Immunotherapy has been a mainstay of treatment for metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) since the introduction of high-dose interleukin-2. Recently, improved knowledge of immune regulation and tumor-host immune interactions has led to the development of several novel immunotherapies. Immune checkpoint blockade showed promise in early clinical trials -- eventually leading to FDA approval of nivolumab (anti-PD-1) as a second-line treatment for mRCC. Despite encouraging results, PD-1 blockade alone does not achieve durable responses in the majority of patients treated. Improved biomarkers for patient selection, tumor vaccines and combination therapy may augment the efficacy of existing immunotherapies. This review summarizes recent progress in immunotherapy for RCC, focusing on a discussion of emerging agents.