How to make tranquilizer darts

How to make tranquilizer darts DEFAULT

Tranquilizer darts are designed to administer a compound from a distance, utilizing low velocities to minimize unnecessary injury to the animal by excessive penetration of the dart. As a result, effective distances and subsequent accuracy of the dart are problematic. It was hypothesized that a minor modification to commercially-available tranquilizer darts would allow greater velocities to be utilized by reducing some of the impact force. This should increase the effective distance of the darts while reducing potential damage to target animals if higher velocities were utilized. A foam-based conventional earplug was modified by cutting it in half to fit over a tranquilizer dart needle. Velocity and calculated impact energy produced from 2.0-cc practice transmitter darts were recorded for treatment and control darts projected at a distance of 13.72 m at two velocities. Degree of dart penetration into a block comprised of layers of a foam insulation material was recorded. Relative accuracy of darts was also collected. While no differences were observed in dart accuracy, velocity, or projected impact energy (p > 0.05), penetration of darts into the insulation block at the higher test velocity was lower (p < 0.05) for treatment darts (11.82 ± 0.30 cm) compared to controls (13.17 ± 0.36 cm). However, dart penetration into the hip of a euthanatized dog was similar (p > 0.70) between the treatment (2.21 ± 0.77 cm) and controls (2.68 ± 0.96 cm) at the higher velocity. It also appeared that degree of dart penetration was highly influenced by the angle of impact relative to the tissue. Based on dart penetration results in animal tissue, the foam based dart modification was not an effective method to reduce impact force of tranquilizer darts.


Dr. Universe: how do sleeping darts work? (e.g. for elephants) - Jonathan, 7, Pullman, Wash.

Dear Jonathan,

Some people get nervous when they go to the doctor. Maybe you’re one of them. You may not enjoy all of the visit, but you understand the doctor wants to help you. (And that a treat might await you at the end.)

But if an elephant gets sick, they can’t understand a doctor’s words. They may get confused and scared, until it’s too dangerous to help them.

That’s why sleeping darts—also known as tranquilizer darts—help so much.

“It’s safer for both the humans and the elephant because the humans aren’t right next to a wild animal, and the animal isn’t being chased to try to catch it,” Dr. Tamara Grubb said. She is a veterinarian at Washington State University who specializes in anesthesiology, drugs that make animals calm, sleepy, or unable to feel pain.

Veterinarians and other scientists use sleeping darts to safely handle wild animals, including sick or injured creatures. Depending on what needs to be done, darts contain different kinds of calming drugs. Different drugs have different effects on the body and brain.

Dr. Universe, a grey cat with a lab coat, looking upTranquilizers help animals become less excited, while still awake. If the animal just needs to stay calm, the dart will contain tranquilizers.

But if the animal needs to be completely still and unable to feel pain, the dart will also have anesthetics. Anesthetics cause animals to sleep long enough for people to handle them.

Darts look similar to a needle and syringe, like your doctor uses. A chamber for liquid holds the drug. A plunger pushes that drug into the needle.

But the veterinarian can’t inject the drug from far away. So darts have a built-in device to do this, usually a container of tightly packed air.

“The dart flies through the air, meets resistance, and stops. When it meets resistance, the plunger makes that little charger go,” Grubb said. “It’s just like the doctor pushing the plunger on the syringe, except the doctor isn’t there.”

Once the drug enters the elephant’s muscle, changes begin. Their blood carries the drug to the brain.

Within the brain, chemicals send signals to the rest of the body. Some of those chemicals send messages that keep the elephant awake. Sleeping drugs work by shutting those chemicals off for a while.

The drug causes changes in the brain similar to a nap, but much deeper. The animal won’t have dreams, but they’ll be completely unaware. Within 15 minutes, they’re fully asleep.

Veterinarians might have only 30 minutes before the elephant wakes up, so they work quickly. They help the elephant into a safe, comfortable position, often with ropes. “It can be very complicated to support a big elephant. It takes a lot of work and a lot of people,” Grubb said.

Once the work is done, veterinarians give another drug to wake the elephant. They watch from a distance to be sure the elephant stays safe.

And the elephant wanders away, perhaps a bit confused, from the strangest nap they’ve ever had.


Dr. Universe

Body and Brain
Plants, Animals, and Bugs
Veterinary Medicine
sleeping darts
WSU Pullman
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[Top 5] Ark Survival Evolved Best Tranquilizers

5. Tranquilizer Arrow 

Check out this video for details about the tranquilizer:

How to make TRANQ ARROWS : Ark Survival Evolved

If you just started playing Ark and are still exploring its amazing world, the Tranq Arrow is the perfect fit when it comes to taming dinosaurs. It’s a simple, efficient tool that can render creatures unconscious. This tranquilizer can be used as ammo for the Bow, Compound Bow, and Crossbow. Giving 35 damage and 70 instant torpor, the Tranq Arrow is used the best with a Crossbow. 

Tranq Arrows are great because: 

  • They are the most efficient taming weapon in the Early game, as they become available at level 21.
  • These arrows are incredibly easy to make: you only need 1 stone arrow and 1 narcotic. Moreover, their crafting time is 1 second.
  • You can also collect them by killing higher-level dinos or find them in the green supply crate, so they are definitely a more available option.  

Tranq Arrows details: 

  • You should have a mortar and pestle in order to craft the narcotics. The arrows themselves are simply crafted in the inventory. 
  • When used with a Bow the instant torpor damage is 40 with a timed release of 50 torpor over 4 seconds. 
  • You can recover them as stone arrows by walking to a specific area, but the narcotics will be expended. 

4. Toxicant arrows

Check out this video for details about the tranquilizer:

Toxicant Arrows - The Most POWERFUL Tranq Ever! Ark How To: From PC To Mobile Series

You may have not heard of these ones. The toxicant arrows are a special kind of tranquilizer, available only on the mobile version of the Ark Survival Evolved. However, they are worth their place in this top due to their high torpor of 150. The arrows can be used as ammo for the Bow, Crossbow, and most efficiently for the Compound bow. 

Toxicant Arrows are great because: 

  • Unlike Shocking Tranquilizer Dart, Toxicant Arrows do not have a Spoilage timer
  • They  do 1.5x more Torpor than  Tranq Arrows
  • Toxicant arrows have one the fastest fire rate on weapons 

Toxicant Arrows details: 

  • These arrows, unlike Tranq darts, can be used underwater, meaning you can tame any dinosaur of your wish.
  • They become available at level 62 and require 46 Engram Points
  • I should mention they are not that easy to craft, as you need 1 ×  Stone Arrow, 5 ×  Bio Toxin, and 2 ×  Polymer or Organic Polymer.

3. Tranquilizer Darts 

Check out this video for details about the tranquilizer:

How to Make Tranq Darts - Ark Survival Evolved

These darts are used for ammunition in the Longneck Rifle. They are more advanced than the Tranq Arrows but are also used as a material for crafting the Pheromone Dart, Shocking Tranquilizer Dart, and Tranq Spear Bolt. Unlike their arrow version, the darts must be used carefully because of their higher damage. Long story short: instead of taming, you may kill the dinosaurs. By mistake of course. 

Tranq Darts are great because: 

  • The instant torpor damage they inflict is 156, with an additional 250% of damage over the next 5 seconds. 
  • They can get the job done much faster: for a level 150 Rex you need 172 tranq arrows, but only 70 tranq darts. 

Tranq Darts details: 

  • To be crafted, a high material cost is needed: 3 ×  Narcotic, 2 ×  Metal Ingot or Scrap Metal Ingot, and 1 ×  Simple Rifle Ammo. 
  • They can be crafted in: Smithy, Argentavis Saddle, Castoroides Saddle, Thorny Dragon Saddle, and Tek Replicator
  • You can unlock them at level 62 
  • Tranquilizer darts remove attachments to the Longneck Rifle when applied

2. Tranquilizer Spear Bolt

Check out this video for details about the tranquilizer:


This is essentially a large bolt with a tranq dart mounted on the front. It is mostly used as ammo for the Harpoon Launcher and with an instant torpor of 216, it’s one of the best tranquilizers out there. A small setback though: using it on land isn’t actually the best idea, as it will not travel very far. 

Tranq Spear Bolt is great because: 

  • It is the perfect tranquilizer to knock out creatures underwater. You can even use it on enormous creatures such as the Mosasaurus. It might take a while, but it will surely get the job done.
  • It does approximately 36 damage per hit and induces up to 300 torpor.
  • If it doesn’t break, you can pick it back up as a regular Spear Bolt. 

Tranq Spear Bolt details: 

  • Even it is made from Spear Bolt, it cannot be loaded in a Ballista.
  • The Tranq Spear Bolt becomes available at level 72, requiring 40 engram points. You can craft it using any of these: Smithy, Argentavis Saddle, Castoroides Saddle, Thorny Dragon Saddle, Tek Replicator
  • Resources needed:  1 x Spear Bolt, 1 x  Tranquilizer Dart

1. Shocking Tranquilizer Dart

Check out this video for details about the tranquilizer:

Soloing the Ark - Shocking Tranq Darts - Bio Toxin - Perfect Rex Tame!

This remarkable tranquilizer will increase your target’s torpor by 1200% of the damage instantaneously, as well as an additional 500% of the damage over the next 5 seconds. It is used as ammunition for the Longneck Rifle and spoils in Tranquilizer Dart in approximately 4 hours. Being the most advanced tranquilizer, it is twice as effective as the Tranquilizer Dart. However, it is also a challenge to craft such ammo. 

Tranq Spear Bolt is great because: 

  • It contains refined Cnidaria toxin, which also shocks humans. With this tranq, you can take your game to the next level!
  • If you load one dart into the Longneck rifle, it will not expire until it is removed.
  • The darts inflict less damage and the increased torpor reduces the number of darts needed, decreasing the risk of accidentally killing your tame. 

Tranq Spear Bolt details: 

  • It becomes available at level 96, but it only requires 30 Engram points. A small price to pay for such a tranq. 
  • Crafting it won’t be easy, requiring a Refining Forge, a Smithy,  3 ×  Bio Toxin, 2 ×  Metal Ingot or Scrap Metal Ingot, and 1 ×  Tranquilizer Dart. To craft this dart you will need to dive into the deepest ocean and gather biotoxin from the oceanic jellyfish. 
  • This tranq will lock you up for roughly 5 seconds if hit while wearing Riot Armor, and about 10 seconds with Flak Armor

You May Also Be Interested In:


Tranquillizer Dart

An elephant tranquillizer used on a fox?
That'll keep him down for awhile.
...maybe permanently.

Star:What's that thing on your neck?
Tom:[with dart on neck]What? I don't have a thing in my neck. What's that thing on your arm?
Star:[notices dart on arm]Huh? [starts getting groggy]What are you doing on the ground? What am Idoing on the ground? [falls unconscious]

Star vs. the Forces of Evil

If a character needs some Instant Sedation, one of the most common delivery methods is the Tranquillizer Dart. Simply put, this is a thin, pointed projectile that is shot, thrown, blown, or otherwise flung at the victim from a distance. The sedative is either smeared on the dart or contained in an ampoule or capsule attached to the dart.

This small projectile, usually fired into the neck or buttocks, seems to put the target to sleep with only enough time to pluck out the dart and stare at it in amazement before passing out. If that much.

Like other forms of Instant Sedation, tranquillizer darts are subject to Artistic License – Medicine: the same dose will work on everyone, they work exactly as fast as the plot demands, are exactly as effective as the plot demands, the effects last exactly as long as the plot demands, and they generally have little or no after-effects beyond a slight headache or some residual grogginess.

Occasionally the dart will have a non-sedative but related effect, delivering a paralytic or amnesiac drug instead, so the victim is still conscious but either can't move or won't remember what happened.

Subtrope of Instant Sedation. Sister trope to Knock Out Gas which works better for area attacks. Often used in a Knockout Ambush. Compare Stun Gun. Sometimes used as Family-Friendly Firearms.


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    Anime & Manga 

  • Agent Aika: Aika has a pistol that fires darts. It is used heavily in episode six. In Aika R16 and Aika Zero, guns appear to fire bullets, but they have the same effect as darts.
  • Case Closed: Conan's wrist-watch tranquilizer needle gun. The victim barely has time to mumble a few words before keeling over. So far, there have been very few characters who have proven resistant to it. When it happens, it catches Conan completely off-guard. Gin shot himself in the arm to overcome the sedation with a rush of pain and adrenaline.
  • In Dragon Half, Rosario shoots Mink with a knockout dart and she instantly falls. Then Rosario puts two more darts into her right away, setting up a gag where he and the king think Mink died from the overdose. Strangely, at first Rosario accidentally inhaled and got the dart stuck in his tongue, but nothing ever came of this.
  • Lupin III: A fairly often trope used when one of the main five characters are shot for real. Zenigata, as the "antagonist" to Lupin, is the frequent target. Usually wears off after his funeral.
  • Subverted in Lupin III vs. Detective Conan. Conan uses his watch-dart on Inspector Zenigata, who is so tough that it wears off in no time (though he still goes down quickly). Conan is pretty surprised when it wears off. Tots-san probably built up an immunity to it.
  • Subverted in Michiko & Hatchin. Michiko appears to be very resilient when hit by a dart from a tranquilizer gun. Twice.
  • Subverted in New Getter Robo, though the writers were probably more concerned with the Rule of Cool than realism. Ryoma gets hit by an animal tranquilizer in the first episode, but it doesn't stop him from running across the street and dropkicking his two attackers before going down. Note that this is after he had just fought a 3-on-1 fight against some Yakuza goons and had gotten a knife buried into his shoulder.
  • Tower of God: Khun "recruits" Edin with one of those.

    Comic Books 

  • Batman
    • Before they learned about each others' secret identity, Bruce Wayne tried to pull this on Clark Kent so he could change into his cape and cowl. This was when Bruce finally realized Clark was Superman.
    • Batman also used an incredible amount of darts in Batman: The Cult. In fact, he loaded turrets and rifles with them, basically using them in pretty much the same way everyone else would use bullets. It sure is lucky that nobody can die from the wrong dosage of sedatives, eh?
  • Kalimán uses curare-tipped darts (from a blowgun) to paralyze his foes (since he never kills). Ironically, in real life, most curare poisons (there are several under the same appellation) cause death by asphyxia.
  • During a tie-in to Spider-Geddon, Spider-Man takes his fight with Morlun to the Central Park Zoo. As Morlun's hunting for him, Spidey designs a bunch of darts with triple-strength sedatives. It takes at least four, including one jammed into Morlun's eye, to bring the vampire down.
  • The Ultimates: The guards watching Captain America fired those at him when he got mad. It was no use: he's Captain America, so he took some medical tray he had at hand and used as an improvised shield to block the shots.

    Fan Works 

  • In Guardian Blue, a Zootopia fanfic, tranq darts are frequently used by the ZPD, but they're shown to have their limitations:
    • In Season 1, part of the plot revolves around the season's Big Bad spiking elephants' ice cream with a substance to render them immune to tranq darts after he turns them savage.
    • In Season 3, Cherry armours herself against tranq darts by spraying her fur with epoxy. The first time she takes on the ZPD, Judy and Nick only manage to take her down by putting darts in her joints - the few areas she couldn't epoxy. The second time, Chief Tora has to pin her down before Judy and Nick can tranq her again..
    • Also from Season 3, it's mentioned that tranquilizers can be health hazards, which is why ZPD Medic Surikata panics and gives Cherry a tranq diffuser - though he should have asked why they'd dosed her so much.
      • Judy also figures that the reason Clawhauser is the only Precinct 1 officer other than her to have killed someone in the line of duty is because he tranqed a suspect and it reacted badly to them, resulting in their death.
  • Discworld-setNature Studies sees an urban safari in Ankh-Morpork after lots of imported animals manage to make a break for freedom. The Assassin-zoologist who coordinates the recapture uses Assassin blowpipes and modified poison darts to tranquilize the larger and more dangerous animals.

    Films — Animation 

  • Madagascar:
    • Alex, Marty, Melman, and Gloria are all hit by tranquilizer darts when they are caught by the animal control while inside New York City's Grand Central Station. Alex hallucinates and sees trippy imagery set to Sammy Davis Jr.'s "The Candyman"... Then he gets tranq'd again before he gets put into the shipping crate, resulting in a sped-up version of the aforementioned sequence!
    • In the third film, all four of the Zoosters (and Julien) are darted right after they return to the Central Park Zoo.

      Marty: I'm like a candy cane... in a black and white movie...

  • Moana: When the Ocean gets fed up with Maui's acting up, it (she?) blows a dart in Maui's butt cheek. While this doesn't make Maui lose consciousness, his entire body goes completely limp for a while, so it clearly acts a muscle relaxant. The blow darts come from the Kakamora, the coconut pygmy pirates, who use tranquilizer darts as their main weapon along with arrows.
  • On Open Season, Boog's caretaker has to shoot him with a tranquilizer dart when he apparently goes on a rampage (he's actually fighting with Elliot, who gets several darts to the butt as well).
  • In the first trailer for Zootopia, Judy uses one on Nick after he trips her. This is clearly a case of Artistic License – Biology, because the trailer goes out of its way to identify the dart as an "air-powered elephant tranquilizer" which would be clearly fatal if used on a small fox. Also, the sedative appears to be in the feathered end, as a wildebeest eats that part while Judy is arresting Nick and keels over before she has a chance to warn it.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • In Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, Ace takes three darts, which he says "is too much." And then he takes four more.
  • The Avengers (1998). Sir August renders Mrs. Peel unconscious with a drug-tipped dart.
  • In the short film made of Battleground by Stephen King, The Unnamed hitman shoots two security guards using a tranquilizer gun (carefully removing the darts afterward to avoid leaving potential evidence for the police). While one goes down immediately, the second guard (a strong, fit-looking man) just yelps from the dart and reaches for his own gun, but the hitman is prepared for this and quickly knocks him out physically.
  • Black Widow (2021): Red Guardian gets shot with a dart, but since he's really big and a Super Soldier, he laughs it off. He then gets shot with several dozen darts and gets knocked out.
  • In Cube Zero, the soldiers shoot tranq darts at the escaping prisoners, as their mission is retrieval, not elimination.
  • The Pink Berets from Hop have blowguns with sedative darts as their primary weapon. A patrolman near the Hollywood sign gets one dart to the neck, resulting in Instant Sedation. Two large dogs living beside a mansion where the Pink Berets' quarry is staying also get one dart each. Finally, The Hero discovers them in the mansion's kitchen, whereupon he receives a salvo of six darts to the face.
  • Firestarter. Used for a long-range Knockout Ambush on Andy and Charlie, as it's the only way to capture them safely due to their superpowers. Trying to attack Charlie at any range even with bullets is a dangerous proposition, as the Shop later discovers.
  • Genesis II. Members of PAX have small pistols that fire tranquilizer darts. They can render the target unconscious in seconds.
  • Get Smart Max attempts to use a tranquillizer dart on a guard so that he and Agent 99 can infiltrate their target's mansion. But Max accidentally ends up sucking the dart, knocking himself out. When he wakes up, he finds that 99 has snuck both him, and even changed his clothes for him.
  • The Gods Must Be Crazy explicitly mentions that Xi's tranquilizer darts don't take effect immediately. That's why they are rigged to fall off immediately, so the victim doesn't know they've been tranqed (they feel only the sting, which can be attributed to insects).
  • In the opening scene of The Rock, the mercenaries use tranq darts on the soldiers guarding the chemical weapons depot. All of them fall unconscious immediately.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has a sequence where Rocket deals with a bunch of attackers using traps including tranq dart launchers. In this case Instant Sedation makes sense, since the dart launchers almost look like military missile launchers and thus each victim gets hit with almost a dozen darts at once.
  • HOUBA! On the Trail of the Marsupilami
    • The trope is exaggerated with Dan Geraldo, who gets dozens of blowpipe darts in the face before fainting.

      Dan:It stings a bit.

    • Later played straight with tranq darts fired by a rifle, which take out the Marsupilami (as well as a soldier by accident).
  • James Bond
  • In Jungle 2 Jungle, Mimi-Siku brings his blowgun and several darts with him to New York. His father's aim proves rather questionable, as he tries to practice with it and ends up shooting his own foot. And his fiancée's cat. And his best friend's wife.
  • Discussed in Kangaroo Jack when the protagonists accidentally shoot a dart to their airplane pilot while they are airborne; the pilot experiences the effects in stages as noted by one of them.
  • Frank Drebin's cufflink tranquilizer darts in the first The Naked Gun movie. However, they're not quite instant enough, since the bad guy staggers around long enough to fall over a railing to a Cruel and Unusual Death.
  • The Predator:
  • Primal: Great White Hunter Frank Walsh uses a dart fired from a tranquilizer gun to knock out the jaguar in the jungle and capture it. He later takes the tranquilizer gun when he is hunting both Loffler and the escaped jaguar on board the Mimer. It is much less successful on these occasions.
  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes has Landon use one of these on Rocket, when he's fighting with Caesar.
  • Serenity subverts this in the climactic battle when Kaylee is tranquilised by Reavers. She takes three darts to the neck. Although she quickly begins to feel shaky, she can still hurry (albeit with Simon's help) into the corridor behind and continues to stand, shielded from Reavers by Simon while Zoe and Jayne struggle to close the blast doors. Only when Simon helps lie her down does she comment she's beginning to lose feeling. Even then, the Final Battle between Mal and the Operative has to take place and Mal return for us to spot that Kaylee, while not moving very much at all, is still conscious.
  • Shandra: The Jungle Girl: The expedition uses tranquillizer darts to take Shandra alive. One accidentally hits Cord and knocks him out for three day. If the darts had been calibrated to take down the Made of Iron Shandra, this probably surprising.
  • The Soldier. When the Soldier's unit are taking over an ICBM base, they use a full-auto version (actually a LARC International M19-A BB gun) to fire several darts into a guard. This is because they are trying to take everyone alive, though that doesn't stop them shooting down a helicopter later.
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home: Nick Fury shoots Ned with a dart that knocks him out before he even hits the ground, though Fury advises Peter to move Ned to a comfortable position to make sure he doesn't accidentally swallow his tongue.
  • Spies Like Us. Emmett Fitz-Hume and Austin Millbarge knock out five Soviet soldiers instantly with "high-compression tranquilizer pistols".
  • Terror Birds: The villain's henchmen use them to knock out the protagonists with Instant Sedation.
  • In the 1967 comedy Thoroughly Modern Millie the darts work instantly, though the earlier Knockout Gas was not played as straight.


  • Lone Wolf:
    • Drugged darts are used by Maouk, the Sharnazim Captain, in Shadow on the Sand to take out Lone Wolf without a fight.
    • In the same book, Lone Wolf can use a blowpipe and tranquillizer dart on a guard; the effects are instantaneous.


  • Staple in Butler Parker, Parker himself usually delivered them through his blowdgun-umbrelly, though he also had ballpoint pens capable of shooting them and in early issues also used a real blowgun. Also, he had similar darts (pins) hidden in the seats of his retooled taxi (to be deployed at the press of a button) and in different forms as needles both in his arsenal and that of his associates.
  • Dune has this come up when Leto finds the Shadout Mapes dying on the floor in the palace and Doctor Yueh shoots him with a dart (at the start of the Harkonnens' raid on Arrakis). Yueh is the family physician, so he knows the duke's body mass, metabolism, and so on. Some reference to the drugging of Jessica and Paul is also made; the Baron stands over Jessica as she comes to and tells her, "The drug was timed." This admission tells her the traitor has detailed and intimate knowledge of her vital statistics.
  • In Alistair Maclean's The Golden Gate, Agent Revson has a device that fires sleep darts that don't have any side effects, which causes their victims to think they fell asleep naturally.
  • A staple of covert operations in Alan Dean Foster's Humanx Commonwealth universe, Instant Sedation darts are most prominently used in Bloodhype, when Kitten Kai-Sung, Mal Hammurabi, and Porsupah are infiltrating the AAnn enclave on Repler. Possibly justified by being in The Future, but it also fails No Biochemical Barriers. Oh, well.
  • Subverted in the novel Jurassic Park, where the big Tyrannosaurus rex (yes, there are two Tyrannosaurs) takes over an hour to feel it when she's shot with several times the so-called recommended tranq dose. In fact, she nearly eats the kids while everyone's waiting for her to pitch over.
  • The Long Arm of Gil Hamilton has hypo guns firing crystalline anesthetic that melts in the bloodstream. Both the UN police and the organleggers they hunt use them for the same reason — the loser is likely to find themselves cut up for body parts, so it's preferable they are captured alive and undamaged.
  • In the universe of Steven Perry's Matador Series series, one of the legal loads for the hand-mounted spetsdod is a round loaded with a tranquilizer, appropriately called "Trank".
  • In the Paradox Trilogy, Devi is shot with tranquilizer darts in Heaven's Queen. Because of her resistance to sedatives, the first dart has little effect, and it takes four to bring her down.
  • Sam the Cat: Detective: In The Maltese Kitten,Evil Poacher Herman Hench carries a dart gun that he uses to put multiple people and animals to sleep for several hours.

    Live-Action TV 

  • Subverted in The Adventures of Pete & Pete's Christmas Episode; Little Pete shoots the Garbage Man with a tranq (actually hitting a major vein!), and it takes a couple minutes of real-time to start taking effect.
  • Arrow. The title character has hand-thrown flechette darts that serve this purpose.

    Arrow: Tranq dart. He'll be out for thirty-six minutes.

    Quentin: Yeah...(rubs neck)I remember.

  • Batman (1966) episode "The Ring of Wax". The Riddler takes down Batman and Robin with anesthetic darts fired from a blowgun.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Oz is a frequent victim of these, what with him being a werewolf. Over the course of the series he gets shot six times with a tranquilizer dart: "Phases", "Beauty and the Beasts", twice in "The Zeppo", "Wild at Heart" and "New Moon Rising".
    • Giles gets shot with a tranquilizer dart meant for Oz when Buffy is thrown off the mark by the intended target's girlfriend.
    • Willow shoots her vampire counterpart with one in "Doppelgangland".
  • Chuck:
    • Every time tranquilizers are used, unless the victim is Badass Normal Casey. When they have to tranquilize Jeff and Lester, Lester goes down instantly but Jeff takes multiple darts and a few minutes to lose consciousness. Jeff is a bigger guy and his past drug use made him more resistant.
    • The eponymous character himself is more wont to use tranquilizer darts as opposed to actual guns to (temporarily) take out bad guys. They always cause harmless Instant Sedation.
  • Although Dexter consistently uses a syringe up-close, there is one episode involving a tranquilizer dart. The target is an animal control worker who is holding a tranquilizer gun loaded to take down an alligator. Presumably resistant to the effect of tranquilizers from personal experience, he has enough time to shoot Dexter with it before he collapses. Dexter also has a bit of time to pull the dart out before losing consciousness. They both wake up in an ambulance with some really worried EMTs.
  • Death in Paradise: In "Murder Most Animal", local zookeeper Xander Sheppard is found shot in the back with a poisonous dart, and a tranquilizer rifle is found discovered just inside the zoo fence. Later, J.P. gets shot in the butt with a tranquilizer dart by Ruby while the two of them are trying to arrest an animal smuggler.
  • Eureka equips Taggert, the Crocodile Dundee-esque dogcatcher, with these. Used twice, to take down Fish out of Water Marshall Jack Carter, and inadvertently, the owner of the town's biggest (and possibly only) café.
  • An episode of the documentary series Fatal Attractions gave a good illustration of how these work in Real Life. When a man was discovered keeping a full-grown tiger in a New York City public-housing apartment, a NYPD officer rappelled down from the roof with a tranquilizer gun to shoot the tiger through the window. When he did, the tiger immediately charged, hitting the wall with such force that the entire building shook. Only then did the tranquilizer take effect, enabling officers to safely remove the tiger from the building.
  • The F.B.I.: In "All the Streets Are Quiet", the FBI use a tranquilizer gun borrowed from the local zoo to knock out the two Angry Guard Dogs guarding the crooks' hideout.
  • Subverted in Friends when Phoebe is shot in the backside with a dart. She never passes out, though she does comment that her buttock is asleep (and that the other one has no idea). Of course, the dart was intended for a very small monkey, so there probably wasn't much juice in there anyway.
  • In The Incredible Hulk (1977), Intrepid Reporter Jack McGee at one point has a tranq gun to use on the Hulk. Sure enough, the Hulk shows up and McGee shoots him, to seemingly no effect even though he uses several darts. After the Hulk grabs and destroys the gun and runs off, he starts being affected.
  • Lost
    • Subverted in an episode where Sayid is shot twice with tranquilizing darts. He pulls one dart out and we're led to believe that the trope is playing straight until he surprises the shooter, who approached him to confirm unconsciousness.
    • Pretty much played straight in a lot of other episodes, featuring darts, gas and chloroform. Namely, some episodes in this respective order are: "Live Together, Die Alone", "Left Behind" and "Something Nice Back Home".
  • Subverted in Malcolm in the Middle, where trapped with a pair of lions, Malcolm shoots down the zoo personnel's idea of tranquilizing them on the grounds that the beasts would have just enough time to get angry and tear them apart (the show puts it at three minutes, which is almost certainly selling the lions short, but it's the thought that counts).
  • Tranquillizer darts are frequently used in Primeval to stop creature attacks.
    • Also used for that purpose on Zoo when afflicted animals are being captured alive for research.
  • Subverted once on The Red Green Show. Ed Frid once shot himself in the foot with a tranquilizer dart and remained conscious long enough to calculate how long he would sleep, give Red instructions on how to deal with the animal they'd captured and lay down comfortably.
  • Used in Smallville on basically everyone who isn't Clark Kent, probably more than once.
  • Played with in an episode of Stargate Atlantis. Ford is hit with a dart, pulls it out and seemingly collapses immediately. The villains move in to restrain him, only for him to suddenly wake up and attack, indicating that he was either only stunned for a moment, or he may have been playing possum to draw them in.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • Tranq guns are used in "Hathor" by O'Neill and Carter to neutralize male soldiers enthralled by Hathor without killing them. As usual, sleep is instantaneous.
    • In "In the Line of Duty", when Sam/Jolinar gets tranqued twice, the first case with "enough to knock out an elephant," it takes a minute before she's out.
    • In one episode Daniel shoots Osiris with a tranq dart, and she pulls it out, looks annoyed, goes and activates some transporter rings, then leaves in a spaceship. The last shot of her shows that she's just a tad off-balance, and that's about two minutes after getting shot. Note that he's using a Goa'uld-specific sedative.
    • The same Goa'uld-specific sedative proves completely inefficient against Kull warriors, however, even though the trinium-tipped darts can pierce their special armor.
    • In the later seasons, people are using tranq darts all the time and they often knock the victim out in less then a second, and occasionally cause the victim to throw themselves away from the dart.


    Pro Wrestling 

  • In one episode of WWE Smackdown, The Big Show was shot by a tranquilizer dart used to take down dangerous animals. He may be a giant, but a rampaging deer still weighs more than twice his size. They didn't show concern for him overdosing, but they did have him raging and ready to fight until it kicked in five minutes later so it's up to you to decide if this was played with, played straight, averted, inverted, or subverted. Once he passed out, Kurt Angle shaved his head.

    Tabletop Games 

  • d20 Modern has the air pistol and air rifle, meant to deliver a tranquilizer round, though some characters don't hesitate to use more deadly payloads.
  • Dungeons & Dragons naturally has its share of this (especially in earlier editions with their plentiful save-or-die effects, where merely falling unconscious for an hour or two from a single failed saving throw could be considered positively merciful).
    • The most iconic example are probably drow hand crossbows and their small but typically sleep drug-coated quarrels.
    • Fiend Folio. The red urchin fired spines tipped with a venom that put victims that failed a saving throw to sleep for 1-4 minutes.
  • Shadowrun has darts filled with Neurostun or Narcoject, which can be fired from pistols and rifles.
  • Traveller had the snub pistol which could be loaded with tranquilizer rounds, as described in Book 4 Mercenary. Any creature hit by one would be asleep shortly. In Adventure 2 Research Station Gamma the Animal Care Robots used them to capture escaped lab animals.

    Video Games 

  • Alpha Protocol has tranquilizer rounds for the pistol, which does fixed (very low) damage against human foes (and even less so against body armour) with its only advantage being that it counts as nonlethal incapacitation. They're even usable against bosses, although they will simply be treated as regular (but much less damaging) bullets against them and subsequent cutscenes will ignore said bosses being hopped up on enough tranquilizer to put a herd of elephants to sleep. This means that if you bring down Darcy with them in the endgame, he'll presumably suffer an allergic reaction to them since he dies anyway.
  • You can craft these in ARK: Survival Evolved, an arrow-based version for your bow and crossbow and two bullet-based versions for the longneck rifle. Despite the numerous fantastical elements in the game, these darts are treated fairly realistically - larger creatures need multiple darts to knock unconscious, and the effect isn't instantaneous (though still extremely fast, but that's a concession to gameplay).
  • In Borderlands 2 Mordecai uses a tranq dart on Bloodwing after she is captured, experimented on and attacks the player, in an attempt to calm her down to bring her back to Sanctuary. This triggers possibly one of the saddest lines in the game:

    Mordecai: I'm loading the tranq dart! Tranquila Blood! This won't hurt, I promise.

  • Deus Ex
    • JC's mini-crossbow in the first game can be loaded with Tranquilizer Darts which can knock a target out cold indefinitely when shot in the head, otherwise the victim will run around yelling for help before falling unconscious. When the PC is shot with a tranquilizer dart, it causes the screen to darken and sway, but the nanotechnology takes care of the venom fairly rapidly. Of course the game is about lies and conspiracy and those tranquilizer darts are in all probability some form of lethal poison. Which is why you take damage when you are hit by them.
    • Adam Jensen continues, or rather set the precedent for JC to follow in Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and has access to a tranquillizer rifle.
  • In The Journeyman Project, a robot shoots Agent 5 with one just after he enters one of the time zones, and he has to make an antidote to neutralize it before exploring the rest of the time zone. When the dart is analyzed, the tranquilizer in question is listed as dimenhydrinate, which would presumably render Agent 5 unconscious, rather than kill him. Later on, Agent 5 can also steal the robot's dart gun and use it to take down the Big Bad at the endgame.
  • Fallout 3 has the Dart Gun, a makeshift crossbow that fires throwing darts (the kind used in pubs) tipped with radscorpion venom. The damage is pitiful, but it cripples the target's limbs completely, preventing them from moving or fighting effectively (note that radscorpion venom administered the natural way — from a radscorpion stinger — causes damage over time, not paralysis).
  • The dart gun in Far Cry 2 fires tranq darts meant for big game animals, and thus each shot result in an instakill.
  • James Bond again:
  • The Genesis version of Jurassic Park limited Dr. Grant exclusively to non-lethal guns like tranquilizers, tasers, grenades and sedative-laced rockets, only the last of which put down dinosaurs indefinitely. The Actionized SequelRampage Edition added in some more deadly guns and removed the possibility for enemies to get back up (they'll still flash and disappear even if you are just using the tranq guns on them).
  • Played straight and subverted in Metal Gear Solid. Hitting somebody in the head or the heart with the tranquilizing weapons (that is, not the stun grenades or the taser-like weapons) knocks out instantly while hitting the belly or the limbs delays the effect. Some of the boss characters are bizarrely resilient to tranquilizer rounds, though, and can take several rounds to the head before passing out, even though Otacon insists that the tranquilizer rounds are potent enough to knock out an elephant. It's worth pointing out that the same bosses can take a similar number of bullets to the head without dying.
  • Used frequently in the Monster Hunter series, with Tranq Bombs, Tranq S bowgun ammo, and even Tranq Throwing Knives, required for monster capture quests. The monster has to be weakened to the brink of death for them to work, and the effects will only kick in if the monster's in a trap.
  • In Ninja Gaiden (NES), after Ryu takes care of the first boss, he is approached by Irene Lew (who goes unnamed at that point). He tells her to go away, and she appears to comply...only to pull out a tranquilizer gun and shoot Ryu. Since a bang is heard, and you only see Ryu’s shocked face, it would seem as if Ryu died. Cue Act 2, where Ryu wakes up in a cell, and Irene gives Ryu a statue, telling him to escape. This begins the next stage.
  • A stock weapon in the No One Lives Forever series, essential in the levels where "no casualties" is the requirement.
  • Overwatch: Ana's sleep dart temporarily puts a target to sleep for 5 seconds, but they instantly wake up if they take any damage.
  • Perfect Dark has a wrist-mounted crossbow that fires knockout darts, and the medical staff in Area 51 have anesthetic guns that cause an Interface Screw on Joanna, but she can use them to knock out enemies...or deliver a higher dose at point-blank range to lethally-inject them.
  • Ada Wong is knocked out by one in Resident Evil 4 fired from a very archaic-looking air rifle. It takes her less than half a second from looking at the dart that hit her for her eyes to roll up into her head.
  • In the RuneScape quest "A Clockwork Syringe", if you're spotted during a Stealth-Based Mission, a dart will be thrown at you, the screen will turn black, and you'll wake up unharmed in an unguarded jail cell which can be easily escaped.
  • Second Sight has people staggering around for a few moments after being hit with tranquillizer darts,then reacting like they have been punched in the chest and falling over. Hitting them in the head takes them down instantly. It's worth noting that on the few occasions where you're shot with one yourself, it slowly saps your health rather than knocking you out (although the game treats knocked out enemies more or lessthe same as dead ones and the cutscenes that play after you're defeated would indicate that you survive whatever takes you down).
  • In The Several Journeys of Reemus: Chapter two, Reemus is shot from offscreen by a dart so loaded with sedative that it actually sprays a considerable amount on Liam when it hits. Liam has just enough time to identify the sedative before he, too, is shot and goes under. Later on, they have to collect a sample of it (it's a type of honey made by a particular bee, which is so potent that even a small amount contains enough sugar to induce a temporary diabetic coma) to exploit its faux-sedative properties.
  • Shounen Kininden Tsumuji has a blowgun that shoots darts causing enemies to be instantly knocked out and easy to attack.
  • Played straight in the Ultimate Spider-Man video game when Silver Sable tries to kidnap Peter Parker by knocking him out with a couple of tranquilizer darts... for a few minutes anyway. Then his enhanced metabolism kicks in allowing him to wake up earlier than he was supposed to and resist all subsequent shots. Cue boss battle where he has to fight off both Silver Sable and her mercenaries while trying not to succumb to the effects of the tranquilizers in his system.
  • Such a gun is used in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves for one level by Drake and Flynn.
  • XCOM: Chimera Squad has Tranq Rounds ammo, that work just like regular ammo except for the fact that any enemy downed by tranq rounds suffers a Non-Lethal K.O..
  • The Business from Fortuna in Warframe sells tranq rifles used for animal conservation across the game's landscape areas. These rifles shoot darts that travel in arcs and cause animals hit with them to fall unconscious in seconds, ready to pick up by a drone. Most critters need just one tranq to pacify regardless of size, though heavier ones like stovers may require up to three.

    Web Animation 

  • In Deep Space 69 episode 18:

    Jay: Imma take a nap on the ground. [faints]

    Web Comics 

  • Dominic Deegan has instant paralysis darts that, bizarrely wear off moments after being removed.
  • In Girl Genius, knock-out darts are revealed to be a part of Violetta's arsenal for her blow gun while in Paris.
  • Subverted and Lampshaded in The Last Days of FOXHOUND. When Liquid is possessed by Big Boss and he is threatening Raven, he is shot in the head with a high dosage tranq dart by Wolf, and it takes him several seconds to fall unconscious, causing Raven to say "That took way too fucking long". Also subverted when the Cyborg Ninja is tranquillized and remains conscious long enough to flee.

    Wolf: I can never get ze dose right vith zese super-humans.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 

  • Phineas and Ferb: In the episode "Bad Hair Day" multiple are fired to subdue what seem to be orangutans. (Accidental victims of the boys' latest invention,actually.) However, only two people are hit. An Animal Control worker, and Doofensmirtz. While the worker barely has enough time to say he's going to pass out, Doofenshmirtz is able to make it most of the way through a musical number he himself sings, then passes out (in 17 seconds as he predicts).
  • American Dad!: In "Pulling Double Booty", Hayley goes on an animalistic rampage at the mall when Jeff breaks up with her, forcing mall security to bring her down her with tranquilizer darts. In the next scene, Stan and Francine carry her home with nearly a dozen darts in her back.
  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force: In the episode "Creature from Plague Lagoon", when Meatwad request Shake to tell him a bedtime story, Shake tells him one about a tranquilizer dart getting picked on by other darts, who then huffed and puffed... just as Shake blows an actual tranquilizer onto Meatwad. Shake immediately gets hit with one just as Frylock walks into the room.
  • The world of Avatar: The Last Airbender has shirshu spit darts (they induce paralysis but not unconsciousness) made from the paralyzing toxins in a shirshu's tongue. They're used on Appa in the first series when he's kidnapped and sold to the circus and on the titular heroine of The Legend of Korra when the Red Lotus abducts her from her bed.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door: "Operation: Z.O.O." begins with Mrs. Goodwall (a parody of Jane Goodall) knocking out the KND with tranq darts to put them in a "Kids Zoo".
  • The Fairly OddParents: After recalling all that Cosmo had done to ruin his career, Jorgen von Strangle goes into a fit of animalistic rage only to be quickly rendered insensate using two darts humorously marked "K" and "O".
  • In the unsold Hanna-Barbera pilot Duffy's Dozen, family patriarch Ted Duffy and his clan are at Yellowstone Park where Ted's bowling ball slips into the paws of a sleeping bear. Ted attempts to retrieve it without waking the bear, as his wife alerts a park ranger. The ranger shoots a tranquilizer dart, which hits Ted right in the keister and knocks him out cold. It was quite intentional as Ted was running the risk of awakening the bear.
  • Family Guy:
    • In "The Thin White Line", Peter's boss devises a contest for the company picnic, which involves taking shots at the employees with a tranq rifle and seeing who can last the longest. Most of the employees drop like stones the moment they get shot... except for Peter, who ends up with more than a dozen tranquillizer needles stuck in him, and still manages to stay conscious long enough to win the contest. It would seem that this is either due to his relatively high body mass, which (in theory) would require longer for the chemicals to spread through his body, or due to the increased amount of fatty deposits, which would help isolate the venom from his bloodstream.
    • In "A Very Special Family Guy Freakin' Christmas", when Stewie manages to calm down Lois after she reaches her Rage Breaking Point and goes on an anti-Christmas rampage, Peter still asks for the police to tranquilize her. Come Christmas morning, she's still loaded with what Peter claims is enough tranquillizer to bring down a bull elephant.
  • Subverted in a Futurama episode. A mysterious robot in a robe tries to shoot a dart at the Professor, but misses and hits Bender.
  • In Gargoyles, when Brooklyn is hit with one, he goes down almost instantly, but is still blinking groggily when he's dragged away — so it may not have put him out completely at all. Goliath gets hit with one in Awakening Part III which only slows him down for awhile.
  • In an episode of House of Mouse, Donald tries to shoot tranquilizers at the Aracuan Bird during his performance, eventually using heavier firepower in all directions. By the time he's done, everyone in the club, including Mickey and Donald himself is shot and fast asleep...exceptPrincess Aurora.
  • Jonny Quest TOS episodes:
    • "The Quetong Missile Mystery". In what may be a Lampshade Hanging, Race Bannon makes a note of how fast anesthetic darts work on enemy guards.
    • "Pirates from Below". Race and Bandit are knocked out by a tranquillizer dart rifle wielded by an enemy operative.
  • Animal Control from Regular Show use assault rifles loaded with tranquilizer darts to bring down Death Bear. It works; About 2 minutes, 300 darts and one pair of arms later.
  • Subverted in a The Ren & Stimpy Show cartoon parodying nature shows; Ren is accidentally shot with a tranq dart by Stimpy, and it takes a minute for him to go down. In the meantime, his voice slows down.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In the season 1 episode "The Call of the Simpsons", Homer is mistaken for Bigfoot and hit with a tranquilizer dart. He has enough time to say "Avenge my death, son," before falling asleep, snoring noticeably.
    • Bart has just been "taken" by a monkey at a local zoo, and Homer tries to save him by putting a tranq-dart into a tube and putting it into his mouth. He then inhales, and it gets self-explanatory after that.
    • Subverted in another episode when Barney is shot with a bear tranquilizer dart. He actually pulls out the dart and drinks the remaining sedative before passing out.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil: Star and Tom get shot with tranquilizer darts while searching for the monsters. Also averts Instant Sedation, as they have time to ask each other about the darts that suddenly appeared (when the camera wasn't looking) before they pass out.
  • Used in three episodes of the Total Drama series:
    • In "Wawanakwa Gone Wild!", Izzy uses them in a gun to try and bring down the animal she has to capture, a deer. Unfortunately, Heather is hiding behind a bush wearing deer antlers — Izzy only sees the antlers and shoots her by mistake.
    • In "Search and Do Not Destroy", Owen comes back to the campgrounds sticking out of a bear's mouth. Chris uses the darts to sedate the bear, but he gets Owen, too.
    • In "Dial M for Merger", Duncan gets shot in the neck with a dart when the interns have to drag the remaining contestants to a cave as part of the challenge.
  • The Venture Bros.:
    • In general, one of The Monarch's preferred weapons for him and his minions. He has knockout darts for his nemesis and lethal darts for his minions.You would think he has this backwards, but no.
    • Subverted in the first episode; Brock takes about a dozen butterfly darts, and only goes down when hit with a truck. Of course, itisBrock.
    • The pirate captain has an addiction to tranquillizer darts in the episode "The Lepidopterists."
    • 24's attempt to kill Hank in the episode "Tears of the Sea Cow" are averted because he didn't know his rifle only shot tranquillizer darts.


ATHF - Story of a Dart

Shake tells Meatwad the story of a special dart.

Alternative Title(s):Tranquilliser Dart, Tranquilizer Dart, Tranquillizer Gun


Make tranquilizer to darts how

v · d · eWeaponsFor a side-by-side comparison of all weapons, see the Weapons page! For a comparison of reload and draw times, see Weapon Mechanics! Melee

Electric Prod  •  Lance  •  Pike  •  Shield (Wooden, Metal, Riot, Tek)  •  Spear (Flaming)  •  Sword (Tek)  •  Tek Claws  •  Club

Ranged Ammunition Tools

Chainsaw  •  Glow Stick  •  Hatchet (Stone, Metal)  •  Lasso  •  Metal Sickle  •  Mining Drill  •  Pick (Stone, Metal, Climbing)  •  Pliers  •  Taxidermy Tool  •  Torch  •  Whip


Auto Turret (Heavy)  •  Ballista Turret  •  Cannon  •  Catapult Turret  •  Minigun Turret  •  Plant Species X  •  Rocket Turret  •  Tek Turret


C4 Detonator (C4 Charge)  •  Cannon Shell  •  Cruise Missile  •  Grenade (Smoke, Poison, Cluster, Tek, Tek Gravity)  •  Water Mine  •  IED  •  Plant Species Z Fruit  •  Rocket Launcher (RPG, Homing Missile)  •  Rocket Pod  •  Tek Grenade Launcher


Bear Trap (Large)  •  Oil Jar  •  Plant Species Y Trap  •  Tripwire Alarm  •  Tripwire Narcotic


Scout Remote  •  Unassembled Enforcer  •  Unassembled Mek  •  Unassembled TEK Hover Skiff

How to make tranquilizer dart easily

Say the same. Once upon a time study. She slapped my ass when I bent down to carry her suitcases into the room. That fan they drank with mom in the kitchen, laughed and discussed men.

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" Valera - the sergeant assured that he would be awake and provide. We parted with that. Having amicably decided to score for dinner and not show up at all "in the location", we moved towards the.

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