A procedure for the control of the excess energy of Ni thin-film formation by the ion-plating process has been studied. The excess energy of metal vapor particles is dependent not only on the kinetic energy of metal vapor ions but also on the ionization rate as the impinging rate of the ions on the substrate. A hot-filament electron emitter was used to increase the ionization rate. Ni thin films were prepared using the ion-plating process with a hot-filament electron emitter. The excess energy introduced during the Ni thin film formation was determined by plasma diagnostics using the Langmuir probe, Faraday cup, and a multigrid analyzer (MGA) as an ion energy analyzer. The ionization rate of Ni particles (ZNi+/ZNi) increased with electrons emission. The hot-filament electron emitter is effective in increasing the excess energy. Internal stresses in the Ni thin film were tensile in all samples. Tensile stress decreased with increasing ionization rate. Ion bombardment resulted in the enhancement of the compressive stress possibly because of the ion-pinning effect.