Ti–Si–C–N thin films were deposited onto WC-Co substrates by industrial scale arc evaporation from Ti3SiC2 compound cathodes in N2 gas. Microstructure and hardness were found to be highly dependent on the wide range of film compositions attained, comprising up to 12 at.% Si and 16 at.% C. Nonreactive deposition yielded films consisting of understoichiometric TiCx, Ti, and silicide phases with high (27 GPa) hardness. At a nitrogen pressure of 0.25–0.5 Pa, below that required for N saturation, superhard, 45–50 GPa, (Ti,Si)(C,N) films with a nanocrystalline feathered structure were formed. Films grown above 2 Pa displayed crystalline phases of more pronounced nitride character, but with C and Si segregated to grain boundaries to form weak grain boundary phases. In abundance of N, the combined presence of Si and C disturbs cubic phase growth severely and compromises the mechanical strength of the films.