Guide to Reading SAO Light Novels

BEFORE YOU START: I based this list on SAO Wikia’s timeline and on the dates I see in the light novels. If ever I have mistakes, please tell me. Also, this guide is still not complete. I will add the links to the translations soon, but you’ll find most of it in baka-tsuki. (You’ll also see this in my main blog! [under the light novel tag])
  • Volume 1: Aincrad Chapters 1-4
  • Volume 8:Early and Late First Day (Aincrad 1st floor, November 2022)
  • Side Story: Aria in the Starless Night
  • Material Edition 7: Continuation: Aria in the Starless Night (Aincrad 2nd Floor, 4 December 2022)
  • Material Edition 8: Rondo of the Transient Sword (Aincrad 2nd Floor, 8 December 2022)
  • Material Edition 9: Monochrome Concerto (Aincrad 3rd Floor, 14 December 2022)
  • Volume 2: Aincrad (SAO Side Stories) Red-nosed Reindeer (Aincrad 46th Floor, December 2023)
  • Volume 2: Aincrad (SAO Side Stories) The Black Swordsman (Aincrad 35th Floor, February 2024)
  • Material Edition 1: The Progressers (Aincrad 56th floor, March 2024)
  • Volume 8: Early and Late A Murder Case in the Area (Aincrad 57th floor, April 2024)
  • Volume 2: Aincrad (SAO Side Stories) Warmth of the Heart (Aincrad 48th Floor, June 2024)
  • Extract from the Web Novel Volume 2, Chapter 2 (takes place mainly near the end of part 2 and start of part 3, not canon)
  • Gaiden - Sound of Water, Sound of Hammer (SAO Lisbeth Side Story)(Aincrad 48th Floor August 2024)
  • Material Edition 4: Cold hand, Warm heart (Aincrad 50th Floor, September 2024)
  • Volume 1: Aincrad Chapters 5-15
  • Extract from the Web Novel Volume 1, Chapter 15 (takes place at the end of said chapter)
  • Volume 1: Aincrad Chapter 16
  • Gaiden - Adult!!! Chapter 16.5
  • Volume 1: Aincrad Chapters 17
  • Volume 2: Aincrad (SAO Side Stories) Morning Dew Girl (Aincrad 22nd Floor, October 2024)
  • Material Edition 6: Algade Showdown (Aincrad 22nd Floor, October 2024)
  • Volume 1: Aincrad chapters 18-25
  • Material Edition 5: Salvia (January 2025, IRL)
  • Volume 3: Fairy Dance
  • Volume 4: Fairy Dance
  • Volume 5: Phantom Bullet
  • Volume 6: Phantom Bullet
  • Volume 7: Mother’s Rosario
  • Material Edition 3: Ceramic Heart
  • Volume 8: Early and Late Caliber (Alfheim, December 2025) (ALO Side Story)
  • Side Story: Caliber SS (an alternate end to the Caliber story found in Volume 8)
  • Side Story: Versus (Accel World Crossover) (Roponggi, April 2026)
  • Volume 9: Alicization Beginning
  • Volume 10: Alicization Running
  • Gaiden - Cradle of the Moon (?, Underworld)
  • Gaiden - “There is but one ultimate way” (August 2026, Underworld)
  • Volume 11: Alicization Turning

Note: It is unknown whether the side stories are canonical or not!
Material Editions: These doujinshis are written by Kawahara under his pen name Kunori Fumio. 

Others you might want to read:




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