Chikungunya virus is an emerging arbovirus that is widespread in tropical regions and is spreading quickly to temperate climates with recent epidemics in Africa and Asia and documented outbreaks in Europe and the Americas. It is having an increasingly major impact on humankind, with potentially life-threatening and debilitating arthritis. There is no treatment available, and only in the past 24 months have lead compounds for development as potential therapeutics been reported. This Perspective discusses the chikungunya virus as a significant, new emerging topic for medicinal chemistry, highlighting the key viral target proteins and their molecular functions that can be used in drug design, as well as the most important ongoing developments for anti-chikungunya virus research. It represents a complete picture of the current medicinal chemistry of chikungunya, supporting the development of chemotherapeutics through drug discovery and design targeting this virus.