Sword Art Online Wiki

Players using the Flight System

The Flight System refers to a system that allows players to use their wings to fly in ALfheim Online.


The assistant controller

There are two ways to control the flight of an avatar. The first method is by using a joystick-like controller that can be summoned by holding up one's hand as if to grip something[1]:

  • Pulling the controller towards oneself causes the player to rise, while pushing it away causes the player to descend.[1]
  • Moving the controller to the left or right causes the player to turn in the respective direction.[1]
  • Pushing the spherical button on the controller causes the player to accelerate, while letting it go causes the player to slow down.[1]

The second method, referred to as «Voluntary Flight», is the player controlling their flight via their thoughts. A trick to voluntary flight is to imagine virtual bones and muscles, which control the player's wings, a bit above the shoulder blades and learn to control them.[1]


Originally, the amount of time the player could spend flying was limited. After around 10 minutes of flight[1], the fairy's wings would become tired, indicated by the decrease in the luminescence of their wings, and would require the player to land and rest before being able to fly again. This limitation was said to be removed for the race which manages to complete the Grand Quest. However, as the quest was never meant to be beatable, the new managers of the game, Ymir, removed the limit on the amount of time that the players could fly for all fairy races in a May, 2025 update[2].

The player's flight is also limited by an altitude limit, which prevents the players from flying over large mountains, like the ones separating the Alne Plateau from the race territories.[3]

Additionally, as the player's wings require sunlight or moonlight for flight, most fairy races are unable to fly in underground dungeons and Labyrinths. The only exceptions are Imps[4] and Spriggans[2], who can fly for a very short amount of time underground if they have sufficient proficiency in a special advanced skill[2].


While the game still had a limit on the time that the player can spend flying, players who wanted to cover the maximum distance from a limited flight at the most efficient cruising speed had to start their journey from a high place, like the «Tower of Wind» in Swilvane, and continuously cycle between acceleration and gliding.[5]

When the limit on flight time was removed, according to Kirito, the new acceleration theory was very similar to a car’s: immediately after taking off, both wings should be extended as much as possible for a more torque oriented flight, which allows a strong kick in the air, while for gradually speeding up, the angle of the wings should be sharpened, reducing the amplitude; at the highest speed, the wings need to be folded almost into a straight line and, at this stage, the player would be oscillating at a speed so high, that from the ground, the player would look like a colourful comet.[5]


As most of the battles in ALfheim Online take place in the air, the player's mastery of flight determines their effectiveness in combat. Almost all[† 1] advanced-level players have mastery over Voluntary Flight, as it allows them to have both hands free for battle, as well as their agility exceeding that of players who use controllers. Moreover, the maximum flight speed when using a controller is relatively low.


  • Long flights are known to cause mysterious fatigue at the part of the body where the wings are located, despite the player's real body not having wings.[citation needed]
  • The insignia of the player's race appears on their back when their wings are summoned.[citation needed]
  • Although the wings of each race consist of large upper wings and a smaller set of lower wings, each race has a unique wing appearance.[citation needed]


  1. Some players have vertigo.