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Generates cash each round automatically.
~ In-game description

Merchantman is the third upgrade of Path 3 for the Monkey Buccaneer in Bloons TD 6. It allows the Buccaneer to produce $200 per round ($220 with Trade Agreements Monkey Knowledge, +10% per Central Market, up to +100% with ten Central Markets). If a Trade Empire is present, it will gain all bonuses that are granted by that cargo ship, including +$20 income per other Merchantman and +1 damage, +1 ceramic damage and +1 MOAB damage for all of its attacks.

It costs $1,955 on Easy, $2,300 on Medium, $2,485 on Hard, and $2,760 on Impoppable.



Merchantman allows the Buccaneer to give $200 per round ($220 with Trade Agreements, +10% on top with each Central Market up to 10 times), along with in-built camo detection and longer range from their previous upgrades.

This upgrade changes the Monkey Buccaneer from a standard pirate to a merchantman wearing a turban. The crow's nest remains the same shape and possesses a flag with the same color and shape as the previous tier but smaller. The rest of the boat is made of timber with a lighter shade compared to the original Buccaneer, and there is a tarpaulin cover in front of the merchantman. The per-round income will appear above the Merchantman at the end of each round.

When crosspathed with Path 2, its boat gains a pile of grapes (or flaming grapes, with Hot Shot) under its boat cover. When crosspathed with Path 1, it gains a pirate flag (Faster Shooting) and a steel-colored hull (Double Shot).

When idle, the Merchantman will occasionally look at his gold coin on his right hand. Sometimes he will toss the coin in the air.


Merchantman is just like a Crow's Nest Buccaneer except it produces $200 at the end of every round ($220 with Trade Agreements), and can be buffed by Trade Empire to deal more damage. Merchantman can also be buffed by Central Market and Trade Empire to produce more cash.

Merchantman can be buffed by Central Market to produce +10% cash per Central Market, up to 10 times for +100% cash, giving a maximum of $400 per round for a Merchantman buffed by maximum Central Market buffs.

If a Trade Empire is present, Merchantman deals +1 damage and +1 MOAB-class damage and +1 Ceramic damage. Trade Empire also increases income generation of all Merchantmen by +$20 for every Merchantman or Favored Trades on screen, capped at 20 times (+$400). The income bonus only applies to the first 20 Merchantmen and/or Favored Trades. However, the damage buff applies to any Merchantman.

If both Trade Empire and Central Market buffs are active, the maximum income generation of Merchantman with those two buff types is $1000, because Central Market income buffs are prioritized over Trade Empire income buffs.

Targeting Priorities[]

Merchantman targets bloons using the standard target priorities. It shoots darts that are shot in a straight movement. It can also utilize multiple targeting to shoot projectiles from both ends of the boat if it detects bloons on its opposite side.

  • 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.

Like all Upper Path 3 Buccaneers, Merchantman produces spawns of end-of-round cash.

Because it already has the Crow's Nest upgrade, all its attacks can prioritize Camo Bloons over other types, which is provided by the Camo Prioritization targeting.


A Merchantman is a bizarre upgrade for the Monkey Buccaneer, allowing it to gain no active offensive boosts at the benefit of producing $200 each round. This theoretically makes him one of the most varied jack-of-all-trades tower, as the Merchantman can crosspath with Grape Shot and Hot Shot to provide a decent popping power for its cost and Camo Lead popping power respectively.

One of the best assets that the Merchantman provide is in maps that lack high quantities of viable land for Banana Farms. In addition to being good sources of income in water, it has a smaller footprint than the Banana Farm. In their place, a Merchantman can fill the role quite aptly, as well as serving as a defensive asset. Obviously, Spice Islands is one of the best maps for a Merchantman because of this. Other good map candidates also include Spring Spring and Peninsula.

What makes a Merchantman a desirable option is the ease of use and ability to be used as a consequence-free secondary income while simultaneously filling the role of an offensive tower. If a player actively wants a 0/2/2 Buccaneer for early Lead and Camo coverage, a Merchantman can be saved up for and purchased early, paying for the cost of itself during the shorter and less consequential rounds as a viable 0/2/2 Buccaneer still provides basic yet effective defense.

Compared to a Banana Farm, where it provides no offensive benefit and requires a lot of resources to upgrade and focus of the player to constantly pick up bananas, the Merchantman sacrifices raw potential that the further upgrades of a Banana Farm possess at the benefit of a string-free revenue source, akin to the Marketplace upgrade path of said tower.


To purchase one Merchantman at the lowest price will require getting a 0/0/3 Buccaneer. A 0/0/3 Buccaneer will cost the base Buccaneer tower, Long Range, Crow's Nest and the Merchantman upgrade itself, which will provide the cheapest and most direct route for profit. However, this may change under many circumstances, specifically depending on game mode and whether Trade Empire is active or if the player owns a Central Market.

The table below indicates the game mode pricing, as well as the presence of Trade Agreements to indicate two points of Interest, the first is the number of rounds at which the upgrade effectively pays for its own cost and the second where it pays of the entire cost of the tower and subsequent upgrades of a 0/0/3 Buccaneer. These do not consider other Monkey Knowledge such as Advanced Logistics or Military Conscription. Equations regarding addition of Trade Empire and Central Market buffs are dealt with separately.

For reference:

  • m refers to the quantity of Merchantman and Favored Trades active when a Trade Empire's revenue boost is also active. This value cannot exceed 20.
  • c indicates the quantity of Central Markets. This value cannot exceed 10.
Difficulty and Knowledge Revenue Cost (Upgrade) Cost (Total) Minimum Interest (Upgrade Cost/Revenue) Minimum Interest (Total Cost/Revenue)
Easy $200 * (1 + 0.1c) + 20m $1,955 $2,920 9.775 14.6
Medium $200 * (1 + 0.1c) + 20m $2,300 $3,430 11.5 17.15
Hard $200 * (1 + 0.1c) + 20m $2,485 $3,675 12.425 18.375
Impoppable $200 * (1 + 0.1c) + 20m $2,760 $4,080 13.8 20.4
Easy + Trade Agreements $220 * (1 + 0.1c) + 20m $1,955 $2,920 8.8863 13.27
Medium + Trade Agreements $220 * (1 + 0.1c) + 20m $2,300 $3,430 10.45 15.590
Hard + Trade Agreements $220 * (1 + 0.1c) + 20m $2,485 $3,675 11.2954 16.7054
Impoppable + Trade Agreements $220 * (1 + 0.1c) + 20m $2,760 $4,080 12.54 18.54
Banana Farm


$80 $1,065 $1,065 15.625 15.625

Additional Tips[]

  • Using the Path 2 crosspaths for the Merchantman is recommended for making the early-game easier to handle for a small price. Once the defenses are going smoothly, it's safe to just add more 0-0-3 Merchantmen, while upgrading each Merchantman to Grape Shot or Hot Shot whenever necessary.
  • When starting the BTD6 game for the first time, this upgrade should be the first upgrade to unlock if income boosting is desired. With the Monkey Buccaneer being a Military Monkey, it is in the second category of unlockable towers. This upgrade's XP Point requirement is quite low compared to alternate income-based options, and it can be unlocked much sooner by spending money into the Buccaneer to speed up XP Point generation for that tower.
    • Banana Farms might seem like the only income-generating towers, but they unlock considerably later on in the game, and will likely not be available for the first game.
  • Merchantmen consume less space than Banana Farms per unit. On maps with good water space, Merchantman farming can be more efficient than Farms while requiring less micromanagement.
  • Once affordable, a 2-0-4 Monkey Village is desirable for covering the range of many Merchantmen, as Merchantmen and above benefit greatly from Jungle Drums, Monkey Town, and Monkey City, considering Merchantmen have built-in camo detection and are capable of both popping bloons and generating extra income, meaning they can make use of both Monkey Town and Monkey City buffs.

Version History[]

The effectiveness of Merchantman upgrade remains fairly similar throughout BTD6 history, although now it can gain extra damage when there is a Trade Empire on screen, and the base Merchantman is cheaper due to a slight base Buccaneer cost reduction.

  • Buff If a Trade Empire is present, it deals +1 damage to MOABs and Ceramics and +1 damage to all bloon types on top.
Bottom crosspath feels behind compared to others here, so in addition to the new Camo Prioritization filter Longer Range on this path will now also grant bonus pierce. [...]
~ Ninja Kiwi


Official artwork[]


  • It is entirely possible to unlock the Merchantman upgrade before unlocking the Banana Farm, as long as a considerable amount of money is invested towards growing Buccaneer XP Points.