GASTRIC cancer (GC) is a heterogeneous disease with multiple environmental etiologies and alternative pathways of carcinogenesis. Beyond mutations in TP53, alterations in other genes or pathways account only for small subsets of the disease. We performed exome sequencing of 22 GCs and identified mutated genes and pathway alterations previously unreported: genes involved in chromatin modification were commonly mutated. A downstream validation study confirmed frequent inactivating mutations and/or protein deficiency of the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex gene ARID1A in 83% of GCs with microsatellite instability, 73% of GCs with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection, and 11% of non-EBV microsatellite stable GCs. The mutation spectrum of ARID1A differs between molecular subtypes and the mutation prevalence is negatively associated with mutations in TP53. Clinically, ARID1A alterations were associated with better prognosis in a stage-independent manner. These results revealed the genomic landscape and highlighted the importance of chromatin remodeling in the molecular taxonomy of GCs.