© 2019, © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Introduction: Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) consists of distinct clinical and biologic entities, with an urgent need for novel therapies targeting histology-specific molecular drivers of cancer growth. The MET pathway is now being targeted by multiple novel agents in clinical development. This review highlights the upcoming role of MET inhibition in the treatment of RCC. Areas covered: The HGF-MET axis is now recognized as playing a vital role in the growth of papillary histology and in driving VEGF inhibitor resistance. The heterogeneity of MET alterations influences sensitivity to MET inhibition and we need predictive biomarkers for improving patient selection. In this review, we highlight the role of the MET pathway in both clear cell and non-clear cell RCC and provide a comprehensive review of preclinical and early clinical data on multiple drugs targeting the MET pathway. Expert opinion: MET alterations can act as primary or secondary drivers of tumor growth in RCC and represents a viable therapeutic target. Combination strategies of VEGF and MET inhibitors could lead to sustained and deep responses even in non-MET driven RCC by inhibiting pathways of VEGF resistance. Addition of checkpoint inhibitors to MET inhibition has also demonstrated promising signs of early efficacy.