The metabotropic glutamate (mGlu) receptor family plays a diverse role in cellular function. However, differentiation of the specific contributions of individual mGlu subtypes has traditionally relied on pharmacological approaches, which have proven difficult due to many factors including inadequate selectivity for specific receptor subtypes, a lack of discernment in receptor modulation across different cell types, and a lack of spatial and temporal precision over control of receptor activation or inactivation. In this chapter, we review three newly developed approaches that have attempted to circumvent these issues. These approaches include the use of selective photoactivatable mGlu ligands, optogenetic activation of light-sensitive chimeric rhodopsin/mGlu receptors (OptoXRs), and optogenetic modulation of mGlu membrane expression. We hypothesize that these novel methods for targeting mGlu receptors will provide new insight into the roles of individual receptor subtypes in specific cell functions in both normal and disease states.