Combat is one of the core mechanics of Stardew Valley. You’ll need to engage in some form of combat if you have any hope of surviving the mines. If you want precious minerals and even more precious treasure chests, you’re going to need to protect yourself from bats. So, as you level up, you’ll eventually get to your choice of profession. And what a choice it is! A decision between Fighter or Scout might seem pretty difficult. If you’re not used to the game yet, then the differences might seem minor enough to not matter. We’ll give you the down-low on everything you need to know about the difference between these two professions!
Is Fighter or Scout Better in Stardew Valley?
In our opinion, Fighter is better than Scout while you’re still learning how to play the game. Fighter provides significantly better flat bonuses to your combat damage, and also provides a hefty Health bonus to keep you from dying. Scout can be a gigantic damage boost, but relies on RNG to do the deed, and requires very specific builds if you want to make it as useful as Fighter.
If you want to know more, we’ve got the full analysis!
Fighter provides a flat +10% damage to all weapon attacks, as well as a +15 Health bonus. +10% damage is obviously nothing to sneeze at. This buff will make fights go by faster and can be the difference between whether or not you one-shot annoying foes.
The health increase ultimately doesn’t matter too much. You start with 100 health, and every combat level gives you 5 levels. If you don’t choose Fighter, then you don’t gain the health bonus. Basically, Fighter is the difference between 140 and 155 health at level 10 Combat. Not huge, but it can be the difference between your character getting bodied or not.
Overall, both of these bonuses are tiny difference makers that make mining just a touch easier. A very welcome bump in stats, honestly.
Your two options at level 10 are as follows:
- Brute: Your weapons deal 15% more damage. This stacks with Fighter’s bonus, giving you about 26.5% bonus damage. Frankly, this is very, very strong. Your Infinity Blade at level 17 goes from 80-100 to 101-126. That’s… An absurd damage boost! That consistency is very helpful in the lategame.
- Defender: +25 Health. This is less useful than Brute. You have 170 Health instead of 155. And there are methods other than your level-up bonuses to gain health, such as Mr. Qi’s quests.
25 health is just not worth the damage loss. It’s so much extra damage! You should always take Brute, even if you’d prefer the defense. You can get more protection from items, like the Phoenix Ring or Protection Ring.
The Scout is tailored more toward a unique build. The first benefit of scout is a 50% increase to your critical hit chance. Sadly, this does not give you a 50% chance to critically hit; it improves your current critical hit chance by 50%. So, if you currently have a 2% chance to crit, the Scout bonus increases it to a 3% chance.
This isn’t too bad. In the late game, you can get items to improve your chance to critically hit by a lot! Right now, you can get endgame swords to 19% crit hit chance without Scout. So, you can get to almost 30% chance to crit with the scout. That’s fairly consistent, and gives a bigger total bonus than the Fighter. And Daggers have a much higher chance to critically hit, making them vastly more consistent. The Iridium Needle, for instance, can benefit a lot from this passive.
However, this requires specific builds, crafting, and requires you to spend 2 ring slots on nothing but critical hits. That can be really expensive and lock you into a specific build if you want to be useful in combat. Even if it can result in massive damage numbers, we still prefer Fighter’s consistency and build variety.
But, if you like rolling dice and seeing ridiculous numbers… Well, it isn’t exactly an unviable path.
The Specializations of Scout are interesting, to say the least:
- Acrobat: Improves your secondary attack cooldown by 50%. This is… Strange. The only really potent special attack is the Dagger flurry. The other options – Block and Club Swing – aren’t exactly explosive. It’s not the worst thing in the world, but it kinda gets blown out of the water.
- Desperado: This is required if you go Scout. Desperado doubles the damage you would have done with critical hits. Normally, crits triple your damage and then add slightly more based on whatever your weapon is. Now, crits multiply your damage by 6. By default. If you want to play Scout, this is how to do it!
Desperado is the obvious play here.
Jason Toro-McCue has committed his schooling to the study of the connection between game design and narrative. When he's not working on this bond through writing articles or guides, he's playing Dungeons & Dragons, or just playing games themselves and looking at the story there.