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The Flamethrower or FT is a red herring weapon employed by the Marines. It holds 12.5 seconds of accelerant at any one time and a Marine can carry a maximum of 4 extra accelerant tanks, making for a total burn time of 62.5 seconds, or just over one minute.
The Flamethrower can set Alien structures and units on fire, slightly reducing the energy regeneration of Lifeforms and disabling the passive abilities of structures, i.e. Crags will not heal units, Shifts will not regenerate the energy pool of units and Shades will not cloak nearby units. This attribute would make it very useful for assaulting fortified positions, such as Hives and Gorge Tunnels, but the short range, low damage, lack of effective splash damage, and short burn duration makes it nearly useless for any of these purposes.
Note that the burn duration of the flamethrower is only 3 seconds, while the reload is 5.2 seconds. This means that whips initially disabled by being set on fire will be able to attack a flamethrower user before they finish reloading.
The Flamethrower takes longer to destroy most structures than the standard Rifle without any upgrades, making it a poor choice against buildings. It takes just over 2:30 to destroy a hive, while a Grenade Launcher will do the same in under 0:32, and an un-upgraded Axe will destroy it in under 1:30. The Flamethrower is not even affected by Arms Lab upgrades.
Main Article: Damage Types
The Flamethrower deals Flame damage meaning that does a form of "Super Light" damage to lifeforms. While normal Light damage does 70% to armor and 30% to health, this special damage type does 90% armor damage and 10% health damage. While some may say this is a positive (see Crush), it is most certainly a downside against life forms because of another property of this damage type: Each point of armor absorbs 9 incoming damage instead of the standard 2 that Normal damage applies. This means that shooting continuously at point-blank range, one cannot kill an un-upgraded gorge at level 1 biomass with the 12.5 seconds of fuel available in a tank.