Best Flamethrowers In Games

Video games love inventive and wild weapons. Weapon swords, weapons that you throw like grenades to reload, gravity weapons, and even weapons that turn enemies into sheep – if there’s one thing developers love, it’s impractical and logic-defying weapons. While many of these tools of destruction could be relegated to fiction, there is one weapon that feels like it shouldn’t work in real life but does work – flamethrowers.

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These flaming shoulder behemoths are known in real life for how unwieldy and dangerous they are – after all, you’re literally playing with fire. In games, however, they are the ultimate power fantasy, dealing massive amounts of damage continuously and being able to spread between enemies even without your help.


11 Pyrocitor-Ratchet & Clank

Ratchet and Clank - Pyrocitor gameplay

Ratchet & Clank is filled with so many spectacularly impossible weapons that it should come as no surprise that it includes a sci-fi version of one of the most physical weapons in the real world. Yes, it’s impressive that the scientists of the future have managed to condense a once-huge weapon into something the size of a handgun, but it feels a little compared to things like the Morph-o-Ray or the Suck Cannon overwhelming at.

Luckily, Rachet can upgrade it to a Lavathrower, giving the weapon a cool redesign. Oddly enough, however, this would likely make them a less effective weapon, as lava outside the Earth’s core is typically around 1,250 degrees Celsius, while the flamethrower infernos of World War II could get as hot as 1,600 degrees.

10 Flamethrower – The thing

The Thing (2002) - In-game box art and flamethrower

The Thing is a genre-defining film from a legendary director, but one thing John Carpenter probably didn’t anticipate when making his 1982 cult classic was that 20 years later there would be a canonical video game sequel. While the game isn’t great, it does an incredible job of making the flamethrower feel vital to your survival.

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The game shows you trying to manage your squad members as they become more and more freaked out by the nightmarish situation, and if you’re not careful they can even be silently killed and replaced with The Thing versions of themselves. The only way to deal with them at this point is to do like MacReady, grab a Flame Spit, and dispose of them permanently.

9 Flamethrower 35 – Return to Castle Wolfenstein

Return to Castle Wolfenstein - flamethrower gameplay and enemy with a flamethrower

Games have included flamethrowers for decades, but as the industry made the leap to 3D graphics, the number of them shot down dramatically. Because the realistic polygon representation of flames is extremely difficult to program. Much like water and smoke, it’s a transparent and flowing thing that’s not entirely solid.

That’s why the flamethrower in 2001’s Return To Castle Wolfenstein is so impressive. It may seem banal now, but the flame effects and weapon simulation are truly impressive technical achievements for this era. In addition, the developers of Gray Matter managed to integrate the weapon into multiplayer as well, allowing you and your friends to burn down the house together.

8th M2 Flamethrower – Call Of Duty: World At War

Call of Duty World at War - M2 Flamethrower Gameplay

There have been many Call of Duty games featuring flamethrowers, but something you might notice if you look at a list of them is that most of these games were developed by Treyarch. World at War, Black Ops 1, 2, 3 and Cold War allow you to fight fire with fire.

Perhaps this is due to the eras in which these games are set. Maybe it’s because Treyarch’s branch of the Infinity Ward engine always had better flame, liquid, and smoke effects. Or maybe it’s because the developers there are just big fans of pyrotechnics. Whatever the reason, all of Treyarch’s flamethrowers are imposing and dangerous to the touch, but it’s the realistic rendering of the WWII M2 flamethrower that makes the biggest impression.

7 M86/FL Thermite Rifle – The Order 1886

Order 1886 M86 FL Thermite rifle gameplay

Does that really count as a flamethrower? It’s hard to say, but in a game with few highlights, one of the really great moments in The Order is when Galahad gets to use a thermite gun.

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This is not a transitional flamethrower as it doesn’t actually shoot flames. Instead, it fires liquid thermite that can cover an area. If enemies have wandered into the flammable compound, you can fire a spark that ignites the area. It’s a cool concept supported by the game’s sound design and visual presentation, making it clear just how dangerous this non-traditional flamethrower is.

6 Purifying Flame – Fallout: New Vegas

Fallout New Vegas – Gameplay and Cleansing Flame Model 1

The Fallout series has featured flamethrowers in almost every entry, and that makes perfect sense. Of course, in a universe where the rules of war stagnated, as they were at the height of the Cold War and Vietnam, weapons banned by the Geneva Convention would still be very popular in our reality.

Like many of Fallout’s alternate histories, it’s terrifying, but also well thought out. Of course, while some people have transitioned to nuclear power and laser cannons, there are others who remain dependent on such brutal fossil-fueled weapons. The Purifying Flame is a unique flamethrower that forms part of New Vegas’ Gun Runner’s Arsenal and is perhaps the most distinctive flamethrower in the series.

5 Sevastopol Flamethrower – Alien Isolation

Using Flamethrower on Alien in Alien Isolation

In case you didn’t know, Xenomorphs are pretty hard to kill – the perfect weapon doesn’t have that many weaknesses. Fortunately, however, they can be held at bay by Hellfire for a short time.

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Don’t ask why a salvage ship has multiple flamethrowers on board, just be thankful it’s more than capable of melting some plastic and slowing down a rampaging Xenomorph. Just know that going in will only make her angrier.

4 (F) – Against 3

Contra 3 - Flamethrower that bends fire

Contra is full of iconic weapons – from the scatter shot to the machine gun, almost every weapon had a use in the first game. Except for the flamethrower. Thanks to his clumsy firing partner, not many people have used him in Contra or its sequel.

Thankfully, Konami upgraded the (F)-Cannon for Contra 3 and made it fire a stream of fireballs that can destroy certain enemy projectiles. Best of all, the new version of the gun lets you easily change the direction of the flames after firing, which means it can reach areas and enemies that most other guns can’t.

3 The Baker’s Flamethrower – Resident Evil 7

Resident Evil 7 - Flamethrower Gameplay and Capture Screen

Video games love nothing more than to push you. Get the Master Sword; level up; picking up a flower of fire: These are all incredible moments that come after long periods of feeling weak. However, at no moment does it feel like you’ve leveled the playing field more than when Ethan finds a flamethrower in the baker’s old house in Resident Evil 7.

Also see: Resident Evil games ranked by how long you would survive

After fighting off Marguerite’s swarms of bugs for several hours, you finally get a weapon that can permanently destroy her hives. You might not feel so invincible when you get to her boss fight and you’ve run out of fuel, but for a while you’ll feel like you can take on the world.

2 LPO-50 – Far Cry 2

Far Cry 2 - Flamethrower gameplay and stats

Making fire look realistic in games is hard, making it look real is even harder. Many games have attempted to show some form of realistic fire spread, but none come close to 2008’s Far Cry 2.

Far Cry 3 and its flamethrower could have wormed its way in here thanks to the famous scene where you burn down a field of hallucinogenic drugs while Skrillex blares, but that scene feels very scripted. The fire thrown by Far Cry 2’s weapons realistically spreads through the dry African brush. It’s technically impressive, but more importantly, it shows just how terrifyingly uncontrollable such a weapon actually is.

1 The Pyro’s Flamethrowers – Team Fortress 2

Team Fortress 2 - The Pyro fires his flamethrower

In the words of The Heavy, “I fear no one but this thing – it scares me.” Why is The Pyro so scary? It’s her weapon, of course. While some of Team Fortress 2’s alternate flamethrowers are cool, none strikes opponents’ hearts quite as fearfully as this mysterious assassin’s base weapon.

Whether you’re taking damage over time or your missile bounces off your face, there’s no escaping the Pyro or his weapon.

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