Methane production by microbes is a hot topic - Literally. Because of the potential to cause global warming, increased methane production is of great concern, but if properly controlled, it can also boost energy generation. Unfortunately, the basic mechanisms through which microbes generate methane remain unclear. To provide some clarity, researchers recently approached the problem using a combination of metagenomics and metatranscriptomics, which revealed that different microbes fill unique functional niches in methane-producing communities. In some cases, microbes worked against each other, but in others, they used metabolic and transcription processes that complemented each other, suggesting that methanogenic microbes form a complex community to reduce the biosynthetic burden. And interestingly, different hydrogen concentrations in methane-producing niches favored different types of methanogenic bacteria. The results of this study further our understanding of interspecies competition and symbiosis during methanogenesis, helping scientists improve energy production while curbing global warming.