In a previous paper, it was shown that the tribological properties of NbxNy thin films produced by ion beam assisted deposition (IBAD) depend strongly on the beam energy and the ion-to-atom (R) ratio. This study was designed to separate ion energy vs. ion momentum effects on film stress, crystalline phase, grain size, morphology, and composition, all of which influence the tribological properties of the films. Inert ion beams (Kr, Ar, and Ne) were used in conjunction with a nitrogen gas backfill to independently control ion energy and ion momentum transfer to NbxNy films. The ion species, energies, and R ratios were chosen to create a matrix of coatings that exhibited the same total energy deposition with different momentum transfer or the same momentum transfer but different total energy deposition. The resultant films were characterized using Rutherford Backscattering Spectroscopy (RBS), x-ray diffraction (XRD), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and residual stress analysis. Crystalline phases and texture, as well as residual stress, were more closely correlated with ion momentum transfer to the coating atoms than with overall ion energy input.