|“||Uses a dart-shooting machine-gun. Aims wherever you point on the screen.||”|
|~ BTD6 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.
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 BTD4 and BTD5, 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.
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 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.
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.
|Focused Firing |
COST: $255 / $300 / $325 / $360
UNLOCK: 150 XP
|Description: Increases accuracy of the Dartling Gun.
Effect: Decreases deviation radius from ~18 to ~8.
|Laser Shock |
COST: $765 / $900 / $970 / $1,080
UNLOCK: 600 XP
|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 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. End point deals much higher damage. Affected bloons additionally will be affected by an even stronger 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.
|Advanced Targeting |
COST: $215 / $250 / $270 / $300
UNLOCK: 130 XP
|Description: Allows Dartling Gunner to hit Camo Bloons.
|Faster Barrel Spin |
COST: $810 / $950 / $1,025 / $1,140
UNLOCK: 700 XP
|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 750 to MOAB-class, but attacks over twice as slow and alternates attacks between two arms. Ability gains extra pierce.
|Faster Swivel |
COST: $130 / $150 / $160 / $180
UNLOCK: 110 XP
|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
UNLOCK: 650 XP
|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 high damage 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. 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.
|Tier 1||Tier 2||Tier 3||Tier 4||Tier 5|
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:
- Superjombombo's Bloon Exclusion Zone
- Tewtiy's Ray of Doom
- Dablooon's M.A.D
- ISAB's Bloon Exclusion Zone
- Superjombombo's M.A.D
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
Bug fixes and other changes
- 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.
- 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.