The acute symptoms of gout are triggered by the inflammatory response to monosodium urate crystals, mediated principally by macrophages and neutrophils. Innate immune pathways are of key importance in the pathogenesis of gout, in particular the activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome, which leads to the release of IL-1β and other pro-inflammatory cytokines. The orchestration of this pro-inflammatory cascade involves multiple intracellular and extracellular receptors and enzymes interacting with environmental influences that modulate the inflammatory state. Furthermore, the resolution of inflammation in gout is becoming better understood. This Review highlights recent advances in our understanding of both positive and negative regulatory pathways, as well as the genetic and environmental factors that modulate the inflammatory response. Some of these pathways can be manipulated and present novel therapeutic opportunities for the treatment of acute gout attacks.