The Last of Us Wiki
The Last of Us Wiki

A Molotov cocktail is an explosive weapon that appears in The Last of Us and The Last of Us Part II. It belongs to the explosives group.

Molotov cocktails are created by binding an alcohol-soaked wick to the neck of a bottle of hard liquor. When the wick is lit and the Molotov is broken, it ignites and bathes the area in flames.

The Last of Us

Story mode

Crafting a Molotov cocktail requires the same ingredients as a health kit; a rag and alcohol.

Perhaps the single most effective weapon available, they instantly kill any enemy, except for a bloater, with a single hit. They do render bloaters susceptible to other weapons by burning away their thick fungus armor, and as a thrown weapon they do not give away one's position. Additionally, screaming enemies will draw other infected to their position. Any enemy which comes in contact with the pool of fire shortly after the Molotov explodes catches fire and die instantly, making the Molotov a useful area denial weapon. 


In Factions MP, the same ingredients plus binding are needed to make a Molotov. The Molotov instantly kills unarmored enemies via direct contact, even with full health, but lucky armored opponents with quick reflexes a few meters outside the marked blast radius can survive a Molotov. If the enemy is close enough to the point of impact or injured enough, they skip "downed" mode altogether and are instantly executed, making it arguably the deadliest weapon in the multiplayer. However, a Molotov doesn't seem to down an armored enemy which has full health with a direct hit; an indirect hit can still down.

It moves quickly upon being thrown, and unlike the nail bomb, the Molotov detonates on impact. If the thrower is at a relatively short distance and throws a Molotov with the enemy in the center of the radius, it moves fast enough to not give the enemy enough time to escape.

Molotovs are inappropriate for stealth, as the glow from the lit rag can give away players' positions even if they are behind cover or otherwise out of sight. Molotovs benefit from the Explosion Expert skill by having their area of effect increased.

Molotovs can backfire on the player if thrown too close to their position. The burn damage left on the ground can be exploited by enemies using the Awareness skill to locate users.

There are many advantage player's gain from using Molotov cocktails. Firstly, the radius of the weapon is large, meaning opponents will be damaged even if they appear far away from the center of the blast. Secondly, one can throw the cocktails quickly for reflexive attacks or aimed slowly for precise accuracy (L1 + R1 or R1 only). They are also quite powerful, able to either remove armor from enemies or down them instantly. Lastly, the Molotov cocktails immolate the opponent, therefore instantly executing them as well.

However, the weapon also has a few key weaknesses. It is really easy for this weapon to backfire on the player if they don't use it carefully; when thrown, there is a chance the flames will splash back on the user, dealing fire damage to them. Further, the flame illuminates the player's nearby area, making them visible to enemy opposition; enemies can then either surprise attack the player or flee from them through the flame's forewarning. Finally, the flames linger momentarily, meaning they can still damage the player long after the initial thrown is complete.

The Last of Us Part II

The Molotov cocktail is unlocked once Dina gifts Ellie one in Jackson. Its function remains the same; it still burns an enemy to death. However, when standing in the radius, the enemy will be distracted, putting the fire out from his or her clothes, giving Ellie an opportunity to strike them.

Seraphites also utilize Molotovs, and have a specific whistle when one is about to be thrown.



  • The Molotov cocktail was first seen in the E3 stage demo where Joel crafted a Molotov cocktail and ignites it to kill a hostile survivor in an abandoned hotel.
    • In the PAX Prime demo, an enemy barely misses Joel with a Molotov, forcing him to charge at Joel, who kills him with his revolver.
    • In the E3 2012 demo, Ellie seems to be disturbed by Joel using the Molotov on a hunter, as upon seeing the burned body she says "Holy shit, Joel." Joel responds by saying "Keep it together."
  • This weapon is named after the prime minister of the Soviet Union during the 1930s, Vyacheslav Molotov.