Pathogens use effectors to suppress host defence mechanisms, promote the derivation of nutrients, and facilitate infection within the host plant. Much is now known about effectors that target biotic pathways, particularly those that interfere with plant innate immunity. By contrast, an understanding of how effectors manipulate nonimmunity pathways is only beginning to emerge. Here, we focus on exciting new insights into effectors that target abiotic stress adaptation pathways, tampering with key functions within the plant to promote colonization. We critically assess the role of various signalling agents in linking different pathways upon perturbation by pathogen effectors. Additionally, this review provides a summary of currently known bacterial, fungal, and oomycete pathogen effectors that induce biotic and abiotic stress responses in the plant, as a first step towards establishing a comprehensive picture for linking effector targets to pathogenic lifestyles.