Flame Thrower

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This article is about the Pyro's default primary weapon. For other uses, see Flame Thrower (disambiguation).
Your friends will squeal with delight when bathed in the warm glow of the all-new gas-fueled Flamethrower. With its commanding style and hyper-efficient performance, you'll be the talk of every barbeque or deathmatch.
Flame Thrower publicity blurb

The Flame Thrower is the default primary weapon for the Pyro. It is a long metal pole, connected by a hose to a propane tank. The tank is attached to the pole via fastening bands. A continually lit pilot light can be seen at the nozzle. The trigger is made out of a team-colored gas pump handle.

Upon pressing primary fire, the weapon expels a stream of roughly 33.3 large flame particles per second in a narrow cone, at a cost of 12.5 ammunition per second. Flame particles are not obstructed by enemies or buildings owned by the opposing team, making it ideal for attacking multiple enemies. The range of fire is very limited (approximately 340 Hammer units when fired while stationary), but is capable of dealing heavy damage in close quarters.

An enemy only takes damage from any of a single Flame Thrower's particles once every 0.075 seconds. Unlike most weapons, the Flame Thrower's base damage is scaled based on the age of the oldest touching flame particle, not distance from the target. This scale begins at 100% for new particles and decreases as they age, down to 50%. The weapon's damage also experiences a ramp-up based on how long an enemy is attacked. Damage begins at 50% and increases up to 100% in approximately 0.9 seconds. If the target is ever not in contact with any flame particles, the ramp-up resets. The ramp-up is separate for each enemy being attacked. Buildings are unaffected by the ramp-up. Critical hits are affected by both the age scaling and the damage ramp-up.

Secondary fire causes the weapon to deliver a compression blast which deflects enemy projectiles, pushes opponents away, and extinguishes burning teammates. Deflected enemy projectiles deal mini-crit damage if they would not already be doing critical damage. If so, the deflected projectile deals critical damage. Each compression blast costs 20 ammunition, so it is possible to use 10 Compression blasts before needing to retrieve more ammo. Unlike the weapon's primary fire, the user can still use compression blasts if the weapon is directly in contact with a wall.

Apart from direct damage, the Flame Thrower also sets targets on fire, causing the target to burn and take additional damage for a short time (known as "afterburn"). Pyros are immune to afterburn, but still take damage directly from the Flame Thrower itself. A Spy disguised as a Pyro still receives afterburn. Fire can be extinguished or (partially) mitigated in several ways. Afterburn from the Flame Thrower reduces healing from Medi Guns, Dispensers, and the Amputator by between 20% and 100%, with the reduction increasing in an inverse proportion to the amount of healing the item is giving. It also reduces the effects of the Vaccinator's ÜberCharge by 20%.

Using the primary fire of the Flame Thrower on a friendly Huntsman-wielding Sniper lights his arrow on fire, and an enemy hit by this arrow afterward is ignited; however, the Pyro who lit the arrow does not receive assist credit.

Damage and function times

See also: Damage
Damage and function times
Shot type Particle
Damage type Fire
Ranged or Melee damage? Ranged
Flame damage (close) 100% 6.5-13 / tick
Flame damage (far) 50% 3.25-6.5 / tick
Critical 9.75-19.5 / tick
Mini-crit 4.3875-8.775 / tick
Afterburn 4 / tick
Afterburn (mini-crit) 5 / tick
Function times
Attack interval 0.075 s
Ammo consumption interval 0.105 s
Afterburn duration 4-10 s
Airblast cooldown 0.75 s
Values are approximate and determined by community testing.

Note: Flame damage is proportional to particle lifetime instead of distance from target. Unlike most weapons, Critical hits are also affected by the scaling. Additionally, there is a very slight damage variance (±0.08 / particle) due to differences in particle angles.


Strange variant

Related achievements

Leaderboard class soldier.png Soldier

Backdraft Dodger
Backdraft Dodger
Kill a Pyro who has airblasted one of your rockets in the last 10 seconds.

Leaderboard class pyro.png Pyro

Hot on Your Heels
Hot on Your Heels
Kill 50 enemies with your flamethrower, from behind.

Hot Potato
Hot Potato
Reflect 100 projectiles with your compressed air blast.
Kill a Soldier with a reflected critical rocket.

Makin' Bacon
Makin' Bacon
Kill 50 Heavies with your flamethrower.

Mvm navicon.png Mann vs. Machievements

Hard Reset
Hard Reset
As a Pyro, reset the bomb 3 times in a single wave.

Update history

September 28, 2007 Patch
  • Increased Flamethrower damage at point blank range.
  • Fixed the Flamethrower hit detection.

December 20, 2007 Patch

  • Fixed the Flamethrower stuttering when firing directly into a building.

February 14, 2008 Patch

  • Added Flamethrower "sizzle" sound when the Pyro is hitting a target.

April 29, 2008 Patch (Gold Rush Update)

  • Fixed Flamethrower bug where a player flush against a wall couldn't be lit on fire from the front.

June 19, 2008 Patch (Pyro Update)

  • Added alt-fire compression blast to the basic Flamethrower.
  • Tuned the Flamethrower hit detection to improve detection versus retreating opponents.
  • Removed Flamethrower's damage falloff (was falling off to 25% by the end).

June 20, 2008 Patch

  • Fixed "Hot on your Heels" counting non-flamethrower based kills.
  • Fixed Compression Blast particles on DX8.

July 1, 2008 Patch

  • Added back some damage falloff to the Pyro's Flamethrower. Not nearly as extreme as it was before the Pyro class pack.

March 5, 2009 Patch

  • Fixed Flamethrower loophole that resulted in the flame effect being stuck on while the Flamethrower wasn't really firing.

May 21, 2009 Patch (Sniper vs. Spy Update)

  • Flamethrower's air burst now extinguishes fire on friendly targets.

June 23, 2009 Patch

  • A Pyro's air blast will now extinguish burning disguised enemy Spies, since knockback no longer affects disguised enemy Spies.

June 25, 2009 Patch

  • Reverted airblast knockback on disguised Spies, so that they can once again be knocked back.

February 23, 2010 Patch

  • Fixed the Pyro not being able to deflect enemy flares.

April 28, 2010 Patch

  • Flamethrower direct damage reduced by 20%.
  • Burn duration reduced (10 -> 6 seconds).
  • Airblast re-fire delay reduced by 25%.
  • Airblast ammo usage reduced by 20%.
  • All reflected rockets/grenades/arrows now mini-crit.
  • Airblasting enemies into environmental deaths now awards the death credit to the Pyro.

May 19, 2010 Patch

  • Increased base damage by 10%.
  • Afterburn duration increased (from 6 to 10).

July 8, 2010 Patch (Engineer Update)

  • Added better feedback sound for Pyros on when their Flamethrower is doing damage.

September 30, 2010 Patch (Mann-Conomy Update)

  • [Undocumented] Pyro's Airblast pushes grounded stickies approximately twice the distance now.

December 17, 2010 Patch (Australian Christmas)

  • Fixed a Flamethrower bug that allowed players to rapidly fake the Pyro's airblast effect.

February 3, 2011 Patch

  • Updated model with optimizations and new LODs.
  • [Undocumented] v_ and w_ model versions of the Flamethrower were removed and replaced with the newer c_model variant.

February 7, 2011 Patch

  • Fixed burning deaths to always use the death notice icon for the weapon that started the burn.

July 12, 2011 [Item schema update]

December 15, 2011 Patch (Australian Christmas 2011)

December 19, 2011 Patch

  • Festive Flamethrowers can now be gifted.

June 27, 2012 Patch (Pyromania Update)

  • Increased base damage by +10%.

August 15, 2012 Patch (Mann vs. Machine Update)

  • [Undocumented] Added Silver and Gold Botkiller variants.

October 9, 2012 Patch

  • Added Rust, Blood, Carbonado, and Diamond Botkiller variants.

December 20, 2012 Patch (Mecha Update)

  • Added Silver and Gold Botkiller Mk. II variants.

February 14, 2013 Patch

  • Fixed the Botkiller Flamethrower using the wrong RED team arms skin while on the BLU team.

February 28, 2013 Patch #1

  • Fixed a client/server crash when a flamethrower gets destroyed while firing.

February 28, 2013 Patch #2

  • Fixed a client crash when attempting to fire the flamethrower while coming out of a taunt.

November 21, 2013 Patch (Two Cities Update)

September 10, 2014 Patch

December 17, 2015 Patch (Tough Break Update)

  • The base Flamethrower's damage fall off over distance has been decreased, resulting in higher damage output at range.
  • Extinguishing a teammate will now return 20 health to the Pyro.

January 7, 2016 Patch

  • Changed attribute:
    • [Undocumented] Updated 20 health restoration when used to extinguish a burning teammate from neutral attribute to positive attribute.

July 7, 2016 Patch #1 (Meet Your Match Update)

  • Added: Direct damage reduces Medi Gun healing and resist shield effects by 25%
    • Medics hear a "healing interrupted" sound when this is happening to their heal target.

July 14, 2016 Patch

  • Fixed a regression in the Pyro's flamethrower where flames could sometimes damage players behind obstacles and walls.

September 12, 2016 Patch

  • Fixed Pyros griefing teammates by attacking them with the flamethrower.

October 20, 2017 Patch (Jungle Inferno Update)

  • Flamethrowers no longer apply maximum-duration afterburn on contact. Afterburn duration is now based on how long the target is in contact with direct flames.
  • Better visual sync, more consistent (no visuals/damage mismatch).
  • New particle effects.
  • Airblast
    • Hit detection for both players and projectiles is now a consistent cone.
    • Airblasting players now factors in the momentum of the Pyro and target, giving both more control over the interaction.
    • Airblast now causes target player to have reduced footing and air control for a short period.
    • Now factors in the upward angle of the airblast, rather than having a fixed upward force.
    • Total push force slightly increased.
  • [Undocumented] Changed one word in weapon description.

October 30, 2017 Patch

  • Fixed flamethrowers not damaging buildings at close distance.

November 7, 2017 Patch

  • Fixed not seeing the new flamethrower effects on some machines.

January 4, 2018 Patch

  • Missed note from the Smissmas update: Australium weapons can now be Festivized.

March 28, 2018 Patch #1

  • Flame damage per second now ramps up based on density of flame encountered, up to 200%.
  • Initial flame damage per second reduced by 50%, resulting in the max damage being unchanged.
  • Fixed Flamethrower particles sometimes failing to draw on the client.
  • Fixed Flamethrower flames not colliding with tf_generic_bomb entities.

March 28, 2018 Patch #2

  • Fixed a server crash related to the Flamethrower.

May 17, 2018 Patch

  • Fixed a server crash related to Flamethrower particles.

April 17, 2019 Patch

  • Fixed an exploit related to the Flamethrower shooting long distances.

Unused content

  • The Flame Thrower was initially going to work similarly to the Minigun, in that it would have a brief period of spin-up before firing. This is evidenced in engine code in a couple of places.
    • There is a bit of confusion, however, as the commenting on some engine code for movespeed adjustments based on if the player is aiming indicates that Pyros are to get a speed boost while firing. The Pyro's max speed by default is set to a value of 300.0, so if this code was functional, it would result in a 100.0 point decrease in max movespeed.
  • The Flame Thrower was initially going to have an Incendiary Rocket alt-fire attack. This is evidenced as the name TF_WEAPON_FLAMETHROWER_ROCKET appears in engine code in a few places.
    • There are also references to CTFFlameRocket in engine code.
    • As well, present in the tf\reslists\all.lst file in the PatchVersion preload content build of Team Fortress 2 is a filename string for a particle effect for the Incendiary Rocket; tf\particles\incendiaryrockettrail.pcf.
      • Evidence of the existence of this particle also appears in engine code.
    • The stats for the Incendiary Rocket, based on evidence in the engine's code, would have been:
      • Cost to fire: 10 ammo per rocket
      • Damage: 15
      • Radius of explosion (in Hammer units): 198
      • Damage type: DMG_BLAST | DMG_IGNITE | DMG_RADIUS_MAX
    • There is also a sound script entry in the PatchVersion build for the Incendiary Rocket.


  • The Flame Thrower's Medi Gun healing and resistance reduction is not actually 20%, as stated in the patch notes.
    • Healing is reduced by 50% with any Medi Guns, and by 100%/100%/75% with level 1/2/3 Dispensers, respectively.
    • The resistance reduction applies only to the Vaccinator's Übercharge, and does not apply to the Vaccinator's passive resistance.
  • At point-blank, damage ramp-up takes longer to reach maximum damage, taking up to 2 seconds. This can be mitigated by looking a bit downward while attacking.
  • Damage is dictated by the oldest particle in contact with the player. As a result, still players next to walls are dealt less damage than expected, as old particles hit the wall and do not leave the player's hitbox. This can be mitigated by aiming slightly above their head.
  • When damage ramp-up on any target begins, the first particle always deals maximum damage.
  • The Flame Thrower can be inspected while being fired.
  • While deployed, the Flame Thrower emits a constant gas noise. Upon using a compression blast, this noise stops completely and does not resume until firing flames or switching weapons.


  • Beta builds of Team Fortress 2 featured a hose connecting the Pyro's back canister to the Flame Thrower. However, upon release, the hose was redirected to a propane tank on the weapon.
    • The hose is still visible in the Pyro's HUD icon.
  • The Flame Thrower, along with the Rainblower and Stock Rocket Launcher were obtainable in Saints Row IV by pre-ordering the game on Steam.



See also