The aim of this research was to investigate the influence of substrate roughness on the adhesion and tribological performance of thin TiN coatings obtained by physical vapor deposition. For that purpose, substrates of AISI H13 steel with surface finishes of 0.06, 0.28 and 0.90 μm in Ra were coated with TiN under the same coating conditions. The chemical composition of the steel, as well as that of the TiN coating, were obtained using EDS analysis. Adhesion tests were carried out following the procedure of BSi 1071-8 standard while hardness was evaluated by ASTM C 1327-03. On the other hand, dry sliding friction tests were conducted with a pin-on-disk tribometer, according to the ASTM G 99-05 standard. This study showed that the roughness of the coating increases as the substrate roughness increases. Regarding adhesion and hardness, all the samples showed an adhesion class 1 according to the standard and a hardness value of 14.51 GPa. Nevertheless, the highest substrate roughness produced the best adhesion. On the other hand, the lowest values for the friction coefficient and wear behavior were obtained by the sample with the lowest substrate roughness of 0.06 µm. In addition, it was found that friction and wear increase when the substrate roughness increases.