Plant viruses are important pathogens that cause serious crop losses worldwide. They are obligate intracellular parasites that commandeer a wide array of proteins, as well as metabolic resources, from infected host cells. In the past two decades, our knowledge of plant–virus interactions at the molecular level has exploded, which provides insights into how plant-infecting viruses co-opt host cellular machineries to accomplish their infection. Here, we review recent advances in our understanding of how plant viruses divert cellular components from their original roles to proviral functions. One emerging theme is that plant viruses have versatile strategies that integrate a host factor that is normally engaged in plant defense against invading pathogens into a viral protein complex that facilitates viral infection. We also highlight viral manipulation of cellular key regulatory systems for successful virus infection: posttranslational protein modifications for fine control of viral and cellular protein dynamics; glycolysis and fermentation pathways to usurp host resources, and ion homeostasis to create a cellular environment that is beneficial for viral genome replication. A deeper understanding of viral-infection strategies will pave the way for the development of novel antiviral strategies.