- "Crude yet highly effective incendiary weapon. No happy hour with this cocktail."
- ―GTA V, description from the Rockstar Games Social Club.
- "An oily rag in a bottle of gasoline makes a cheap, readily available, incendiary device for the masses. ...I predict a riot."
- — Description at GTA CW.
The Molotov cocktail is an incendiary weapon that is used to set a small area on fire. As in real life, molotovs are home made, they are prepared by inserting a rag into a partially filled glass bottle, allowing the rag to ignite the flammable liquid within. This causes the soaked rag to become flammable itself, allowing it to be lit on fire. Because the fumes from the flammable liquid (which are actually what catches fire, not the liquid itself) are contained within the bottle, full ignition does not occur until the glass container is broken, allowing the fumes to escape. This normally happens upon impact of the Molotov against a hard surface, after being thrown.
It can set vehicles and groups of pedestrians on fire. Victims on foot will catch fire and die if close enough to the flames. In GTA2, molotovs doesn't set fire, but explodes like a grenade. Use of the Molotov will normally result in at a 1-star to 3-star wanted level. It proves to be one of the most deadly weapons for the player when used at close range. It is one of only two weapons which can destroy a tank, the other being a Flamethrower. In Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories the Molotov is more effective and can destroy a vehicle rapidly fast after one bottle being thrown at the vehicle (providing the vehicle is in the inner circle of the blast) and merely looks like a mini atomic bomb when exploding that deals enough damage to annihilate up to 10 people and 7 vehicles at close range (the latter occurs in a chain reaction). Also, in all 3D Universe games, one or two Molotovs is capable of taking down an airborne NPC helicopter, making it suitable to fend off pursuing Police Mavericks above during a 3-star police chases on foot (except GTA III).
In the DS, iOS & Android versions of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, the player can use the touch screen to throw Molotov Cocktails at a distance in any direction. Huang Lee can go to gas stations marked in the radar to fill up bottles of gasoline to use as Molotov Cocktails. A minigame is associated to this with the player using the touch screen to aim the gas nozzle to the bottle and shoving a cloth into the bottle. In the PSP version, however, the molotovs can be thrown with the same button used for most weapons, and the molotov making minigame uses a button combination.
In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, when thrown at something like a wall, the Molotov will set alight anyone standing behind it, making it a very effective weapon against enemies behind cover without exposing the player to enemy fire. The Molotov is a very effective and advisable weapon to use in gang warfare since it has the power to take down a large number of enemies or even an entire wave in a single throw. They are not as hard to use as Grenades as their flames spread in all directions.
Since flamethrower is not present in the HD Universe, the player can only start a fire with a Molotov cocktail, jerry cans or a Flare Gun. Other explosive weapons and vehicles can make fire when exploded but not as efficiently.
- Saint Mark's, Portland - Inside the abandoned rail tunnel (that runs underneath Saint Mark's) just southeast of 8-Ball's Bombshop in Harwood. To obtain them, simply kill the 4 tramps inside. A Hidden Package will be in the center of their 'circle'.
- Liberty Campus, Staunton Island - On the upper level on the north part of the Campus Courtyard next to the east set of stairs. This pickup will give you 10 molotovs.
- Pike Creek, Shoreside Vale - Available to buy in the unnumbered garage at the Pike Creek LCPD Compound after the completion of A Drop In The Ocean ($2,000).
- Spawns at every safehouse after collecting 60 Hidden Packages.
GTA Vice City
GTA San Andreas
- Vinewood, Los Santos - To the right of the Hobos diner in the northeast portion (directly west of the 24/7).
- Ocean Docks, Los Santos - To the right of a short street that connects to Los Santos International Airport, underneath a building.
- East Los Santos, Los Santos - In an alleyway , north of Cluckin' Bell.
- Ganton, Los Santos - Inside the kitchen of the Johnson House after spraying all 100 tags.
- Palomino Creek, Red County - At the southwest corner of the rooftop of the red brick building at the southwest edge of town (above Drive-Thru Confessions).
- Flint Range, Flint County - If CJ dates Helena Wankstein, he will gain access to her tool shed in Flint Range. A Molotov Cocktail is one of the weapons found inside the shed.
- Creek, Las Venturas - At the shopping center, on the roof at the very southern edge.
- Come-A-Lot, Las Venturas - At the north end of the casino, on the roof of the tan brick building at the southwest corner of the intersection one block east of The Camel's Toe pyramid.
- Fort Carson, Bone County - Next to the dumpster behind the P Hat Liquor store at the south end of town.
GTA Liberty City Stories
- Red Light District, Portland - In the ruins of the Dolls House after the mission Blow up 'Dolls'.
- Belleville Park, Staunton Island - Down the set of stairs leading to the toilet block.
- Belleville Park, Staunton Island - Behind the fire station, after beating the side mission Karmageddon.
- At the picnic area in Cochrane Dam, Shoreside Vale
- Used by the Liberty City Trade Union, along with the baseball bat.
GTA Vice City Stories
- Viceport - Inside a container located inside the Civil Asset Forfeiture Impound yard. In order to get it, the player can use one of the two ramps or an aircraft.
- Ocean Beach - Near to a sitting bench by the beach on the long grassy area.
- Behind all safehouses after popping 40 Red Balloons.
Molotov Cocktails can be purchased at the back-alley gun shops for $500. They can also be purchased from Little Jacob for $350. Being hit by one on multiplayer is not a death sentence, because you can pause and will not take fire damage while the flames begin to extinguish. However, you can still be killed, stabbed, shot, or otherwise hurt. They can be used from cars, but it is difficult to do so as the Molotov would have to hit the target directly. A couple Molotovs will flame up a car also, while four will set it ablaze, and six will completely destroy it or render it inoperable.
- Firefly Island - Can be found in the rest area near the Memory Lanes bowling alley.
- Firefly Projects - Can be found on the west side of the projects off Cokanuk Avenue.
- BOABO - Can be found in an underground dock on the water's edge off Chicory Street. This pickup is relatively difficult to obtain due to its location.
- East Borough Bridge - Can be found on top of the steel superstructure before the Bohan off-ramp.
- Northwood - Can be found in a loading dock near the water's edge off Ivy Drive North.
- Westminster - Can be found on the catwalk overlooking the helipad on the water. This helipad is where Niko Bellic steals the helicopter during the mission Dust Off.
GTA Chinatown Wars
- Can be found on the back deck of the Boathouse in Sandy Shores just a block northwest of the Ammu-Nation
- Can be found under the Great Ocean Highway at the beach south of Hookies. It is 0.13mi south of from the Hookies carpark under the Great Ocean Highway. Take the dirt road to the beach and as soon as the trail ends on the map turn left.
- On the top floor of the construction site in Little Seoul. It is by the north end of the southernmost blue JETSAM container on the north building.
- At the rear of the Chumash Plaza.
- In the alley behind the Mirror Park barber shop.
- At the end of the "Zancudo Grain Growers" field right next to the bushes and the ladder of the small water tower, located in the "Mount Chiliad" area.
- At the smaller Stoner Cement Works plant on Baytree Canyon Road, under one of the little carport-like roofs on the west side of the property.
- At a small scrapyard on Greenwich Parkway, behind the Los Santos Customs LSIA branch. Is just located between two wrecks.
- Can be found in Crate Drops.
- Can also be found in ammo drops from Merryweather.
- Can be found in several player-created deathmatches.
- Permanently added to the players inventory if you logged on the 25th of december.
- In the 3D Universe, attempting to take down a helicopter with a Molotov will make it simply catch fire and explode in mid-air, rather than spinning out of control.
- In some games, blowing up any law enforcement vehicles occupied by two or more officers inside with a Molotov will result to an instant 3-star wanted level.
- In GTA IV, Molotov Cocktails are made from bottles of Cherenkov Vodka. In GTA V and GTA Online, they're made with Logger Beer bottles.
- In GTA Liberty City Stories, when a Molotov's flames come into contact with a glass window (like the one in Capital Autos), the windows will shatter like they are hit by a vehicle or another weapon. Only happens on rare occasions.
- In GTA Vice City Stories and GTA IV, the Molotov cocktail is possibly made of napalm rather than gasoline or alcohol, as it has a more destructive effect.