A series of macroparticle-free TiN, TiCxN(1-x) and TiC coatings were deposited on 316 austenitic stainless steel using a titanium target in a filtered arc deposition system (FADS) and reactive mixtures of N2 and/or CH4 gases. The surface topography, chemical composition and microstructure of these coatings were characterised by optical microscopy (OM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy-dispersive spectroscopy (EDS). The microhardness has been measured and the adhesion of the coatings has been evaluated. Further, the wear and friction behaviour of the coatings were assessed under controlled test conditions in a pin-on-disc tribometer. The results show a significant increase in surface roughness, microhardness and wear resistance as the CH4:N2 gas flow rate ratio is increased. The composition of the coatings was strongly dependent on reactive gas flow rate during deposition. Surface particles were observed on high carbon content coatings and subsequently determined to be carbonaceous particles by using OM, AFM and EDS. At lowest load (10 N), all coatings exhibited low friction and wear. At loads of 15 and 25 N, the higher carbon content TiCN and TiC coatings showed a much lower friction and wear compared to TiN and low carbon TiCN.