Cao Hong
Cao Hong (DWB)
Character Information
Force(s): Wei
Weapon Type: Sword (2~5)
Polearm (6)
Club (7)
Great sword (8)
Twin axes (Blast)
Unit Type: Hero (2~3)
Warrior (4~5, 7~8)
Large warrior (6)
Significant Battle(s):
First Appearance: Dynasty Warriors 2
Historical Information
Real name:
Cáo Hóng
Chinese name:
Style name:
Chinese name:

Cao Hong (onyomi: Sō Kō) was a Wei officer and one of Cao Cao's cousins. He and Cao Ren worked together to raise Cao Cao's army. Unlike his other cousins, Cao Hong was notorious for his womanizing and his greed, which Cao Cao disapproved and would eventually cause friction with Cao Pi. Romance of the Three Kingdoms emphasizes his heroism and famously portrays him saving Cao Cao's life on numerous occasions.

He placed twelfth with fans in Gamecity's Shin Sangoku Musou Blast first card promotion poll.

His height in Kessen II is 170 cm (5'7").

Roles in GamesEdit

Cao Hong appears as a general for Wei in many battles, appearing as early as the Yellow Turban Rebellion or the Battle of Hulao Gate, depending on the game. In Dynasty Warriors 2, he usually shows up alongside Cao Ren. Dynasty Warriors 7 also has him lead the search party that tries to find baby Liu Shan at Changban in Shu's story mode. The player will have to defeat him in the garrison Liu Shan is located in. In Dynasty Warriors 8, he appears in Wei's camp at Chibi, and hints Cai Mao's betrayal later in the stage. He also acts as a replacement officer for any of the playable officers during the Imperial Escort. In Dynasty Warriors 9 he serves as Cao Cao's replacement officer.

In Warriors Orochi, Cao Hong sometimes serves as Cao Pi's replacement officer when players assume the latter's role.

In the Romance of the Three Kingdoms games, Cao Hong is usually strongly skilled with cavalry type attacks, though with each passing game this is questionable. His stats are usually decent, a low to mid 80's in strength, and a low 40's to early 50's in intelligence, his politics and charisma also fall into low standings compared to those of Cao Ren and others. He can usually hold his own in personal one on one duels with a majority of the officers.

In Romance of the Three Kingdoms X, if the player controls Cao Hong during the battles against Lu Bu, he will personally challenge him to a duel. Each time, he will be unhorsed on the very first pass and lose the bout.

Voice ActorsEdit

  • Shin Gyeongseon - Romance of the Three Kingdoms: The Legend of Cao Cao (Korean)
  • Motoharu Shimomura - Dynasty Tactics 2 (Japanese)
  • Munehiro Tokita - Kessen II (Japanese)
  • Takanori Hoshino - Sangokushi Legion


  • "It will be interesting to hear how we are to take Xiapi Castle from Lu Bu. We shall soon see how good you are"
  • "Between you and me, I don't trust Master Cai Mao one bit. Did you see the way he tries to flatter his superiors?"
  • "So, Ma Chao yearns to avenge his father by slaying lord Cao Cao, and Lady Wang Yi wishes to slay Ma Chao... Things couldn't get more complicated than that..."

Historical InformationEdit

Cao Hong was a younger cousin of Cao Cao and answered the call to arms to fight against Dong Zhuo, a general of Dong’s, Xu Rong, at Xingyang, defeated him. His horse was lost, and the enemy was hot in pursuit. Cao Hong dismounted, and gave his horse to Cao Cao, who declined the offer. Cao Hong said, “The world can do without Cao Hong, but not without you!” Thus he followed Cao Cao on foot to the Bian River. The river being a deep one, they could not ford it; Cao Hong went along the banks until he found a boat, with which he and Cao Cao crossed the river and fled back to Qiao commandery.

Now, Cao Hong had been good friends with Chen Wen, the Inspector of Yangzhou. And so he lead 1,000 of his personal troops to recruit more followers in Chen Wen’s land. By the Lu River he got 2,000 armored troops, and going east to Danyang, he recruited several thousand more men, before rejoining Cao Cao at Longkang.

When Cao Cao attacked Xuzhou, Zhang Miao led all of Yanzhou to join Lu Bu in rebellion. There being a great famine at that time, Cao Hong marched in the van, and took over Dongping and Fan, to gather the grains and foods there to supply the army. And so Cao Cao fought Zhang Miao and Lü Bu at Puyang, causing Lu Bu to flee. As a result Cao Cao held Dong’e. Turning around, Cao Hong attacked and took over more than ten prefectures, including Jiying, Shanyang, Zhongmou, Yangwu, Jing, and Mi.

By his merits in all those battles, Cao Hong was made Soaring Eagle Colonel, and then he was made General of the Interior who Manifests Firmness. When the Emperor made his capital at Xu, he made Cao Hong an Imperial Courtier Jianyi Dafu. Afterwards, Cao Hong participated in the operation against Liu Biao, and defeated his generals at Wuyang, Yinye, Duyang, and Bowang. Because of those achievements he was promoted to General of Fierce Keenness and Marquis of Guoming Commune. He fought under Cao Cao’s banner in many other battles, and was consequently promoted to General who Protects the Capital. When the Literary Emperor Cao Pi ascended the throne, he made Cao Hong General of the Guards, and then promoted him to General of the Agile Cavalry and Marquis of Yewang. He also increased his fief by 1,000 households to a total of 2,100 households – a great increase in rank. Afterwards he was relocated to be Marquis of Duyang.

Cao Hong’s family had been wealthy but he used to be a stingy man. When the young Cao Pi went to borrow money from him, Cao Hong refused him. As a result Cao Pi had always borne a grudge against him. So eventually, Cao Pi had Cao Hong put in jail on the pretext that one of his retainers had violated the law, and was about to have Cao Hong executed. All the officers at court pleaded for his life, but none succeeded. And so, Empress Dowager Bian said to the Empress Guo, “If Cao Hong dies today, tomorrow I shall have the Emperor depose you.” Thus the Empress, with many a tear, implored Cao Pi to spare Cao Hong. Cao Pi conceded at the end, and Cao Hong was only dismissed from his position, and his fief taken away from him. Since he was a general of great achievements under the previous lord, many people of that time held him in great respect. When the Brilliant Emperor Cao Rui came to the throne, he made Cao Hong General of the Rear, and then, in a big leap in promotion, gave him the title of Marquis of Lecheng, and a fief of 1,000 households. wei te jin. Later on he was reinstated as the General of the Agile Cavalry. He died in the 6th year of Taihe (AD 232), and give the posthumous title of “The Respectful Marquis”.

Romance of the Three KingdomsEdit

In the historical fiction novel, Cao Hong was known to have a short temper, and on numerous occasions, displayed this. At the battles against Ma Chao's forces in Liang, he and Xu Huang were tasked with defending the main camp, and not charge out for ten days, but, with the constant taunts from Ma Chao's forces, he rushed out on the ninth day, and gave battle. Forced to fight, Xu Huang had no choice but to aid, soon after they were defeated. Later on in that very same war with Ma Chao, Cao Hong returned just in time to save his older cousin, Cao Cao, from Ma Chao personally, intercepting him in one on one combat, buying Cao Cao the time to escape.

Earlier in the period, during the battles against Dong Zhuo, he saved Cao Cao once more, carrying the wounded Cao Cao on his back across a river to escape the enemy. It should also be noted that during the defenses of Hanzhong, it was Cao Hong who urged defense to wait for Cao Cao's main army, but those like Zhang He urged for them to go out to give battle. It was due to these constant losses that Cao Hong's forces were so demoralized, and had no choice but to go out and fight. These losses eventually led to the death of Xiahou Yuan soon after, and with it the mountain, Dingjun.