Beginner’s Guide to Bloons Monkey City

Bloons Monkey City is a deceptive game. On the surface, Monkey City looks like a simple, kid-friendly tower defense title. Below its silly veneer of monkeys popping balloons, though, it’s a surprisingly complex and deep game with some serious strategy. In this Bloons Monkey City beginner’s guide, I’ll explain how to go from your first dart monkey to being able to tackle some of the more challenging early levels.

General Tips for New Players

Hoard your Bloonstones – don’t bother using them to skip timers. I’m going to put together an entire guide to Bloonstones, but basically I would suggest hanging on to them. Sometimes, you can use them to get good stuff, including Monkey Knowledge packs!

Focus on getting a couple of each monkey, then pick the ones you like to build more of. Land is somewhat scarce until you get good enough to consistently take down MOABs (the blue blimps), so you likely won’t have space to hold the maximum number of every monkey. Even when you can take the tiles further away from the town center, playing a level to earn that land still takes valuable gaming time.

Pick your battles - water tiles are less useful than land!  Try to get a few of each tower before going crazy building a dozen of the same ones.

Pick your battles – water tiles are less useful than land! Try to get a few of each tower before going crazy building a dozen of the same ones.

Water tiles are limited in usefulness. Rivers can have watermills, and there’s also sub docks and buccaneer ports, but other than that for the most part you need land tiles. Put off capturing water tiles you don’t need until there’s an event that gives you free stuff for doing it. For instance, if you wait until every capture gives Monkey Knowledge, you can go back and capture a lot of the now “trivial” water tiles!

Attack other players in MvM! Even if you’re terrible at MvM, don’t sweat it. Most of the time, I ignore it when other people attack me! You’ll make out like a bandit in terms of Bloonstones, and as long as you attack consistently you’ll move up in the Honor rankings as well.

Unless you’re going for the achievement related to revenge, I’d suggest staying away from MvM revenge. Ideally, you want to attack people who aren’t attacking you – winning against players who don’t care or who aren’t playing means more rewards. Getting into a “revenge war” with another player just makes the whole thing take longer and yield less loot.

Hey Hey, We’re the Monkeys!

The number of different monkeys to choose from can be daunting to the beginner. I compiled a list of my top 10 monkeys a while back, and that might be a good place to start.

There are three major tricks up the bloons… sleeves? Do bloons have sleeves? Anyhow. Three major things to worry about in the early levels:

  • Bloon rushes, where major chunks of bloons come in short order and try to get past your defenses
  • Camo bloons, which are invisible to a lot of monkeys and can sneak right past if you’re unprepared
  • Lead bloons, which can’t be popped by anything sharp and require special treatment

For your early levels, you’ll probably be laser focused on the Dart Monkey. Dart Monkeys in Monkey City are cheap and effective against most early swarms of bloons. It can be tempting to “bet the farm” on Dart Monkeys, but they don’t scale that well into later rounds. In fact, against even once lead bloons become common they’re worthless, and against MOABs they barely scratch the surface.

Dart Monkeys can be effective, at least until you hit lead bloons.  Against larger rushes and MOABs especially, they tend to be limited in usefulness.

Dart Monkeys can be effective, at least until you hit lead bloons. Against larger rushes and MOABs especially, they tend to be limited in usefulness.

Once you get a few levels under your belt, I’d suggest trying my favorite monkey combo:

  • Ninja Monkey – Go for the Bloonjitsu upgrade. Good versus camo bloons, although it won’t be able to pop lead. Bloonjitsu is very worth it, though, as it can dominate many large swarms!
  • Apprentice Monkey – Get at least the Lightning Bolt upgrade, but make sure you grab the Monkey Sense upgrade eventually as well. Since it can pop both lead and camo, it’s a great monkey for ensuring neither of those ruin your day. When paired with the Ninja for raw popping power, these two are a powerful combo!
  • Bomb Shooter – Bloon Impact is an extremely useful skill to have. It can stun giant swarms of bloons, making them easier to take out.
  • Bloonchipper – The Bloonchipper is unique in that it pulls bloons out of their track, which means that it can increase the range of your towers by bringing bloons closer to them for longer! When upgraded with Super Wide Funnel, it can easily hold off even the baddest of the MOABs.

A lot of people I’ve seen like to use the Mortar instead of the Apprentice, but I feel like the Apprentice gives you more versatility. You can choose to go for Whirlwind and keep bloons under fire for longer, or you can go for Dragon’s Breath for raw bloon popping power.

Monkey Positioning and Pierce

So, you know what you want to place! Great, right! That’s all there is to it. Guide over.

Wait, it’s not! It’s actually important to know how to place your monkeys to get the maximum benefit from them. Many monkeys shoot a projectile, like a dart. They’ll shoot their projectiles at a bloon in their radius, but which one they target depends on their targeting settings. Once the dart is fired, usually it flies in a straight line towards the bloon. Now, the darts take time to travel, so sometimes they miss. Also, if they hit a bloon, they may pass through it and out the other side!

All this means that it matters where you put your monkeys in relation to the track. For straight-firing monkeys (like dart monkeys), you’ll get more benefit if they’re throwing their darts straight down the track. Darts will pierce the first bloon and pass through, hitting more bloons in their path. This usually means they should be either on a corner or right up next to the track.

Positioning is key!  Here, I've grouped my monkeys together so they can be covered by the Monkey Village.  The Apprentice and Ninja fire seeking shots that hit bloons even if they're not aligned with the track.

Positioning is key! Here, I’ve grouped my monkeys together so they can be covered by the Monkey Village. The Apprentice and Ninja fire seeking shots that hit bloons even if they’re not aligned with the track.

The benefit of monkeys like the Ninja (with the Seeking Shuriken upgrade) or the Apprentice (with the Lightning Bolt upgrade) is that they both cause shots to track nearby bloons. That means that you always get the most possible pops out of your monkeys.

Upgrading Your Monkeys

There are definitely some powerful monkeys and upgrades listed in that previous section. But what upgrades and what monkeys should you prioritize?

In general, saving up for expensive upgrades or expensive monkeys is a bit of a risk. You’re betting that you don’t need to spend money in order to win the current round(s) you’re playing. That’s why I like to go for cheap stuff early before saving up for the more expensive upgrades.

For instance, I’ll generally get my Ninja monkey to Double Shot and Seeking Shuriken, then build my Apprentice to Lightning Bolt and Monkey Sense. If it looks like things are getting bad, I might add a cheap Glue Monkey to support these two before I go for the Bomb Shooter.

Basically, what you want to do is keep a balance between saving for expensive upgrades which will really help you kick bloon butt while still keeping enough popping power going to survive the rounds in between.

Next Up: MOABs and the Contested Territory

That’s it for my beginner’s guide! There’s still a LOT to cover, though, as things ramp up considerably past round 20 or so.

Click here to go to my guide to MOABs and the Contested Territory!