Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a neuromodulation technique, which noninvasively alters cortical excitability via weak polarizing currents between two electrodes placed on the scalp. Since it is comparably easy to handle, cheap to use and relatively well tolerated, tDCS has gained increasing interest in recent years. Based on well-known behavioral effects, a number of clinical studies have been performed in populations including patients with major depressive disorder followed by schizophrenia and substance use disorders, in sum with heterogeneous results with respect to efficacy. Nevertheless, the potential of tDCS must not be underestimated since it could be further improved by systematically investigating the various stimulation parameters to eventually increase clinical efficacy. The present article briefly explains the underlying physiology of tDCS, summarizes typical stimulation protocols and then reviews clinical efficacy for various psychiatric disorders as well as prevalent adverse effects. Future developments include combined and more complex interactions of tDCS with pharmacological or psychotherapeutic interventions. In particular, using computational models to individualize stimulation protocols, considering state dependency and applying closed-loop technologies will pave the way for tDCS-based personalized interventions as well as the development of home treatment settings promoting the role of tDCS as an effective treatment option for patients with mental health problems.