Background: Crisis resolution teams (CRTs) can provide effective home-based treatment for acute mental health crises, although critical ingredients of the model have not been clearly identified, and implementation has been inconsistent. In order to inform development of a more highly specified CRT model that meets service users' needs, this study used qualitative methods to investigate stakeholders' experiences and views of CRTs, and what is important in good quality home-based crisis care. Method: Semi-structured interviews and focus groups were conducted with service users (n = 41), carers (n = 20) and practitioners (CRT staff, managers and referrers; n = 147, 26 focus groups, 9 interviews) in 10 mental health catchment areas in England, and with international CRT developers (n = 11). Data were analysed using thematic analysis. Results: Three domains salient to views about optimal care were identified. 1. The organisation of CRT care: Providing a rapid initial responses, and frequent home visits from the same staff were seen as central to good care, particularly by service users and carers. Being accessible, reliable, and having some flexibility were also valued. Negative experiences of some referral pathways, and particularly lack of staff continuity were identified as problematic. 2. The content of CRT work: Emotional support was at the centre of service users' experiences. All stakeholder groups thought CRTs should involve the whole family, and offer a range of interventions. However, carers often feel excluded, and medication is often prioritised over other forms of support. 3. The role of CRTs within the care system: Gate-keeping admissions is seen as a key role for CRTs within the acute care system. Service users and carers report that recovery is quicker compared to in-patient care. Lack of knowledge and misunderstandings about CRTs among referrers are common. Overall, levels of stakeholder agreement about the critical ingredients of good crisis care were high, although aspects of this were not always seen as achievable. Conclusions: Stakeholders' views about optimal CRT care suggest that staff continuity, carer involvement, and emotional and practical support should be prioritised in service improvements and more clearly specified CRT models.