This paper aims to provide a theoretical and experimental understanding of the importance of novel 2D materials in solid-film lubrication, along with modulating strategies adopted so far to improve their performance for spacecraft and industrial applications. The mechanisms and the underlying physics of 2D materials are reviewed with experimental results. This paper covers some of the widely investigated solid lubricants such as MoS2, graphene, and boron compounds, namely h-BN and boric acid. Solid lubricants such as black phosphorus that have gained research prominence are also discussed regarding their application as additives in polymeric materials. The effects of process conditions, film deposition parameters, and dopants concentration on friction and wear rate are discussed with a qualitative and quantitative emphasis that are supported with adequate examples and application areas and summarized in the form of graphs and tables for easy readability. The use of advanced manufacturing methods such as powder metallurgy and sintering to produce solid lubricants of superior tribological performance and the subsequent economic gain from their development as a substitute for liquid lubricant are also evaluated.