level 10 combat stardew valley Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley: Which is Better for Level 10 Combat, Brute or Defender?

Stardew Valley offers players a range of professions to choose from as they progress in their combat skills. At level 10, players face a crucial decision between the Brute and Defender professions.

This choice significantly impacts gameplay and requires careful consideration. So in this guide, we will delve into the details of these professions, compare their benefits, and provide insights to help you make an informed decision.

Combat Skill Choice Tree in Stardew Valley

Before we dive into the comparison, let’s understand the branches and prerequisites for the profession choices.

The combat skill choice tree in Stardew Valley allows players to specialize in either the Fighter or Scout profession at level 5. The role chosen at level 5 determines the options available at level 10.

The Best Choice

Our suggested choice between Brute and Defender is Brute. Brute offers a 15% damage increase, while Defender provides an additional increase of 25 hit points.

level 10 combat stardew valley

While the immediate appeal of more hit points might seem advantageous, the damage increase proves to be a superior choice as you progress through the game.

As you venture into more challenging areas, such as the Skull Cavern, enemies become increasingly dangerous.

For example, purple slimes can deal a whopping 16 damage in a single hit, which already meets half of the bonus health provided by Defender. Swiftly eliminating enemies becomes crucial, making the 15% damage increase from Brute invaluable.

Consumables in Stardew Valley

Utilizing consumables for healing and combat boosts is essential to enhance combat effectiveness. One exceptional item is the Magic Rock Candy, which provides significant buffs but locating such can be challenging.

Other consumables like Autumn’s Bounty, Eggplant Parmesan, Pumpkin Soup, and Stuffing provide decent buffs and health restoration.

magic rock candy stardew valley

To further aid your decision-making process, consult the table below for a comprehensive overview of foods with excellent buffs:



Magic Rock Candy

=+5 defense, +1 speed,

=+5 attack, +5 luck,

=+2 mining

Autumn’s Bounty

=+2 foraging, +2 defense

Eggplant Parmesan

=+1 mining, +3 defense

Pumpkin Soup

=+2 defense, +2 luck


=+2 defense

Changing Professions

If you find yourself unhappy with your chosen profession, don’t worry! Stardew Valley offers the Statue of Uncertainty as a means to change professions. This option, located in sewers, requires a payment of 10,000 gold.

Remember that the profession swap takes effect immediately upon purchase, and you will lose the bonuses from your old profession until the following night.

How Much Does 25 Health Matter?

The other 25 health provided by Defender may not be as significant as it initially appears. With the game starting at 100 health, this profession offers only an 18% increase by the time you reach level 10 with at least 140 health.

defender +25 health stardew valley

Comparatively, damage increases are more challenging to acquire and enhance combat effectiveness.

While health can be increased through various means, such as leveling up combat skills, defense boosts, and stockpiling food, the pause during food consumption often renders the health increase less impactful.

On the other hand, damage increases are primarily obtained through temporary buffs, accessories, and enchantments, making the 15% boost from Brute more valuable in the long run.

Stardew Valley - holding food

How Much Does 15% Extra Damage Matter?

Brute’s 15% extra damage is a highly advantageous bonus that directly affects your combat effectiveness. It allows you to dispatch enemies, saving valuable time and resources swiftly.

The damage increase is especially significant in challenging scenarios like the Skull Cavern, where you encounter hordes of enemies with increasing difficulty.

To emphasize the importance of damage increase, consider this example: With a base damage of 10, the Brute profession increases it to 11.5 (rounded down).

Throughout a lengthy Skull Cavern run, the damage increase significantly speeds up enemy elimination, making progress smoother and more efficient.

Testing Both Professions

crit chance stardew valley

To provide empirical evidence supporting our recommendation, we conducted multiple Skull Cavern runs comparing the Brute and Defender professions. A control test was established, measuring the average floor progress achieved by each profession.

After working numerous runs, the results consistently favored the Brute profession. On average, Brute users progressed 5 to 10 floors further than Defender users.

The offensive advantage provided by Brute played a vital role in swiftly eliminating enemies and ensuring survivability in challenging encounters.

Weighing the Options: Brute vs. Defender in Stardew Valley

When choosing between the Brute and Defender professions in Stardew Valley, the offensive advantage provided by the Brute profession makes it the suggested choice. 

While the additional health from Defender may seem tempting, the ability to deal 15% more damage [1] proves to be more valuable in challenging situations like the Skull Cavern.

Stardew Valley - fighting monster with galaxy sword

Choose wisely, arm yourself with powerful weapons and accessories, and embark on your journey in Stardew Valley. Remember, in this diverse and engaging world, swift and efficient elimination of enemies is the key to success.

Additional Information

The Fighter class, complemented by the Brute profession, offers a stacking damage percent benefit. The Fighter profession stacks multiplicatively with the Brute option.

Effective crowd control strategies, area-of-effect attacks, and stun effects should be employed when dealing with multiple adversaries. Accessory choices like the Vampire Ring and the Iridium Band can enhance survivability and damage output in such scenarios.


Can I change professions after reaching level 10?

Yes, Stardew Valley provides an option to change professions even after reaching level 10. The Statue of Uncertainty in the Sewers allows you to swap professions. However, note that changing professions comes at 10,000 gold.

Will I lose my profession bonuses when I change professions?

When you change professions, you will lose the bonuses associated with your old profession. The loss of bonuses takes effect immediately upon changing professions and continues until the following night. It’s essential to consider this when deciding to switch professions.

Final Thoughts

In the vast world of Stardew Valley, choosing between the Brute and Defender professions is a critical decision that significantly impacts gameplay.

After thorough analysis, the Brute profession emerges as the preferred choice due to its offensive advantage and the importance of damage output.

Mathew has nursed a love of video games since childhood. Now, as an adult, he enjoys playing challenging games as much as he enjoys relating with other gamers. Matthew created Hypernia to give gamers like himself accurate and reliable information about games, servers, communication protocols, and much more.

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