Fighter Or Scout – Stardew Valley Combat Skill Guide

(Last Updated On: June 15, 2023)
Photo: ConcernedApe

ConcernedApe’s Stardew Valley is all about dumping the urban lifestyle and reviving a farm. While adapting to the new lifestyle, players must master Farming, Foraging, Fishing, Mining, and Combat.

Yes, Combat is an essential skill because there’s plenty of monster hunting to do in Stardew Valley.

While exploring and mining for resources, you’ll encounter blood-thirsty monsters. And if you choose the Wilderness Farm, monsters will appear almost every night. So, you want to start developing Combat skills from the go. 

Once you reach Combat Level 5, you must pick one profession- Fighter or Scout. Both these professions have their pros and cons, but the question is, which is the better build?

There’s no right answer to this Stardew Valley question. That’s why, instead of trying to settle this age-old debate, I’ve put together a guide that will tell you everything about the Combat Professions in Stardew Valley.

Once you go through this guide, you’ll have a better idea of the Combat skill and the Professions within. 

Combat In Stardew Valley – Levels, Monsters, Tips, & Tricks!

Before tipping in on the Fighter Vs. Scout debate, here’s an overview of the Combat skill.

You’ll learn about all the Levels and Monsters and get some handy tips to master Combat in Stardew Valley. 

So, whether you’re a Stardew Valley newbie or a veteran, this section is a must-read.

Combat Levels

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Combat in Stardew Valley unlocks on the 5th day. You’ll receive a letter from the Joja Corporation stating that the landslide blocking the mine’s entrance has been cleared.

Once you enter the mine, you’ll meet Marlon. He’ll give you your first weapon- a Rusty Sword!

Photo: ConcernedApe

That’s when Combat starts at Level 0. If you choose the Wilderness Farm, your Combat begins on your very first night at the Farm.

Just like every other skill in Stardew Valley, Combat also has 10 Levels. Each level unlocks new recipes that players can use in Combat.

Here’s a table listing all Combat Levels, their rewards, and their respective effects.

LevelRecipe UnlockedEffect
1Sturdy Ring50% decrease in debuff duration.
2Life ElixirFull health restoration.
3Roots Platter+3 Attack.+125 Energy.+50 Health.
4Warrior RingChance of Warrior Energy buff. 
5Choose Profession: Fighter OR ScoutFighter: 10% Damage Increase. +15 Max HP.
Scout: 50% increase in Critical Strike chance.
6Slime Egg PressMake Slime Eggs with 100 Slimes. Create Oil of Garlic that improves HP & Health and repels weaker enemies for 10 minutes.
7Ring of Yoba
Thorns Ring
Chance of invincibility for 5 seconds. Enemies take the same damage as they inflict on the player.
8Slime Incubator
Explosive Ammo
Hatch slime eggs. Shot with a slingshot and damages everything within its radius. 
9Iridium Band
Squid Ink Ravioli
10% increase in attack damage. Illuminates dark areas and picks up dropped items.Temporary protection against debuffs.
10Choose Profession: Brute OR Defender (Fighter), Acrobat OR Desperado (Scout)Brute: 15% increase in damage on top of Fighter boost.
Defender: +25 Max HP.
Acrobat: Halves cooldown on Special Moves.
Desperado: Higher Critical strike damage.

Aside from Levels 5 and 10, where players have to choose a profession, every other level unlocks a new recipe that can boost Combat skills.

Now, let’s see how to climb up the Combat levels quickly.

How To Level Up Combat Fast In Stardew Valley?

Kill monsters.

Every time you kill a monster, you gain Combat EXP points. More dangerous monsters mean higher EXP.

Kill every monster you see, and your Combat will level up in no time. 

However, start with easy-to-kill monsters. It’s best to stick to the upper levels in the Mines, Skull Cavern, or other monster lairs. Replay the same levels to farm monster kills and gain EXP. 

Once you develop a good enough weapons collection, hunt the bigger monsters or the “dangerous” variations to gain higher EXP. 

Pro Tip: The wooden boxes inside the mines have a chance of dropping weapons. Always break them open!

Here are all the locations where Stardew Valley monsters dwell:

  • Mines.
  • Skull Cavern.
  • Quarry Mine.
  • Mutant Bug Lair.
  • Volcano Dungeon.

Monsters will come running if you take up the Wilderness Farm at the start.

If you are thinking of farming monster kills and leveling up Combat, these are the monsters you would want to target because they offer the highest EXP.

MonsterLocationExperience Point (EXP)
Iridium BatSkull Cavern22
Carbon GhostSkull Cavern, Mines20
SerpentSkull Cavern, Mines20
Magma DuggyMines, Skull Cavern18
Dwarvish SentryVolcano Dungeon15

With the basics out of the way, it’s time to choose between Fighter or Scout.

Fighter or Scout – Combat Profession Overview

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After reaching Combat level 5 in Stardew Valley, players have to choose one of the two professions- Fighter or Scout.

On paper, the choice seems difficult. But when you know the low-down of both these professions, the better choice becomes obvious.

Before giving my verdict, I’ll give you an overview of what’s on offer in both branches. And unless you’re targeting a specific build, you’ll know which is the better choice.

Fighter Profession Overview

The Fighter profession transforms the farmer into an absolute tank.

Players get an Attack and HP boost after choosing Fighter at Combat Level 5. That means the character can deal more damage and withstand more attacks too.

Here’s a summary of the buffs that come with Fighter.

+15 HPIncreases your Max Health by 15 points.
+10% DamageEvery attack deals 10% higher damage.

Even if you are a newbie, it’s easy to tell how impactful these are.

Higher HP means higher survivability. During Combat, the character has 100 Max HP. With every level, the Max HP increases by five except for Level 5 and Level 10. So, by the time you reach Combat Level 10, the Max HP is 140. 

But, if you choose Fighter on Level 5, the Max HP increases by 15. And by Combat Level 10, your character will have 155 Max HP.

This seemingly little boost can be a big help while clearing up the deeper levels of Mines, Volcano Dungeon, and Skull Cavern.

Then comes the 10% increase in Attack Damage. Equip the right weapons and you can one-shot plenty of monsters with Fighter. This will also reduce the overall time you spend on killing monsters and give you more time to mine for resources. 

With higher damage-dealing abilities you can take on Dangerous monsters to collect high EXP without passing out.

The attack and defense buffs don’t stop at Level 5 though.

After reaching Combat Level 10, players have another choice at their hands- pick between Brute or Defender.

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Here’s a look at Combat Level 10 profession choices if you choose Fighter.


If you choose Brute, your Attack Damage goes through the roof because Fighter and Brute buffs will stack.

+15% DamageEvery attack deals 15% higher damage.

Brute increases the Attack Damage by 15% on top of the 10% increase already given by the Fighter profession. So, by Combat Level 10, your Attack Damage gets a 25% boost.

Imagine an Infinity Blade or Infinity Gavel destroying monsters with these buffs.
Even a Dark Sword will wreak havoc.


Defender is only a good choice when you already have a defensive build. Even then, Brute outweighs Defender.

+25 HPIncreases Max Health by 25.

Just like Brute, Defender’s buff also stacks up. So, on top of the 15-point increase in Max HP, Defender increases the Max Health by 25 points.

So, if you choose Defender, the Max Health will reach 180 by the time you reach Combat Level 10.

Fighter plus Brute is the best combo for an attacking build. 

Don’t get me wrong, the Defender and Fighter combo is still a great boost, especially when you want to last long in the deeper levels.

But since some Rings offer the same or even higher buff than Defender, Brute is what I use and recommend.

Now, let’s take a closer look at your second option at Combat Level 5- Scout!

Scout Profession Overview

As I said earlier, Scout is a good option for a specific build. 

Considering the buffs, players that heavily base their combat on critical hits using special attacks will love the Scout profession. Mix it up with the right weapons and Scout substantially increases the chances of a critical hit.

+50% Chance of a Critical Hit50% multiplicative increase in Critical Hit chances. 

While a 50% increase in Critical Hit chance seems outright crazy, there is a catch to it. 

The bonus is not added to your base Critical Hit chance, it’s multiplied by it. Here is the math behind the Scout Buff.

Base Critical Hit Chance2%
Scout Bonus 50% x 2% (Base Crit Chance)1%
Total Critical Hit Chance After Choosing Scout3%

While it is a decent increase, it’s nowhere close to the perks offered by the Fighter branch.

If the choices were to end here, Fighter would be the clear winner. But Combat Level 10 comes with two specializations in the Scout branch – Acrobat and Desperado – making things a bit more interesting.

Photo: ConcernedApe


Some Stardew Valley weapons have special moves that deal higher attack damage than usual. These special moves have a cooldown time which gets reduced with the Acrobat specialization.

50% decrease in cooldown timeHalf cooldown time for all special moves.

For someone who heavily relies on special moves, Scout at Level 5 and Acrobat at Level 10 is a no-brainer.

Higher crit chances and the reduced cooldown increases attacking pedigree and decreases combat time. 

However, do take a look at Desperado before making a decision.


If you choose Desperado, your critical hits become “deadlier.” The exact number of the damage increase is unknown because Desperado depends on RNG (Random Number Generator).

While crits will always land substantial damage, sometimes you might one-hit the strongest of enemies.

While Acrobat looks good on paper, Desperado is the better choice in the Scout branch because it boosts critical hits. The satisfaction of one-hit kills is higher than the ability to hit special moves more often.

Fighter or Scout – The Better Profession?

While it’s all about personal preferences, Fighter is the better overall choice simply because of the flat rate damage increase.

Fighter increases attack damage by 10% and increases your Max HP as well. And if you choose Brute at Level 10 you get another 15% increase in attack damage.

On the other hand, Scout offers a 50% multiplicative increase in Critical Hit chance. So, to benefit from Scout, you’ll need to increase your base critical hit chance first. 

Even the Scout specializations pale in comparison to the buff stack of the Fighter branch. 

To finish it off, here’s a table summarizing the two Combat branches.

Damage+10%+50% critical hit chance
Special movesN/ACharges special move meter faster
DurabilityMore durableLess durable
Damage outputConsistent damage outputHigh damage output with high risk
Best forPlayers who want to be more powerful and durablePlayers who want to deal high damage quickly

Do check out my Stardew Valley Fishing Guide and stay tuned for more.

If you’d like to know about a specific aspect of Stardew Valley, let me know in the comments below.

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