This review examines the preparation of alginate hydrogel microparticles by using droplet-based microfluidics, a technique widely employed for its ease of use and excellent control of physicochemical properties, with narrow size distribution. The gelation of alginate is realized “on-chip” and/or “off-chip”, depending on where cross-linkers are introduced. Various strategies are described and compared. Microparticle properties such as size, shape, concentration, stability and mechanical properties are discussed. Finally, we consider future perspectives for the preparation of hydrogel microparticles and their potential applications.