Kirin is an optional creature and one of the game's many Elder Dragons in Monster Hunter World.
Elsewhere, our Monster Hunter World tips can help you decide when to get, 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.
How to get the Kirin The Myth quest and Kirin location
Facing Kirin in Low Rank requires a few specific steps to unlock.
You'll unlock an two star optional quest named Snatch the Snatcher - this should either appear on the board, or given to you as a quest from the Biologist in the north-west corner of Astera (to the right of the job board, next to where you find any monsters you capture).
Completing this unlocks another optional quest, and this repeats until you eventually unlock Kirin:
- Snatch the Snatcher (capture Kulu-Ya-Ku)
- Landing the Landslide Wyvern (capture Barroth)
- White Monster White Coat (capture Paolumu)
- Man's Best Friend (capture Odogaron)
Each one increases in star difficulty, so expect each mission to be harder than the last. Our how to capture monsters article explains the process of capturing (it's usually easier than a straight hunt) if you aren't familiar already.
Each completed quest above also gives you a healthy amount of Research Points, too.
Once that's done, another Biologist will sign you to up the 'Kirin the Myth' optional quest. It's well worth completing it via this method as doing so will reward you with the Thunderproof Mantle - helpful for any future Kirin material farming.
Outside of the above, Kirin also appeared in an event in February 2018, allowing you to face two at once without the need to unlock it first.
Note that for all of the above, this is for the Low Rank encounter. If you want to face Kirin at High Rank, you must get to Hunter Rank 49 first.
As for its location within the Coral Highlands, if you start at the north-west campsite, it'll be in this elevated set of areas (12, 13 and 15). You should find tracks pretty quickly, and you can go from there.
How to prepare for Kirin the first time
You'll likely be facing Kirin at the end of your Low Rank campaign, but it's worth persevering a few encounters into High Rank before taking Kirin on due to its difficulty.
Though the battle is a case of quick reflexes, having stronger defenses is always useful.
A meal before the fight is always essential, but it'll be worth getting one with some additional Elemental Defense against Kirin's Lightning attacks, as well as having a strong defensive Mantle.
Kirin weakness and strategy
Facing Kirin requires you to be as agile as possible. Though it will occasionally dash around the arena, when it's on the offense it won't move too much, but it's when Kirin is standing still is where it'll start summoning most of its attacks.
Kirin will summon bolts and waves of lightning in its near vicinity, which are indicated by crackling on the ground, or actual jolts of lightning. Simply put, if you see either of these, sprint or roll out the way to avoid getting hit.
This is obviously easier said than done, as they often appear for a split second before lighting strikes. These can also appear immediately around Kirin.
The strategy, then, is when you get in close and attack, you quickly pull away, assuming the bolt will strike where you are standing. That's the easiest and safest way to take on this creature.
The more powerful attacks are thankfully more signposted, with pulsing electricity appearing in linear lines or huge swathes in front of Kirin. If you see these, sprint round to the side or back of Kirin - wherever the lightning no longer appears - to stay safe.
If you are close enough when this starts, you can use this opportunity to perform a combo attack while it is building up the attack.
There will also be a phase where Kirin will pulse with lightning, strengthening its defense (you can tell as your attacks will do lower damage, or 'bounce' off) and increasing its pace of attacks. Treat this like a wyvern in flight; stay distant, keep moving, and wait until the phase is over before you resume the offensive.
Looking for more Monster Hunter World tips? Our Monster Hunter World walkthrough and guide explains how Assigned missions, Expeditions and Investigations work, which will see you hunt Anjanath, Zorah Magdaros, Diablos, Odogaron, as well as Elder Dragons Kushala Daora, Teostra, Vaal Hazah, Xeno'Jiiva and Kirin, as well as the recently added Behemoth. If you are starting out, we recommend first using our weapon types list to decide the best weapon for you, learning how to join friends and Squads in multiplayer, plus how to capture monsters and mount monsters. There's plenty of optional stuff, too - such as Grimalkynes and Doodles, helping unlock Plunderblade and Gajalaka quests.
If you do get struck by lightning, there is a chance you will become paralysed temporarily. This is particularly dangerous, as unlike other monsters, Kirin will use this opportunity to hone in with additional attacks to finish you off.
As such, the best strategy (as with any monster) is to avoid getting hit, as although individual attacks won't do much on their own, they can easily be followed up with something that'll knock you out.
It's also worth noting that since Kirin is an Elder Dragon, it cannot be captured, so your traps will be rendered impossible. You must slay it every time.
The bright side, of course, is Kirin is an Elder Dragon, so its materials are particularly useful for armour and weapon upgrades. Enjoy those spoils - you deserved it!