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 a 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 them as a human shield.