Abstract Ni-Cr nanocomposite coatings with different Cr particles contents were developed by electrodeposition method from a nickel sulfate solution containing different concentrations of Cr nanoparticle with an average particle size of 40 nm. The characteristics of the coatings were assessed by scanning electron microscopy and microhardness test. The friction and wear performances of Ni-Cr nanocomposite coatings and pure Ni film were comparatively investigated, with the effect of the Cr content on the friction and wear behaviors to be emphasized. The results indicate the microhardness, friction and wear behaviors of Ni-Cr nanocomposite coatings are closely related with Cr particles content. The Ni-Cr nanocomposite coating with a lower Cr content of 4.0% shows somewhat increased microhardness and wear resistance than the pure Ni coating, while the Ni-Cr nanocomposite coating with a higher Cr content has much better wear resistance than the pure Ni coating. The effect of Cr nanoparticles on the microhardness and wear resistance was discussed.