The development of microarray technology makes it possible to simultaneously assay the expression level of hundreds to tens of thousands of mRNA transcripts in one experiment. Genome-wide transcriptional analysis has increasing importance for many areas of neuroendocrinology research. The expense and technical complexity of microarray experiments can make it difficult to navigate the terrain of rival platforms and technologies. In this review, we provide a practical view and comparison of various microarray technologies. Affymetrix arrays, high-density cDNA arrays, membrane arrays and experimental design and data analysis are all discussed by researchers currently using these techniques to study gene regulation in neuroendocrine tissues.