Stardew Valley has topped the charts for indie games owing to its retro styling and the perfect mix of almost therapeutic mellow gameplay where you tend to your farm while exploring caves and destroying monsters.
Keeping this core gameplay in mind, it is essential to realize that combat skills play a major role in your overall journey, and once you are at level 5, you will have to choose what kind of combat style you should opt for Fighter or Scout.
In a nutshell, the Fighter combat profession is the better choice of the two as it provides a consistent damage increase to your character with better benefits as you progress.
The Scout has a good ring to it on the surface, but the critical strike chance that it increases has a lot of nuances attached to it, which ultimately won’t benefit you as much as the Fighter.
Combat In Stardew Valley
Combat is crucial to Stardew Valley as you will be venturing out of your farm to go on prolonged adventures to the nearby skull cavern, mines, or the wilderness. In these locations, you will be battling many monsters, which are a good source of experience points (EXP) for leveling up, and with each level, you will be rewarded with different recipes or abilities.
As you fight and level up, you will eventually reach level 5 and be given a choice of whether you want to be a Fighter or a Scout. This is a very important choice as it will permanently impact your future combat style and the subsequent sub-classes you will have to choose eventually as you level up further.
Now the decision is rather tough as Fighter looks kind of basic and Scout seem to be the right choice, but there are other things to consider here, which we will go into much detail in the dedicated section or each profession below. Making the right choice at this point is very important, especially if you plan on improving or maximizing your combat efficiency.
Combat Skills And Unlocks
The table below will show you the items you unlock upon reaching the respective level:
|Levels||Unlocks||Particulars or Choice|
|Level 1||Crafting Recipes|| Sturdy Ring|
|Level 2||Crafting Recipes:||Life Elixir|
|Level 3||Cooking Recipes:||Roots Platter|
|Level 4||Crafting Recipes||Warrior Ring|
|Level 5||Choose a Profession|| Fighter: All attacks deal 10% more damage. (+15 HP)|
Scout: Critical strike chance increased by 50%.(+0 HP)
(Note that the increase is multiplicative. The formula is: critChance = critChance * 1.5)
|Level 6||Crafting Recipes|| Slime Egg-Press|
Oil of Garlic
|Level 7||Crafting Recipes|| Ring of Yoba|
|Level 8||Crafting Recipes|| Slime Incubator|
|Level 9||Crafting/Cooking Recipes|| Iridium Band|
Squid Ink Ravioli
|Level 10||Choose a Specialization||For Fighter:|
Brute: Deal 15% more damage. (+0 HP)(Stacks multiplicatively with Fighter)
Acrobat: Cooldown on special moves cut in half. (+0 HP)
Desperado: Critical strikes are deadlier. (+0 HP)(2x Critical strike damage)
The Fighter profession is all about dealing the most consistent damage to your enemies while also boosting your overall health to bear the brunt of the damage received. If you choose the Fighter profession, then you will get the following perks instantly:
- +10% Attack Damage on all attacks
- +15 HP
These are some basic boosts to your core stats that don’t feel as impactful but considering you will be dealing a consistent 10% increased damage and get a bit of health to withstand punishment is nice to have when the going gets tough.
At level 10 of the Fighter profession, you will get a choice between two specializations which in our opinion, is the reason to choose this profession particularly. These specializations are Brute or Defender.
|+15% Attack Damage on all attacks||+25 HP increase|
|This damage increase of 15% stacks up with the first bonus of 10% of Fighter, giving you a 25% damage dealt bonus. A massive boost to the damage.||This 25 HP increase stacks up with the first bonus of 15 HP of Fighter, giving you a 40 HP boost. Though good increase but it is not good enough compared to Brute.|
With the Fighter profession, you will benefit from consistent damage increase along with HP increase. And if you are going with the Brute specialization, you will get the best combination of perks. The HP increase isn’t that exciting and shouldn’t be the reason to choose this profession, and the level 5 stat increase is quite low, but you are choosing the class for that substantial level 10 boost.
The Scout is aimed at as the assassin rather than a hard-hitter. This profession gives an extra chance to deal with that sweet critical damage, which is great on paper but it is not as great in practice. If you choose the Scout profession, then you will get the following perks instantly:
- Critical Hit chance increased by 50%
That 50% looks so tempting when you are given the choice of profession, but there is a hidden calculation behind this number that sadly sinks this boat. That 50% bonus is a multiplicative value rather than an additive. The Max base critical hit rate in Stardew Valley is 2%.
Using an Additive bonus, 2%+50%= 52% crit chance is great. But with the actual Multiplicative bonus, 2%+(2%×50%)= 3% crit chance, although a 1% crit chance increase isn’t bad, it still isn’t good. This means that this number isn’t as rosy as it sounds.
At level 10 of the Scout profession, you will get a choice between two specializations which, in our opinion, doesn’t provide enough justification to choose this profession. These specializations are Acrobat or Desperado.
|50% Cooldown reduction to special moves||All Critical Hits are deadly|
|If you constantly use the special moves of your weapons, then this specialization is the best option for you.||This means you can one-shot (Instantly kill) nearly anything you encounter in the game if you hit it with a critical strike.|
With the Scout profession, you will be ultimately dishing out deadlier and more crit strikes but that is very much dependent on the RNG, which is not consistent, and considering the actual crit chance increase calculation we have shown above then it is even more unreliable. Furthermore, the specializations force you to approach the combat in a specific way limiting yourself.
Which Profession Is Better: Fighter or Scout?
Comparing both these professions and their subsequent specializations side by side will make things better for you to make a decision depending on what type of a player you are.
|Fighter Profession||Scout Profession|
|Fighter (level 5) – 10% more damage +15 HP||Scout (level 5) – critical strike chance increased by 50%|
|Brute (level 10) – 15% more damage||Acrobat (level 10) – cooldown on special moves cut in half|
|Defender (level 10) – you get +25 HP||Desperado (level 10) – critical strikes are deadly.|
An aggressive player would go for the Fighter profession simply because of its raw stats and everything it has to offer. But a player that relies more on stealth would likely lean towards the scout, and there is also the satisfaction of being able to instantly kill(one-shot) anything in the game.
Based on its stats, the best Combat profession in Stardew Valley has to be the Fighter because you receive a high consistent damage increase and a little bit of defensive stats. While the Scout might look good on paper, the maths involved makes its buff very poor; plus, it offers the least stats.