Exploring self-assembled nanostructures with controllable architectures has been a central theme in nanoscience and nanotechnology because of the tantalizing perspective of directly integrating such bottom-up nanostructures into functional devices. Here, the growth of kinked single-crystal In2O3 nanostructures consisting of a nanocone base and a nanowire tip with an epitaxial and defect-free transition is demonstrated for the first time. By tailoring the growth conditions, a reliable switching of the growth direction from  to  or  is observed when the Au catalyst nanoparticles at the apexes of the nanocones shrink below ≈100 nm. The natural formation of kinked nanoarchitectures at constant growth pressures is related to the size-dependent free energy that changes for different orientations of the nanowires. The results suggest that the mechanism of forming such kinked nanocone-nanowire nanostructures in well-controlled growth environment may be universal for a wide range of functional materials. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.