In this study, we investigated the influence of oxygen non-stoichiometry on the resistive switching performance of tantalum oxide based memristive devices. Thin-films of tantalum oxide were deposited with varying sputter power and oxygen partial pressure. The electroforming voltage was found to decrease with increasing power density or decreased oxygen partial pressure, while the endurance remained stable and the resistance window R OFF /R ON was found to increase. In-depth XPS analysis connects these observations to a controllable oxygen sub-stoichiometry in the sputter-deposited films. Our analysis shows that the decrease of the forming voltage results from an increase in carrier density in the as-prepared thin-films, which is induced by the presence of oxygen vacancies.