The discussion in this paper is limited to the case where the surface layer is thinner than the average depth of roughening. The surrounding atmosphere influences the adhesion factor Xa through its effect on adhesion that depends on such factors as the nature and thickness of the surface layer and also the degree of plastic roughening. The influence of the surface layer on the thermal factor ψθ is similar to its influence on Xa. Because of the lack of the quantitative knowledge about its effect on adhesion and diffusion, the effect of surrounding atmosphere on metal transfer and wear is discussed qualitatively. The dependence upon such factors as the temperature, gas pressure, time of exposure, etc., of the effect of physically adsorbed and chemical‐compound surface layers on metal transfer and wear is also discussed in this paper.