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Uses a dart-shooting machine-gun. Aims wherever you point on the screen.
~ In-game Description

The Dartling Gunner is a Military-class tower that arrived in the 22.0 update of Bloons TD 6. It was confirmed to arrive to BTD6, renamed from "Dartling Gun" to "Dartling Gunner", as described by an official Ninja Kiwi teaser on their YouTube account, named "HE. IS. BACK! (Bloons TD 6)" posted on November 26, 2020. Likewise, on November 26, 2020, a gameplay preview was posted of the Dartling Gunner arriving in BTD6, featuring a number of different upgrades of the Dartling Gunner.[1]

Some players were given approved early access to the Dartling Gunner, specifically YouTuber Superjombombo, linked here. Most of them discuss certain aspects showcasing the Dartling Gunner. Later on, YouTuber ISAB posted a video of the Dartling Gunner, here. Several hours later, YouTuber Tewtiy posted a video of the Dartling Gunner, here.

Unlike the previous versions of the Dartling Gun in the BTD4 and BTD5 generations, the Dartling Gunner comes with its own target priorities ("Normal" cursor tracking and "Locked" fixed targeting), but no longer detects camo by default. Instead, it now requires Advanced Targeting, a camo detection upgrade. Likewise, Dartling Gunners have a slight delay in rotation speed, in similar fashion to BTD5 Flash, rather than spinning instantaneously like in BTD4 or BTD5 Mobile.

Similar to the Monkey Sub in BTD5 Mobile and the Beekeeper in BTD4 Mobile, Dartling Gunner is not unlocked by level, but rather by getting 500,000+ individual pops (not damage) on any map. Difficulty does not matter, although the game recommends Medium, Hard, or Freeplay Mode. However, the player must reach Level 20 for pops to count.

At base, the Dartling Gunner fires darts every 0.2s, equivalent to 5 shots per second, but only deal 1 pierce. Each shot has a projectile deviation angle of 20° by default, for 10° per side. It can turn at a rate of 180° per 2 seconds. The Dartling Gunner can receive upgrades that greatly assists its role as a fast-firing aimable tower, including firing laserbeams, shooting Bloontonium missiles, and becoming a multi-layered buckshot-firing turret.

It costs $720 on Easy, $850 on Medium, $920 on Hard, and $1,020 on Impoppable by default.


The base Dartling Gunner wears a green military helmet and carries a Dartling Gun. The gun appears similar to a handheld mini-gun.

Path 1 focuses on focused firing, as indicated by increased accuracy and energy-related upgrades. The first upgrade, Focused Firing, decreases the projectile deviation of the darts, increasing the overall accuracy of the Dartling Gunner. The next upgrade is the first energy-related upgrade, Laser Shock; this upgrade adds an electric shock effect to the Dartling Gunner's projectiles so they deal an additional 1 damage to Bloons 1 second after they have been hit, as well as making Bloons take +1 damage from any other Dartling Gunner with the Laser Shock upgrade. Laser Cannon increases its overall damage by replacing darts with lasers. Plasma Accelerator increases accuracy even further by replacing lasers with a focused beam of plasma, with increased damage at the end point. The final upgrade, Ray of Doom, generates a persistent and extremely powerful laser beam with infinite range, capable of wiping out most Bloons without a problem. Furthermore, upgrading to this path increases the DPS of the Laser Shock upgrade.

Path 2 focuses on countering special Bloon types, combining offense with Bloon specialization. The first upgrade on this path is the camo-detecting upgrade, Advanced Targeting. The next upgrade is Faster Barrel Spin, increasing its offensive potential by significantly improving its fire rate. Hydra Rocket Pods swaps regular darts for depleted Bloontonium missiles that damage any Bloon type and produce multiple explosions per shot. Rocket Storm adds the ability to produce waves of missiles that bombard the whole map when activated. The final upgrade, M.A.D, converts the Dartling Gunner into a potent anti-MOAB unit, attacking slower but dealing massive damage to MOAB-class bloons.

Path 3 focuses on increasing the power of the Dartling Gunner's gun at close range along with allowing it to fire at multiple targets at once with later upgrades. Faster Swivel increases its mobility by allowing it to adjust to different angles at a quicker speed. Powerful Darts increases the pierce and projectile speed of the darts, allowing it to become more potent at close range. Buckshot converts the Dartling Gunner into a slower but more powerful buckshot-shooting gunner, dealing much more damage from the swarms of buckshots as well as knockback at the cost of range and attack speed. Bloon Area Denial System overall quadruples attack speed by converting the gunner into a tall four-barreled turret, which also grants a new target priority called "Independent Targeting" that allows the darting gunner's four barrels to be set to first, close, last, strong. (May not be in correct order) The last upgrade, Bloon Exclusion Zone, further upgrades the turret into a six-barrel turret that shoots many more projectiles per shot with greater damage and attack speed.

Target Priorities[]

The Dartling Gunner has two target priorities by default: Normal and Locked. The Dartling Gunner gains access to a new target priority called Target Independent once it is upgraded to Bloon Area Denial System (and also its upgrade Bloon Exclusion Zone).

  • 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 in place. By default, locks at 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.
  • Target Independent: Barrels alternate in standard target priorities from top to bottom, and back to the top again for every cycle.
    • Bloon Area Denial System alternates between First, Last, Close, Strong
    • Bloon Exclusion Zone alternates between First, Last, Close, Strong, First, Strong.


Path 1[]

Focused Firing
COST: $255 / $300 / $325 / $360

Description: Increases accuracy of the Dartling Gun.
Effect: Decreases deviation radius from ~18 to ~7.2, reducing projectile deviation by 60%.
Laser Shock
COST: $765 / $900 / $970 / $1,080

Description: Laser tipped shots shock bloons into popping again 1 second after being struck.
Effect: Every point of damage applies an extra electric shock damage-over-time onto affected Bloons. Dartling Gunners with this upgrade also deal bonus damage to shocked Bloons.
Laser Cannon
COST: $3,615 / $4,250 / $4,590 / $5,100
UNLOCK: 2,600 XP

Description: Rapidly fires much more powerful laser blasts that can pop frozen Bloons.
Effect: Converts into a laser attack that deals increased damage and pierce. Damage improves from 1 to 2, pierce from 1 to 4, and additionally improves duration of Laser Shock effect.
Plasma Accelerator
COST: $9,350 / $11,000 / $11,880 / $13,200
UNLOCK: 12,500 XP

Description: Concentrates a powerful beam of energy to a single point.
Effect: Generates a powerful beam of energy towards a single point instead of shooting fast lasers, popping bloons that make regular contact with them. Any remaining pierce is used to inflict greater damage, starting with the bloons closest to the endpoint. Affected bloons additionally will be affected by an even longer-lasting Laser Shock effect.
Ray of Doom
COST: $80,750 / $95,000 / $102,600 / $114,000
UNLOCK: 75,000 XP

Description: Creates a solid line of annihilation. You can erase most Bloons at your leisure.
Effect: Produces an endless death ray that rapidly destroys bloons, inflicts huge damage, and pierces up to 1000 bloons instead of 50. Laser Shock deals much more damage.

Path 2[]

Advanced Targeting
COST: $215 / $250 / $270 / $300

Description: Allows Dartling Gunner to hit Camo Bloons.
Effect: Self-explanatory
Faster Barrel Spin
COST: $810 / $950 / $1,025 / $1,140

Description: Makes gun fire much faster.
Effect: Attacks +50% faster (0.66x attack cooldown).
Hydra Rocket Pods
COST: $4,465 / $5,250 / $5,670 / $6,300
UNLOCK: 2,700 XP

Description: Shoots depleted bloontonium missiles that can damage all Bloon types and trigger multiple explosions.
Effect: Hydra Rocket Pod missiles damage any bloon type and produce up to 3 low-pierce explosions by default. Gains even more explosions with pierce buffs.
Rocket Storm
COST: $4,335 / $5,100 / $5,510 / $6,120
UNLOCK: 14,000 XP

Description: Rocket Storm ability: Launches a powerful storm of rockets in a wide cone.
Effect: Ability generates waves of erratically moving rockets that deal 6 damage per shot onto up to 8 bloons per explosion. Main attack gains more pierce for both its own explosions and the numbers of explosions.
COST: $51,000 / $60,000 / $64,800 / $72,000
UNLOCK: 60,000 XP

Description: Moab Assured Destroyer. Slower firing mega missiles do extreme damage to MOAB-class Bloons.
Effect: Main attack deals 3 damage each plus 550 to MOAB-class and increases pierce to 12, but attacks over twice as slow and alternates attacks between two arms. Ability gains extra pierce and deals more damage to Ceramics and MOAB-class.

Path 3[]

Faster Swivel
COST: $130 / $150 / $160 / $180

Description: Barrel can swivel much faster.
Effect: Dartling Gunner can rotate towards the pointer twice as fast.
Powerful Darts
COST: $1,020 / $1,200 / $1,295 / $1,440

Description: Darts move faster and can pop 3 bloons each.
Effect: Darts pop +2 bloons per shot. For Hydra Rocket Pods, gains +2 pierce and one more explosion, while Plasma Accelerator gains +25 pierce instead of +2 pierce.
COST: $2,890 / $3,400 / $3,670 / $4,080
UNLOCK: 3,000 XP

Description: Shoots blasts of deadly buckshot instead of darts.
Effect: Blasts out slow bursts of deadly buckshot instead of spinning rapid-fire darts. Buckshot balls deal 4 damage, pierces through 4 bloons per buckshot, and can knock back bloons.
Bloon Area Denial System
COST: $10,200 / $12,000 / $12,960 / $14,400
UNLOCK: 15,000 XP

Description: 4-barreled auto-cannon that can be set to attack automatically.
Effect: Upgrades into a tall 4-barreled auto-cannon that alternates attacks per cannon, allowing it to attack 4x faster than normal. Can be set to attack automatically.
Bloon Exclusion Zone
COST: $49,300 / $58,000 / $62,640 / $69,600
UNLOCK: 55,000 XP

Description: Upgraded to 6 barrels and massively increased damage. Bloons are excluded from existence
Effect: Further upgrades into 6 barrels for even faster attack speed and gains even more buckshots per cannon. Buckshots deal 8 damage instead of 4 and pierce through more bloons.

Total Costs[]

Tier 1 Tier 2 Tier 3 Tier 4 Tier 5
Path 1 $255
Path 2 $215




















Path 3 $130





















Thumbnail for the first ever Dartling Gunner official teaser

The first teasers of the Dartling Gunner were posted on 26th November 2020, on Twitter, YouTube, and Reddit. All of them featured a sneak peek of the Dartling Gunner.

On November 30, 2020, YouTuber Superjombombo released a new video showing off the tower, alongside many of its upgrades, linked here. Many of its upgrades have been revealed there, but it is also revealed that Dartling Gunner can no longer detect camo by default without a camo detection upgrade "Advanced Targeting". In addition, the Dartling Gunner has a specific rotation speed, akin to how the Heli Pilot must gradually change position when tapped on a new location. Later on, on 1st December 2020 on 5:03pm NZDT, ISAB uploaded a video showing off the tower, but focuses more on the base upgrades and Path 1, as shown here.

On December 1, 2020, the following videos were released, featuring even more depth about the Dartling Gunner, in no particular order:

On December 2, 2020, the following videos were released, featuring yet more depth about the Dartling Gunner, in no particular order (videos released after the official release of Version 22.0 are not in this list):

On around ~5:00pm NZDT on December 3rd 2020, version 22.0 was officially released, along with the Dartling Gunner.


Main article: Dartling Gunner/Strategies

Monkey Knowledge[]

This section displays Monkey Knowledge that has effects on Dartling Gunner and its changes when compared to one by default:

  • EliteMilitaryTrainingIcon.png Elite Military Training: All Military Monkeys get a one-off +1000 XP and earn XP in-game 5% faster permanently.
  • EmergencyUnlockIcon.png Emergency Unlock: Unlocks special ability that boost the Dartling Gunner swivel speed for a short time.
  • GorgonStormIcon.png Gorgon Storm: Rockets spawned from the Rocket Storm ability can stun any bloon including MOAB-class for 0.5s per rocket. The same applies to M.A.D.
  • CrossTheStreamsIcon.png Cross the Streams: Where two Plasma Accelerator or Ray of Doom beams meet, they will create a temporary pool of plasma similar to the Alchemist's Acid Pool. These pools have a special Damage Over Time effect.
  • MilitaryConscriptionIcon.png Military Conscription: First military tower costs only ⅔ of the original cost.
    • Dartling Gunner base cost from $720, $850, $920, and $1,020 → $480, $570, $615, and $685 on Easy, Medium, Hard, and Impoppable, respectively.
  • AdvancedLogisticsIcon.png Advanced Logistics: All Military Monkeys base costs reduced by 5%.
    • Dartling Gunner base cost from $720, $850, $920, and $1,020 → $685, $805, $875, and $970 on Easy, Medium, Hard, and Impoppable, respectively.
      • If Military Conscription is also enabled, the final cost will be $450, $535, $570, and $630.
  • DoorGunnerIcon.png Door Gunner: Enables Door Gunner special ability.
  • MonkeyEducationIcon.png Monkey Education: All Monkeys XP earn rate increased by 8%.
  • BetterSellDealsIcon.png Better Sell Deals: All Monkeys sell for 5% more.
    • Increases sell potency from 70% to 75%.
  • VeteranMonkeyTrainingIcon.png Veteran Monkey Training: All Monkeys reload time reduced by 3%.
  • GlobalAbilityCooldownsIcon.png Global Ability Cooldowns: All Ability cooldowns for all Monkeys reduced by 3%.


FIRST RELEASED: Version 22.0
Description: Pop 1,000,000 Bloons with Dartling Gunners

Version History[]

Balance Changes[]

22.0 (Initial release, compared to BTD5)
  • Buff Dartling Gunner now comes with Locked targeting by default.
  • Nerf Dartling Gunner now has a rotation speed rather than instantaneously rotating with the cursor/pointer.
  • Nerf Base Dartling Gunner costs more ($950 → $1,000).
  • Nerf Focused Firing costs more ($250 → $300).
  • Buff Laser Cannon costs less ($6,000 → $4,250).
  • Nerf Ray of Doom costs more ($55,000 → $110,000).
  • Nerf Dartling Gunner now requires Advanced Targeting to pop camo bloons.
  • Buff Faster Barrel Spin costs less ($1,200 → $950).
  • Nerf Depleted Bloontonium Darts upgrade has been removed (although its functionality has been merged with Hydra Rocket Pods).
  • Buff Hydra Rocket Pods costs less ($7,000 → $5,250).
  • Change Bloon Area Denial System ability has been renamed to Rocket Storm.
  • Buff Rocket Storm costs less ($20,000 → $4,800).
  • Nerf Rocket Storm no longer fires three rockets at once.
  • Nerf Powerful Darts costs more ($600 → $1,200).
  • Change New 3rd path Tier 4 upgrade has inherited the name Bloon Area Denial System.
  • Change Crosspath changes across the board for the Dartling Gunner.
  • Buff 4-x-x Plasma Accelerator can now apply Laser Shock with the beam as well as focal point.
  • Buff 5-x-x Ray of Doom price reduced from $110,000 → $95,000.
  • Buff 1-4-0 Rocket storm ability spread reduction increased from 30% → 60%.
  • Buff x-5-x M.A.D price reduced from $65,000 → $60,000.
  • Buff x-x-3 Buckshot price reduced from $4,000 → $3,800.
  • Buff x-x-3 Buckshot now knocks back non-MOAB class Bloons a small amount on hit.
  • Nerf Dartlings' range circles no longer provide camo detection to Monkey Subs without Advanced Targeting.
  • Buff Base Dartling cost decreased ($1,000 → $850).
  • Buff Plasma Accelerator attack rate increased (0.25s → 0.20s).
  • Buff Bloon Exclusion Zone price decreased ($60,000 → $58,000).
Dartling Gunner's Rocket Storm is currently overperforming versus Buckshot, so we made slight adjustments to the price of these upgrades.
~ Ninja Kiwi
  • Buff Buckshot price reduced from $3,800 → $3,400.
  • Nerf Rocket Storm price increased from $4,800 → $5,100.
Storm is currently too powerful as just a 'spam whenever it's ready' without much thinking really required, its cooldown is being lowered [sic] so that it remains quite powerful but may require more timing.
~ Ninja Kiwi
  • Nerf Rocket Storm ability cooldown increased from 30s to 40s.
    • Ninja Kiwi's quote is factually incorrect; it's meant to be "its cooldown is being raised" or "its uptime is being lowered".
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. Ray of Doom's damage bonuses have been shuffled around in order to not be so weak against Super Ceramics as by the time anyone reasonably affords this SCs are the only ones you'll be seeing.
~ Ninja Kiwi
  • Buff Buckshot attack cooldown reduced from 1.8s -> 1.5s. Also applies to further upgrades.
  • Buff Ray of Doom now deals 25 damage per 0.2 seconds to both regular bloons and MOAB-Class Bloons, instead of only doing 5 damage to regular bloons and 25 to blimps.
  • Buff Ray of Doom shock DoT damage increased from 15 -> 20
The MAD has come to stand out far too much in any Boss situation, often feeling like a crutch that must be used due to how perfectly it fits the Boss situation even though it wasn't appreciated a great deal before that content was added. We've tried to pull it back in this situation with lowered damage per hit while making up for some of this lowered damage with increased pierce.
~ Ninja Kiwi
  • Nerf MAD damage to MOAB-class reduced from +750 → +550
  • Buff MAD pierce increased from 8 → 12
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
  • Buff Powerful Darts damage type from Sharp → Shatter

Bug fixes and other changes[]

  • Can no longer shoot over walls when locked on top of them.
  • Lock Targeting Reticle now scales in size to reflect accuracy changes.
  • 4-x-x Plasma Accelerator no longer creates Plasma Pools when beams are obstructed but would be crossing streams if they were not.
  • Base tower description changed from "Uses a dart-shooting machine-gun. Aims wherever you last tapped on the screen." to "Uses a dart-shooting machine-gun. Aims wherever you point on the screen."
  • Dartling Gunner 4xx Plasma Accelerator beam no longer unintentionally double stacks the tower's MOAB Damage bonus.
  • Laser Cannon tooltip changed from "Rapid fire laser blasts can pop frozen Bloons." to "Rapidly fires much more powerful laser blasts that can pop frozen Bloons."
  • Hydra Rocket Pods tooltip changed from "Shoots depleted bloontonium missiles instead of darts, which can pop black and lead Bloons." to "Shoots depleted bloontonium missiles that can damage all Bloon types and trigger multiple explosions."
  • Rocket Storm tooltip changed from "Rocket Storm ability: Sends a powerful storm of rockets in all directions." to "Rocket Storm ability: Launches a powerful storm of rockets in a wide cone."
  • M.A.D tooltip changed from "Moab Assured Destroyer. Each missile does extreme damage to MOAB class bloons." to "Moab Assured Destroyer. Slower firing mega missiles do extreme damage to MOAB-class Bloons."
  • 3-x-x Laser Cannon path once again has a sell animation.




  • Now that the Dartling Gunner has no innate camo detection, Ninja Monkey and Spike Factory are the only base towers capable of popping camo bloons by default.
  • Dartling Gunner is the only tower whose camo detection upgrade precedes a faster attack speed upgrade, and both of those upgrades are below Tier 3.
  • Unlike previously leaked towers for Mortar Monkey and Engineer Monkey, the Dartling Gunner's Tier 1 and Tier 2 upgrades were entirely changed compared to the leaked information.
  • The "Locked" target priority option used to be exclusive to the Dartling Ammo Dump Specialty Building in BTD5, but this target priority is now available to all Dartling Gunners.
    • The old upgrades for the Dartling Gunner were leaked, which revealed the Path 3 Tier 2 upgrade to be an upgrade called "Lock & Load", which would grant Dartlings with that target priority option.
  • The Dartling Gunner is the first (and so far only) non-hero tower to have its own splash screen, in the same vein as a Hero.
  • The Dartling Gunner is also the first (and so far only) tower in BTD6 to have a specific requirement of pops to unlock, that being 500,000.
  • Placement of a Dartling Gunner uses the "drop monkey" sound (e.g. for Dart Monkeys and Engineer Monkeys) rather than the "drop machine" sound (e.g. for Tack Shooters and Mortar Monkeys). This is because the Dartling Gunner lands with its feet, and its gun is not mounted on the ground unlike the Mortar Monkey.
  • Despite having a tower name clearly nodding to a Gatling gun, the description says it is a machine gun.
  • All Tier 5 Dartling Gunners have completed a 2TC with Prince of Darkness on Logs.
  • Unlike BTD5, the Dartling Gunner has the same footprint size as a Boomerang Monkey. In previous games, the old Dartling Gun had a larger footprint.

TF2 matchmaking loading screen background

  • The artwork for the base Dartling Gunner resembles that by Heavy from Team Fortress 2 during the game's matchmaking loading screen.
  • When the Dartling Gunner was first released, all non-crosspathed Tier 5 upgrades attacked slower than the base Dartling Gunner, which meant that it was the only tower to match with such criteria.
  • In one of the concept artworks for all Dartling Gunner upgrades, the Dartling Gunner had an army beret like the BTD5 Dartling Gun. In addition, all returning BTD5 upgrades were all featured in the upgrades tree with only an increased tier for Ray of Doom and a rename of the P2T4 upgrade to Rocket Storm.
    • The old Hydra Rocket Pods concept art had a noticeable change where its gun appears as an orange assault gatling with hexagonal barrels, and the operator wears earmuffs like Sniper Monkey's Semi-Automatic.
    • Rocket Storm, the new BTD5 Bloon Area Denial System, takes on the appearance inspiration of Sniper Monkey's Full Auto Rifle, and gains even larger barrels and an ammunition tube connected to the operator's backpack.
    • The machine of the Ray of Doom upgrade appeared more like a scientist's powerful machine. More surprisingly, the only protective clothing for the monkey besides the basic white lab coat is a pair of green safety goggles.
    • Depleted Bloontonium Darts, an upgrade which did not make the final cut for the Dartling Gunner, appeared similar to its BTD5 counterpart.
  • Both the Bloon Area Denial System and Bloon Exclusion Zone turret designs have similarities to the Monty Tank in New Super Mario Bros for the Nintendo DS, more specifically the concept of a multi-barrel turret system.
  • The Bloon Area Denial System and its subsequent upgrade, The Bloon Exclusion Zone, are the first ones not to be included in the initial release and to possess the Tall attack behavior.
  • Tapping on the present, which contains the Dartling Gunner, while below Level 20 will show the popup "Unlock at level 20".
  • According to Ninja Kiwi's 21st January 2021 blog, Dartling Gunner is the tower who would best enjoy grilled cheese.