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Shoots blasts of deadly buckshot instead of darts.
~ In-game description

Buckshot is the third upgrade of Path 3 for the Dartling Gunner in Bloons TD 6. This upgrade replaces darts with a close spray of six buckshots with slight random deviation, similar to a Druid's thorns but with more projectiles and the ability to knock back non-MOAB-class bloons for 0.2s by -300% speed, -150% speed for Leads and Ceramics. Each buckshot pops up to 4 bloons per buckshot and deal 4 damage each. However, the Dartling Gunner attacks much slower, from 0.2s to 1.5s (or 0.133s to 1.0s with 0-2-3), accuracy decreases greatly (46° angular deviation with 0-x-3, 18.4° angular deviation with 1-0-3 or 2-0-3), and the projectiles now disappear after reaching 130 units, +40% more with Focused Firing (182), from where they spawned from, thereby making it more of a limited range tower. The projectiles from the Dartling Gunner spread as they go forward. In addition, crosspathing with the Laser Shock upgrade improves Laser Shock status effect to each deal 2 damage instead of 1.

This upgrade costs $2,890 on Easy, $3,400 on Medium, $3,670 on Hard, and $4,080 on Impoppable.





The Dartling Gunner with the Buckshot upgrade now stands on a rotatable platform that mounts a cannon that shoots buckshots. The monkey's larger helmet is blue with yellow fortification bands on each side, and a yellow circle at the center of the helmet. On the middle of the cannon, there is a green band (yellow with Path 1 or purple with Path 2) around it that likely forces out the contents of shotgun shells in the form of buckshot projectiles. Every time the cannon bursts shots, a brief puff of white smoke comes out, and the cannon's "mouth" recoils upon each shot.

Buckshot now fires six projectiles, each dealing 4 damage with 4 pierce, every shot, and with the ability to pop Frozen, inherited from Powerful Darts. These projectiles are also larger, and apply knockback on non-MOAB-class bloons for 0.2 seconds, causing them to move backwards at 300% speed in that time. Leads and Ceramics receive 150% speed instead.

However, Buckshot massively increases its own projectile deviation, increasing the radii from 20 to 30, or from 8 to 12 with Focused Firing, and reduces its attack speed significantly, from an attack cooldown of 0.2 seconds all the way to 1.5 seconds (1.0 seconds with 0-2-3), and also reduces the lifespan of each shot from infinite to 130 units traveled.

Notably, Focused Firing grants an additional benefit to Buckshot, that being +40% lifespan, or up to 182 units traveled.

Crosspathing with Laser Shock improves Laser Shock damage from 1 to 2, both in regards to the damage over time as well as the bonus damage taken from Dartling Gunners with Laser Shock.

Targeting Priorities[]

Buckshot customly aims based on direction and angle of where the Dartling points towards. It shoots straight movement projectiles controlled in a aim-based mobile style guided by touch-based mobility, albeit with some erratic angular deviation.

  • Normal: Rotates towards the direction of where the player last tapped. On desktop versions, always rotates towards direction of the cursor inside the game.
  • Locked: Locks the Dartling Gunner in place. By default, locks it to the center of map, but can be adjusted in the same way as a Mortar Monkey. On desktop versions, using a hotkey to switch to Locked will default to wherever the mouse currently is pointing.

Since all Dartlings already attack based on custom aim, Dartlings don't receive Camo Prioritization even with Advanced Targeting.


Updated as of Version 43.0. Listed prices exclude external buffs, any sacrifices, and Monkey Knowledge.
[Module | Data] Purchase Sell
Costs Easy Medium Hard Impoppable Easy Medium Hard Impoppable
Upgrade (X-X-3) $2,890 $3,400 $3,670 $4,080 -
Total (0-0-3) $4,755 $5,600 $6,045 $6,720 $3,329 $3,920 $4,232 $4,704
Crosspath (1-0-3) $5,010 $5,900 $6,370 $7,080 $3,507 $4,130 $4,459 $4,956
Crosspath (2-0-3) $5,775 $6,800 $7,340 $8,160 $4,043 $4,760 $5,138 $5,712
Crosspath (0-1-3) $4,965 $5,850 $6,315 $7,020 $3,476 $4,095 $4,421 $4,914
Crosspath (0-2-3) $5,770 $6,800 $7,340 $8,160 $4,039 $4,760 $5,138 $5,712

This upgrade's prices (or included crosspath's prices) are affected by the following MK: MilitaryConscriptionIcon Military Conscription, AdvancedLogisticsIcon Advanced Logistics, BetterSellDealsIcon Better Sell Deals



Unlike other Dartling Gunner options, Buckshot has a large spray of projectiles, much like slightly slower long-range Druid's Hard Thorns with custom aim, and extra damage and pierce, alongside a moderate range. As such, a Buckshot benefits much more from Alchemist buffs compared to alternate Tier 3 Dartlings, especially when interacting with Stronger Stimulant and Acidic Mixture Dip. Because Buckshot's attacks are much slower and have a lower projectile lifespan, it works better as a custom-aimed short-range tower that slowly shoots powerful burst shots. Combining this with Buckshot's in-built knockback and it can be quite valuable in a defense.


  • Add Berserker Brew or Stronger Stimulant, as it grants much more damage and pierce overall.
  • Buckshot's crosspaths are generally on par in terms of power. 0-2-3 Buckshot has more DPS and still lasts considerably long with Alchemist buffs, as it attacks a lot more slowly. Plus, 0-2-3 Buckshot comes with camo detection, whereas the 2-0-3 does not. However, 2-0-3 Buckshot is more accurate, can shoot further, and comes with improved Laser Shock DoT and bonus damage, altogether allowing it to deal more consistent damage in focused, concentrated shots. Both the 2-0-3 and 0-2-3 deal roughly +50% DPS if all shots hit bloons.
  • Because Buckshot has less overall range for its projectiles, Buckshot is more built as a medium-range tower. As such, treat it as an ordinary limited range tower. It is very powerful within short-range though, so don't let the high price and slow attack speed put you off buying this upgrade.
  • The Buckshot's knockback is based on speed percentage rather than a set number of units backwards, acting similar to Level 5+ Pat Fusty's slap attack than MOAB Press's knockback kylies.

Version History[]

Balance Changes[]

Buckshot's major niche is to produce bursts of high damage within a shorter but controllable range. However, its slow attack speed impaired its efficiency compared to other towers of a similar pricetag. Adding a small knockback on each hit, slightly reducing its price, and slightly raising its attack speed has made it slightly stronger, but not by much.


Initial release.

As our most recently added tower we are very happy with all the excitement surrounding this beloved monkey tower and the general middleground play position. We're happy enough with its time in the wild to make some first impression changes here which we hope you'll continue to enjoy.
~ Ninja Kiwi, referring to multiple Dartling upgrades
  • BUFF Buckshot costs less ($4000 → $3800)
  • BUFF Buckshot projectiles now knock back non-MOAB-class bloons by a small amount on hit, similar to Super Monkey's Knockback but sends hit bloons ~33% backwards.
Dartling Gunner's Rocket Storm is currently overperforming versus Buckshot, so we made slight adjustments to the price of these upgrades.
~ Ninja Kiwi, referring to Rocket Storm vs Buckshot
  • BUFF Buckshot costs less ($3800 → $3400)
Even though we like the theme of the slow hitting upgrade, Buckshot has struggled to live up to its potential, so attack speed has been further increased through all tiers. [...]
~ Ninja Kiwi
  • BUFF Buckshot attack cooldown reduced from 1.8s → 1.5s. Also applies to further upgrades.
The bottom path Bloon Exclusion Zone on the Dartling has had a lot of talk about damage types, with points raised on the viability here due to the high price. It did recently get a strong buff from the T3 up, but in order to work more into other synergies we have decided to finally do a damage type change here as well, starting from early on in the path.
~ Ninja Kiwi, referring to BEZ and Powerful Darts
  • BUFF Buckshot damage type from Sharp → Shatter
[...] Finally as the Laser Shock crosspath is not so favorable for Buckshot path dartlings, we have doubled down on the ‘Focus’ of Focussed Firing to also increase projectile travel distance.
~ Ninja Kiwi
  • BUFF 1-0-3 Buckshot’s Focus Firing crosspath grants distance to projectiles +25%
[...] Buckshot pierce has been increased to help make its attacks cut through more for a chunkier hit. Focused Firing’s distance bonus on 203 due to how it is setup with projectile speed dropoff was a bit less than this written ‘25%’ realistically closer to 18.75%, so this number has been increased enough to give it roughly a true 30% increase in distance.
~ Ninja Kiwi
  • BUFF Buckshot pierce increased 4 → 6
  • BUFF 1-0-3 Buckshot’s Focus Firing crosspath grants distance to projectiles +25% → +40%
    • Note: This actually affects 1-0-3, not 2-0-3 as NK claims, as tested in-game.
While admittedly difficult to handle at T3, the recent changes made to attempt to give Buckshot an easier growth into BADS overall backfired and were a failure. Looking back, the difficult T3 required attention but was still not bad if used correctly and the improved handling at T4 was far worth this effort in the end. That seemed fine enough before and we don't like how it has ended up so walking those changes back. We have to admit when we miss and thanks for continued discussion on bottom path.
~ Ninja Kiwi
  • NERF Buckshot pierce decreased (6 → 4), does not affect Bloon Exclusion Zone.
We weren’t quite ever able to take Laser Shock in the direction we initially hoped to, and due to this the 203 crosspath has fallen behind in value and overall use, so we are improving some crosspath values here to fix up damage with bottom path Buckshocks
~ Ninja Kiwi
  • BUFF 2-0-3 Buckshot shock bonus damage increased 1 → 2

Bug Fixes and General Changes[]

Extra Notes (Version History)[]


Official artwork[]




  • Buckshot is the second Tier 3 tower in BTD6 that decreases attack speed of the main attack, the other being Spike-O-Pult.
  • The Buckshot Dartling that is featured in the Dartling Gunner trailer is a 2-0-3 Buckshot. This is because of the slight Laser Shock movement wind behind the buckshots, the yellow ring around the gun's black barrel.
  • In one of the concept artworks for the Dartling Gunner, the Buckshot operator wore an old-fashioned cap and manually carried a large three-barrelled handheld cannon.
  • Dartling Gunner is shown to operate a cannon with muzzle. (Possibly shotgun barrel).
  • Buckshot is projectile inside a shotgun shell that are shot from the shell itself when a shot is fired, the shell itself is stuck while its contents are released from muzzle.