Cao Xiu
Cao Xiu (DW9)
Character Information
Force(s): Wei
Weapon Type: Fan sword
Significant Battle(s):
Playable Debut: Dynasty Warriors 9
Historical Information
Real name:
Cáo Xiū
Chinese name:
Style name:
Chinese name:

Cao Xiu (onyomi: Sō Kyū) is a Wei officer as well as Cao Cao's nephew. He was hailed as a wonderful archer and the "stallion" of the clan. After being fooled by Zhou Fang's false defection, his health failed due to the shame and he died, though before his death, he would succeed Cao Ren in becoming Wei's Commander-in-Chief.

Before his playable Dynasty Warriors appearance, he was formerly a NPC character since Dynasty Warriors 3.

Roles in GamesEdit

In the Dynasty Warriors series, he is usually the commander at the Battle of Shiting in which he is fooled by Zhou Fang, thinking the Wu officer would defect to Wei. In most games he always survives until the battles of Hefei Castle and Wuzhang Plains.

For Dynasty Warriors 4 at He Fei, if Wu manages to take Shi Ting, Cao Xiu will arrive to get revenge for his defeat. In Wei's scenario, saving Cao Xiu from Zhou Fang's ploy enables him to join the fight in Fan Castle.

Cao Xiu is prominently featured as a Wei officer in Dynasty Warriors 6. He may appear as early as Hu Lao Gate, where he replaces one of the playable Wei characters if chosen in their place. He continues to appear in many Wei battles in the sequels.

In Dynasty Warriors 8, he also joins his uncle's conquest of Wu at Jianye as well as the suppression of Liu Bei at Baidi Castle. In Wu's story, he acts as one of the commanders of Shiting, and will be fooled by Zhou Fang's plot if Sun Quan retreats as planned. In Shu's story, Cao Xiu leads the first detachment of reinforcements for Xiahou Yuan. If Cao Xiu is defeated in the battle, then the forces from Hanzhong will be able to ride their momentum, and appear to assist Guan Yu at Fan Castle.

In Warriors Orochi, Cao Xiu sometimes serves as a replacement officer for several leading characters in Wei's story. During the final battle at Koshi Castle in the Samurai story, Cao Xiu will lead the Wei reinforcements sent by Cao Pi to aid Nobunaga.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms gives Cao Xiu battle skills in the 70's, while his other stats are rated in the 50's or lower. In each game, he excels in archery, but can also lead cavalry units without major disadvantages. He starts to serve Cao Cao in the Dong Zhuo campaign and becomes one of the major Wei officers in the later scenarios.

Character InformationEdit


Character SymbolismEdit

Voice ActorsEdit

  • Grant George - Dynasty Warriors 6 (English-uncredited)
  • Darrel Guilbeau - Dynasty Warriors 7 (English-uncredited)
  • Dan Woren - Dynasty Warriors 8 (English-uncredited)
  • Takuya Satō - Dynasty Warriors 9 (Japanese)
  • Yoshiya Naruke - Sangokushi Legion


  • "They've cut me off! I should have seen this trick of Zhou Fang's!"
  • "At last, the time has come! Now we will have our revenge on Wu!"
  • "The Wu forces?! They're not supposed to be here! Where did Zhou Fang go?"
"Zhou Fang's surrender was a hoax. No one would ever betray Wu."
~~Cao Xiu and Lian Shi; Dynasty Warriors 7: Xtreme Legends
  • "Now we've got you. The burning ambition of Wu shall engulf you whole!"
"What?! It's a fire attack! Curse you, Zhou Fang! I should never have trusted you!"
~~Zhou Fang and Cao Xiu; Dynasty Warriors 8

Historical InformationEdit

Cao Xiu was a nephew of Cao Cao, whom he joined during the formation of the Alliance against Dong Zhuo. He was treated by Cao Cao as if he were his own son and led Wei's elite Tiger and Leopard Cavalry alongside Cao Chun and Cao Zhen. During Liu Bei's campaign against Hanzhong, Cao Xiu served as an adviser to Cao Hong. He suggested to fight Zhang Fei and Ma Chao head on when the former threatened to cut off Cao Hong's retreat route, seeing through the ploy and defeating them both, which led to the death of Wu Lan.

After Cao Cao's death, his successor Cao Pi promoted him to General who Guards the South and sent him south to the borders to Wu. He was made General who Conquers the East in 222 and followed Cao Pi on the campaign against Wu. Together with Zhang Liao and Zang Ba, he defeated Lu Fan at Dongkou, but had to retreat after reinforcements led by Xu Sheng, Sun Shao, and Quan Cong arrived. After Cao Pi's death, Cao Xiu became Great Defender-in-chief and led another campaign against Wu.

At Shiting he fell for a ploy by Zhou Fang and was heavily defeated and wounded. He escaped thanks to the efforts of Jia Kui and retreated. He sent a memorial to Cao Rui, pleading guilty for his misjudgment. Cao Rui forgave him and treated him with even more respect. Cao Xiu died shortly afterwards because of skin infections resulting from his wounds at Shiting and was posthumously named Marqius Zhuang ("robust marquis"). He had two sons, Cao Zuan and Cao Zhao.

Romance of the Three KingdomsEdit

In the novel, Cao Xiu makes his first appearance at Cao Cao's archery contest after the construction of the Tongquetai was finished. Later at Ruxukou, he shot an arrow that hit Ling Tong's horse and knocked him down. Ling Tong would have been killed by Yue Jin if not for the aid of Gan Ning. He then aided Xiahou Dun in putting down the rebellion of Jin Yi, Geng Ji and others and followed Cao Cao to fight Liu Bei at Hanzhong. After having suffered defeat against Lu Xun at Shiting, he was ashamed and developed an illness from which he died.


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