The early events mediating herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) infection include virion attachment to cell surface heparan sulfates and subsequent penetration. Recent evidence has suggested that the high-affinity fibroblast growth factor (FGF) receptor mediates HSV-1 entry. This report presents three lines of experimental evidence showing that the high-affinity FGF receptor is not required for HSV-1 infection. First, rat L6 myoblasts lacking FGF receptors were as susceptible to HSV-1 infection as L6 cells genetically engineered to express the FGF receptor. Second, a soluble FGF receptor fragment that inhibited FGF binding and receptor activation did not inhibit HSV-1 infection. Finally, basic FGF (but not acidic FGF) inhibited HSV-1 infection in L6 cells lacking FGF receptors, presumably by blocking cell surface heparan sulfates also required for HSV-1 infection. These results show that the high-affinity FGF receptor is not required for HSV-1 infection but instead that specific low-affinity basic FGF binding sites are used for HSV-1 infection.