Molotov cocktails are typically composed of a glass alcohol bottle, alcohol, or gasoline inside the bottle itself, and a lit rag for the ignition source of flammable liquid. When thrown, the bottle would shatter upon hitting a surface, spreading the flammable liquid around, and the lit rag would create flames upon contact with the liquid. This not only does constant damage to those in contact, but also slows and even continues to hurt affected players for a few seconds afterwards.
The Molotov cocktail will burst into flames on contact with the ground and ignites any player within its radius, their health will drop drastically if they don't escape soon. The duration of the carpet of fire that the Molotov creates is about 7 seconds.
Use the Molotov Cocktail to damage and separate enemy teams. If done properly, you can then eliminate targets easily as the flames can prevent backup from the opposing team.
If being chased by multiple players, you may dump one Molotov Cocktail behind your path (If possible, narrow corridors or one way path), this can help you lose your attackers. This tactic also works on Incendiary Grenade, CT's Molotov counterpart.
This weapon is perfect for ambushing purposes. If possible, try to throw the Molotov at the path where the enemy will use. Due to the fact that the grenade can quickly spread, you will gain an advantage over your targets.
This and the incendiary grenade can also be used to counter ambushes. If the user suspects there are campers nearby, this can be used to flush them out. It is sometimes more effective than HE grenades because the enemy will take a considerable amount of damage if thrown correctly.
After planting the bomb, if no Counter-terrorists are coming to defuse it in the next 15 seconds, throw a Molotov on the bomb. The fire will prevent any Counter-Terrorist from defusing it while the fire is active. But beware of enemy Smoke Grenades can extinguish the fire.
Be careful if you are trying to cover a hostage rescue zone with flames. If a CT carrying a hostage is killed and a Molotov is thrown too close to the dropped hostage, he will take damage or even get killed.
Throw a Smoke grenade to extinguish the fire the Molotov cocktail creates.
This will also allow a Counter-terrorist to extinguish the fire next to a planted bomb and defuse it successfully, if there are no Terrorists around to guard the bomb. In hostage rescue scenarios, this tactic is implemented for hostage rescue zones.
Originally, the view model of the Molotov Cocktail featured the lighter being lit at all times. In an update, this has been removed.
Alongside with the Incendiary Grenade, the Molotov Cocktail is often considered to be "unbalanced, overpowered, and perhaps unfair" as it can prevent players from reaching important areas, such as a bombsite. More importantly, these firebombs are often thrown at the location of the C4 thus hindering the Counter-Terrorists' progress in defusing the bomb. However, a smoke grenade can be used to extinguish the fire thus reducing/eliminating the effectiveness of the fire.
After the 2/5/2014 update in Global Offensive, all grenades received a secondary fire where the grenade will be bounced for short range throw, as well as a third medium-ranged throw (by holding both primary and secondary fire buttons).
The cloth inside the bottle is a jigglebone that moves accordingly with the player's movements.