The effects of nitrogen content on weld metal impact toughness in submerged arc welding were investigated and interpreted in terms of microstructural changes and solid solution hardening. The weld metal impact toughness in as-welded condition decreased with increasing nitrogen content from 110 to 200 ppm. The weld metal microstructure changed with increasing nitrogen content; ferrite with second phase increased at the expense of tough acicular ferrite. In addition to microstructural changes, the microhardness of acicular ferrite increased gradually with the nitrogen content. Therefore, the loss of impact toughness can be attributed to a combination of the effects of microstructural changes and solid solution hardening.