Localized deformation, including that by the deformation-induced shearing martensitic phase transformation, is responsible for hardening and embrittlement in irradiated face-centered cubic alloys. These localized deformation processes can have profound consequences on the mechanical integrity of common structural metals used in extreme radiation environments such as nuclear reactors. This article aims to review and understand exactly how irradiation affects the martensitic phase transformation in face-centered cubic alloys, with an emphasis on austenitic stainless steel, given its ubiquity in the archival literature. The influence of irradiation on stacking fault energy and subsequent implications on the phase transformation are discussed. Mechanisms by which irradiation-induced microstructures enhance the phase transformation are also described, including the surface energy contribution of irradiation-induced cavities (i.e., voids and bubbles) toward the critical martensite nucleation energy, and partial dislocation–cavity interactions. A deformation mechanism map illustrates how irradiation-induced cavities can modulate the martensitic transformation pathway.