A set of chemokine receptors are structurally unable to elicit migration or conventional signalling responses after ligand engagement. These 'silent' (non-signalling) chemokine receptors regulate inflammatory and immune reactions in different ways, including by acting as decoys and scavengers. Chemokine decoy receptors recognize distinct and complementary sets of ligands and are strategically expressed in different cellular contexts. Importantly, viruses and parasites have evolved multiple strategies to elude chemokines, including the expression of decoy receptors. So, decoy receptors for chemokines represent a general strategy to tune, shape and temper innate and adaptive immunity.