This study aimed to understand the influence of small amount of Zr doping of amorphous carbonitride (a-CN) coatings on the structure, and mechanical and tribological behavior. The coatings were prepared using a four-target close-field unbalance magnetron sputtering system; two graphite, one Ti and one Zr targets were used. GDOS, SEM, XRD and XPS were used. A surface profilometer, a nano-hardness tester, and a pin-on-disk wear tester were used. It was found the Zr doping resulting in the formation of ZrC and ZrN phases within the coating and the increase in the sp3 bonding fraction. The nano-hardness was increased and the wear performance was largely improved.