Stardew Valley – Professions and Skills Guide

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Though Stardew Valley is a relaxing farming sim, players will have to face some RPG elements that make everything much more interesting. There are 5 skills that you will discover as you play, relating to the major tasks that you can fulfill in the game.

As you spend time trying to make money, you will realize that these skills are actually the center of the game, as they will influence how efficient you are in your menial tasks, such as cutting down trees, mining ores, or fishing.

Recommended Read: When Is Marnie’s Ranch Open in Stardew Valley?

All of these skills have levels ranging from 0 to 10, and they also unlock special Professions at certain levels, which give you buffs in various aspects of that skill.

In this guide, we will go through all the skills and Professions in Stardew Valley and explain everything relating to them, so any new or veteran player can learn how to play the game properly.

Table of Contents

What Are Skills in Stardew Valley?

In Stardew Valley, players can do a lot of things to make money. The tasks that you can do to increase your monetary income are all categorized by the game into “skills”.

These 5 main skills in Stardew Valley are:

  • Farming – Harvesting crops and raising animals.
  • Mining – Breaking rocks.
  • Foraging – Chopping down trees and picking up goods in the wild.
  • Fishing – Completing the Fishing minigame and catching fish using the Crab Pot.
  • Combat – Fighting monsters.

All of these skills represent everything you can actually do in Stardew Valley, ignoring interacting and befriending villagers.

As you do actions relating to these skills, you will slowly gain experience for them, which you cannot actually check.

At night players get a pop-up telling them that they leveled up one of these skills if they reached the experience threshold.

All skills start at level 0 and can reach a maximum level of 10. At every skill level, you will unlock new recipes and items.

Here are all the levels for the skills and how much experience you need to attain each one of them in Stardew Valley:

  • Level 1 – Experience Needed to Level Up: 100, Total Experience: 100
  • Level 2 – Experience Needed to Level Up: 280, Total Experience: 380
  • Level 3 – Experience Needed to Level Up: 390, Total Experience: 770
  • Level 4 – Experience Needed to Level Up: 530, Total Experience: 1300
  • Level 5 – Experience Needed to Level Up: 850, Total Experience: 2150
  • Level 6 – Experience Needed to Level Up: 1150, Total Experience: 3300
  • Level 7 – Experience Needed to Level Up: 1500, Total Experience: 4800
  • Level 8 – Experience Needed to Level Up: 2100, Total Experience: 6900
  • Level 9 – Experience Needed to Level Up: 3100, Total Experience: 10000
  • Level 10 – Experience Needed to Level Up: 5000, Total Experience: 15000

Advantages of Higher Levels in a Skill – What is Proficiency?

As you get to higher and higher levels in a skill in Stardew Valley, you will slowly realize that you are using less Energy on the same tasks you used to perform at the start of the game.

Using a Pickaxe, Axe, or Hoe at level 0 in all of the skills will cost 2 Energy per hit. However, as you level up in their respective skills, you will slowly lower the Energy use per hit by 0.1.

This means that, at level 10 in Farming, for example, using a Hoe will only require 1 Energy per hit.

Here are all the tools that are affected by your level in the various skills in Stardew Valley, along with their assigned skill:

  • Farming – Hoe and Watering Can
  • Mining – Pickaxe
  • Foraging – Axe
  • Fishing – Fishing Rod

What Are Professions in Stardew Valley?

At levels 5 and 10 for all of the skills in Stardew Valley, players will get a choice between two Professions. These Professions are specializations that you can choose to gain bonuses in some parts of those skills’ possible actions.

For example, for Farming, players get to choose at level 5 between two Professions that will either make crops worth more money or animal goods. These Profession choices are usually made to choose which playstyle you prefer.

However, there are many Professions that are just objectively better or worse than others, making the roleplaying aspects a bit redundant.

Once you choose a Profession at level 5, you will then get a choice at level 10 of two Professions that are related to the one you chose at level 5.

So, if you choose a Profession that improves animal goods prices, then you will get something related to animals at level 10 as well.

If you don’t have a guide to help you out, you might not even know more than half of the Profession in Stardew Valley, due to this mechanic.

Skills and Professions Overview in Stardew Valley

Now we will go through all of the skills and Professions in Stardew Valley, showing you exactly what you get at each level in that skill, how to level up that skill efficiently, and what Professions are available at levels 5 and 10.


The Farming skill is probably the most important skill in Stardew Valley, as it will help you unlock a lot of ways to automate raising crops.

You will also unlock some of the best items for making money in Stardew Valley, such as the Keg and Cheese Press.

To get Farming experience in Stardew Valley, players will have to harvest crops and take care of animals. Using a hoe or planting crops isn’t enough to increase your Farming skill, as those things won’t give you any experience.

Here are all the recipes you unlock by leveling up Farming in Stardew Valley, along with the Professions that you can choose at levels 5 and 10:

  • Farming Level 1 – Unlocks: Scarecrow, Basic Fertilizer
  • Farming Level 2 – Unlocks: Mayonnaise Machine, Stone Fence, Sprinkler
  • Farming Level 3 – Unlocks: Bee House, Speed-Gro, Farmer’s Lunch
  • Farming Level 4 – Unlocks: Preserves Jar, Basic Retaining Soil, Iron Fence
  • Farming Level 5 – Professions:
    • Rancher – Animal goods sell for 20% more money.
    • Tiller – Crops sell for 10% more money.
  • Farming Level 6 – Unlocks: Cheese Press, Hardwood Fence, Quality Sprinkler
  • Farming Level 7 – Unlocks: Loom, Quality Retaining Soil
  • Farming Level 8 – Unlocks: Oil Maker, Keg, Deluxe Speed-Gro
  • Farming Level 9 – Unlocks: Seed Maker, Iridium Sprinkler, Quality Fertilizer
  • Farming Level 10 – Professions:
    • Coopmaster (Rancher) – Increase relationship with Coop animals faster and get half the normal Incubation time for the Incubator.
    • Shepherd (Rancher) – Increase relationship with Barn animals faster, and Sheep produce Wool faster.
    • Artisan (Tiller) – Artisan goods sell for 40% more money.
    • Agriculturist (Tiller) – Crops grow 10% faster.


The Mining skill decides everything related to using a Pickaxe in the Mines, Skull Cavern, and Volcano Dungeon.

If you don’t level up this skill, then you will most likely not survive some of the harder levels of these dungeons.

Players get Mining experience by breaking rocks. It doesn’t matter if you personally break rocks with a Pickaxe or if a monster destroys some around you, as you still get the experience.

This is why Bombs might be one of the best ways to get Mining experience, as you can destroy a lot of them with minimal effort.

Here are all the recipes you unlock by leveling up Mining in Stardew Valley, along with the Professions that you can choose at levels 5 and 10:

  • Mining Level 1 – Unlocks: Cherry Bomb
  • Mining Level 2 – Unlocks: Staircase
  • Mining Level 3 – Unlocks: Miner’s Treat
  • Mining Level 4 – Unlocks: Glowstone Ring, Transmute (Fe)
  • Mining Level 5 – Professions:
    • Miner – One extra ore per vein destroyed.
    • Geologist – 50% chance that gems will spawn in pairs.
  • Mining Level 6 – Unlocks: Bomb
  • Mining Level 7 – Unlocks: Transmute (Au)
  • Mining Level 8 – Unlocks: Mega Bomb
  • Mining Level 9 – Unlocks: Crystalarium
  • Mining Level 10 – Professions:
    • Blacksmith (Miner) – Metal bars sell for 50% more money.
    • Prospector (Miner) – Double the Coal spawn rate.
    • Excavator (Geologist) – Double the Geode spawn rate.
    • Gemologist (Geologist) – Gems sell for 30% more money.


Though Foraging sounds like the worst skill out there, it unlocks some of the most useful items in the game: Warp Totems.

These items will allow you to quickly teleport from one place to another without having to walk for hours.

There are two ways to get Foraging experience in Stardew Valley. You either chop down trees or pick up forage items from the ground.

Foraging can be hard to level up, as you have to pay attention to your surroundings at all times for possible forageable items.

Here are all the recipes you unlock by leveling up Foraging in Stardew Valley, along with the Professions that you can choose at levels 5 and 10:

  • Foraging Level 1 – Unlocks: Wild Seeds (Sp), Field Snack
  • Foraging Level 2 – Unlocks: Survival Burger
  • Foraging Level 3 – Unlocks: Tapper
  • Foraging Level 4 – Unlocks: Charcoal Kiln, Wild Seeds (Su)
  • Foraging Level 5 – Professions:
    • Forester – Gain 25% more Wood from trees.
    • Gatherer – 20% chance that foraged items will double when picked up.
  • Foraging Level 6 – Unlocks: Lightning Rod, Wild Seeds (Fa), Warp Totem: Beach
  • Foraging Level 7 – Unlocks: Wild Seeds (Wi), Warp Totem: Mountains, Tree Fertilizer
  • Foraging Level 8 – Unlocks: Warp Totem: Farm
  • Foraging Level 9 – Unlocks: Rain Totem, Cookout Kit
  • Foraging Level 10 – Professions:
    • Lumberjack (Forester) – All trees have a chance of dropping Hardwood.
    • Tapper (Forester) Syrups sell for 25% more money.
    • Botanist (Gatherer) – Foraged items are always of Iridium quality.
    • Tracker (Gatherer) – The location of all forageable items is shown with arrows.


Fishing is an amazing skill at the start of the game, as fish can make you a lot of money. The only problem with Fishing is that the minigame is extremely hard at lower levels.

Luckily, leveling up the Fishing skill will also make the minigame easier, making the whole process worth it.

Stardew Valley players can gain Fishing experience by using a Fishing Rod to fish or by harvesting Crab Pots.

You gain experience even from trash and other random items that you catch, but the amount is much smaller than what you get from fish.

Here are all the recipes and bonuses you unlock by leveling up Fishing in Stardew Valley, along with the Professions that you can choose at levels 5 and 10:

  • Fishing Level 1 – Unlocks: Fishing Rod throwing distance increases by one tile.
  • Fishing Level 2 – Unlocks: Bait
  • Fishing Level 3 – Unlocks: Crab Pot, Dish O’ The Sea
  • Fishing Level 4 – Unlocks: Recycling Machine, Fishing Rod throwing distance increases by one tile.
  • Fishing Level 5 – Professions:
    • Fisher – Fish sell for 25% more money.
    • Trapper – Ingredients to craft Crab Pot are reduced from 40 Wood and 3 Iron Bars to 25 Wood and 2 Copper Bars.
  • Fishing Level 6 – Unlocks: Spinner, Trap Bobber
  • Fishing Level 7 – Unlocks: Cork Bobber, Treasure Hunter
  • Fishing Level 8 – Unlocks: Worm Bin, Barbed Hook, Dressed Spinner, Fishing Rod throwing distance increases by one tile.
  • Fishing Level 9 – Unlocks: Seafoam Pudding, Magnet
  • Fishing Level 10 – Professions:
    • Angler (Fisher) – Fish sell for 50% more money.
    • Pirate (Fisher) – Double the Treasure spawn rate.
    • Mariner (Trapper) – Crab Pots stop producing bad items.
    • Luremaster (Trapper) – Crab Pots don’t need Bait anymore.


Combat is one of the worst skills in Stardew Valley, as you don’t really need it.

The bonuses that you get from leveling up this skill aren’t really worth the effort. In general, it might be a better idea to avoid enemies than waste time fighting them.

Players get Combat experience by defeating monsters. Depending on how strong the monster is, you get a different amount of experience.

If you manage to finish the Mines, you can fight monsters that give you more experience in the Skull Cavern and Volcano Dungeon.

Here are all the recipes you unlock by leveling up Combat in Stardew Valley, along with the Professions that you can choose at levels 5 and 10:

  • Combat Level 1 – Unlocks: Sturdy Ring, Bug Steak
  • Combat Level 2 – Unlocks: Life Elixir
  • Combat Level 3 – Unlocks: Roots Platter
  • Combat Level 4 – Unlocks: Warrior Ring
  • Combat Level 5 – Professions:
    • Fighter – Attacks deal 10% extra damage and you get +15 HP.
    • Scout – Critical strike chance increases by 50%.
  • Combat Level 6 – Unlocks: Slime Egg-Press, Oil of Garlic
  • Combat Level 7 – Unlocks: Ring of Yoba, Thorns Ring
  • Combat Level 8 – Unlocks: Slime Incubator, Explosive Ammo
  • Combat Level 9 – Unlocks: Iridium Band, Squid Ink Ravioli
  • Combat Level 10 – Professions:
    • Brute (Fighter) – Attacks deal 15% extra damage.
    • Defender (Fighter) – +25 HP.
    • Acrobat (Scout) – Half cooldown time for special moves.
    • Desperado (Scout) – 2x Critical strike damage.

Best Skills to Focus On in Stardew Valley

All skills in Stardew Valley are useful, and you should pay attention to all of them. It can be very helpful to have a high level in most of the skills, as the advantages are worth the effort.

However, there are some skills that are just better than the rest if your goal is money.

In general, Farming is the best skill in Stardew Valley, as growing crops is the best money maker in the game.

The second most important skill in the game would be Mining, as you will need it to craft powerful tools and make your life easier.

These two skills are necessary for all playthroughs, as they will make your life much easier.

The worst skill in the game is Combat, as you don’t really need it. The advantages aren’t that interesting, and fighting in Stardew Valley isn’t very complex. Just get a good sword and swipe away without worrying about your level.

That’s everything you need to know about skills and Professions in Stardew Valley!

Have any input or suggestions for this guide? Let us know in the comment section below.

Adrian Oprea

Based in London, United Kingdom, Adrian Oprea is a Guides Writer. As a professional single-player RPG player, Adrian has often been stigmatized. He has decided to pour his frustration into writing guides!

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