Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a polygenic chronic autoimmune disease leading to multiple organ damage. A large heritability of up to 66% is estimated in SLE, with roughly 180 reported susceptibility loci that have been identified mostly by genome-wide association studies (GWASs) and account for approximately 30% of genetic heritability. A vast majority of risk variants reside in non-coding regions, which makes it quite challenging to interpret their functional implications in the SLE-affected immune system, suggesting the importance of understanding cell type–specific epigenetic regulation around SLE GWAS variants. The latest genetic studies have been highly fruitful as several dozens of SLE loci were newly discovered in the last few years and many loci have come to be understood in systemic approaches integrating GWAS signals with other biological resources. In this review, we summarize SLE-associated genetic variants in both the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) and non-MHC loci, examining polygenetic risk scores for SLE and their associations with clinical features. Finally, variant-driven pathogenetic functions underlying genetic associations are described, coupled with discussion about challenges and future directions in genetic studies on SLE.