The Fire Bottle is a glass bottle containing petrol fuel or a highly alcoholic beverage, with the source of ignition such being a burning cloth stuffed into the neck of the bottle. The cloth serves as a wick and is most effective when the cloth is in contact with the primary incendiary fuel. When used, the cloth is lit and the bottle hurled at a target. When the bottle smashes on impact, the ensuing cloud of petrol droplets and vapor are ignited, causing an immediate fireball followed by a raging fire as the remainder of the fuel is consumed. Modern variations include thickening agents, such as motor oil, to increase burn time and viscosity.
- The Fire Bottle is unlocked in the mission "The Demon Drink".
- Alternatively, the player can also unlock it early by completing the Nosalida Hideout upon arriving in Nuevo Paraiso.
- Another way of achieving this item is in the mission Civilization, at Any Price. You can kill the rebel with a fire bottle after you leave the tunnel on the train, and go over his body and you should be able to purchase them at any gunsmith afterwards.
- The player receives the Fire Bottle after saving Thieves' Landing from a zombie outbreak.
- The Fire Bottle is unlocked into the player's regular inventory upon reaching rank 22.
The Fire Bottle is an effective thrown projectile and can be used from cover to assault enemy positions and ignite stagecoaches. The Fire Bottle can also be used to scare away large animals, such as bears, and other animals that are afraid of fire.
The Fire Bottle is less effective than dynamite, unless a player can predict a target's movements and lead his or her throw. When a player is caught in the radius of a thrown fire bottle, they stumble around uncontrollably for a few seconds trying to put out the fire and take heavy damage. It is also effective for flushing out enemies hiding behind cover.
Altogether, a single Fire Bottle will rarely kill an enemy, and is more of a knock-over weapon. When used, the enemy will often just fall over in flames and wriggle around on the ground, which can allow the player to then finish him off with impunity. Other times, the enemy runs around uncontrollably, screaming. If approached by an enemy carrying a fire bottle, a player can shoot the bottle (a shotgun is good for this), causing it to ignite in the enemy's hand. It is also noticeable that the Fire Bottle can become golden like other weapons.
The Fire Bottle can be used in Friendly mode to make people lose control of their character. It doesn't do damage, but still inflicts the uncontrolled running-around-screaming. Players should beware of others wielding Fire Bottles, even in Friendly.
- At the time of Red Dead Redemption, gasoline would have been a rare commodity, but strong alcohol would be relatively common. Additionally, there is no historical evidence of the fire bottle existing prior to the Spanish Civil War (1936). It became popularized during the Winter War (1939) in Finland and the USSR as a cheap weapon for the Finns to use against the Soviets. The Finns named it the "Molotov Cocktail" after the Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov. The in-game weapon would likely use widely available ethyl alcohol, a less-desirable fuel for the fire bottle. The concept of the Molotov cocktail dates to pre-modern history when sulfur and oil soaked items were sometimes ignited and thrown at the enemy.
- After obtaining level 3 Dead Eye, fire bottles, throwing knives and dynamite can be used to mark targets in Dead Eye mode, which will cause the projectile to act like a homing missile and fly straight at the target, guaranteeing a hit, which is very effective against a fleeing victim.
- Shooting a bottle held by another player will make it ignite in their hands, injuring the player.
- Unlike dynamite, the fuse on the Fire Bottle will never burn down and set off the bottle in the thrower's hand.
- The Fire Bottle will not ignite underwater, but water does not extinguish a person who is on fire from a Fire Bottle.
- After unlocking the Fire Bottle, scorched wagons and caravans can be found on the side of the road in Nuevo Paraíso.
- If the player throws a bottle at someone's head in multiplayer, the game will treat it as if the player head shot them. In some instances, it will even state that the player "Shot the head off the player", "Decapitated", and even "Hollowed out the head".
- If the player throws a fire bottle at a horse, it will not catch fire, although the horse may still die due to the bottle's impact.
- Fire bottles can also be used as a light source in dark areas, although they're not as effective as the torch in Undead Nightmare.
- It takes about 4 fire bottles to kill a player in singleplayer mode.
- In Single Player, with the infinite ammunition cheat activated, the Fire Bottle may start to glitch and pass through walls and the ground without any combustion or damage to NPCs.
- In multiplayer free roam, if the player gets killed and is given the option to transport, hitting cancel will spawn the player with 8 fire bottles.