His father was Altoman, a vojvod in Zeta. In 1363, Nikola's uncle Vojislav Vojinović was killed and Nikola used his uncle's death to gain a piece of his land. He allied himself with Lazar against King Vukašin Mrnjavčević and they managed to persuade Uroš to support them. However, after Lazar pulled out at the critical moment they were defeated at Kosovo in 1369.
Serbian Prefect Nicholas Altomanović lost their territories in conflict with a coalition of: Prince Lazar of Serbia, Bosnian Ban Tvrtko and King Ludwig I. 1: The expansion of parts of Bosnia Nicholas Altomanović possession, after his defeat in 1373; 2: Temporarily taking Dračevica, Konavli and Trebinje by Zeta (Balsic); 3: Today's borders of Montenegro.
In 1373, a military alliance against Nikola was created, which included Bosnian Ban Tvrtko I Kotromanić, Zetan Ruler Đurađ I Balšić, Mačvan Prince Nikola Gorjanski, and Hungarian King Ludovik I. In the same year, they battled against Nikola and Nikola lost, thus his territory was split between Prince Lazar Hrebeljanović of Serbia, Đurađ I Balšić of Zeta, and Ban Tvrtko I Kotromanić of Bosnia.