As an alternative melee weapon, bottles are not as effective as the brick because it breaks after the initial hit. However, bottles are a better distraction than bricks because they make more noise when smashed. Bottles take longer to respawn on higher difficulties. On Grounded, bottles take 3 minutes to respawn.
Throwing empty bottles as distractions disrupt enemy pre-scripted paths, making it possible for them to go anywhere. As melee weapon, bottles deal similar damage to using Joel's fists, except they can damage Clickers while Joel's punches can not. If the player runs up to a human enemy and strikes them with a bottle, it knocks them to the ground, enabling the player to use then as a human shield.