Bloons Wiki
Bloons Wiki

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 fifth upgrade of Path 3 for the Monkey Buccaneer in Bloons TD 6. It generates $800 income after the end of each round instead of $500 (+$20 with the TradeAgreementsIcon Trade Agreements 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, +$10 per Merchantman and +$20 per Favored Trades, capped at 20 stacks. At the maximum 20 stacks, Trade Empire increases cash of the affected 20 merchants by +$200 for 20 Merchantmen and +$400 for 20 Favored Trades. 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.

The Trade Empire itself is almost no different from a Empire-buffed Favored Trades, aside from the 0-2-5 crosspath which improves its burn damage-over-time from 4 to 9.

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



Placeholder other

Trade Empire

Trade Empire is a decorated cargo ship. Its hull is red, albeit a slightly lighter color than Favored Trades. Inside the ship lies multiple boxes of various shades of red, blue and white. Along with that, coins can be seen littering the bottom of the ship. On its back sits a deck with three windows and a radio tower mounted atop it, probably for Camo detection. Two wings are connected to two ropes with triangular flags going up and down it, ending at a pole in front.

Trade Empire increases the strength of all Merchantmen involved, increasing their damage and income generation. All Merchantmen and Favored Trades gain +1 damage and +1 damage to MOAB-class and Ceramics on top. In terms of income generation, each Merchantman or Favored Trades counts as a "merchant stack", increasing income per Merchantman for up to 20 Merchantmen by +$10 or +$20, respectively.

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.


Updated as of Version 33.0
Easy Medium Hard Impoppable
Upgrade Cost (x-x-5) $19,550 $23,000 $24,840 $27,600
Total Cost (0-0-5) $26,675 $31,880 $34,430 $38,255
Total Cost (1-0-5) $26,920 $32,230 $34,810 $TBA
Total Cost (2-0-5) $27,385 $32,780 $35,405 $TBA
Total Cost (0-1-5) $27,140 $32,430 $35,025 $TBA
Total Cost (0-2-5) $27,565 $32,930 $35,565 $TBA



As a final upgrade, Trade Empire is relatively weak on its own, gaining only $300 more for the Buccaneer himself at the end of the round, producing $800 (or $820 with the Trade Agreement Monkey Knowledge) with only the additional perk of providing bonus damage to all Merchantmen and above. It does, however, retain the bonus +10% sellback from its preceding Favored Trades upgrade, although it is key to consider the Trade Empire's substantially higher cost.

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 $10 for every Merchantmen, and an extra $20 for every 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 20 Merchantmen to each generate $400 at a time, or 20 Favored Trades to each produce $900 at the end of the round. Thus, 20 Merchantmen and one Trade Empire produces a hefty $8,800, which is even further increased when all Merchantmen are upgraded to Favored Trades ($18,800), and even more optimized with 20 Favored Trades, 10 Central Markets without any crosspaths, and 1 Trade Empire for a whopping $40,800 at the end of each round. With the Trade Agreements Monkey Knowledge, the income is additionally increased by $420, adding up to $41,220.

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, the hot grapes offering popping of Leads and popping multiple bloons per shot. Note that the darts and grapes are both affected by the Trade Empire's damage buffs.
  • Choosing which Favored Trades to be Trade Empire usually doesn't matter, except for two cases: having a nearby a Monkey City, where it's better to choose any Favored Trades nearby said Villages for the extra income per round; and whether it is within range of other Favored Trades.

Optimal Strategy[]

Trade Empire 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, which are correct before Version 33.0:

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 (Note: this step is incorrect and it is more efficient to have 7 024 farms before upgrading to any more favoured 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)

As covered by Ethan Reid's "Is Merchantmen Farming Still Good?" video, he stated that Merchantmen stacks since the Version 33.0 nerfs have stabilized to match just slightly lower than the efficiency of Monkey Bank, lowering return rate from 12.9% to 10.9% (timestamp: 0:39) when compared to Bank's 11.4% return rate (timestamp: 0:55).

Version History[]

Balance Changes[]

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. Since the Monkeyopolis nerf in Version 32.0, Trade Empire strategies rose on maps with sufficient water, and because of this got a nerf to Merchantmen stacks without changing Favored Trades stacks.

  • 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
Trade Empire farming power even with the water requirement feels like it takes off too easily, so the bonus cash it provides will now require T4 Favored Trades for the full benefit.
~ Ninja Kiwi
  • NERF Trade Empire cash per round per merchant when applied to Merchantmen reduced +$20 → +$15.
    • Trade Empire cash per round per merchant when applied to Favored Trades still remains at +$20.
[...] Buccaneer Farming at the base level is in-line with other farming options, slightly weaker but with enough dps to compensate, we recently experimented with lowering the benefit Trade Empire grants to T3s to slow down this early benefit & this turned out to be quite successful however they still scale too well too quickly for a low price so we’re bringing that down more.
~ Ninja Kiwi
  • NERF Trade Empire cash per round per merchant when applied to Merchantmen reduced +$15 → +$10.
    • Trade Empire cash per round per merchant when applied to Favored Trades still remains at +$20.
  • NERF Trade Empire will no longer buff too many Merchantmen in Co-Op Mode
  • BUFF Affected by Long Range pierce buff
  • NERF Affected by Favored Trades + Paragon bonus sellback synergy removal
General improvements made to higher tier DoT applications for Buccaneer. [...]
~ Ninja Kiwi
  • BUFF 0-2-5 Trade Empire grape's burn damage over time increased from 2 to 9

Bug Fixes and General Changes[]

Extra Notes (Version History)[]


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.
  • If multiple Trade Empires are placed down in multiplayer, both the maximum number of buffed Merchantman and the limit on the stacking income bonus will increase accordingly.
  • 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.