Stellar spectral diagnostics are of utmost importance to test fundamental concepts of flare physics such as particle beam versus suprathermal heating, atmospheric response, mass motions, microflaring, statistics and recurrence of flares, flare activity and stellar interior. We review some of these diagnostics (from photometry, optical, and ultraviolet spectroscopy at medium- and high-spectral resolution, X-ray, and radio observations). Specific diagnostics from line and continuum fluxes, density sensitive lines, broadening and velocity field effects and the comparison with semi-empirical models are also described. Some results on stellar flares obtained from previous multi-wavelength observing campaigns are presented. Future satellite missions and ground-based observatories, with new techniques for obtaining high spectral and temporal resolution, are discussed in light of their possible contribution to our understanding of solar and stellar flares.