Stardew Valley | Fighter or Scout? Combat Skill Guide

Stardew Valley is a great game focused on bringing life to your grandfather’s old farm. One of the skills you’ll need to train while rebuilding your grandfather’s farm is combat. Combat is used to fight monsters in the mines, skull cavern, or on the wilderness farm if you choose that as your starting farm. Your combat level is increased by killing monsters and each level provides different recipes or abilities. Upon reaching combat levels 5 and 10 in Stardew Valley you will be given a few choices to make. Here’s a guide to the combat skill including whether to pick fighter or scout.

Stardew Valley Combat Levels: 1-4

Your first sword!

If you did not choose the wilderness farm, combat will become available after five days have passed. After five days, Joja Corp will send you a letter saying they have removed the debris blocking the mine and it is now open again. Upon entering the mine, you will be given your first weapon a rusty word from Marlon. Use this sword to kill your first monsters as you descend deeper into the mine. As you fight and kill monsters, you will level up your combat skill and unlock new crafting recipes. Here are the rewards for the first five levels.

  • Level 1: Sturdy Ring
  • Level 2: Life Elixir
  • Level 3: Roots Platter
  • Level 4: Warrior Ring

The first four combat levels unlock various items and recipes that are useful for combat. The sturdy ring reduces the duration of debuffs, the life elixir fully restores your health no matter how low it is, the roots platter increases your attack by 3, and the warrior ring increases your attack by 10 after slaying a monster.

Stardew Valley Level 5: Fighter or Scout?

At level 5 Stardew Valley players will be given a choice – fighter or scout? If you pick Fighter, all of your attacks will deal 10% more damage and you will also get +15HP. If you pick Scout, your critical strike chance is increased by 50% and you get no bonus HP. Note, this 50% is multiplicative NOT additive. This means that it will simply add another half of your base crit chance (multiply it by 1.5), not add 50% to your crit chance.

Let’s say your base crit chance is 2%. If you take scout, your crit chance is now 3% (2 * .5 = 1). It does not make your crit chance 52%. In fact, all crit chance bonuses are multiplicative and follow the above rules, they are not additive.

Fun fact, the highest crit chance you can get in Stardew Valley is 10.89%.

So, what’s better in Stardew Valley, Fighter or Scout? It might seem like Scout is the better choice, but since crit chance is multiplicative fighter is actually the better choice. Not only will you do more consistent damage, but you also get some more HP to make you tankier in combat. Scout offers no HP and inconsistent damage. At level 10 combat, you can take Brute after picking Fighter and increase your damage by an extra 15%! However, if you want to be a crit machine, take scout! There are some cool skills to pick from at level 10 if you take scout.

Stardew Valley Combat Levels: 6-9

  • Level 6: Slime Egg-press and Oil of Garlic
  • Level 7: Ring of Yoba
  • Level 8: Slime Incubator and Explosive Ammo
  • Level 9: Iridium Band

The level 6 unlocks are pretty useful. The slime egg-press is used to raise your own slimes at your Slime Hutch. It takes 100 pieces of slime and turns it into your very own slime egg. Oil of Garlic gives you the Oil of Garlic Buff after consuming it. This buff prevents The Mines and Skull Carven from being infested and it also prevents hordes of monsters being accompanied by fog on any floor in the mine. Weaker monsters will also avoid you and your garlic smell.

At level 7 you can craft the Ring of Yoba which has a chance to make you immune for five seconds after receiving damage. Level 8 unlocks the Slime Incubator. While the Slime Hutch comes with one, you can now build more outside to grow slimes on your farm. The 2nd unlock at level 8 is explosive ammo. It needs to be fired from a slingshot and damages anything within its two tile radius. Level 9 lets you craft the epic Iridium Band. This ring combines the effects of the glow ring, magnet ring, and ruby ring. You can wear two Iridium Bands and have their effects stack giving you a total of 20% glow, 4 tile magnet radius, and a bonus 20% attack.

Stardew Valley Level 10: Brute or Defender? Acrobat or Desperado?

At level 10 you will be given a choice depending on which profession you picked at level 5. If you picked Fighter, you will pick between Brute or Defender. If you picked Scout, you will pick between Acrobat and Desperado. Each one is different and it can be hard to make a choice. Let’s break each one down.

Brute or Defender?

The choice between Brute or Defender is a pretty simple one. Brute increases your damage by 15% and Defender increases your HP by 25. We highly suggest taking Brute as you can always use consumables to heal or simply practice dodging attacks from your enemies. As you progress in the game and get better, you may find that you need an extra boost in damage and will wish that you had taken Brute.

Acrobat or Desperado?

If you took Scout for that extra crit chance and are building a character based around crits then this choice is also a no-brainer. Acrobat simply halves the cooldown on special moves. Desperado makes critical strikes instant kills. It’s obvious that you should take Desperado if you took Scout to continue that crit build. Insta killing your enemies can be extremely useful in any situation. With a max crit chance of ~10%, you could be instantly killing 1 in 10 enemies! Acrobat simply isn’t as useful as Desperado after taking Scout. If you like using special moves, by all means, take it, but if we are looking at what is objectively better we have to go with Desperado.

So, What Combat Professions Should I Pick in Stardew Valley?

So, what should you take in Stardew Valley, Fighter or Scout? There is a clearly better choice when it comes to deciding between professions here, but like all games look at your playstyle first and what you find fun before picking a profession. If you like criting, take Scout and Desperado. However, if you want to consistently deal damage take Fighter and Brute, those are the two combat professions we suggest taking.

If you’re interested in more Stardew Valley content check out our other guides on whether to pick Mushrooms or Bats and whether to be a Miner or Geologist!