Bloons Wiki
Bloons Wiki

A lost life gives this Sniper 4x attack speed for a short time in retaliation. Also attacks faster the further the Bloons are along the track. Deals more damage to MOAB-class Bloons.
~ In-game description

Elite Defender is the Tier 5 upgrade of Path 3 for the Sniper Monkey in Bloons TD 6. It doubles the Sniper Monkey's attack speed, bullets deal much greater damage to MOAB-class, and also allows it to attack 1% faster for every 1% of the track the bloons have reached, up to a maximum of 100%. It also grants a passive ability that allows the Sniper Monkey to attack an additional 4x faster for 7 seconds when a life is lost, for a total of 16x faster compared to a Full Auto Rifle. With maximum internal attack speed boosts, it can attack 195.91x faster than the base Sniper Monkey, or effectively almost 123 shots each second.

Elite Defender's bullet initially gains +2 damage to MOAB-class, which is increased to +3 and +4 with Path 1 crosspaths, respectively dealing 4, 7, and 11 damage to MOAB-class bloons.

This upgrade costs $11,900 on Easy, $14,000 on Medium, $15,120 on Hard, and $16,800 on Impoppable.



The Elite Defender is a monkey with brown pupils and a fully uncovered tail. It carries a grey, wide rifle which has an orange stripe two thirds of the way down, a scope behind the stripe with an orange light, and a square stock. Its mouth is covered by a grill, and its armour is grey around the top of its chest. It has a dark grey camo helmet with black-lined orange goggles. Under the grey part of the armour, the rest is dark grey, with black boots on its feet. Its hands are covered by light grey gloves.


Attacks twice as fast, decreasing attack cooldown from 0.1299s to 0.0649s. In addition, bullets deal +2 damage to MOAB-class, increasing to +3 with 1-0-5 and +4 with 2-0-5.

Increases attack speed by 1% per 1% of track length that Bloons have traveled, up to +100%, or at maximum, 0.0325s attack cooldown.

If Bloons leak, grants additional 4x attack speed for 7 seconds on a 10 second cooldown (0 second cooldown with MasterDefenderIcon.png Master Defender MK) for an attack cooldown of 0.0081s. The Elite Defender's 4x speed passive ability can stack with the track length speed bonuses; the aforementioned attack cooldown value is when bloons have literally reached the exits. There is a brief 3.33s initial cooldown before Elite Defender can activate its passive ability after the upgrade is bought.

Targeting Priorities[]

Elite Defender targets bloons using the standard targeting priorities. It shoots a snipe attack.

  • First: Targets the first bloon visible within its range.
  • Last: Targets the last bloon visible within its range.
  • Close: Targets the closest bloon visible within its range.
  • Strong: Targets the strongest bloon visible within its range.

Can receive Camo Prioritization with Night Vision Goggles, allowing it to prioritize Camo Bloons over other types.


Updated as of Version 32.0. Listed prices exclude external buffs, any sacrifices, and Monkey Knowledge.
Purchase Sell
Costs Easy Medium Hard Impoppable Easy Medium Hard Impoppable
Upgrade (X-X-5) $11,900 $14,000 $15,120 $16,800 -
Total (0-0-5) $19,460 $22,900 $24,730 $27,480 $13,622 $16,030 $17,311 $19,236
Crosspath (1-0-5) $19,755 $23,250 $25,110 $27,900 $13,829 $16,275 $17,577 $19,530
Crosspath (2-0-5) $21,030 $24,750 $26,730 $29,700 $14,721 $17,325 $18,711 $20,790
Crosspath (0-1-5) $19,715 $23,200 $25,055 $27,840 $13,801 $16,240 $17,539 $19,488
Crosspath (0-2-5) $20,095 $23,650 $25,540 $28,380 $14,067 $16,555 $17,878 $19,866

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



The main strength of Elite Defender is its solo capability against bloons up to later mid-game, even without the life-loss passive ability. It is also one of the cheapest Tier 5 upgrades in the game, and can be very powerful when crosspathed. With Shrapnel Shot, it is a viable option for high-rate grouped damage, although Elite Sniper is generally better for that purpose. With Large Calibre, it has the highest possible DPS of a single Sniper per dollar, particularly evident against MOAB-class bloons.


  • On certain longer maps, such as Logs and Four Circles, if supported by the reload boost from an Elite Sniper, a 2-0-5 Sniper Monkey has the potential to single-handedly destroy a ZOMG.
  • An Elite Defender has a ~15.4x attack speed multiplier compared to a regular Sniper, ~24.490x when bloons are at the end of the track; ~48.980x while the ability is active and ~97.959x when more bloons are at the end of the track with the ability active.
  • As of update 17.0, the 0-2-5 defender is usually better than a 2-0-5, because of the changes to shrapnel that makes it better against grouped bloons. However, the 2-0-5 sniper is still better for single-target damage.
    • As of update 30.0, and owing to key buffs to Elite Sniper, most notably it gaining 6 pierce on its shrapnel, 2-0-5 may prove more effective, simply because 0-2-5 is simply too weak of a grouped damage tower to compete with an X-5-X Elite Sniper. As such, 2-0-5 could be more useful by virtue of having an actually viable, and otherwise generally unfilled, niche, that being extraordinarily high infinite range single target MOAB damage output for a relatively low cost. Indeed, 2-0-5 Elite Sniper, even with absolutely no speed boosts, deals more single target MOAB damage than even 0-0-4 Dark Champion, and this can be improved drastically thanks to its unique Elite Defense mechanic, up to surpassing 2-0-4 Dark Champion.
  • Starting from 28.0, which nerfed Elite Defender's damage type, it is still possible to use 0-2-5 Elite Defender on Deflation by having a 0-0-2 Village and a fully discounted 0-2-3 Semi-Automatic, but with a second 0-0-2 village and a Hero with a base price of $750 or below. The following Monkey Knowledge is required to afford this setup: MoreCashIcon.png More Cash, MilitaryConscriptionIcon.png Military Conscription, AdvancedLogisticsIcon.png Advanced Logistics, InsiderTradesIcon.png Insider Trades, BetterSellDealsIcon.png Better Sell Deals, and HeroFavorsIcon.png Hero Favors.
  • Due to its extreme attack speed, Elite Defender benefits hugely from the CeramicShockIcon.png Ceramic Shock MK. Because shrapnel also spawns extremely quickly with Elite Defender, a 0-2-5 Elite Defender can stall Super Ceramics quite effectively.
  • Ezili's Sacrificial Totem can activate Elite Defender's passive ability. It can be used to trigger the Elite Defender's passive ability at any time.
  • The 0-2-5 Elite Defender's power is noticeably stronger (specifically 5x stronger) when a Stronger Stimulant is active, however requiring 2 Stronger Stimulant Alchemists or Permanent Brew for some decent uptime.
  • Avoid using Elite Defender when fighting Lych. The Lych-Souls' life drain will trigger the Elite Defender's passive buff ability, which in turn causes the main Lych to heal.
  • A 2-0-5 Elite Defender is a solid tower to fight against Vortex's 1st and 2nd tiers as well as 1st Elite tier due to its high damage per seconds while being able to avoid getting stunned if properly positioned, although supports are still required to deal with slipstreamed bloons while the Elite Defender is focusing on the Vortex.

Version History[]

Elite Defender was considered one of the worst Tier 5 upgrades due to purely relying on an unreliable passive life-loss ability. Version 2.0 increased the attack speed of Elite Defender, making it somewhat more useful, but it was not until Version 11.0 that further attack speed bonuses made this upgrade considered practically usable.

The popularity of Elite Defender was also improved by the buffs to Shrapnel Shot in Version 17.0, making 0-2-5 Elite Defender a usable option in CHIMPS at providing mid-game damage. And while 0-2-5 Elite Defender was used to cheese Deflation, its damage type was nerfed in 28.0 so it can no longer solo all rounds, though a small workaround has been made for this. Version 30.0 gave it extra MOAB-class damage for its main bullet to provide better balance between each crosspath.

  • Buff Primary attack speed increased by 2x (stacks with its ability)
  • [Undocumented] Passive ability does not activate when life is lost
  • [Undocumented] Passive ability now activates when life is lost
  • Buff Elite Defender is now granted an attack speed boost equal to the % of the track that the bloons have covered. E.g. If the bloons are half way through the map Elite Defender will grant 50% attack speed. If the bloons are three quarters through the map, Elite Defender will grant 75% attack speed. (It retains its bonus when lives are lost)
  • Buff Elite Defender now activates passive ability when Ezili's Sacrifice Totem is activated
  • Nerf Now has a passive cooldown when first bought.
  • Nerf Elite Defender passive ability rendered unusable on normal Impoppable Difficulty, due to the disabling of all means of gaining extra lives to spend on the ability, more specifically Mana Shield.
    • Technically, the ability can still trigger without losing lives if there is Legend of the Night passive ability ready or active.
  • Change [Undocumented] Description changed from "A lost life gives this Sniper 4x attack speed for a short time in retaliation." to "A lost life gives this Sniper 4x attack speed for a short time in retaliation. Also attacks faster the further the Bloons are along the track."
  • Buff Elite Defender base attack cooldown very slightly decreased (0.065s → 0.0649s)
[...] 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.
~ Ninja Kiwi, referring to Bouncing Bullets shrapnel rework, also implying all Shrapnel upgrades in general including 0-2-5
  • Nerf Elite Defender base damage type changed from Normal → Sharp
[...] Elite Defender falls off a lot after midgame & really lacks any true cross pathing choice, so it has had some MOAB damage added to the base attack with the amount improved from crosspathing.
~ Ninja Kiwi
  • Buff 0-x-5 Elite Defender gains +2 MOAB bonus to initial bullet hit
  • Buff 1-0-5 Elite Defender gains +3 MOAB bonus to initial bullet hit
  • Buff 2-0-5 Elite Defender gains +4 MOAB bonus to initial bullet hit
  • Change [Undocumented] Description changed from "A lost life gives this Sniper 4x attack speed for a short time in retaliation. Also attacks faster the further the Bloons are along the track." to "A lost life gives this Sniper 4x attack speed for a short time in retaliation. Also attacks faster the further the Bloons are along the track. Deals more damage to MOAB-class Bloons.


Official artwork[]


  • Despite the description saying "When a life is lost", the ability will still be activated when Bloons leak but the lives are not lost, (Including Mana Shield or Legend of the Night's Black Hole Ability).
  • Sometimes when Elite Defender has high enough attack speed it will play its idle animation while still "firing".
  • The art for the Elite Defender shows it saluting with two fingers, which is used in the Cub Scouts, as well as some other international organizations.
    • The artwork is nearly the same as the upgrade icon for Special Poperations. The only difference being that the googles and the stripe on the sniper gun itself are blue.
  • The Energizer upgrade on Monkey Sub improves the cooldown of Elite Defender's passive ability.
  • The Insta-Monkey shows a bipod under the sniper's rifle, which is not present on any other artwork or the actual model.
  • At 0.000519122198s, assuming that the 4 significant figures value 0.008112s is the value for having both 100% bloon distance and life-loss trigger active, the fastest possible tower without Powers currently belongs to an Elite Defender with 100% bloon distance, life-loss trigger, Jungle Drums, Permanent Brew, Homeland Defense, Overclock ability (or Ultraboost ability), max Ultraboost stacks, Elite Sniper buff, and maxed True Sun God with Support Sacrifices for both tiers. This is approximately 1926 times per second. On top of Ezili's Sacrificial Totem buff, which acts like a second Primary Training with Radar Scanner, it attacks every 0.000441253868s, or 2266 times per second.
  • Due to its fast attacking nature and infinite range, when bought on multi-lane maps, especially where the bloon spawns are facing towards each other and on mid to late game rounds, the Elite Defender can commonly be seen inhumanly rotating its body at incredible speeds. This is because, unlike the Dartling Gunner (which is the only tower that does not do this in BTD6), the game can make the towers rotate instantly to whatever position is necessary to pop the bloons.
    • This quirk has lead to the BTD6 community making memes that humorously accuse the Elite Defender of using aimbot, a software tool that allows players to shoot enemies without having to manually aim their weapon in video games.

Balance changes[]

  • Prior to version 28.0, it was possible to use a 0-2-5 Elite Defender to solo Deflation Mode on most maps, provided Monkey Knowledge is enabled. This can be achieved by first placing a 0-0-2 Monkey Village, placing the Sniper Monkey in range and then upgrading it to a 0-2-3 Semi-Automatic. Upon selling the Monkey Village, Elite Defender can be bought. However, this strategy no longer works as the 0-2-5 Elite defender can no longer pop lead bloons.
  • Starting from Version 11.0, despite not mentioning the newly added initial cooldown on the Version 11.0 patch notes, there is now an initial cooldown to the passive ability. A similar occurrence happens for Bomb Blitz.
  • On Dark Castle in Version 11.0, the track's converging paths confuse the Elite Defender's attack speed algorithm, quadrupling its attack speed when targeting bloons before the paths meet. The glitch is shown off in this video. This bug was patched on version 12.0.