Liquid lubricants are not suitable for lubrication at high temperature and high vacuum conditions. Under such extreme conditions, powder lubricants are more useful for lubrication. The present work investigates the tribological characteristics of metals lubricated with three different powders ZrO2, CuO and MoS2 under extreme contact pressures and dry conditions. The experiments were conducted with these powder lubricants in a reciprocating wear test apparatus for various load and temperature combinations. The surface morphology of the mechanically developed films formed in the sliding metals' contact area was investigated by Scanning Electron Microscope and Energy Dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. It was observed that CuO works effectively as a lubricant for steel specimen when constant wear characteristics is required at varying combinations of load and temperature. In general, it was found that at high temperature and high load conditions, the powder lubricants exhibit a low value of wear coefficient. © 2020 Malaysian Tribology Society (MYTRIBOS). All rights reserved.