In the next few decades, the development of hypersonic aircrafts will be the priority of national defense strategy of many countries, and the significance of the propulsion system applied on the aircraft is self-evident. Hypersonic aircrafts require propulsion devices that can be used independently in a wide range of Mach numbers and flight envelop, however, there have been no such propulsion systems up to now. The multi-mode combined detonation engine, which consists of four modes, is a novel propulsion concept proposed at the beginning of this century for potential application on hypersonic cruise or space access. The multi-mode combined detonation engine is a promising propulsion system which can be used independently in a wide range of Mach numbers and flight envelop. Recently, many countries attach much importance to the research of multi-mode combined detonation engine and great progress has been achieved. This paper attempts to provide an overview of the recent advances in the multi-mode combined detonation engine, and the major progress for each mode is detailed introduced. Nevertheless, there is still a need to pay more attention to the existing problems in the future.