This paper deals with the investigation of the tribological behavior of TiC/TaC reinforced NiCrMo and Mo plasma sprayed coatings. The coatings were classified with respect to friction and wear behavior in pin-on-disk tests. The NiCrMo-based coatings, with better carbide-metal matrix binding than the Mo-based coatings, are also the more wear resistant. The NiCrMo-based coatings show a better functionality, when the reinforcing particles are a solid solution of TiC and TaC, than the coatings with only TiC or TaC reinforcement. Abrasion, adhesion and fracture assisted wear were observed to be the primary wear mechanisms involved in these complex TiC/TaC reinforced coatings, as revealed by SEM investigation of the wear tracks and the debris. The extent of each mechanism appears to be influenced by the carbide-matrix interface strength. The processing to structure and functionality relationships highlight the key parameters in the effort to design high wear resistant coatings.