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CS:GO Molotov Guide


The Molotov cocktail appeared in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive as soon as the game was originally released and provoked much of hot debate within the fan community. Now this grenade has become part and parcel of the game. However, not everyone knows the mechanics of Molotov. CS.MONEY here to tell you everything there is to know about the most expensive grenade in the game.

What Are We Paying For?

For $400 in attack and $600 in defense, you can buy a Molotov and an Incendiary Grenade respectively. Despite the difference in price, name, and appearance, both grenades share all the key features. Because of that, when we mention Molotov throughout the article, the same information will apply for the Incendiary Grenade as well.

Molotov is a grenade that, if it lands where it was meant to, covers the ground with spreading fire, dealing damage and emitting black smoke which partially obscures the view. The total duration of burning is a little longer than seven seconds. Within this period, the fire both inflicts damage and spreads. 

Molotov and the Incendiary Grenade are used in both defense and attack. This grenade is an excellent option if you need to kick the enemy out from a good position, delay their acquisition of a site, or cancel the C4 defuse.

How Do the Flames Behave?

The Molotov is thrown like a regular grenade. Unlike a smoke grenade, it can explode mid-air after about three seconds of flight. After contact with the ground or when in close proximity to it, Molotov explodes and flames emerge. Initially, they form an almost perfect circle, but then they start to “sprawl.” 

The sprawling direction is random, but it often coincides with the direction of the throw. An important, not-that-obvious note: when calculating the direction of the throw, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive considers the original throw direction, not the grenade trajectory at the moment of the explosion. Simply put, the flames of Molotov thrown directly or with rebound will spread in approximately the same cone-formed manner.

Fire hitboxes are also based on the height: Molotov will deal damage even to those players who took higher grounds and don’t come into direct contact with the fire. 

Damage & Time

Molotov flames burn for seven seconds and deal damage five times per second. The longer the fire burns, the higher the damage per second. Within the first second, the flames deal one or two units of damage, and starting from the third second, they deal eight damage units, which is about forty units of damage per second. 

The damage doesn’t depend on armor or helmet: the fire completely ignores the armor and doesn’t damage it. Neither is the damage based on movement or camera/body position. The player will always receive the same amount of damage five times per second — while standing, running, or sitting alike.

A direct hit with an incendiary grenade deals damage too. Depending on the region of the hit and the armor, it’ll be one or two units of damage. 

How Do You Counter It?

Unlike a smoke nade, flashbang, or a frag grenade, Molotov’s effect can be stopped: Molotov flames can be put out with a smoke provided it covers more than one-third of the burning surface. 

A smoke can be thrown in advance. When landing in the clouds of smoke, Molotov is extinguished immediately without causing damage or spreading fire. 

Remember: the damage increases with time. If an incendiary nade explodes right under your feet, just continue moving. The resulting damage will be negligible and is unlikely to amount to more than ten health units. 

Finally, the black smoke produced by burning can be used as an unreliable alternative to a smoke grenade. However, it takes a lot of luck to succeed, so resort to this trick only in the most desperate situations. 

Dependence on Settings

Unfortunately, there is still a problem with smoke in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, both from a smoke nade and from Molotov flames: the smoke is displayed differently depending on the selected quality of effects and shaders. 3kliksphilip made a great video on this topic. We’ll only repeat the most important thing. 

If high quality of effects and shaders is selected, Molotov smoke will be almost transparent at a distance, but very thick close up. If you drop at least one of the settings to minimum, the situation will be the opposite: the smoke will be almost invisible nearby, but as the distance to the ground zero grows, it’ll get increasingly difficult to see anything through it.

The Molotov cocktail, in spite of the debates when it’d just appeared, is now an integral part of the gameplay. No serious match can do without the regular use of this grenade. Despite its price, it’s the most effective control tool in the game and definitely worth mastering.


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