© 2016 Elsevier B.V. A variety of nanostructured materials are produced through template-based synthesis methods, including zero-dimensional, one-dimensional, and two-dimensional structures. These span different forms such as nanoparticles, nanowires, nanotubes, nanoflakes, and nanosheets. Many physical characteristics of these materials such as the shape and size can be finely controlled through template selection and as a result, their properties as well. Reviewed here are several examples of these nanomaterials, with emphasis specifically on the templates and synthesis routes used to produce the final nanostructures. In the first section, the templates have been discussed while in the second section, their corresponding synthesis methods have been briefly reviewed, and lastly in the third section, applications of the materials themselves are highlighted. Some examples of the templates frequently encountered are organic structure directing agents, surfactants, polymers, carbon frameworks, colloidal sol–gels, inorganic frameworks, and nanoporous membranes. Synthesis methods that adopt these templates include emulsion-based routes and template-filling approaches, such as self-assembly, electrodeposition, electroless deposition, vapor deposition, and other methods including layer-by-layer and lithography. Template-based synthesized nanomaterials are frequently encountered in select fields such as solar energy, thermoelectric materials, catalysis, biomedical applications, and magnetowetting of surfaces.