Control of the texture and the biaxial alignment of sputter deposited films has provoked a great deal of interest due to its technological importance. Indeed, many physical properties of thin films are influenced by the biaxial alignment. In this context, extensive research has been established to understand the growth mechanism of biaxially aligned Yttria Stabilized Zirconia (YSZ) as a buffer layer for high temperature superconducting copper oxides. In this work, the growth mechanism in general and the mechanism responsible of the biaxial alignment in detail were investigated for thin films of YSZ and TiN deposited by unbalanced magnetron sputtering using non-aligned polycrystalline stainless steel substrates. The mechanism responsible for the preferential out-of-plane alignment has been investigated by performing depositions on a non-tilted substrate. However, to study the in-plane alignment a tilted substrate was used. The microstructure of the deposited layers was characterised by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). The crystallographic alignment has been investigated by X-ray diffraction (XRD) (angular scans and pole figures) and by Selective Area Diffraction (SAD). It was observed that the deposited layers show a zone T or zone II structure and the layers with a zone T structure consist of faceted grains. There seems to be a correlation between the crystal habit of these faceted grains and the measured biaxial alignment. A model for the preferential out-ofplane orientation, the in-plane alignment and the correlation between the microstructure and the biaxial alignment is proposed.