This article reviews the design of algorithms for wind turbine pitch control and also for generator torque control in the case of variable speed turbines. Some recent and possible future developments are discussed. Although pitch control is used primarily to limit power in high winds, it also has a significant effect on various loads. Particularly as turbines become larger, there is increasing interest in designing controllers to mitigate loads as far as possible. Torque control in variable speed turbines is used primarily to maximize energy capture below rated wind speed and to limit the torque above rated. Once again there are opportunities for designing these controllers so as to mitigate certain loads. In addition to improving the design of the control algorithms, it is also possible to use additional sensors to help the controller to achieve its objectives more effectively. The use of additional actuators in the form of individual pitch controllers for each blade is also discussed. It is important to be able to quantify the benefits of any new controller. Although computer simulations are useful, field trials are also vital. The variability of the real wind means that particular care is needed in the design of the trials. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.