Compared with 2D or 3D assembly models, 1D assembly of functional nanoparticles (NPs) is more difficult to prepare due to its higher surface energy. Despite the fabrication difficulty, 1D assembly of NPs exhibits many unique properties, and can directionally transport excitons, photons, phonons, etc., which generate great interest in considerable applications in biomedicine, data storage, waveguiding, highly sensitive sensors, color displays, microcircuits and others. The unique features of 1D assembly of NPs can bridge fabrication of NPs with their practical device applications. The aim of this Tutorial Review is to introduce the general mechanisms to assemble NPs in one direction. To achieve 1D assembly of NPs, different kinds of traditional and newly developed assembly strategies will be discussed. Finally, some examples will be demonstrated to illustrate the applications of NP 1D assemblies in the fields of optics, electronics and magnetics.