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Generates more cash per round, increases cash earned by up to 20 other Merchantmen by the number of Merchantmen, and boosts all Merchantmen damage.
~ BTD6 Description

Trade Empire is the final upgrade of Path 3 for the Monkey Buccaneer in Bloons TD 6. It generates $800 income each round instead of $500 (+$20 with the Trade Agreement Monkey Knowledge), along with increasing cash earned by up to 20 Merchantmen and Favored Trades by the number of Merchantmen, Favored Trades and Trade Empires, all by +$20 each, capped at 20 stacks (+$400). Additionally, all Upper Path 3 Buccaneers (Merchantmen, Favored Trades and Trade Empires) gain +1 damage to all attacks and +1 damage to Ceramics and MOABs on top. Trade Empire's income bonus prioritizes after Central Market's income bonus.

It costs $19,550 on Easy, $23,000 on Medium, $24,840 on Hard, and $27,600 on Impoppable.



Trade Empire is a decorated cargo ship. [describe further]



Targeting Priorities[]

Trade Empire 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.

Trade Empire's buff is a tower buff that targets all x-x-3 and x-x-4 Buccaneers across the whole screen. Trade Empire also has the Favored Trades buff, which targets all nearby towers with a tower buff, granting bonus sellback. Like all Upper Path 3 Buccaneers, Trade Empire 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.



As a final upgrade, Trade Empire is relatively weak in its execution, gaining only $300 more for the Buccaneer himself at the end of the round, producing $800 (or $820 with the Trade Agreement Monkey Knowledge) without any new perks such as the increase in sell return when sold within the radius in the Buccaneer, though that ability is carried over from the prior upgrade.

What justifies its placement as a Tier 5 upgrade is its interactions with other Merchantmen and Favored Trades that are actively on the field, allowing each to gain an extra $20 for every single Merchantmen, Favored Trades and Trade Empire. There is a limitation to this however, in that 20 of the above three towers maximize the potency of the upgrade, with subsequent Merchantmen and Favored Trades not increasing the gains of other Path 3 Buccaneers further nor gaining the boost in income at the end of the round. On top of this, the Trade Empire can only count as a stack to the total Path 3 Buccaneers, but does not benefit from the increase in income at the end of the round.

Such a series of interactions allows for Merchantmen to gain up to a maximum of $600 at a time, or Favored Trades to surpass the $800 of the Trade Empire itself, with $900 at the end of the round. Thus, the lowest income at the end of the round is achieved by 20 Merchantmen and one Trade Empire at a hefty $12,800, even higher income when all Merchantmen are upgraded to Favored Trades ($18,800), even more optimized with 20 Favored Trades, 10 Central Markets without any crosspaths, and 1 Trade Empire for a whopping $48,800 at the end of each round. With the Trade Agreements Monkey Knowledge, the income is additionally increased by $420, adding up to $49,220.

Though the maps that both allow for Buccaneers at all and enough water space for 20 instances at a time limit its usage to maps like Cubism, Spice Islands and Off the Coast, it can allow for one of the easiest offhand economy generators that also provides a considerable amount of offense with options of Grape Shot and default Camo detection.


  • As with previous upgrades, 0-2-5 is generally the best choice if wanting to optimize its damage potential.
  • Choosing which Favored Trades to be Trade Empire usually doesn't matter, except in the case of having a nearby a Monkey City, where it's better to choose any Favored Trades nearby said Villages for the extra income per round.

Optimal Strategy[]

Infographic illustrating the most efficient income generation strategy with Merchantmen, Favored Trades, Trade Empire, and Central Markets

Hbomb did all the math and experimentation in these 2 YouTube videos

The conclusion reached for optimal build order is:

  1. Build 3 Merchantmen
  2. Build 1 Central Market
  3. Build 3 Merchantmen
  4. Build 1 Central Market
  5. Build 4 Merchantmen
  6. Upgrade 1 Merchantman to Favored Trades
  7. Sell both Central Markets
  8. Upgrade Favored Trades to Trade Empire
  9. (Optional, and map dependent) Get a 102 village to cover the area where you want to build the next boats
  10. Build 11 Merchantmen
  11. Upgrade all Merchantmen to Favored Trades
  12. Get 10 024 Farms
  13. (Optional, and map dependent) Upgrade village to 104
  14. Upgrade 1 farm to Monkey Wall Street
  15. Fill the rest of the water with favored trades (+optionally build 102 or 104 villages to lower cost/Increase income)

Version History[]

The Version 16.0 buffs have given Trade Empire a buff to all Merchantmen on screen with bonus damage, including itself. This is to give the Trade Empire upgrade a little more incentive on CHIMPS Mode other than being simply a "waste of money", while also improving the potential for Merchantmen farming greed.

  • Buff Trade Empire attack rate for all attacks is doubled.
  • Buff Trade Empire increases the damage of all Merchantmen by +1.
  • Buff Trade Empire adds a Ceramic/MOAB damage bonus to Merchantmen +1.
  • Change Now rotates when it attacks.
  • Buff Trade Empire now (correctly) buffs Merchantmen damage on CHIMPS Mode
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. Favored Trades stacking was never intended to be a feature but we previously updated the description to support the stacking instead of changing functionality, so this has now been corrected.
~ Ninja Kiwi
  • Buff Affected by Long Range pierce buff
  • Buff Affected by Crow's Nest granting Camo Prioritization
  • Nerf Affected by the Favored Trades sellback no longer stacking


Official artwork[]


  • Similar to the further Path 1 Upgrades, the flag on the top of the ship indicates its Path 2 upgrades with its coloration.
  • The cannons found on either side of ship are missing, seemingly firing darts and grapes out of nowhere.
  • Trade Empire income bonuses granted to Merchantmen stack only up to 20 Merchantmen/Favored Trades. This was not clearly written in the description until Version 6.0, though before then Ninja Kiwi did state that the income bonus limit was definitely not a bug.
    • The original description was "Generates more cash per round. Increases cash earned by all other Merchantmen by the number of Merchantmen."
  • Before Version 16.0, the description for Trade Empire was "Generates more cash per round. Increases cash earned by up to 20 other Merchantmen by the number of Merchantmen." but had been changed to include its new buff.
  • Version 18.0 changed the description for Trade Empire once again, but this time only with a change of a full stop into a comma and the word "increases" is lowercased instead of titlecased.
  • The fact that a Trade Empire cannot boost the income for more than 20 Merchantmen is not a bug. It is a feature that appears to be true by reading off the Trade Empire's current description: "Generates more cash per round, increases cash earned by up to 20 other Merchantmen by the number of Merchantmen... [...]". So therefore, a maximum of an extra +$8000 income per round (20x Merchantmen adding +$20 for the affected 20 Merchantmen) can be done via Trade Empire's special income boost portion.
  • Upgrading to Trade Empire always automatically rotates the Trade Empire ship to its default angle, but since Version 16.0 it can rotate at bloons while it attacks.