The chemical aspects of sintering have to be considered, in particular the role of oxygen. For sintered alloy steels used for highly stressed components, traditional alloy elements have been Cu, Ni and Mo, which in their oxygen affinity are very similar to the base constituent iron. Advanced alloying systems however contain Cr, Mn and/or Si. In the present study it is shown that one of the principal aspects of sintering to be considered is oxygen transfer from the base iron oxides to the alloy elements, which then form oxides that are more difficult to reduce. This process, defined as “internal gettering”, occurs both in mixed powder compacts and in prealloyed materials, although through different mechanisms. The effect can at least be alleviated by presintering in H2 in the 400C range, part of the oxygen being removed as H2O before internal gettering becomes kinetically effective. However, in industrial practice, this collides with delubricaton. Furthermore for both alloy variants high temperature sintering is advantageous because it enhances reduction of the more stable oxides, thus eliminating the effects of internal gettering.