Membrane proteins such as G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) exert fundamental biological functions and are involved in a multitude of physiological responses, making these receptors ideal drug targets. Drug discovery programs targeting GPCRs have been greatly facilitated by the emergence of high-resolution structures and the resulting opportunities to identify new chemical entities through structure-based drug design. To enable the determination of high-resolution structures of GPCRs, most receptors have to be engineered to overcome intrinsic hurdles such as their poor stability and low expression levels. In recent years, multiple engineering approaches have been developed to specifically address the technical difficulties of working with GPCRs, which are now beginning to make more challenging receptors accessible to detailed studies. Importantly, successfully engineered GPCRs are not only valuable in X-ray crystallography, but further enable biophysical studies with nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, surface plasmon resonance, native mass spectrometry, and fluorescence anisotropy measurements, all of which are important for the detailed mechanistic understanding, which is the prerequisite for successful drug design. Here, we summarize engineering strategies based on directed evolution to reduce workload and enable biophysical experiments of particularly challenging GPCRs.