The presence of surface oxides on the formation of laser-induced periodic surface structures (LIPSS) is regularly advocated to favor or even trigger the formation of high-spatial-frequency LIPSS (HSFL) during ultrafast laser-induced nano-structuring. This paper reports the effect of the laser texturing environment on the resulting surface oxides and its consequence for HSFLs formation. Nanoripples are produced on tungsten samples using a Ti:sapphire femtosecond laser under atmospheres with varying oxygen contents. Specifically, ambient, 10 mbar pressure of air, nitrogen and argon, and 10−7 mbar vacuum pressure are used. In addition, removal of any native oxide layer is achieved using plasma sputtering prior to laser irradiation. The resulting HSFLs have a sub-100 nm periodicity and sub 20 nm amplitude. The experiments reveal the negligible role of oxygen during the HSFL formation and clarifies the significant role of ambient pressure in the resulting HSFLs period.