Everything you need to know about the Insect Glaive and Kinsects, from the very basics to our recommendation for the best build.
Guide by Sayem Ahmed Contributor
Monster Hunter World Insect Glaives are a unique weapon for those who want to be agile in combat and have a variety of Kinsect buffs at their disposal.
It is one of many Monster Hunter World weapon types available from the start of the game, and on this page we explain the very fundamentals of how it works, through to the best Insect Glaive build you can have at your disposal.
Elsewhere, our Monster Hunter World tips can help you decide when to farm, what to forage and what to do between hunts, and our Monster Hunter World walkthrough and guide can help with main quest and story progress.
What is the Insect Glaive and how do Kinsects work?
The Insect Glaive is one of the speedier weapons in Monster Hunter World, in comparison to weapon classes like the Charge Blade or Greatsword, you're going to be spending a lot more time in the air than on the ground.
The benefit of using the Insect Glaive is simple - the Glaive itself is actually an insect, which can inflict status buffs on you by harvesting monster extracts.
You can equip Kinsects by simply purchasing one over at the smithy and equipping it alongside the Insect Glaive in your room, at the Smithy or at any camp.
How to use the Insect Glaive in combat
The Insect Glaive possesses amazing evasive and speed capabilities, and to use them to its fullest potential, you're first going to want to get the Attack Extract from your Kinsect, after that you'll be able to maximise your damage output.
A huge advantage to using the Insect Glaive are its aerial maneuvers. You'll want to Vault with R2 and X on PS4 / RT and A on Xbox. You can follow this up with an attack with Circle (or B on Xbox) or a Midair Evade, followed up with an attack.
To string together a chain of air attacks and evades, you're going to need to land the hits and keep an eye on your Stamina bar to keep evading and stay in the air. This will trigger a Vaulting Dance, which will essentially reset your combo.
It's also a very useful way to help you mount a monster.
To use a Kinsect, you want to fire it at the Monster's face by aiming (holding the left trigger) followed by Triangle/Y. This will make the Kinsect glow red.
The red glow denotes the Kinsect possessing an attack buff. To apply this buff to yourself, you're going to want to recall the Kinsect back to you by holding the left trigger followed by the Circle / B button.
Once you've got the Kinsect back to you, you should see a glow underneath your Sharpness Bar.
This rationale can be applied to different parts of a monster which will give you different coloured buffs. You can find our key for this below - with the locations differing from monster to monster - and the order of which will also correspond to the numbers underneath your sharpness bar.
- Red - Attack Buff
- Orange - Defense Buff
- White - Speed Buff
- Green - Health Buff
Additionally, the Kinsect will leave Dust, which you can hit to trigger an effect type.
This can range from abnormal status effects all the way to leaving a healing cloud. This is triggered by hitting the monster with a Kinsect while gathering extracts, or marking targets.
How to manage Kinsects and change elements
Head over to the Smithy, and under 'Kinsect Management' you'll be able to select 'Nurture Kinsect' which will open up a brand-new tree, not too dissimilar to any other weapon's upgrade tree, for you to check out all the different Kinsect types.
Each Kinsect that you can nurture has several different ability strengths and Dust types that you want to look out for. Power, Speed, Heal and Dust Effect respectively.
The Power, Speed and Heal types all denote that particular Kinsect's potency when extracting it from a monster. These max out at Level 15. The different Dust Effect Types to look out for are as follows:
For the best results when faced against monsters, you're going to want to be upgrading multiple Kinsects at once in order to be able to tailor yourself to any scenario.
How to change Kinsect elements
Now that you're able to upgrade and nurture your Kinsect to become more powerful, you can also imbue the Kinsect with Elemental Damage, the range of Elemental types is as follows.
[Can we transcribe this into a list / table? Is it only these six Ladytarge elements, and how do they respectively upgrade?] Ladytarge is just the particular Kinsect I have equipped, with its own upgrade tree explained through the "Nurture Kinsect" Section.
Depending on how far you are in the game, you might not be able to unlock some of these damage types just yet, these are locked behind Hunter Ranks and new maps, much like the standard Weapon Upgrade Tree.
Our recommendation for the best Insect Glaive build in Monster Hunter World
While there is no one true Insect Glaive Build, we've honed in on a great Insect Glaive build designed to keep you fast on your feet, while also dishing out devastating damage through exploiting some innate armour skills.
Our best Insect Glaive recommendation
The Insect Glaive you want to shoot for is named Catastrophe's Light, with the highest single raw damaging Insect Glaive in the game, and comes with a high Elderseal stat.
Catastrophe's Light is forged from the Ore Tree, forking off into the Nergigante Tree and is the final upgrade. To forge Catastrophe's Light, you need the following:
- Xeno'Jiva Horn x2
- Nergigante Horn x5
- Nergigante Talon x5
- Nergigante Gem x1
Our best Kinsect recommendation
We're now going to want to pair an ideal Kinsect with it. We'd recommend getting the Pseudocath III, which is derived from the Culldrone III, into the Windchopper I-III, and finally into Pseudocath I-III, which builds up potent Blast Damage from its Dust, as well as having some incredible speed boosts.
It's final form, the Pseudocath III can be forged using the following:
- Elder Dragon Bone x2
- Monster Hardbone x3
- Firecell Stone x1
Now, we're going to want to forge some armour to go with it. Remember how we mentioned that we wanted to exploit some armour skills? Well. We're going to want to farm a lot of High-Rank Odogaron.
Iceborne has arrived! Here's how to start Monster Hunter World Iceborne and beat the first monster, Beotodus. Once you get settled into the world, learn about Layered Armour in Monster Hunter World and the various side-quests available - including Surveyor Set missions, Boaboa quests and finding Pearlspring Macaque locations. And, when you're ready to take it on, Shara Ishvalda.If you're crafting, then learning where to find rare materials such as Purecrystal and Monster Slogbone is useful.Been away from Monster Hunter for a while and need a refresher? Our pages on weapon changes and types, how to join friends and Squads in multiplayer plus how to capture monsters and mount monsters can help.
Our best Insect Glaive armour recommendation
You'll want to kick off by crafting Odogaron Mail Beta, with Vambraces, Coil and Greaves all in Alpha. The idea is that the Beta mail has a free gem slot, which (if you're lucky) will boost your attack even further.
The rationale behind this is to activate a skill named Critical Eye, which increases your weapon Affinity, which is essentially going to increase the chances of you dishing out at attack which goes beyond your weapon's standard attack range.
With the Odogaron set all equipped, we will move onto the piece de resistance of this armour set, the Dragonking Eyepatch Alpha. This Eyepatch will also activate a Level 2 skill, named Weakness Exploit. This gives you an extra 30% affinity when attacking a monster's weak spot.
Combined with the +15% Affinity gained from Critical Eye, as well as an additional 30% from Weakness Exploit, we can actually drive this build even further, should the RNG Gods Smile upon you with rare Decorations.
There are two free LV1 Decoration Slots in this build, one from the Odogaron Mail Alpha, and another from the Dragonking Eyepatch.
If we decorate the Odogaron Mail with an additional Critical Eye skill, as well as insert a Weakness Exploit gem into the Dragonking Eyepatch, then Critical Eye LV5 nets you 20% Affinity Boost, along with Weakness Exploit going up to LV3, which gives us a 50% Affinity boost on weak points.
However, there's still one more slot we can use. Remember all those Odogarons you've farmed? Well, with the spare parts from the creation of the armour, you'll be able to create an additional Critical Eye Charm from the Smithy.
Upgrade this to LV2 and you'll have Critical Eye LV7. Paired with a maxed out LV3 Weakness Exploit, you're looking at a base Affinity boost of 30% at all times, with an additional 50% on monster weak points.
Paired with Catastrophe's Light, which dishes out 651 base damage, you're looking at around 1171 damage when hitting monster weak points. With the additional speed and power of the Kinsect. Well. Let's just say that the Elder Dragons should probably be running away from you.