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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.
~ BTD6 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, 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.

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



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.


  • There is a 10 second cooldown period between ability activations before the Elite Defender can reactivate its passive ability again.
  • 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.
  • 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: More Cash, Military Conscription, Advanced Logistics, Insider Trades, Better Sell Deals, and Hero Favors.
  • There is a brief 3.33s initial cooldown before Elite Defender can activate its passive ability after the upgrade is bought.
  • Due to its extreme attack speed, Elite Defender benefits hugely from the Ceramic Shock MK. Because shrapnel also activates it 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.

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 wasn't 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.

  • 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.
  • Change Description updated to mention the speed boost based on how far the bloons are along the track.
  • Buff Elite Defender base attack speed very slightly increased (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


Official artwork[]


  • There was a bug in version 9.0 in its passive ability: it was broken and didn't activate at all when a life is lost. This was fixed in version 10.0.
  • Despite the description saying "When a life is lost", the ability will still be activated when Bloons leak but the lives aren't lost, (Including Mana Shield or Legend of the Night's Black Hole Ability).
  • Sometimes when Elite Defender has high enough attack speed he will play his idle animation while still "firing".
  • The art for the Elite Defender shows him 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.
  • 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.
  • Starting from Version 17.0, the description for Elite Defender added "...Also attacks faster the further the Bloons are along the track." on top of the old description.
  • The Energizer upgrade on Monkey Sub improves the cooldown of Elite Defender's passive ability.
  • 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.
  • 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 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 it's 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.