Cao Ren

From Koei Tecmo Wiki

Cao Ren (onyomi: Sō Jin) is one of Cao Cao's cousins. Though he was known to be a callous brute during his youth, Cao Ren matured to be a courageous and lawful general while serving his cousin. He is reputed as a reliable defender for Cao Cao's territory who protected the lands numerous times from invaders. Depending on the historical source, he is regarded as one of Cao Cao's greatest generals.

He was previously a Wei NPC since Dynasty Warriors 2. His character in the Dynasty Warriors series is fifty-eighth place in Gamecity's Dynasty Warriors 7 character popularity poll; he placed seventy-second in the Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends popularity poll. The latest poll for the eighth installment puts him in seventy-fifth. The character poll for overseas fans puts him in seventeenth place for the Wei division.

His character's height in Kessen II is 180 cm (5'11").

Role in Games

"Tch! This guy's as tough as a rock!"
~~Goemon; Warriors Orochi

Dynasty Warriors

Cao Ren is a stout general who prides himself for his tenacity and stamina. He is known in this series for being the main commander stationed at Fan Castle. Without his tactical coordination, Lu Meng's plan to slay Guan Yu with the united Wei and Wu armies would have not succeeded. Cao Ren often continues to serve in his home's decisive battles against the other kingdoms in the series.

His Legend Mode in Dynasty Warriors 4: Xtreme Legends takes place after Wei's defeat at the battle of Chi Bi. Cao Cao retreats north and Cao Ren stations himself within Jiang Ling to guard his escape. He defends against the pursuing Wu army by concentrating on defense. His subordinate, Niu Jin, gives into Zhou Yu's taunts and recklessly charges from out of Wei's castle. However, he is soon surrounded and on the verge of defeat. To rescue his retainer and bring him back safely, Cao Ren decides to join the march. Worried that the castle will fall without him, the castle guards ask Cao Ren to reconsider. Even with their pleas, he hurries to Niu Jin's aid. While escorting his general back, Zhou Tai and Zhou Yu attack them. Cutting them down and having Niu Jin escape ends the conflict.

In Dynasty Warriors 5, Cao Ren is noted as a someone who was rough and frivolous in his youth. Joining his cousin to fight for the land's peace, he reinvents himself to become a disciplined general. He serves in all of Cao Cao's major campaigns and distinguishes himself by cutting an escape path for his lord after they lose Chi Bi. While they rebuild their defenses against the other forces, he is ordered to be one of the defenders for He Fei. When Guan Yu invades Jing Province, Cao Ren resists him at Fan Castle. Keeping the morale high with his determination, they repel the invaders but learn that Cao Cao passed away after their victory. Cao Ren continues to serve under his cousin's son, Cao Pi. As he helps repel Shu away from Chen Cang, the fall of the Wu happens simultaneously at He Fei Castle. Shu is soon struck down at Wu Zhang Plains and Cao Pi, pleased with Cao Ren's accomplishments, orders his other subordinates to follow his example. Seeing the land at peace, Cao Ren dismisses his soldiers and wishes for the hard won serenity to endure endlessly.

He shares his Legend Mode in the Xtreme Legends expansion with Cao Cao, Xiahou Yuan, and Zhang He. Together, they struggle against the supernatural powers wielded by the Five Bushel Sect. Cao Ren takes the western mountain path and worms his way up the summit. Upon reaching the second story level, Zhang Lu casts an illusion to conceal the staircases. As the only one who is close to the statues responsible for the trick, Cao Ren is given the task of destroying them, even when they explode as they shatter. He perseveres and the way to the enemy main camp is opened. After the battle, Cao Ren renews his goal to keep up the fight.

Cao Ren's ending scene in Dynasty Warriors: Online has him ride alongside the player in the sunset. Relieved that the chaos is finally over, he has faith that their hard-earned peace will last thanks to his companion's presence.

Dynasty Warriors 6 continues to have Cao Ren appear at He Fei, Fan Castle and Shi Ting. Still the leader of the Wei-Wu alliance at Jing, he keeps a vigilant watch over the main camp. In Special, he is also one of the Wei generals present at Ru Xu Kou. He defends one of the three bases on the Wei front.

Cao Ren is considered one of Cao Cao's constant generals within Dynasty Warriors 7, appearing as early as the Yellow Turban Rebellion in Wei's Story Mode. Players can talk to him within the ally fort throughout several of Wei's early campaigns, fighting for his lord's dream of a world created and supported by the people. During the charge south for Chibi, Cao Ren stays to guard Nanjun. He is seen repelling Zhou Yu's offensive during Wu's Story Mode, but he arrives to Cao Cao's rescue in Wei's. Cao Ren breaks apart boulders obstructing the northern mountain path to Nanjun. He acts as one of the defenders for Fan Castle within the three Story Modes it appears in. Since Xiahou Dun's grudge is put in the forefront for Wei's perspective, Cao Ren acts as the main commander in the other scenarios for the stage.

His Legendary Battles detail his role as guardian at Nanjun and Fan Castle. Players are allowed to play through Cao Ren's perspective for each respective stage from Story Mode.

The Xtreme Legends expansion stages Cao Ren's starring Hero Scenario at Ruxukou. Shu and Wu have reestablished their alliance in the aftermath of Yiling. Wanting to prevent the deepening of their ties, Cao Pi orders an attack at Ruxukou. Zhu Huan defies their advance and Cao Ren is the one who opposes him. As they break through the castle gates, Cao Pi senses no threat and marches forward. However, therein lies the trap as a large Wu regiment ambushes the Wei invaders. Cao Ren protects his allies and his lord from being routed by the enemy. Eventually he reaches Zhou Tai, the leader of these reinforcements, and strikes him down.

As a worried Zhen Ji greets her husband after the battle, Cao Pi directs her to instead thank Cao Ren, the man who truly saved his life. She then formerly states her words of gratitude to the general, though Cao Ren modestly remarks that he was only performing his duties. He states that it's more important that their lord is safe.

Cao Ren is initially playable during the second chapter of Dynasty Warriors Next. The fifth chapter has him launch an attack on Jing Province to flush out Liu Bei's group only to be defeated by them due to a plot devised by Xu Shu. He later appears with Xiahou Dun in the Battle of Bowangpo, serving as the latter's second-in-command. One of the bonus missions in that battle involves using a ballista to defeat him. In the seventh chapter, he falls for Zhou Yu's ruse at Nanjun, leaving his castle vulnerable to Zhuge Liang's forces. He may return earlier if the player fails to stop the messengers in time. Cao Ren's role at Fan Castle remains unchanged, though his interaction with Pang De throughout the battle is taken from the fifth installment. In Wei's ending movie, he is seen together with Xu Zhu and Xiahou Yuan as they invite Cao Cao to check the new rice fields planted by them.

In Dynasty Warriors 8, Cao Ren's role in the story is largely unchanged. He first participates in the battle of Xu Province to avenge Cao Cao's father. At the Battle of Xinye he implements the Eight Gates Formation against Liu Bei and his followers. In Wei's version of the stage, Xu Shu's strategy against the Eight Gates Formation has already put Cao Ren in serious danger before he is rescued by reinforcements and helps rout the Shu forces. In Shu's version Xu Shu breaks formation and defeats Cao Ren, who retreats.

At Fan Castle, he becomes worried when Pang De goes out with a coffin on his shoulder. But after seeing his resolve to live and fulfill his duty, Cao Ren rallies the other Wei soldiers to stand up against Guan Yu. In Shu's historical route, Cao Ren's role remains the same except Guan Yu has taken Fan Castle and Cao Ren has instead set up a nearby camp from which the Wei forces attack.

In Shu's hypothetical route the flood attack fails after Xu Shu is able to correctly anticipate the strategy, and Wei is put at a disadvantage between the arrival of Shu reinforcements lead by Pang Tong and the Yellow Turbans lead by Zhang Jiao, who have allied with Liu Bei. After Wei reinforcements lead by Xiahou Dun and Sima Yi are defeated Cao Ren makes one final push towards Fan Castle but is defeated and forced to flee. He is also present in the final battle at Xuchang, being among those killed.

In Wu's story, Cao Ren appears as the enemy commander of Nanjun. In the hypothetical route, he appears as reinforcements for Zhang Liao, and attempts to stop the construction of Wu rams, but is pushed back He appears in his cousin's final battle at Xuchang. In the historical route, he will be defending Fan Castle against Guan Yu. He later appears assisting Cao Pi after his father's death at Guangling and Hefei castle.

In the Xtreme Legends expansion, Cao Ren is playable for the stage "Defense of Fan Castle". Working with Pang De and Yu Jin, he follows instructions from the latter to repel the combined forces of Shu and Wu. He also appears in the defense of Xinye, arriving with a late detachment of survivors that need to be rescued.

Dynasty Warriors: Unleashed gives Cao Ren a bond story that highlights his military achievements under Cao Cao. Having gained experience in his battles against Tao Qian and Zhang Xiu's forces, he advises his lord to focus on the front against Yuan Shao while he deals with Liu Bei personally. He correctly deduces Liu Bei's leadership style would clash with Yuan Shao's conscripted troops, leading to the latter's defeat.

Though Cao Ren's steadfast patience has helped him put down revolts and endure persistent foes like Ma Chao, it ends up being thoroughly tested at Fan Castle where Guan Yu's troops have him surrounded. Wondering whether he should retreat or not to limit casualties, Cao Ren remembers how valuable the castle is to Cao Cao which leads him to hold out until Xu Huang arrives with reinforcements.

Dynasty Warriors 9 places Cao Ren as one of the original officers that answered Cao Cao's call-to-arms against Dong Zhuo. Accompanying his cousin on various campaigns, he is defeated by Liu Bei at Xinye, but helps oversee the capture of Xu Shu. After Liu Bei flees further south, Cao Ren and the other Wei officers are defeated at Chibi, and Cao Ren leads a large group through Jiangling once they begin their escape.

After recovering from Chibi's loss, Cao Ren is sent to guard Jiangling against Sun Quan's forces. Aiding with Fan Castle's capture and defense, he, Man Chong and Xu Huang are able to eventually avenge the losses of the flood attack and are able to slay Guan Yu. After his lord's death, Cao Ren assists Cao Pi's claim to the imperial throne, and joins the campaigns of the new emperor of Wei.

Finally cementing his place in history at Guangling, Cao Ren returns to Luoyang to accept his appointment as General-in-Chief. Sneaking into the city, Cao Ren enjoys the peace and orders a drink. While recognized by a waiter and briefly reminded of his past, Cao Ren quietly continues to drink in peace.

Warriors Orochi

In Warriors Orochi, Cao Ren unwillingly serves Orochi. In the Battle of Nagashino Gaiden stage, the Takeda-Uesugi alliance bravely faces the massive Orochi army headed by Sun Quan and Cao Pi. If the player successfully rescues the Takeda-Uesugi alliance within two minutes of the start of the stage, then successfully escorts the Takeda cavalry to the retreat point, Cao Ren will be inspired by the Coalition's will to fight, even in the face of inevitable annihilation.

The sequel has him as one of the generals who remain at Wei during Cao Cao's absence. He defends Cao Pi from the brunt of Kiyomori's attack at Komaki-Nagakute. Afterwards, he resumes his service in the main army. In his dream mode, he teams up with Katsuie and Sun Jian to rescue Oichi from Yuan Shao.

Cao Ren retained his loyalties to Wei and helped pacify the dimensional realm in Warriors Orochi 3. During his duties, however, he was overwhelmed by the serpent army and was afflicted by Kiyomori's sorcery. His earliest appearance as a general for the serpent army would be at Mt. Niutou as he surrounded Guan Suo. When the coalition bring him back to his senses at Mt. Dingjun, he joins them in gratitude. Cao Ren later assists Hideyoshi and company repel the Uesugi-Takeda alliance at Shizugatake.

In the downloadable scenario, "Mystic Love", Cao Ren protects Guo Jia and Magoichi as they to charm female mystics at Yangping Gate.

In Ultimate, he joins Xiahou Ba and Katsuie in reminiscing how he and the younger general were possessed by Kiyomori during their failed attempt to rescue other puppets at Chibi. The three re-imagine the battlefield with their current selves instead, but still conclude that the difficulty of the battle would still not change. The two later re-imagine themselves aiding Joan of Arc and Magoichi Saika at Mt. Dingjun

Lost in the new world at Warriors Orochi 4, Cao Ren is rescued by the Oda forces and remains loyal to them. When Liu Bei's rebel army attacks the Hojo and the Imagawa at Odawara, Cao Ren is stationed nearby to help the defenders. Thanks to Fa Zheng's false rumors of poisoning the castle's water supply, Cao Ren's troops are thrown into confusion and he is defeated.

After the battle, he joins Liu Bei's army. He later joins the Coalition in rescuing the Uesugi forces from the Toyotomi and Wei officers led by Cao Pi at Fan Castle.

During one of the side stages, he and Zhou Tai are charged with the defense of Ōsaka from the Demon army. While defending the castle, they find Toyohisa Shimazu also fighting the demons at the eastern flank and rescue him. Together, they are able to hold out until reinforcements finally arrive and turn the battle. After the victory, Toyohisa officially joins his newfound allies.


In Kessen II, he is the eldest son of Cao Cao's uncle, Cao Bu. His relationship with Cao Cao is downplayed but he is still as loyal to his lord as ever. His request to stop Yuan Shao is rejected as Cao Cao barks that he can't handle sudden changes. In Wei's story, he falls victim to one of Zhuge Liang's ploys and is trapped by many of Shu's high-ranking officers at Bo Wan Po. He's rescued by Wei's main army and fights for his country for the rest of the game. He marches into battle with a large army of foot soldiers and is often supported by offensive secondary units. Many of his officer skills focus on defense or sustaining morale, making him one of the more resilient generals in the game.

He is also Xiahou Yuan's sworn brother and bares a grudge against his brother's killer. If he faces him in battle, Cao Ren gains a unique morale boost and will often have the upper-hand.

Character Information


Cao Ren is a kind and compassionate man who is an adamant practitioner of endurance. He usually refers to himself as an immovable rock obstructing his enemies' path who will not falter unless he is broken. A pacifist at heart, he actually dislikes war and those who actively perpetuate it. He sees war as a necessary evil, the only way to end the currently ongoing strife. He cares for the safety of his allies and enemies, believing that everyone should live in happiness. Though blessed with indomitable determination, he isn't flexible with switching his mindset regarding proper decorum and personal relationships. He'll berate soldiers who he deems to be unprepared and cannot relax his warrior senses on duty, even whilst in the presence of loved ones. In later titles however, Cao Ren's warrior persona and his penchant for his defenses is expressed more often. His relatives and a few people also mention that Cao Ren was more rambunctious as a youth, and he wishes to keep his past actions a secret.

He shares a close relationship with Cao Cao and his cousin addresses Cao Ren by his style name in the Asian script. In Dynasty Warriors 4, he acts as Zhenji's guardian angel. During the opening cinema for the game, if the player chooses Zhenji in the first scene with a boulder flying at her, Cao Ren will jump out and break the oncoming boulder to protect her. Also in Dynasty Warriors 4, they also seem to share a mutual friendship as evidenced in one of the cutscenes, with Cao Ren being the more peaceful and open-minded foil to Zhenji's smug and apathetic nature. In later games, Cao Ren has a strong comradeship with Pang De and Cao Pi. Towards Pang De, Cao Ren shows no signs of doubts to the new general's loyalties, and is rather further invigorated by the man's sheer determination. Towards the young prince, Cao Ren is implied to have watched the prince's growth well, serving him with the same politeness as was to his late father.

In the Japanese script, Cao Rean also has a unique form of pronoun speech, using "myself" in the place of "I" or "me" (自分, jibun) and a form of "you" (貴公, kikō) to refer to others.

In Warriors Orochi, his stalwart personality and emphasis on defense makes him close friends with Nagamasa and Hideyoshi, the latter's creative and less destructive alternatives to battle impressing the general. He gets along with Wu's Lu Meng, as the two enjoy reminiscing of their changes from their more mischievous pasts. The latest installment has him enter discussions with Shingen, who advises the general to have the will to make harsh decisions that may be important than his personal values.

Character Symbolism

In the Japanese version of Dynasty Warriors 4: Empires, Cao Ren is given the nickname of "The Heavy Metal Matador" while the English version changes it to "The Soul of Peace, the Body of War". As a dominant ruler in Dynasty Warriors 5: Empires, he calls his five greatest warriors the "Five Generals of the Shield".

Within the Asian ports, Cao Ren's weapons -including his polearm from Dynasty Warriors 6- have a "sword and shield" motif in them to describe the bladed section of his shield. The blade section has a slightly different name than the shield part in most cases. Though he doesn't fight with a shield in the sixth title, his skill chart at least is shaped like one and a small one can be seen strapped to his arm.

His third weapon takes its namesake from two divine birds. His shield's blade takes after a crane's beak, while the shield/harness itself is referred to as the Peng's wing. Cranes within East Asian culture are a general symbol for longevity, grace, and intelligence. A bird of good fortune and happiness, China places it within particularly high regard and is second only to the Fenghuang with its majesty. Newly departed spirits rode the crane through the sky in various legends. Meanwhile, the Peng is another mythological bird from China that is regarded as a type of Chinese phoenix. According to the Xiao Yao You, the Peng is the avian version of a gigantic fish living in the northern seas named Kun. When Kun wished to leave its watery dwellings, it morphed into a bird of un-measurable length for a seemingly endless flight. A single leap for it was said to be 90,000 li (about 360,000 kilometers). Since its wings were said to eclipse the sky whilst aerial, the Peng is sometimes attributed as a cause for solar eclipses.

Cao Ren's fourth weapon and his Standard polearm are named after the aforementioned Fenghuang. The naming touches upon the dual nature of the bird since the late Yuan Dynasty, as the two terms that make it up were originally two separate beings in the Han Dynasty. The male-only Feng's beak acts as Cao Ren's blade, while the female-only Huang's wing acts as the shield. In the localization, it was originally named as "Roc", which is a giant bird of prey often compared to the aforementioned Peng as is the Garuda.

The bladed part for his Level 11 weapon is originally named "diamond" or "adamantine", which can translate to "thunderbolt" within Sanskrit. Within Asian culture, a diamond is famed as a powerful object that can slice through anything but itself and the thunderbolt is a powerful force often paired with divine intervention. The same characters are used to describe a weapon used by gods within Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism, known as the vajra (the thunderbolt of the god Indra), which symbolizes spiritual integrity and fortitude. Cao Ren reputedly carries the "impenetrable wall" as the harness for his blade.

If the crane is an aerial creature of longevity, its land-bound counterpart for the same right is the tortoise, with its jaw and shell being the namesake for Cao Ren's Skill weapon. Within Japan, there is a famous saying, "A crane can live for a thousand years, a tortoise ages to six hundred." This statement contrasts several Chinese beliefs, stating the reptile could live for centuries or thousands years more. Nuwa uses the legs of a turtle to continue supporting the sky within ancient myths. Stone tortoises were erected as pedestals for city structures to support this belief, the creature's endurance lasting for ages and the sturdy shell resilient to the beatings of time.

A dragon's claw and scales acts as the namesake for his Strength weapon, a mythological beast known for its ties to the Imperial family. Aside from being celebrated in the Chinese New Year, dragons like to live in aquatic dwellings yet can soar into the sky or form new land by resting on the earth. They are known as wise advisors and bringers of life, a supreme entity over all other beasts. If they are ignored or offended, however, they retaliate mercilessly and are just as capable of taking away their gifts during their outrage. Dragons also double as a symbol of Chinese ethnicity for many years, a prominent symbol of cultural identity that continues with many proud and willing residents to this day.

The original name for Cao Ren's Personal Item in Warriors Orochi is the Wei Liaozi, one of the Seven Military Classics of China. The twenty-four scroll compilation stresses a balance of military and civil affairs for a country to reach a reasonable state of equilibrium. A ruler should treat his people with respect and concern for they create and build the land's resources. At the same time, a ruler should stress discipline with military training and recruitment, punishing rebels without hesitation.

Voice Actors

  • Beau Billingslea - Dynasty Warriors 4~8, Warriors Orochi series; first and second games only (English-uncredited)
  • Bill Salyers - Dynasty Warriors 9 (English)
  • Steve McGowan - Kessen II (English-uncredited)
  • Xiao Tan - Dynasty Warriors 9 (Chinese)
  • Son Jong-Hwan - Dynasty Warriors 4~5 (Korean)
  • Kim Yeong-chan - Dynasty Warriors: Unleashed (Korean)
  • Lee Hyeon - Romance of the Three Kingdoms: The Legend of Cao Cao (Korean)
  • Hisao Egawa - Dynasty Warriors and Warriors Orochi series, Sangokushi 12 (Japanese)
  • Keisuke Baba - Dynasty Tactics 2 (Japanese)
  • Bin Shimada - Kessen II (Japanese)
  • Yūji Machi - Romance of the Three Kingdoms drama CD series
  • Tsuguo Mogami - Sangokushi Legion
  • Tadashi Miyazawa - Youkai Sangokushi (Japanese)
  • Yoshimitsu Shimoyama - Sangokushi Hadou (Japanese)
  • Hideaki Tezuka - Sangokushi Three Kingdoms TV series

Live-Action Performers


See also: Cao Ren/Quotes
  • "I will carry out the dreams of Wei... No... All of the dreams of the land!"
  • "I shall stand as the shield for the innocent!"
  • "Everybody, follow me! If we win this battle, we can bring an end to the chaos! I will protect you, and together we will create a new age!"
  • "Enemies should always be allowed to flee. But this time, there is no escape!"
  • "I am a rock! The waves of chaos break upon me!"
  • "Watch as the Serpent King's blade, shatters upon my armor."
  • "Is everything alright?"
"I was gazing out at the lake. Could it be that one day, the world will be as peaceful as this?
"That day will come soon enough. Do not forget, that is the reason we have come, to vanquish the Kingdom of Wu."
"Yes. To end the turmoil, I shall play the villain a while longer!"
~~Zhen Ji and Cao Ren; Dynasty Warriors 4
  • "My lord, no! If you go, the castle will fall!"
"How can I protect a castle if I cannot protect the lives of my men? Open the gate!"
~~Cao Ren's troops and Cao Ren; Dynasty Warriors 4: Xtreme Legends
  • "Ren, it has been some time since you began to call me "Lord", has it not?"
"It is true that we are of the same blood. But we must maintain the proper bounds of Lord and Vassal."
"I would have this chaotic world end, that we might once more sit at a table and share a drink together."
~~Cao Cao and Cao Ren; Dynasty Warriors 6
  • "There's something I'd like to ask you. You clearly believe in a strong defense. What are your thoughts on attack, then?"
"Attack and defense are one and the same. Specializing in one doesn't mean you are sacrificing the other."
"So you are attacking while defending? I'm not sure I understand what you mean. Attacking is attacking, isn't it?"
"Attack is a chance for us. Defending is a chance for the enemy. Fighting is all about making use of your chances. If you can defeat the enemy's chances then you can make them your own. In that sense, attack and defense are the same."
"This is all getting a bit complicated. I see that both are important, anyway. Thank you, Master Cao Ren!"
~~Zhang Bao and Cao Ren; Dynasty Warriors: Godseekers
  • "Resistance merely leads to more bloodshed. Why do you do it?"
"Because this battle is the first step to the advent of peace."
"I, too, desire peace..."
~~Cao Ren and Mitsuhide; Warriors Orochi
  • "No amount of stealth can penetrate my defenses."
"No shield can hold out the shadows."
~~Cao Ren and Hanzō; Warriors Orochi 2 PSP
  • "Master Cao Ren, your armor is like a wall of iron. It seems as if there's no way to break through it."
"Well, you could aim for my head or try to attack the armor's joints..."
"Or, I could just drop you in the river. With that much weight, you'd never be able to move and I could run away."
~~Hideyoshi and Cao Ren; Warriors Orochi 3
  • "Master Cao Ren... You had a misspent youth, did you not?"
"Master Shingen... I-I don't know what you're talking about..."
"There's no point denying it. I may look fun and easy-going, but observe the eyes beneath my mask. Are they not breathtakingly sharp?"
"Y-Yes... It is just as you say, Master Shingen. When I was young, I... I led a band of youths, and we behaved quite badly around Xu Province. But ever since I met Master Cao Cao, l have mended my ways, and have desired to be nothing but a good soldier and officer."
"I see. Your youth is now but a fond memory."
~~Shingen and Cao Ren; Warriors Orochi 4


See also: Cao Ren/Movesets‎‎

Dynasty Warriors 9

Keys: Square Flow Attack • Triangle Reactive Attack • Circle Musou X Jump/Mount

Cao Ren is affiliated with the flail in this title. When equipped with it, Cao Ren can perform the following unique attacks listed below.

Unique Attacks
Unique Flow Attack Finisher: Enemy Downed + Square Square Square Square: Cao Ren does a powerful sumo stomp with his left foot, causing a shockwave to spread out and send nearby foes flying. Takes cues from the spiked shield moveset's fourth charge attack in the previous installment.
Unique Trigger Attack: R1 + Triangle: Does a shoulder ram attack that produces a minor shockwave, launching nearby enemies into the air. Bears similarities to the final hit of the spiked shield moveset's full attack string in Dynasty Warriors 8.
Special Technique: R1 + Circle: Latches unto a nearby foe and rotates their body around several times while freezing them by coating the flail's surface in ice. The victim is then violently slammed unto the ground, causing ice shards and debris to fly out. This move is based on the flail moveset's fifth charge attack in the eighth installment.
Musou Attack: Circle: Charges forward continuously while emanating bursts of energy. After stopping briefly, Cao Ren thrusts his flail at the nearest foe in front of him, then repeatedly rotates them around counterclockwise to juggle other surrounding enemies. It ends with the victim being flung to the ground hard via overhead slam, creating brief fissures in the process. The finisher's hits are influenced by the wind element, enabling each strike to weaken enemies for a brief moment. Much of the move borrows aspects of Cao Ren's Charging Bull and Grapple Smash Musou attacks from the seventh title.
Aerial Musou Attack: X Circle: Rotates flail around as it becomes shrouded in icy mist, then slams it onto the earth upon landing. The sudden impact generates an ice-infused radial shockwave that launches foes while freezing them solid.
Horse Maneuvers
Summon Horse: L2: Summon horse to the battlefield. Holding L2 as the horse approaches will allow the character to automatically mount them.
Auto-Run: Riding Mode + L2: Automatically runs towards a specified destination. If a destination has not been set, the horse will instead run towards the location of the player's currently selected mission.
Sprint: Riding Mode + Direction + R1: Causes horse to run at a faster pace. Doing so depletes their stamina each time.
Jump: Riding Mode + Direction + R2: Causes horse to jump high while running.
Horse Fast Attack: Riding Mode + Square: Performs a fast and seamless attack while mounted. The attack itself varies depending on what type of weapon is equipped and whether the enemy is grounded or airborne.
Horse Trigger Attack: Riding Mode + Triangle: Performs an attack that sends enemies flying into the air. May vary depending on what type of weapon is equipped.
Horse Musou Attack: Riding Mode + Circle: Causes horse to sprint by consuming Musou instead of stamina.
Dismount Horse: Riding Mode + X: Dismounts from horse and resumes default fighting stance.
Bow Maneuvers
Shooting Mode: 🡻: Pulls out bow and assumes archery stance. Can be cancelled by tapping 🡻 again.
Switch Arrows: 🡸 or 🡺: Switches between different types of arrows.
Bow Attack: Shooting Mode + Square: Fires current arrow at a target. Can lock on targets by tapping R3.
Lower Bow: Shooting Mode + X: Lowers bow while squatting down.


See also: Cao Ren/Weapons

Dynasty Warriors 8

Cao Ren still uses the spiked shield as his default weapon in this title.

Historical Information

Cao Ren was born in the fief of Qiao. His father was Cao Chi, his grandfather was Cao Bao, and his sons were Cao Tai, Cao Kai, and Cao Fan. Cao Ren's grandfather and father received appointments under the later Han Dynasty.

In his youthful years, though Cao Ren was fond of hunting and equestrianism, he was also rebellious to the point of even being disowned. After becoming a general, however, he would become disciplined and was strict towards the various laws. When Cao Cao began raising an army for a campaign against Dong Zhuo, Cao Ren offered his services, along with one thousand men he gathered. He was made Major with a Separate Command and Colonel of Lifeng.

Cao Ren met much success during the punitive expeditions against Yuan Shu and Tao Qian, and usually led the cavalry in the army's vanguard. In the latter campaign, he attacked the flanks of Lu You, one of Tao Qian's generals, and achieved great victories against the enemy after regrouping with the main army at the city of Peng. Cao Ren also routed the Tao Qian-sent reinforcements for the attacked prefectures of Jimo, Hua, Fei, and Kaiyang. When Cao Cao ordered a campaign to vanquish Lu Bu, Cao Ren was able to capture Juyang city as ordered and also captured Liu He, a general of Lu Bu.

After Cao Cao guided and took the emperor under his wing, Cao Ren was promoted to the position of Grand Administrator of Guangyang. However, instead of being sent to his assigned area, he stayed in the capital to train the cavalry on the account of Cao Cao's favoring of Cao Ren's valor. Cao Ren raided some surrounding prefectures when Cao Cao battled Zhang Xiu, and would gain Cao Cao's praise after he begun raising troops' morale after the army was disheartened at the losses dealt to them by Zhang Xiu.

During the Guandu campaign, Yuan Shao sent Liu Bei to raid the prefectures around Yinjiang and Yinjiang itself. Many commoners volunteered and joined Liu Bei, leading Cao Cao to be troubled. Cao Ren said to his lord that the commoners joined Liu Bei because they were threatened and believed that the men of Cao Cao were distracted with a bigger battle as to not be able to retaliate, and that Liu Bei did not have full control over the troops he was given, and so they would be easy to defeat. Cao Cao, enlightened, ordered Cao Ren take a cavalry unit to attack Liu Bei, and so he did, repelling Liu Bei and putting down all the rebelling prefectures. Cao Ren was also able to defeat Han Xun, a lieutenant whom was sent by Yuan Shao to ambush Cao Ren. Yuan Shao would not separate his force, and Cao Ren would be one of the commanders who destroyed Yuan Shao's supply sources.

Yuan Shao was defeated, and Cao Cao besieged the city of Hu Pass, yet the siege continued for months, causing him to order that after the city was taken all civilian and soldier alike would be killed. Cao Ren argued that for a successful siege, the attacker must allow the city's inhabitants to preserve their lives lest they fight to the death, and that Hu Pass was easily-defendable and well-supplied, and pointed out that attacking a city whose defenders realized that they would defend to the death was not a good strategy. Therein, Cao Cao pulled back the order of slaying all of Hu Pass' inhabitants, the city surrendered, and Cao Ren was promoted.

Cao Ren was made General who Conquers the South and was sent southwards to Jiangling to defend against the forces of Liu Bei and Zhou Yu. Zhou Yu led a company of several tens of thousands to attack Jiangling, and so Cao Ren sent Niu Jin with three hundred or so to respond. Niu Jin's unit was quickly surrounded, and officers worriedly stood watching the developments unfold. Angered and despite pleas and unresponded questions that losing a few hundred men wasn't comparable to losing a general, Cao Ren called for his horse and led some tens of his finest cavalry to rescue Niu Jin. The watching officers thought that Cao Ren would simply stay near the moat to back-up Niu Jin, but Cao Ren led his men forward tearing through the encirclement, escorting Niu Jin out, and plunging into the melee once again to save some stranded soldiers. Upon seeing Cao Ren return, the officers praised him as being godlike, and though Cao Cao also praised him for the deed, also lightly demoted him for eventually losing Jiangling.

Cao Cao then set into play operations against Ma Chao, and Cao Ren was able to defeat Ma Chao at the city of Weinan and quell a rebellion. He was then stationed at Fan in protection of Cao Cao's hold on Jing province. Hou Yin north in Wan rebelled, conquering some few cities and harassing surrounding prefectures, but Cao Ren succeeded in destroying the upstarts, for which he was restored to the former position of General who Conquers the South. Guan Yu would soon attack Fan, obliterating the companies of Yu Jin via flood, and Fan itself was surrounded by Guan Yu and water. Relief contingents for Cao Ren's thousand man-host stationed in Fan had not arrived, external communications were cut off, and supplies were at an all-time low. To combat the odds, Cao Ren kept the morale of his men up and eventually Xu Huang arrived as reinforcement and the floodwaters lowered. Together with Xu Huang, Cao Ren broke the siege and repelled Guan Yu.

As Cao Ren was impressive in his discipline, and constantly consulted the oft-brought laws of conduct whenever facing an affair, Cao Pi once took Cao Ren as an example of one who obeyed the law dutifully to Cao Zhang. Once Cao Cao died, and Cao Pi usurped Emperor Xian, Cao Ren was made General of the Chariots and Cavalry, the second highest military position available. The size of his fief was doubled and he was also made Marquis of Chen. After Cao Ren and Xu Huang took over the Wu-controlled Xiangyang, Cao Ren was made in succession Regent-Marshal and Grand Marshal, the highest military positions and one of the highest civil ranks available, respectively.

Cao Ren died of natural causes in 223 AD, and was given the posthumous title of Marquis of Loyalty. Cao Ren's sons all achieved the rank of Marquis at the very least, and Cao Tai, his heir, was made General who Guards the East.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms


  • His name with Japanese Dynasty Warriors fans is "Jindam" (ジンダム; said as "Rendam" in Chinese), an anagram of the Japanese pronunciation for Ren and Gundam.
  • In both his renders and artworks for his Dynasty Warriors 4 and 5, Cao Ren is somehow rendered with his second weapon instead of his signature 3rd weapon.
  • An unhelmeted variant of Dynasty Warriors 9 Cao Ren's regular outfit is not avaliable in-game, even though said unhelmeted variant of Cao Ren can be seen in his artwork and Apuri artwork with the Cao family.


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Dynasty Warriors
Main Titles Dynasty WarriorsDynasty Warriors 2Dynasty Warriors 3Dynasty Warriors 4Dynasty Warriors 5Dynasty Warriors 6Dynasty Warriors 7Dynasty Warriors 8Dynasty Warriors 9
Expansions Empires (4)Empires (5)Empires (6)Empires (7)Empires (8)Empires (9)Special (6)Special (7)Xtreme Legends (3)Xtreme Legends (4)Xtreme Legends (5)Xtreme Legends (7)Xtreme Legends (8)
Spin-Offs 100man-ninAdvanceApuriBlastBlazing BattlesDS: Fighter's BattleGodseekersMahjongNextOnlineOverlordsPSP PortPSP Port Vol. 2SLASHStrikeforceStrikeforce 2UnleashedVersus
Wei Characters
Cai WenjiCao CaoCao PiCao RenCao XiuDian WeiGuo JiaJia XuLi DianMan ChongPang DeWang YiXiahou DunXiahou YuanXu HuangXu ZhuXun YouXun YuYu JinYue JinZhang HeZhang LiaoZhenji
Wu Characters
Cheng PuDaqiaoDing FengGan NingHan DangHuang GaiLianshiLing TongLu MengLu SuLu XunSun CeSun JianSun QuanSun ShangxiangTaishi CiXiaoqiaoXu ShengZhou TaiZhou YuZhu Ran
Shu Characters
Bao SanniangFa ZhengGuan PingGuan SuoGuan XingGuan YinpingGuan YuHuang ZhongJiang WeiLiu BeiLiu ShanMa ChaoMa DaiPang TongWei YanXiahoujiXingcaiXu ShuYueyingZhang BaoZhang FeiZhao YunZhou CangZhuge Liang
Jin Characters
Deng AiGuo HuaiJia ChongSima ShiSima YiSima ZhaoWang YuanjiWen YangXiahou BaXin XianyingZhang ChunhuaZhong HuiZhuge Dan
Other Characters
Chen GongDiaochanDong BaiDong ZhuoHua XiongLu BuLu LingqiMeng HuoYuan ShaoYuan ShuZhang JiaoZhurongZuo Ci
Miscellaneous Characters
NPC Shu NPCsWei NPCsWu NPCsJin NPCsOther NPCsBodyguardsUnit TypesLixia
Playable Edit CharactersPhoenix, Dragon, ChimeraShin Sangoku Musou Blast OfficersBeauty YuFu XiKing MuLei BinNuwaSanzangSun WukongXi WangmuXiang Yu
Various Factions
Allied ForcesDong Zhuo's ForcesFive Bushel SectForces in XiliangGongsun Zan's ForcesHan DynastyHeishan BanditsLiu Biao's ForcesLiu Yao's ForcesLiu Zhang's ForcesLu Bu's ForcesNanmanTen EunuchsWuwanYellow TurbansYuan Shao's ForcesYuan Shu's Forces