Fighter Vs Scout is the big question you’ll have in Stardew Valley when you hit Combat Level 5. This is the first profession decision a player needs to make along the Combat lines, and it’s an especially important one since this choice also affects what professions will be available at level 10 combat for the player.
Almost all Stardew Valley players agree that Fighter is the much better profession to take at Level 5. Not only is the base damage increase and extra hit points better at Level 5, but the Level 10 professions that branch off of Fighter are better than the Level 10 professions that branch off of Scout.
This is one of the profession decisions in Stardew Valley that all players seem to agree on, but let’s dive into exactly why that is taking an in-depth look at both so you can pick the right Stardew Valley profession easily and without worry.
Fighter Vs Scout: Which Combat Profession in Stardew Valley Is Best?
Let’s compare what each one has to offer. When you get to Level 5 for Combat (2150 combat XP) you now have a choice between one of two professions:
- Fighter – All attacks by the player deal 10% more damage (plus you receive +15 HP)
- Scout – Critical strike chance increased by 50% (no HP bonus)
This is a pretty easy choice. Critical strikes only take place 2% of the time (yes I understand the real math is more complicated but unaltered it is close enough to 2% to use that number). Meanwhile +10% damage happens on every single hit.
I would still take Fighter over Scout even before the bonus hit points. Those just make this especially easy. You take the guaranteed damage with every hit because that can be a life saver early game deep in the mines and especially if you have to start exploring Skull Cavern without a Galaxy Weapon of some kind.
In addition to that, the Level 10 for Fighter of Brute adds 25% damage on top of all that, and that stacks with Fighter. That’s a lot of damage for every single hit. Desperado is the best choice for scout and makes Critical Hits stronger. The ones you get a little more than 2% of the time now.
The disparity in average damage between the two is huge and that’s even before considering that a massive crit on a nearly dead slime is a wasted ton of damage, making it even less practically useful than an upgrade where every single hit does damage.
The Stronger Your Weapon, The Better Fighter Looks
Another strike against the Scout profession is the fact that the gap between the total aggregate damage you can expect from Fighter + Brute at Level 10 versus Scout + Desperado is wider than it is with weaker weapons at lower levels. So when you get high damage weapons the Scout tree for Combat level ups in Stardew is even worse than it was in the beginning…when by the math the Fighter route was still the best option.
Here’s a Damage Sheet for the Stardew Valley Combat Professions that shows the math all the way through the levels, using different damage points to replicate having a low-level, middle level, and late level weapon at all levels of combat experience.
The math is clear that even with those Crit bonuses, and even assuming that none of those massive crits are wasted on enemies who would have gone down with one more hit of any kind anyway, that Fighter is the better option and continues to get only better at Level 10 once it’s combined with Brute.
The stronger the weapon, the bigger the gap in expected damage produced over time which shows the consistent work of Fighter + Brute just gets the job done…especially as the base damage of weapons gets higher and higher.
Stardew Valley Scout + Desperado Critical Hits Build
So what if we wanted to make the perfect Scout build for Stardew Valley for S’s & G’s if nothing else? Is it possible to make an effective one? Sure – if you are willing to go all in on the build and don’t mind not being min-maxed. But if you want to be a contrarian and roll the dice on a Crit based combat build I’ll show you the best ways to do that.
First, you must be a crazy person and choose to use the Iridium Needle as your weapon instead of anything else. Why? Because this insane dagger (yes, to pull off a Stardew Scout-Desperado build you need to use a dagger so sorry) has a 10% base crit hit chance.
This is insane, and perfect for when you take Scout + Desperado as your level ups. The 50% increase of a crit does much more work starting at 10% versus 2%. This dagger also gives much higher damage from crit hits which is bonus.
So to make your insane Crit Build:
- Use the Iridium Needle
- Upgrade 3 times at the forge in the Ginger Island Volcano, using Aquamarine all three times as each upgrade increases 4.6% crit chance
- Have two Aquamarine Bands (each up crit hit by 10%) and fuse them with the other combat ring of your choice
- Take the Scout profession at Level 5
- Take the Desperado profession at Level 10
Now is this better than the Galaxy Hammer or Galaxy Sword with the same major gear upgrades and boosted damage on every hit? For most of us no, especially since a lot of players hate the dagger combat. By pure damage numbers with no other tricks or considerations like crowd control, yes.
There are ways to even tweak this to be more tuned in if you really want to dive into the math numbers.
In fact, even the Stardew Wiki states (regarding our Iridium Needle weapon of choice):
With full investment into critical-boosting equipment and professions, it can achieve a critical strike chance of 48.99% with each critical hit dealing 14x damage…Stardew Valley Wiki
Because critting is ridiculously min-maxed to OP levels with this build. It’s a fun experimental build. I wouldn’t run it long-term, and for the Dangerous Mine missions you simply need the crowd control that swords or hammers give you, IMO, but it does show if you really want to go out of you way to make it work, you can!
Stardew Fighter Vs Scout: What’s The Final Verdict?
No surprise here based on the rest of the article but without question Fighter is the better way to go. Aside from taking RNG out of the mix completely, which if you have bad luck like me is 100% always the right move when possible, Fighter delivers consistently, it delivers every time, and then Brute can stack on top of it which just makes you a machine.
Add in the fact that the super damage glitch for mega weapons involves using the Stardew Valley animation cancelling trick mid-swing, and that eliminates the need for random crits to up the damage.
A Scout-Crit build must have everything built towards critical hits and nothing else while Fighter-Brute is super effective and allows you to have glow rings, magnetic rings, luck rings, or all of the above – allowing you a much better all-around character who is still a consistent monster when it comes to combat.
Once you’re a very experienced player with 100’s of hours in your belt, this can be a fun build to try to make it work and experiment but 99% of the time the Fighter profession is the way to go in Stardew.
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Proud to embrace the locally created moniker of “Corrupt Overlord” from one of the all time great Lords of Waterdeep runs, Shane is one member of the Assorted Meeples crew and will be hard at work creating awesome content for the website. He is a long-time player of board games, one time semi-professional poker player, and tends to run to the quirky or RPG side of things when it comes to playing video games. He loves tabletop roleplaying systems like Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, Werewolf, Fate, and others, and not only has been a player but has run games as DM for years. You can find his other work in publications like Level Skip or Hobby Lark.