Engineering of luciferases with designed properties and functionalities collects great interest in bioassays. However, such an engineering including mutagenesis accompanies great consumption of time-and-labor. Here, I review an empirical approach to efficiently manipulate marine and beetle luciferases for bioassays, where a putative active site of luciferases is initially assigned with an in silico analysis, prior to the practical engineering, e.g. a hydrophilicity search reveals a characteristic hydrophilic region of luciferases as an engineering target. Amino acids in the hydrophilic region are recommended for a mutagenesis target to generate superluminescent variants of marine luciferases with prolonged bioluminescence. Empirical data suggest that a consecutive fragmentation to the assigned hydrophilic site greatly reduces time-and-labors on construction of single-chain probes. This review summarizes how to relieve the efforts for fabricating single-chain probes and potent variants of luciferases with excellent optical properties.