A validator's status can be divided into three categories: active, inactive, and waiting. This article describes each of these statuses and what a nominator can do to improve the chances of getting staking rewards. It uses the Polkadot-JS UI and the Staking Dashboard. You can check our extensive article list to help you get started with the dashboard.

Validator Status

When you nominate a set of validators (up to 16 on Polkadot or 24 on Kusama), the validator election algorithm will rotate your stake among validators on a per-era basis. In other words, you may have a different active validator amongst your selected validators for each era

You cannot choose which specific validator you will be actively nominating in a given era unless you are nominating a single validator.


This is the validator you are actively nominating for the current era. Unless you are staking with a considerable amount, you will be nominating a single validator in each era with your full stake. This validator will pay rewards to you once the payout has been activated at the end of that era.


These validators are in the active validator set, and in your list of nominations. However, you are not actively nominating them for this era (they are not active for you) and they will not give rewards to you for this era.

  • When you first nominate validators, all of them will be "waiting" in the current era. That's normal. Your nominations will take effect in the next era. You will only see active validators (and begin earning staking rewards) after two eras, so on the third day earliest.
  • If you see only inactive validators for days, and never an active one, you may have nominated too few validators (you can nominate up to 16 on Polkadot).
  • If you're nominating with any amount less than the minimum, you won't see any "active" validators. Instead, you will only see "inactive" and "waiting" and won't receive any rewards. The minimum nomination amount needed to receive rewards is now dynamic and can be found on the Targets page or the Staking Dashboard.


These validators did not get into the active validator set in this era. They may get into the active validator set in the future.


Note that it does not hurt your rewards to nominate waiting validators, as long as you have nominated at least one validator in the active set. Your stake will be distributed only among those in the active validator set.