Over the last decade, research on distinct types of CRISPR systems has revealed many structural and functional variations. Recently, several novel types of single-polypeptide CRISPR-associated systems have been discovered including Cas12a/Cpf1 and Cas13a/C2c2. Despite distant similarities to Cas9, these additional systems have unique structural and functional features, providing new opportunities for genome editing applications. Here, relevant fundamental features of natural and engineered CRISPR-Cas variants are compared. Moreover, practical matters are discussed that are essential for dedicated genome editing applications, including nuclease regulation and delivery, target specificity, as well as host repair diversity.