Arsenic (As) elevation in paddy soils will have a negative impact on both the yield and grain quality of rice (Oryza sativa L.). The mechanistic understanding of As uptake, translocation, and grain filling is an important aspect to produce rice grains with low As concentrations through agronomical, physico-chemical, and breeding approaches. A range of factors (i.e. physico-chemical, biological, and environmental) govern the speciation and mobility of As in paddy soil-water systems. Major As uptake transporters in rice roots, such as phosphate and aquaglyceroporins, assimilate both inorganic (As(III) and As(V)) and organic As (DMA(V) and MMA(V)) species from the rice rhizosphere. A number of metabolic pathways (i.e. As (V) reduction, As(III) efflux, and As(III)-thiol complexation and subsequent sequestration) are likely to play a key role in determining the translocation and substantial accumulation of As species in rice tissues. The order of translocation efficiency (caryopsis-to-root) for different As species in rice plants is comprehensively evaluated as follows: DMA(V) > MMA(V) > inorganic As species. The loading patterns of both inorganic and organic As species into the rice grains are largely dependent on the genetic makeup and maturity stage of the rice plants together with environmental interactions. The knowledge of As metabolism in rice plants and how it is affected by plant genetics and environmental factors would pave the way to develop adaptive strategies to minimize the accumulation of As in rice grains.