Due to how the trigger is actually a bicycle brake lever, the Flamethrower appears to be a homemade weapon. The source of the fuel is a small red propane tank hooked to the bottom.
The flamethrower suffers from a limited range. Upgrading range increases its effectiveness and spread to put a greater distance between the targets and the user, reducing the risk of injury or attack.
Joel finds one in a loading dock at the University of Eastern Colorado, suggesting that it may have been made by a student there. Highly effective against Infected, it can easily dispose of a Bloater, but without the splash damage of the Molotov Cocktail. A 1 hit-kill to human enemies, even minor exposure to the flame will incinerate them, rendering them unable to attack before they succumb to the flames.
Joel first finds the flamethrower in the university in what appears to be a garage, then again in a bottom floor just before encountering an area with numerous infected. The placement of the flamethrower acts as a test run for the weapon, but fuel is consumed quickly.
In Factions, the flamethrower can be purchased after the player has collected 4750 supplies. Costing two loadout points to equipped, it requires 240 parts to purchase 30 fuel with the price increasing by 60 parts on each successive purchase. Despite being the weakest weapon per hit (tied with the Specter) it only takes 10 fuel to execute someone without incinerating them; they burst into flames of more than 10 fuel is used. To reach it's full range, an additional 5 units of fuel is required for sustained fire.
The flamethrower does small bits of damage in quick succession and unlike all other guns (that leave the victim in a near-dead state), the flamethrower burns the enemy just like the Molotov Cocktails, meaning that the victim cannot be revived. Again, similarly to Molotovs, if fired for long enough at one spot, the ground will catch on fire, dealing slow damage to anyone on it.
Due to its limited range, the flamethrower excels in close range combat, able to surprise and defeat multiple enemies at once, being most effective against players who are reviving a downed teammate. The aim is also not massively disoriented by rapid fire guns, like the Full-Auto Rifle or Burst Rifle, so it can secure a kill at close range. It does well against the Shotgun and Specter so long as the user is wearing armour.
The Flamethrower is also silent so it works well with a stealth class, perhaps as an alternative to the easy-to-miss Specter but that ultimately comes down to preference; cheaper ammo and instant executions or rapid fire to disorient enemies.
The cheap but effective instant execution of the weapon makes it a popular choice in Survivor matches due to how quickly a player can obtain the parts needed to purchase it and the fact that most players lack armour and stronger weapons in the early rounds.
|Reload Speed||Allows you to reload the weapon faster.|
|Range||Increases the range of the weapon.|
|Power||The weapon deals more damage.|
- The flamethrower is the only weapon belonging to the long gun group that does not fire projectiles.
- Even though the flamethrower uses propane as fuel, most of the flame that it emits is orange, not blue.
- The flamethrower is one of only two weapons to never be used against the player in single player, the other being the bow.
- The flamethrower is one of two improvised weapons, the other being the Launcher.
- The use of the flamethrower in the single player campaign has been known to make the game lock up and freeze at certain points, especially when used on a large group of enemies and with a constant flow of propane.
- In Factions, a recurring glitch happens that when a player is sprayed with fire, the damage doesn't occur until several seconds after contact. This is probably due to the screen desync between players.
- In Story Mode, during the chapter The University, it is possible to kill Ellie with the Flamethrower. When caught in the range of Joel's flames, Ellie will die and drop her pistol, which the player can pick up. It is virtually impossible to use the gun though as the game reverts to the last checkpoint shortly after the glitch occurs, unless performed on a very specific frame.