Hammer vs Sword in Stardew Valley: An In-Depth Look at Attack Speed and DPS

Last time, we explored the effects of speed on swords in Stardew Valley, diving deep into the world of pixels and code to discover the inner workings of this farming-cum-dungeon-crawling masterpiece. This time around, we’re back to tackle another weaponry class: the hammer.

Note: In Stardew Valley, attack speed is measured in milliseconds (ms), with lower numbers indicating faster attack rates.

The Theoretical Framework

By default, hammers attack once every 720 ms, and each point of speed decreases this time by 40 ms. For comparison, swords attack once every 400 ms. In theory, a hammer with a +8 speed should have the same attack frequency as a 0-speed sword.

Putting Theories to the Test

Case Study: Wooden Club vs. Zero-Speed Sword

To test this, we used a Wooden Club (0 speed) and enhanced its speed at the Volcano Forge with Emeralds, reaching a total speed of +8. After attacking 30 times, the time taken was 8000 ms, translating to an attack rate of 3.75 attacks per second. In contrast, a 0-speed sword took 10,483 ms for 30 attacks, equating to 2.86 attacks per second. Clearly, theory and practice diverge.

Further Testing

Lead Rod, one of the slowest hammers, has a -4 speed. Without any buffs, 34 attacks took 23,000 ms, an attack rate of 1.3 attacks per second. Buffing with Spicy Eel and Coffee, the speed increased to -2, improving the attack rate to 1.39 attacks per second.

Lead Rod

In contrast, the Wooden Club with no buffs has a 0 speed and 30 attacks took 18,000 ms, or 1.67 attacks per second. With speed enhancements, the attack rate increased uniformly.

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Data Tables: Attack Speed At A Glance

Here is a table summarizing the different attack speeds for both swords and hammers:

Swords

Speed Time for 130 Attacks (ms) Attacks Per Second
4 8000 3.75
3 8667 3.46
2 9334 3.21
1 10001 3.00
0 10668 2.81
-1 11335 2.50

Hammers

Speed Time for 30 Attacks (ms) Attacks Per Second
9 6750 4.44
8 8000 3.75
7 9250 3.24
6 10500 2.86
5 11750 2.55
4 13000 2.31
3 14250 2.11
2 15500 1.94
1 16750 1.79
0 18000 1.67
-1 19250 1.56
-2 20500 1.46
-3 21750 1.38
-4 23000 1.30

Galaxy Hammer vs. Galaxy Sword: A Clash of Titans

By standardizing the speeds from -2 to +4 for swords and -4 to +8 for hammers, we can create a comprehensive speed comparison table. So, do the Galaxy Hammer and Galaxy Sword have the same attack speed when enhanced twice? No, the Galaxy Hammer, initially at +2 speed, attacks at 3.24 times per second after two enhancements, while the Galaxy Sword at +4 speed attacks 3.75 times per second.

When it comes to attack power, the Galaxy Sword with three Ruby enhancements deals between 78–104 damage, whereas the Galaxy Hammer with one Ruby enhancement deals 77–99. If we compare the infinite weapons, the Infinite Blade deals 104–130, and the Infinite Hammer deals 101–132. In terms of DPS (Damage Per Second), the Infinite Blade scores 438.75 while the Infinite Hammer scores 392.04.

The Soul of Hammer Weapons: Special Skill

What sets hammers apart from other weapon types like swords is their special skill. The skill is a two-stage damage move with a 6-second cooldown. Once activated, the skill doesn’t benefit from speed enhancements, which means that regardless of how high your hammer’s speed stat is, the skill’s timing remains constant.

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Animation Cancelling: The Trick to Maximize Damage

This mechanism, known as “animation canceling,” can be extremely beneficial. It’s not clear whether this is an intentional game design feature or a bug, but it allows players to significantly increase their damage output. For instance, if you hit the left mouse button just as the animation is about to end, you can turn the two-segment damage into a three or even more segment damage.

animation canceling
animation canceling

How Additional Damage Works

The numbers are fascinating. For example, without the trick, you might see damage figures like 25 and 31.

An even more powerful technique you can use involves synchronizing mouse clicks with keyboard inputs. Specifically, clicking the left mouse button while also pressing the ‘C’ key on your keyboard during the special skill animation will drastically increase your damage output. This rapid input allows you to maximize the animation-canceling technique, making your two-segment special skill stretch into an eight-segment chain of damage or more. you can generate an eight-segment damage chain with figures like 32, 22, 25, 27, 29, 29, and so on. The higher your hammer’s base damage, the more devastating this technique becomes.

Enchanting for Skill Optimization

Although the special skill cannot land critical hits, enchantments can still play a pivotal role. The “Artful” enchantment is particularly beneficial as it reduces the skill cooldown, letting you use your special skill more often. This makes high-damage, slow-speed hammers exceptionally powerful in the early game. In later stages, you’d want to focus on increasing the damage range instead of aiming for critical hits, as the skill doesn’t benefit from them.

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Tactical Usage

One of the most overlooked aspects of using hammers is how they fit into your overall combat strategy. The special skill, when used judiciously, can break through enemy defenses or act as a powerful finisher. Learning to incorporate this into your regular attack patterns will make you more versatile in combat, compensating for the hammer’s lower attack speed compared to swords.

Conclusion: So, Which is Better?

In summary, while hammers can’t compete with swords in terms of basic attacks and DPS, their special skill adds a layer of depth to combat that shouldn’t be ignored. Depending on your playstyle and goals, both weapon classes have their merits.

Stay tuned for our next piece where we’ll rank these weapon classes, offering a conclusive end to our attack speed research saga. Happy farming and monster slaying!

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