Fanfic Recs: Sword Art Online

Proof that the remaining 10% is worth having your HP to zero here:

These are recommendations made by Tropers for Sword Art Online Fan Fics, all of which have to be signed to stay on the page. Feel free to add a fanfic of your own to the list, but remember to use the template found here.

Do warn when a fanfic may head into romantic or non-canon territory. Some people just don't like it, and as we all know, Shipping is Serious Business.

You can also add to the current recommendations if you want. Refrain from posting Conversation in the Main Page though; that goes in the discussion page.

Fairy Dance of Death by Catsy (Trope Page)
  • Recommended by Mysterius, Tsukishijin, blueespeon, lampyridae, DalekInvasion, Flairina
  • Synopsis: What if Akihiko Kayaba had created the Death Game of Alfheim Online rather than the floating castle of Aincrad—a world in which the nine player races are explicitly in competition to escape the game, and player killing was not a crime but rather a predictable by-product of human nature and tribalism in the face of mutually exclusive goals? AU reboot of the SAO universe.

  • 1 Review
  • The Prince of Swords by ToumaFF
    • Recommended by MrTerrorist
    • Synopsis: Kazuto was always exceptionally talented, but limited by his own idea of kindness. Having been corrected at an early age, he excels through life without much of a purpose. Now trapped in a rather gruesome death game of his own choice, he will attempt to break though it as Kirito, the famed Prince of Swords. Kirito/Multi
    • Comments: So what would happen if Kirito was never a loner and was taught to care about others? You will have this fanfic. Kirito is not only nice guy, but he isn't shy with the ladies and treats them well, has leadership skills and leads a badass of a guild composed of his Battle Harem! Highly recommended.
  • 2 Reviews
  • Fairy Dance Alternate by Knowledgeseeker66
    • Recommended by blueespeon
    • Status: Ongoing
    • Synopsis: What if it was Kirito's mind that was trapped by Sugou Nobuyuki rather than Asuna's? How differently would the events of the Fairy Dance arc play out? Will Asuna and Kirito still be able to earn their happy ending or will there be a more tragic outcome?
    • Pairings: Kirito/Asuna
    • Comments: Some torture and threat of rape; nothing that hasn't occurred in canon, but here it's to a somewhat higher degree.
    • TVTropes Page
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  • Swords of the Living Dead by nanaya88
    • Recommended by blueespeon, Treguard, lampyridae, Flairina
    • Synopsis: Rather than a castle floating in the sky, Kayaba Akihiko has created a world where the dead refuse to stay put in their graves. Players fight to reclaim Aincrad, a massive city spanning 100 districts, from the grasp of the undead. But when they find themselves trapped in this nightmarish world, zombie-hunting ceases to be all fun and games. Welcome to SLD. Follows Kirito and Sinon.
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  • The Other Blacksmith by AKAAkira
    • Recommended by lampyridae, Kazeto, Flairina
    • Synopsis: If Sinon had been in SAO…then Kirito would've gotten multiple complaints on a scamming blacksmith, and in attempting to resolve this, bite off more than he can chew.
  • 1 Review
  • Aincrad Retold by Agent 94
    • Recommended by RiptideZ
    • Status: Ongoing
    • Synopsis: Set in an alternate take upon the events of Sword Art Online, Aincrad Retold bumps the Death Game’s player count up to 15000 players and changes the setting to a semi-international stage. The author shows a notable and almost unparalleled understanding of medieval combat and strategy, the gaming industry, the dark atmosphere of SAO, character interaction, and world building that keeps you invested in the world and having a fun time. Instead of keeping to SAO’s standard fantasy-action formula, Aincrad Retold pulls readers into a more realistic take of the world of Sword Art Online. Most notable of the story is the author’s understanding of medieval combat, a realistic interpretation of the cast, and his focus on fixing issues found in the SAO story. As the story summary reads: “Dangerous dungeons and creatures, ancient grudges and secrets, everlasting war and chaos in the castle of Aincrad. The fake reality, now the prison of 15000 unfortunate souls due to the dreams of a madman. How far must they struggle, what would they destroy and who would they sacrifice to earn their freedom? Features dungeon crawling, guild politics and international players.”
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  • The Kirita Chronicles by Knowledgeseeker66
    • Recommended by blueespeon, DalekInvasion
    • Status: Ongoing
    • Synopsis: What would have happened if certain characters' genders were altered while others remained the same? How differently would certain events play out & affect the development of certain relationships? Who will live & who will die? See how the alterations of certain characters' genders & histories will cause ripples throughout the story.
    • TVTropes Page
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  • Kadyn and Camilla Saga by Catsy
    • Recommended by TypeProton
    • Synopsis: Adventures of a husband-and-wife team through the game, told from Kadyn's first-person perspective. Currently consists of 3 works:
    • Comments: A well written set of stories showing the world through the eyes of ordinary players. Though the author has been wanting to rewrite Troubles Shared as this was the author's early take on SAO.
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  • Castle Carnation, by addtheletters
    • Recommended by Flairina
    • Synopsis: Kayaba's dream was altered, polluted due to events beyond his control. It's not how he envisioned it, but Aincrad is complete. His game is complete. Will the players of this game survive a twisted journey of flowers, blood, and guns?
    • Comments: Like Fairy Dance of Death and Swords of the Living Dead featured above, this fanfic takes SAO's initial setting, twists it, and by doing so makes the story new and intriguing all over again. If you enjoyed those, you will not regret reading this one.

    SAO - The Century Voyage by Johnny Wycliffe
    • Recommended by Flairina
    • Synopsis: Kirito is a young man who is about to receive an update to his software. Unfortunately for him, his update is flawed, and he gets a glimpse of a world he wasn't meant to see... Ours. AU adventure.
    • Comments: Takes the "we could just be brains in jars for all we know" idea and runs with it by semi inverting canon. Everyone from SAO was "born" inside the game- and they didn't have a clue. Features some nice twists and a couple very interesting "world" mechanics.

    The Dual Blade Wielder by CloudyLightning
    • Recommended by Faliara
    • Synopsis: After a car accident that left him frail, he could only wish and dream of being able to walk further than ten meters. Thanks to a game developer, he was given a VRMMORPG that granted his wish. Sword Art Online.
    • Status: In progress.
    • Comments: This. This is exactly the kind of story I want to see in the archives, OOC be damned. Why aren't there more stories like this?

    Game Over by Frog-kun
    • Recommended by lampyridae
    • Synopsis: There's always been something fragile about euthanasia. She doesn't realize it until it's her brother's plug she's pulling. Kirito, Suguha, and a world where two years is too long to wait. No OCs.
  • 1 Review
  • Link to Reality by Queen of Corners
    • Recommended by Faliara, Catsy
    • Synopsis: Reboot of A Lfheim Arc. After everything they'd been through in SAO, Kirito and Asuna find themselves trapped in yet another virtual reality setting. This time, however, they don't quite know the requirements for getting out.
    • Status: Complete

    GLF-of-GGO by AKAAkira
    • Recommended by Shiakou
    • Synopsis: Klein's first impressions of Gun Gale Online are quite different from what he expected. There were a lot of flowers, for one thing.
    • Comments: Fact One: Most players in GGO think of Kirito as a girl. Fact Two: Most of the GGO arc takes place in public matches where a player's actions are watched by viewers. Fact Three: Japan has a sizable Yuri fandom. Result: A very meta exploration of shipping and fanboys.
    • Status: One-shot/Complete

    Rebuild of Sword Art Online by Zerban Da Great
    • Recommended by Feranard
    • Synopsis: To quote various users: "Kirito has a personality, Klein is the patron saint of bros, the boss fights are described using actual battlefield tactics and description, Sachi is not a pushover, Kayaba has an unequivocal motivation, etc."
    • Status: Dead, the author hasn't posted in months and has moved on to bigger and better things.
    • Comments: It is gritty, it is dark, and it is beautiful. Do not get thrown off by the syntax from the first chapter, it only serves to set up the verisimilitude, or realism, of the fic.


    Fate Revelation Online by Daniel-Gudman (Trope Page)
    • Recommended by Leid
    • Crossover with: Fate/stay night
    • Synopsis: Ilya likes to play video games, and in the time she has remaining, Shirou is more than willing to play the new VR game with her. But when they are trapped inside the game, [Sword Art Online], they determine something even more distressing: Kayaba Akihiko is definitely a Magus.
    • Comments: What when you apply Nasuverse into the Sword Art Online story? You get this excellent story, featuring the cast of both series as they try to survive.
    • Status: In progress.

    Zero Art Online by Racke
    • Recommended by CryptIXeeper
    • Synopsis: A cross-over between Zero no Tsukaima and Sword Art Online, Louise gets bodily reverse-summoned into Sword Art Online, just as Kayaba's Forced Teleportation gathers all 10,000 players for his announcement. The Death Game is on. The story is short, but well worth the read.
    • Pairing: Louise/Klein (Nothing happens aside from a kiss, and that takes place when she's 18.)
  • 1 Review
  • Halkegenia Online by Triggerhappy (Trope Page)
    • Recommended by HK87, Savoie, lampyridae, aightaight, SayuriUliana, Mithrl
    • Crossover with The Familiar of Zero
    • Synopsis: Louise got her wish to summon the most impressive familiar in her class when she ripped the entire Alfheim setting out of cyberspace and dumped it over Tristain. There's a giant tree looming over the academy, 61,000 "elves" who don't know why they're suddenly able to feel pain, monsters running amok in the countryside, and one particular black swordsman with an awful sense of deja vu. But what's become of Asuna, and what will the local schemers make of these new arrivals?
    • Comments: The story's epic scope, well-thought out setting, refusal to adhere to canon railroading, and its weekly update schedule resulting in being one of the longest SAO & Zn T fanfics ever written, make this a much recommended read.
  • 3 Reviews
  • Sword Ed Online by monkeycyborgninja
    • Recommended by: ErikHowlett
    • Crossover with: Ed, Edd n Eddy
    • Status: On-Going.
    • Synopsis: "This wasn't just another scam gone wrong, it was a full-blown disaster! Follow the Eds as they are flung into the virtual world of Sword Art Online, and struggle to survive this horrid death game. Will they live long enough to see the game's end, or die trying?"
    • Comments: When Ed wins a contest from the back of a manga, and subsequently receives a copy of SAO and a set of NerveGear, Eddy immediately jumps at the chance to scam the Cul-de-sac kids out of their money with "Ed's Cyber Cafe- Featuring Sword Art Online." However, after some peer pressure, the Eds enter the world of SAO first as Richmond (Eddy), Einstein (Double-D), and Lothar (Ed), only to find they are now trapped in the game. While the idea comes off a bit odd, the author does a great job of showing how this experience is changing the Eds and forcing them to mature as people to try and survive the Death Game. Interestingly enough, the first of the trio to get this treatment is Eddy. With their imprisonment being mostly his fault, Eddy recognizes the pain his greed has caused them, resolving to clear the game and save his friends. This fic sadly doesn't have the recognition it deserves, even though its writing and characterization is great. It's only three chapters long so far, but definitely worth the read.

    Cirno Online by Fortunam
    • Recommended by ultimomant
    • Crossover with: Touhou
    • Synopsis: Cirno was playing at the lake when she noticed Daiyousei was missing. She searched her house for any signs of her best friend and failed to find some until a gap yokai told her that she's playing a game and she wants Cirno to play it too. What would become of Cirno in the world of Aincrad and pure sword fighting with the confusing aid of Yukari?
    • Comments: What's great is Cirno's character development from a ditz who only cares about finding her lost friend to a seasoned warrior ready to fight for her guild mates.
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  • Change of Fate by Vathara
    • Recommended by: Angelform, The 17th Immortal
    • Crossover with: Star Wars
    • Status: Complete
    • Synopsis: "On the planet of Corellia, Kayaba released Old Republic Online... just before the Clone Wars..."
    • Comments: The story covers the aftermath of the ORO incident (canon SAO), with the 6,000 survivors waking up in the Corellian Jedi temple, just in time for Order 66. As usual for Vathara, it has a good blend of action and character exploration.

    Jagged Alliance Online by Gideon020
    • Recommended by: HashiriyaR32
    • Crossover with: Jagged Alliance
    • Status: Ongoing.
    • Synopsis: Argus caught the attention of the entire world when they announced that their first FullDive] MMORPG would be a remake of Jagged Alliance 2. 1 million players are now trapped inside a virtual and greatly expanded Arulco, unable to log out until they liberate this banana republic from the iron fist of Queen Deidranna.
    • Comments: One of the least likely, yet interesting SAO crossovers as of late. The author so far has done a great job of putting down what would happen if this game did get re-made and the large number of changes and expansions it will need.

    Soul Ablaze by Victory3114
    • Recommended by Flairina
    • Crossover with: Pokémon
    • Status: Ongoing.
    • Synopsis: Our life can be found in our souls. Our entire consciousness, our thoughts, our feelings. There is a soul in everyone, be it human or Pokemon. And when you fight alongside your partners, your souls will resonate through the link, and burn brighter. They will be set ablaze, and with this power, this bond, this game of death will be cleared. Poke SAO X-over! Multi-POV.
    • Comments: A very well-done crossover, featuring a world where the old Pokemon games were unpopular, but beloved enough by Kayaba Akihiko that he finally made what the real world has been begging for for years: a Pokemon MMO. Everyone's initial partner Pokemon matches them well, and their existence prevents anyone from just ruminating on their thoughts all alone like some stories do, making the narrative and dialogue flow quite well. Moves somewhat slowly, but you might not even notice since there's always enough excitement to keep you reading anyways.

    Highschool SAO by gabriel blessing
    • Recommended by Shadow Arisato, The 17th Immortal
    • Crossover with: High School DXD
    • Status: Long one-shot; completed
    • Synopsis: Rias Gremory wasn't certain what to expect when she found herself in a hospital hearing the wish of a boy dressed all in black. She definitely was surprised by what the price of his wish would be.
    • Comments: A very long one-shot that's around 38,000 words, but it's really worth the read. It's an Alternate Universe Fic in which Kirito asks Rias to get Asuna out of ALO before he actually went into the VRMMORPG like he did in canon. But there is a price he has to pay, and he's willing to do anything if Asuna can be saved. gabriel blessing created this in an attempt to show that one could create a fic about either series without adding OCs that are self-inserts or overpowered.

    XCOM Online by Sasahara17
    • Recommended by: Stratagemini, The 17th Immortal, Blazing Guns
    • Crossover with: XCOM: Enemy Unknown
    • Status: On hiatus (Author hasn't been online in three months)
    • Synopsis: What if, instead of Aincrad, Kayaba partnered with 2K Games to revive an old franchise as the first VRMMO, X-Com? Now, Kirito and Company must make it through a death game that claimed 3,000 lives (out of 10,000) in the first month alone. Note: Has elements from original XCOM and New COM along with the Enemy Within expansion.
    • Pairing(s): Kirito/Asuna
    • Tags: XCOM
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