AbstractIntermetallic phases can be found in almost every magnesium alloy. These intermetallic compounds play a very important role in optimizing the microstructure and mechanical properties. The present paper reviews the effects of intermetallics in magnesium alloys mainly based on their stabilities: dissolvable intermetallics at low temperatures and thermal stable intermetallics at elevated temperatures. The effects of intermetallics are discussed in the age hardenable and creep resistant magnesium alloys, separately. Finally, the further investigations are remarked on the intermetallics, including their precipitation processes, crystal structures and crystallographic orientation relations with magnesium matrix. The aim is to supply useful information in developing new wrought and creep-resistant magnesium alloys which will be used in the powertrain at elevated temperatures.