In Stardew Valley, you only really encounter combat when you’re diving in the mines, the Mutant Bug Lair, or the Volcano Dungeon, but those areas are crucial parts of the game if you intend on completing it. Thankfully, combat is pretty easy in Stardew Valley, and the only difficult decision is whether to take Fighter or Scout, Brute or Acrobat, and Defender or Desperado.
As you level up your Combat skill, you’ll be given the choice between two professions at level 5 and another two at level 10. Your level 10 profession choices depend on which profession you took at level 5, so it’s important to plan ahead. There are also a number of bonuses and crafting recipes you’ll unlock along the way. Here’s a quick guide to the Combat skill in Stardew Valley and whether you should take Fighter or Scout.
Combat Level Bonuses
You’ll pick professions at levels 5 and 10, but every other level comes with a new recipe or bonus to help you be a better warrior. This is one of the more relaxing games you can buy, but you’re still going to need to swing a sword and get into a hairy situation every now and again. The unlocks for Combat are definitely more useful than Fishing in Stardew Valley, so definitely pay attention to the following recipes.
Combat Levels 1 – 4
- Level 1 – Sturdy Ring and Bug Steak recipes unlocked.
- Level 2 – Life Elixir recipe unlocked.
- Level 3 – Roots Platter recipe unlocked.
- Level 4 – Warrior Ring recipe unlocked.
The three best unlocks here are definitely the Warrior Ring, the Roots Platter, and the Life Elixir. The Warrior Ring has a chance to give you a buff that will increase your attack by 10 for 5 seconds after killing a monster, helping you clear levels faster. The Roots Platter will increase your Combat skill by 3 for 5 minutes and 35 seconds. Finally, the Life Elixir will fully heal you and is the easiest way to save yourself in a pinch. You should always keep one on your hot bar to avoid dying.
Combat Levels 6 – 9
- Level 6 – Slime Egg-Press and Oil of Garlic recipes unlocked.
- Level 7 – Ring of Yoba and Thorns Ring recipes unlocked.
- Level 8 – Slime Incubator and Explosive Ammo recipes unlocked.
- Level 9 – Iridium Band and Squid Ink Ravioli recipes unlocked.
Once you start getting into the higher combat levels, you unlock a lot more useful things. The Slime Egg-Press is one of them and is an easy way to triple the value of any slime you have. Pair that with the Slime Incubator, and you can begin hatching slimes for your Slime Hutch. For food, the Oil of Garlic drinkable gives you a buff of the same name and prevents monsters from spawning for 10 minutes, making it perfect for mining runs.
You’ll also get the Ring of Yoba, which occasionally grants a buff that prevents all monster damage for 5 seconds. The Thorns Ring is like a recoiler and sends damage back to monsters after they attack you. The Iridium Band is one of the most powerful rings in the game and increases your stats as well as provides light.
Fighter or Scout in Stardew Valley
Once you hit level 5, you’ll be given a choice between taking Fighter or Scout in Stardew Valley. Fighter increases the damage of all your attacks by 10% and gives you an extra 15 hit points. Scout is more for characters who want to crit. Crits deal tons of additional damage, and Scout will increase your critical strike chance by 50%.
Here, Fighter is probably the way to go. The flat damage buff plus hit points give you more survivability. While more crits are nice, the base crit chance in Stardew Valley is so low that it’s not worth it and heavily relies on RNG and specific builds. Fighter gives you more versatility and damage early on, which you’ll need.
Brute or Defender in Stardew Valley
If you pick Fighter at level 5, you’ll pick between Brute or Defender in Stardew Valley when you hit level 10. Both of these buffs are extremely straightforward— Brute gives you an additional 15% damage, and Defender gives you 25 hit points. At first, Defender might seem like a great choice since it gives you more survivability, but Brute is definitely the way to go here.
Brute’s damage is great for clearing enemies quicker, and if you learn how to dodge and avoid taking damage, Defender becomes useless. Focus on improving your combat skills rather than relying on pure hit points to survive in the mines. Definitely pick Brute instead of Defender at level 10 in Stardew Valley.
Acrobat or Desperado in Stardew Valley
Players that decided to go with Scout at level 5 will be forced to pick either Acrobat or Desperado in Stardew Valley at level 10 Combat. Acrobat halves the cooldown on your special moves, while Desperado further improves your crits by doubling their damage.
Both of these aren’t too useful compared to Brute, but if you had to pick one, we would suggest picking whichever one pairs well with your playstyle. A crit build should obviously pick Desperado, while someone who constantly uses their weapon’s active should take Acrobat. When it comes to Acrobat or Desperado in Stardew, it’s completely up to you.
Hopefully, you found what you were looking for in our quick guide to the Combat professions in Stardew Valley. If you had to pick between Fighter or Scout, we suggest taking Fighter. Brute is definitely better than Defender in Stardew Valley, but Acrobat and Desperado definitely depend on your own play style. Let us know what professions you like to take and why in the comments below!