Due to the increasing complexity of modern multi-functional radars in the electromagnetic environment, it is a challenging task to classify and identify the presence of different radar emitters. The presence of multiple number of active transmitters in the multistatic radar system makes radar emitter identification a big data problem as all are emitting dense complex signals in the electronic reconnaissance field. In order to classify and identify the radar emitters accurately and rapidly many researchers proposed numerous algorithms. To determine the radar emitter identification methods developed, this paper reviews various methods and techniques through a literature survey and classification of articles (collected from the online database) has been made from various algorithms and methods point of view. © 2021, Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.