Sword Art Online Watch Order: A Complete Guide To Watch SAO

Sword Art Online is an anime adaptation based on the light novel series with the same name. It follows protagonist Kirito as he enters a virtual reality MMORPG called Sword Art Online.

This story has continued to evolve since its first appearance in 2012 until its final season in 2020.

SAO always presents a good story, and is perfect for fans who love the game world.

Try to watch the first season of this anime, then you will definitely be addicted to the next seasons.

List of Chronological Sword Art Online Series

Sword Art Online (25 Episodes)
Sword Art Online: Extra Edition (1 Episode)
Sword Art Online IIPhantom Bullet” (24 Episodes)
*Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online (12 Episodes)
Sword Art Online Movie: Ordinal Scale (1 Episode)
Sword Art Online: Alicization (24 Episodes)
Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld (12 Episodes)
Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld 2nd Season (11 Episodes)

Details of The Sword Art Online Watch Guide

So here are is the details of how you can follow to watch all of the chronological Sword Art Online series.

*The next contents below may contains spoilers, just stop here if you don’t want to be spoiled.

1. Sword Art Online

sao 1

(July – December 2012)

Sword Art Online (SAO) is set in 2022, where virtual reality has progressed by leaps and bounds. In Sword Art Online, players control in-game characters with their minds through the use of a helmet called NerveGear.

Kirito along with 10,000 players logged in at the same time. However, they discovered that they were unable to Logout or contact the Game Master.

Moreover, to get out of the game, players must complete the game by defeating all the bosses on 100 floors.

In addition, players will actually die in the real world if they die in-game, run out of HP, or forcefully remove their helmets.

2. Sword Art Online: Extra Edition

sao extra

(December 2013)

This story is a special episode which is a continuation of the first season.

This special episode tells of an underwater quest because Yui wants to see whales with Kirito in Alfeim Online. However, Leafa/Suguha can’t swim. Asuna and the other girls decided to train Suguha in the swimming pool in the real world to help her join the quest.

3. Sword Art Online II

sao II

(July – December 2014)

In this arc, there are mysterious player-killers who have the ability to kill other players using guns inside the game. Kirito is forced by the Japanese government to look into a game called Gun Gale Online, which has become wildly popular among young users.

Along with his friend Sinon, Kirito tries to find out who Death Gun is before more people are killed.

*Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online

sword art online watch order

This is an alternative setting/version of SAO II that comes with other characters.

This story is about Karen Kohiruimaki, A shy university student in Tokyo. She feels that there is no place for her in the real world because she is shorter than other girls her age. She hasn’t had much luck making friends with other young girl her own age.

But things began to change when she discovered a VR game called Gun Gale Online (GGO). She may act as she pleases within the game, unlike her actual self.

4. Sword Art Online Movie: Ordinal Scale

sao watch order

(February 2017)

In this movie, a continuation of the Sword Art Online anime series, a new game called Ordinal Scale has been created. Augma is a new VR gaming machine that was created to compete with the NerveGear.

The Argumented-Reality system installed in Augma allows players to enter the game, and it is quite safe since players will not lose consciousness. As a result, the market for Augma is exploding. Ordinal Scale (OS) is the most popular game that uses this machine, a game deliberately developed for the Augma system. Kirito and Asuna took part in the game, but they quickly discovered that it wasn’t simply a game.

5. Sword Art Online: Alicization

sword art online watch order

(October 2018 – March 2019)

The Alicization arc starts off by showing the current timeline which is 3 years after the SAO incident. After much research and experimenting, Kirito and several others create a program called Soul Translator which allows the human brain to connect directly with a virtual world. In the experiment Kirito lived in a virtual world called Underworld.

However, once they successfully enter the virtual world and start exploring, suddenly one of Death Gun attacks him. Kirito was in critical condition and finally he was taken secretly to a secret military facility, Kirito was healed using Soul Translator for his wound recovery.

6. Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld

sword art online watch order

(October – December 2019)

This arc tells the story of Kirito who fell into a coma after successfully defeating Quinella pontifex from the Axiom Church. That’s what caused the robbers to happen so Kirito’s Fluctlight was damaged. Realizing the dangerous circumstances, particularly for those living near the Axiom Church, Alice drove Kirito who was still unconscious to their native village of Ruild and forgot about all of their unresolved problems. Here, Alice was just living a peaceful ordinary life while hoping Kirito would wake up soon.

But as it turned out, a tragedy occurred. Alice realized that the Dark Territory had begun to invade the human kingdom. For this reason, Alice Synthesis Thirty promised to defeat the Dark Territory and defend the world that Kirito and Eugeo had been trying to protect.

After hearing the news, and wanting to protect Kirito and Asuna, Leafa and Sinon did not remain silent. They decided to catch up to the Undeworld.

7. Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld 2nd Season

sword art online watch order

(July – September 2020)

The final battle against the Dark Territory continues. 20,000 players from the real world managed to enter the Underworld world, they began to massacre the troops from the Human Empire and the Dark Territory at once.

Asuna, together with friends work together to fight the American players. Meanwhile Alice is caught by Vector, then taken away to the World’s End Altar. Unexpectedly the enemy deployed another human player troops which made the fight even more difficult.

Suddenly a flash of light appeared from the sky aimed at the troops, it turned out that the reinforcements of Solus the Sun Goddess were none other than Sinon, a friend of Kirito and Asuna.


Sword Art Online is a good anime. Maybe not a great anime, but it’s still one that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching.

This a story about how the internet can connect people from across time and space – but what it really shows us, in the end, is that we need to be careful. The virtual world of Sword Art Online might seem like an escape from reality for some, but as one character puts it: “It’s not just our lives on the line here. It’s all those innocent players who don’t know any better than to log into this death trap. We have to protect them at all costs!”

Read more: Naruto Watch Order

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