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The Firebug, as his name suggests, excels at wielding the powerful Flamethrower. The entire perk is geared towards using it, and other than altering his grenades to deal fire damage, it gives no benefit to any other weapon in the game.

The Flamethrower, while devastating in nearly any classes hands, has a number of drawbacks that other perks find difficult to compensate for. Non-Firebugs will find the lack range a problem, as well as the slower damage rate on stronger enemies like the Gorefast and the Scrake. However by far the biggest issue is when fired at close range, the Flamethrower will set the wielder on fire. This will usually happen when a Crawler or Stalker sneaks up behind them, forcing them to either fire at point blank and igniting themselves or wait through the long weapon swap animation to pull out another weapon. This will not only deal substantial damage to the player, but will also heavily weaken his armour as well. The Firebug on the other hand will enjoy a greatly increased range from level 3 onwards, greater damage to slice through most groups of foes with ease, and most importantly resistance to fire damage. At level 4 a Firebug with armour will take no damage, and will find his armour stays fully intact as well. Upon reaching level 5 a Firebug will be immune to fire completely, and although his vision will still be partially blurred by flames, he will suffer no penalty from his Flamethrower or world fire.

The Firebug is very much a defensive class, and functions very well when ‘bunkered’ inside a room. Although he can deal rapid damage on the move and can burn his way through most obstacles, he will usually find locking a room down and holding a doorway is a lot easier, where specimens funnel in front of him. Their main weakness’ are being over eager and wasting their ammo on individual targets. Reloading at the wrong time can be equally as dangerous, as moments where he can’t fire his Flamethrower are the moments specimens are waiting for to overrun him. Also, unlike other weapons, the Flamethrower cannot score a critical headshot. While it deals steady, high damage to groups of enemies, it cannot spike a single target very well and will therefore have difficulty taking down enemies with a lot of health, such as Fleshpounds and Scrakes. These problems however can easily be overcome with good teamwork and the Firebug definitely becomes a key player when the waves start getting intense in the later rounds.

The Firebug will usually play around the middle or rear of the group, firing between the front liners to weaken powerful specimens, and stop their team-mates getting overrun. Players who just enjoy watching things burn will love this perk.

Perk ladder

Lv 0 Lv 1 Lv 2 Lv 3 Lv 4 Lv 5 Lv 6
Requirements Deal 25,000 Flamethrower damage Deal 100,000 Flamethrower damage Deal 500,000 Flamethrower damage Deal 1,500,000 Flamethrower damage Deal 3,500,000 Flamethrower damage Deal 5,500,000 Flamethrower damage
Flamethrower damage 5% higher 10% higher 20% higher 30% higher 40% higher 50% higher 60% higher
Resistance to fire 50% resistant 60% resistant 70% resistant 80% resistant 90% resistant 100% resistant 100% resistant
Flamethrower range 50% extra range 50% extra range 100% extra range 100% extra range
Flamethrower discount 10% discount 20% discount 30% discount 40% discount 50% discount 60% discount

Spawn with Flamethrower

70% discount

Spawn with Flamethrower and Combat Armour

Grenade enhancement Grenades ignite enemies Grenades ignite enemies Grenades ignite enemies Grenades ignite enemies
Flamethrower Reload 5% faster 10% faster 20% faster 30% faster 40% faster 50% faster 60% faster
Flamethrower Capacity 5% larger fuel canister 10% larger fuel canister 20% larger fuel canister 30% larger fuel canister 40% larger fuel canister 50% larger fuel canister 60% larger fuel canister