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Molotov Cocktail

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"Crude yet highly effective incendiary weapon. No happy hour with this cocktail."
―GTA V, description from the Rockstar Games Social Club.

The Molotov Cocktail is a thrown weapon that has appeared in every game since Grand Theft Auto 2. It is the most basic explosive weapon throughout the series.


"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.

The name Molotov Cocktail was coined by Finnish soldiers during the World War II. The name is an insulting reference to Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov who claimed the Soviets were dropping bread baskets - instead of bombs - upon Finland. The Finns then claimed they were serving a drink to go with the food - and named their petrol bomb Molotov Cocktail.

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).
Molotov versus Ballas

An entire wave of enemies toasting in flames.

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.

Molotov effectiveness

All enemies dead on a highway.

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.


In-game model

HUD icon




Grand Theft Auto: Vice City


Molotov Cocktail's locations map

GTA San Andreas

GTA Liberty City Stories

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories

Grand Theft Auto IV

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.



Charge Island

  • East Borough Bridge - Can be found on top of the steel superstructure before the Bohan off-ramp.



  • Acter - Can be found in a grassy area next to a tree behind some houses north of Moog Street.

GTA Chinatown Wars

Grand Theft Auto V

  • 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.

Grand Theft Auto Online

  • Can be found in Crate Drops.
  • Can be given in as part of the "Torched" biker contract from the player's MC Club House as part of the Biker DLC.
  • 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.


Grand Theft Auto V

If the player enters GTA Online and then go back to Story Mode, molotovs will disappear from the weapon wheel of all three protagonists, the same happens with the Baseball Bat and the Golf Club.


  • 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. The helicopter explodes almost instantly upon impact and crash down afterwards.
  • In GTA III and GTA Liberty City Stories, any victim caught within the blast of a Molotov will bleed out after they're killed with the flames.
  • In some games, blowing up any law enforcement vehicles occupied by two or more officers inside with a Molotov will result in 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.
  • In GTA Chinatown Wars, Molotov Cocktails limit up to 99 units.


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