Bouncing Bullet is the third upgrade of Path 2 for the Sniper Monkey in Bloons TD 6. It allows bullets to bounce up to 3 times, hitting a total of 4 bloons per shot. Each bullet comes with the Shrapnel Shot attack, and every bloon damaged by the bullet will spawn a spray of 5 shrapnel pieces in a cone formation towards the direction of the bullet bounce prior to collision with a bloon. The bullet can bounce around the screen up to 55 units apart from each bloon. In addition, shrapnel pierce increases from 2 to 3.
Bouncing Bullet is an upgrade option that can be used to give the Sniper with the effective grouped popping power that it needs. It is a rather situational upgrade, as there are many other options that offer high pierce and/or long range. However, Bouncing Bullets is a strong option if wanting both long-ranged grouped popping power and camo detection, although it best works in groups or while supported by Alchemist buffs. Large groups of these towers can even defeat Super Ceramics in late-game rounds, although best suited when paired with the "Ceramic Shock" MK. Bouncing Bullet's main redeeming factor is Shrapnel Shot, the Bouncing Bullet's previous upgrade. The shrapnel is more reliable than that from either a 3-2-0 Deadly Precision or a 0-2-3 Semi-Automatic, and that is the main reason to utilise the Bouncing Bullets upgrade. However, both of those upgrade paths function better with another crosspath compared to this tower, and Bouncing Bullets is weak versus MOAB-class.
There are three redeeming factors of Bouncing Bullet that stand out from other options, however. One of these is that Bouncing Bullet is useful for long-ranged defense against bloons while still offering an income option via its later Supply Drop upgrade. The second of these is that they are quite effective against long groups of Camo Bloons, as the bullets possess decent ricocheting accuracy and deal increased damage to Camo Bloons by default (due to Night Vision Goggles). The third benefit of Bouncing Bullet is its effective synergy with Alch buffs (specifically Berserker Brew and Stronger Stimulant), its many shrapnel pieces can be enhanced, and the buffs do not wear out as quickly compared to alternate long-range camo-detecting options, because Bouncing Bullet Snipers tend to have a relatively slow attack speed.
It is usually a better idea to crosspath with the top path for increased bullet damage in order to make the most of its bouncing bullet power, which comes very useful earlier in the game. In addition, Large Calibre allows each shrapnel piece to do 2 damage instead of 1, which can become very effective against large clusters of bloons.
There are some occasions where 0-3-2 Bouncing Bullet is better than the normally superior 2-3-0 Bouncing Bullet. In these cases, it is better against cleaning up weaker groups of bloons at a faster pace, rather than greatly damaging stronger groups at a somewhat slow speed.
Set the targeting of the Bouncing Bullet to First to allow the shrapnel direction to be against the bloons, thereby optimizing the pierce of each shrapnel piece.
It is worth a note that Bouncing Bullet inherits the Night Vision Goggles property that allows its bullets to deal +2 damage to all Camo Bloons. As a result, it becomes a useful option against mid-game Camo Bloons.
While bullet bounce count cannot be increased with pierce boost such as Alch buffs, it is still very powerful with Alch buffs, as each spawned shrapnel still receives considerably high popping power overall.
Try clumping up the bloons closer together to make most of the bullet bounces. Making use of a Glue Gunner or Ice Monkey may help.
The majority of buffs to Bouncing Bullets are based on those that apply for previous upgrades, besides a small price buff in Version 7.0 and a shrapnel pierce buff in Version 22.0. The reworked Shrapnel Shot mechanics in Version 17.0 has also greatly improved the grouped popping power of Bouncing Bullets that the original design of Bouncing Bullets was built around.
However, Bouncing Bullet got nerfed such that its bullets no longer increase bounces via pierce buffs, but now Alch buffs will actually work on shrapnel as intended.
Cost of Bouncing Bullet decreased ($3,500 → $3,200)
Projectile should no longer get stuck on track between jumps.
Main bullets from the Bouncing Bullets now deal +2 damage to Camo Bloons.
Undocumented: Seeking projectiles appear to have been optimised, affecting the Bouncing Bullet. It is unknown how this has specifically affected the seeking of the Bouncing Bullet.
Shrapnel Shot reworked to eject in a 45 degree arc instead of 360
Shrapnel Shot now shoots 5 shrapnel pieces instead of 8.
Shrapnel Shot now produces shrapnel whenever the bullet damages bloons instead of only when entire bloon is destroyed
This tower felt like it's strength too heavily required the xx2 upgrade, and that this harmed crosspath choices. So we increased the base attack rate while nerfing the increase from these upgrades. This is a slight overall buff
~ Ninja Kiwi, referring to base Sniper
Affected by base Sniper attack speed buff
[...] Bouncing Bullet has also had its shrapnel pierce increased as it was the only T3 sniper that did not have 3 pierce shrapnel.
~ Ninja Kiwi
Bouncing Bullet shrapnel pierce increased (2 → 3)
[...] As middle path sniper has been feeling to be in a good spot with alchemist buffs, but other uses of sniper shrapnel weak due to lack of alchemist buff, we have decided to swap alchemist buffability over from the number of bounces to the power of the shrapnel itself.
Shrapnel Shot, shrapnel on all crosspaths is now able to receive any external buffs
Pierce buffs no longer increase the amount of bounces that a bouncing bullet can make.
Extra Notes (Version History)
Bouncing Bullet originally costed as much as Semi-Automatic, until Version 7.0 when Bouncing Bullet received a price buff.
Bouncing Bullet formerly was the only Tier 3 Sniper to have only 2 pierce instead of 3. Although players did not discover the pierce of Deadly Precision shrapnel prior to the Version 22.0 patch notes, Ninja Kiwi stated that they buffed the pierce of Bouncing Bullets to let all Tier 3 Snipers gain 3 pierce with the shrapnel attack.
The 101st unique tower to gain 2MPC belongs to the 2-3-0 Bouncing Bullet. It was done on 11th May 2021 (or 10th depending on timezone). Link.
Appearance with crosspathing (top path 1, bottom path 3)
Bouncing Bullet attacking, with bounce pattern and shrapnel pieces from each Bloon shot
Upgrade portrait for Bouncing Bullet
Upgrade icon for Bouncing Bullet
Instamonkey icon for Bouncing Bullet
The Bouncing Bullet artwork has a similar pose to BTD5's Semi-Automatic Rifle, as well as both having the goggles from the Night Vision Goggles upgrade.
However, in BTD6, the Semi-Automatic upgrade no longer is along the Night Vision Goggles path, so it has a different pose. Strangely enough, the pose used by Semi-Automatic upgrade in BTD6 is similar to the Night Vision Goggles upgrade in BTD5.
Each bullet can hit up to 73 bloons if there is no spacing between the bloons.