The NerveGear is a helmet with a smooth, deep blue color. At the back, it has a wire of the same color stretched out of a long pad. It also has a battery and internal memory to store data from the games. 30% of the NerveGear's weight is from its internal battery.
The NerveGear's high density microwave transceivers can determine what the user's face looks like. The transceivers not only block every transmission from the brain to the body, but also from the body to the brain; while using it, the player is completely insensate to the physical world. Unknown to anyone except for Kayaba prior to the opening of Sword Art Online, the NerveGear's transceivers possess enough power to fry the player's brain with a burst of microwaves, using the power from its internal battery, and SAO's operating system has been programmed to do so if the player's hit points are reduced to zero. The NerveGear is equipped with a new generation diamond semiconductor central processor.
At the time of the Sword Art Online beta test, there were about 200,000 players in possession of a NerveGear. Half of them applied for the beta test.
After the events of the Death Game incident, Argus no longer produces new NerveGear units, and most users instead use RECT's replacement for the system - the AmuSphere, which has significantly less powerful transceivers; it is thus incapable of doing harm to a player, but cannot completely eliminate normal sensory input.
Kirito is one of the few VRMMO players who used a NerveGear even after the SAO incident, though this is likely due to time and monetary constraints in getting an AmuSphere, as he wanted to check out the possibility of Asuna being trapped in ALfheim Online. Eventually, even Kirito switched to using an AmuSphere after the ALO incident.
UsageEditTo use the NerveGear, the player wears the game console over the head. Then it is recommended for the player to find a comfortable position to station the body, commonly being a bed. Afterwards, the game will load by the initiation words «Link Start».
- Sword Art Online beta testers
- Sword Art Online players (Heathcliff might have used an advanced version of the NerveGear instead)
- In the Accel World series, written by the same author as Sword Art Online, volume 4, chapter 8 of the novel mentions an unnamed VR machine that is similar in background to the NerveGear. Episode 22 of the anime adaptation of the series confirms that the unnamed machine is a NerveGear.
- Kazuto is likely the only person who has a NerveGear after the SAO incident due to negotiations with Kikuoka Seijirou to let him keep it even though all copies of the NerveGear were meant to be disposed of.