In pursuit of energy efficiency and durability throughout human history, advances in lubricants have always played important roles. Ionic liquids (ILs) are room-temperature molten salts that possess unique physicochemical properties and have shown great potential in many applications with lubrication as one of the latest. While earlier work (2001–2011) primarily explored the feasibility of using ILs as neat or base lubricants, using ILs as lubricant additives has become the new focal research topic since the breakthrough in ILs’ miscibility in nonpolar hydrocarbon oils in early 2012. This work reviews the recent advances in developing ILs as additives for lubrication with an attempt to correlate among the cationic and anionic structures, oil-solubility, and other relevant physicochemical properties, and lubricating behavior. Effects of the concentration of ILs in lubricants and the compatibility between ILs and other additives in the lubricant formulation on the tribological performance are described followed by a discussion of wear protection mechanism based on tribofilm characterization. Future research directions are suggested at the end.