When Sword Art Online was first released in the form of a light novel, people didn’t really expect the franchise to become so popular. Still, the anime adaptation launched Sword Art Online into orbit and it is today one of the most popular modern-day anime among the younger generation. The combination of science-fiction and fantasy is a perfect blend for all isekai lovers, with the characters being one of the show’s greatest aspects.
In order to honor the great characters of Sword Art Online, we have prepared a list of the strongest Sword Art Online characters so far. The characters will be taken from different narrative arcs. You’ll find out some basic information about them, from which you will be able to deduce why we have positioned them as we have on our list.
Strongest Sword Art Online Characters
The list is going to include a total of 20 characters. They are going to be ranked from 20th to 1st place, with the 20th being the weakest on this list, and the 1st one being the strongest.
She is the chief of the Sylph clan. Kirito saves her from an attack by the Salamanders during the negotiations between the Sylphs and the Cait Siths by facing and defeating their champion, Eugene, and funds their faction with all the money he raised in the game.
To thank him, she organizes a joint expedition with her friend Alicia Rue, the leader of the Cait Sith clan, to help her pass the “Great Quest” of ALfheim Online by reaching the inaccessible top of the World Tree, and save Asuna.
Agil is a grown man who also loves online video games, and one of Kirito’s closest friends within SAO. In the game he runs an armory, while in the real world he runs a pub. He joins some raids organized by guilds. His weapon is a large ax, so he is mainly based on heavy attacks.
Met by Kirito in SAO for the first time, Silica is a thirteen-year-old girl who, in a relatively short space of time, learns to tame a very rare creature, a dragon (named Pina), despite being a mid-level player. She enjoys a reputation that has caused numerous players to flatter her and try to soften her (being a Japanese idol), causing her to overestimate herself.
She usually distances herself from male players who offer her in-game weddings, despite her young age. One day Silica gets lost in a forest, losing her own creature in turn, but, luckily for her, she is promptly saved by Kirito. The boy is incredibly comfortable and willing to help her, as her features remind him of her younger sister.
Thanks to the fundamental help of Kirito, Silica manages to bring her little dragon back to life and discovers that a so-called “beater” has accompanied her, but she does not fear him, since she believes that there is nothing to be afraid of in being next to a so kind person. In ALO, Silica is an integral part of the guild that Kirito and Asuna found, along with Lisbeth, Leafa, Klein, Sinon and Yui.
Klein is a novice player, who meets Kirito on the official opening day of Sword Art Online and, having recognized him as a beta tester, asks him the courtesy to teach him the basics. The two split up on the same day, after Kayaba illustrates to all players what he calls the SAO tutorial.
Klein proves to be an open and sociable person, who defends and respects Kirito despite the predominant and negative opinion of the beta testers. When they meet again, Klein holds the position of head of the Fuurinkazan guild, whose members have weapons and equipment mainly devoted to the color red and aesthetically follow those of the samurai of the Sengoku era.
Although they don’t travel alongside each other, Klein regularly meets Kirito and his friends, and occasionally undertakes quests with them.
She is the idol of Ordinal Scale and many players (including Keiko, Rika and Suguha), number one in the leaderboard and invincible thanks to the Ordinal system. She creates songs: her dream is to become a diva and to perform on stage, in front of thousands of people.
Some doubt her nature and suspect her of being a real person, appearing larger than life to a non-playable character.
In reality, Yuna is an artificial intelligence modeled from one of the four thousand victims of Sword Art Online: the daughter of Professor Shigemura, Yūna Shigemura, a weak bard singer in Aincrad and love of Eiji who was among the first victims, surviving since with the data of Sword Art Online and that the latter tries with the professor to “resuscitate” by recovering the memories of all the players who knew her.
15. Vassago Casals
Miller’s spiritual brother and friend, which is why he calls him “Brother”. He participates as his right hand in the private commando which, in real life and ordered by the NSA, attacks and invades the Ocean Turtle, the mobile base of the Rath group where the comatose body of Kirito and Asuna is located.
This is done in order to seize ALICE technology which, as an individual, he does not care about, seeing there only a pretext to be of service to his friend, while having the opportunity to be paid to have fun and flourish in combat, violence and murder.
Yūki was born on May 23, 2011. In real life she appears as a brown-haired girl with a bob and has a very slim build, while her ALO avatar has long black-purplish hair and red eyes; she wears obsidian armor, a purple skirt, and a thin black scabbard hanging from her waist.
According to the Sleeping Knight guild leader, Yūki was a happy person to make the most of her life despite her plight, stating that some things can only be communicated by fighting. Renowned for creating the Eleven-Stroke Original Sword Skill Mother’s Rosario, she dies of AIDS on March 29, 2026 at the age of fifteen, yielding her ability to Asuna, of whom she was a great friend.
Although mentioned anecdotally at the very beginning of the sub-arc through a legend concerning it (discovered by Kirito, Eugeo and Alice of the bones of a dragon – as well as the Blue Rose Sword, of which he was the user – in the midst of a treasure in the Northern Caverns) and briefly presented (Cardinal’s story to Kirito and Fanatio’s introspections), he is the seventh Integrity Knight to be physically introduced in history.
The oldest, experienced and powerful fighter of their Order and the Empire (also, closest to Administrator among his brothers in arms), master of arms of Alice Synthesis Thirty – whom he spiritually considers his “daughter” – thus that master and great love of his direct younger sister, Fanatio Synthesis Two (who, obsessed by the image he would have of her both as a Knight and as a woman, has maintained a neurosis about her femininity for a century).
According to the memories of Kirito, fictitious and instilled in him, Eugeo is his best friend since childhood in the world of Underworld, together with Alice Zuberg.
Eugeo is, in fact, the first person the protagonist meets after his awakening in the mysterious and gloomy world of Underworld, and who welcomes him to his village, where he works as a woodcutter.
He comes into possession of the Sword of the Blue Rose, although he is unable to use it. After spending five days cutting Gigas, a gigantic cedar, a party is set up in Rulid Village for the event, during which Eugeo reveals his intentions to become a knight.
11. Death Gun
The first Death gun was Sinon’s friend and suitor in the real world, he uses the character of Spiegel in GGO, but uses the Death Gun avatar to shoot XeXeeD, who had proven himself the strongest player.
Kyōji hated XeXeeD because he had spread the word that increasing the agility parameter was the best choice, and Spiegel’s progress was completely based on this, but then XeXeeD himself had revealed that focusing on agility was an ineffective choice. Kyōji later attempts to kill Sinon in the real world.
The second was a former member of a PK guild in Sword Art Online, the Laughing Coffin, Shōichi, along with his brother Kyōji and another member of the Laughing Coffin, find a way to kill GGO players in real life as well. Subsequently, he enters the Bullet of Bullets tournament under the name of Sterben to kill the most skilled players.
He usually paralyzes his opponent with a sniper rifle, then gives him the final blow with his illusory “Death Gun”, a .30-caliber pistol. When Shōichi shoots a player in the virtual world, his brother and other member of the Laughing Coffin make sure to kill him in the real one with a lethal injection. His avatar in SAO was Zaza Red Eyes.
The main antagonist of the Alicization Beginning sub-arc, she rules over the Human Empire in the Underworld. She is the creator of the Church of the Axiom as well as of the Module of Piety, which dwells and serves to appease every Knight of Integrity, and the enemy of Cardinal.
Their shared story is told by Cardinal to Kirito in the “Great Library”, where he takes them and Eugeo to safety after their escape (and flight). She spends most of her time resting in her quarters on the 100th floor of the Great Cathedral in Centoria.
9. Kirigaya Suguha / Leafa
She is Kirito’s adoptive sister and cousin. Suguha (sometimes called “Sugu”) is a diligent student who has an interest in sports (in fact she has practiced kendo for eight years). After Kazuto gets trapped in the world of SAO, Suguha decides to play ALO, under the nickname “Leafa”.
She has feelings for Kazuto, but she doesn’t know that his feelings for Asuna are too strong for anything to come between them. She accidentally encounters Kirito in ALO, in which the players do not keep their real features, helping him in the search and rescue of Asuna. When she realizes the depth of Kirito’s love for Asuna, and after realizing that Kirito is Kazuto, she decides to give up on him.
8. General Eugene
He is the brother of the chief of the Salamaders as well as his second. He is a renowned swordsman: before being defeated by Kirito, he was tacitly considered to be the strongest player in ALfheim Online. Galvanized by his fight, he hopes to face Kirito again in single combat, his motivation in the game being to face opponents at his level.
In the story of the movie Ordinal Scale, he is one of the players loyal to virtual reality games who appear in an online report on the decline in server traffic, and express their reluctance to play Ordinal Scale: he brags to the screen then gets spoofed by Alicia Rue. He participates with his friends and their allies in the final confrontation against the very powerful Boss of the 100th Tier of New Aincrad.
In the War of Underworld sub-arc, he rescues Kirito and his allies in the Underworld along with other ALO and GGO players.
7. Asada Shino / Sinon
GGO player, Sinon is a skilled sniper, also nicknamed “Hecate” for the weapon she uses, a PGM Hécate II. After losing her father at an early age, she became very protective of her mother, whose mood became very fragile following the loss of her husband.
After getting involved in an armed robbery, Shino is traumatized and begins to fear weapons and men, paranoia that turned her into a victim of bullying during high school. She decides to participate in GGO, in which the fire injuries are fictitious, to try to overcome her phobia of her.
She teaches the basics of the game to Kirito, who she initially mistakes for a girl due to the very feminine features of his avatar in this VRMMORPG. Sinon also appears in ALO as a Caith Sith archer, helping Kirito retrieve the Excalibur sword.
Initially, Alice was an apprentice of the sacred arts with Sister Arizaya, and brought lunch to Eugeo and Kirito every day. She one day she gets lost along the way and she realizes she has taken the wrong path once she approaches the Dark Territory, where she ends the World of Humans, when she finds herself in front of a fierce struggle between knights.
Frightened, the girl tries to hurry away and falls within the confines of the hostile territory, but she is promptly saved by Kirito and Eugeo. Entering, albeit unintentionally, into the Dark Territory, Alice breaks a taboo and is therefore destined to undergo an execution by the Knight of Integrity. When he arrives to look for Alice, Eugeo is paralyzed by fear of her, and Kirito does not have time to save the girl before she is taken away.
Six years later, a ghostly vision of her unfolds before Kirito’s eyes, revealing that he is waiting for him in the Cathedral.
Initially a character present in the side stories dedicated to the world of SAO, he will then cover the role of support PG in ALO, in the form of “Pixie”. Yui, mistaken at first glance for a lost child, turns out to be an artificial intelligence program within the game. Her full operational name is “MHCP v.1” (“Mental Health-Counseling Program”), also called “Yui” for gamers.
The main purpose of this AI is to monitor the emotions and feelings of the players, to be by their side and to help them. Following the radical change that the world of SAO has undergone during the first official opening day, she is strictly forbidden from any contact with the players, and her function is lost.
Not being able to help but observe the suffering of the players, her encounter with Kirito and Asuna presents her for the first time with feelings of joy and peace. She is initially mistaken for a lost child with amnesia, so the two decide to keep her under their wing. Her true identity is discovered when, as an artificial program, her cancellation from SAO is decreed.
Yui is rescued by Kirito, who stores her data in his NerveGear. Yui usually refers to Kirito as “dad” and Asuna as “mom”.
4. Sugou Noboyuki / Oberon
The main antagonist of the second story arc, Nobuyuki is the director of the research institute “RECTO Progress Inc.”. Chosen by Asuna’s father to marry his daughter, he was adopted by the Yūki family for that reason.
He is responsible for the non-awakening of three hundred people connected to SAO, including Asuna, after the VRMMORPG (“Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game”) is completed. They are all victims of forced transfer and stay in the virtual world of ALO, in which Nobuyuki plays the avatar of the “King of the Elves Oberon”, and is intent on studying possible enslavement of the human mind induced by “FullDive” technology.
He has Asuna locked up and, despite holding her as a prisoner, he often visits her and indicates her as “Titania”, “Queen of the Fairies”. Using his system commands, he gives Kirito, who has reached the top of the great tree Yggdrasil to save Asuna, a bitter defeat, and tries to rape Asuna, but the two are saved by the “Ghost Program” of Akihiko Kayaba, Nobuyuki’s old acquaintance. always experienced as a rival.
After seeing all his plans go to waste, Nobuyuki, blinded by hatred, will try to kill Kirito even in the real world, an attempt that will fail and cost him his freedom.
Asuna is one of the first people with whom Kirito will form a friendship. Asuna is famous for her incredible speed, so much so that she is nicknamed “Asuna the lightning bolt”. After the first meeting with Kirito, the two will separate, and when they meet again, it is revealed that Asuna has become one of the deputy commanders of the “Knights of Blood”, the strongest guild in all of SAO.
Initially, Asuna’s only thought will be to finish the game, believing that every day spent in there is a day lost in the real world; this is until she falls in love with Kirito, realizing that despite being a virtual world, the relationship is real.
2. Kayaba Akihiko / Heathcliff
Kayaba is the director and creator of Sword Art Online, as well as the main antagonist of the first story arc. It is because of him that players connected to SAO cannot voluntarily leave the virtual world by logging out. It also prevents the NerveGear from being removed by a third party, as the hardware would destroy the player’s brain (through a system that generates very powerful radio waves) if it is forcibly removed.
The goal, according to him, has already been achieved, namely that of creating a real alternative world, and he wishes to limit himself to observing the unfolding of events. In keeping with those intentions, he hides under the respected guild of Heathcliff, leader of the “Knights of Blood” guild, actively participating in the virtual world.
Although his avatar has the protection of immortality, Kayaba does not strictly need such measures, since, as the creator of SAO, he knows perfectly all its game mechanics and the best way to counter them.
Thanks to this protection, Kayaba defeats Kirito in a first duel, but is discovered by the boy, who proves his immortality to the entire “Knights of Blood” guild when, after the boss fight on the 75th floor, he launches an attack on him. surprisingly, it would have been lethal to him.
Although he did not resort to his true features to avoid being identified, Kayaba has also chosen to set his own NerveGear with the order to destroy his brain in case of defeat.
1. Narusaka Kazuto / Kirito
Kirito is the protagonist of Sword Art Online (“SAO”). Having been one of the few beta testers of the game, he was able to test it before the official launch, and he can indeed boast an incredible knowledge of it.
Sometime after the game starts, Kirito joins a guild, hiding from them that he is a Beater (a term coined by Kirito himself to define himself, which is the union of Beta Tester and Cheater), but while exploring dungeons fall into a trap, and Kirito’s companions fall victim to enemies much stronger than themselves.
Kirito, feeling responsible for what happened, will decide to continue his journey to the 100th floor alone without involving other players. Kirito’s skills will further improve when he, mysteriously, one day he notices that he has access to an unknown skill never seen in SAO, the “dual wield”; so as not to provoke the anger or envy of other players, he will try to keep this ability hidden.