Abstract Recombinant Semliki Forest viruses (SFV) that express one or none of the viral structural proteins were used to infect cells and to analyze the fate of incoming superinfecting wild-type viruses. It was found that in addition to the previously described block in replication that superinfecting viruses encounter within 15 min of infection, other mechanisms of superinfection inhibition occurred at later times. Over a 6-hr infection period, inhibition was seen in binding of virus to the cell surface, in acid-activated penetration into the cytoplasm, and in uncoating of nucleocapsids. For each of these processes, the inhibitory mechanism was investigated. In summary, we found that infection evoked several independent mechanisms for blocking the entry and uncoating of superinfecting viruses. The results also offered new insights into the normal processes of penetration and uncoating of SFV.