| Arginine is a functional essential amino acid in broilers with a variety of physiological functions. The research progress of arginine in growth, carcass quality, meat quality, intestinal health, immunity and antioxidation in broilers was reviewed, and the appropriate requirement of arginine and its interaction with lysine were analyzed. At the same time, the application of arginine substitutes guanidinoacetic acid and N-carbamoylglutamic acid in broiler production were summarized. Appropriate level of arginine in diet is beneficial to improve growth performance, carcass quality and meat quality, repair intestinal injury, maintain normal intestinal barrier function, regulate intestinal microflora, regulate the expression of intestinal digestive enzymes and amino acid transporters, and improve immunity and antioxidation capacity. Insufficient or excessive arginine in the diet is not conducive to the normal growth and development of broilers. The arginine requirement of broilers is affected by breed type, sex, feeding stage, ratio of arginine to lysine and so on. At present, most of the studies mainly focus on fast-growth white-feathered broilers, but there are few reports on the arginine requirement of yellow-feathered broilers in China, and the research results are quite different. As substitutes for arginine, guanidinoacetic acid and N-carbamoylglutamic acid have different effects on broilers. Guanidinoacetic acid does not completely replace arginine, but dietary supplementation with guanidinoacetic acid can reduce the use of arginine in energy metabolism and make it more useful for muscle growth and other physiological functions. N-carbamoylglutamic acid can increase the synthesis of endogenous arginine, increase the content of arginine in vivo and promote the growth of broilers. With the deepening of the studies on the effect and mechanism of arginine and its substitutes on broilers, the requirements of arginine will be more accurate, and be widely used in broiler production. It will help to further improve the production performance of broilers and improve feed utilization efficiency.