Stardew Valley Brute or Defender: Which is Better?

Choosing the Right Level 10 Combat Skill in Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley, the beloved farming simulation game, offers players a variety of paths to follow and decisions to make. One of the most significant choices players face is deciding between the Brute and Defender professions. These two professions determine how players will approach combat in the game and have a significant impact on their ability to explore the game’s many dangerous areas.

Deciding between the Brute and Defender can be a difficult choice, as each has its strengths and weaknesses. In this article, we will explore the differences between the Brute and Defender professions in Stardew Valley and help players decide which one to pick.

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At level 10 in the Combat skill, players who have chosen the Fighter profession at level 5 have the opportunity to select one of two professions: Brute or Defender.

Brute Icon in Stardew Valley


“Deal 15% More Damage.”

Brute is a combat skill that emphasizes offense over defense. When you choose Brute, you will deal 15% more damage with each hit. This makes it a great choice for players who prefer a more aggressive playstyle and enjoy dealing a lot of damage quickly.

Killing a Rock Crab in Stardew Valley
Brute allows you to carve through enemies with ease

Brute allows you to kill enemies more quickly, which can be helpful if you’re trying to clear an area quickly or if you’re trying to complete quests that require you to defeat a certain number of enemies. The damage boost also scales with other buffs. Meaning if you eat food that gives you an attack buff, the Brute skill includes that buff when it adds 15% more damage.

However, Brute has its downsides. Because it emphasizes offense over defense, you need to be aware that enemies at the lower levels of the Mine and Skull Cavern are very deadly. This can be a problem in combat situations where you’re facing multiple enemies at once, as you may find yourself quickly overwhelmed. Brute also doesn’t offer any other bonuses beyond the increased damage.

Defender Icon in Stardew Valley


“+25 HP.”

Defender is a combat skill that focuses on defense rather than offense. By choosing Defender, you will receive an additional 25 HP, which can be particularly useful in combat situations where you may take a lot of damage. This extra health allows you to withstand more hits from enemies, making it easier for you to survive and emerge victorious.

Getting damaged by Lava Bats in Stardew Valley
An extra 25 HP allows you to take more hits, which can save your life in a pinch

While Defender does not provide any additional bonuses or abilities beyond the extra health, the added durability it provides can make a significant difference in your ability to succeed in combat. If you prefer to play defensively and prioritize survival over dealing damage, then the Defender skill may be the right choice for you.

Which Skill is Better?

Picking either the Brute or Defender skill in Stardew Valley
Choosing between Brute and Defender

Choosing between Brute and Defender ultimately comes down to personal preference and playstyle. If you prefer a more aggressive playstyle and enjoy dealing a lot of damage quickly, Brute is likely the skill for you. However, if you prefer a more defensive playstyle and want to take less damage in combat, Defender is the better choice. Both are great options in their own right.

Can I switch between Brute and Defender?

Yes, you can switch between Brute and Defender at any time by visiting the statue in the sewers and paying 10,000g. This will reset one skill tree, allowing you to pick different skills the next time you sleep.

Is one skill more difficult to play than the other?

Neither skill is inherently more difficult to play than the other. It all comes down to personal preference and playstyle.

Can I use both Brute and Defender at the same time?

No, you can only have one combat skill active at a time in Stardew Valley.

It’s also worth noting that both skills are viable choices, and there is no “right” or “wrong” option. Some players may prefer Brute’s emphasis on offense, while others may prefer Defender’s emphasis on defense. Ultimately, the choice comes down to what works best for you.

In conclusion, choosing between the Brute and Defender professions in Stardew Valley can have a significant impact on how players approach combat and explore the game’s many areas. Brute is a great option for players who prefer a more aggressive playstyle, while Defender is ideal for those who prefer a more defensive approach. Ultimately, the choice between these two professions comes down to personal preference and playstyle.

Regardless of which profession players choose, the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy all that Stardew Valley has to offer. With its charming graphics, relaxing gameplay, and endless possibilities, Stardew Valley is a game that will keep players engaged for hours on end.

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Ethan is the founder of Shark Games and oversees all site content. He's been a dedicated (mainly PlayStation) gamer for over 15 years, netting him over 4,100 Trophies; 27 of which are Platinum. Over this time, he has developed a passion for both digital card games and story-driven adventure games. He's reached the "Legend" rank in both Standard and Wild modes in Hearthstone. God of War Ragnarok is his favorite game of all time, and he's 100% completed every game in the Ratchet and Clank franchise. He also sucks at League of Legends.