available as a respawning weapon in the town where you get that forged weapon. You never have to look for them.
Also remember that the guardians you fight as part of your Trials of Strength also respawn with the blood moon so you can revisit those shrines to test your strength and to also farm their ancient weapons.
There's a cache of nice Gerudo weapons in a cave blocked by rocks next to the Gerudo Highlands tower. Lot of good stuff there.
There's a korok spear behind the Deku tree, a golden bow in the training area, a sparrow bow at the flight range, a good zora sword and shield (and bow?) on the left bridge out of town. And even if you don't need to remake your champion weapon (or don't have it at all yet) you can still pick up the base weapons because they're useful.
All of the elemental weapons eventually are carried by the monster in the Colosseum. You don't even have to fight them (or any monsters really) if you don't want to. Just shock their asses with shock arrows, a lightning spear, or Urbosa's fury and you can just pick up the weapon and leave.
If you can fight at all, farming Lyonels gives you the best equipment in every category and they respawn. 5x bows, 3x bows, amazing shields, OP 1-handed and 2-handed swords. You master that flurry rush and you'll never want for weapons again and once you have Lyonel weapons it's a lot easier to just kill more Lyonels and stock up. Especially if you have an Attack+++ potion, food, or armor, all of which are fairly easy to come by.
Aside from that it's just utility weapons like leaves, torches, hammers, and axes and most of those are piled up outside of nearly every stable.
The most important tip to conserving weapons is to always use the weapon that can kill an enemy in the fewest hits, preferably 1. This means both exploiting enemy weaknesses and using SNEAK ATTACKS which do 8x damage, whenever you can. If you do that you'll always collect weapons faster than you burn through them and your biggest issue will be a lack of weapon slots and you'll be throwing away rubies the size of grapefruit in no time.
In BOTW weapons are expendable but bombs are unlimited. In past Zelda games bombs were expendable and usually situationally far more required but we didn't feel as much stress about saving bombs. Some stress but not as much because we think of bombs (and arrows) as replenishable and we know how to easily do so. In BOTW weapons are equally replenishable as you familiarize yourself with the map and the map pins give you great tools for remembering what's where.
Also, money grows on trees. luminous stones are easy money, and talus's are walking money goblins. Death mountain is a money field.
I am playing Fantasy Life a ton on the 3ds to de-stress, and it is working beautifully. 55+ plus hours in so far, and haven't even gotten close to touching most of the main story. Just chugging along chopping trees, fishing, etc.
Not a surprise. This is why I typically avoid online gaming these days, the nature of competitive gaming is a very high stress environment, and in this day and age I have enough stress in my life without trying to find new ways to add to it in my entertainment. When I play video games I am usually just looking for a way to relax and enjoy something about having to deal with other people and the drama/aggression they can bring. There used to be a time when online gaming was a more laid back and social experience, but now a days it's all about this MLG attitude of high competition with being the best valued as everything.
That is why I just like my single player experiences, if I do multiplayer it needs to be with friends or someone who is in the same room as me. Whenever I play with randoms it seems to be more of a frustrating experience than anything else. It seems like any game based around exploration is generally the most relaxing, but I also find racing games to be relaxing when I am just building/tuning cars/bikes and doing time trials where I am just trying to set my own personal best time. Racing can be fine when I am playing AI that isn't overly hard, but I never really like to take it online.
With the guardians and enemies I would not have thought that. To me animal crossing is the most chill.
I found Kirby and the Rainbow Curse on Wii U very relaxing.
Most stressful for me, any Deviant G5 quest in Monster Hunter GU. (yet they're fun for some reason, lol)
Most stressful: Doom (2016). A non-stop ultra violent, rage fuelled rampage against an endless horde of monsters from hell. It's stressing me out just thinking about it.
Least stressful: Abzu. A peaceful, ethereal escape that puts me into a zen like state.
The power of video games.
@BigLarry I am playing doom eternal on my first playthrough on ultra violence, I can relate XD. Some games were NOT made to destress.
stressfree until that guardian shrine where you have to follow that stupid little guy
Please make it compatible with the ring con!
@RaphaBoss I'm going to wait for Eternal to come to Switch (I did play 2016 on PC). I've seen how id have upped the ante on Eternal and can imagine how extreme this one plays.
If no one has experienced the Lynel variations then they differently haven't seen the stress. Not everyone is coordinated to kill them. And even watching the video takes alot of practice to learn those moves. So for me BOTW is a pain in the butte but I still go back and forth to it still need my 4th Guardian and then proceed to the Motorcycle.
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