Missile seeks target within range and does extra MOAB and Ceramic damage.
~ BTD6 description
Ballistic Missile is the 3rd upgrade for Path 2 for the Monkey Sub in Bloons TD 6. This upgrade adds ballistic missiles that shoot above the sky and crash onto target bloons on screen, accurately hitting targets without subjecting to projectile expiry. These ballistic missiles trigger within increased range (from 42 to 50). Once a bloon is detected in range, a missile is fired, following its target according to target priority. Adding Advanced Intel lets missiles trigger at any tower's range.
Each ballistic missile deals 1 damage each, deals an extra +5 damage versus Ceramics and MOAB-class, have 100 pierce each, and are shot every 1.105s (every 0.967s with Twin Guns, every 0.870s with Airburst Darts). The blast radius for a Ballistic Missile is approximately ~15 units radius.
Ballistic Missile's high pierce compared to its cost makes it a good option for handling very dense clumps of bloons accurately. It can be used to chip down the health off Ceramic Bloons in earlier rounds, as well as deal a reasonable amount of damage to MOAB-class bloons. Armies of Ballistic Missiles are not very efficient in later rounds compared to its BTD5 counterpart, but they are considerably cheap and possess quite high range, pierce, and accuracy.
2-3-0 Ballistic Missile is useful when spamming the entire map with Ballistic Missiles, although better anti-MOAB options are available for this purpose.
Use 0-3-2 Ballistic Missiles when nearby a map with good central spots. Pair with Monkey Villages to ensure their ballistic missiles can reach enough of the track. Compared to 2-3-0, 0-3-2 is a much superior option at short-range.
Ballistic Missiles can deal double damage to all bloons by pairing with Sub Commander, allowing each ballistic missile to deal 12 damage to Ceramics and MOAB-class. Pair with Admiral Brickell's Naval Tactics ability to unleash a barrage of fast-attacking Ballistic Missiles, especially with the 0-3-2 crosspath.
Due to its extreme pierce for its low cost, Ballistic Missile can be used to break off the shells off Ceramic Bloons on Round 63, although for this purpose it is best used on maps without multiple entry points. Use the 2-3-0 Ballistic Missile on Strong to maximize missile range.
Ballistic Missiles are low-cost for extra MOAB-class and Ceramic damage, but even with a slightly extra MOAB-class and Ceramic damage compared to BTD5, other popular tower options compete in their field of specialization. Crosspathing benefits have been added to this upgrade, changing the upgrade so that Path 1 gives infinite range missiles while Path 3 adds bonus attack speed in exchange for keeping limited range. Overall, Ballistic Missiles were buffed for all crosspaths since the game was first released.
Initial release (compared to BTD5)
Ballistic Missiles now deal more damage to Ceramics and MOABs (3 → 5)
Ballistic Missiles are now changed to lob over obstacles across any range instead of act like homing missiles
2-3-0 Ballistic Missile can now target Camo Bloons with Advanced Intel.
Ballistic Missile will no longer target the Sub if the original target was destroyed.
Missile fire rate increased (2s → 1.5s)
2-3-0 Missiles now (correctly) have unrestricted range.
Ballistic missiles can deal 2x more damage if nearby Sub Commander.
Ballistic Missile's base range increased (42 → 60)
Ballistic Missile's ballistic missiles are now limited to base range, unless Advanced Intel is purchased.
Adding Twin Guns increases ballistic missile rate from 1.5s to 1.275s
Adding Airburst Darts increases ballistic missile rate from 1.5s to 0.75s
Ballistic Missiles now deal more damage to Ceramics and MOABs (5 → 6)
Ballstic Missile costs less ($1,500 → $1,400)
2-3-0 Ballistic Missile's missiles no longer detect camo via the range of other camo-detecting towers without support
Ballistic Missile range reduced (60 → 50, only +8 range)
0-3-1 Ballistic Missile crosspath's fire rate reduced (1.275s → 1.3125s)
0-3-2 Ballistic Missile crosspath's fire rate reduced (0.75s → 0.984375s)
Ballistic Missile's splash no longer hits Camo without Camo Detection, even with a camo detecting tower sharing its camo vision through Advanced Intel.
Ballistic Missile previously had far too much attack speed added into the crosspath and was rebalanced for parity, but the overall performance loss from this was too much. Better balance will come from the base rate of Ballistic Missile itself.
~ Ninja Kiwi
Ballistic Missile missile reload time decreased (1.5s → 1.3s). Also affects crosspaths.
0-3-1: 1.3125s → 1.1375s
0-3-2: 0.984375s → 0.853125s
As Airburst Darts alone already gives a huge benefit to the tower regardless of not applying any crosspath buff, some of the attack speed benefit this upgrade gave to 032 Ballistic Missile has instead been moved into the base 030 Missile.
Ballistic Missile's 230 crosspath has been in a confusing spot for a while where it functioned different to Advanced Intel, so it has been converted to function with Advanced Intel in the same way that any other Sub upgrade would. [...]
~ Ninja Kiwi
230 Ballistic Missile now benefits from Advanced Intel's targeting in the same way as all other sub attacks to instead seek the radius from other towers on the map.
This means the 2-3-0 Ballistic Missile attack will no longer have purely infinite range and depends on other towers to build range.
However, Advanced Intel missiles can now detect Camo Bloons in the range of other towers with Camo Detection; previously, they could not detect camo this way.
A Ballistic Missile in BTD6
BTD6 Crosspathing (top path 1, bottom path 3)
2-3-0 Ballistic Missiles hitting a BFB from afar (pre-27.0)
2-3-0 Ballistic Missile looking around and with an AMD buff
Ballistic Missile when it launches
Ballistic Missile when it falls
Purchasing Ballistic Missile in BTD6 will give the monkey a Russian appearance. There were no visual changes to the monkey in the BTD5 version of the Ballistic Missile upgrade besides a hat color change.
In fact, the blue hat as seen in the BTD5 Ballistic Missile is instead given to Triple Guns in BTD6.
In BTD6, the description was "Missile seeks target over any distance and does extra MOAB and Ceramic damage." until Version 19.0, although the missile range was nerfed in Version 18.0.
Prior to the Version 19.0 nerfs to the Path 3 crosspathed Ballistic Missile, Brickell + 0-3-2 Ballistic spam + 2-0-5 Sub Commander was used to easily beat Quad CHIMPS, and could even be easily done with Black Border.
Ballistic Missile is the 72nd unique 2MPC combo in the fan-official 2MPC spreadsheet, and using the 0-3-2 crosspath it was achieved on Version 18.0, prior to the Version 19.0 nerfs. It is likely no longer possible as of Version 19.0, due to the nerf to the base Ballistic Missile range and the attack speed bonuses of Path 3.
It is possible for a ballistic missile to shoot at bloons outside of its range, even without Advanced Intel, but there must be a bloon within range while the ballistic missile attack is not on cooldown in order for this phenomenon to occur.
The ballistic missile projectile behavior in BTD6 resembles more of a ballistic missile compared to its BTD5 counterpart. This is because the missiles are guided slightly during brief periods in flight after the Monkey Sub launches the missile directly upwards, and the missile subsequently falls downwards following the target bloon after it falls from the sky. In fact, the behavior of BTD5 ballistic missile projectiles actually resembles that from cruise missiles.
The upgrade icon for Ballistic Missile features a missile moving in a zigzag flight pattern. However, this does not match the flight pattern that the ballistic missiles move.
During the Cold War, the Soviet Union found a way to launch ballistic missiles from submarines. This is possibly why the monkey has a Russian look and maybe Monkey Sub has this upgrade instead of any other towers.