Methane, the major component of natural gas, has been in use in human civilization since ancient times as a source of fuel and light. Methanogens are responsible for synthesis of most of the methane found on Earth. The enzyme responsible for catalyzing the chemical step of methanogenesis is methyl-coenzyme M reductase (MCR), a nickel enzyme that contains a tetrapyrrole cofactor called coenzyme F430, which can traverse the Ni(I), (II), and (III) oxidation states. MCR and methanogens are also involved in anaerobic methane oxidation. This review describes structural, kinetic, and computational studies aimed at elucidating the mechanism of MCR. Such studies are expected to impact the many ramifications of methane in our society and environment, including energy production and greenhouse gas warming.