For decades, it has been known that the tumor microenvironment is significant for glioma progression, namely the infiltration of myeloid cells like microglia and macrophages. Hence, these cell types and their specific tasks in tumor progression are subject to ongoing research. However, the distribution of the brain resident microglia and the peripheral macrophages within the tumor tissue and their functional activity are highly debated. Results depend on the method used to discriminate between microglia and macrophages, whereby this specification is already difficult due to limited options to distinguish between these both cell populations that show mostly the same surface markers and morphology. Moreover, there are indications about various functions of microglia and macrophages but again varying on the method of discrimination. In our review, we summarize the current literature to determine which methods have been applied to differentiate the brain resident microglia from tumor-infiltrated macrophages. Furthermore, we compiled data about the proportion of microglia and macrophages in glioma tissues and ascertained if pro- or anti-tumoral effects could be allocated to one or the other myeloid cell population. Recent research made tremendous efforts to distinguish microglia from recruited macrophages. For future studies, it could be essential to verify which role these cells play in brain tumor pathology to proceed with novel immunotherapeutic strategies.