Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris features multiple weapons for you to choose from, each with their unique sword skills for you to unlock. Unfortunately, the game hardly explains this mechanic, and some newcomers might go through the entirety of the first act without realizing a few nuances. Here’s our starter guide to help you out.
Note: Once you’ve learned a few of the basics, go ahead and take a look at skill connects, chain bursts, and damaging combos as well as how to unlock Ex skills/character classes. For more information about the game, check out our Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris guides and features hub.
Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris – The basics of weapon skills
One of the first things you’ll notice in Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris is its skill tree menu (seen below). That doesn’t seem much, now, does it? There are only a select few perks to choose from.
However, the rest of the game will open up after you’ve cleared the first chapter. Once you’re done with that, you can customize Kirito’s appearance, complete shrine challenges to unlock additional classes, recruit the characters you’ve met into your party, and, of course, focus on certain sword skill unlocks.
Note: You can zoom out to check the full skill tree via your mouse wheel or right thumbstick.
Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris‘ skill tree has a pool of skill points and skill unlocks shared among all your characters — ie. unlocking a perk on Kirito will mean that it can be used by Eugeo, Alice, or others provided that they meet the requirements.
Sword skills also function in the same way. The game has nine kinds of weapons (more on these in a while) and your party members have their own proficiencies. For instance, Sinon uses bows, Sortiliena uses two-handed swords, and so on. You can see these details in the party screen (seen below):
The various weapon types
These are the nine weapon types in Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris:
- One-handed swords/1H swords
- Two-handed swords/2H swords
- Dual-wielded swords/DW swords
Note: There are no specific “dual-wielded swords” in the game. Instead, you can equip a 1H sword (main weapon) and another 1H sword (sub weapon). That will count as dual-wielding for the purpose of sword skills.
Let’s go back to the skill tree. You’ll realize that Kirito only has one-handed swords and dual-wielding unlocked at the start of the second chapter (you’ll see an image of the former’s skill tree below).
Now, let’s say we check out Sinon’s skills menu. You’ll notice that she only has one sword skill unlocked: Aim & Shoot. You don’t have other options for the sword skills, but you can add combat skills and passive skills if you’ve already unlocked them in the skill tree.
If we check the skill tree again and look at Sinon, you’ll notice that the Bow weapon skills haven’t been unlocked yet even though she’s using that equipment. Again, it’s just the combat skills and passives that are available (if they’ve been unlocked from the shared pool).
Additionally, even if Kirito somehow used different types of weapons during the first chapter (ie. a whip), the sword skill tree for that won’t be unlocked immediately. So, how do we unlock more stuff?
Unlocking more sword skills
Remember all the weapon types in Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris? Here’s the fun part: Kirito can equip all of them with no restrictions. In fact, equipping one will automatically unlock the associated sword skill tree for that weapon.
Note: Weapons can be purchased in North Centoria’s weapons shop, crafted, or found in various treasure chests in open-world environments. If you’re planning on buying them from a shop, be forewarned because they can be very expensive. Heck, reaching Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris‘ second chapter will probably show that you only have a measly 1,500 gold. You’ll earn more as you continue to progress throughout the game.
Anyway, here’s an example of what happens when Kirito equips a two-handed sword for the first time:
Next up, here’s what the katana sword skill tree looks like (if Kirito equips a katana):
Each new weapon type that Kirito equips unlocks the sword skill tree for that weapon. You can then choose the abilities that you want using the shared pool of skill points. Here’s what the bow skill tree looks like:
With those abilities unlocked, you can head to the skills menu and look at your party members. You’ll be able to select additional hotkeyed skills for them.
Keep in mind that unlocking a certain skill on Kirito (be it a sword skill, combat skill, or passive skill) will make that ability available for the remaining characters. However, some restrictions do apply such as a character only using a specific type of weapon (ie. Sinon won’t be using katana skills since she’s not proficient in katanas).
One more thing: we also need to talk about weapon proficiencies. You’ll see this stat at the bottom of the UI when you switch to the skills menu. Proficiency increases the more you use a weapon type — a higher stat lets you unlock more skills and increases your accuracy.
All other characters you recruit, by default, have low weapon proficiency no matter how skilled they were during the story. For instance, Deusolbert, despite being a master archer, has zero proficiency with bows and he only has the bow skills Kirito has obtained.