In Call of Duty: World at War Molotov Cocktails are found throughout the Red Army Campaign as special grenades, unlike in Multiplayer where they are primary grenades. They are not in the Marine Raiders' Campaign because of the M2 Flamethrower. When an enemy in regular campaign mode is hit with a Molotov, they will be incapacitated by the flames.
Molotovs appear as primary grenades in Multiplayer, and have a 3-Phase challenge, Bartender, similar to the other grenades. The Molotov Cocktail is unlocked at level 10. The player needs to hit a player directly to kill them with this weapon, unless playing in Hardcore mode where an indirect hit may also succeed. Molotov cocktails have a very long lighting time in comparison to the time taken to ready the other grenades, but to balance this they explode on contact and may be held while lit for an indefinite amount of time. Like the other fire based weapons, Molotov cocktails may start fires on the ground which last for a short period of time. Many players will refuse to walk into fire which they see as a danger, even though it will not cause any damage.
The Molotov Cocktail is a secondary grenade in Nazi Zombies, obtained through the Mystery Box for 950 points, and they do not restock between rounds like grenades do. It has low damage, only able to kill zombies in early rounds, with its effectiveness wearing off before round 10.
Molotov Cocktails are seen in the single-player campaign, appearing in a total of three missions. They make their first appearance in "Vorkuta", where Russian prisoners use them against the prison's emplacements. Mason later uses a slingshot to launch Molotovs into three emplacements (alternatively, a Crossbow with a flaming tip is used in the Wii version). There are an unlimited number of Molotovs at Mason's disposal, but if Mason destroys the three objectives with three Molotovs, the player will complete the requirements and unlock the Slingshot Kid achievement/trophy.
They make a minor appearance in "The Defector" and "Rebirth", where they are used once in each mission against the player.
In "The Defector", a North Vietnamese soldier will throw one down from a window into the player's path in the compound. Walking into the fire will damage/kill the player.
In "Rebirth", Molotovs are used against Hudson's squad at the start of his part of the mission. Russian soldiers on a balcony will throw Molotovs at Hudson's vehicle. This can be prevented by killing them, but they do no damage anyway. If they hit, fire will appear on Hudson's vehicle. The Molotov Cocktail can also be obtained by using the "give all" cheat in the console commands on the PC version of the game. It uses the same animation as the Call of Duty: World at War version.
Molotov Cocktails make a very brief appearance in the campaign missions "Eye of the Storm" and "Blood Brothers". They are occasionally used by the Czech Resistance against enemy Russian soldiers. They are not available for usage by the player. Also, Resistance Leader, has several Molotovs in his bag, but he never uses them.
The Molotov Cocktails appear during "Time and Fate" where it can be acquired using the Access Kit, along with M29 Mortar Shells. It functions the same as it did in Call of Duty: World at War, except that it appears in an equipment slot rather than a grenade slot, and therefore has to be brought out first by pressing up on the d-pad (consoles) or Q (on PC) before being lit and thrown with the fire button.
In Call of Duty: Zombies, it is possible to have Molotovs and Monkey Bombs at the same time.
In single player, if killed while preparing a Molotov, the player will see his left arm holding the lighter while dead, before returning to the last checkpoint.
In Modern Warfare 3 mission "Blood Brothers", at the end of the level, it is possible to see a Molotov Cocktail flying outside from a window. Upon further examination with noclip, it is possible to see that is not really a Molotov, but a frag grenade with a flame trail. Later that "Molotov" will hit a BTR-80.