Metal-matrix composite (MMC) coatings consisting of a nickel based metal matrix, providing toughness and tungsten carbides, providing wear resistance, are used in applications subjected to severe abrasive wear conditions. The aim of this work is to map the influence of type, morphology and amount of tungsten carbides in a nickel based matrix on the wear resistance and microstructure of laser cladded MMC coatings. Abrasive wear, evaluated according to ASTM-G65, is mainly influenced by the volume fraction of the tungsten carbides in the coating. Shape and microstructure of the tungsten carbides have a minor impact on this property, for similar degree of melting or dilution from the substrate material and size of the tungsten carbides. Microstructure analysis shows that the dissolution of the tungsten carbides in the melt pool is influenced by the chemical composition of the liquid metal phase, the microstructure and the amount of tungsten carbides selected.