Wild Hearts | Human-Path and Kemono-Path Affinity Explained

Here's what the Human and Kemono affinities do in Wild Hearts, including how you can use them to your advantage and increase their level. The Human-Path and Kemono-Path affinity system is one of the most under-explained things in Wild Hearts, despite how important it is to armour building and skill selection.

Wild Hearts is full of things to figure out and explore. Whether it be the various weapons to learn and master or the unique armour sets to hunt and grind for, there’s plenty for Hunters to sink their teeth into in Azuma.

The Path Affinity system is extremely important but poorly explained. This Path system places you in one of five different states which can be very useful if played into. However, there isn’t much information in the game about what it can do outside of the initial tutorial explaining Armour Modification.

So, here’s everything you need to know about Human-Path and Kemono-Path Affinity, including what it does and how to increase it in either direction. 

Want more Wild Hearts coverage and guides? You can find more here on KeenGamer:

  1. Wild Hearts | How to Make the Best Weapons (Weapon Upgrade Guide)
  2. Wild Hearts | Amaterasu Monster Guide
  3. Wild Hearts | Sapscourge Monster Guide
  4. Wild Hearts | Master of the Skies Achievement/Trophy Guide
Wild Hearts - Official Reveal Trailer | PS5 Games

What Is Human-Kemono Affinity?

After you reach Minato, you’ll unlock Armour Modification. This is a system where you can take existing armour and upgrade it, giving it additional defence and attribute resistances, by taking it down one of two different paths. 

It’s at this point where the Path Alignment system comes into play. Path Alignment is a sliding scale with 5 different states, each denoted by a colour and a symbol:

  • Pure Human-Path (Purple Samurai Icon)
  • Human-Path (Blue Strawhat Icon)
  • Centred (Grey Icon)
  • Kemono-Path (Orange Monster Icon)
  • Pure-Kemono Path (Red Kemono Icon)
Affinity ranges from Pure Human to Pure Kemono - Wild Hearts Armour Affinity

Affinity Symbols

Depending on a few factors, you’ll be placed into one of these 5 states, which you can see at the bottom of the Equipment or Weapons and Armour screen. 

The Armour Modification tutorial describes those who follow the Human Path as those who “believe in utilizing human technology to the full to give them the edge on the hunt.” On the contrary, those who walk the Kemono Path “have a deep understanding of kemono and strive to be at one with nature”.

So, now you know what Path Alignment is and how to check which state you’re in, what does it actually do?

Path Tracker

Path Tracker

What Does Alignment Do? 

Path alignment has one main purpose: activating certain skills on armour sets. On its own, your Path Alignment doesn’t do anything – no additional stats, no skill bonuses, nothing.

Some pieces of armour have special skills tied to them which require a certain Path to activate. These skills will have their associated Path symbol to the right of the skill descriptor. Unavailable skills are greyed out if you do not meet the affinity required. You can liken this somewhat to the Armour Skill system from Monster Hunter, where if you wore pieces from the same gear set, you would earn additional skills. In Wild Hearts, the bonus skills don’t come from wearing pieces of the same set, but pieces of the same Path Alignment.

For example, the Grithide Zukin headpiece has the innate skill Ancient Tree Champion. This boosts defence for a while after drawing healing water from the site of an ancient tree but it won’t become usable until I reach Full Human-Path alignment. Another example is the Grithide Body Armour from the same set which instead houses the Rally: Ironclad ability, asking me to be in the Kemono-Path state to utilise this specific skill. 

As shown with the above example, armour pieces from the same set aren’t guaranteed to have skills from the same Path: you cannot use the Ancient Tree Champion and Rally: Ironclad abilities at the same time because they are on different sides of the Alignment spectrum. This is meant to push players into creating unique hybrid mixed sets that all have skills related to one of the paths. 

It is also worth mentioning that skills on the two middle states, the Human and Kemono Paths, can still be triggered when the player reaches the higher path levels. So, if I have Full-Kemono Path affinity, I can still trigger the Rally: Ironclad skill (which only asks you to be on the Kemono-Path state) because I have ascended past it.

A Monstrous Visage

A Monstrous Visage

How to Increase Path Alignment

You can increase your Patn Alignment by crafting and equipping specific armour. Below the Defence rating on each armour piece is the Path rating. You will either see the Full-Human Path or Full-Kemono Path symbol accompanied by a number. This number is how many Human or Kemono points you will earn upon equipping that armour piece.

Most basic armour pieces won’t have an affinity towards either path. You can change this on select pieces via Armour Modification. Using Human-Path Modification will produce armour that has points towards the Human Path, whereas using Kemono-Path Modification will do the same for the Kemono Path. These armour pieces will still retain their base skills even after modification.

Affinity Points

Affinity Points

Here’s an example. The Basara Gauntlets have 10 Human-Path points. So, if I were to equip this armour piece, I would earn 10 points towards the Pure-Human Path. Similarly, if I were to equip the Roaming Bard Tekko piece, it would earn 10 points towards the Pure-Kemono Path instead. 

One last warning. Using Armour Modification to change the alignment of an armour piece with a skill of the opposing alignment (such as making a piece with a Kemono skill into a Human-Path modification) will not change the skill. It will remain in the original alignment and be unusable, so don’t waste your resources (unless you only care about the fashion, of course).

Full-Path Example

Here is an example of a complete set of armour utilising the Path Alignment System. I will be aiming to reach Full-Kemono Path status using the following armour:

  • Head: Roaming Bard Mengu (Kemono-Path)
  • Chest: Roaming Bard Uwagi (Kemono-Path)
  • Arms: Roaming Bard Tekko
  • Legs: Young Samurai Haidate (Kemono-Path)
  • Feet: Grithide Tabi (Kemono-Path)

From this setup, I have 210 Kemono-Path points, putting me just into the Pure-Kemono Path state. This means that I can utilise the Presence of Mind skill from the chest piece (which needs Kemono-Path rank) as well as the Resurrection skill from the legs (which needs Full-Kemono Path rank). Alongside those skills I have Recovery Boost, Savage and Health Boost to round out the build. 

Full Kemono-Path Mixed Set

Full Kemono-Path Mixed Set

There are many combinations like this on both sides of the Alignment scale, so mix and match different armour pieces to find what works for you. 

That was everything you needed to know about the Human and Kemono Path system in Wild Hearts. Happy hunting!

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