The vast majority of microorganisms on Earth reside in often-inseparable environment-specific communities—microbiomes. Meta-genomic/-transcriptomic sequencing could reveal the otherwise inaccessible functionality of microbiomes. We created faser (functional annotation of sequencing reads), an algorithm that is optimized to map reads to molecular functions encoded by the read-correspondent genes. The mi-faser microbiome analysis pipeline, combining faser with our manually curated reference database of protein functions, accurately annotates microbiome molecular functionality. mi-faser’s minutes-per-microbiome processing speed is significantly faster than that of other methods, allowing for large scale comparisons. mi-faser has been used to analyze various types of environments, ranging from human gut to arctic snow, revealing the key microbial functions.