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Video Game Flamethrowers Suck

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Above: hot stuff.
Below: dumpster fire.
"Fire's for cookin' s'mores, son! Get a real gun!"
Soldier to Pyro, Team Fortress 2

Considering how, between Kill It with Fire and Incendiary Exponent, fire has a habit of being portrayed as undistilled Rule of Cool, flamethrowers in Video Games have an odd habit of being Awesome, but Impractical at best. This tends to be down to a combination of Convection, Schmonvection, Critical Existence Failure and a variant of Short-Range Shotgun; game flamethrowers tend to have a very, VERY short range, a narrow area of effect and do slow damage over time with very little disabling effect (or the disabling effect requires enough sustained fire that you may as well use an instant-damage weapon and get the same result in less time and with less ammo consumption), in many cases the effect is very temporary as well and wears off soon after.

This is in part because they tend to be based on Hollywood-style gas flamethrowers rather than real ones; typically their fuel acts like pressurized gas rather than burning liquid, creating a long flame rather than an arcing stream. Game limitations mean the flamethrower's typical use (destroying buildings) is rarely possible in-engine, neither is it likely to mask the firer's position with smoke and flames (or even create smoke). On the plus side, games rarely allow the fuel tanks to be targeted by enemies (though, if enemies have a flamethrower, they usually seem to carry tanks of nitroglycerine rather than fuel on their backs, making them incredibly easy to deal with on their own or even take out entire groups by shooting for them first), or simulate how staggeringly physically debilitating it is to operate such a device.

There are also additional issues; for instance, burning enemies frequently damage you when close, yet the Flamethrower requires enemies to be close to use it (bonus points if other enemies are not damaged by the flames). Also, games (especially Sci-Fi ones) frequently put you up against mechanical enemies and make fire useless against them, yet even the weakest pistol can do some damage; this is hugely unrealistic, since flamethrowers are dangerous to vehicles for the same reason molotovs are: the fire and smoke can easily cause the engine to overheat or choke, burn or melt most circuit boards, and cause immense discomfort for any crew. Finally, flame propagation effects are very rare in games, so at best fire holds for a couple seconds at the exact spot you hit with it before dissipating, in places that would be a fatal inferno in seconds in Real Life, not to mention that fuel itself rarely acts like napalm, slicks of intensely burning glue that coat every surface fired at.

A flamethrower that doesn't suck is usually a BFG. If a mook has one, it will probably suck, paint a giant target on his back and make him that much more evil for having it. Even if you can pick it up and use it yourself. If you can, it is almost a certainty that it won't work on the class of mooks who carry flamethrowers.

To an extent this is Truth in Television. Flamethrowers were widely utilized in World War I, World War II and The Vietnam War to destroy thick foliage and take out bunkers full of enemy troops, but their weight, short range compared to other firearms, rapid fuel consumption, and tendency to give away one's position have since made them fall out of use in favor of incendiary rounds for conventional weapons.

Subtrope of Scrappy Weapon.

Has nothing to do with Video Game Movies Suck.

NOTE: Straight examples go into the 'Lame' section. The 'Flame' section further below is reserved for aversions and subversions only.


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    Action Games 
  • While not completely useless in BattleTanx gameplay, the Inferno flamethrower tank still doesn't hold a candle to their real life counterparts in any area besides maybe ammo and effectiveness against the Rhino (a tank with a fixed gun and frontal armor that is nearly-impenetrable by anything else in the game). It also suffers from Crippling Overspecialization by having a short-ranged special weapon in place of a normal cannon, meaning unlike every other tank in the game it has to rely on its limited supply of other special weapons to deal with threats at any range beyond near-point-blank.
  • From Bayonetta 2 the Undine are magical flamethrowers that can be Dual Wield in the titular character's hands or heels with both Kill It with Fire and Kill It with Ice settings. Generally though, its just a very average weapon, the ice-setting is really the only worthwhile option because it can encase enemies in ice, and even then, it can only do so semi-reliably on smaller, weaker enemies. That being said, the leg version can be useful for closing out combos with Wicked Weaves, but there are just better options in the game to choose from.
  • Even with the perk that makes flame-based weapons do more damage, the Crimsonland flamethrower (and its joke counterpart the blowtorch) is pretty awful. Both of them have rather poor range, and don't do nearly enough damage to make up for it. There's even an achievement for collecting 50 blowtorches.
  • While the Flame Shot in Metal Slug series is a great weapon overall against both infantry and vehicles, it wasn't a good weapon in the original game thanks to Early-Installment Weirdness. It could kill infantry fast, but it did pathetic damage to vehicle-based enemies. This was rectified in the sequels.

  • ANNO: Mutationem: One of the Mooks at the Ship Level is equipped with a flamethrower that only goes a few inches that's easy to avoid.
  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force Zombie Ninja Pro Am: Frylock's eye flame attack isn't as useful as in the show, dealing damage only in close proximity to enemies.
  • The Blaster Master series has a notoriously bad flame thrower, though depending on who the player is using it may not be that noticeable as most handheld weapons are pretty weak and short range. It is pretty noticeable in the tank though, which otherwise has good rounds. This does not apply in Blaster Master Zero, where the weapon does gradual damage after contact, some enemies explicitly die because of this, and it can destroy ice chunks in Area 4 and melt the floor ice and ice spikes in Area 6. What keeps it from being the best gun in the game is that you get it at Level 7 out of 8, which makes it a bit hard to hold on to, and that the level 8 weapon is the Wave Gun.
  • In Cave Story, none of the weapons are very realistic, least of all the Fireball gun. As the name implies, it shoots literal fireballs that bounce along the ground. It's something of a zig-zagged trope: in the early game it's your most damaging weapon for quite a while, but it quickly becomes obsolete once you reach the Labyrinth. Where, depending on your actions earlier in the game, it can be combined with one of your other weapons to be able to shoot through walls (the only gun in the game capable of doing so).
  • Metroid:
    • Metroid II: Return of Samus: Automs have flamethrowers of the low distance variety. They can't do much damage to Samus, especially not with the Varia Suit, but are still best avoided.
    • The flamethrower in Metroid Prime is by far the most useless beam combo (all of them but the Super Missile are situational at best, but the Flamethrower just plain sucks). It has a short range, is difficult to aim (as it only emits a narrow stream of flame), uses a huge amount of ammo, and you could just be using the charged Plasma Beam which is far more effective.
    • And Prime's control scheme is partly to blame for its uselessness, since you couldn't aim and move at the same time. Trilogy fixes this, putting the flamethrower on equal terms with its beam combo brethren (situational but effective).
    • The Flamethrower, though, is one of two weapons that is unaffected by the Beam Shields that the Elite and Omega Pirates use (the only other weapon that works are normal Missiles). Because of this, the Flamethrower is frighteningly effective at destroying the Omega Pirate's Phazon armor plates.
  • Shantae: Risky's Revenge: The original version has the Flamethrower spell. While it quickly deals a lot of damage, it also quickly eats up Shantae's Mana, making it Awesome, but Impractical. It's more useful in the Director's Cut when using Magic Mode, since the cut in magic consumption makes it a viable option for quickly killing the game's tougher enemies.
  • Studio Nanafushi's Dead or School has the story-plot weapon "The Anti-Mutant Weapon", a weapon you're supposed to get because you can't harm the bionic "Steel Mutant"'s armored endodermis. When you go to the army base and find it, it turns out to be an artifact flamethrower. Your friend Daiba says it should be effective as the napalm will soak in through gaps in the mutant's armor. When you actually use it, the "Anti-Mutant Weapon" is mediocre. It has a really nice bonus effect of doing double damage to mutants, it goes through enemies and obstacles and has a fast rate of fire. Unfortunately it's base damage is atrocious. This flamethrower starts off doing 57 damage which is typical of Level 1 firearms of this tier. However the flamethrower is Level 6, meaning it's got awful damage increase per level of upgrade. Most firearms at this point will simply be better, though it is a pretty fun and nice-looking weapon. The flamethrowers you first find are only at Reinforced quality level and are far weaker than the Anti-Mutant Weapon (but they do have an extremely good rate of fire), unless you're lucky enough to find one with a strong rare ability.

    Beat 'em Up 
  • In Cyborg Justice, the Flamethrower hand is not the best hand weapon. It has pathetic range, stuns for a very short time and does next to no damage especially compared to the two other projectile weapons, both of which are one hit kill. Its only saving grace is the fact that it starts up faster than all other hand weapons, allowing you to throw flames at enemies very quickly without stunning them first. If you can combine it with trapping an enemy in a whirlpool trap, it's a safe way of killing without taking too much damage, but it's situational at best.
  • In Dragon's Crown, the flamethrowers only hit directly in front of you and deal pitiful amounts of damage. Their only real use aside from tricking the AI into using it is to damage ghosts...who are also damaged and stunlocked by merely holding a torch near them. Torches have a fixed spawn in every room ghosts appear in.

    First-Person Shooters 
  • Alien:
    • In Alien Trilogy, the Flamethrower is the weakest of the advanced weapons, being only better than the starting Pistol and consuming ammo extremely fast.
    • At least averted in both Alien³ games on Nintendo and Super Nintendo. The flamethrower has pitiful range and doesn't knock enemies back, but it has plenty of ammo, absurd damage output, and a wide radius that hit anything in front of you. The Genesis version has an even shorter range, but does enough damage to kill even a lunging Alien so long as your timing is good.
      • The light-gun game averts this: the flamethrower does much more damage than the default rifle, and can quickly clear rooms of Xenos.
    • Averted in Aliens: Infestation: the Flamethrower may come in late in the game, and its main use is to clear goop from doors, but as a weapon it can trivialize anything that is not a boss and it recharges automatically.
  • Alien vs. Predator:
    • In Aliens vs. Predator (2010) the marine's flamethrower is beyond useless: It makes the xenomorphs angry. Eventually they start crawling. Then they explode in an attack that will instantly kill you, but won't even annoy the other aliens around it. Oh, and when crawling they can grab your leg before exploding. So when you set one on fire, all you're doing is giving it a useful one-hit kill against you. Doesn't help that the flamethrower eats through its ammo in no time, and has all the range of the average loogie.
    • The first game of the series will still see you using the flamethrower very little, but it does have one justification for its existence: it's the only weapon that'll reduce the otherwise extremely dangerous facehuggers to an almost trivial threat.
  • In Battlefield V, unlike its Battlefield 1 counterpart, the flamethrower does rather low damage even in short range and the kit no longer give the player the armor which makes them tougher to kill. Quite often the player using the flamethrower will lose against an opponent with a submachine gun or a shotgun. Also without the armor, it is entirely possible to kill yourself with your own flamethrower.
  • In the "Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt" DLC for Borderlands 2, you gain access to Fan Boats, which have elemental secondary weapons - electrical, fire, and corrosive. The electrical weapon fires electrified "mines" that shock nearby enemies, the corrosive weapon fires acid grenades, and the fire weapon...mildly annoys anyone you were about to run over anyway. All of them have pretty mediocre damage, but the fire weapon's problem is that its range is so terrible you might as well use your Fan Boat as a makeshift battering ram.
  • Call of Duty
    • In Call of Duty: World at War the flamethrower has poor range, but is an instant kill and only overheats rather than having an ammo limit. The thing that sucks about it is the flames seem to move inexplicably slow towards their target allowing the enemy to shoot you a few dozen times before they burn to death. In the multiplayer, its effectiveness is similar to a shotgun, killing enemies quickly but not instantly with a slightly better range (once hit by the flamethrower, players are immune to damage from it for 0.2 seconds, allowing a short burst of flame that manages to hit an enemy player entirely to definitely die). The flames take time to reach their target, but it does allow you to back into cover while attacking an enemy. However, it is a perk that is not unlocked until the highest level in the game, so most players will never use it for very long before prestiging, and in return for it being a perk rather than part of your normal two-weapon limit, your character model is one with a large tank on their back, leaving subtlety an issue.
    • The United Offensive Expansion Pack to the original game features a startlingly useless German flamethrower that barely shows up in the campaign, has next to no ammunition on pickup, no sights, and is a waste of time to pick up. The way it's implemented makes it seem more like the developers forgot to dummy it out completely.
  • Far Cry 5 runs smack into this trope. While flamethrowers are fairly good at killing things, their range is short, they ignite the whole area (and therefore typically you), and everything will respond to being on fire by charging the poor, dumb bastard who did it.
  • F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin's flamethrower fires silly slow-moving pods of fire rather than a stream. You get exactly three pickups for it in one level, its ammo capacity is pathetic, it's inaccurate combined with having splash damage, hard to use, takes forever to burn even the weakest mooks to death (granted, it usually only takes one shot to accomplish this), and stronger enemies have an alarming tendency to ignore the flames or be totally immune to being set on fire. It's the one weapon that doesn't even show up in the Reborn DLC, which otherwise goes out of its way to let several weapons that the base game treated as one-level gimmicks have a chance to shine.
  • Geist's flamethrower unsurprisingly, except it is not truly a flamethrower anyway, is only a prototype and does have a long range secondary fire. That long range secondary fire is not unique to it though and they insist on calling it a flamethrower, so it belongs here.
  • Half-Life:
    • The Gargantua in Half-Life possesses two biological flamethrowers in place of hands. The short range works to the player's benefit as you can just avoid it, which is preferable as fire still burns. Remember, though, that Gargantua can and will outrun you, bringing you into flamethrower range.
    • In the third and final episode of the Half-Life Game Mod They Hunger, you get a flamethrower for the first time. Being a Zombie Apocalypse, it would appear to be useful, but there is a problem: it can't set anything on fire. Not even the enemies, who only take a small point of damage for every puff of the flames that hit them, each one with short range. It can be used to kill slowly walking zombies, but once you encounter the infected military, with their assault rifles and shotguns and helicopters, it's suicide to attempt to attack them with it. It also runs out of ammo quickly.
  • Halo:
    • Halo 3: Powerful but extremely easy to burn yourself with it. Also poor range, and it counts as a turret so it wrecks your speed and mobility. It's also only available during levels with the Flood in them... but it's also one of the best weapons against the Flood, since a short burst can kill most of them. A good player can conserve their ammo for the whole level.
    • After being cut from the Xbox release of Halo: Combat Evolved, the Mac/PC port restored it as a multiplayer weapon. It suffers from limited range, but has absurdly high damage, highly contagious burning, and huge amounts of ammo.
  • Haze has an absolutely terrible flamethrower; the range is woeful, it's hideous to look at, the fire effect is comically 2D, ammo is fairly rare, and all told you might as well just pack a shotgun.
  • The flamethrower in Killing Floor certainly isn't the worst on this list, but it has its share of downsides. It's custom-tailored for effortlessly chewing through the hordes of weak specimens in the early waves; masses of Clots, Gorefasts, Stalkers and Crawlers will be nothing but ash before they can even reach you. After the first few waves, though, they start to have much more sturdy and intimidating freaks mingling amongst the cannon fodder, and they laugh off anything short of being force-fed a full tank of fuel - pray that one of your marksman-class teammates is nearby and has great aim, or get used to being eaten. The upshot, though, is that if you keep one of them alight for several seconds, they'll panic as their skin is burned off, preventing them from using their special abilities for a while. Plus, unless you're playing as a Firebug, the flamethrower is expensive, very prone to damaging yourself, and you won't be able to afford it until you're most likely better off using something else - and, to add insult to injury, the "Husk" enemies, one of the more dangerous types due to being the only one with a ranged attack, are almost immune to the weapon. If you are a high level firebug, you can spawn with it in the first round, and those first three rounds is where the flamethrower is the most useful. Because there are higher-level weapons that excel at taking out hordes of enemies or priority targets, it's a definite case of a Low-Tier Letdown.
  • Killzone 2:
    • The flamethrower is more of a Not Completely Useless weapon; it plays all the description straight (although the range is okay) and other weapons are mostly a better bet, but the flame from it lingers a little after landing; this is very helpful in a couple of situations where enemies can be easily lured into choke points where laying down a floor of fire creates a nasty trap. Unfortunately due to the game's one-weapon inventory system, arming yourself with anything situational tends to be a bad idea.
    • At the end of the game, the Big Bad pulls an "cloak and run" once you get a few shots in, and if played wrong you will run out of ammo, but if you set them on fire then you can see where they will be and you can then use the melee before you are supposed to see them. However the weapon is still completely situational.
  • Kingpin: Life of Crime had one of the best-looking flamethrowers in its day (1999). It was fairly impractical to use, however, because while it set enemies on fire with one hit, the flames themselves (and the burning) dealt very little damage. It is mostly used for putting something on fire and then switching to something else for extra damage.
  • Kreed's flamethrower has a baffling weakness brought on by the game being very poorly programmed: walking forward while using it damages you.
  • The flamethrower from Marathon, humorously named the TOZT (Toasty, later used in Halo 3 as 7057), is one of the best weapons for burning up crowds, and in fact can overheat and destroy most mechanical enemies, however its range is ridiculously low, and if you're up against a shotgunner in multiplayer you only stand a slight chance if you strike first. On the plus side, people who are burned make the most over the top and hilarious scream, and the aliens sound like chickens being kicked.
  • Played mostly straight in Resistance: Fall of Man. The flamethrower might be ridiculously deadly, but ammo is excessively thin on the ground, the range is short, and in multiplayer it barely scratches humans. On the plus side, its secondary fire mode creates a cloud of flammable gas, allowing you to make choke points and small rooms into burning death traps for large numbers of chimera if you have enough time and at the expense of nearly all the ammo.
    • Resistance 3 replaced it with the Cryogun, a short-to-mid range freezing weapon very useful for melee enemies.
  • In the remake/prequel of Shadow Warrior, the flamethrower is a situationally useful weapon despite its short (even when upgraded) range: it can ignite and mark invisible enemies, the flames wrap around shields and armor to reach vulnerable spots, and if you seriously expend ammo it can hold a corridor against an enraged swarm better than a gun. The catch is that if you're close enough to use it, there's almost guaranteed to be something more useful you can be doing with your sword (your starting weapon), it does too little damage to make hit-and-run against the strongest enemies practical, and the nastiest fights tend to be at long range.
  • In the first Soldier of Fortune, the flamethrower requires some sustained fire before enemies catch alight and are disabled, however, as there's almost no spread and ammo is rare using a direct damage weapon is far more efficient outside of the sadism value (the secondary is pretty powerful, but you may as well take a grenade launcher).
  • In Team Fortress Classic, the flamethrower is pitifully underpowered. Its damage at close range doesn't do much more than tickle the opponent, and even the afterburn damage isn't likely to do much more than be annoying. It's often surmised by players that the tendency of the flames to obscure the affected person's screen is usually a more important trait than the actual damage. The incendiary cannon is more useful, but is still largely a worse rocket launcher.
  • Time Crisis: Crisis Zone has a flamethrower as an unlockable weapon in the PS2 port. However, it's a craptastic weapon with abysmal damage and pitiful ammo count. Oh, and the rate of fire isn't that great, and sometimes the flames bypass the enemies, leaving you vulnerable.
  • TimeShift zigzags a little on this with the Hellfire. It either operates as a normal video game thrower — short range, although it sets enemies on fire — or it shoots flaming bullets which also set enemies on fire. It's one of the better weapons, even including the exploding crossbow thing.
  • Zig-zags in the TimeSplitters series, where catching on fire does serious DOT, can be caused by the smallest spark (including another burning player) and is very hard to extinguish (although this makes it less useful in story mode, where being set on fire is likely to be a death sentence). The flamethrower is tremendously deadly, but has a ridiculously tiny range. So tiny in fact, that it's a miracle if anyone you set on fire doesn't run into you, spreading the flame and almost certainly killing you too.
    • In Arcade Mode in Future Perfect, and possibly the previous games as well, the flamethrower seems to render bots helpless, as they will run around screaming until they die. Player characters have full control while ablaze and can still attack. In the story mode, the Mansion of Madness level gives you a flamethrower from the start, but it only works when it is necessary—which is to say there are three times where the enemies are only weak against fire, and none of them are the zombies you are fighting the rest of the level. The flamethrower CAN kill the zombies, but it seems to take several minutes. There are flamethrowers in an entirely different level, where it can kill human enemies in one hit, but mutants are immune. Not to mention that its ammunition is scarce.
  • In Turok 2: Seeds of Evil melee enemies didn't die fast enough to avoid being damaged and enemies with guns could shoot you before you closed the distance. It also caused horrendous lag.
  • Wolfenstein:
    • In the 2009 Wolfenstein the flamethrower can be quite deadly, however, it has barely any ammo at all, such that you are mostly forced to buy ammo if you use it, so you tend to be better off using an equally deadly weapon (most of them) that doesn't require you to waste money on ammo. Although if you pre-ordered it from BestBuy, you can get it at the beginning of the game, making this the only "heavy" weapon you have until you get the Particle Cannon.
    • Return to Castle Wolfenstein features a somewhat useful flamethrower; while it's hamstrung by rare ammo and being a typical videogame gas-thrower, its flame is unusually tight before impact and long range for an aerosol weapon, making it somewhat possible to flood through windows and around corners. You also first get it in a close-quarters level with a number of nasty melee enemies, making it very useful at that time.
    • In Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, the soldier class may opt to start with a flamethrower and full ammo. It is okay at very short range, but even the basic SMG every class can use is more than a match for it. The only time it proves to be useful is indoors or in closed spaces where the person you're trying to kill can't simply take a few steps back.

  • Phantasy Star Online has the Flame Visit and the Burning Visit. On paper, they're fairly strong Ranger weapons of one of the most useful class. However, they lack the trait that makes that class useful (hitting multiple enemies) but retain most of its weaknesses (slow as death firing animation) making them essentially worthless. The upgraded Burning Visit does have a few very, very specific uses, but they're both essentially worthless.
  • Final Fantasy XIV has two separate attacks named Flamethrower, one for Machinist and one for Blue Mage. Both are good at hitting multiple enemies at once, and not much else. Machinist's has a wide reach and sprays over every enemy within its cone of fire without the typical reduced potency from hitting more than one target, but that's because its base potency is already at the extreme low end, and you have to stand still to let the animation play out in full to deal the most damage before a minute-long cooldown before you can use it again. Blue Mage's isn't much better, only having the typical cast time for spells and with better damage against the first enemy hit with it, but reduced to only barely better than Machinist's version on any further enemies. Both are also extremely high-level skills for their respective classes, Machinist only getting it at level 70 and Blue Mage having to brave one of two level-50 dungeons for a chance to gain it; by that point both classes will already have plenty of far better options for dealing area-of-effect damage.

    Platform Games 
  • In Alien Soldier. Flame Force is Difficult, but Awesome; it has very short range and doesn't work against mechanical enemies or underwater, but it does such absurd amounts of damage to organic enemies that it's considered pretty much mandatory for Speedruns and similar.
  • Mega Man:
    • The Fire Wave of Mega Man X is generally considered to be that game's worst weapon. Low damage, a range of approximately two character widths, and does not work at all underwater. Oh yeah, and it "fires" while you are charging it, meaning you'll lose a chunk of your weapons energy whenever you attempt a charged shotnote . Its saving grace is that it does damage for every frame it contacts the enemy, meaning a quick tap does many hits and a few taps will kill most things short of a miniboss for almost no weapon energy. Plus it can destroy some obstacles that can otherwise only be destroyed with a punch from the ride armors. Unfortunately, the Storm Tornado ALSO does damage on a per-frame basis, and is a much larger weapon that travels the full length of the screen, AND has a surprisingly large amount of ammo (plus the game is relatively generous with ammo drops). The Fire Wave does have a few situational uses; because it can continuously fire as long as it has ammo, it's a good way to take out enemies while falling, or climbing walls, where it is otherwise hard to aim properly.
    • Have fun using Wave Burner in Mega Man & Bass. The range is piddley, it can't damage enemies underwater, and it doesn't really do anything you'd want a flamethrower to do; it can't exactly set enemies on fire, for one. Even the ability to wave it around and fire continuously isn't very helpful, when many enemies and all bosses have Mercy Invincibility. On top of that, it's the weakness of two bosses that it really shouldn't be the weakness of; Pirate Man loves flooding the room with water, and the Jet King Robo's only weak point is so high up that the Wave Burner has no chance of ever hitting it without causing the user to fall onto the Jet King Robo's collision hitbox.
    • Averted in Mega Man 8-Bit Deathmatch. Flame Sword, for example, can one-shot at point blank. Take that beast to Deathmatch and ninja kill EVERYONE.
    • Flame Shower (from Rockman & Forte: Mirai Kara no Chousensha) is an extremely short ranged flamethrower like Fire Wave, being about as wide as Mega Man himself. Contrary to what you may expect from the name, it also fires upward when released. It's also the weakest of the special weapons available in that game.
  • The Ratchet & Clank series goes all over the place with this.
    • The first game has your standard Hollywood flamethrower (the Pyrocitor) that has a very short range. It is good at cleaning up large swarms of small enemies in the beginning, but becomes useless in later levels.
    • Going Commando introduces the Lava Gun, that ironically acts more like a real flamethrower (a gun that shoots burning liquid), has a decent range and does good damage. Unfortunately, the devs made the bizarre decision to make it transform to a drastically different meteor shooting machine gun after enough use. Luckily, they bring the gun back in Up Your Arsenal without that transformation. It now transforms into a Liquid Nitrogen gun.
      • The upgraded Lava Gun is practically useless for fighting crowds but when given a Lock-On mod, it becomes extremely effective against single targets. Like the final boss, for example.
    • In Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters, the flamethrower is completely useless. It has a three-foot range, and is pitifully weak.
    • It is, however, beautifully averted in Tools of Destruction; though it has the physics of an ordinary video game flamethrower, the Pyro Blaster has high damage, a decent range (which you can upgrade), the ammo consumption is quite reasonable, and it evolves into a double-barreled helix flamethrower.
  • The Dragon Pot in Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 places a mechanical dragon on Wario's head that fires a stream of short-ranged fire that has an awkward delay when starting up and dying. It also destroys enemies without rewarding coins, where coins are a very important mechanic that affects your score and ending.

    Racing Games 
  • WipEout Fusion has a flamethrower weapon. Not only does it feel out of place for a game about anti-gravity rocketships racing on various planets and mounting such weapons as instant kill laser beams, particle cannons and artificial black holes, it works as well as you would expect, which is to say not at all. Staying directly behind an enemy at 1000 kph is impractical, said opponent is likely to pack mines and send you careening into the wall with half of your shields gone, and its damage output is very low unless the opponent is a sitting duck due to a gravity magnet (in which case why don't you just overtake him?). Worse, it is an unlockable weapon and you cannot avoid unlocking it once you have completed a few races, after which you will start seeing it with annoying frequency, usually when you are in second place on the final stretch and all you wanted was a basic missile.

    Real-Time Strategy 
  • The Battalion Wars Flame Vets, while scorching infantry into ashes in mere seconds, can only hope for Scratch Damage at best to any vehicles except an immobile Recon. They're not going to even touch air or sea units, of course.
  • Command & Conquer:
    • In the original game, Nod's flamethrower infantry are very good at killing infantry. Including their own, and themselves; the fire is exceptionally "friendly", the soldiers have no qualms about firing over their shorter-range friends on the front ranks, and when they die the gas tanks explode in a fireball that damages nearby units. If said nearby units happen to be other flamethrower infantrymen in less than perfect health, killing just one of them can generate a cascade effect that has the potential of wiping out the entire platoon. And they're useless against vehicles. Flamethrower tanks are usually more effective.
    • Flamethrowers return in Command & Conquer: Red Alert with fireballs, and are remarkably more effective at their jobs, if still heavy on the friendly-fire. However, the cheaper and faster Grenadiers (whose grenades are incendiary in this game) serve much the same purpose, and Flamethrowers inexplicably cannot be built until you've constructed a Tech Center and rendered the poor fellow completely obsolete.
  • Unlike its Tabletop Games equivalent (which creates a large 'droplet' template of fire), the Dawn of War flamers look like a propane torch flame. It has the shortest range of all the ranged weapons and has one of the lowest DPS values in the game, especially against anything that is not light infantry. More insultingly, due to the way the AI handles shooting orders, your units will seldom get to use it because they will approach the target to bolter range (which is longer than flamer range) and then stop up and start shooting with their bolters, leaving your flamer models twiddling their thumbs until something (usually an about-to-charge-you melee unit) approaches to within flamer range. Flamers break morale very well when they do hit, though.
    • The Hellhound flame tank in the first expansion uses a Real Life-like flame thrower, however. It is still quite short-ranged and not very effective against non-infantry, but at least it looks like a proper gasoline-based flame thrower and does appropriate damage for the stage of the game you unlock them at.
    • Neatly averted in the sequel, however. The AI will actually make sure flamer-armed units approach close enough to use them properly, they pump out huge damage against infantry, and they have the very nifty property of ignoring the usual protective benefit from garrisoning a unit in a building.
      • It is especially deadly in the hands of the Force Commander with maxed-up Ranged discipline. The top-tier Ranged ability is a chance to kill an enemy outright with every successfull hit. And a gush of flame is, essentially, a lot of automatically successfull hits.
  • StarCraft:
    • Downplayed in StarCraft, where the flamethrower-wielding Firebats are extremely useful, and the Terran's only melee unit: they do as much damage as a Zealot but are less expensive, do line damage, and can use stimpacks, which raises their attack rate to stupidly high. They stop being quite so useful against larger units, since they deal concussive damage—except against Protoss shields, which normalize damage types. Base-rushing with firebats can thus be somewhat effective.
    • StarCraft II has this with Hellions (and Firebats in the campaign), which completely destroy certain early units and are very fast but tend to not hold up to stronger stuff. The Hellbat, a Transforming Mecha upgrade to the Hellion, is more useful as it has a much wider area of effect. The story reason Firebats are campaign only in II is that the fumes leak into the user's compartment, guaranteeing they go insane after a while, hence their being phased out and replaced with Marauders.
  • The flamethrower in The Riftbreaker is intended as a crowd-clearing weapon, which should be useful in a game all about fending off innumerable hordes of alien beasts, but in practice is anything but. It has very poor range, and terrible damage per target. While it could find a niche in fighting off the ZergRushes of tiny critters that come in large packs, and indeed is pretty effective against them, so too are about a third of the other weapons in the game which aren't nearly so specialized, leaving the flamethrower with nothing it's uniquely good at fighting. Its upgrades don't get much better, unfortunately. Even the highest-tier flamethrower has worse single-target damage than the sword you start the game with, which coincidentally has a wide enough sweep to also be great against aforementioned packs.

  • Mass Effect 2:
    • The M-451 Firestorm heavy weapon is a case of "good idea, bad idea". It is certainly devastating at short ranges, especially against armored enemies (which are extremely common on Insanity difficulty), but it still suffers from devastatingly short range, and many enemies that try to get close to you have shotguns (which will make you flinch and stop burning them) or flamethrowers (which will make you flinch and stop burning them). The enemies almost never flinch from being set on fire by flamethrowers. It does fire a lot more than other heavy weapons, though, and will provide better DPS than shotguns without requiring reloading, only ammo to fire with. While less impressive against bosses than other heavy weapons, it is a useful weapon to a player who wants to get in their opponents' face a lot, and it tears up the enemies who just run up to you to hit you, lacking a gun (also likely having armour). The flamethrower is especially useful on levels with husks, especially on the Insanity difficulty. Combine with an Adept's Singularity power to instantly kill the husks after you melt their armour.
    • It's much more fun to face enemies using flamethrowers and use a sniper rifle to blow open the fuel tanks, causing a massive explosion.
      • On the other hand, Incendiary Ammo and Incinerate are incredibly useful: they burn through armor, stop regeneration, and can cause enemies to panic for several seconds.
    • The flamethrower is also popular with Vanguards, whose combat style is based heavily around Biotic Charge.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines: The flamethrower is expensive, becomes available very late in the game and acts like an oversized blowtorch in range and type of flame (it even sounds like a propane flame). However, because it deals aggravated fire damage it is the premier anti-vampire weapon in the game. However, for characters with Celerity, it is very easy to run into your own flames and perish.

    Shoot 'em Up 
  • The ion blaze rifle in Gun Bros smokes enough to conceal incoming enemy fire, which means you get blasted more because you can't see it and therefore won't dodge it. It's also hard to aim and quite inaccurate.
  • R-Type Final's "Principalities" and "Dominions" fighters utilize flamethrowers as both their primary weapons and Wave-Motion Gun; they're not particularly good ships, being outclassed by others in every conceivable department. They generally reach across the screen, and function in space, but not underwater.
  • Touhou Project: Marisa's flamethrower is one of the worst shot types in Double Dealing Character. It has unimpressive power (unless you're very close to the enemy, which you usually won't be in a Bullet Hell game) and is the only forward-focus shot that can't even reach the top of the screen. And using it forces you to fight Benben, who's hard to hit without homing shots.
  • Brood Star: Downplayed with the Flamethrower primary weapon. While the Flamethrower's naturally high damage and rate-of-fire let it kill most standard enemies faster than you can blink and kill certain bosses in seconds, its shots fizzle out after traveling half the length of the screen, forcing the player to get closer to the action than they might otherwise like. It's also the only weapon which continuously drains the player's fuel meter while being fired, limiting your ability to dodge.

    Simulation Games 
  • Even with the presence of flamers in MechWarrior 2, 3, 4, and their respective Expansion Packs, none of them ever approached a threat level any higher than that of 'gimmick' (particularly in 3, where Over Heating an enemy with a ludicrous number of flamers would result in them Going Critical, followed by a mushroom cloud). The lack of conventional infantry in all of the aforementioned games, as well as the often-slow speed at which fire traveled relative to autocannon fire or lasers, made flamers more of an easily ignored footnote than an actual weapon. Only 2 Mechs in all of the MechWarrior series ever mounted flamers by default: the Flashman of MechWarrior 2 Mercenaries and the Puma of MechWarrior 3, both of which had much better weapons available to them, mostly Beam Spam and the ability to blow off a Mech's head in one shot, respectively.
  • Flame weapons in Interstate '76 are completely useless. While they theoretically bypass armor to deal Subsystem Damage, they're glitchy and tend to not register hits. On top of that, the flamethrower weapons consist of: a flame jet with pathetic range, a fireball launcher who's shots move so slowly that it's practically impossible to actually it anything with it, and a napalm dispenser that sets the ground behind your vehicle on fire but the enemy AI will always avoid it.

    Strategy Games 
  • Age of Wonders has Flame Throwers which are Dwarven vehicles with a weapon inspired from a cooking accident. And it shows, the vehicle is slow and not particularly enduring while it's cone of fire is short-ranged and doesn't do that much damage.
  • Horn of the Abyss: Mechanics and Engineers, tier 2 creatures of the Factory town, use flamethrowers. They can hit two hexes, just as "Dragon Breath" ability, but otherwise they are heavily underpowered. Other factions often have bows as their weapon for tier 2 units, so flamethrowers are about as powerful as normal arrows, and less powerful than flintlock pistols, wielded by tier 3 Pirates from the Cove town. Mechanics' actual value lies in their ability to fix mechanical creatures from their town.
  • Total War: Warhammer: The Dwarves' Irondrakes (heavy flamethrower-wielding infantry) and Flame Cannons (fixed artillery) are late-game units for their armies. They shoot burning gouts of liquid instead of burning gas, and do so over a respectable range, but their unit sizes are tiny for their price and their weapons are terrible against the heavy armour and flyers of most late-game units.
  • UFO: Aftermath features a flamethrower that does 3900 damage per hit (comparatively, a direct hit from an RPG does 550), but has an effective range of 5 metres and weighs more than a pregnant rhinoceros. The advantage is that very few enemies are strong against fire, and many are weak, particularly the "transgenant" mutants that make up the bulk of the enemies in the game (and most of which don't have a ranged attack). However the weapon really comes into its own when boarding UFO's, dealing with Aliens armed exclusively with RPG's and no sense of self preservation. Otherwise this is an awful weapon to carry, besides the weight and lack of range, the other HUGE drawback to this weapon is that it easily inflicts friendly fire - it's especially easy in THIS game due to its real-time action(and with the damage it does, it'll outright kill your troops even with the best armor) and in tight corners its area of effect means you could set yourself on fire. With all these disadvantages, it's no surprise that the flamethrower doesn't show up in the sequels.
  • In UFO: Alien Invasion, the Flamethrower can be more effective than conventional ballistic firearms against the aliens, because their armor is less effective against fire damage. Of course, it also has much less range than most of the firearms.

    Survival Horror 
  • Cold Fear has a flamethrower with quite decent range, which is especially effective against humanoid enemies, and has a fair ammo supply. It only falls into this category due to being Awesome, but Impractical — it's not much better than the good ol' Boom, Headshot! against zombies.
  • Dead Space:
    • The flamethrower in the original title is the one weapon considered to be completely useless. Given that the best way to kill Necromorphs is dismemberment (which a flamethrower obviously can't do) its uselessness even makes sense. The one practical use it has, that being burning Pregnants so their swarmers die in the flames, is something just as easily avoided with decent aim. Oddly, the flamethrower in Dead Space is actually one of the few chemical designs that could work in a vacuum, as described in supplemental material, but it doesn't in-game. It is intended as a tool for melting ice in the absence of an atmosphere, which might justify its relative weakness as a weapon. That the game does not allow it to function in vacuum is something of a gaffe.
      • The 2023 remake, however, makes the flamethrower a much better weapon once it's been upgraded. It still can't function in vacuum, but it proves very ammo-efficient and capable of burning down even the toughest of Necromorphs fairly quickly. Additionally, its secondary fire creates a wall of flame that will stop enemies from reaching you for several seconds, more than enough time for you to blast them down from a safe distance. Finally, the new "peeling" system that makes the game's Gorn more realistic means that setting an enemy on fire with even a short burst will cause their flesh to start melting off, weakening them enough that just one or two hits from anything else will kill them, making it a great companion to the rest of your arsenal.
    • Dead Space 2 rectified the problem with the flamethrower not working in space, and gave it some much-needed offensive buffs, but it's still a poor alternative to other, much more powerful weapons.
    • Dead Space 3 unfortunately backslides with the flamethrower being a poor option compared to almost everything else.
  • Resident Evil has a long, long, long history of pissing off its fans with crappy flamethrowers:
    • Resident Evil and its Nintendo GameCube remake have a flamethrower only available to Chris, which he gets instead of the Grenade Launcher. It has only enough fuel for 7 seconds of firing, can never be reloaded, has pitiful range, low damage, and can only be used in the underground caves. Adding insult to injury in the 2002 remake, if the player cheats it into their inventory, they'll find it has absolutely no effect on zombies: not only was it not coded to do any damage but can't even be used to burn their corpses to prevent them from returning as Crimson Heads.
    • Resident Evil 2 follows suit with the flamethrower that Leon finds. It's even worse than the one above, since it has even less ammo and is found so late in the game that it is completely outclassed by the other weapons you already have, which by this point include a long-barreled Magnum and automatic shotgun. Again, Leon gets this instead of the Spark Shot that Claire finds, which is a Lethal Joke Item that sucks against most monsters but absolutely slaughters the G Virus mutations of William Birkin and the Tyrant T-103. It's at least effective against the Ivy creatures that would otherwise soak up a ton of valuable ammunition (such as the upgraded magnum that outclasses the Spark Shot), but said creatures are also fairly easy to just dodge and not waste ammo on to begin with... worse, the flamethrower's range is ridiculously short - as in, not only is it just barely outside of the Ivies' melee attack range, it's outranged completely by their Zombie Puke Attack!
    • To make matters worse, RE and RE2 also feature a grenade launcher which has flame rounds which, while rare, are still more abundant than fuel for the flamethrower. This weapon outclasses the flamethrower in every possible aspect - higher range, higher damage output, higher stopping power, and more versatile with its other kinds of ammo - and is only available to Jill and Claire, the characters who don't find flamethrowers.
    • Resident Evil: Outbreak has a flame thrower which can be made by David by combining the Insect Spray with the Lighter. Unfortunately you find said items in levels where they have other uses, and by making the overall shoddy flamethrower, you lose the ability to kill insect-type enemies in one shot and reach hidden caches of items.
    • Resident Evil 5 gives you an actually pretty decent flamethrower which would be an Infinity +1 Sword. However, you can only use it during one part of the game, against a boss that no other weapon works on, making its damage output a moot point, and doesn't get infinite ammo even if you legitimately unlocked it.
    • Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City's flamethrower would be okay, if you could purchase it, spawn with it, reload it, or customize it. It can only be found within levels, and has a pitifully low (and unreloadable) ammo stock.
    • To really drill this trope home, Resident Evil 6 shows off some awesome-looking flamethrowers that seem to have unlimited ammo and are insanely effective at destroying Chrysalid Cocoons. Too bad you never get to use one; they're only used by soldiers in the background of one stage.
    • Resident Evil 7: Biohazard continues the series trend with the Burner. It has a fairly short range, and while it's good against bug-type enemies, which are only found in one section of the game, it's nearly worthless against the Molded, which make up the vast majority of the game's enemies. It's at least a step in the right direction as it's also effective against Marguerite Baker, and is also reloadable.
  • In Silent Hill 3, where a flamethrower can be found in a New Game Plus. It has infinite ammo, but sadly has difficulty stunning enemies, so-so range, and weak damage unless you finished the hardest difficulty under extreme restrictions. It's not a bad weapon, but an average New Game Plus player will have the Infinite Submachine Gun as well, which is just so, so much better in every way.

    Third-Person Shooters 
  • Gears of War:
    • In Gears of War 2 the flamethrower usually can't kill the wretches before they get to you making it just as effective to melee them. The flamethrower is actually useful against armed enemies because you can accurately fire from cover without crosshairs (just watch where the flames go and adjust your aim accordingly). Unfortunately the level you get the flamethrower on has almost exclusively melee enemies.

      That being said, the flamethrower is still useful on that particular level: because it features almost exclusively melee enemies, they will get burned getting close to you, and considering it would otherwise take more than one punch to kill the wretches, you're doing better than you would be otherwise. Until you get overwhelmed by wretches... In multiplayer, closing to flamethrower range brings you into shotgun range. Bad move. The flamethrower shines, however, in the Co-op Horde mode of Gears of War 3; the flamethrower is the best weapon for taking out the super armored Berserker Boss monsters, and is also fairly effective against the Lambent version as well.
    • The Scorcher Flamethrower in the series should belong in the other category, as it's a perfectly fine weapon on its own merits: It has decent range for a video game flamethrower and good damage, as well as an awesome Finishing Move where you press the barrel directly against the downed enemy's chest and pull the trigger, causing flames to spew out of their mouth. Against the Gameplay Derailment of "bounce off the walls like you just drank your own weight in Red Bull and hipfire shotguns at each other until one of you scores a One-Hit Kill", however...
  • The Flamethrower in Jet Force Gemini is a classic example of this trope. It performs more like a very large blowtorch. It has a ridiculously short range, ammo for it is rare, it runs out of ammo incredibly quickly, and enemies who run around wildly while aflame can damage you. The only upside is that it actually deals quite a bit of damage.
  • The flamethrower in The Punisher both averts and plays this straight. On the one hand, it's very useful for killing the nameless mooks that you have to fight, especially in stages with small corridors. Enemies take a while to die while burning but they run around screaming in pain and can set any other mooks on fire that they bump into. However, it's next to useless in boss battles. You can spray a boss with fire for 20 seconds straight and they just sort of run in place with their health meter only slowly dropping down. In real life, a person would be burned down to the bone if you did that.
    • The trope itself is played straight. The latter problem stems from introducing 'bosses' into relatively realistic shooter and making them tougher by simply cranking their Hit Points absurdly high (they are able to withstand several dozen penetrating hits from a machine gun with no ill effects even though one hit is usually enough to kill a regular enemy).
  • Zigzagged in Earth Defense Force 2025. Many of the handheld flamethrowers held by Rangers and Fencers just flat out suck - poor range and reach, really only work in confined spaces and you probably can get the job done better with a machine gun or a rocket launcher. The worst of this bunch is the Flame Revolver used by the Fencers - despite being Gatling flamethrowers, their recoil is insane as just firing it sends your aim going vertical. However, the version used by one of the Humongous Mecha is instead a walking wall of fiery death.
    • Earth Defense Force 2017 seems to openly mock the idea of video game flamethrowers by giving you a welding torch as a weapon. Its own stats page lists its range as nonexistent and its damage as "negligible."

    Turn-Based Tactics 
  • The flamethrower in the Battletech videogame is by far the least damaging weapon in the game, has a measly five ammo (which is integrated into the weapon, so you can't add any more) and as a support weapon can only attack at point-blank range or as part of a melee attack. That said, the flamethrower increases its target's heat on top of its pathetic damage. One flamethrower is weak tea, but a Firestarter or Grasshopper mounting six of them will often bring its target right into overheating and potentially shut down the entire 'mech for a round. Flamethrowers are, however, completely useless against vehicles and turrets who do not have heat gauges.
  • Combat Mission also has potent but very hard to use flamethrowers. If you do manage to get them in range of an enemy tank, trench or garrisoned building, they'll make short work of them. Good luck getting to that point though; flamer teams are slow moving, they're usually only two man strong so suppressing or even destroying them outright is quasi effortless, and they can't safely fire from buildings or forests which makes ambush tactics hard to pull off. Now, flame throwing tanks on the other hand are lovely, if expensive.
  • In Heroes of Jin Yong, members of the Ming Cult uses flamethrowers made of Bamboo Technology who deals pathethic damage. Getting hit by the fire from point-blank only deals 40 or so damage points, and the damage can reach single digits if you're far enough. Meanwhile, swords and spears (either the player or mooks) can easily shave away over 50 points of health.
  • The Flamethrower in XCOM 2 and its upgrade, the Hellfire Projector, received a nerf from the genuinely useful one in the previous game and are generally considered the worst of the heavy/powered weapons. Mediocre damage, range and area of effect, doesn't destroy cover, doesn't pierce or shred armour. They can set enemies on fire, dealing damage over time and disabling special abilities, but there are other sources of such and some of the most dangerous foes are Kung Fu Proof. Their one unique advantage, making enemies panic, is bugged and doesn't even work, so much for that.
    • This trope also applies to your enemies, as ADVENT Purifiers can only use flamethrowers (no secondary weapons, no grenades, not even melee), with all the weaknesses included, and the hazardous gas tanks they need means they have this unfortunate tendency to explode when killed, which frequently harms the other ADVENT units they're brought in with. In-universe lore makes it clear that they're specialized for only one type of enemy - The Lost - and should mostly work in Lost nests where they don't get shot at as often.
  • In Xenonauts, flamethrowers are a Dummied Out weapon that didn't make the final game due to engine constraints, but some mods restore the weapon. Though it completely ignores cover and kills most aliens very dead, it has a lot of major drawbacks: it's heavy as fuck, basically necessitating the operator leave their armour back at base (a very bad thing considering the weapon's short range and the general lethality of alien firepower); it can be dangerous to other troopers if used carelessly; and it can explode if the operator takes a critical hit, incinerating them and anybody else standing nearby (not so fun when the enemies can do it to you, player, huh?). You can upgrade it to a Plasma Torch once you research plasma weaponry.

    Wide-Open Sandbox 
  • Fallout series:
    • In Fallout 2, the flamer was pretty much a heavy waste of time. Its range is ridiculously short, the ammo is ridiculously heavy, and end-game enemies tend to resist fire. Fun for toasting lower-level random encounters, but that's about it. However, it was much better in Fallout because most of the late enemies don't have any special resistance to fire.
    • In Fallout 3, this is your regular flamer (though it has the downside of potentially igniting anything flammable you get close to while it's equipped). It's quite common enough once you start hitting medium levels and Raiders carry them.
    • Fallout: New Vegas made the flamer more powerful but less durable. While it can hold its own at short range against even higher level enemies, it's an eminently Breakable Weapon that will require you to lug around either replacements or Weapon Repair Kits if you plan to use it for an entire dungeon.
    • In Fallout 4, the Flamer is one of the absolute worst weapons in the game- heavy, exceptionally short-ranged (and upgrading its damage actually reduces its range), and prone to glitching so that it fails to register as having fired even though the firing animation plays. To make matters worse, there's the Plasma-thrower mode for plasma weapons, which turns them into plasma-based flamethrowers, only they deal about five times as much damage as the Flamer and have a much greater range. Plus, due to a glitch, the Plasma-thrower is classified as either a pistol or rifle class weapon (depending on whether it's got a pistol or rifle grip), and thus benefits from their damage-boosting perks (which have better secondary bonuses than the weapon perk it's supposed to use).
  • Grand Theft Auto has both versions in two different eras:
    • In the original overhead 2D games, this was downplayed. While it lacked range, killing enemies with the flamethrower gave substantially more points than with ordinary guns which was useful if you were trying to reach a points threshold to continue to the next chapter and had no missions left to perform.
    • Definitely the case in the 3D era games in the franchise: the tendency for enemies to run directly at you when you light them on fire (leaving you completely helpless and vulnerable), the ridiculously short range meaning you could have killed the enemies with anything else in the game by that point, and that, since it's technically classed as a BFG, you can't run and gun, or jump with it makes it all but useless. It's not surprising that this weapon was dropped in the HD era, with the exception of Chinatown Wars.
    • By collecting hidden packages in Vice City, you could unlock the Flamethrower at your safehouse. However, a glitch in the original PS2 version would cause it to only spawn with four units of ammo, leaving the pickup almost completely worthless.
  • In Saints Row 2, the Flamethrower has short range, takes a long time to kill enemies (much longer than just blasting them with a shotgun or SMG), and while anyone's on fire, they panic and run around, setting anyone they touch on fire, which will probably be you.

  • In the early Armored Core games, the flamethrower was generally useless— the range was little better than that of a Laser Blade, and until Armored Core 2 (the fourth game in the series), the "heat" mechanic didn't exist, meaning that there was no damage over time for overheating an opponent. The later games improved this, but there are still better weapons.
  • Diablo:
    • Diablo II has the Inferno spell which is a flamethrower, complete with short range at low spell levels, low area coverage at all spell levels, no persistent damage, slow-moving flames and it takes a long time to cast and roots you to the spot while you channel and stops when you get hit. Between its weak damage and the danger factor of planting yourself in front of the onrushing enemies that will proceed to stunlock you, this is the worst sorceress spell in the game. The expansion provided the new druid class with an Ice thrower which was useful for no other reason than the very long chill length, providing some much-needed crowd control until players figured out that there's a passive area effect chill spell in the druid's arsenal and most enemies you want to chill are immune to it anyway.
    • There is a very cheap runeword that averted this by giving a massive bonus to all fire spells, and to the Inferno spell in particular; like most spells, it could become much more effective as you pumped its effective level up beyond 20, making it a cheap and effective tool that could be acquired by the end of Act 1 and remained useful until everything becomes immune to fire.
    • The first game contained Inferno. At least you didn't have to channel it, but it was a very slow moving flame that crept along the ground, had a very short range, almost always missed if cast at an angle due to the game being grid-based and its only benefit was that it could hit multiple targets if they were right in your grill. You would probably get a book of this spell at about the point where the first Lightning Bolt staves started to show up, which had the same line damage effect, unlimited range, a much wider area of effect and did about five times as much damage.
  • The Heli Attack series ties a flamethrower's damage inversely to the distance from whatever it's targeting. If the enemy's at a reasonable distance, it does the worst damage of any weapon in the game. If you're really close, it can kill someone in less than a second, but by then they've probably shot you at least once, and it's a series where avoiding bullets is a really good idea.
  • Nosgoth has Flamethrowers as an optional ability for the Alchemist. These zig-zag in that while the immediate damage (and over time) is pretty good and the range problem solves itself since Vampires use melee as their primary attack, smart vampires can and will outrun the flames since said range is also absolutely pitiful.
  • In Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire, Dash Rendar's blaster could somehow switch from a blaster to a flamethrower by using the pickups found almost everywhere. As expected, the range is weak, but since most of the on-foot missions involve close spaces and your long range enemies are usually Stormtroopers, it becomes quite effective in short puffs. Due to the way the damage calculations worked, a single puff of flame dealt the same damage as a continuous stream, meaning even the AT-ST and the Gladiator Droid (at least in its first form) could be easily defeated by just standing behind them, emitting a puff, and waiting for the enemy health indicator to fade before doing it again.
  • Thumper's signature weapon in Twisted Metal 2 is a flamethrower, and the strongest special in the game. Even the final boss takes huge amounts of damage from it... if you want to get into melee range of a giant ice cream monster truck that takes off 2/3 of your health just by running you over. Better keep a lot of energy handy for freeze missiles.
    • It got worse in Twisted Metal 3 and 4 where the developers decided to give the weapon to a very fast, but very fragile character, because this is exactly the kind of vehicle you want to carry a short ranged damage over time weapon, right? The flamer was dumped for Black, although there is a boss that uses a turret-mounted one at close range. Then for Head-On we're back to the Thumper incarnation.
    • Rogue Trip, a Twisted Metal clone by the same developers, features its own failthrower. It is a pick-up weapon that deals little damage, forces you to keep the fire button down (so you cannot launch other weapons) while still having a maximum duration and its range is minimal, making it only useful against stunned enemies; the reduced power of stun missiles compared to Twisted Metal freeze missiles weakens it even more. One of the characters does have its own flamethrower special weapon, although the napalm isn't actually lit and you are supposed to soak an enemy in the stuff and then shoot him with any weapon. It is fairly effective and would be even better if the vehicle carrying the weapon wasn't a glacially slow tanker truck.
  • Vigilante 8 Second Offense has the Brimstone Burner weapon. Most weapons in the game are fairly balanced and all have their roles, except for this. It is turret mounted so you can toast enemies in any direction and deals decent damage, but lingering in close range makes you a target and there is the Bruiser Cannon turret which has a scattershot special attack that removes half of an enemy's health bar. The flamer's special attacks on the other hand consist of a pointless oil slick, a weak firewall created behind you and thankfully a ranged attack... a slow moving skipping fireball that only deals damage when it bounces off the ground, goes right through enemies, consumes half of your flamer ammo and doesn't even do a lot of damage.
  • Hyrule Warriors has the Fire Rod for Link as one of his optional weapons. One of the combos leads to him turning the rod around, and using it as a fan-spread flamethrower as opposed to a a rod that shoots fireballs. By the time you get to the combo, you've probably already blown away the mooks that were in front of you, and NPC's and Mook Captains have the sense to block your attack. This leads to a few seconds where Link is just ineffectually spraying fire a short distance, and not achieving many ko's.
  • Hawk can pick up a flamethrower in 20XX. While it has solid damage, its poor range and obscene energy cost won't put it high up the list of useful pickups.
  • Dynasty Warriors featured the infamously quirky Zhang Jiao, who was given a flame wand for most of his playable appearances. Unfortunately, said flames tended towards being extremely weak and hard to aim. His attacks that involved whacking people with the stick actually did more damage than the fire, which would usually just hit foes for a very minor damage-over-time effect and occasionally send them flying. This was just one of the many reasons he was considered an F Tier playable character for many installments.
  • L.A. Noire gives you a flamethrower for one of the last levels that's probably intended as an 11th-Hour Superpower. While it does kill whatever it hits very quickly, it slows you down to a crawl, is too short-ranged for the area you're fighting in, can't be replenished when its limited ammo runs dry, is very prone to Flame Thrower Backfire and worst of all, it can't be dropped to switch to a gun if the situation requires it. It's best you never pick it up and stick with a Browning rifle or something similar instead.
  • Pickle Pete is Vampire Survivor-style survivor shooter. The flamethrower is a fairly advanced and very rare weapon to appear in shops, but it's hardly a loss. It's a poor weapon for a similar reason why melee weapons are Awesome, but Impractical, enemies simply grow more powerful almost exponentially as you unlock more stages. Not only do they cause and withstand more damage but newer more dangerous enemies appear with abilities like firing an obstacle piercing laser beam. Being in close quarters against mooks that will take 25% of your max health by simply brushing against them is suicidal. That said, if you are able to compensate for the awful near-melee range and have the right stats tooled up, the flamethrower's constant stream of flame and the continuous damage from being set on fire can make this a very damaging damage. Even bosses will take heavy damage, just remember to have some other weapons for long range.


    Action Games 
  • Averted in Abuse, where the flamethrower is possibly the most powerful weapon in the game, capable of clearing half a screen of baddies with a single shot. The only downside is the incredibly sparse ammo; you aren't likely to find more than 10 shots through the normal course of the game.
  • Averted in Army Men. Plastic soldiers and fire don't mix. One tactic is to use a flamethrower to leave a forest burning so that any tan, blue and gray are left as bubbling puddles of plastic should they have been unfortunate enough to hide among the trees.
  • In Assault Suits Valken, the secret Napalm Gun upgrade fires a flaming ball of death across the screen. Both the rate of fire and rate of travel might be low compared to the usual standbys of the Vulcan cannon or Laser cannon, but it basically annihilates most non-boss enemies in a single shot. Even a near miss can wipe out smaller units.
  • In Battlerite, Iva's Flamethrower costs 2 energy to activate (unlike most EX abilities which only cost 1), but if you oiled your enemies with her Jet Pack first, it will inflict Burning Oil, dealing hefty Damage Over Time on top of the good damage of the flamethrower itself. And it's an area-of-effect, meaning it won't activate counter attacks.
  • In Broforce, two characters use flamethrowers, and both avert this trope. B.A. Broracus (an Expy of B.A. Baracus from The A-Team has it as his primary attack. It deals massive damage, scares enemies it sets on fire (preventing them from firing back) and is one of the best tunneling weapons in the game, its only limitation being its short range. Ellen Ripbro (an Expy of Ellen Ripley from the Alien franchise) has it as her special. It fires a wide wall of flame that moves across the screen, dealing massive damage to anything it touches. It has limited uses, however, being her special and all.
  • Contra: Shattered Soldier has a flamethrower among its weapons. Its normal shot lacks range and spread, but has the high rate of fire, since it's a constant stream of fire, making it possible for skilled players to chew up everything up to bosses in half the time it would take with other guns. Its charged shot is a ball of fire that not only has the highest damage per shot, but also pierces, making it possible to hit several targets in a row. The flamethrower is is good enough to be your main weapon, as a highly precise, controllable weapon, while leaving the Machine Gun and Spread Gun for situational use.
    • The original Contra games (up to Contra 3) also feature a very useful Flamer. It shoots to a consistent range, about two-thirds of the screen, and fires continuously, following the movements as you aim up, down, left and right. Absolutely nothing beats it for swarming enemy situations, and when effectively used against bosses, absolutely devastates them (as long as they don't have Mercy Invincibility).
    • In the first Contra, the flamethrower was a useless corkscrew attack. In Super C, it was a chargeable blast that exploded and spread on contact. In Contra 3, it was a constant-damage stream, and invaluable in many levels.
  • In Duke Nukem II, the flame thrower proves to be more effective than the rocket launcher, which is advertised as the best weapon. Not only does it deal a fair amount of damage, but if pointed at the ground it jumps you up in the air, making it very useful.
  • Freedom Wars: While having the second-shortest range of all autocannons (on par with the Dragonfang, a massive shotgun with piercing bullets), the Aldering flamethrower is an excellent anti-mook weapon, capable of keeping small targets in stunlock as you roast them crispy. This also works on Abel, since he's considered a small enemy. Not even Abductors are safe from the Aldering, as its high damage-per-second, high stun rate, and massive ammo capacity (the highest ammo capacity out of the other guns), makes it ideal for breaking their pods, or in Peltatum's case, the statue.
  • In the Gundam Vs Series, there's a specific kind of stun caused by fire-based weapons like napalm and flamethrowers, which makes them quite useful (especially for stringing together combos). They're used primarily by the Dragon Gundam and Altron Gundam; the fact that both Gundams are melee fighters mitigates the flamethrowers' relatively short range.
  • The obscure 1991 arcade game GunForce has flamethrowers that, while shorter ranged than other weapons, also inflict tremendous damage very rapidly. The flamethrower is an excellent weapon for boss fights on levels that have it.
  • Gunstar Heroes also goes both ways. The normal Flame weapon is very short-ranged (but powerful). Double Flame has only about twice the range, but when you let the fire button go, the flames fly off across the screen. Flame + Chaser is a fireball that is controlled by the player. Flame plus Lightning gives you a fully-functional Laser Blade.
  • In Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number, The Soldier's flamethrower can reach almost a screen away and kills even heavies in a single shot, making it the strongest weapon in his arsenal. As a downside, it rewards less points per kill and can't fire through glass.
  • Interstate '76 has car-mounted flamethrowers that are some of the most effective weapons in the game. They don't do damage to armor or the chassis, but tear through systems like there's no tomorrow. The enemy can't do much harm to you if their engine is dead, their weapons can't fire, and they have no tires. Assuming you can get the game running properly on your computer, at least; if not, they barely clear an inch from your front bumper.
  • The Ghost Bear's Legacy expansion pack for MechWarrior 2 features the flamer as a lightweight weapon. It has significant drawbacks, among which high heat generation and very short range, but needs no ammo and packs a punch - a few shots will send an enemy Mech into thermal shutdown, and a few more will overheat the reactor and blow them up regardless of armor, bypassing the usual problem of punching holes in them. Heavy Mechs have more efficient ways to hurt the enemy, but light ones - which in the pre-GBL game had to choose between "scratch your enemy with small cannons" or "slightly annoy them with light lasers" - can use them to great effect.
  • Metal Slug series
    • The flamethrower is one of the better special weapons from the second game onwards. The flame is quite large, has moderate range,note  and is capable of toasting multiple enemies in a single shot, burning even through vehicles with tremendous ease. The rare Big Flamethrower shoots a massive fireball that will basically clear out everything unfortunate enough to be standing on the wrong half of the screen. Interestingly, it used to be a terrible weapon in the first installment thanks to doing very little damage to vehicles.
    • Zig-zagged in the remake, Metal Slug Code J. The Flame Shot makes a comeback and it's regressed to the weak fireball from the original series, but this time players can hold down the fire button for a Charged Attack, unleashing a powerful, explosive Ring of Fire that works wonders on bosses and vehicles.
  • In Midnight Resistance, the supercharged flamethrower was perhaps the best weapon in the game. The Commodore 64 version nerfed it by reducing its range.
  • In the Sega Genesis version of Robocop vs. The Terminator the flamethrower is one of the better weapons for early game. It's essentially a shotgun, firing a three-pronged cone of flames across the entire screen, making it incredibly useful for the present day Detroit levels. What's more, it eats up incoming enemy projectiles, helping it retain its usefulness even against Terminators in the future levels even if it takes several hits to kill them.
  • In most other games, the flamethrower of Rushn Attack would be awful with its limited range and only 3 shots. But your Green Beret will be happy to have a flamethrower in his hands as he normally only has a combat knife to work with. The flamethrower gives him some range and can burn multiple enemies with each attack.
  • In Sonic Forces, the Burst Wispon functions as a flamethrower, firing a long-range stream of flames, in addition to performing successive aerial jumps. While its functionality is basic in comparison to other Wispons, it is perfectly serviceable and very useful.
  • In Star Wars: Bounty Hunter, the flamethrower has two down sides: it has short range, and it uses the same fuel as your jet pack. But its also very powerful against regular enemies, and easily the best way to get rid of the most dangerous enemies, Bando Gora cultists. They normally gang up on Jango with melee attacks and can kill him in seconds. But with the flamethrower, just light em up, fly to a high spot, and watch them burn.
  • The flamethrower in Super Crate Box is one of the high-to-mid tier weapons, able to utterly wreck smaller enemies, and while it still takes some time to wipe out the big ones, the flames also stick around on the floor to deal continuous damage to anything that walks through them. The only major downside is that walking into the flames yourself causes you to bounce up and down and prevents you from jumping.

  • The Magmamaker flamethrower in The Ascent not only outranges the game's shotguns by a wide margin, being able to hit enemies across almost the entire screen, but deals massive damage both up front and over time.
  • If the early flamethrowers were meh, things start turning around in Dead or School. The flamethrowers are now of Modified tier rather Reinforced (so they have improved damage) and will continue to advance as you go further until they reach Ultimate at Roppongi. Random abilities will also tend to be better (including a higher chance of getting Absorb at a good activation rate). As well, the areas now tend to have more obstacles so the flamethrower's penetrating objects feature becomes very useful. Also there are new heavier flamethrower-template weapons like the Cold Thrower and Toxin Thrower, which trades a reduced rate of fire, smaller ammo supply and greater stamina use for improved damage.
  • Axiom Verge has a quite awesome flamethrower, doing heavy damage, having a large spread and being one of the few weapons you get that can shoot through walls. It's widely regarded as the best weapon in the game.
  • Gunple: Strange World Gunman's Proof, an obscure Japanese Famicom game that was essentially a Zelda Clone with a western motive, hands you an awesome flamethrower after beating dungeon 3. Its range and ammo capacity are low, but both are moot points as most enemies attack at close range and ammo drops for it are very common. It also blocks enemy projectiles and kills most enemies in one hit.
  • The flamethrower in The Mummy Demastered is like someone looked at your average video game flamethrower, wrote a list of all the reasons they tend to suck, and then set out to avert every single one. It has a decent fuel capacity, enemies drop extra fuel almost non-stop for it (especially if your other weapon is the Mercury Harpoon or the Plasma Gun, which don't get often ammo drops), it has a wide hitbox, inflicts ludicrous damage to many enemies and all bosses, and pierces enemies to hit multiple targets. It's only weakness is it has a short range, but since most combat in the game is close-range to begin with this won't set you back much. It's worth noting the moment you pick up this Disk One Nuke is when the game's combat gets notably easier.

  • The mine chapter in Waxworks (1992) features a chemical sprayer. Later on, you can fill its tank with gasoline to create an impromptu flamethrower. It can kill any enemy in one hit, while the rest of your weapons have only a microscopic hit chance and deal crap damage. Just don't run out of fuel.

    Beat 'Em Up 

    Fighting Games 
  • The Pyros of One Must Fall has a unique advantage in its flamethrowers. While not any stronger than other power-type robot's attacks, it has the unique quality of having a projected hitbox without having an associated hurtbox on the flame sprite—this makes a flame-heavy strategy relatively safe, if uninteresting to watch. The Pyros got a huge upgrade by the time of Battlegrounds, where it got a noticeable agility buff and ridiculous area-of-effect crowd-control attacks—it is one of a small handful of robots that can damage or destroy multiple opponents with all its super attacks.

    First-Person Shooter 
  • In Alien Arena, the flamethrower has a standard cone of fire effect on the primary fire, and a more realistic long range arc of flame for the secondary.
  • Alien vs. Predator
    • Unlike the 1999 and 2010 installments, Aliens vs. Predator 2 makes the flamethrower quite useful. It's just as great against Facehuggers as it was the previous installment, but Aliens will also light up and drop dead fairly quickly. It does burn fuel rather fast, but its high capacity of 600 units helps balance that out.
    • The flamethrower in Alien Vs. Predator (Jaguar) is pretty solid. It fires bursts of flame instead of a stream so it's got the same range as all your other guns, and while it does the same damage per shot as the starting shotgun, it also fires much faster, making it great at taking out enemy xenomorphs even in larger numbers.
  • Averted in Artic Combat. The local flamethrower fires out what seems to be a stream of orange stuff that bursts into fire on contact with something. Its range is enough for most close quarter battles, it can completely blind an opponent, and does more damage than most guns.
  • The Master Blaster in Ashes 2063 has two firing modes — launching a gravity-prone gob of napalm that explodes with Splash Damage and has great range, or squirting it out in a short-ranged cloud of fire with no risk of self-injury — and both deal solid, consistent, ammo-efficient damage. In Afterglow, the second workbench upgradenote  replaces the nozzle with a high-pressure variant that dramatically increases the range of both firing modes, making the gobs easier to aim and the spray usable against more ranged enemies. It also helps that the tough and strong Plant Mooks in the Biodome are very weak to fire.
  • Ballistic Weapons shows why it's generally a bad idea to invert this trope, especially in competitive games. The RX22A Flamethrower added in the mod functions more like a real-life flamer would, with a realistic distance on its stream of flame. The problem is that many maps, including almost all vanilla deathmatch maps, were not designed with this in mind, so you have a weapon that allows you to Kill It with Fire at impressive distances (including outside the effective range of many shotguns added in the mod), without much recourse available to opponents besides finding something longer-ranged (and being able to see through the bright, disorienting flame effect), or just fighting a battle of attrition and waiting for the enemy to run out of ammo or die a Death of a Thousand Cuts. In more open maps, however, using it is very risky, as if the fuel backpack takes a single hit from anything, it will rocket the user up into the air and then explode, invariably killing them.
  • Battlefield 1's flamethrower has good range, unlimited fuel and stupidly high damage output at close range along with heavy armor and gas mask to make users immune to poison gas and resistant to small arms fire. Which makes both the flametroopers in the campaign and the players who pick up the flamethrower kits to be high priority targets, especially with snipers as they can bypass their armor or shoot out their fuel tanks. If used well, players can take out whole squads before dying.
  • Battlefield V has the M2 flamethrower available as a pickup in several spots on the Pacific maps. While not as powerful as the one from the previous installment, it still deals considerable damage and fires massive blasts that cannot be avoided in bunkers and trenches. And then, there are vehicle-mounted flamethrowers (on the Allied calldown Churchill Crocodile and in the upgrade trees for Pacific tanks) designed for fighting enemy infantry.
  • BioShock's chemical thrower runs on actual liquid napalm and has an impressive range, not that you need much in this cramped underwater city. It also has alternate modes that allow it to fire liquid nitrogen and electric gel (highly conductive liquid), the latter of which replaces the pilot light with a spark plug. It effectively makes the equivalent plasmids redundant, even when fully upgraded — especially the electric gel mode, which actually deals damage as opposed to simply stunning opponents and is actually the most effective way to kill Big Daddies. This weapon didn't receive any weapon-based counterpart in the sequel, as the final upgrades for the electric, fire, and ice plasmids served the same purpose.
  • Blood's Aerosol Flamethrower has an extremely short range, but also deals a ton of damage. It also fires rapidly, making it ideal for dealing with large groups of weaker enemies. The secondary fire, where Caleb ignites the tip of the can and either throws it like a Molotov Cocktail or leaves it on the ground as a time bomb, is absolutely devastating when applied correctly but costs 48 ammo per use and can risk a lot of self-damage if you mess up and there's no water nearby. There are few better ways to deal with Bloated Butchers than this weapon, especially groups of them. Tragically, this trope ends up being played straight in Fresh Supply, where, due to the many issues Nightdive had with reconstructing the game, the primary fire is about half as effective as it is in the original release (though the secondary fire is as good as ever).
  • Brutal Doom doesn't have a proper flamethrower, but it does have the Mancubus' flame cannon arm, which you can rip off its corpse and use for yourself. Thing is, there aren't many reasons to do that — it's not a weak weapon, but the projectiles are slow and travel in an arc, and ignited enemies turn into human torches. This is more than a special death animation — they deal damage to anything they run into, be it other monsters or you, and they keep running around in a frenzy for a very long time (sometimes entire minutes. Depending on the map this can be useful or a huge pain in the ass. And there aren't really that many Mancubi around anyway, and it's difficult to actually remove the cannons from said corpses (hint: you have to gib them), so ammo isn't easy to come by — which prevents the sort of general spraying on masses of weaker enemies that a weapon like this would be suited for.
    • Project Brutality has both the Mancubus Flame Cannon and the Secondary Fire of the Heavy Plasma Rifle. The Mancubus Flame Cannon can shoot both flame shots that travel just like how a Mancubus does as well as function as a flamethrower. It also can act as a acid launcher to serve as area denial/trap to lead in foes at the cost of much less range. The Heavy Plasma Rifle's Secondary Fire shoots a short-range burst of plasma that Doomguy spreads by swinging the gun from side to side, useful to clear space in front of you as well as dealing great damage up close.
  • While the Call of Duty series tends to play this straight (see the Lame folder), Call of Duty: Black Ops III has the rather infamous Purifier, Specialist Weapon of Firebreak. Extremely long range, surprising amount of fuel and damage so high it basically counts as an instant kill; if the stream even grazes you, you will inevitably drop dead from the immense afterburn damage. Despite its disadvantages note , the Purifier is generally considered the most broken of the (already poorly balanced) Specialist Weapons and it and Firebreak are near universally despised by the Black Ops 3 community.
    • Call of Duty: WWII gets the M2 and Flammenwerfer 35, where they actually are useful, with decent range, powerful damage, and wide spread, making them great for blitzing Germans.
  • In the campaign for Command & Conquer: Renegade, the flamethrower is almost a Game-Breaker. It has a surprisingly long range, deals good damage to pretty much anything (whether infantry, vehicle, or smaller structure), inflicts damage over time, and best of all, it stunlocks every kind of infantry in the game except flamethrower troopers; even a passing wash of flame will stop the toughest infantry in their tracks and make them flail about for as long as the afterburn lasts. The only thing it isn't really effective against is the aforementioned flamethrower soldiers — but the converse upside is that they show up often enough that you won't ever be hurting for flamethrower ammo, either, while not being common enough to keep the flamethrower from being a good first response to any situation. The flamethrower will be your go-to close-range weapon for the first half of the campaign until laser weapons (which combine the longer range of every other gun with the flamethrower's flaming stunlock) become available, and even then it will remain very useful for the rest of the game. It's also even more effective against Tiberium mutants, who take extra damage from fire weapons.
  • Dead Target by VNG Games has a flamethrower that's a very solid Disc-One Nuke. It's relatively inexpensive at over 1.5 million dollars and its shortcoming of low range isn't that much of handicap as most encounters happen at fairly close range. What it has is a bit of an area attack, a rapid constant stream of fire that puts most assault rifles and submachine guns to shame and it starts with a fairly high damage per hit. Finally, enemies struck by the flamethrower will burn significantly so the flamethrower actually inflicts a lot more damage than first realized.
  • Deep Rock Galactic: Sure, the Driller's CRSPR Flamethrower may have a notably short range (and this can even be increased by modifications if you want), but when most combat is done in cramped caves against giant carnivorous insects most of the disadvantages aren't in play. And the advantages? High damage, especially so if you take it to the Glacial Strata, setting the terrain on fire for even more damage, good amunition, going right through physical armor and a huge slew of upgrades that improve both direct damage and the walls of fire you leave, avert Convection, Schmonvection to set those merely close on fire, and can even cause chain-reaction explosions among the bugs killed. Few things will turn a mass of furious Glyphids into a pile of guts like it. Robotic enemies and turrets also have the Achilles' Heel of instantly dying when they are heated up and set on fire, making the CRSPR a near must-have choice for Corporate Sabotage missions or missions with the Rival Presence warning.
  • In Deus Ex, one touch of its flame can turn most enemies into screaming balls of terror and pain, who continue to take damage while they burn. Of course, it doesn't have that much ammo, and it's heavy, and takes up 8 slots in the inventory, but it's a can of whoop-ass. However, even though you can kick ass with the flamethrower, so can your enemies. Catching on fire will burn away your health until it wears off, or when you find a extinguisher, or a source of water. Some players carry around a fire extinguisher at all times just for this reason.
  • Far Cry
    • Far Cry 2 features an extremely useful flamethrower, largely due to the developers wanting to show off the game's dynamic fire effects. A couple of short bursts can result in a raging fire that lays waste to a whole checkpoint. The FC2 weapon is actually more useful than it is in real life, since the real LPO-50 fires in fixed-length bursts and only has three shots. You even have to be aware of prevailing winds, because if you just start burning shit with the flamethrower, it can and will make the entire area burn up. Including you. Flames also kill the enemy ridiculously fast. As a bonus, when an enemy is on fire he stops shooting and tries (in vain) to put himself out before inevitably succumbing to it. They did balance it out by giving it quite a short range, though. You either have to get really close to someone or corner them with a brush fire to do any good with it.
    • In Far Cry 3, the flamethrower is an extremely potent weapon. It has realistic range, does tremendous damage (being one of the most reliable weapons for taking out heavy armor troops), can spread quite well, and ignite and clear out entire buildings near-instantly. The only downside is that it still doesn't have the long range of most guns, and that the flames can quickly catch up with you, especially if you're advancing into the brush or encampments you're clearing.
    • The same type of flamethrower comes back in Far Cry 4, and nothing has changed about it, but it is still slightly better than the one in 3 just for the simple fact that Ajay is no where near as allergic to fire as Jason is.
  • Forsaken has the pyrolite, which despite having a short range, has absolutely devastating damage capable of making quick work of enemies and even some bosses. To balance it out, the weapon isn't very common and is typically tucked away in secret areas.
  • Half-Life 2 fan-attempts to add flamethrowers to the game vary widely, but the "SMOD" mod has an attachment that turns the Gravity Gun into a flame-spewing monstrosity. In lieu of the expected clouds of flame, it instead fires burning, arcing streams of napalm that cling to walls, floors, objects, and enemies, whereupon it burns all of them with equal vigor. It's quite effective against anything that you need dead and several things that you don't. Best of all, the ammo is technically infinite – it has a limited capacity to draw from, but its fuel automatically recharges when not in use.
  • In Heretic, using a Tome of Power turns the Phoenix Rod, which normally shoots fireballs akin to a rocket launcher, into a flame thrower. While it does have a limited range and the flame spray has weird physics depending on how the player moves, it absolutely tears through any enemy that isn't a Maulotaur or the final boss, and is a go to weapon for dealing with hordes of foes.
  • While Killzone 2 had rather effective flamethrowers that were nevertheless considered useless because the two-weapon inventory system made arming yourself with anything situational a very bad idea, Killzone 3 had a three-weapon inventory system with the third slot made specifically for weapons like this which makes having a flamethrower a good idea whenever you can actually get it. You can ever only find the flamethrower in trench and jungle areas where you'll find them to be very effective, and you won't need to find chokepoints to try to funnel enemies into for maximum efficiency anymore.
  • Paladins has Fernando, a Frontline character with a flamethrower call "Flame Lance". It might have a still fairly-small range as expected of a video-game flamethrower, but its damage and the additional burning effect it applies isn't too bad (as it burns for two seconds, it also prevents enemies from being able to regenerate for another two seconds), and it uses an Overheating meter rather than having to be reloaded entirely, which Fernando can benefit from by halting his shooting and raising his shield while the meter recharges. The weapon combined with Fernando's health, shield and Fireball ability makes him a formidable opponent that will probably kill or scare off any of the Damage or Flank champions that he gets close to.
  • PAYDAY 2 has two: the Flamethrower MK.1 introduced in the Butcher's BBQ Pack, and the MA-17 Flamethrower (blatantly modelled on the Boring Company's "Not a Flamethrower"), that has higher base concealment while providing the same damage, as well as being a secondary weapon. While they doesn't set enemies on fire immedietely, they do damage over time, and it acts more like a short-ranged beam of destruction, in that whoever it hits will have all of their health sucked away in short order. Their range aren't too shabby either, being comparable to that of the Pyro's flamethrower. The only Special Unit that can stand up to the flames is the Bulldozer, and even then if they're hit by the flames, it'll immobilize them. The only downside to all this power is that it chews through ammo like nobody's business, takes an eternity to reload, and is incredibly impractical for dodge builds. On higher difficulties, the flamethrower loses its damage potential as enemies just simply have too much health. However, it still can be a useful utility as Cloakers and Tasers can't use their abilities on you while they're on fire, and enemies too busy trying to put out the flame won't be shooting you. When you're only shooting enough to catch enemies in afterburn, reloading becomes less of an issue.
  • Pretty decently averted in Postal 2. Although the "flamethrower", dubbed a "napalm launcher", in the game is closer to a man-portable Livens Projector (albeit with projectiles which trail napalm as they fly forward/bounce around before exploding), and most of the flammable liquid the player has access to is simply pourable. The damage effects flame has on your in-game opponents are... let's just say, very thoroughly planned out. The A Week in Paradise mod and the Steam version of the game also adds the Blood-esque "aerosol can + lighter"-style flamethrower, which shoots somewhat slow-moving puffs of flame. Very nice for area denial (though not as good as the can of gasoline) or when you want/need to burn somebody quickly. The Hidden "Enhanced mode" also gives your urine special modifiers... including turning your willy into a flamethrower. with long range. "Have fun."
  • Red Faction's flamethrower, though with the typical short range and hazardous to wield, had the beneficial effect of instantly making all targets stop shooting at you because they're too busy running in circles and screaming in agony. An additional plus was the ability to chuck the tank (even if it's almost empty) to produce a huge explosion that sets everything on fire.
  • Rise of the Triad features both aspects of this trope. The useable weapon Flamewall is easily one of the best in the game, sending out an expanding wall of moving fire that instantly kills any enemy in its path leaving behind a charred skeleton that crumbles into dust. On the other hand the flame throwers that adorn the levels are of the gas variety and take away health only while you are directly being seared by them.
    • The weapon has one other niche which guarantees it's frequently found: one of the many weird bonuses you can get upon completing a level (and the Bonus Bonus, which requires getting that one) requires you to have used a projectile weapon to hit yourself (and have survived, of course). With the projectile, not the explosion. This is the only weapon which can be reliably used to do that.
  • Rising Storm gives the US Marines and Army an M2 Flamethrower. While still a short ranged weapon, it has far more reach than most video game flamethrowers, often able to instantly kill targets 20 meters away. The flame effect is quite wide as well, making it very forgiving to fire from the hip. The flame also deflects off of surfaces, which makes the flamethrower one of the best choices in clearing out bunkers, since it can kill enemies inside cover without being able to directly see them.
    • Rising Storm 2: Vietnam gives us the improved M9A1-7 Flamethrower for the Combat Engineer class, behaving in much the same way, except this time it allows for its users to sprint farther and faster thanks to its lighter weight.
  • In Serious Sam: The Second Encounter, the flamethrower is a very powerful weapon. Although it has a short range, the flames do as much initial damage as the minigun or laser gun, deal further damage over time to those on fire, and flames go through enemies, allowing it to damage several at once, especially melee-oriented enemies like Kleer Skeletons and Curcubitos; in the HD Edition, a puff can stunlock a mob of Beheaded Kamikazes and give you time to get away from them. To top it all off, you get the flamethrower very early in every chapter, the ammo is more or less everywhere and it burns out fairly slowly.
  • Flamethrowers in Star Wars: Battlefront II have got the same range problems as most videogame flamethrowers, but everyone who can use one has a way to mitigate the short range (Bothans turn invisible, Boba and Jango have jet packs), and they actually do a horrific amount of damage (one complete burn from ambush is likely to kill whoever you're shooting at as a Bothan, the Fetts do a bit less damage but can hit multiple people and leave them burning).
    • Star Wars Battlefront II (2017): The First Order's Flametrooper is lame if you don't know how to use him properly, but flame if put into his element. Offensively, he is easily the worst Enforcer-type unit, simply because its main weapon has an extremely short range and does low gradual damage. Not helping matters is that the unit lacks the mobility to necessary to get close enough to its target without getting shot up repeatedly and it has no stagger or flinching effect so they can keep attacking you without interrupt after being set on fire. Put him near a chokepoint, and he becomes an insurmountable wall: his Overload gives him infinite ammo for a decent 15 seconds at max level, and his short range is countered by a WIDE zone of attack: if he catches a a clump of enemies in an enclosed space, every one of those enemies is probably dead. Not to mention the Artificial Stupidity of the enemies in co-op multiplayer makes him a great asset, as he is practically built to counter the computer's Zerg Rush tactics.
  • Strife does better than many shooters at implementing a flamethrower. Due to the limits of the id Tech 1 game engine, the flamethrower squirts out an arcing stream of napalm globs that can stunlock and quickly destroy even high-tier mooks. Unusually, it's fed by power cells rather than fuel.
  • Zig-zagged in Team Fortress 2:
    • The Pyro has a much better flamethrower than its classic counterpart (its incredibly short range is also justified: it’s a jury-rigged propane tank). It has afterburn damage, a Damage Over Time that can finish off your enemies even if they escape the Pyro's range. It also provides a way to rebound projectiles, put out burning teammates, and push enemies off cliffs or into corners with its compressed air blast secondary fire. Plus, you can light arrows for your friendly neighborhood sniper if he's using a bow. The Backburner has a more expensive compression blast in exchange for instant Critical Hits when attacking enemies from behind. Or, by equipping the Degreaser, some of the direct and afterburn damage can be traded for super-fast weapon switching. The weapon switching is handy for using the Axtinguisher, which deals guaranteed Crits to any burning enemy. All three flamethrowers are the core weapon of the Pyro class.
    • It’s played straight when regarding solely the actual damage output, though. It’s the weakest of any primary weapon (including the shotgun, which Pyro carries as his secondary), an issue compounded by the unusual manner used to decide how much damage is donenote  which makes it’s already low direct damage rather unreliable, while nearly every update provides some new way of putting out fire. Most good Pyro players end up using the shotgun as their core weapon and only use their flamethrower for the airblast.
    • The Pyro was given another flamethrower in the Jungle Inferno update. The Dragon's Fury lacks the ability to simply spread flames everywhere, but in return it is given the ability to deal fast, consistent burst damage to any opponent under the crosshairs. It also does triple damage to buildings and opponents who are on fire...and fires so quickly that it can even achieve this against other Pyros. Oh, and every successful hit allows the next shot to be fired even faster. The end result is something resembling Metal Slug's Flame Shot, with similarly detrimental effects to anyone facing it.
    • On servers that don't have friendly fire turned on (which is most of them), the flamethrower serves another purpose. Disguised spies will catch on fire when attacked with the flamethrower, and a Pyro player can use it to check suspcious players. Friendlies won't be harmed, but enemy spies will burn.
  • Turbo Overkill has the Twincendiary, which fires two streams of fire from it's barrels. It works wonders on hordes and hordes of synthetics, incinerating them within seconds (though some of the Giant Mook enemies might attempt an Infernal Retaliation).
  • In the 2008 Turok reboot, the flamethrower has considerable ammo, is almost an insta-kill against some enemies and has the awesome addition of a grenade launcher that can kill all but the largest enemies with one hit. Yes please!

  • All Gunners in Dungeon Fighter Online get access to the M-3 Flamethrower, which is strong but suffers from a short range. Launchers get an upgrade to it called the Flame Pillar which makes it one of their strongest skills, by the simple fact that it enables them to move while holding the flamethrower.
  • The Mechanic class in Maplestory averts this. The flamethrower has decent damage and covers up a wide range that can quickly roast large mobs of monsters at the same time. Sure, it is then overshadowed by more advanced and deadly skills available in further levels, but considering this is one of the first skills that the Mechanic gets, its a practical, reliable and awesome tool to use against your enemies.

  • While Hawk's regular flamethrower in 20XX is Lame, she also has a fire flask that can be lobbed at the ground to create an advancing sheet of fire. This is vicious. It does a fair amount of damage, lasts long enough that a boss's Mercy Invincibility will only reduce it a bit, and since the fire sheet is affected by gravity, you can use it to pour mayhem down a vertical shaft by throwing it just a little short of the opening (handy when a shaft contains Flapps or a turret).
  • While there are many disappointing fire-based weapons in Mega Man (Classic), the Fire Storm and Flame Blast are notable exceptions. The former is a decent projectile weapon, but also doubles as the game's very first shield weapon, as each press of the fire button also creates a brief wheel of flames around Mega Man that will damage anyone nearby, while the latter drops a fire glob that erupts into a pillar of flames on whatever wall or floor it lands on, and deals obscene amounts of damage.
  • The Man o' War flamethrower in Valfaris is one of the more powerful special weapons. It will tear through the user's energy bar (which can be recharged with melee attacks), but it's powerful, obliterates projectiles, and has decent range to go along with it all. It's particularly useful in the area it's obtained in, where the player will be dealing with hordes of weak enemies and the Mook Makers spawning them.

    Rail Shooters 
  • Flamethrowers are among the first power-up weapons available in Alien 3: The Gun, and it does wonders leaving behind piles and piles of crispy, roasted alien xenomorphs. Same applies for the two arcade-shooter sequels of the series, Aliens: Extermination and Aliens: Armageddon.
  • Averted in Crypt Killer, where Flame Rounds expels a large fireball onscreen that destroys most enemies. One level had the player picking up Flame Rounds while in a mummy-infested pyramid, and three shots is enough to wipe out an entire screen of a dozen mummies. However, it does suck against stone-based enemies - five or six rounds are needed to take down golems or living statues, the same amount of damage dealt by the default shotgun.
  • Averted in Dead Space: Extraction: the flamethrower, indisputably the worst weapon in the first game, is one of the best in Extraction. It deals high damage no matter where it hits, making dismemberment a non-issue. It has slower ammo consumption, longer range and a larger ammo capacity than in the first game. Best of all, every single damage tick stops a Necromorph in its tracks, allowing you to either stunlock most of the enemies in the game to death or hold entire groups at bay.

  • The Flamesprayer from Bloodborne. On the Lame side, it has a VERY short reach, consumes quicksilver bullets at a continuous rate, deals a DPS kind of damage, has poor stopping power and, unlike almost all other sidearms, cannot riposte your enemies. On the Flame side, beast-type enemies are universally weak to fire, so its AOE makes it an effective crowd control tool against them, and its damage can be good enough against non-beasts to avoid making it a Crippling Overspecialization. Also, unlike almost all other sidearms, the Flamesprayer scales with Arcane instead of Bloodtinge, making it a lifesaver for Squishy Wizard builds... What puts it squarely in the "Flame" category, however, is its amazing compability with the Bone Marrow Ashes: for all other sidearms, the Ashes are a crutch meant to give firearms some extra "omph", and even then they're only good for one bullet. When used with the Flamesprayer, on the other hand, the Ashes' effect lasts for as long as your stream of flames goes uninterrupted. Throw an Oil Urn on top of that, and let yourself be intoxicated by the euphoria of purification.
  • Boktai: Lunar Knights has the Dragoon, Ernest's trademark Solar Gun, fulfill this role. When fighting Stoker, it spreads out in front of him a ways and ignores Mercy Invincibility, but isn't that damaging and is by far the easiest attack to interrupt. Then again, what did you expect? Stoker's a vampire. On the other hand, when Aaron gets his hands on it, it proves more valuable; its range increases along with its rank, it's a damaging weapon in its own right, and it goes through enemies up to its limit, allowing you to damage more than one. If you pair it with lock-on and dash about (an advanced technique where you double-tap the cross pad to spurt a short distance), you can reliably barbecue every Vorn in the vicinity with minimal harm to yourself. Ursula would be proud.
  • Fallout 3's DLC Broken Steel went above and beyond the job of adding viable flamethrower options.
    • Unlike the regular, short-ranged Flamer, the Heavy Incinerator is a very close simile to a real flamethrower, with the difference that the Heavy Incinerator fires globs of napalm instead of a continuous stream. Not only it is fully-automatic and lethal, it has a long range and can effectively be used as a bombardment implement, even outside of V.A.T.S. range. And it's semi-regular due to Enclave Hellfire Troopers spawning from when Broken Steel is installed. Also, due to their specialized Power Armor (which you can also loot, and it is very strong), they are resistant to fire, and hence, their own weapon. It is also affected by both Pyromaniac perk and the bugged Ghoul Ecology perk, which adds +5 unblockable damage to any enemy for every projectile fired. Also, like actual napalm, it explodes underwater.
    • Broken Steel also introduces the Slo-Burn Flamer, which has all the drawbacks of the regular Flamer, but the addition of continuous burning damage for a very long time. Light an enemy on fire, and then run until they die (or you have to relight them, which you won't have to do more than once unless they have fire resistance).
    • The Burnmaster, another Broken Steel unique variant, is a middle ground. It deals 150% of the Flamer's damage output if you don't have the Pyromaniac perk, which helps any player that doesn't play around with fire often enough to justify picking the perk.
  • Fallout: New Vegas:
    • The game doesn't have quite as many flamers, nor the high-powered variants that Fallout 3 did, but it does have the perfect place to use such a weapon-type: Vault 22. An entire vault full of dangerous (but very flammable) plants. A flamer is conveniently provided there, and it doesn't seem half so sucky any more.
    • There's also the regular Incinerator, which is much like the Heavy Incinerator except smaller. Unlike the Heavy Incinerator, the regular Incinerator has a much lower Energy Weapons skill requirement at 25, a lower strength requirement, less spread and weight, with the logical compromise of doing less damage, shooting slower and having less range. It's perfect for more casual energy weapon users to haul around the Mojave to light up their enemies before weapon switching to finish them off with something that spits lead. And you can get your hands on one as early as the second town you come across, Primm, in the first floor of the Bison Steve hotel, although it's in pretty bad shape.
    • The Gun Runners' Arsenal DLC for New Vegas also introduces the unique flamer, the Cleansing Flame. The weapon is heavier than the base model and doesn't inflict a Critical Hit as often, but trades off those downsides for superior damage over time, a generously sized fuel reserve, greater durability, and perhaps most welcome of all, an extended range compared to the standard flamer. It also fires a very pretty stream of blue flames.
    • The flamer becomes much more practical in Fallout: New Vegas's hardcore mode, which adds weight to ammo among other realistic challenges. Flamer fuel is one of the lightest ammo types in the game, and surprisingly the flamer doesn't burn through it as fast you think it would.
  • The Plasma Thrower mod for plasma weapons in Fallout 4 is one of the most powerful short-range weapons available. It does high damage with multiple types, and due to a glitch, it gains the perk bonuses from either Rifleman or Gunslinger instead of Commando (it's treated as either a rifle or pistol weapon depending on which type of stock you've got equipped, both of which have better secondary bonuses from their perks than Commando). Equip one and watch as it melts all your enemies into green puddles of goo.
  • Final Fantasy XV has the Flamebreath Cannon, a machinery weapon (useable by Noctis and Prompto) added in the Royal Edition/Royal Pack which straddles the line between Lame and Flame.
    • Statistically, it's superior to the Drillbreaker, the strongest non-upgraded machinery weapon in the base game, but weaker than the Auto Crossbow Plus, the weakest upgraded machinery weapon. However, every machinery weapon has a different auxiliary function, so statistics are (usually) not the deciding factor when picking your machinery.
    • The flamethrower function can be maintained for as long as Noctis has enough MP to sustain it, which gives it the most flexible useability; all other machinery weapons' auxiliary functions activate under a set timeframe. However, enabling this results in a different control scheme from the other machinery weapons; most have the Attack button provide the airblast and the Warp button provide the auxiliary, the Flamebreath Cannon has it the other way around.
    • Naturally, the auxiliary function offers fire-elemental damage, which means its damage output is variable depending on enemy resistances; all other machinery weapons' auxiliary functions are non-elemental or status-inducing. However, it also deals magical damage, whereas the others that are strictly damage-dealing are physical.
    • Rangewise, it has respectable coverage (considering the typical size of a XV combat zone), which serves as a double-edged sword; the stream can be manually aimed, which the combat system is not designed for, so a slight turn will put the end of the stream much further away than you might want it. However, if you equip it as a Secondary Arm for Prompto (or use character swap to play as someone other than Noctis), the AI knows exactly how to aim that thing at the enemy.
  • Horizon Zero Dawn:
    • Bellowbacks are large machines that resemble an armless therapod dinosaur with a large liquid container on their backs. Fire Bellowbacks are walking flamethrower units that can attack Aloy with long-range arcing fireballs or a short-range sustained blast of fire that sets everything in the area alight. They're not a foe to be taken lightly at either range.
    • In The Frozen Wilds DLC, the Forgefire is a new weapon that functions like a flamethrower. Its range is short but it deals tremendous damage in a short time, is capable of hitting multiple enemies at once, and sets things on fire for even more damage. Plus, it can be upgraded to the Improved Forgefire, which adds a second attack mode consisting of long-range fireballs. Given that most of Aloy's weapons are not well-suited for close range fighting, it's actually a very good weapon. The same DLC also provides you with the Icerail and Improved Icerail, which are the same weapon but dealing ice damage instead of fire.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Mass Effect 2: In the Arival DLC, the Project Pyro enemies were the original inspiration for the Geth Pyros in Mass Effect 3. Their attack does instant knockback to Shepard and drains the players shields completely in less than a second.
    • Mass Effect 3:
      • Several multiplayer classes (mostly Vorcha, but also the Geth Soldier) have the new ability "Flamer", a flamethrower that's tied to a power instead of a heavy weapon (and therefore has cooldown instead of ammo). Although short-range, Flamer is absolutely devastating against armored opponents; when properly upgraded for damage over duration and range, it can kill a Brute in a few seconds, and destroys Ravagers and their spawn even quicker. Although it loses some of its usefulness against Cerberus and geth forces (owing to their preference for shields over armor), it can be activated and then left to run until its duration runs out. This will kill almost anything short of the boss-type monsters in short order.
      • Enemy Geth Pyros are nasty as hell, too. Because they have a constant stream of damage, they bypass Shield Gate. Combined with the fact that they have very high damage outputs, they'll put anything short of a raging krogan Vanguard down in short order if they get too close.
  • Path of Exile has the Scorching Ray spell, which creates a beam of fire that extends a good way across the screen. The beam applies a stacking debuff to any enemies it touches that not only inflicts burning damage-over-time but also lowers their fire resistance. One stack of the debuff is usually enough to kill basic mooks, while magic and rare monsters take only a few seconds longer. Even bosses melt surprisingly fast under sustained fire. The only drawbacks are that the beam must be channeled while standing in place and it slows down the caster's turning rate.
  • "Flamethrower" is actually a special Fire-Type move in the Pokémon games. With solid power and perfect accuracy, it is one of the strongest and most reliable Fire attacks in the game.
  • Tales of Hearts gives its characters a system where TP regenerates effectively forever, which means that the Flame Gun spell can effectively be spammed. Okay, it gets outclassed by other spells in its element eventually, but they're all of the Death from Above variety. The game's focus on combos means two things for the mid-range-reaching Flame Gun: first, it's a good way to put a few free hits on a large slice of the field, and second, it's really annoying if an enemy gets you in it while you're trying to close in, because each hit knocks you back slightly.

    Shoot 'Em Up 
  • In the freeware game C-Dogs, by Ronny Wester, the Flamer is a very powerful weapon in close quarters, its DPS only surpassed by explosives, molotov cocktails, and the Knife.
  • In the arcade game Cal.50, the starting weapon for your P.O.W is the heavy machine gun you get from the blown up chopper. After that you upgrade to rapid-fire rockets and finally a flamethrower. That flamethrower as a final weapon is justified, it really is that powerful. It does tremendous damage and lets loose a long-ranged, rapid-fire stream of flaming clouds that'll torch most enemies in one shot.
  • While upgradable, Dead Nation's flamethrower only does a fraction of the damage one would expect, but it does have a decent range. It does however, open the zombies up to further attacks. And it spreads like, well like wild fire. It's also completely useless against firefighter zombies, natch.
  • Averted in Fire Shark. The flamethrower started out as a small stream of flame that did good damage, and them proceeded into this at maximum level. 6 streams of fire, four of which sweep the sides and back of the player character. And it downs both the regular Mooks and Giant Mooks in seconds. In fact, the fully upgraded flamethrower is so broken, using it for too long will cause the game to flood the screen with other weapon powerups in an effort to force you to use something else! It's still considered Awesome, but Impractical however, since the Mutually Exclusive Power-Ups for it are exceedingly rare compared to the other two weapons.
  • In Gradius, the Fire Blaster from Nemesis II/Nemesis III used to suck real bad, thanks to its short range and weak damage, the latter caused by a Game-Breaking Bug. Not anymore in Gradius V, now that the Fire Blaster has excellent damage-per-second, a sweeping effect that's great for clearing clusters of popcorn enemies or destroyable projectiles, and a constant fire rate without the need for specific Option types. That being said, it's recommended to use Freeze Options due to the Laser's short range, but combine it with Spread Bombs and you can clear bosses in seconds. The Fire Blaster is also excellent for the nastier levels, such as Stage 5 and its Asteroid Thicket or Stage 6 and its green goo.
  • Compile's NES shooter Gun Nac features a potent fire weapon dubbed the Dragon Napalm. It delivers massive damage to enemies and, when fully powered up, it shoots three steady streams of incendiary death at the same time!
  • Project Clean Earth has a flamethrower mod for combat robot, Bernard's Swiss-Army Gun. At first glance it appears to be another fail-grade flamer with awful range. But the flamethrower is a life-saver for Bernard. It has an extremely good rate of fire, as you see what looks like a flame off a match shoot out a few times a second. Additionally it does significant damage per shot and has a bit of an area effect. This means the flamethrower is a strong close-range weapon (plus its range improves as the flamethrower's tier level improves) and Bernard has few effective options against melee mobs at close range.
  • Total Carnage the flamethrower is easily the best weapon in the game. It does a lot of damage and is rapid-fire. But best of all it generates a huge cloud of flame that takes up a good chunk of the screen and unlike most video game flamethrowers, it has good range.
  • Tyrian doesn't play around with its flame arsenal: Fireball Front and Rear Guns can tear through masses for decent damage and all, but two Sidekicks really stands out:
    • Zica Flamethrower: This is a short-ranged sidekick, but one dishes out damage fast and hard. It can help melt most bosses and tough enemies like hot knife on butter. And the best part is that it has no ammo cost!
    • Plasma Storm: When hot knife won't cut the butter, use a white-hot buster blade instead! Plasma Storm releases a burning cloud of pain that can melt nearly ANYTHING to the point it can glitch bosses, killing off the front half before it fully appears and leaving a harmless back half to try and assault you. Its overkill comes with a price of 10 shots, which was later nerfed to 6 shots, and a very, very slow recharge ratio (to the point you might not see a single shot be recovered through the level), but even after the nerf it can be used to destroy anything that moves!
  • In Victory Road, Ralf Jones and Clark Still are fighting on an alien world and they get a flamethrower which fires a large cloud of flame that goes fairly far and hits like a beast. Compare that to the weak-ass machine gun in Ikari Warriors.

    Stealth-Based Game 
  • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater gives us "The Fury," a man with a jetpack and a very powerful flamethrower. You fight him in a series of narrow corridors which are ideal for his flamethrower, his flamethrower tends to set fire to things in the environment, which makes it harder to hide, and most egregiously of all, his flamethrower can block your bullets. Apparently it's because it was modified to fire rocket fuel. The Russians you run into just before you meet The Fury also wield flamethrowers, though theirs are just normal. Still, they can do a lot of damage and tend to cause burns, which must be healed in the pause menu.

  • Age of Empires III expansion The Asian Dynasties gives the Imperial Chinese faction a flamethrower unit. While the range is far shorter than that of any other field artillery unit, its splash effect and damage bonuses against infantry means it sweeps away pikemen and skirmishers faster than anything else. They're also pretty effective against buildings.
  • Command & Conquer
    • The Dragon Tanks of the Chinese Army in Command & Conquer: Generals. Utterly devastating in all against anything they can get in range of except aircraft and tanks (they can moderately damage the latter though), two or three will tear down even the strongest structures in the game in seconds. For area defense, they can spray fire into a rolling wall of flame. While their frailty increases as the games go on, so does their utility - once garrison clearance comes into play, flame tanks instantly incinerate all occupants of garrisonable buildings. Then probably destroy the building as well so it can never be used again (which is something the equivalent units on the other side cannot do).
    • The Nod flamethrowers in Command & Conquer: Tiberium Wars both resemble real world flamethrowers in action and are insanely awesome against most targets; the flame tank is considered the go-to vehicle for most NOD players, and its infantry equivalent also has its uses (being near immune to anti vehicle weapons helps). In addition to nearly instant killing infantry units, they also burn down structures in mere seconds. Flame tanks can even be cloaked with the right support power, hidden until they suddenly pop up in the middle of the enemy base, reducing it to ashes with unparalleled speed. Then there's the expansion, which added the Black Hand sub-faction, which specializes in flame weapons. They lack access to the stealth trick, but their flame weapons can instead be upgraded to do even more damage, to a point they become dangerous against even armored targets, and can take down a structure in the time it takes to blink. They also get Nod's standard top-tier walker with the otherwise impractical flamethrower upgrade right out of the box, in addition to the increased damage upgrade. Then there's the flamethrower upgrade for their even bigger walker.
  • Company of Heroes:
    • The first game features pretty nice flamethrowers as the first heavy weapon available for the Wehrmacht and the Americans, as well as the Crocodile flame tanks. Although they are unrealistically ineffective against vehicles (probably due to balance reasons associated with Short-Range Long-Range Weapon), they are nicely effective against infantry in cover and garrisoned infantry. This especially comes into play with many of the stronger infantry units having a unit type that causes them to take extra damage from flames, putting it in a similar place to Battalion Wars. The aforementioned Croc Tanks can be a real terror for Axis players, since it's fast enough to flank and can fire on the move.
    • In the second game, they are effective against light vehicles and utterly murder infantry - only heavy machine guns and artillery have comparable killing power. However, open-topped vehicles don't take nearly enough damage and die from loss of health rather than crew death or a fuel explosion. Heavy vehicles are still largely immune - while being unable to burn through the armor is realistic, not triggering critical effects is not. In the winter maps, however, flamethrowers are amazing. Using the "attack ground" or "flamethrower sweep" buttons to attack a target on ice results in an instant kill on ANYTHING if it was where you clicked, as the flames melt the ice and send whatever was on it into the cold water below.
  • While flamers aren't great for most units of Dawn of War, there is one unit that really makes them effective and that's the Possessed Squad with the daemonic fire upgrade. This gives every member of the squad, the equivalent of a flamer and lets the squad destroy enemy morale like it was nothing and getting close enough to enemies is seldom an issue for the speedy and durable Possessed Squad.
  • In Dawn of War II, flamers for Imperial Guardsmen and Tactical Marines do less damage and have a shorter range than the baseline weapons they replace, but they hit in an area of effect and do a even more damage against units within cover or buildings, giving them a clear niche against opponents who you feel may be using larger squads. The burnas for the Slugga Boyz are the only weapon upgrade available to them, and are an obvious good choice with their area of effect attack, increased ranged damage over the pitiful pistols the Slugga Boyz normally use, and count as power weapons to do more damage against heavier infantry.
    • In the Retribution expansion, the Space Marines get the Land Raider Redeemer. The sponson-mounted Flamestorm Cannons are devastating against enemy infantry of any kind and will quickly allow you to wipe out mobs.
  • Empire Earth has flamethrower soldiers (during the WWII and Modern eras) with shorter range and slightly higher cost than normal infantry. Their strength is that they do the same damage to any type of target (infantry, tanks, buildings) making them a Jack of All Stats in the Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors the game's units are based on.
  • The flame thrower in Hostile Waters: Antaeus Rising is an exceedingly useful weapon. The biggest drawback is naturally its range. It is a realistic 60 meters, but that is not all that impressive in a game which revolves around vehicular combat in wide open areas. On the plus side, it deals damage very quickly, and it can set just about any vehicle or structure on fire, which deals continuous damage until destruction. It is especially useful when you bolt it to a vehicle which is equipped with a cloaking unit.
  • In Men of War, the flamethrower is one of the most powerful weapons. It sets any unit it touches on fire, with hilarious results, it can destroy any vehicle and its crew within seconds, can burn away nearly anything that can be used for concealment, and is a good weapon for clearing out buildings.
  • The flamethrower from Odium has a very short range, but does quite nice damage, and doesn't use up ammo (though it needs to recharge for a few turns after each use.)
  • In a mass combat example, the RTS Rise of Nations also features a flamethrower infantry unit at Industrial Age and later. The unit is not particularly effective against enemy units, but in a nod to its actual battlefield role, it is extremely handy against enemy structures, forcing all garrisoned units inside to evacuate. Provided you can keep it alive long enough to get within its short attack range, the flamethrower can reduce an enemy building bristling with combatants to an abandoned shell instantly.
  • Steel Panthers: World At War has a flamethrower that's relatively short range (1 hex/50 meters), but devastatingly effective against whatever's in that hex. It will set whatever terrain's in that hex on fire, which is useful for screening (smoke blocks line-of-sight) and area denial (it's hard to convince infantry to move through flaming forests, and even tanks will think twice).
  • Steel Panthers: MBT, from the same series, had incredibly deadly flamethrower weapons, courtesy of some Good Bad Bugs, that turn Russian troops packing RPO incendiary rockets into the deadliest infantry units in the game. The rockets have incredible accuracy on par with a sniper rifle and enough hitting power to wipe out a squad in a few hits—in addition to a bug that sometimes gives them enough armor penetration to knock out any vehicle in the game at 400 meters. Later versions of the game fixed it, so that RFT weapons, like in real life, were mainly used for closer-ranged bunker-busting.
  • Super Robot Wars
  • In Syndicate flamethrowers are cheap, have a huge deposit of fuel and can turn anyone into a howling torch in one second. Its short range is not that important as you can take cover behind a building and just let the enemy agents come for you to be killed even before they can draw their own weapons. And in later missions, you can combine it with a force field belt and just wait until all hostiles have surrounded you to unleash a torrent of flames that will burn them all instantly.
  • In Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate, Chaos Marines are tough foes that are resistant to your bolters and storm bolters. Even the heavy bolter is rather ineffective against them. But any flamer weapon is One-Hit Kill against a Chaos Marine and getting close enough to roast one is rarely an issue for the turn-based game.
  • Unfortunately for you, averted in Warhammer: Shadow of the Horned Rat. Your Skaven foes often have access to the dreaded Warpfire Thrower. This weapon has significant range, especially in the earlier stages of the game where almost all your units are melee. It also has very high strength, so it almost guarantees that it kills your men if it hits them and has fairly good AOE to blanket overlapping squads. Your saving grace against this powerhouse weapon is that it causes friendly fire, so you can trick enemies to get between a Warpfire Thrower and you. It also sometimes explodes from a random misfire.
  • There are situations in Worms where the blowtorch is the best weapon for the job, especially if you want to push a large group of enemy worms into a hole in one turn. It's primarily a tool for digging tunnels through the ground though. Yannow, if you're that sort of player.
    • Worms: Armageddon features an actual flamethrower that squirts napalm over a short-medium range. It's highly effective in torturing worms cornered in tight spaces, less so in windy circumstances. In the open, worms tend to just skip and bounce over the burning fluid.
  • The Flamethrower subsystem for MEC Troopers in the XCOM: Enemy Unknown expansion Enemy Within is a pretty effective weapon: It deals 6 damage (upgradable to 9) to every organic target in its cone of fire — about as good as a laser rifle, but more reliable —, makes the enemy panic if it survives, and unlike regular panic, units panicked by a Flamethrower never shoot back, and always run, thus making them lose a turn (even Ethereals, who are otherwise extremely dangerous and hard to neutralize without killing). The main issue is pretty short range. As a Tier 1 tactical subsystem for a MEC suit, it's even an extra that doesn't take inventory space. It has only one major drawback: it competes against the Kinetic Strike Module as a Tier 1 subsystem, which deals monstrous damage to a target on an adjacent square (12, or 18 that can be delivered twice with the Foundry upgrade) and passively provides three tiles of extra mobility. You can only have one subsystem for each tier on a given MEC suit.

    Survival Horror 
  • The flamethrower is easily the player's best friend in Alien: Isolation; it's not terribly practical against hostile human survivors and trying to use it on a Working Joe is an incredibly bad idea — it takes several minutes for them to die from the flame, in which time they're very likely to strangle you —, but after you've spent six to eight hours hiding from a bulletproof monster that will kill you in ten seconds flat if it so much as hears you breathing, having a weapon that can make it retreat with just a few quick bursts is a welcome bit of empowerment. It works so well that after using it enough, the Xenomorph will outright hesitate and keep its distance for a moment if you point the flamethrower at it. Its pilot light also doubles as a handy flashlight that, while not quite as bright as the real thing, also doesn't consume batteries and won't alert enemies to your presence.
  • The 2019 remake of Resident Evil 2 finally gives the franchise an awesome example with the Chemical Flamethrower. It's still the go-to weapon to wipe out the Ivy monsters (who in this game, are not as easy to dodge as they were in the original), but it also turns zombies into toast and is invaluable against bosses as well. The major downside to it is that it burns through fuel pretty quickly, but there is a regulator upgrade available that reduces the fuel consumption by half.

    Third-Person Shooter 
  • Flamethrower weapons in Aliens: Fireteam Elite are also quite amazing in that they make short work of most xenomorphs and apply a damage-over-time on them. The flamethrower that the Demolisher gets has an incredibly long range for what one might expect from a video game flame thrower. However, if friendly fire is enabled, this quickly becomes a double edged sword.
  • Alien Swarm: Now that the Tesla Cannon is no longer the undisputed King of Weapons, the Flamethrower has mostly taken its place. Why? A single puff of fire ignites an enemy (only prolonged fire ignites teammates, thankfully... but when it does, it isn't pretty), making it highly ammo efficient. Each puff is weak, but the burn damage is high; a single flamer sweep can turn a horde of drones into a staggering, flaming mess: no squad members injured. Only an idiot goes into a nest of Parasites without one. Oh, and its alt fire extinguishes fire... how's that for handy?
    • This is also something of a reaction to the flame thrower in the original Alien Swarm mod. The flamethrower there was quite useful as an ammo-efficient way of sweeping for enemies, slowed down whatever it set alight while the flame ran its course, and did a great deal of damage to anything it hit. However the danger of setting teammates on fire was high if used in a crowded area by a jumpy player, which lead to players who choose to use it being rather unpopular with their teammates.
  • One of the first and most frequent power-ups in Apocalypse, which can incinerate lower-tier mooks with a single touch. The flamethrower is also among the most frequent power-ups as well, and it's awesome.
  • Dead Space 2 is a bit of a middle ground between the first game and Extraction - better than the first game's, but not by much.
  • While the range of the flamethrower in The Last of Us is far from impressive, enemies you set on fire will die in short order, making it easily the best weapon in the game against any enemy you can get close enough to.
  • The FT-74 is a flamethrower and the most damaging weapon in Cutter Slade's arsenal in Outcast. Given that his arsenal includes a rocket-based perforator gun and a mortar, this is saying something.
  • Averted in Syphon Filter. In the first installment, one of the bosses, Anton Girdeaux, has a flame thrower, and any fire it creates stays throughout the level. Although his fuel tank is his only weak spot, it can easily withstand multiple shots (you will not be able to use grenades, as the shock it creates will detonate the bomb which Girdeaux is protecting). In the second installment, you use a flamethrower in one level, and it is pure carnage, although it is tied to a fuel truck, meaning you can't take it with you.
  • While the flamethrower (and blowtorch) in videogame version of The Thing (2002) might not have the range that of real life, it's still an absolutely required weapon to permanently put down alien enemies.
  • While the Ignis flamethrower in Warframe used to be a straight example of this trope, subsequent updates have turned it into a respectable weapon. A large ammo capacity, high fire rate and considerable area of effect make it ideal for taking out hordes. While it still falls short against heavier enemies, clearing out the weaker mooks is often a matter of sweeping the reticle across the room once, then sweeping back for the occasional survivor. There's also an enhanced version called the Ignis Wraith.

    Tower Defense 
  • In Outplay Entertainment's Alien Creeps TD, the hero Cinder gets a great flamethrower. It's actually treated as an experience-locked power of hers (her standard weapon is a small minigun built into her power armour). What makes her flamethrower so effective is it fires in an area-of-effect burst that has better range and damage than her minigun.
  • Steam Defense a Tower Defense Steampunk sci-fantasy game from MadSword Studio has an upgrade for human Hero Unit Vince Gear. It's the Flamethrower which allows Vince's assault rifle to temporarily change into flamethrower mode. This is a huge boost for Vince who's only earlier effective measure against bosses and tough units was a Difficult, but Awesome grenade. Flamethrower mode had short range but it's attacks are extremely damaging and it affects all targets in the path of fire. Enemies that don't die from the initial shot will soon perish from the high continuous burning damage.

    Wide-Open Sandbox 
  • Endless Sky has a flamethrower outfit meant to be used on a starship, in vacuum no less. It does little actual damage and has short range, but it inflicts a ton of heat damage that can cause enemy ships to overheat and shut down for a few seconds, during which they can be boarded and captured even if their shields and armor are still up. It's also very lightweight and uses little energy because it uses hyperspace fuel as ammo, so you could kit a couple of fighters with them along with some fuel pods to create a mobile squad of sappers.
  • Palworld has the player character use the mon Foxsparks as a flamethrower, which has decent range, pretty good damage output, reasonably high ammunition capacity and sets enemies on fire for additional damage. The flamethrowers used by Syndicate Cleaners and Brothers of the Eternal Pyre Martyrs are also quite nasty as they share the same attributes as the player's own Foxsparks flamethrower, with the key difference being that they wear highly flammable fuel tanks..
  • The flamethrower unique weapon in Starbound has reasonable range, applies a burning DOT and has low ammo consumption. Coupled with the insane rate of fire and you can stunlock enemies.
  • Survival Crisis Z has a great flamethrower. It instantly kills every non-boss enemy, has good range, burns through ammo slower than most other weapons, and has relatively inexpensive ammo compared to other high damage guns. Its only flaw is that you must purchase its ammunition, and cannot be found in briefcases, backpacks, or corpses like you can with other weapons. If you have a partner with a flamethrower, however, the ammo for it becomes even cheaper, and you can resupply it by looting.
  • Terraria averts this. The flamethrower has a very good range, deals a lot of damage (though a single flame doesn't hurt that much, it fires a lot of them per unit of ammo), sets enemies ablaze for even more damage, and its ammo is ridiculously easy to find and hoard. 1.2.2 introduces an even more potent flamethrower in the form of the Elf Melter, from the Christmas themed Frost Moon event available late in the game.
  • The X-Universe's Plasma Burst Generator is essentially a flamethrower IN SPACE!. It shreds fighters and can still put a hurting on capital ships. On enemy ships it can be a Boss in Mook Clothing. This is mainly a result of the way Area of Effect weapons work: each blast has multiple hitboxes, and ships take additional damage based on how many of the weapon's hitboxes line up with their own.

  • The Pyro's flamethrower in BedWars is quite potent. Initially, it doesn't deal much damage per second, though to compensate, the flames are completely intangible, meaning that it can phase right through blocks, making players who thought they were safe behind cover being set up for a nasty surprise, and it also inflicts the brittle debuff (think the Axtingisher from Team Fortress 2, except with a much faster swing rate), making it quite deadly. As you obtain embers to upgrade it, it has a larger range, more potent brittle debuffs, and even more damaging flames. Even better is that thanks to an Balance Buff, you can even keep it after you die, though to compensate you (reasonably) need two Emeralds.
  • The flamethrowers in Besiege are very effective at crowd control. Got a level where you're being swarmed by enemy soldiers? Just strap a flamethrower or two to the front of your contraption and light the bastards up! Its main drawback is it's possible to accidentally light your own contraption on fire if one of the burning soldiers runs into your creation, but it's certainly not difficult to avoid this using Hit-and-Run Tactics.
  • Cyber Chaser: The Flame Gun (which functions like a flamethrower, despite the name) has a long range and the fire sticks around for a long time while dealing high damage.
  • Zigzagged in Factorio.
    • The flamethrower is one of the few weapons capable of a One Hit Poly Kill, making it capable of taking on Zerg Rush attacks by the Big Creepy-Crawlies. However, its damage scales poorly as the bugs evolve and enlarge in response to your pollution, and it has a tendency to harm the user if they fire it while walking forward. Players have found the flamethrower very useful for burning down forests in the way of their expanding factories; you can even use it to burn down forests from the comfort of your coal-powered car!
    • The flamethrower turret is arguably the strongest of the three defensive turrets in the game. It has the longest range, setting an enemy on fire dooms it to die in a few seconds, and it leaves pools of fire on the ground which ignite following enemies. However it has a limited firing arc, minimum range, and tends to miss the leader of a group of enemies, so it needs other turrets to support it.
    • By contrast the tank's flamethrower is more like a blowtorch with no lingering fire. It instantly destroys trees but does little damage to bugs. This is actually how the handheld flamethrower worked in earlier versions of the game.
  • Valkyria Chronicles has short-range flamethrowers that bypass cover. Guns outclass them if you can get a clear shot, but they're very effective if an enemy is hiding behind sandbags and you can get up close. Also hits multiple targets with a single sweep, while a gun typically only hits one target at a time. There's also a tank-mounted flamethrower, which is a very useful anti-personnel weapon.
    • Valkyria Chronicles II has the flamethrowers still be short-ranged but they're very hard-hitting, ignores cover (and Armored Tech shields) and is the only weapon that can one-shot bunkers. This makes it a very good idea to invest in Commandos.
    • Not to mention that Flamethrowers are the only reliable way of countering enemies in cover while leaving the cover itself intact. Meaning you can use it for yourself afterwards, which often helps IMMENSLEY.
    • Unfortunately, at least in Valkyria Chronicles III, they are much weaker than machine guns and are rarely ever capable of killing a target in one use. Even against covered enemies, machine guns will do more. Also, its is very rare to have multiple enemies clumped together in a way that can fully utilize the flamethrower's area damage, and even in those cases, its probably more effective to line 2 enemies up and let the machine gun kill both of them due to its superior range and firepower.
    • Fortunately, Valkyria Chronicles 4 goes back to making flamethrowers as awesome as they were in the first game.

Non-Video Game Examples

  • This is discussed in the web-novel Domina. There are three types of flamethrowers in the city: Flamers, which are standard "cone of burning gas" video game flamethrowers. Flamethrowers, which are more realistic, shooting a stream of burning liquid that has an unfortunate tendency to set an entire street on fire. And then there are the incinerators, which lob globules of burning napalm at a target, and cause far less collateral damage. Although not really a "flamethrower," there are also incendiary bullets for use in guns, including shotgun shells containing beads filled with pyrophoric dust.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The tabletop game Axis & Allies Miniatures has Flamethrower-equipped units that have very powerful close-ranged attacks (and infantry tends not to have much in the way of medium or long ranged attacks anyway), ignore cover, and can possibly deal a One-Hit Kill against infantry or vehicles.
  • Mech-mounted flamers are generally considered to be among the worst weapons in BattleTech. They have pitiful range and do trivial amounts of damage to armored targets including battle armor infantry, and while they can be used to inflict some extra heat on another 'Mech instead of (i.e., not even in addition to) damaging it, that amount is still (a) pretty small and (b) actually lower than the heat buildup on the firing 'Mech for using the flamer in the first place. Their main saving grace under Total Warfare rules is that they're potentially literally murder on conventional infantry if they're ever in a position to hit it; in at least some earlier editions they didn't even have that.
  • Games Workshop games:
    • Generally averted in Warhammer 40,000 with flamers. Prior to the game's Eighth Edition rules, all weapons classified as flamers used an 8" long conical plastic template (with a much larger version in Apocalypse games) which was placed with the narrow end at the nozzle of the weapon and then turned by the shooting player to cover as many enemy models as possible. These models were automatically hit by the flamer's shot with no cover save allowed and significant reduction in armor saves depending on the weapon, along with other penalties depending on the rules edition in question. In 8th edition, the player has to roll one or more dice to determine the number of enemy models that are hit by a flamer shot, but they are still automatic hits. Flamers also ignore the 6+ Ballistic Skill limitation for shooting in Overwatchnote .
    • Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team averts this even more than in the parent game. As well as retaining the main game's automatic hits, the 2018 Kill Team rules make the weapon's short range less of an issue than in Warhammer 40,000 due to smaller playing area. In addition to this, the Demolitions specialist has access to the Level 2 skill 'Pyromaniac' that increases the likelihood of wounding with flamer weapons. Their main weakness remains that their lack of armour penetration.
    • Infamously one of the two worst units to have ever existed in the game was a living flamethrower; the Pyrovore. It's flamethrower was nothing to write home about (being the same as a standard heavy flamer) but weirdly for a tyranid creature, it had zero combat ability. This meant that it's one and only gun could be shut down by enemies charging it (and it has to get within charging range to use the flamethrower in the first place). And while it could explode, it only did so if it was gibbed; being shanked multiple times just resulted in it dying normally. All of this for a model that costs twice the amount for a heavy flamer platform that other armies have, resulting it becoming memetic for how crappy the unit was. Thankfully in 8th edition the rules for it were overhauled and, while not gamebreaking, it is no longer as bad as it was.
  • Obsidian: Age of Judgement from Apophis Consortium has the Blue Flame. It's described as being a popular weapon because it's effective against undead (regular guns only do half damage). In reality, the Blue Flame is a joke. It's damage is only a measly 1d6 and sadly it's the only flamethrower available (whereas guns have many different sizes and models) so you won't find any flamer stronger than the Blue Flame. In contrast a mediocre pistol has 2d6 damage and it goes up from there, so you're better off using a regular gun with flame-gel ammunition instead of this flamethrower. And even if you only have a gun with regular ammunition, chances are you'll still do more damage than a Blue Flame.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • The Boring Company sold a limited-edition "flamethrower" that's essentially just a big gas torch shaped like a gun. It was rebranded as "Not a Flamethrower" in an attempt to get around customs.
    • Torches of similar size and function have been sold in catalogs and hardware stores for decades. What are they for? Weeding.
  • In the UK robot combat series Robot Wars, House Robot Sgt. Bash was equipped with an Awesome, but Impractical flamethrower that hardly did anything but singe the paintjobs of the competitors... and singe off Diotoir's iconic red polka-dot fur. This might be why Bash didn't return for the 2016 reboot. The flamethrowers fitted to the arena floor were more effective, because they invariably hit robots in their unprotected underbellies, where they could easily roast the electronic components.

Alternative Title(s): Hollywood Flamethrower