I noticed that in the beginning of the anime Kirito was downloading something on his computer, and then played SAO with the NerveGear after it was finished downloading.

so my question is how would you get a game for the NerveGear and install it on/in on the NerveGear in the anime?

  • 2
    i assume it's similar to current VR headsets. the game is on the PC and the headset is a controller connected by something like USB or Bluetooth. however i recall reading somewhere that the NerveGear also stores account information which is why Kirito a still had his SAO stats when he started ALO
    – Memor-X
    Dec 7, 2017 at 23:43
  • I rewatched ep 1 and I don't see any point where he is downloading anything. It looks like hes on a forum and watching MMO Stream at the beginning, as they cover the crazy amount of sales of SAO. I also don't think computers are mentioned in the light novel. I believe the nervegear is completely independent as a console.
    – giraffesyo
    Dec 8, 2017 at 6:59

2 Answers 2


I have not read the light novels, but based on two very quick scenes in the anime, Sword Art Online, even Alfheim Online, does not get installed into the NerveGear itself. The game is installed or inserted into a secondary device to which the NerveGear is connected to.

Towards the beginning of episode 1, Kirito is getting ready to log into SAO and we can see the title "Sword Art Online" on a console shortly after putting on the NerveGear

SAO game in console

We see the exact same type of scene later in episode 16, after Agil gives Kirito a hard copy of ALO.

ALO game in console

  • Do you think the thing Kirito was downloading was a firmware thing for the NerveGear? Dec 10, 2017 at 4:34
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    @dimwittedanimal The novel doesn't mention anything like a download that was required beforehand, and to be honest, I don't believe the anime actually portrayed him downloading anything. OP was probably just misinterpreting the scene, seeing as even though Kirito had the game (due to priority shipping being a Beta Tester) he still had to wait for the game's servers to go live.
    – TUSF
    Dec 12, 2017 at 9:19
  • Hmm interesting, I always thought those were cartridges to be inserted into the NerveGear, and not a separate console.
    – Kidburla
    Feb 26, 2022 at 23:26
  • watching it again I still think it's just a cartridge even though it's not clear from the scene. but (a) it has a flap above it which needs to be closed prior to starting the link, which would be pointless if it was a separate device, (b) the colour scheme exactly matches the nerve gear colour scheme. having said that, I doubt the cartridge contains the entire SAO game data. it's probably just a license and some kind of client. if SAO is a cloud streamed game, the client itself could be absolutely tiny and fit on there, otherwise the cartridge may just contain a downloader for the full client.
    – Kidburla
    Apr 4, 2022 at 14:11

He wasnt downloading anything, Only thing on his computer was an article and a video that he watched until the end. (more then likely what you saw)

However very few games now are complete having 0 day patches and dlc content. Most likely content gets downloaded directly to the cartridge from the headset.

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