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Fires super fast and does more damage to MOAB-class Bloons. Fires faster the further the Bloons are along the track. Gains 4x attack speed briefly on losing lives.
~ 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 (from +2 to +4), 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 and/or upon leaking bloons, 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. At minimum, it attacks about 15.4 times per second, specifically every 0.0649s. Its passive ability has a cooldown of only 10 seconds.

Like Full Auto Rifle, 0-2-5 Elite Defender's shrapnel deals +1 MOAB-class damage.

This upgrade costs $12,495 on Easy, $14,700 on Medium, $15,875 on Hard, and $17,640 on Impoppable.



Edef attackfast

0-0-5 Elite Defender attacking rapidly, muzzle always flashing as it shoots

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 grille, 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.

Elite Defender attacks incredibly quickly, and is the fastest Sniper Monkey in the game in terms of attack speed. It attacks twice as fast as Full Auto Rifle, decreasing attack cooldown from 0.1299s to 0.0649s. It increases its 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 Master Defender MK) for an attack cooldown of 0.0081s. Additionally, each bullet from the Elite Defender deals +4 damage to MOAB-class, and shrapnel (via 0-2-5 crosspath) inflicts +1 MOAB-class damage.

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. The passive ability "Elite Defense" that is recently triggered will produce a green Overclock-like spinning energetic aura, plus a Turbo Charge activation sound effect.

Activated Abilities[]

See also: Activated Abilities (BTD6)#Elite Defender

Elite Defender's passive ability "Elite Defense" is not visible to the player, nor can it be activated manually (except indirectly via a life-loss ability such as Ezili's Sacrificial Totem). However, there is a buff icon above the Elite Defender, should there be any external buff that affects the "Elite Defense" passive ability.

If life is lost, or a bloon leaks, Elite Defender attacks 4x faster in retaliation for 7 seconds. This passive ability has a cooldown of 10 seconds. Initial cooldown is 3.33s.

Just like any normal activated ability from a Sniper Monkey, Elite Defender's passive ability is affected by cooldown reduction buffs such as the global Energizer buff. It can also be affected by cooldown reset buffs such as Geraldo's Rejuv Potion. Monkey Knowledge also affects Elite Defender.

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.

Full Popology[]


Updated as of Version 43.2
Base stats
  • Bullet:
    • Snipe projectile, sharp type, infinite range, 0.0649s attack cooldown, 2 damage, +4 MOAB-class damage, 1 impact pierce. Gains 1% attack speed per 1% track distance. If bloons leak or lives lost, trigger Elite Defense.
Ability stats
  • Elite Defense
    • Attacks 4x faster for 7 seconds. Cooldown of 10 seconds, and only triggered upon life loss or bloons leaking.
Crosspathing interactions
  • 1-0-5: Bullet damage type changed from sharp to normal. Bullet damage increased from 2 to 4.
  • 2-0-5: Bullet damage increased from 4 to 7.
  • 0-1-5: Bullet damage deals +2 Camo damage.
  • 0-2-5: Bullet gains Shrapnel upon damaging bloons, and Shrapnel deals +1 damage to MOAB-class bloons.
Monkey Knowledge interactions
  • EliteMilitaryTrainingIcon Elite Military Training: All Military Monkeys get a one-off +1000 XP and earn XP in-game 5% faster permanently.
  • CeramicShockIcon Ceramic Shock: Ceramic Bloons shot by all Snipers are slowed down for 2 seconds.
  • FlankingManeuversIcon Flanking Maneuvers: Attacks 10% faster when set targeting priority to "Last".
  • MilitaryConscriptionIcon Military Conscription: First military tower costs only ⅔ of the original cost.
    • Sniper Monkey base cost from $300, $350, $380, and $420 → $200, $235, $255, and $280 on Easy, Medium, Hard, and Impoppable, respectively.
  • AdvancedLogisticsIcon Advanced Logistics: All Military Monkeys base costs reduced by 5%.
    • Sniper Monkey base cost from $300, $350, $380, and $420 → $285, $330, $360, and $400 on Easy, Medium, Hard, and Impoppable, respectively.
      • If Military Conscription is also enabled, the final cost will be $185, $215, $235, and $260.
  • MonkeyEducationIcon Monkey Education: All Monkeys XP earn rate increased by 8%.
  • BetterSellDealsIcon Better Sell Deals: All Monkeys sell for 5% more. Increases sell potency from 70% to 75%.
  • VeteranMonkeyTrainingIcon Veteran Monkey Training: All Monkeys reload time reduced by 3%.

Attack Interactions[]

See also: Attack Interactions/Bloons TD 6/Military
Updated as of Version 40.2
Base attack(s)
  • Bullet:
    • Sharp Type (pops Black, White, Purple) Sharp
    • Single Projectile Single Projectile
    • Snipe Snipe
    • Full Map Range (unspecified description of how the tower can attack beyond basic range) Full Map Range
    • Elite Defense (reacts to overall Bloon progress across the map) Elite Defense
    • Extra damage to all bloon types (2) Extra Damage (2)
    • Extra damage versus MOAB-class Bloons (+2) Extra Damage to Blimps (+2)
Passive Ability
  • Elite Defense:
    • Passive Type (no attack) Passive
    • Charge (unspecified appliable boost) Charge


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-5) $12,495 $14,700 $15,875 $17,640 -
Total (0-0-5) $19,500 $22,950 $24,785 $27,540 $13,650 $16,065 $17,350 $19,278
Crosspath (1-0-5) $19,795 $23,300 $25,165 $27,960 $13,857 $16,310 $17,616 $19,572
Crosspath (2-0-5) $20,900 $24,600 $26,570 $29,520 $14,630 $17,220 $18,599 $20,664
Crosspath (0-1-5) $19,710 $23,200 $25,055 $27,840 $13,797 $16,240 $17,539 $19,488
Crosspath (0-2-5) $20,090 $23,650 $25,540 $28,380 $14,063 $16,555 $17,878 $19,866

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



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. As a cheap mid-game carry upgrade that slightly falls off in the late-game, the Elite Defender typically shines best during the mid-game as a long-ranged fast-attacking DPS tower versus MOAB-class bloons, and sometimes normal bloons too depending on its given crosspath and choice of synergies.

Elite Defender's true value depends greatly on crosspathing to maximize its DPS, as an uncrosspathed Elite Defender is cost-inefficient. With Shrapnel Shot, the 0-2-5 Elite Defender is a viable option for high-rate grouped damage in combination with its high bullet damage to MOAB-class bloons, although Elite Sniper is generally more efficient against groups of bloons. With Large Calibre, the 2-0-5 Elite Defender has the highest possible single-target DPS of a single Sniper per dollar, particularly evident against MOAB-class bloons. Regardless of crosspath choice, the Elite Defender's incredibly high attack speed and extra MOAB-class damage helps it excels against various types in the mid-game in particular.


  • 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 Z.O.M.G. With the 2-0-5 buff in version 30.0, this can even cause severe damage against B.A.D.s.
  • 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 Defender, 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.
  • Both crosspaths of Elite Defender tend to fall back in the late-game, as alternate options become further available. For instance, 2-0-5 excels at single-target but can only ever target one bloon at a time, while 0-2-5 has fast-shooting shrapnel that isn't nearly as effective against Super Ceramics compared to ordinary bloons.
  • 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 More Cash, MilitaryConscriptionIcon Military Conscription, AdvancedLogisticsIcon Advanced Logistics, InsiderTradesIcon Insider Trades, BetterSellDealsIcon Better Sell Deals, and HeroFavorsIcon Hero Favors.
  • Due to its extreme attack speed, Elite Defender benefits hugely from the CeramicShockIcon 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 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 if the Elite Defender is within its range.
    • However, note that Lych doesn't get infinite heal range until the 5th tier. As a result, a properly placed 2/0/5 Elite Defender far away from Lych can tear down both the 1st and 2nd tiers of normal Lych and the 1st tier of Elite Lych and destroy the Lych Soul and resurrected MOABs quickly as well. It can also be used as additional support for the 3rd and 4th tiers as well. This is largely map dependent, though.
  • 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.
  • Against Vortex Tier 1, a good strategy is to first buy an Overclock on Round 39. Before the Boss fight, Overclock a base Sniper, sell the Overclock, then upgrade the Sniper to an Elite Defender. This will provide an extra 15 seconds of Overclock uptime and allow Vortex to be defeated much quicker.

Version History[]

Balance Changes[]

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. Also, discoveries has been made to activate its passive ability reliably and safely, such as the addition of the hero, Ezili.

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)
  • 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.
  • 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
All paths of the Sniper Monkey are really starting to show strong use in different cases, and we’re quite happy with this, although bottom path feels like it relies a little too heavily on the top-end upgrades for such an overall cheap path, we are shifting a small amount of price out from the T3 into the T5
~ Ninja Kiwi
  • NERF Elite Defender price increased $14,000 → $14,500
    • Overall price difference is $0, due to Semi-Automatic price decrease, but has a nerfed effect for discount strategies.
  • Change Elite Defender passive ability activation now plays the Turbo Charge sound when activated and triggers an aura.
Sniper is feeling really good, but Elite Defender gaining further increased MOAB Damage locked behind the 205 crosspath feels unnecessary now given how much current crosspath balance has started leaning towards favoring 205 anyway.
~ Ninja Kiwi
  • BUFF Elite Defender MOAB-class damage bonus on all crosspaths have been increased to +4 instead of just on the 2-0-5.
    • BUFF 0-x-5 Elite Defender MOAB-class damage bonus increased +2 → +4
    • BUFF 1-0-5 Elite Defender MOAB-class damage bonus increased +3 → +4
Full auto sniper's 024 crosspath sees a lot of fun/meme use, but not so much more than that. We’re hoping that applying the MOAB bonus that it gains to the shrapnel as well will help improve non-meme use here. (And looking over my notes, it seems this was meant to be included a while ago…But better late than never!)
~ Ninja Kiwi
  • BUFF 0-2-5 Elite Defender shrapnel now gains +1 bonus damage to MOAB-class bloons
Sniper Monkey has some very powerful upgrades but also many poor stepping stones. We felt this tower needed a big price shuffle all around, pushing down the cost of many underwhelming upgrades but returning this back into stronger upgrades.
~ Ninja Kiwi
  • NERF Elite Defender price increased from $14500 to $14700
    • Overall price increase is +$50 due to Fast Firing (+$50), Even Faster Firing (+$50), and Semi-Automatic (-$100), and Full Auto Rifle (-$150)
  • BUFF Elite Defender's passive ability now triggers if leaking via Corvus' Soul Barrier

Bug Fixes and General Changes[]

  • [Undocumented] Passive ability does not activate when life is lost
  • [Undocumented] Passive ability now activates when life is lost
  • 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."
  • 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."
  • 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. Deals more damage to MOAB-class Bloons." to "Fires super fast and even faster the further the Bloons are along the track. Gains 4x attack speed briefly on losing lives. Deals more damage to MOAB-class Bloons."
  • Change [Undocumented] Changed description from "Fires super fast and even faster the further the Bloons are along the track. Gains 4x attack speed briefly on losing lives. Deals more damage to MOAB-class Bloons." to "Fires super fast and does more damage to MOAB-class Bloons. Fires faster the further the Bloons are along the track. Gains 4x attack speed briefly on losing lives."

Extra Notes (Version History)[]

  • 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.


When triggering the life loss passive ability (since Version 35.0):


Official artwork[]


  • Despite the description stating life loss, the ability will still be activated when Bloons leak but the lives are not lost, (including Mana Shield, Legend of the Night's Black Hole Ability or Corvus' Soul Barrier spell).
  • 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. On top of placing it on an attack speed land plot on One Two Tree, it attacks every 0.000375065788s or 2666 times per second. On top of setting it to Last while FlankingManeuversIcon Flanking Maneuvers is enabled, it attacks every 0.000337559209s or 2962 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.
  • Elite Defender is the only Sniper whose muzzle always flashes while actively shooting, even between shots. Between shots, the flashing just decreases in size. Even the Full Auto Rifle’s muzzle doesn’t flash between shots.