The surface of irons and steels can be hardened by introducing nitrogen (nitriding), nitrogen and carbon (nitrocarburizing), or nitrogen and sulfur (sulfonitriding) into the surface. This article lists the principal reasons for nitriding and nitrocarburizing, and summarizes the typical characteristics of nitriding processes along with a general comparison of carburizing processes in a table. It describes the two most common nitriding methods: gas nitriding and ion (plasma) nitriding. The article discusses the wear behavior of nitrided layers and the wear resistance of selected steels. Rolling-contact fatigue (RCF) occurs in rolling contacts such as bearings, rolls, and gears. The article provides a discussion on rolling-contact fatigue of nitrided steels for aerospace bearing components.