Riboswitches are genetic elements located in non-coding regions of some messenger RNAs (mRNAs) that are present in all three domains of life. The binding of ligands to riboswitches induces conformational changes in the mRNA molecule, resulting in modulation of gene transcription, or RNA splicing, translation or stability. This mechanism of regulation is particularly widespread in bacteria and allows a direct response to various metabolic changes. A large number of riboswitches have been discovered in the last few years, suggesting the existence of a huge diversity of regulatory ligands and genetic mechanisms of regulation. This review focuses on recent discoveries in riboswitch regulatory mechanisms as well as current outstanding challenges.