This chapter describes the main synthetic processes for the fabrication of branched nanoparticles, often termed as nanostars, as well as some of the principal applications that have been found. It focuses on optical properties related to localized surface plasmon resonances and surface-enhanced spectroscopies, for which nanostars have been predicted and demonstrated to shine brighter than any other shapes, thus opening new avenues for highly sensitive detection or biolabelling, among other applications. A wide variety of wet chemistry-based synthetic methods is available for the preparation of anisotropic nanoparticles within narrow size and shape distributions. The choice of one of these preparative methods for star-shaped metal nanocrystals depends on a number of relevant experimental parameters that determine the nucleation and growth processes in colloid particle synthesis, potentially leading to a reasonable control over the size and degree of branching of the obtained nanoparticles. The chapter overviews the protocols, establishing two main categories of synthetic fabrication strategies: seeded-growth and one-pot methods.