In lithium ion batteries, it has previously been shown that Ni-Sn thin film anodes containing 62 at.% Sn show outstanding electrochemical characteristics, e.g. good capacity and endurance, during charge-discharge cycling. However, their mechanical response, which is likely related to their lifetime in service, has so far received relatively little attention. To address this, nanoindentation and nanowear techniques have been used to characterize the mechanical properties of thin Ni-Sn films electrodeposited on a copper substrate. In situ morphology analysis together with in situ stress measurement has been performed to assess the properties of Ni-Sn thin film anodes during electrochemical cycling. The change in mechanical properties, residual stress and fracture behaviour of the anodes is related to the phase changes which occur during charge-discharge cycling. The correlation between the mechanical properties of the films and their charge-discharge characteristics serves as a useful indicator for optimized design of a Sn-based intermetallic anode film for lithium ion secondary batteries.