The Molotov cocktail is an incendiary weapon that is used to set a small area on fire. It is based on the real-life "home-made" Molotov cocktail, which is prepared by inserting a rag into a partially filled liquor bottle, allowing the rag to "wick up" the flammable alcohol or other volatile 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 ruptured, allowing the fumes to escape. This normally happens upon impact of the Molotov against a hard surface, after being thrown.
It can set a group of pedestrians on fire or light a car's engine on fire, causing it to explode. Victims on foot will catch fire and die if close enough to the flames. In GTA2 molotov doesn't set fire, but explodes. Use of the Molotov will normally result in at least a 1-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 cocktail 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 dropped that deals enough damage to annihilate people (even player itself) and vehicles.
In 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 ememies 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 shot. They are not as hard to use as Grenades as their flames spread in all directions.
- 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 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 you date Helena Wankstein, you can gain access to here tool shed in Flint Range. A Molotov Cocktail is one of those weapons 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, 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 off 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
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 Ave.
- BOABO - Can be found in an underground dock on the water's edge off Chicory St. 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.
- Acter - Can be found in a grassy area next to a tree behind some houses north of Moog St.
GTA Chinatown Wars
- The molotov cocktail makes a brief appearance in GTA V when Trevor Phillips (one of the three protaganists) uses one to burn a down a house in the second trailer.
- Can be purchased at Ammu-nation, however it is unknown how much it would cost as of yet.
- Can be found on the outside of the Alamo Sea Marina in Sandy Shores on the coast of the Alamo Sea.
- In GTA Liberty City Stories, when one cocktail explodes in a glass window (like the one in Capital Autos), the windows will break like they are hit by a vehicle or another weapon. Only happen on rare occasions.
- In GTA Vice City Stories, the Molotov cocktail is possibly made of gas, rather than gasoline or a boomshine, as it have more destructive effect.