When you hit Combat Level 5, Stardew Valley will present you with a choice to make. Pick Fighter for 10% extra damage on all attacks, or pick Scout for 50% additional critical strike chance. Unfortunately, this choice isn’t as cut and dry as you may think since that critical strike chance could give you more damage than the 10% extra damage.
Ultimately, this choice comes down to playstyle. If you don’t want to maximize your critical strike power, you should go for Fighter. But if you’re interested in a build that will one-shot most normal enemies but takes a ton of setup, go for Scout. Finally, if you’d like to learn more about both, then read on.
What does Damage Percentage Mean?
While a statement like “Adds 10% damage” may seem simple, it can vary in effectiveness depending on where and when an extra 10% is added to the damage equation.
For example, if it’s added to the first number in the equation “77 + 7 – 4”, then it only adds an extra 7 damage, whereas being added after that equation has been calculated grants 8. Of course, this scales up the higher the numbers get, too.
Rest assured, though, because, in my testing, this is being done at the very end of the damage calculation, letting you get as much out of your 10% buff as possible.
While I wish this were nearly as simple to say for critical strike chance, it does mean that you are getting a pretty decent boost from your numbers, essentially all the damage you’d be doing but boosted by 10%.
This means if you want a one-size-fits-all solution that won’t require you to optimize for a specific build to get good results, you should definitely go for attack power. Crit chance can give you more than 10% extra damage on average, but that will usually require additional accessories and effort to capitalize on it.
What Does Critical Strike Chance Mean?
Critical Strike Chance and Critical Strike Power are both, unfortunately, way more complicated than the damage percentage calculations. These have a formula that requires going into a bit more detail. Still, generally critical strike chance means you’ll rarely get a hit that does around double damage, and critical strike power increases that damage.
The formula for critical hits is “base damage × (3 + Crit. Power / 50)”.
Get your reading glasses on, we’re doing math. For this, I’ll use the Galaxy Sword as an example; it has a base damage of 60-80, so I’ll assume you roll a base damage of 70. Next, the crit power is determined by bonuses from weapon modifiers, rings, etc. This is then divided by 50, the damage you’ll deal on crit.
So with no accessories and modifiers, a galaxy sword will be doing (70 × (3 + 1 / 50) or 211 damage on a crit. This, combined with the 2% chance to get a crit using the base galaxy sword, means you can expect to be doing 72 damage on average with the sword.
There is something to be mentioned with Scout’s crit chance upgrade. Instead of giving you an extra 50% crit chance, it multiplies your current crit chance by 1.5. This one difference (that makes the profession description misleading) can make or break this ability. If you have a high crit chance, it’ll help, and if you have a low one, it will be barely different.
This means you’d have your weapon’s crit chance (plus any accessories, items, and enchantments that increase that chance) multiplied by 1.5. For example, this changes your 2% crit chance with the galaxy sword to a 3% chance and only boosts your damage to 74 on average.
Compared to the 77 average damage given by Fighter’s 10% increase, it may seem like it’s all over for critical strike chance. But who knows? Maybe my math was wrong, and the game calculates things differently; the only way to find out is by testing it in-game.
For these tests, I had an iridium band and two lucky rings on and was at Combat Level 4 for the baseline and Combat Level 5 for the actual tests. The Lucky rings should increase my crits, and the iridium band should increase my attack power, so both have a bit of a boost.
These were all done on a day with max luck, in the first few floors of the mines. The galaxy sword was used for the test, and I had no armor, temporary buffs, enchantments, or anything other than the rings to make it more of a “real” scenario.
For the baseline at level 4 combat, I had average damage of 82.6 and only observed a single critical hit, all of which are expected results from the math we did earlier.
For level 5 combat, choosing Fighter, we get an average of 89 damage. This is almost 10% extra (and I’m sure with more data, it would get to exactly that), and given that I got the same amount of data, including a crit, the math is holding up very well.
For level 5 combat, choosing Scout, you get an average of 84 damage, which is pretty much what we predicted. This might seem like a definite bust for Scout, but if you think about having a higher base crit chance (like with using aquamarine enchantments), then this buff will get far better.
More or less, this asks if you prefer a general solution that will be a great buff for most builds or one that focuses on a specific build that could potentially give you far more significant damage than anything else.
Think About the Future!
While you may already have a choice for this, you should also consider the two level 10 rewards you get depending on which level 5 reward you’ve chosen. That being Brute or Defender when you choose Fighter, vs. Acrobat or Desperado when you choose Scout.
Brute will give you an extra 15% damage on top of the 10% you get from Fighter, for a total of 25% additional damage. Defender grants 25 extra HP, a fourth of your default health bar. Both of these will assist in any long mine runs or whenever you want to thrive or survive.
Acrobat will halve the time it takes to make special moves, making the hammer and dagger far more effective. Finally, Desperado lets you go all in on a crit build, doubling your critical hits’ damage. These follow the theme of Scout being more specialized and technical.
Whichever route you choose, do note that you can always go back on your decision later using the statue in the sewers, either because you weren’t that interested in a crit build or you decided you’d like to try doing one.
Question: What does Fighter do in Stardew Valley?
Answer: It will take the damage you were doing and multiply it by 1.1.
Question: What is Critical Strike Chance in Stardew Valley?
Answer: Every weapon has a Critical Strike Chance, which means you have a slight chance to get a powerful attack.
Question: Should I go for Scout or Fighter in Stardew Valley?
Answer: Fighter is the better choice for most people, but with a ton of optimization, Scout could lead you to do even more damage.
Scout vs Fighter Stardew Valley: Conclusion
Even though you can go with either option, I’d recommend going for Fighter. I don’t usually go for builds that require a ton of setup and would rather play the game using whatever equipment and items I enjoy the most.
You could still go with Scout if making a max-crit build is appealing since it helps tremendously. Either way, you’ll increase your overall damage and make your trips to the mines much easier.