To use the manifold possibilities that the arc spraying offers to deposit carbide layers, the knowledge of the particle characteristics are necessary. This work is focused on understanding the particle formation during arc spraying with cored wires. The influence of primary and secondary atomization gas on the particle formation as well as on the particle shape, particle dimension and grain size are analyzed. Melting behaviors of different cored wires under various spraying parameters are investigated. Correlations between coating properties and particle characteristics are established. Experimental approaches to determine the in-flight properties of the sprayed particles in combination with metallographic analyses were employed to establish these correlations.