AbstractNd, a rare earth element with low solid solubility in Mg, is an ideal alloying element to improve elevated temperature yield strength and creep resistance cost effectively. The addition of Zn leads to further improvement in the elevated temperature properties; therefore, Mg–Nd–Zn alloys are prospective materials for structural and medical applications. In situ synchrotron radiation diffraction was performed during compression at 200 and 350 ℃ for Mg3NdxZn (x = 0, 0.5, 1, 2 wt%) alloys up to a deformation of 0.3 with a deformation rate of 10−3 s−1. The compressed samples were subsequently subjected to electron backscattered diffraction. The results show that at 200 ℃ the addition of Zn increased the ductility. At the beginning of plastic deformation twinning was the dominant deformation mechanism complemented by sub-grain formation at a later stage. At 350 ℃, the compression strength was increased with the addition of Zn and the microstructure of the samples underwent partial dynamic recrystallization during compression.