At every step of their replication cycle influenza viruses depend heavily on their host cells. The multifaceted interactions that occur between the virus and its host cell determine the outcome of the infection, including efficiency of progeny virus production, tropism, and pathogenicity. In order to understand viral disease and develop therapies for influenza it is therefore pertinent to study the intricate interplay between influenza viruses and their required host factors. Here, we review the current knowledge on host cell factors required by influenza virus at the different stages of the viral replication cycle. We also discuss the roles of host factors in zoonotic transmission of influenza viruses and their potential for developing novel antivirals.