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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, or Molotov, is a thrown weapon that has appeared in every game since Grand Theft Auto 2. It is the most basic throwable weapon throughout the series.


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.


Grand Theft Auto 2

Unlike most weapons, the Molotov Cocktail in Grand Theft Auto 2 is one of the most basic weapons, as well as having a generic design of a bottle with the rag set on fire.

3D Universe

In the 3D Universe, the Molotov Cocktail adopts a different design throughout the games. The rendition used in Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories is depicted as a generic green bottle with a beige label; the rendition in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is a brown bottle with a small label on it; and the rendition in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories is depicted as a greenish bottle. The Grand Theft Auto Advance rendition is not very visible, but it is seen as a blue bottle with the rag set on fire.

Grand Theft Auto IV

The Molotov Cocktail returns in Grand Theft Auto IV with a more detailed design, even featuring a Cherenkov Vodka label on it. It is the only fire-based weapon the player can use.

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

"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 Chinatown Wars.
The Molotov Cocktail in Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars can be assumed to be the same from GTA IV, except that it features a blank label.

In the DS, iOS & Android versions, 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.

Grand Theft Auto V

The Molotov Cocktail is again featured in Grand Theft Auto V, but this time as a brown bottle with Logger Beer label on it and a much shorter rag.


Grand Theft Auto 2

Molotov Cocktails do not set fires, but work similar to Grenades, with a few differences. Molotovs explode only upon colliding with something and they can't be overcooked. They are also incredibly effective against vehicles.

3D Universe

The Molotov Cocktail can set vehicles and groups of pedestrians on fire. Victims on foot will catch fire and die if close enough to the flames. 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 Rhino, 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 Grand Theft Auto III).

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.

In both Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas the protagonist gains immunity to fire after completing the Firefighter missions. This reward makes Molotovs a lot safer to use and handy at short range.

3D Universe Overview

Weapon Statistics - 3D Universe
Damage Fire Rate [?] Range
(m / ft)
Ammo Specifications/
Reload Mechanism Reload Speed
75 (GTA Vice City)
100 (GTA Vice City)
25 / 82 (GTA Vice City)
1 (GTA Vice City)
N/A 1 (GTA Vice City)
N/A 60 RPM (GTA Vice City)

64 RPM (GTA San Andreas)

Cannot be determined Single unit N/A N/A

Grand Theft Auto IV

The Molotov Cocktail appears to be less powerful than other renditions, but is still able to take out targets efficiently. A single bottle can set an enemy on fire and causing them to fall to the ground for a limited time, although a second bottle can be enough to burn them to death (unless the player decides to take them out with another weapon while they are vulnerable). Armored targets like NOOSE/FIB agents may take a third one, as the Body Armor will suppress the fire. Its inmediate action will bring the target less time to react and they are likely to be burned with a direct impact from the bottle.

Being hit by one on multiplayer is not a death sentence, because one can pause and will not take fire damage while the flames begin to extinguish. However, one 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.

GTA IV Overview

Weapon Statistics - Grand Theft Auto IV
(per shot)
Fire Rate [?] Range
(m / ft)
Ammo Specifications/
Reload Mechanism Reload Speed [?]
Incendiary (x2) N/A N/A 1 N/A N/A
In-game Statements / Markings
1/8 (every 1 second) N/A Cannot be determined Single unit N/A N/A

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

The Molotov Cocktail is more intended for enemies on foot rather than burning vehicles, although an unarmored one may take a few bottles to destroy it.

Grand Theft Auto V

Again, the Molotov Cocktail proves to be efficient against unarmored targets on foot, as a single bottle will likely burn them to death, as the fire is somewhat less prone to extinguish. Using it against vehicles may work as well, as the vehicles will be rather sensitive if any of their parts are set on fire.

GTA V Overview

Weapon Statistics - Grand Theft Auto V
(per shot) [?]
Fire Rate [?] Range
(m / ft)
Ammo Specifications/
Reload Mechanism Reload Speed [?]
0 (Base damage)
30 (direct)
4 (edge)
0 30 / 98 1 (25) N/A N/A
In-game Statements / Markings
N/A N/A Cannot be determined Single unit N/A N/A
Rockstar Games Social Club [?]
Fire Rate/Speed
Clip Size

Image Gallery

In-game model

HUD icon

First Person View



Grand Theft Auto 2

Grand Theft Auto III

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas


Molotov Cocktail's locations map

Los Santos

Red County

Flint County

Las Venturas

Bone County

  • Fort Carson - Next to the dumpster behind the P Hat Liquor store at the south end of town.

Grand Theft Auto Advance

Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories

Grand Theft Auto IV




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.

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

Grand Theft Auto V


Weapon pickups map including the construction site Molotov pickup in Grand Theft Auto V.

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 Bikers update.
  • Can be dropped by a Sergeant-at-Arms for $200.
  • 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.
  • Available in the bunker's shooting range alcove with no unlock requirements, as part of the Gunrunning update.



  • The name Molotov Cocktail was coined by Finnish soldiers during the Winter War between Finland and the Soviet Union. The weapon was named after 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 bombs Molotov Cocktails.

3D Universe

  • 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 Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, any victim caught within the blast of a Molotov will bleed out after they are killed with the flames.
  • In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, if the player throws a Molotov or any other thrown weapon, they will get a 1-star wanted level even when they are out of sight of the police. Interestingly, throwing a molotov close to your target would cause the victim to knock down with your arm and instantly killed upon setting on fire.
  • 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 Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, when a Molotov's flames come into contact with a glass window (like the ones found in Capital Autos or Phil Cassidy's gun store), the windows will shatter like they are hit by a vehicle or another weapon. Only happens on rare occasions.

HD Universe


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.


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