The wear transition behaviour and wear debris are significant parameters in understanding the wear behaviour of ZA alloys. The purpose of the paper was to investigate the effect of Ni on wear and wear transition of Ni based ZA modified alloy. The wear experiments were conducted under dry conditions and load ranging from 10-150 N and sliding speed from 1.25 to 10 m/s. Composition of worn surfaces and wear debris were analysed by energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer (EDS) and X-ray diffractometer (XRD). A mild wear and severe wear regions have been observed during conduction of the experiment. The wear debris mixture constitute during a mild wear especially in modified alloy. The wear debris mixture influenced a key role in reducing the wear loss and also delaying the severe wear. The severe plastic deformation was observed during the transition stage. The wear mechanisms in each stage were analysed and categorised on the basis of EDS and XRD observation. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd.