The M868 Flamer Unit is a flamethrower unlocked at level 13. It ignites targets caught in its blast of fiery napalm, causing the victim to burn for additional damage. Players and tougher Swarm will eventually stop burning if left to their own devices. The Flamer also includes a fire extinguishing alt-fire capability.
The M868 uses a highly pressurized napalm-based fuel and is capable of blanketing a wide area, causing any targets caught in the blast to burn for an extended period of time. Great care must be taken to ensure the firing area is clear from friendly personnel, especially when used on the move.
- Extremely ammo efficient
- Can burn multiple targets in a single burst
- Often kills weaker Swarm with a single hit (though not instantly)
- Secondary fire can quickly extinguish burning teammates and static fire hazards
- Excellent in preventing infestations
- Short range
- Sustained fire results in inefficient ammo usage and is relatively weak
- Friendly fire is particularly damaging if a marine is ignited and not quickly extinguished
- Secondary fire consumes ammunition rather quickly
- The Flamer is often considered to be the premier weapon to use while on point duty. The large area of effect as well as the extreme ammunition conservation when using very short puffs of flame allow this weapon to continuously guard the targeted arc against almost any Swarm threat, especially Parasites.
- While the damage indicated by its stat sheet is extremely low, this damage is deceptive. The damage caused by the burn can kill a non-boss Swarm with the briefest of touches on Easy/Normal, with Hard/Insane enemies requiring further napalm showers to defeat. Parasites in particular are virtually instantly killed on contact, which gives this weapon its reputation.
- While the Swarm are burning, they will often stop attempting to attack the player and their team members and will stagger around while burning. Care should be taken, however, as the Swarm will often randomly flail around while in their death throes, hitting anyone who strays too close. The movement speed of any Swarm who is burning is greatly reduced.
- The Flamer is required for one official campaign map, but is often considered optimal for any map with a high risk of Parasite attacks.
- As to be expected, the safest position when a Flamer is in action is behind the person wielding it. This is true in both the avoidance of friendly fire, and in the cleansing effect the weapon has against Parasite attacks.
- A Drone or Ranger that has been set on fire can easily be dispatched in one or two melee hits, even on the highest difficulty. Lighting up a crowd of Swarm and meleeing them is very ammo-efficient.
- Brief contact with flames will not light up your teammates, but after a few seconds they'll be burning to death. Keep in mind that the Flamer's alt-fire is a fire extinguisher, which you can even use on yourself.