Electronic structure methods based on the density functional theory (DFT) are used as a powerful tool for assessing the mechanical thermodynamic and defect properties of metal alloys. This article presents the origins of the electronic structure methods and their strengths and limitations. It describes the basic procedures for calculating essential structural properties in metal alloys. The article reviews the approximations and computational details of the pseudopotential plane wave methods used in metal systems. It provides information on the applications of DFT methods in metal alloy systems. The article discusses the calculations of a variety of structural, thermodynamic, and defect properties, with particular emphasis on structural metal alloys and their derivatives.