As an alternative melee weapon, bottles are not as effective as the brick because it breaks after the initial hit. Bottles take longer to respawn on higher difficulties. On Grounded bottles take 3 minutes to respawn, compared to 1 minute on Easy.
Throwing empty bottles as distractions disrupt enemy pre-scripted paths, making it possible for the player to make them go anywhere. As a melee weapon, bottles deal similar damage to using Joel's fists, except they can damage Clickers while Joel's punches can not. If the player runs up to a human enemy and strikes them with a bottle, it knocks them to the ground, enabling the player to use them as a human shield.