The stability of the HIV-1 core in the cytoplasm is crucial for productive HIV-1 infection. Mutations that stabilize or destabilize the core showed defects in HIV-1 reverse transcription and infection. We developed a novel and simple assay to measure stability of in vitro-assembled HIV-1 CA-NC complexes. This assay allowed us to demonstrate that cytosolic extracts strongly stabilize the HIV-1 core (Fricke et al., J Virol 87:10587-10597, 2013). By using our novel assay, one can measure the ability of different drugs to modulate the stability of in vitro-assembled HIV-1 CA-NC complexes, such as PF74, CAP-1, IXN-053, cyclosporine A, Bi2, and the peptide CAI. We also found that purified CPSF6 (1-321) protein stabilizes in vitro-assembled HIV-1 CA-NC complexes (Fricke et al., J Virol 87:10587-10597, 2013). Here we describe in detail the use of this capsid stability assay. We believe that our assay can be a powerful tool to assess HIV-1 capsid stability in vitro.