Brute or Defender: Which Profession Is Better in Stardew Valley?

brute or defender which profession is better

Stardew Valley is not a game oriented toward combat, it is present but to a smaller extent with only the basic mechanics implemented. Since you will be forced to brave the mines at one point in the game, you will become aware of the combat skill. Combat skill like plenty of other skill in Stardew Valley has its own professions. As soon as you reach level 5 you will be able to choose between a fighter and a scout, and at level 10 if you’ve decided to go down the path of a fighter, brute and defender professions will unlock. Now, both professions add something to your combat abilities, but if we have to choose between brute or defender, which profession is better in Stardew Valley?

The brute profession is better since it adds a flat damage bonus which is always useful. On the other hand, the defender profession is among the most useless in the game due to providing a meager 25 HP points. The flat damage bonus that brute provides is the safer choice if you don’t want to overthink combat too much.

Now that we’ve covered which profession is better it’s time to explain our choice. If you’re interested in more detail regarding why brute is better than the defender, stay with us and keep reading!

What is the brute profession in Stardew Valley?

The brute profession is one of the choices you get as soon as you reach level 10 in combat skill in Stardew Valley. The brute profession is going to be one of the choices if you’ve previously, at level 5, decided to choose the fighter profession.
The brute profession offers a straightforward bonus, you deal 15% more damage and this bonus can stack with the bonus that the fighter profession provides.

While it doesn’t sound too elaborate you need to understand that Stardew Valley was never imagined as a combat game, and the only areas where you will primarily encounter something to fight are mines and Skull Cavern.


Brute is the safer choice of the two, especially since the defender doesn’t offer that much more health.
Another good thing about this profession is the fact that you will be able to clear waves of enemies much more quickly, especially when the profession is paired with Infinity Blade. While brute doesn’t give you extra attack speed, it gives you extra damage, this translates to killing enemies more quickly and efficiently due to fewer strikes needed.

What is the defender profession in Stardew Valley?

The defender profession is the other choice you get when you reach level 10 in combat, under the condition that you’ve chosen the fighter profession at level 5. When it comes to the bonuses that the defender offers, they are pitiful at best.
The defender gives you 25 extra health points. As you can see this amount of extra health points is so small it’s not worth it.

As you probably know you have two defense-related attributes in Stardew Valley, the first being total health points and the second being defense points. Defense affects how much damage you will receive from the monsters, if you have +1 extra defense point it means that damage taken from monsters will be reduced by 1 point. Imagine how much more awesome would this profession be if it offered +25 defense points, leading to a 25-point decrease in damage taken.


This profession would benefit more from either more defense points or significantly more added health. Since it offers neither of those I recommend you completely ignore it.
I’ve mentioned before combat is not that hard, and even if you do manage to get in sticky situations, you’re not going to benefit from those extra health points, especially in the late game.


Rancher or Tiller: Which Profession Is Better in Stardew Valley?

If you struggle with survivability, the defender profession won’t do you much good, it would be far wiser to invest in food, clothing, and other gear that restores your health and offers defense bonuses.

Even though this is the only defense-oriented profession in the game, as you can see it will not have much impact on the outcome of the fight.
Any other combat profession is more useful than the defender

Brute or Defender which profession is better in Stardew Valley?

Since brute profession offers a flat damage bonus, it’s more worthy of attention. Flat damage will always amount to the overall survivability of character and paired with the right items you will be able to clear out certain areas more quickly. You can’t imagine a scenario in which you wouldn’t benefit more from the damage bonus.

brute or defender

On the other hand, the health bonus that the defender provides is negligible, it would be different if 25 defense points are on the table. This bonus is just too small to even consider.

How Many People Play Stardew Valley in 2023? (User & Growth Stats)

Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley is probably the most famous Harvest Moon clone in the world. The game has seen much commercial success considering the fact that it was developed by a single person as a side project. This open-ended game was praised for its freedom and atmosphere and well, the player count and sales reflect that. Now, more than six years after its release it’s time to revisit Stardew Valley player count and see how much interest the game still generates. Let’s take a look at how many people play Stardew Valley. 

Currently, 37,443 play Stardew Valley on Steam alone according to the data provided by Steam Charts. This number although impressive for a six-year-old game is nowhere near the peak the game has seen in January 2021 when the number of 94,479 players has been recorded throughout the month. Decreasing interest is normal and typical for a game of this type and age, the fact that the game sold 20 million copies by 2023 still makes it a commercial success and one of the best sellers. 

Now that you know how many players are still playing Stardew Valley it’s time to analyze different stats. If you’re interested in more details, stay with us and keep reading!

Why was Stardew Valley so popular?

Stardew Valley was single-handedly developed by Eric ConcernedApe Barone over the course of four years. He used a lot of fan feedback to implement some interesting additional features into the game. Somewhere in the middle of the development, he was approached by the publisher Chucklefish which allowed him to polish the game before the full release. Even though the collaboration was successful Barone eventually regained the right to publish the game. 

The game was a massive success story, all the shortcomings of the games like Harvest Moon were addressed and improved. The players praised the visuals, atmosphere, world-building, NPC depth, and overall storyline. 

Stardew valley interest over years
Stardew Valley’s interest over the years

There’s nothing better than a well-made open-ended game and Stardew Valley was exactly that. What made the game amazing also was the fact that it was for the most part designed and executed by a single person with a dream. Nowadays it’s hard to find a simulation game “top list” without Stardew Valley being on it, and Game Horizon as well covered the game and its mechanics extensively in the past.

Having said that it was expected for Stardew Valley to remain among the most played and popular games of the genre. But did it truly remain so? let’s take a look at what the numbers say.


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How many people play Stardew Valley in 2023?

At the time of the writing of this post, Stardew Valley has seen 34,494.8 players on average over the last 30 days according to the data provided by Steam Charts. These numbers, of course, speak only for the Steam version of the game so if we take all other versions and consoles that it’s available on into account the number is likely much higher. At the moment 37,443 players are playing Stardew Valley.  

While the number seems high considering the age of the game it’s nothing compared to the recorded all-time peak that happened in January 2021 when 94,479 players have been recorded to play the game over the period of that month alone. 

A more detailed trend of decreasing interest in the game can be seen in the detailed table below which shows us the data regarding player count for the period of the last six months. 

MonthAvg. playersGain/lossPeak players
Last 30 days34,494.8+21.48%59,095
December 202228,396.5+18.83%48,081
October 202222,663.5-8.44%35,033
September 202224,753.5-21.17%38,451
August 202231,402.3-19.64%46,813
June 202231,775.8+13.34%49,366

As you can see the game lost a significant number of players between the months of August and October and has just recently started to recover with November and December being positive.

How many people stream Stardew Valley?

According to the data provided by Twitch stats, at the moment of writing this post, Stardew Valley has 833 live viewers and 73 live channels streaming the game. The average number is somewhat higher standing at 1,570 average viewers over the last 7 days and 154 live streaming the related content. All those numbers amount to 263,159 hours of watched content over the last seven days. 

When it comes to popularity Stardew Valley is #113 which is an ok standing for an older game. 

This is, however, nothing compared to an all-time high that happened on June 1st, 2021 when the peak viewer count was reached amounting to 99,519 viewers watching Stardew Valley-related content. 

More detailed numbers can be seen in the table below showing data regarding viewers and channels over the period of 6 months. 

MonthConcurrent viewers averageGain/lossConcurrent streams averageGain/lossHours watchedGain/loss
January 20231.5K+6.2%149+36.7%326K-69.3%
December 20221.4K+18.5%109-4.4%1.06M+22.2%
November 20221.1K-3.3%121+9%508K-35.7%
October 20221.2K-22.4%111-21.3%790K-25.4%
September 20221.5K+2.1%141-11.9%1.06M-2.2%
August 20221.5K-35.2%160-14.9%1.08M-33.8%
June 20222.8K+6.3%189+6.8%1.98M+3.3%

The data clearly indicate a downward trend regarding interest in the game. This reflects the most drastically in the total hours watched category, the game lost more than half of the content watched in the span of the last three months.


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Will Stardew Valley be popular again?

Stardew Valley will most certainly regain a fraction of its popularity when the next content update hits the players. Update 1.6 was promised to launch before the end of 2022 and in the most recent tweet, Eric Baron announced that it actually doesn’t have a set date regarding the update only that it’s going to be out when it’s ready. 

The slow progress is nothing when you take into account the new game that Barone is working on, Haunted Chocolatier. You can read all about the new project here. Whether the game is connected to Stardew Valley or not remains to be seen. However, we can see that the style is similar and the release of the game will most likely lead to increased interest in Stardew Valley as well. 

How to Eat in Stardew Valley? Explained

how to eat in Stardew Valley explained 1

Stardew Valley is an extremely open-ended game. This means that while there are certain goals you need to reach, it’s up to you how you will do it. We’re aware by now that we can craft, build, explore, and interact with various NPCs. We can also consume various food items that we prepare ourselves our find throughout the world. Having said that, while eating is one of the options, how do you do it? In today’s guide, we’re going to cover how to eat in Stardew Valley and what are the benefits of it?

You can eat in Stardew Valley by placing a specific food item on your hotbar. Once you’ve selected a specific food item, you will have to hold that item in your hand by navigating to that item in your hotbar. Right-click anywhere on the screen while you’re holding food, and the prompt will appear asking you whether you want to consume the food. Click yes, and your energy should be refiled, or certain buffs should appear depending on what you’ve eaten.

Now that we’ve covered eating in Stardew Valley, it’s time to analyze the pros and cons. If you’re interested, stay with us and keep reading!

Do you need to eat in Stardew Valley?

Eating in Stardew Valley is optional, and you don’t really have to do it at all. However, if you decide to skip meals, you will be losing on some benefits. Eating provides you with numerous buffs, depending on what you’ve eaten, and restores energy. Energy is required to do tasks and undergo various jobs in Stardew Valley. It’s always a good idea to bring food if you plan a mining expedition or you’re planning to work on your farm the whole day.

food items
various food items in Stardew Valley

While no food meter is implemented in the game, an energy meter affects everything you do, from using various tools to interacting with the world. The main way to restore energy is to simply go to sleep, and this is not always an option since we want to utilize the day to the fullest. Having said that, we’ve got another option at our disposal, eating.


What Game Engine Does Stardew Valley Use?

Not all food items will have beneficial effects, some like, for example, sap, will cause us to lose energy. Eating sap is like eating poison, and it will make us weaker. The same goes for void mayonnaise.
Most food items will simply replenish our energy and health by a certain % and some will give us powerful buffs. Luck lunch, for example, provides us with +100 energy, +45 health, and a +3 boost to luck. Beat Hotpot restores +125 energy and +56 health, boosts our maximum energy for 30 points, and gives +32 points boost to magnetism.

differences in food value
differences in nutritious value between bean hotpot and fried egg

The amount of energy and health that will be restored, as well as any buff provided, depends on the ingredients required to cook the meal and the overall difficulty of the recipe.

A fried egg is relatively easy to make, and it requires only a single egg to prepare. Thus it’s not surprising that it restores only a small portion of health and energy. Tropical Curry, on the other hand, requires 1x coconut, 1x pineapple, and 1x hot pepper, but it also gives you a foraging buff and significantly more energy and health than a mere fried egg. As you can see, more effort and ingredients result in better rewards when it comes to cooking.

How do you cook and eat in Stardew Valley?

Now that we’ve covered why beneficial is eating in Stardew Valley, it’s time to cover how to do it.
You can eat in Stardew Valley by following these steps:

  1. Start by placing food items in your hotbar.
  2. Once you’ve done that, you need to select them or rather “hold them in your hand.”
  3. While holding the food item, right-click anywhere on the screen, and a prompt will appear asking you whether you want to consume the food item.
  4. Click yes. You can observe your energy and health recharging.
how to eat in Stardew Valley
eating in Stardew Valley

You can eat most crops, fruits, animal products, foraged goods, fish, etc., without cooking them first. However, in that case, you will not enjoy the full benefits as you would if you used the ingredients in a full recipe. You can unlock the full potential of an ingredient by cooking it.
You can start cooking in Stardew Valley as soon as you unlock the first upgrade for the farmhouse.

Upgrading your farmhouse will unlock the kitchen, which will provide you with a stove and fridge. A stove is used to prepare the food, and a fridge is used to store prepared food. The fridge acts like an extension of your inventory, so it means that you don’t need to place the ingredients from the fridge directly in your inventory to use them in cooking.

kitchen upgrade
Kitchen upgrade

Similarly, you can unlock a “cookout kit” as soon as you reach level 9 foraging, to cook anywhere, even while you’re on the go. To prepare food, you need both equipment and recipes. Recipes are unlocked as you progress through the game. So far, there are 80 recipes implemented in the game.


Prepared meals can serve as both nourishment and gifts for other NPCs. Certain prepared meals can significantly raise your relationship with other NPCs, depending on the quality of the meal and whether the NPC in question simply “likes” the meal or “loves” it. The quality of the meal depends on the quality of the ingredients used to prepare the meal.


How Many People Play Stardew Valley in 2023? (User & Growth Stats)


As you can see, eating and preparing food in Stardew Valley is easy, but if you plan on unlocking powerful buffs, you’re going to have to spend time and rare ingredients on it. Cooking is also used to raise relationships with NPCs, as most of them have certain meals that they like to receive as gifts. However you look at it, while it’s not obligatory, cooking and eating can only make your game easier, and besides, it adds extra realism and immersion to the game.

Forester or Gatherer in Stardew Valley: Which Profession Is Better?

forester or gatherer which profession is better

Foraging skill in Stardew Valley help you find useful materials and resources in the world. Either by picking plants on the ground or chopping down trees. What makes foraging such a great skill is the fact that you can raise it as you’re exploring the world. As soon as you reach level 5, you will have at your disposal two professions to specialize in, forester and gatherer. Both professions are great choices, but one is ultimately better than the other. Let’s see, between forester and gatherer, which profession is better?

Gatherer is a better profession in Stardew Valley. It allows you to forage more items, and thus you have more items at your disposal for cooking, selling, and gifts. As soon as you reach level 10, you can pair the gatherer with a botanist, which will make your foraged items iridium quality. Due to that, you will earn more money in the long run, especially if you have an artisan profession as well.

Now that you know which profession is better, it’s time to analyze it in a bit more detail. If you want to know how exactly gatherer leads to more money, stay with us and keep reading!

What is the forester profession in Stardew Valley?

Forester is one of the two choices you get as soon as you reach level 5 in foraging skill. Forester allows you to gain 25% more wood when chopping, and it applies to trees, stumps, and logs as well. It’s a good choice since it allows you to gather a lot of wood early game, and you know how much wood resources upgrading and improving your farm takes. It’s especially useful when you reach level 10 as then you can choose the lumberjack profession, which makes it more likely that chopping trees will result in hardwood dropping.

chopping wood stardew

Hardwood is not difficult to get, but it’s time-consuming, and you will need to make trips constantly in order to acquire it. With this profession, you will have a bigger chance to acquire hardwood in your backyard, fast. So, if you require vast amounts of hardwood for whatever reasons, you might invest in forester early on so you can take advantage of lumberjack later. Or you can use the dog statute in the sewers to change professions later when your hardwood needs rise. With everything said, forester is the first choice of level 5 profession only if you have truly specific needs when it comes to hardwood.


Fighter or Scout in Stardew Valley: Which Profession Is Better?

What is the gatherer profession in Stardew Valley?

Gatherer is the other choice you get as soon as you reach level 5 in the foraging profession. It offers a nice 20% bonus chance at a double harvest of foraged items. This essentially means that you will have more items at your disposal for cooking, selling, and gifts. Although early-game, the yield from this profession will be somewhat small, expect an increase if you choose a botanist at level 10, this will make all your foraged items iridium quality. If you’re breeding pigs for truffles, this is a great investment, especially if you plan on choosing artisan as well as soon as you reach level 10.

gathering goods stardew

This will result in overall huge amounts of money. The gatherer profession gives you a bonus even if you grow the foraged items yourself. This means that you can grow foraged goods in vast quantities and reap the benefits of being a gatherer, as everything will have a significant chance to yield a double drop. Gatherer also applies to the items you would have found at the beach and at the mines as well. It simply affects more stuff in the game than forester.

Gatherer vs. forester, which profession is better in Stardew Valley?

Gatherer is objectively better, but there are some things to take into consideration.
If you need wood in large quantities early in the game and hardwood later in the game, you can choose forester as that’s the only thing the profession is basically good for. You won’t generate as much money with it since it’s always a bad idea to sell wood since you never know when you’ll need it. So when it comes to monetary value, the profession is good for making money but indirectly. The takeaway is to invest in this only if you need wood.
If you’re oriented more toward making money, gatherer is a clear choice through and through.

foraster or gatherer

More items mean more money and better relationships with the residents of Stardew Valley since foraged items can, in some cases, be used as gifts, or to prepare gifts. At level 10, if you choose a botanist, your items will be of the highest quality, which means even more money. If you have an artisan level 10 profession, you will need truffles to make truffle oil. If you’re keeping pigs to gather truffles regularly, the gatherer is a perfect choice since it yields more truffles as well. You can’t go wrong with gatherer professions since it affects a lot more items in the game than forester. There’s no doubt that gatherer is a better and more balanced choice between the two.


Brute or Defender: Which Profession Is Better in Stardew Valley?

As we’ve mentioned before, If you don’t think that gatherer suits your needs the best, and you suddenly find yourself needing lots of wood, hardwood especially. YOu can always make a trip to the sewers and activate the Statue Of Uncertainty. This will allow you to change your profession for a hefty sum of 10 000 gold. It’s not ideal, but at least you get a choice, as in you’re not locked into a profession that you consider useless. Your needs might change when compared to the early game, and it’s nice to have a choice to change your profession to reflect that.

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